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Tuesday, July 15. 2014
Passenger Car Department July 5th, ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 13:57
Saturday, July 5th: Ray Mormann and Mark Gellman made progress on the Birmingham dining car. They installed the vestibule door on the kitchen end and while there is more work to be done, the door at that end will now work.
Sunday, July 6th: Kevin Kriebs continued the process of removing the adhesive from the former decals on the 1st Exhibit Car. John McKelvey worked on seats for the Henrietta. Shelly Vanderschaegen cleaned, waxed and buffed walls in the Ely dining room area. Mark Hoffmann worked in the RI 2602 needle chipping and grinding.
Saturday, July 12th: Mark Gellman and Michael McCraren installed glass on the south side number board of the "Pacific Peak". This weekend the north side will be finished.
Sunday, July 13th: A little cutting, a piece of steel, some paint and some screws. The door for the west end of the Birmingham is ready to be installed after Mark Gellman, Mike Baksic. and Ray Moorman completed repairs and adjustments.
Kevin Kriebs continued adhesive removal on the 1st Exhibit car.
Jim Windmeier, Kevin Brown, and Nick Kallas were in the Birmingham for lunch. Shelly continued the mahogany waxing process in the Ely dining room throughout the day.
Shelly isnt afraid to get a little dirty when working on IRM Passenger Cars - Photo by Pauline Trabert
Shelly Vanderschaegen buffing wax she applied in the Ely dining room area - Photo by Pauline Trabert
Chuck Trabert spent the day replacing the face on the bottom half of one of the side doors on the Milwaukee Road Dynamometer car and also replaced all three air brake hoses and fittings. Pauline Trabert took pictures and helped Chuck as much as possible.
While Chuck was working on the Dynamometer door rebuild, Pauline captured a few photos of passing trains on the mainline, visitors lining up to check out the 1630, and movement of diesel locomotives near Barn 2.
A lot of activity was happening at the diesel barn in preparation for Diesel Days - Photo by Pauline Trabert
Chuck took a break from the door restoration project to install three new air brake hoses and six new fittings. The Dynamometer car is to run on the coach train during Diesel Days and will be brake tested prior to the event.
Restoration projects happen daily at IRM. Big or small, interior or exterior, they all take a huge amount of time. We are fortunate to have many skilled volunteers who donate time, tools, materials, equipment, and money to get each job done as quickly as possible with as much quality workmanship as they are able to provide. Your donations help make it possible to get more work done in a timely manner. Thanks for your interest in our Museum!
Tuesday, June 24. 2014
Sunday, June 22nd, Passenger Car Update Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 18:16
It was a fabulous day. Early in the day Shelly Vanderschaegen and John McKelvey continued the big job of reupholstering seats for the RI 2612 coach. Michael Baksic, Ray Mormann, and Mark Gellman were trying to drill holes for the vestibule door between the Birmingham and the Loch Sloy. They worked on it all day but were unable to make much headway.
During the mid-morning Jon Habegger helped Shelly prepare food for the lunch to come.
Before his shift as conductor, Michael McCraren and Mark Gellman tackled the number board on the north side of the Pacific Peak. Last weekend work was done on the number board on the south side of the car.
Michael masked the area painted black on the south side and sprayed on the yellow paint - Photo by Michael McCraren
We had a great turnout for a plaque presentation to Susan, David, and Rob Stepek in honor of Phil Stepek who passed away last year. Shelly Vanderschaegen came up with the idea to create the plaque, Jon Habegger put the words together, and Pauline Trabert helped Shelly choose the plaque and design. Michael Baksic made the presentation to the Stepek family. A second identical plaque will be hung inside the Birmingham diner where Phil spent a great deal of time.
After the plaque presentation, there was a picnic lunch in the Birmingham followed by a ride on the coach train. Later on David and Rob Stepek crushed cans which had been collected by the department. This is David's usual volunteer job.
Jon Habegger went to his post in the 1st Exhibit Car following the luncheon.
Tuesday, June 17. 2014
Saturday June 14th Passenger Car Update Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 13:33
A glorious day at the Illinois Railway Museum. It was beautiful all day - a bit warm but we'll take it.
Mitch O'Brien, Ray Mormann, and Kevin Kriebs each had a screwdiver and removed most of the hardware from two doors purchased to use in the Birmingham diner. Once most of the hardware was removed, Kevin started stripping paint from one of the doors.
There is much work required to repair the rust damage at the bottom of this door - Photo by Jon Habegger
While Kevin was stripping paint from one door, Michael Baksic, Ray Mormann, and Mark Gellman worked on positioning a second interior door on the kitchen end. Because the kitchen wall is at an angle, installing a door there, mounting it to the car, will be a challenge.
Michael Baksic looks through the Birmingham kitchen door as it is being installed - Photo by Michael McCraren
Because of the wall angle, installing a door at the kitchen end will be challenging - Photo by Jon Habegger
From Michael McCraren: All sleeping car and coaches of a long distance passenger train had a number assigned to them in the consist. For example, on "The City of Los Angeles" the first sleeping car would be assigned the number 1031 meaning train #103 (westbound COLA), first sleeping car. This way the passenger would know which car they were in. On the Union Pacific "Peak" series, the number board was located below the porter's room window on one side and below the bathroom window on the other. During the Pacific Peak's time with Amtrak, the number boards were plated over. On Saturday, Mark Gellman, Jon Habegger, and myself removed the plating and exposed the original number boards. They were cleaned, primed and painted black. Glass will be placed over the number boards to complete the work.
Shelly was working with John McKelvey in the wood shop all day stripping RI 2612 Henrietta seats down to the frame. Broken metal clips on the springs were replaced, then Shelly epoxied the bottom of the seat frame where the tack strips are located. Meanwhile, John put tarp material over the repaired springs, tacked it down, then applied horsehair padding. A layer of padding was applied over top of the horsehair, then another layer of horsehair was added, then another layer of tarp was applied to cover the layers of padding. Next, the actual upholstery material can be applied. There is a great deal of work involved in reupholstering these old coach seats and this is why we ask passengers to treat them with care.
Lunch was in the Birmingham as usual with a small celebration of Michael Baksic's birthday. Elegant Farmer apple pie and whipped cream were enjoyed by the crew. Everyone returned to their respective work for the day after this all too brief intermission.
Friday, June 13. 2014
Passenger Car Department Report for ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 20:31
We have had some beautiful June weather at IRM!
Sunday, June 1st:
Kevin Kriebs continued his adhesive removal project on the exterior of the 1st Exhibit Car. Jon Habegger was at his post inside the 1st Exhibit Car greeting visitors. Jim Windmeier brought printouts of a Milwaukee Road dining car table set up, to demonstrate how they set the table as each railroad dining table was set differently. He talked to Michael Baksic, Jon Habegger, and Shelly Vanderschaegen about creating a display featuring railroad dining in the 1st Exhibit Car to use various railroad dishes from the Museum collection.
John McKelvey stripped several DM&IR 84 coach smoking section seats in his continuing effort to reupholster that section of the coach.
Mike McCraren was conductor on the passenger coach train.
Mark Gellman helped Michael Baksic complete three air brake tests on the available passenger cars and then assisted Jon Habegger in last minute interior repairs, cleaning and preparation of the Chicago Burlington & Quincy 1923 Steel RPO/Baggage car for the upcoming Railway Post Office Weekend.
Shelly Vanderschaegen continued waxing and buffing the Honduran Mahogany woodwork in the Ely dining room then discussed reupholstery of coach seats with John McKelvey.
Michael Baksic and Ray Mormann spent the day caulking seams and windows on the streamliner cars in Yard 5.
Friday, June 6th:
A group from Monarch Landing Retirement Community in Naperville, IL visited IRM. Thanks to Ray Bellock for showing them around our wonderful railway museum. They rode the Illinois Terminal 415 with motorman Bob Opal and then were pleased to have a boxed lunch in the Birmingham dining car in Yard 5 with Shelly Vanderschaegen as hostess. We hope they come back again!
Sunday, June 8th:
Mark Gellman and Jon Habegger worked on the RPO Days catch program. The Chicago Burlington & Quincy 1923 RPO was pulled by the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad 1630. Six retired postal clerks were in attendance and everyone had a good time.
In another run-by our own Mark Gellman made a catch and dropped a mail bag like a pro.
John McKelvey continued reupholstering the DM&IR 84 coach smoking section seats. Two of the seats have walkover backs without the same "triple hump" padding as the stationary seat backs. John put in extra effort to make the walkover seat backs match the stationary backs. In the image below where John is installing a newly covered walkover seat back you can see the results.
Work continued on the Dynamometer car. Warren Newhauser, Brian LaKemper and Chuck Trabert were on hand in the X-5000. After operations had completed, Mark Gellman assisted in replacing the brake pads on the Dyno.
Curator Michael Baksic met with Gerry Boguse in the Louisville & Nashville diner 2726 Galt House to discuss needed floor repairs.
Thursday, June 5. 2014
Brian LaKemper captured the following images during Streamliners at Spencer, an event organized by the North Carolina Transportation Museum, gathering 26 streamlined locomotives from railroads and museums across the country. The event was held at the former Southern Railway Spencer Shops, now the site of the North Carolina Transportation Museum.
IRM sent E5A CB&Q 9911A Silver Pilot, F7A C&NW 411, and several volunteers. The locomotives participated in various photo line ups, and took turns with other locomotives pulling the North Carolina Transportation Museum's coach train. IRM volunteers operated IRM's locomotives, and manned a booth in the museum's 37 stall roundhouse.
All photos by Brian LaKemper.
Nick Kallas is prepared to man the museums booth with plenty of brochures and a poster with photos of the museum
Silver Pilot with Atlantic Coast Line 501, the only two operational slant nosed E-units in the world
In the last photo, Silver Pilot and C&NW 411 share the roundhouse tracks with Erie 833 (New York & Greenwood Lake Railway), New Haven 2019 (Railroad Museum of New England), Wabash 1189 (Monticello Railway Museum), Pan Am Railways 1 (Pan Am Railways Executive F), ACL 501 (North Carolina Transportation Museum), and Soo Line 2500-A (Lake Superior Railroad Museum)
A big thanks to Brian for passing along this information to share here on the blog.
Thursday, June 5. 2014
Memorial Day Weekend Passenger Car ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 16:07
Due to hardware problems this blog post was delayed for one week. Thanks to Jamie Kolanowski for getting the blog back online as quickly as possible after his return from the Streamliners at Spencer event at the North Carolina Transportation Museum.
Saturday, May 24th was the start of another warm, fabulous Memorial Day weekend at IRM!
Several volunteers were working on different projects. In the morning, Michael Baksic and Mark Gellman conducted an air brake test on the Bessemer & Lake Erie 25 steel combine. Kevin Kriebs was back on adhesive removal detail on the exterior of the 1st Exhibit Car.
Kevins work exemplifies how much of the Museum work is done - a little bit at a time - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Jon Habegger and Ken were inside the 1st Exhibit Car greeting visitors, answering questions and talking about the displays. Michael McCraren was the conductor in the passenger coaches all day. Mark Gellman was the coach department representative on the passenger train. John McKelvey spent Saturday working on the Duluth Missabe & Iron Range Railway 84 passenger coach seats and installing seats he had reupholstered in the smoking section.
John McKelvey with a stripped down DMIR 84 coach seat back in the Wood Shop - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
John McKelvey installing a newly reupholstered DMIR 84 smoking section seat bottom - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Inside the DM&IR 84 coach today there are a variety of upholstery colors and materials. While the original smoking section was upholstered in leather, vinyl is currently being used to reupholster those seats because it is much less expensive. Outside of the smoking section, seats were originally covered in green velvet. Shelly Vanderschaegen has been reupholstering those seats over the years as time allows in a green crushed velvet. She also fabricated the seat back covers which slip on over the worn out seat backs to help keep riders comfortable until all the seats are refinished
A smoking section seat of DMIR 84 coach reupholstered by John McKelvey - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Warren Newhauser, Brian LaKemper, and Chuck Trabert spent Saturday working on the Milwaukee Road Dynamometer X-5000 car which was parked outside of Barn 3. Warren applied a metal prep solution to some of the many exterior rust spots on the upper side of the car facing the scaffolding. This produces a “black rust” which forms a seal and stops further rusting until sandblasting. An IRM guest a few weeks ago worked for PPG Paints in R&D for over 40 years and suggested this was a good idea which could be repeated every few years as necessary to protect the metal from further rust damage.
Brian installed the air signal gladhands which Roger Kramer provided from the Coach Dept. on both sides of the car. He also traced the air signal lines which end under one of the lower bunks and in the instrument room. It is still undetermined if there is a whistle in the car or not. Brian would love to connect with anyone with knowledge of air signals.
Chuck and Warren worked at replacing a 1-¼” rusted heating pipe that runs underneath the floor. Armed with large monkey wrenches, pipes to use over the wrenches for additional leverage, acetylene torch and Kroil penetrating oil, they were eventually able to loosen a union next to the side door. Chuck then spent some time heating up a 6” nipple of pipe and a lot of time trying to loosen it only to find it had left hand threads!!
Gary Sherman offered to adjust the fan belt tension on the Waukesha Enginator so he and Warren got Chuck’s large wrenches and pry bar to tighten the belt. Chuck and Warren had tried previously but were unsuccessful. Gary was an auto mechanic for several years which really helped with his skill. Waukesha later developed a quick belt tensioning bracket for these units. They fired up the Waukesha Enginator for the first time this year and it ran spectacularly!
Warren Newhauser and Gary Sherman tensioning the fan belt on the X-5000 Waukesha Enginator - Photo by Brian LaKemper
Meanwhile Chuck removed the screws from the side door lower panel to begin the replacement process due to rusting through. With heat from a torch and persistence most screws came out.
Brian wanted to test the Safety Car 32VDC-to-120VAC Motor-Alternator so they hooked up a 120V bulb to the output and sure enough, it worked. However, the reason it really can’t be used currently is the golf cart batteries on board aren’t strong enough for the high current demand. They also need to inspect/clean the brushes/slip rings and inspect the bearings. At this point, most all of the electrical/mechanical systems are in working or close to working order.
They removed a 1” tee pipefitting in the kitchen that must have frozen at some point in the car’s history and had leaked. The water tanks were partially filled a few weeks ago and are functional.
Warren's team is always looking for volunteers to work on the Dynamometer. His group tends to come out approximately every other week or so. Please leave a comment on the blog post if you are interested in working with the X-5000 crew. Also, if you know of a manual for the safety car motor-alternator (32VDC - 120VAC) Warren and Brian would appreciate having a copy.
The Frisco 1630 was the big deal of the day making its debut on Saturday for the first time in several years. Passenger Car Department volunteers took some great photos of the Baldwin 2-10-0 as it pulled passengers on the main line all weekend. The 1630 ran Saturday, Sunday and Memorial Day.
Late Saturday afternoon, Shelly Vanderschaegen and Michael Baksic finished shampooing seats and carpeting inside the Loch Sloy sleeper coach.
Sunday, May 25th, was a hot day.
Mark Gellman, Michael Baksic, and Michael McCraren worked on a vestibule latch to secure the door to the wall on the 9933 RDC on Sunday morning.
Jon Habegger was in attendance in the 1st Exhibit Car and Kevin Kriebs continued adhesive removal on the exterior of the 1st Exhibit car. John McKelvey returned to upholstery and installation of the DM&IR 84 smoking section coach seats.
Later in the morning, Michael B. and Mark G. took a break from working on the latch and did an air brake test on the DM&IR 84 while Michael McCraren replicated more magazines for the Santa Fe Lounge Car magazine rack display.
Saturday evening switching with Jim West, Jeff Fryman, and Brian LaKemper pushed X-5000 into the clear on track 32; pulled Dover Strait, IC 2804, and DMIR 84 out of the barn; put Dover and 2804 back, and spotted 84 on track 31 next to the Dynamometer so Michael B. and Mark G. could inspect it Sunday morning. The switching team also pulled the Bessemer 25 out of the barn and parked it on track 34 where CRIP 2612 normally goes so that Mike and Mark could inspect it. The photo below was taken Sunday morning and shows the close clearance between 84 and X-5000, plus or minus 1-1/2 feet.
DMIR 84 spotted on track 31 next to the Dyno so Mike B. and Mark G. could inspect it on Sunday morning - Photo by Brian LaKemper
After lunch in the Birmingham, Andy Townsend, Michael B., Mark G., Lee Evans Jr., and Jeff Calendine worked together to put window air conditioners in the streamliner cars. They used a fork lift to assist.
Michael Baksic and Mark Gellman building a platform to hold one of the air conditioners - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Curator Michael Baksic rode the fork lift up with the AC unit for installation - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Monday, Memorial Day
Buzz Morisette went to the Museum on Memorial Day to chase steam trains but the cloudy sky sent him back to the Ely to finish up a couple things. Shelly had taken the plastic down but there was still a lot of dust so he tacked up the dirt at the East end. There is still a need to clean and wax the east wall and desks but there is less dirt now.
The clerestory in the Ely dining room is all done. Buzz finished the quarter round trim and then filled the nail holes all around. One SE window is missing some hinge hardware but it can wait until some turns up. Buzz says, "Macy's may have the Walnut room, but we have the Honduran Mahogany Room."
Thanks to everyone who accomplished the huge amount of work done in the Passenger Car Department over Memorial Day weekend!
Tuesday, May 20. 2014
May 18th Passenger Car Department Update Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 14:24
Summer is here... Yay!!
Jon Habegger started the day on Sunday by improving the appearance of his arrival departure display. The October 1955 departure and arrival times of intercity trains from six Chicago stations have been reformatted on sturdy display boards which are tacked to the wall with adhesive strips. It really looks great and gives us a sense of the prevalence of rail travel in the 1950's.
Kevin Kriebs continued removing adhesive from the 1st Exhibit Car. He had completed the entire lower portion of the car by lunchtime and then moved a scaffold in place to start on the top half of the car after lunch. It's a huge job but he is getting it done!
By midmorning, Michael Baksic was talking with with John McKelvey about the need for reupholstering coach seats. Shelly Vanderschaegen joined them and the topic changed to rubber flooring for the Birmingham diner, the Santa Fe lounge car, and the Dover Strait.
Chuck and Pauline Trabert made their first appearance at IRM for 2014. Chuck spent his time searching the Milwaukee Road Dynamometer roof to find and stop new leaks which had cropped up since last year's effort to plug all the holes. He pulled off some old patches and replaced them and found one new hole not previously discovered. Late in the day Curator Michael Baksic asked Chuck to remove a triangular metal frame which jutted out on the back of the car before it caused any damage to other cars while hooking up. Shelly climbed up to help remove the fasteners and they got it down in just a few minutes time.
Supervisors on the Dynamometer work Michael Baksic and Pauline Trabert - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
While she was in the area, Shelly took a couple of pictures of two cars outside Barn 3.
Mark Hoffmann continued work in the Pullman Car John McGloughlin, needle chipping and priming more surfaces in the Ladies Lounge. Then he showed Shelly his work in progress in the Delaware Lackawanna & Western 556 coach. He has needle chipped and primed portions of that car too.
Michael McCraren crafted replica magazines from the 1940's which he put in the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad 1534 lounge car magazine rack. He also replicated a Santa Fe menu which is behind the bar in the lounge car. On the back of it is a list of the times alcohol can be served in the states and even certain counties the train passed through.
Pauline Trabert worked with Shelly finishing the cleaning in the Northern Pacific 325 Slumbercoach Loch Sloy. She cleaned mirrors and surfaces which hadn't yet been done this year while Shelly vacuumed the entire carpeted coach. Next Pauline washed windows, table tops, and seats in the Atlantic Coast Line Birmingham Lightweight Diner while Shelly vacuumed the carpeting in the dining room.
John McKelvey was finishing reupholstering the last two seats from the DM&IR 84 coach seats in the woodshop. Thanks!! Welcome back, John - we know it's spring/summer when this snowbird arrives.
Lunch was in the Birmingham as usual. Guest Kevin Brown brought cookies to share - treats are always appreciated! Thanks! We also enjoy what he adds to the conversations - not that we're schmoozing him.... but we do want more cookies! John McKelvey, Mike McCraren, Jon Habegger, Kevin Kriebs, Pauline, Shelly and Michael B. our fearless leader, were also enjoying the cookies and discussions.
After lunch, Michael McCraren took a picture of the coach train being pulled by Silver Pilot and BN-1.
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Jim Patlyek about Diesel Days line up, Saturday, July 19th, 2014
Sat, 07-19-2014 21:02
Great show today; 100% improved from last year. Ran at a faster pace which kept it interesting. Also, the brief synopsis of each loco made it very [...]
Buzz about Diesel Days line up, Saturday, July 19th, 2014
Sat, 07-19-2014 19:39
Missed the push me pull you this year. If you guys do a high noch engine pulling dynamic breaking load the X-5000 should go in the middle. Chuck said [...]
Richard about A great week, July, 8 thur July, 12
Sat, 07-19-2014 16:42
Roger, Is IRM going to pursue acquisition of RI commuter coach 2702 -- the one for sale for $11,000? It's an important link in the development of [...]
Mike Gorecki about Steam Department Update 06-27-2014
Sat, 07-19-2014 10:37
On the IRM home page, click on "Site Imndex". There you will find, about halfway down, "View a map of the IRM grounds". The Schmidt cutoff is shown [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 06-27-2014
Fri, 07-18-2014 23:45
I do not have a map although the museum office can provide visitor maps. The cut off will run from beside the steam service boxcar to a new switch [...]
Nigel Bennett about Steam Department Update 07-17-2014
Fri, 07-18-2014 23:44
Yes, removing the cab roof is essential if we raise the boiler. The Shay cab was designed to split allowing the upper part to be lifted for this [...]
Logan about Steam Department Update 07-17-2014
Fri, 07-18-2014 22:27
Let's just say that you guys have to lift the boiler from the shay to replace the stays, would you guys also have to take off the cab? Also, I really [...]
Keith Z about 2014 Diesel Days, July 19th and 20th
Fri, 07-18-2014 20:25
How long does the parade of power usually last once it has started, two hours or so?
Robert J about 2014 Diesel Days, July 19th and 20th
Thu, 07-17-2014 18:20
Will MILW HH660 1603 be on display outside this weekend?
malcolm matthews about Steam Department Update 06-27-2014
Thu, 07-17-2014 14:38
Nigel, I noticed in your last post you mentioned the new route (the Schmidt cut-off). Do you have a map that labels everything (for us who are not [...]
Robert J about 2014 Diesel Days, July 19th and 20th
Thu, 07-17-2014 12:13
Will MILW HH660 1603 be outside on display for the weekend?
J. D. about 2014 Diesel Days, July 19th and 20th
Thu, 07-17-2014 09:48
Raffi, 92 has NOT run at IRM, and there is NOTHING to indicate that CNW 1518 has a seized engine
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