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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.
Thursday, May 15. 2014
Wood, Car, and Freight Shop Update - ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Freight Car Department at 18:12
Buzz Morisette wrote and took pictures for the following post:
With Bob K. out with a bad leg I thought I would update the Wood, Car, and Freight Shop Blog with a few photos from Wednesday.
The CGW Plow has seen a lot of progress even with the cold wet weather this spring. Exterior almost completely painted.
The stove is now back in place. Victor H, project manager, looks like he is waiting for the stove to produce some hot coffee. Dave R is coming up the ladder.
Dave and Chris R. checking their cameras, you can see the new toolbox and the completed car siding and ceiling work from this last winter.
On the way back to the shop I caught Randy Hicks in the pit inspecting CA&E 309.
Pete G. in the shop painting parts for Charles City Western 300.
He and his crew have rebuilt a 600 volt compressor this winter. Just checked out OK last week and ready to be installed.
300 looks great with fresh orange paint and rebuilt grids being wired in.
Over in barn seven I found Gery D. (L) and John F. (R) measuring TMER&L D-13 dump car roof for replacement car lines (Rafters).
The Gery and John team have also finished the 810 roof painting back in barn 4
Also busy in the shop today were Lorne T. prepping and painting interior panels for the Cleveland 4223 PCC. And last but not least Rich W. working up plans for the arch window frames we need to make for the Boston and Mane wood diner.
Tim was not around today but I don’t know when the CRT 1024 was last updated. The photo below shows the new sign roll box, roofing, end platform, beam work, and special cast running lights next to the sign box.
Tim and Frank just started cutting the new T&G car siding that’s set up in the shop. I need to finish the sign roll graphics for this project.
Thanks for looking, (get well soon Bob - I don’t like to type) Buzz Morisette, May 15, 2014.
Tuesday, May 13. 2014
May 10th Passenger Car Department Update Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 11:18
Finally the warmth of spring has erupted! So we went from being too cold to being too hot!
Jon Habegger, Michael McCraren and Mark Gellman (welcome back Mark!) worked on the CBQ1923 RPO diaphragm curtain. After lunch they discovered the RPO door was sticking and needed some persuasion.
Ray Mormann and Michael Baksic were finishing up putting parts and pieces back into the Loch Sloy. By the end of the day the Loch Sloy prep was finished except for vacuuming and making the beds for viewing.
Shelly Vandreschaegen was in the Ely with Buzz Morisette. Buzz took down some of the plastic and painter's tape. Then Shelly watched Buzz put one of the clerestory windows in.
Buzz Morisette removing plastic and painters tape in the Ely dining room - Photo by Michael McCraren
The final task after refinishing the clerestory windows is to put them back - Photo by Shelly Vanderschaegen
Then Buzz demonstrated how to wipe off and then wax the Ely mahogany walls and carved trim. After Buzz left, Shelly took down the plastic and painters tape as needed before begining the work of wiping off and waxing. This is a long work in progress.
Buzz showed Shelly how he removed the majority of paint from the clerestory windows using a heat gun. After that step, any remaining paint was removed with a paint stripper.
Lunch in the Birmingham as usual. Buzz joined the regulars and Bob Hunter stopped by for a brief visit.
In the afternoon Jon spent the entire afternoon at his post in the 1st Exhibit Car talking to visitors. The exhibit car opened for the first time this year to visitors. The people Jon had the opportunity to speak with appeared to find the exhibits of interest.
Jon Habegger captured an image of the UP Turbine and the prep work Buzz is doing on the nose. Spots where he is priming the engine make it look as if the turbine has acne.
Big thanks to Shelly Vanderschaegen, Mark Gellman, Jon Habegger, Michael McCraren and Buzz Morisette for supplying information and images for this blog post. What a great team effort!
Wednesday, May 7. 2014
May 3rd and 4th Passenger Car ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 19:44
On Saturday, May 3rd, Warren Newhauser and Brian LaKemper came out and worked on X-5000. Brian wrote the following report with comments from Warren:
The day started with installing the four 8V lead acid golf car batteries for the season while the car was on Station Track 2. Golf car batteries provide 32VDC for the cars electrical system.
Then a switch move to get the X-5000 and the Railway Post Office car out of the station so that the Coach Train could use station track two.
After being switched to Yard 3, the switch crew was kind enough to assist Brian testing the cars decelostats, which perform the anti-lock feature to the car’s Budd disc brakes. All three were tested and worked as intended; releasing the brakes if the car’s wheels are not turning when the internal mechanism is turning. Brian independently researched how to test decelostats from the original Westinghouse Air Brake “3-AP” Decelostat Mechanical-Pneumatic Wheel Slip Control for Passenger cars manual.
After the switch crew left to run the Coach Train, Warren got out his air compressor and Brian connected the Air (Communicating) Signal pipe to the compressor (After removing a lot of accumulated debris) to test the system. After figuring out the car’s cut-out valves, the system was charged and tested. The valves are the opposite of a normal valve, perpendicular to the pipe is the open position. Thanks to Roger Kramer, we also acquired a set of three air signal hoses, one of which is now hanging on the car. The second one will be as a guide so the gladhand on the third hose can be repaired, then the second hose will be hung. Thanks to Brian Patterson for taking time to sandblast the rust and crud off of the threads. Laddie Vitek indicated we could hook up and test the Air Signal equipment on E-9 37A with the Dynamometer this season.
On his first volunteer day on the Dynamometer, Brian has researched and figured out the Air Signal and decelostat systems!
Meanwhile, Warren traced piping runs to figure out how to replace a thoroughly rusted pipe.
Also, a light socket was attached to the wiring in the sleeper section that we use for tool storage, so that we now have light to see our tools. We have also had trouble determining the type of fluid that is in use in the hydraulic dynamometer unit. Initial research indicated possibly mineral oil would have been used c. 1930 due to rubber gaskets indicated on the blueprints, but cleaning out a front closet revealed two gallon cans of automotive brake fluid!
After the last train of the day, the switch crew returned, and after consulting with Jamie Kolanowski; the switch crew was kind enough to stay a little late and switch the dynamometer and the RPO so that the Dynamometer was on track 32 next to the scaffolding for safer access to the roof to continue work sealing the roof.
During the switch move, Warren also filled the kitchen’s water tanks from the well by Yard 2 for use later this summer. In doing so, a few leaks were noted in piping leading to the various kitchen appliances that will have to be repaired. The leaks were isolated by turning off a series of valves in the kitchen.
Special thanks to Engineer Jim West, Conductor Michael McCraren, and trainman Ray Erickson for going the extra mile to assist fellow volunteers. Thanks also to Jamie Kolanowski for letting the extra switching take place, and Roger Kramer and Brian Patterson for taking time to help out.
Sunday, May 4th, was breezy and cool.
The day started with Kevin Kriebs continuing to remove decal adhesive residue from the exterior of the 1st Exhibit Car.
Ray Mormann and Michael Baksic put parts back into the Loch Sloy.
Michael McCraren and Shelly Vanderschaegen cleaned the AT&SF Lounge Car in Barn 3. It took all morning.
Jon Habegger put up the last two pictures in the Birmingham diner he had framed.
Lunch was in the Brimingham as usual. Vistiors included Sam Polonetzky from Operations and Jeff Calandine from the Steam Department. All the regulars were there except Mark Gellman who is still with his recovering mother.
After lunch work continued in the Loch Sloy. Kevin returned to adhesive removal. Shelly and Jon went to the 1st Exhibit Car and determined where to place pictures and discussed a possible latern display area. Then as Jon worked on displays in the 1st Exhibit Car, Shelly finished vacuuming the Santa Fe Lounge Car and sends a big thank you to Michael McCraren for his help.
After testing the brakes and making minor repair on the cars. The coach train made it's debut on Saturday. Below is a picture of the train on Sunday with Frank Nero as engineer and Mike Blackwell as conductor.
Jon Habegger captured some images of the 1st Exhibit Car interior which is ready for visitors. The sheets hanging on the wall are of the departures and arrivals of intercity trains at the six Chicago stations at the end of October 1955. This is the date that we have determined the arrival/departure board dates back to. Jon has added these details to expand the station display.
Shelly took the time to capture interior images from the Boston and Maine 1094 dining car which is Jack Biesterfeld's ongoing project car. It iw really looking good!
The Passenger Car Department sends a big 'Hello' to Bob Kutella - we miss your jokes and hope to see you soon!
Tuesday, April 29. 2014
April 27th - Passenger Car ... Posted by Pauline Trabert in Passenger Car Department at 11:46
Buzz Morisette spent a couple of days earlier in the week painting the underside of the clerestory windows in the Ely dining room.
Also earlier in the week, Jack Biesterfeld put up new menus in the Boston and Maine 1094 dining car and put out new "food" on display from the new menus.
On Sunday morning it was windy and by afternoon it was a biting wind! Very windy day. The weekend work started when Michael Baksic and Shelly Vanderschagen put up three light fixtures in a baggage car. Then the guys, Michael B., Michael McCraren, and Ray Mormann, continued brake tests on passenger cars.
Ray Mormann cutting off a broken bracket that was holding the steam heat line on Lackawanna 651. It was repaired.
Jim Windmeier and Kevin Kriebs removed the seats from a Lackawana coach which need to be reupholstered. Then Jim started cleaning the cars in Barn 3 and Kevin and Shelly went into the Rock Island cars to clean and put the ads back up.
Lunch was in the Birmingham as usual. Bob Hunter and Kevin Brown joined Jim, Michael B., Michael M., Ray, and Shelly for a brief visit and repast.
After lunch, Bob Hunter took Kevin and Shelly into the Dover Strait where they took measurements for new linoleum so Shelly can order it. Michael B. and Ray replaced the ceiling panel in the RDC which had previously been removed for repair. Then they installed parts in the Loch Sloy which had been in storage elsewhere.
Mark Hoffman was working in the John McLoughlin and also scraping paint in the CRIP 2602.
Mark Gellman is still caring for his mother. Best wishes - get well soon! Jon Habegger is on vacation - hope you're having a good time! We miss you guys!
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Joe Zdenek about Mid-November Update for the Coach Department
Thu, 11-20-2014 13:21
I have been told that the C&NW plate you have marked as "Flambeau" is extremely rare. Only 200 or so, were made. I have seen one in poor condition at [...]
Warren Newhauser about Sunday November 16th Coach Department Update
Thu, 11-20-2014 09:41
Nice pictures. FWIW, MTM has a similar (but bigger) Chicago commuter sign board like the one shown here at their Jackson St. Roundhouse. Maybe they [...]
Roger Kramer about Believe It
Wed, 11-12-2014 16:50
Hello Raffi I was under the assumption that the tender that was shipped last year to Irm was the last piece. Maybe someone else could update us
Raffi about Believe It
Tue, 11-11-2014 22:10
unrelated topic: isn't there still a steam locomotive in Galt? i was thinking you could do some minor maintenance on the engine (with donations) and [...]
Roger Kramer about Believe It
Thu, 11-06-2014 09:35
The interior of the 938 has been inspected in late Sept. All boiler tubes and any debris found in the smokebox has been removed. The firebox has [...]
c kronenwetter about Believe It
Wed, 11-05-2014 23:27
has any inspection been made of the boiler interior to gauge the feasibility of restoration?
Roger Kramer about Believe It
Tue, 11-04-2014 10:27
Yes, the retired members are trying to get a small group together for Weds. I would first suggest you come out on a Sat and coordinate your wed [...]
Tom about Believe It
Tue, 11-04-2014 09:26
Is the steam team still meeting on Wednesdays for work days? If so, I would like to join in.
shelly about Last Weekend of October 2014 - Coach Department Update
Sun, 11-02-2014 18:55
great pictures and work to all thanks
Brian L. about Last Weekend of October 2014 - Coach Department Update
Sat, 11-01-2014 01:43
The switch move took four hours because Jim and I talked through the plan of action and agreed we would take it slow and safe. It was dark, getting [...]
john carpenter about October Activities in the Passenger Car Department
Wed, 10-29-2014 13:46
First went to terror on railroad last week with friends thanks you put on great show we really enjoyed it thank the people who put it on,also will [...]
Roger Kramer about Tender on RI 938.... painted
Fri, 10-24-2014 17:09
Hello John The person you should get in contact w/ is Tom Schneider. He comes out, along with most of the steam team, on Saturdays. Nigel and the [...]
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