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Monday, April 19. 2010
Sunday's gang consisted of myself and Tom Hunter. Jeron Glander joined later in the day. Riding off the success at Four Mile Siding last weekend Tom and I prepped tools and material on the crane, flat and caboose combo and headed East to finish building the siding. We didn't waste any time when we got there pulling the storage cars from the siding and using the crane to connect the last two track panels. I realized we had forgotten lock washers to finish bolting them together but all of the joints have a bolt on each side until we can pop a few more in. After finishing off the second panel an investigation into a low oil pressure issue was found to be a hot engine... A little Too hot. It looks like the water pump has failed or the radiator is severely clogged. But with no coolant flow on the top of the radiator it brought our crane use to a severe halt. With the crane shut down Tom and I moved on to spiking up all the remaining ties in the section we had installed the rail in last week. Using track jacks, air compressor and spiking gun we had one entire side spiked up in no time. Prepacked lunch followed in the 529 and then onto spiking the other side.... After restarting the air compressor, without fail, it sputtered off and wouldn't restart. Upon investigation of this issue we figure a bad fuel pump. Fuel in, no fuel out... How about some hand spiking to ease the frustration? Of course! We spiked up the entire other side by hand just in time for Jeron to arrive with the Ballast Regulator. We set the panels in a rough line and Jeron, who reinstalled the rebuilt hydraulic cylinder earlier in the day, plowed stone from the siding into the new track. Getting late in the day we called up for a 'tow' back to the property not risking an engine failure without coolant..and were grateful to see Joel Ahrendt, Warren Lloyd and Kyle Merkel arrive with the ComEd 4 electric steeplecab to help us back. While waiting, Jeron managed to drag nearly enough stone for a first lift on the new track to the very end of track. The end will need somewhere around 12-18" raise but it's very close to complete as is. The 'in service' trackage was officially extended roughly 80' and the last of it will be extended another 80' once we make a good raise and tamp.
Sunday, April 11. 2010
The day started with Brian Harp and Tom Hunter refilling the hydraulic tank in the Amtrak Regulator. It drank roughly 40 gallons of fluid severely depleting our 55gal drum of oil. We'll have to get more soon.. After I arrived and met up with Steve L. we prepped for a day at Four Mile Siding. Tom ran the crane with work train with Brian as the conductor and headed east to switch out the siding, while Steve and I switched Barn 2 to retrieve the Hydraulic power pack and motorcar. We followed east and began by moving trees with the crane. BIG trees. The biggest tree we had to slide down the track on two ties and teeter it off with the crane into a wide clearing. The tree maxed out the crane's capacity at near 10,000 lbs but Tom managed to set it off very nicely. A few more large limbs were moved out of the way as well before we had the room to begin building track. We cut, drilled and installed a stick of 112lb rail and gaged the track to set everything up for the first panel to be hooked up. We gage spiked a few ties under the new rail for the crane to roll onto to hook up the first panel Jeron Glander arrived via the North Shore 714 with a gift of bottled water and helped us out for the rest of the day. We lifted the first track panel out of the way first to clear the ground of limbs and sticks to get a relatively smooth foundation for the new track. Tom then set the new panel in place and we bolted it all up with relatively little difficulty. We cleaned up and headed back to the property around 4 o'clock. All that is left is the hookup of the next two panels and finish spiking 12 or so ties. One more day and we'll be ready for the regulator and brush cutter to begin their work. Thanks to Brian Harp for joining us this weekend. I hope he can join us again in all of the festivities before next year's annual meeting. On a bad note- the J585 refuses to start now. The starter problem has gotten much worse and it no longer spins the engine over to crank.. Flywheel replacement time? Looks like a return of the 580 is imminent.
Saturday, April 10. 2010
Track Department report April 9/10 Posted by Frank DeVries in Track Department at 22:47
Sunday, March 28. 2010
Track Dept Weekend Report Mar 27, 28 Posted by Adam Robillard in Track Department at 23:02
Saturday Report ---
The day's primary project was the joint effort with the Signal Dept to get the very large Corwith Tower lever machine into our Spaulding Tower. This proved to be no easy task. The entire lever machine is roughly 20 ft in length and weighs nearly 9000lbs... The signal dept can report further on its future but our part was the heavy lifting with the Model 50 Burro crane to get it into the lower level- through the doorway. Tom Hunter ran the crane and after a few test lifts near Barn 9, we lifted the machine near the station and ran it into the Tower very slowly and carefully. We were successful in getting it in the building around 2PM and hit lunch. Lets hope that machine never has to leave the tower again!
Monday, March 15. 2010
Track Dept Weekend Report. March 14, 15 Posted by Adam Robillard in Track Department at 15:24
Saturday Report from Adam Robillard and Sunday Report from Frank Devries:
Today was just one of those days things just seemed to go right. It's about time I'd say.The day started early with Frank and myself and the first order of business was to make a run to Farm & Fleet for some hydraulic oil and parts. While we were away, JD Marzec and Greg Frech both showed up willing to work! They did some invaluable work 'derusting' and lubing track bolts in the shop and did a fine job. Upon our return we hit the machine maint. work. Frank filled the hydraulic on the switch tamper and began testing the new pump he had installed previously. Unfortunately it turns out the pump is pumping the wrong direction... a bit more trouble shooting and adjusting will be needed to hopefully get the machine back to 100% soon. JD, Greg and I topped off the hydraulic on the 6000 tamper and about that time Tom Hunter joined the gang. We did some QC bolt work on the 6000 and cleaned up the tool boxes and prepared to tamp.. The original plan was to do a walking inspection of the main line but the hit or miss weather was enough to keep us close to home.
During lunch we formulated a plan for the rest of the day. Frank, JD and Greg set to do an oil/ filter change on the Amtrak Ballast regulator which desperately needed it. The air filter is the color of dirt and as Frank put it "hasn't seen daylight since the Carter Administration..." Tom and I ran to Napa for oil and filters and Frank, JD and Greg prepped the machines in Yard 11. While that gang was doing the oil, Tom and I switched out the 6000 tamper and began tamping the Streetcar line between Electric Park and the S-Curves. The initial goal was to test the machine from its winter work and break it back in. Amazingly everything seemed to work well and only a few minor adjustments will have to be made. We spent the next four hours tamping the carline and after the Regulator was finished Frank, JD and Greg ran it around to our work area and began regulating the freshly tamped track.
More of the same......
The first task was to determine the electrical short on the regulator. When the lights were knocked off during the barn 11 project, the one light was hanging by the wire. Seems during our work on Saturday, it came in contact with the muffler, burned through the insulation and shorted. Jeron had noticed the high amp readings Saturday night. A quick clip of the wire resolved the short. The light bulb was broken in that light anyway. I noticed most of the lights are burned out on the machine. Next trip out I will pick up some spares from Napa.
We fired up the regulator and resumed the plowing and brooming of the carline between Electric park and the S curve. After a short period of time Jeron noticed a hydraulic leak. I sent him back to yard 11 to put the machine away. Jeron found the leak was a loose hydraulic hose, and with quite a bit of trouble, tightened up the loose connection. Apparently like all track machines it was not as easy as putting a wrench on and tightening. From what I understand it involved a hydraulic power pack unit, and a lot of contortionist like moves. Once fixed, it was back to work. Brooming and plowing continued until another leak was noticed. Seems the valve for the oil pan had worked itself loose. When the leak was noticed we shut down quick, and resolved the leak. So that machine had it's second oil change this weekend. I will hit up the hardware store to get a plug for that valve to avoid a similar issue from happening again!!! By the end of the day
the track looks really good. There is still a bit of box work to be done, but it is a huge improvement.
While Jeron was fixing the hydraulic leak, I went for a walk. Track walking that is... I was able to inspect from East Station switch to Signal 251. During that walk, I found several loose joints, a couple of hanging joints that will get fixed when we tamp, but no breaks, no other defects that will affect opening day. I also marked several piles of OTM and scrap along the main for pick up with the 50. Brush through this stretch looks good. A touch up could be in order around Karsten's, but that's about it. I also marked ties for replacement between E. Station and Karsten's. I think the total was around 140 ties. I marked 5 ties off the bridge to ensure we have good support going into the bridge.
Photos have been posted of the Carline results in the gallery below. A few shots of things from barn 10 as well.
Tuesday, March 2. 2010
Track Dept Weekend Report. Feb 27, 28 Posted by Adam Robillard in Track Department at 06:00
This weekend was all about track machines-
Saturday I was out along with Frank DeVries and our plan was to get our heavily used machines serviced and ready to go.
When we got back we started by replacing the four large high pressure hydraulic oil filters on the 6000 tamper. It was a messy job and my legs and arms were soaked with hydraulic oil by the time we finished but got the job done. These don't have to be replaced very often but we've never replaced them since owning the tamper; they were certainly due for replacement.
Sunday the gang was myself, Frank DeVries and Tom Hunter. We began on the pit by refilling the transmission oil in the Model 50 Burro to find that the new seal appears to be working without leaking. We attempted to start the crane without any luck. After a few attempts we put the battery charger on it and headed to Tk24. The big project for the day was to pull ALL of our machines from Tk24 to switch the heated portion of the diesel shop. We started by getting the 6000 tamper, the ballast regulator and the EJ&E 585 motorcar all fired up. Without diving into the details of the switch list, we were able to pull everything out of the barn and onto the Carline without much difficulty. In a rare move, the old SOO line brush cutter that was in the heated portion of Barn 2 was also pulled out for the first time in years.
Franks photos from the weekend are on his Member's Pages here:
IRM Track Dept.
Tuesday, February 2. 2010
Toms report from Saturday and my report from Sunday-
Yesterday Frank and I got there so that we could help with the Electric Car folks with the first moves into Barn 11 - as no one was about in the morning, we dug into the list of stuff to do in Barn 2 - starting with the starter of course. As I noted below - Frank dug out that one from the 585, we did the switch with the 580 and got the 585 running. We let it run a while to warm up and starter in on the 6000. We changed out the broken pin on the right work head, and on the good advice of Frank decided to change the left one too since I bought two new pins... good thing as that one was broken too, hanging on but less the a 1/4 inch...yikes... So it goes to show - inspect your machine as much as you can... Both are now new.
After all that was done, Adam showed for the 2nd trick. We headed to Yard 11, to wake up the 50. It took a while with the normal trans oil and warm up, we had to thaw out the transmission air lines too - but it fired up fairly well for having sat for a month...
In the end it was not needed - so that ended a good day
(Seems the EJ&E folks installed the wrong starter in the 585 - one with too small teeth on its gear - that DID grind away some on the fly wheel, but after Frank removed the 585 starter and we went into the barn to see what was on the 580 (how cool to have spare motor cars huh?) and saw it was a lot bigger motor on the 580... sooo..switcho we did -)
Tom and I made up the gang and chose to clean off the CNW flatcar of 'stuff' gathered from along the RoW with the Burro crane we serviced Saturday. Tom fired up the Model 50 in Yard 11 and I went to retrieve wreck knuckes and such. The CNW flat was buried in the middle of a string of cars on Station Tk 2 so we had to move a bunch of cars to get it out.
the main at a brisk 1-2MPH... It was amazing. After making the switch we headed to yard 14 to unload a slew of line poles we had picked up from Schmidt Siding and then went to the diamond at South Jct to unload three old signal foundations from the old 151/ 152
have to clear out ALL of the track machines from the Barn. Included is the old brush cutter in the heated portion of the shop. If anyone is working on it, please let me know as it may be moved permanently out of the shop due to track space issues.
IRM Track Dept
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