Saturday began with the goal of moving ConnCo 771 (Consolidated Railway 189) off of the Hartman Siding Lay-Up and on to the main siding track. Galen Semprebon and I started off the day by positioning the excavator and bulldozer to move ConnCo 1739 further down the track. After taking a break for a meeting, we were joined by Pat McCann, Matty Doane, and George Contrada and got 1739 into place.
We had decided to hook up the trucks of 771 with the trucks of ConnCo 0309 with a chain and pull them up together. Then we hooked a chain, actually a length of 4 chains, from the excavator to the front truck of 771. We pulled the consist about a half of a car length until we found out that the hooks on the new chains had exceeded their capacity and were bending. At that point, we disconnected 0309 and pulled 771 up the hill. We had to be very careful moving the car because the trucks were not totally complete. They were missing a few parts, such as a Journal Box.
Once we got to the special work, we had to hook the bulldozer up to one side to act as a brake, and the excavator to the other to keep the left wheels against the rail. This is the area where the Lay-Up was joined into the Visitor Center Lead. In order to accomplish this without cutting rail, we connected one rail at a joint. The other rail just ends and the wheels ride over a series of greased tie plates until it falls onto the stock rail of the siding. Its not built for high speed operation, but it will work to get the cars out. The whole Lay-Up track will be removed after this is done anyways. Car 771 made it through the special work much easier than 1739 had. 1739 took a couple of weekends to do, whereas 771 took only a few hours.
By 2pm, 771 was parked and we went after 0309. This was a little more difficult. We ran into a problem where the rails at a joint did not exactly line up. The rail that 0309 was sitting on was about an inch lower and an inch outside the rail it had to run onto. After greasing the end of the rail to allow the rails to slide along each other, I took a large rock and dropped it on the rail that was sitting too high. The good news is, the rail dropped into place like I was hoping for. The bad news is, the rail also cracked. To make matters worse, the wheels on the rear truck would not turn, and with the growth, it was very difficult to get to them. After taking a spike maul to the brake shoes, the wheels seemed to loosen up a little, however they were still dragging some. We then greased the entire tread of the wheels which greased the brake shoes and allowed the car to roll. The first wheel to go over the misaligned joint rode up on the head of the rail. We had to get the jacks out and jack the wheel sideways. However, the other three made it through fine and by the end of the day, 0309 was sitting just before going through the special work.
John Pelletier was busy in the shop replacing broken windows in the Type 5. With the help of a Community Service Volunteer, he made considerable progress in cleaning the shop as well.
After finishing the car moves, I found Ben Wallace building a new gate in the Main Hall of the Visitor Center. This gate will be replacing the broken one at Winkler Road. Xian Clere and I decided to stay and help finish the gate. We had hoped to install it, but by the time we finished building it at 10:30 at night it was a little too late.