Monday, January 31, 2011

Amherst Rail Show

This past weekend was the Amherst Railway Society’s Big Railroad Hobby Show. As always, we had our booth in the Better Living Center by Door 9. It was quite interesting getting our booth set up, because it seemed that everyone who normally helps out was busy on Friday. Fortunately, David Lesniak had mid-term exams on Friday, therefore he had a half day of school. George Contrada was able to pick him up from school after finals and bring him down to the museum to load the van. It took them two trips with the van and one trip in my car (after I got out of work for the day) to get everything up to the Eastern States Exposition. This included information about the museum, the disappearing mountain layout, and sales items. We were joined by Mike Caputo to help set up. Later, Ted and Dave Coppola arrived with another van that had the big screen television in it and two ho layouts. By the time we were done, it was after 9pm.

Saturday morning, we all arrived bright and early to finish the setup for the show. The booth this year was one of the more successful booths in the recent past. We set up the disappearing mountain layout with a push button to make the train go, so there was some interaction for our younger visitors.

New this year was Ted’s HO Trolley Layout. This layout was set up so that there was a trolley on each end and they would pass each other on a long passing siding. Once the both trolleys got to the other end, they would start over again.

Dave Coppola brought back his half finished HO trolley layout complete with overhead wire. Also, he brought the simulation of the museum’s line that he created using Trainz. This was set up on the big screen tv.

Over the year, we have acquired many surplus scale trains that have been long stored in the attic. Some of them were donated to the museum to do with what we saw fit and others were acquired through Craig’s List and other means. Since they are not used by us, we decided that we could sell them to raise funds for the museum. That proved to be successful.

When cleaning up on Sunday, we found that we had less vehicles than when we brought everything to the show. Luckily after some creative packing, we were able to get everything in the cars and vans. I don’t know how we got some of the stuff in the cars, but everything just fit, although some passengers were holding things on their laps.

Back at the museum, we were able to quickly unload both the stuff from our booth and the stuff from the Connecticut Valley Chapter’s booth and head out for dinner.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paint Chips

Today, Xian Clere and I met at the museum to work on Springfield Street Railway 575 (Montreal Tramways Car 2056). We were able to scrape more of the Montreal white off of the car on the north side. Xian also worked on the west end of the car. It is amazing at the sizes of some of the chunks of paint that are breaking off. We will have to do some repair work to the panels on the car before the car is painted, because there are areas in the base of the panels that have rotted away.

While we were scraping the paint on the side of the car, we noticed some bolt heads extending out the side of the body around the area of the rivets. It is apparent the bolts were added after the car was painted last because they have no paint on them and do not show signs of aging. When I went inside the car, I was able to determine that the bolts were holding the seat frames in place. The original screw holes were rounded out, so it appears the bolts were installed to take the place of the screws. The inside panels will need to be repaired so that the seats can be attached to the wall the way they were originally intended. Then the outside panels can be repaired prior to painting.

Xian also spent some time getting the hy-rail out from behind the snow pile. It is not likely that we will need to use it during the winter, however, it is good to have it accessible just in case.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Visitor Center Clean Up

Saturday was a busy day in the Visitor Center. Many volunteers banded together to take the Winterfest decorations down. The village inside Wildwood Open Car 36 was taken down and boxed up. The decorations inside the window displays and on the cars were disassembled; trees were taken down. George Morris, Sheila Numrych, Paul & Duanne Gallo, Matt Januska, Carol Zenczak, Brian Semprebon and others helped in the Visitor Center.

The major accomplishment was the dis-assembly of the G Gauge table and moving of the Northern far enough into the Visitor Center for Fair Haven & Westville 154 to enter the Visitor Center. This would allow Connecticut Company 771 (Consolidated Railway 189) to be moved back under the Train Shed. Will Yungk helped me with this project. We moved the Northern with a "car-walker" (see picture to right). When we went to move car 154, we used a come-along with a chain attached to a truck on the Northern as an anchor. The axles on car 154 do not turn very well, which makes it difficult to move. Unfortunately, as we began to move 154, the come-along handle broke and we could not find another that would work. With the car moved only 6 inches, the door would no longer close to the Visitor Center. It took us a while, but we were finally able to move the car back outside to close the door.

On the Restoration side, John Pelletier was hard at work on Connecticut Company Car 65. He was busy most of the day scraping the operators compartment on the west end of the car. He was also able to clean up and reinstall a few pieces of trim molding.

Next to car 65, Xian Clere and Galen Semprebon were working on stenciling the numbers on Springfield Street Railway Car 575 (Montreal Tramways Car 2056). We were able to get a very good stencil of the numbers of the car. Next we will be able to continue with the scraping of the car to prepare it for painting. The car will be repainted in Springfield (MA) colors, where the car originally ran.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Paint Scrapings

Yesterday, I was able to stop down at the CTM during my lunch at work to scrape some more paint off of a panel on the north side of the Montreal Tramways Car 2056/Springfield Street Railway Car 575. While looking through the layers scraped off, it is apparent that there were some repairs made to the side of the car at one point with a bondo type substance. Most of the work seen in the pictures has been done by Galen Semprebon and Xian Clere.

Looking at the numbers closely, one can see the original numbers on the car. The white paint is the Montreal paint colors. We are scraping down to the yellow/gold which was the Springfield (MA) Street Railway colors. Between the red '2' and the '0', a red '5' is faintly visible on the yellow paint. After the '0', we have uncovered the '7' and on the right edge of the picture, another 5 is barely discernible. We plan to trace the numbers and then see if we can uncover the numbers better and trace them again.

The picture on the right is a date that Xian uncovered (7-10-53) with an word above it starting with "NA". Above that on a lower layer of paint is a date in 1949. This is located on the left side vestibule door side post on one end of the car. Any thoughts?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beneath the Layers

Work continued on Montreal Tramways Car 2056 (former Springfield Street Railway Car 575) Saturday in the Winter Shops (the Visitor Center). Galen Semprebon and Xian Clere worked on scraping more paint off of the car. While scraping by the left side door post on one end, Xian found some dates painted onto the car (a different date on each layer of paint). The word above it unfortunately was not discernible. Does anyone know what that date may be signifying? We were thinking that it could be the date each time the car had a major overhaul. Xian and Galen were also able to remove enough layers of paint to find the size and font of the car number when it was in Springfield livery. Before any more paint is scraped, we will trace the number. Once the car is completely scraped, it will be painted back in the Springfield Street Railway colors.

John Pelletier, meanwhile, was busy working on car 65 (Connecticut Company). The pieces on the end of the car are starting to come together.

I directed my own attention to tearing down the G Gauge tables. With winter upon us, I want to get the cars that are under tarps back into the Visitor Center as soon as possible. In order to do that, I need to pull down the G Gauge tables because they are taking up the track space that we need. I was able to pull all of the sheets off the table, but time was not on my side. George Contrada and Ted Coppola were busy working on the layout that we will be taking to the Amherst Railway Society's Big Railroad Hobby Show at the end of the month.