Monday, April 25, 2011

Car 451 Repaired

Yes, Sunday was Easter Sunday. Where was Tim Baisley? At the museum for a couple of hours working on the braking system of 451. Now that's dedication! In the time he was there, he was able to adjust the brakes. Now the drum brakes actuate when the dynamic brakes are depleted like they are supposed to. Only one more adjustment on one end of the car and it should be ready to return to Public Service!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Track 1 of Train Shed Takes Shape

Saturday was a very productive day at the museum. Galen Semprebon, along with his son Brian, led a group of community service volunteers in building track 1 under the Train Shed of the Visitor Center. While doing this, they were able to learn some basic track building principles, such as lining, spiking, and gaging.

Up in the shop, John Pelletier was busy working on a hoist for the wheel lathe. One axle is out from underneath New Orleans Car 836 so once the hoist and tooling are ready, the project can begin.

John Cummins and I were busy working on clean up projects of the property. Some of the area by the Section Houses have been cleared of the material stored there. It is hoped that this will all be able to be cleared. In the past week, a dump truck and flatbed truck have been removed from the property. The tie inserter (rusted yellow piece of equipment) that has been sitting next to the Bradley People Movers has been dragged out of there to the top of the parking lot. The owner of it is supposed to have it removed by the Annual Meeting. In moving it, we were able to rescue a track jack that was buried under it.

On the public side, despite the rain, the museum did exceptionally well on Saturday, Easter Bunny Fun Day. Every time I looked up front, the parking lot was full and operations was running double sections of cars.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

And the Trucks are Finally off the Front Lawn!

Over the weekend, a lot was accomplished at the museum. I started off the day in Kelly Yard with a hard working crew of volunteers. We were able to replace three more switch timbers in the yard before lunch. I was also able to get the hi rail gear working on our hi rail truck. Pat McCann was able to cut a bit off of the handle for the hi rail gear so that we are able to use it easily. Before, it was hitting the ground before the hi rail gear was fully up.

In the car shop, Galen Semprebon and John Pelletier were able to jack up New Orleans car 836 and pull the truck out from under it. The car is in the shop to have the wheelsets fixed due to thin flanges. The truck was removed from under the car and disassembled.

John Cummins and Morgan von Eisengrein were able to help me move the two sets of Peckam trucks off of the front lawn. For a long time, they have been an eyesore in the corner of the front lawn. They are now sitting on the truck track on the back side of the property. We were also able to move Connecticut Company car 771 (Consolidated Railway car 189) back under the train shed and move the snow plow blade for Gardner & Templeton Snow Plow 12 back in front of the snow plow.

Xian Clere spent a good portion of the weekend working on the computers. All of the old printers, copiers, computers, and monitors that are broken or otherwise unusable have been moved outside for a company to recycle. They are willing to dispose of them free of charge because we are a non-profit.

Overall, a lot was able to get accomplished over the weekend. We are open all week this week for school vacation week and next Saturday is Easter Bunny Fun Day!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Kelly Yard Track Work

Kelly Yard is finally getting the rebuilding that it has needed for a long time. And doing this, we are able to teach some of the younger volunteers how to do track work. On Saturday morning, Camilo Santiago and I got together with Henry Kutash and some of the younger guys - Brian Semprebon, Alex Aberdale, David Coppola, and David Lesniak - to show them how to properly do track work. These guys learned a lot and we were all able to replace 7 switch timbers in the Kelly 1-3 Switch. They got a chance at learning to properly tamp and spike ties as well. They all did remarkably well. We will be attempting to finish the timber replacement next Saturday morning beginning at 9am. All are welcome.

Under the Visitor Center Train Shed, Galen Semprebon led a crew grading the fill to build the track for Connecticut Company Cars 0206 and 1739. Todd Chicoine and his father Paul were busy using the front end loader and bulldozer grading the path for the temporary access tracks.

Up in the Lusa Car Shop, John Pelletier was busy with some new volunteers finishing the servicing of Fair Haven & Westville Railroad 355. The air compressor armature was reinstalled in the car and the car was returned to service. They also cleared the area in front of the lathe. Galen also was able to break free from working under the Train Shed to service Montreal Tramways Observation Car 4. At the end of the day, 355 was released into service and Illinois Terminal PCC 451 was moved to the car shop.

Behind the Visitor Center, John Cummins and Morgan von Eisengrein were working to cut and remove overgrown trees.

With all of the things that were going on Saturday, we still had many volunteers running streetcars in Public Operation. It was great to see so many volunteers, and so many visitors at the museum.