Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Damage

After Hurricane Irene, Al Goff, Chris Shaw, and Xian Clere inspected the line for damage and found that the high voltage line fell on the overhead wire. This will require a lot of work to fix, replacing cross arms and insulators. We hope to have the repairs made and the museum reopened by Saturday.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


With Hurricane Irene slamming Connecticut today, the museum has been closed. Yesterday we took the time to tie down anything that may fly away. The biggest concern is trees that may fall down on buildings or equipment.

Chris Chestnut spent the day turning the wheels on the lathe for New Orleans car 836. They are coming along quite well and we hope to have the car returned to service by the end of September.

In the back of the shop, I began my day pulling the floor up in Brooklyn Rapid Transit car 169. The floor was in such poor shape, most of it pulled up with just my hands. Under one of the seats, I found an interesting switch. It turned out it was actually the heater switch as it said "Consolidated Car Heating Company" on the side of it. Phil Godeck was working on the outside of the car removing paint.

John Pelletier was able to get the air compressor running in Fair Haven & Westville car 355 and the car should be back in service over the next couple of weeks.

During the heavy rain, Galen & Brian Semprebon spent time in the library organizing magazines and removing duplicates. Peg Hoffman now has over 500 books cataloged. The library is coming together.

Later in the day, I got to work some more on the Bangor & Aroostook Caboose. I have just about finished stripping the tar-paper off of the roof. George Contrada is working on getting the wood for the side and roof of the caboose.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Equipment Roster of CTM

Electric Passenger Cars

Montreal Tramways 4: 1924-built Observation Car
Springfield Electric Railway 10: 1901-built Combine Car
Springfield Terminal Railway 16: 1926-built Combine Car
Bristol Traction Co 28: 1907-built Closed Car
Bristol Traction Co 34: 1908-built Convertible Car
5 Mile Beach Electric Railway 36: 1895-built Open Car
Connecticut Co 65: 1906-built Closed Car
York Utilities 72: 1919-built Closed Car
Manchester Street Railway 94: 1906-built Closed Car
Fitchburg & Leominster Street Railway 106: 1927-built Closed Car
Fair Haven & Westville Railroad 154: 1902-built Closed Car
Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 162: 1915-built Interurban Car
Brooklyn Rapid Transit 169: 1894-built Curveside Closed Car
Consolidated Railway 189: 1904-built Closed Car
Aurora Elgin & Chicago 303: 1906-built Interurban Car
Fair Haven & Westville Railroad 355: 1902-built Open Car
Illinios Terminal 451: 1949-built PCC Car
Springfield Street Railway 575: 1927-built Closed Car
Dallas Railway & Terminal 625: 1946-built PCC Car
Chicago North Shore & Milwaukee 710: 1924-built Interurban Car
New Orleans Public Service Inc 836: 1923-built Closed Car
Connecticut Co 840: 1905-built Open Car
Cleveland Interurban Railroad 1201: 1914-built Center-Entrance Car
Connecticut Co 1326: 1910-built Closed Car
Northern Ohio Traction Light & Power 1500: 1909-built Parlor Car
Connecticut Railway & Lighting Co 1550: 1911-built Closed Car
Connecticut Co 1739: 1918-built Closed Car
Rio de Janeiro Tramway Light & Power 1850: 1912-built Open Car
Rio de Janeiro Tramway Light & Power 1887: 1912-built Open Car
Montreal Tramways 2600: 1929-built Closed Car
Connecticut Co 3001: 1922-built Closed Car
Boston Elevated Railway 3003: 1941-built PCC Car
Boston Elevated Railway 3100: 1944-built PCC Car
Metropolitan Transit Authority 3306: 1951-built PCC Car
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority 3309: 1951-built PCC Car
Long Island Railroad 4153: 1930-built Electric Railroad Car
Chicago Elevated Railway 4175: 1914-built Elevated Car
Chicago Elevated Railway 4284: 1922-built Elevated Car
Chicago Rapid Transit 4409: 1924-built Elevated Car
Chicago Rapid Transit 4436: 1924-built Elevated Car
Boston Elevated Railway 5645: 1924-built Closed Car

Electric Work Cars

Iowa Southern Utilites 1: 1896-built Line Car
Gardner & Templeton Street Railway 07: 1915-built Snow Plow
Capital Transit 010: 1899-built Sweeper
Connecticut Co 0206: 1910-built Work Car
Montreal Tramways W-1: 1912-built Crane
Chicopee & Holyoke Street Railways: 1903-built Crane

Non-Electric Work Cars

Central Vermont Railroad 8: Unpowered 4-Wheel Inspection Car
Boston & Maine 664: Track Speeder
Deleware & Hudson 700: Track Speeder
Singer Co: Velocipede Inspection Car
Boston & Maine TH-2: Tie Handler
New Haven Railroad: Tower Car

Locomotives & Box Motors

Hartford Electric Light Co 1: 1949-built Diesel Switcher Locomotive
Oshawa Railways 18: 1918-built Electric Steeple-Cab Locomotive
Centerville Albia & Southern 101: 1914-built Electric Box Motor
Ponemah Mills 1386: 1894-built Electric Steeple-Cab Locomotive
Connecticut Co 2022: 1911-built Gasoline/Electric Express Car
Connecticut Co 2023: 1910-built Diesel/Electric Express Car
Canadian National 6714: 1913-built Electric Box-Cab Locomotive
US Army 7926: 1944-built Diesel Locomotive
Ponemah Mills C: 1895-built Electric Switcher Locomotive
Corbin E-2: 1907-built Battery Locomotive

Freight Cars

Singer Co 143: 1869-built Wooden Boxcar
Singer Co 145: 1869-built Wooden Boxcar
United Tank Car Lines 75701: Tank Car
Connecticut Electric Railway S-194: 1994-built Wooden Flat Car
Deleware & Hudson Railroad 2782: Hopper Car
New Haven Railroad 41445: Flat Car
Chessie System 28853: Steel Boxcar
Swift Premium 25015: Steel Refrigerated Boxcar
Boston & Maine 96426: Steel Boxcar

Railroad Passenger Cars

Philadelphia & Reading 940: 1903-built Passenger Coach
New Haven Railroad 2633: Passenger Coach


New York, Ontario & Western 8146: 1883-built Wooden Bobber Caboose
Reading Railroad 94024: Steel Caboose
Bangor & Aroostook Railroad: Wooden Caboose

Trackless Trolleys

Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority 8488: 1954-built Electric Trackless Trolley
Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority 8494: 1954-built Electric Trackless Trolley


Bradley International Airport 1 & 2: 1974-built Personal Rapid Transit Test Vehicles

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Signal Problems Repaired

This morning, Xian Clere, Brian Semprebon, and I replaced the insulated joint across from the section house. This insulated joint has been causing some troublesome ghost signals for some time. Now that this insulated joint has been replaced, operations should be happy.

Behind the Visitor Center, a volunteer has been working on building a wall for Rails to the Darkside. The wall is of very simple construction, using shelving units to hold the wall up. Once it is constructed, maybe we can get someone to give it a coat of paint? Any volunteers?

Using our 1890's McCabe lathe powered by a traction motor with a modern tracing attachment and a template, Chris Chestnut and Pat McCann have been able to turn the wheels for New Orleans Car 836 to eliminate the thin flanges. It is a very interesting process. We have completed the first wheel and are now working on the second. A video of the process can be seen here: I do suggest that you turn your speakers down before watching, as the lathe does make a rather ear piercing noise.

Also in the shop, John Pelletier has been working on remounting the air compressor for Fair Haven and Westville Open Car 355. Now, we just need to re-plumb it and the car will be ready to go back into service.

In the back corner of the shop, Brooklyn Rapid Transit Car 169 has been quietly stored. Nothing has been done to the car, so tools, parts, and other things have been stored inside and up against the car. One of our newer shop volunteers, Phil Godeck has started work on the car. He has documented all of the lettering found on the car, and has removed the paint from one side of the car. The siding on the car is cracked and separating in many places so we will need to fix that, then we can begin to paint the car. Once the exterior is done, the interior will be repaired: floor replaced, seats reinstalled; and hopefully the car will be moved down to the Visitor Center. 5 Mile Beach Electric Railway (Wildwood, NJ) Open Car 36 will then most likely be moved up to the shop.

Centerville Albia & Southern Box Motor 101 is now sitting outside the shop. Chris Chestnut is planning to go through that car and get it completely serviced at the end of this year to be ready for next year. And finally, I have received word from Chris Perry; he will be coming down during the week of Labor Day to work on Boston Elevated Railway PCC Car 3100.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wheel Turning

This past weekend, Chris Chestnut and Pat McCann took turns watching and making adjustments at the lathe. The first of car 836's wheel sets is being turned on the lathe with the first wheel nearly complete. The flange that was paper thin is now being turned down and beginning to form.

Elsewhere in the shop, John Pelletier was busy working on getting the proper hardware to install a new air compressor on car 355. This air compressor appears to be in working order, unlike the last two that once we got them under the car, they would not function properly. The last one that we put together had a high bar.

With the help of George Contrada, I was able to repair the north gate at Winkler Road Crossing after a pick-up truck damaged it on Friday. The gate will be replaced when a new one is assembled.

The rest of the day, I spent sorting through railroad ties: the good, the bad, and the ugly; so that we can get them prepared for main line tie replacement. Once those are sorted out, I need to get the tie inserter running again. Between that and the tie handler, we will have a semblance of a production job.

And, yes it is that time of year again. Galen Semprebon was caught out behind the Visitor Center unloading materials for Rails to the Darkside! In fact, the path is nearly constructed between the mainline and the Visitor Center. I guess that is my hint to begin installing the lighting.