Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May, 2017 Work Weekend

Not only were the MCRR volunteers busy this weekend, the staff from Morton Buildings started on the South Station expansion project. We are adding about 75 feet to the west end of the building. We disconnected the building's north spur from the system a few months ago in anticipation of the construction.

While the Morton gang was busy with the South Station, MCRR people were busy installing the new tires on No. 2's wheels.

The first set of pictures shows Dan H. and Chris P. watching the fire heating the tire in anticipation of slipping the wheel inside.

The tire is heated with a propane fired hoop burner. There are several modern ways of determining the correct temperature but for nostalgia sake, we placed a slug of babbit on the tire and waited until it liquefied -- about 500F -- and watched the color of the metal change from shiny silver to light straw to dark straw. Sufficient expansion occurs to allow the wheel to easily slip in place. More critical to the heating process are the initial measurements for correct machining of the tires.

Once the tire reaches the correct temperature, the axle/wheel assembly is lowered into the tire, the fire is switched off, and we wait for the fitted tire to cool.

Jostling the axle/wheel assembly from its vertical position to a horizontal position.

Preparing the bricks for the next tire.

The surfaces of the tire are cleaned with solvent.

The Old Threshers' organization provides school tours of their two museums. We keep a short consist and a locomotive in Museum B allowing us to participate in the tours. Our Dylan D. represents the railroad side of the facility.

A few months ago, we removed a stake pocket from one of the DRGW flatcars in anticipation of having it replicated for use on the other flatcar. Micah M. replaces the stake pocket.

Dan H. prepares the green coach for painting.

Part of No. 6's winter rehabilitation is to have the water side of the tender resealed. The staff removes the fuel tank and access panels to the water tank.

The ongoing inspection the 16's boiler continues. Some needle descaling takes place to insure the accuracy of the boiler wall thickness testing. One of the firebox stays was removed to determine what it will take to do the entire firebox.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

April, 2017 Work Weekend

Work orders: 1) inspect as many pieces of rolling stock as possible for immediate and future maintenance and 2) get the North Pole Express dirt off of No. 12.

The first step to accomplish either of the above was to move the rolling stock and locomotive from the South Station to the shop. We stopped the consist west of the road to get this picture of the caboose and No. 12 being pulled by the Vulcan Iron Works gasoline switcher, also known as "The Squirt," "Frederick Snare 2," "Snare 2," and probably a few other names.

While the coaches were queued outside the shop, we removed the translucent window dressings from North Pole Express.

The "Quinn Coach" (the brown coach) had its bearings inspected and in a few cases, repacked, brakes examined, brake system evaluated for leaks and operation, the roof inspected, truck center pivots lubricated, and an extensive visual inspection for defects.

Dustin B. and Matt W. un-jack the car after the wheel maintenance.

With several journals repacked, it was worth hauling the car around the system to insure the bearings were lubricating properly and the packing wasn't moving out of position. Making the trip somewhat problematic was road maintenance in McMillan Park leaving a concrete-like substance on top of the rails. Rather than grounding the engine or car, we used picks and shovels to clean the flangeways and railheads.

The next coach in the shop needed several journals repacked. Dustin B. prepares a wad of cotton (or supposedly cotton) waste for insertion in the journal boxes.

With the bearings completed, dry lubricant is placed in the truck pivot area and the truck is put back into position under the car.

A crew washes the 12. Wayne P., Joan M, Nick M, and Alex M. apply degreaser on the locomotive's upper extremities before pressure washing. Roger R. holds the locomotive in place.

Jesse V. takes a breather after removing nearly all of the flue ends from the firebox flue sheet on No. 16. Now that the flue removal is complete, we can evaluate the state of the firebox stays. Depending on the status of the stays, the next major step would be removing the cab and boiler jacket to take shell thickness measurements.