Saturday, March 26, 2016

August-September 2015 Old Threshers' Reunion

How is this for procrastination? It's the end of March 2016 and the late summer 2015 blog post is finally done! No excuses are acceptable. Well, how about this excuse? "It is 5 months until the 2016 OTR; here is something to get you thinking about attending!" Yes? No?

Excuses aside, over the years there have not been many Old Threshers Reunion blog postings, leaving the story to be told via the pictures posted on the website. This time, select pictures are here along with text as appropriate.

==>August 27

During Spring 2015, we acquired a modified gondola and cattle car for passenger service during the Old Threshers Reunion. The two cars were in fair condition but needed a thorough inspection and several modifications to fit our operation.

Allen P. and Abe C. install the retractable steps and inside grab rails on the cattle car.

Completed a few days earlier, the South Station was upgraded with special LED lighting. This time exposure captures the old-time look of the lights. A heavy coat of dew adds a wintery look to the scene.

==>August 28

Dustin B. and Allen P. continue the installation of the steps on the cattle car.

Elliot H. dances with a GMAW tank.

After working on the cattle car for a while, Scott D. takes a short break.

==>August 29

Several volunteers started the seasonal readying of No. 6. The team of John G., Evan P., Braden G., Ryan J., Abe C. and Kendall O. deal with numerous minor issues and start No. 6's hydrostatic pressure test of 2015.

Our "new" portable diesel air compressor needed a multiple tap output manifold. Matt W. and Elliot H. retrofitted the manifold from the old compressor to the the new compressor.

Kendall O. works on the headlight assembly for No. 2.

==>August 30

MCRR president Matt C. discusses some items with Kendall O and Rex F.

Once a few adjustments in No. 6's smokebox were complete, a natural gas flame was started in its firebox. Kendall O. warms the engineer's seat as the natural gas fire warms the boiler.

While one team deals with No. 6, another deals with No. 12. After its annual inspection, Rex F. assists in the installation of No. 12's steam dynamo.

==>August 31

Allen P. polishing No. 6.

Volunteers finish the electrical work on the gondola and cattle car. Depending on the picture, Rex F., Ron N., Roger R., Scott D., Lee R. and Chris P., can be seen doing something on this project.

The water tower had a new tank liner installed several months ago. Dan H., Dave O. and Walt O. installed the plumbing.

==>September 1

Roger R. repairing the gear shift lever on the Squirt.

Elliot H. testing his cellphone.

A view of the MCRR food service area.

Sometime in late spring, the "A" stopped moving by itself. The driveshaft was spinning but the rear axles were not which hinted something was wrong within the differential. The banjo housing was removed and the shattered spider gears were discovered. Andy C. and Eric C. installed new gears and reassembled the rear end.

Miscellaneous tasks around the shop -- and then it was time for the Cab Crew safety and operations meeting.

==>September 4. (What happened to September 3rd?)

Getting the locomotives ready for the first day's work.

In and around the platforms. The conductors insure orderly boarding and exiting of the coaches. The ticket sellers are ready for the next customer.

Deb C. and Jeanie T. serve customers at the South Station Gift Shop.

No. 6 approaches the South Station.

Our conductors working or resting are the rider's primary contact with the MCRR staff.

At the annual volunteers' dinner, president Matt C. and director Dave O. accept a donation from John W.

Linda M. accepts a Lifetime Honory Member award.

A dinner plate topped up with the evening's fare.

Kim W. trying to cool off after a hot day at the 2015 OTR.

We were fortunate to have an exhibit from the Iowa Operation Lifesaver group to spread the word about rail safety education for the public. Operation Lifesaver's mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and on railroad property through a nationwide network of volunteers who work to educate people about rail safety.

==>September 5

Getting No. 12 ready for the day's work. Brian B., Jerry C., Dustin B., Paul K. and Lee R. can be seen in the next few pictures.

We are still trying to figure this one out!

==>September 6

Lee R. and Elliot H. are getting Nos. 6 and 12 ready for another day's use.

For a diversion, several cab crew members wandered through steam traction area. They found  and commandeered Nelson S's "engine of the year" and took it for a "spin."

==>September 7

We took No. 6 out of service on Monday and started the short-term pickling project.

September 8

Now it is No. 12's turn for short term pickling.

-Pictures courtesy Elliot H. and Paul K.