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.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March, 2017 Work Weekend

The turnout of volunteers at the last few work weekends has been very high allowing us to get lots of things done at the MCRR.

Approved last month, the DRGW flatcar 6206 will be fitted with removable benches. It is intended the conversion will be done in time for the 2017 Old Threshers Reunion.

The bench assemblies will be anchored to the flatcar via the stake pockets. We needed a stake pocket as a pattern to make additional pockets for spares and to add to flatcar 6216. After removing a stake pocket, the attaching u-bolt was reconditioned and placed back into the flatcar side for safe keeping.

Brian B. instructs Alex M. in the fine art of "thread chasing." Some percussive action was necessary to liberate the stake pocket which in turn bungled the threads.

After the u-bolt was placed in the flatcar side, Alex replaces the nuts on the u-bolt. It will be much harder to lose the u-bolt if it is where it should be on the flatcar.

No. 16's flue removal project was completed this weekend. With the flues out of the boiler, some time was spent cleaning and inspecting its innards.

Removing the last set of flues.

Ryan F. went inside the boiler to begin the barrel cleaning process.

Inside the boiler, Dustin B. reaches for a bucket.

This is a bit more crust than we expected to see in front of the firebox.

Jesse V. removes flue stubble from the smokebox's flue sheet.

In anticipation of the 6206 benches, many artifacts stored on the flatcar had to be moved to the pallet shelves along the south wall of the South Station. A few items were blocking access and were moved out of the way.

The flatcar's new benches requires quite a load of lumber. Based on current "standard" lumber sizes, the stake pockets presented a problem which was easily resolved with custom sawing. Using his sawmill, Nelson S. converts several oak logs into usable stakes and other pieces for the benches.

About 1 year ago, we purchased a new bandsaw and found a home for the old saw. The two bandsaws were at different heights, so the materials table of the old saw was converted into a height suitable for the new saw. Several 3-roller sections of the old materials table were installed on tripod jacks.

The South Station will be expanded westward. The expansion necessitates realignment of the north lead into the building. The track was detached from the switch and pulled straight. The volunteers reset a bunch of ties in preparation for proper ballasting. Once the building's shell is complete the switch that used to service the north lead will be removed, rebuilt, installed along the main track, and connected to the north lead.