Friday, November 11, 2011

A look back to 1976

These pictures were taken in 1976, when the water tower was on the south side of McMillan Park.

The 6 was "sick" and the 2 was MCRR's main pulling power.

A production group was in town taking pictures for a John Denver TV special. They came to "Organic Central" (our farm) and took  pictures of the cattle drive.

Then we hauled some down to MCRR for shots around the engine with Stan Mathews as the engineer. I'm not sure who the fireman was but we can't see him anyway.

My father is on the horse and I am on the ground in costume.

Henry H. is the guy standing along the fence at the back, holding onto it in case there was a stampede.

Steve B. is the skinny black haired guy standing to the left inside the fence.

The rest are members of the production crew. They were taking the pictures with the train as a silhouette so the light is not right for the people's faces.

-Nelson S.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The MCRR's "New" Boxcar

Ever since the refurbishing of the two DRGW flatcars in the first half of 2008, a few members of the MCRR have been "gnawing at the bit" to continue the acquisition of (usable) freight train rolling stock. (For the record, we do have some other freight train elements but very few usable pieces.)

In conjunction with the Georgetown Loop Railroad, the MCRR struck a deal where we traded two of our "other" flat cars for one of their box cars. The GLRR desired the flat cars for conversion to passenger cars -- probably open air cars -- and we had the desire for additional storage and items for the freight train -- see above. In mid September, volunteers of the MCRR along with the ability to use equipment from Anderson Tooling of Fairfield, IA, executed the trade.

In an interesting juggling act, the flat cars were moved from their various locations around the MCRR's yard an onto the low-boy trailer from Anderson Tooling. The first order of business was to place rails on the trailer and on one of the flat cars.

Once the rails were installed, the flat car without rails was pushed onto the trailer. The trailer was positioned in front of the flat car with rails, and the rail-less flat car was pushed off the trailer and onto the railed flat car. (Got that?) Now, with the two flat cars piggybacked, the stack was pushed back onto the trailer. How simple!

The rail-less flat car onto the trailer.

Positioning the trailer in front of the railed flat car.

The rail-less flat car on top of the railed flat car.

Pushing the two flat car combination onto the trailer.

After loading the flat cars and spending several days tinkering with the package, the driver and helper, Matt C and Dan H left for Silver Plume, CO. Here, the truck is paused at a stop on the east slope of the Rocky Mountains.

Now the process is reversed. Pull the combination off the trailer, remove the top flat car, and so on.

Moving the box car onto the trailer in anticipation of the trip back to eastern Iowa.

Unloading the trailer in front of the recently painted MCRR shop.

The trailer is unloaded and the box car rests in the east bay of the shop.

While at the GLRR, Matt and Dan could not refuse the offer to operate the 12 -- the Baldwin 2-6-2 which will be coming to the MCRR sometime next year.

pictures courtesy Matt C.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 2011 Work Weekend

Only a few more days until the 2011 Old Threshers' Reunion! You would have a hard time telling it from the casual attitude of the MCRR staff -- the cliche, "been there; done that" applies.

For starters at the August 2011 work weekend, a volunteer called to my attention this framed shot of the 6:

So much for the fun to the tasks accomplished.

Last year, the boiler was removed from the 1's chassis for a closer look at the boiler mounts and other items hidden by the boiler. The boiler had been fastened to a DRGW flatcar since that time. One of today's chores was moving the boiler back to where it belongs (hahahaha...and not the scrap yard!).

The Pacha Crane Service crane, operated by Steve Pacha, owner, positions itself near the chassis - flatcar consist.

The MCRR staff assists Steve switch the crane's hook to a pulley/hook combination for lifting the heavy boiler off the flatcar.

Dave O. hooks some of the wire cable slings onto the crane's hook mechanism.

Positioning the slings near the boiler.

Fishing the slings under the boiler.

The powerful crane easily lifts the boiler from the flatcar.

A twist of the crane's base and the boiler is positioned over the chassis. Brian B. wonders about those safety shoes of another volunteer who is pushing the boiler into position. Steel toed sandals?

Within a few seconds the boiler was in position on the chassis.

Once the boiler move project was complete, the crane was moved to the west lot storage area. We needed to move a late 1800's turntable to repair a broken section of fence. Several members assisted Pacha Crane Service to remove the rails from the main turntable support beam.

Not satisfied with supervising the boiler move, Brian B. supervises the lifting of the curved turntable rails from the main support beam.

Holding one of the sling ends, Brian B. awaits the repinning of the slings for further lifting of turntable parts.

The main support beam's pivot point is lifted away from the beam.

After much ado (and a swap of cranes!) the main support beam has been moved about 5 meters from its original position towards its new resting place.

MCRR President Matt C. relays a message to the crane operator.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's a Good Sign!

In the past 10 months, several strong storms had changed our name from the "MIDWEST CENTRAL RAILROAD" to the "WEST CENTRAL RAILROAD", the "WEST CENT AILROAD" and finally to " ". (Well, the final change had some human assistance.)

Besides painting the shop building, the MCRR decided on a new sign with text and our logo for the north wall.

The middle portion of the sign...

The tail end of the sign, along with the trailing logo, is added to the already installed center portion.

Matt C. and Dan H. install the front portion of the sign.

The finished sign.

Photos courtesy Matt C.