Friday, November 14, 2014

November, 2014 Work Weekend

Yes, there was a November work weekend.

Steam.airman wasn't there, instead attending the annual convention of the ATRRM -- Association of Tourist Railroads and Railroad Museums -- in Tyler, TX.

Steam's spies said some shop activity took place, but the vast majority of the work took place in the south station. The remnants of Midwest Haunted Rails were put away. Preparations for North Pole Express began.

Unfortunately, there were no known pictures taken at this event.


October, 2014 Work Weekend/Midwest Haunted Rails

The October Work Weekend (10-10/11) and the 2014 Midwest Haunted Rails (10-10/11, 17/18, 24/25) overlapped on one weekend.

Friday, Oct 10

Some shop action occurred on the first weekend: removing the tires from No. 2's wheels in anticipation of the wheel/axle sets going to Durango, CO, for replacement axles.

Using some old propane fired flame rings, Scott D. started the tire removal procedure. The axle is suspended from the overhead crane and placed on a block for support. The flame ring is positioned around the tire to be removed. The fire is lit and the waiting begins. Eventually, the tire gets hot and expands. A few whacks with a sledge hammer and it falls away, leaving a smoking wheel.

With the tire off the wheel, the axle is returned to a horizontal position and freed from the crane. The old tire is moved away -- and the process starts over with the other tire.

The other project for the day was to get the locomotives ready for use. Using shop air for draft, minuscule oil fires were started in the fireboxes of both locomotives, let burn for a while, extinguished for a while, and then re-lit. Eventually, the boilers were brought to operating pressure.

Saturday, Oct 11

Fireman Elliot H. pretends to be operating the boiler while Matt W. gets a few minutes of shut-eye.

Engineer Eric C. gets comfortable in the right hand seat of No. 12.

Some of the items in the South Station along the fireman's side of the locomotive.

An attempt of a night-time shot with a long exposure. A slight shake by the cameraman and the picture becomes blurred.

Friday, Oct 17

The light-up begins.

The locos weren't fueled the previous week. Evan P. and Abe C. fuel No. 12 as it is coming under pressure.

Matt W. oils the running gear.

Saturday, Oct 18

Nicole cleans some of the cooking equipment for the MCRR's food tent at the north end.

John G. is caught drinking!

Elliot H. is resting his hands on the Vulcan gasoline switcher's cylinder head. He claims to be cleaning the spark plugs. Maybe he is dunking them in the coffee flask?

John G. escorts No. 6 away from the shop.

The previous night, the cab crew turned the steam turbine exhaust 90 degrees to determine if something could be done to reduce the whining noise so prevalent in the cab and first few passenger cars. It reduced the racket but was still noticeable. Going through the vast stock we located a genuine turbine muffler. A new exhaust pipe needed to be cut and threaded. Matt C. does the hard work while Mark M., Scott D., Braden G., and Abe C. offer encouragement. The muffler can be seen on the table in the picture's foreground.

Once the 12 was pulled from the shop and placed on the center track, Matt W. prepares to light the fire.

Kim W. cleans the running gear.

The new muffler atop the turbine. The muffler completely eliminated the whining.

Rex F., Jerry C., and Matt C. discuss railroad items while guarding the gasoline air compressor.

Saturday, Oct 25

Some dusk shots of the two locomotives.

A ghostly image surrounding the MCRR logo.

The train speeds away to the South Station.

Earlier in the day, the weather was so nice that the track repair gang couldn't resist doing some track raising.

Brian B. gets his mind right in the shop office and then walks over to his spot at the north station.

Dylan D., Bernie B., and Quentin chat before a train is dispatched.

Matt C. checks a questionable spot on one of the wheels.

Logan N. fires No. 12.

Sunday, Oct 26

Boiler washing! First step is to drain the boilers and tenders of both locomotives.

Elliot H. is caught washing the flue sheet in No. 12's smokebox and rinsing the muck off the deck in the cab.

Matt W. gets the privilege of washing the boiler on No. 6.