Tuesday, August 16, 2016

August, 2016 Work Weekend


This blog contains about half of what was happening at the MCRR due to the late arrival of the blogster. Besides projects with photographic evidence, the green coach had some attention, Kendall O., Ryan J. and Matt W. prepared the consists for the upcoming Old Threshers Reunion and Lee R. and Dave R. were working on signals due to the track updates which disturbed some of the signal circuits.

Dave O. and Kendall O. arrived a few days early and started the installation of the new piston rods on No. 6. Some decades old modifications stymied the project completion but Dave informs us that he will be able to complete the project in the next week or so.

Lots of time went into track work east of the South Station. Several previous blog entries show the center track being extended to the mainline and the first portion of the switch installation. This weekend, cutting in of the new switch was completed and leveling/gauging the rails began.

After a few adjustments of the rails on the switch which joined the South Station south track to the south spur, the rails were bonded together for the signal system.

The next three photos show Scott D. installing the bonding straps.

Installing an insulated joint for the signalling system in the new switch for the South Station center track.

Adjustments to the existing saw mill switch. This one leads to the South Station south track and the south spur.

-Photos courtesy Dave O., John K., and Elliot H. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

July, 2016 Work Weekend

I'll save some time and copy the leading paragraph from June: "Flaming hot! The afternoon temperatures hovered in the low 90s...nobody wanted to do track work. Imagine that!" Only this month, doing or not doing track work was not an option. We HAD to do track work!

But track work wasn't the only thing happening at the MCRR. For example, the "green" coach which has been in the shop undergoing an overhaul had some attention. Joan M., Dylan D., Jerry C. and Joan's two sons continued to pick away at the repair list.

Joan's son (why did I forget his name!) and Micah M. removed nearly all of the metal shavings from the various machine tools.

Matt C. was forging forward on the Vulcan gasoline switcher (the "Squirt"). Most of the wiring is complete and as the picture shows, the engine and transmission are in the frame, the cab is in place (even the original lettering is in place), and the hood supports and radiator is in place. It is almost time to hear the replacement engine run.

The electric pickup truck had sat unused all winter. It is going to get more use this year but needs to run under its own power (that is, not be pushed by three or four volunteers). The batteries were low on electrolyte and nearly or completely discharged. A quick cleanup of the cables, addition of water, and time on the charger likely will resolve the no-go issues.

The South Station pallet shelve project was completed. There is a portion of the June 2016 shop blog describing the first phase of the shelve installation. The next few pictures show the last phase. David M., Roger R., Ryan F., Rex F., Matt W., Brian B. and Elliot H. were climbing all over the shelves to finish the wall anchors and wooden shelve surface.

...and there was track work.

The professional track crew had started the South Station east side renovation. The goal is to have the South Station's center track be a through track, switched off of the mainline track. At the present time, only the south track is a through track.

The installation of the mainline switch freed a large section of track to be moved west toward the South Station. The professional track crew built the switch but has not installed it.

The MCRR gang replaced and relocated numerous ties on the track plus made some gauge changes to the switch. Depending on the picture, Paul C., Jim B., Evan P., Kendall O., Micah M., and Randy can be seen doing various tasks on the panel track or the switch.

-Photos courtesy Joan M and Elliot H.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

June, 2016 Work Weekend

Flaming hot! The afternoon temperatures hovered in the low 90s...nobody wanted to do track work. Imagine that!

Kendall O. was searching for some usable cardboard. The blogster isn't sure of the reason, but Kendall was pleased to be discovered looking for it.

There was some activity in and around the South Station. The south track needed to be cleared to access the south west corner of the station.

This is the Vulcan gasoline switcher (aka "The Squirt" and "MW101") as of mid June. Matt C. reports further progress and has additional pictures to prove it.

At the shop, John W., John K., Dillon D. and at times Matt W. removed the seats from the green coach. The seat removal is one of the many phases of the coach's refurbishment. We expect it to match the rest of the fleet by the Reunion.

Paul K. was leading numerous grounds tours in conjunction with an event taking place at the Midwest Electric Railway.

In the south station, Matt W., Rex F., Ryan F. and Elliot H. constructed a set of pallet shelves. Besides building the system in place some custom wall anchors needed cobbling. Elliot H. hid in the cool shop doing the cobbling while the others did the hard work at the South Station.

-Pictures courtesy steam.airman and John K. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May, 2016 Work Weekend

We had quite a crowd today! Not only was there plenty of help but Dave O prepared one of the best lunches we've had in a long time! Thank you, Dave! And thank you to all the MCRR members who came for the Work Weekend.

One of these days the blogster will create a discrete blog entry or project page on the MCRR.ORG website for the Vulcan gasoline switcher's (aka "Squirt") upgrades. While everyone is awaiting that moment, little pieces will appear here on the work weekend blogs.

For example, today Matt C continued the manufacture of parts for the Vulcan's drive train.

As we accumulate (and re-discover) parts and other supplies stored around the grounds, we decided that to facilitate organizing them, construction of pallet shelves in the South Station was a good idea.

On Friday, Chris P, Evan P, Elliot H, and Matt W rearranged supplies stored in the south west corner of the South Station. The plan is/was to replace the piled-on items with pallets placed on shelves. The pallet storage will give easy access to everything. (The photographer was not available so there is no proof anything took place in the South Station!)

On Saturday, Matt W, Elliot H and Elsie B moved the pallet shelving from the west storage lot to the shop for repairs and eventual installation.

The pallet shelves' previous installation resulted in the footings being rusted, and in some cases rusted beyond repair. To remedy the missing metal, Matt W, Dave M, Elliot H and a few others made new "shoes" for the shelves.

Elliot H removing the rusted portion of the shelf legs.

Dave M and Matt W cut the replacement shelving feet with the new horizontal band saw.

Paul K and Elliot H contemplate the next move on the shelving repairs while Ryan J helps move one of uprights to the fix-me pile. 

Matt W welds the new feet on the shelve uprights.

No. 6's piston rods were removed from the engine several months ago. Evan P, Kendall O and Dave O separated the rods from the pistons in anticipation of making the new rods.