Shop Report, May 2007
May was a busy month in the Museum’s car shop. In addition to our annual week of preventative maintenance for the operating cars, there was lots of other activities on cars in our collection including Sacramento Northern 1005, 654 and 652, MUNI 1016, CCT boxcars 2001 and 3001, Shipyard Railway car 561, and diesel locomotive VE 502.
The week ending on Memorial Day is our annual preventative maintenance week. All of our operating cars are brought through the shop for inspection and receive appropriate preventative maintenance. The higher-mileage cars will come through the shop at least once again during the year for a second preventative maintenance effort.
Preventative maintenance includes such activities as:
This regular maintenance is having an impact. Every year we see evidence of the previous years’ efforts. Bolts and plugs are clean and work freely, parts are clean and lubricated. The motor brushes are the proper length and commutators are clean and smooth. With this proper annual lubrication, the cars never have bearing issues. Current collectors are in good condition and renewable parts are easily changed.
This week 36 people came out to help in this maintenance effort, putting in 872 hours of effort on the project. This is a new record for the number of volunteer hours preformed during maintenance week. Special thanks goes to Bill Kluver and Bart Nadeau for providing meals for all the volunteers during this week. Volunteers helping in this years maintenance week are: Enid Albedi, Andy Alkema, Rolf Augustine, Gary Baker, Roger Bergmans, Pat Bryerton, Bill Burg, Dave Buechler, Greg Byers, Joel Cox, Ray Crist, Mike Dreiling, Ray Drew, Mike Flaherty, Steve Graves, Bob Immergluck, Dave Johnston, Bill Kluver, John Krauskopf, Fred Krock, Joe Magruder, Gene Martin, Dick McClenaghan, Don McKinsey, Don Meehan, Bob Murphy, Bart Nadeau, E. Mac Palmer, Karl Peery, Jack Perry, Bob Schneider, Al Stangenberger, Reuben Smith, Paul Trimble, Walter Vielbaum, and Pete Williams.
Work also continued in the shop during May on Sacramento Northern 1005. The rear end of the car was primed and finish painted. As soon as this was done, Fred applied the car’s number on the fresh paint in gold leaf. The roof fuse box was missing from the car when it arrived at the Museum. An appropriate fuse box was located in the Howard Wolfe collection of spare parts and was reconditioned. Don McKinsey made special wire terminals for the box to keep the cables as close to the roof as possible. Joe Magruder made up brackets and applied it to the roof. The correct fuse for the 1005 is a 750-amp ribbon fuse. None were is stock, so fuses were designed and ordered. Joe and Greg Byers reconfigured the scaffold to prepare for painting the west side of the car. Joe and Don Meehan have sanded and filled the west side preparing it for paint. Al cleaned and polished the whistle for the front of the car. Joe finished installing all the tripper piping on the roof. The piping effort has now moved to the front cab. Al and Fred Krock cleaned up both equalizing reservoirs and painted them in preparation for installing them. Al and Don Meehan have been working on installing the water cooler drainpipe. There is conduit under the car directly in line where the drainpipe should go, so the drain will have an off set put in it above the floor and then go through the floor in a location clear of under floor obstructions.
The air compressor on Shipyard Railway car 561 had been running too much of the time, so the car was brought into the shop to address air leaks. The compressor on this car is a rare General Electric type CP 14. The compressor valves were leaking and the compressor head was removed to service the valves. The intake and exhaust valves on this compressor are seven dime-size valves that contact renewable seats. All the valves and seats are worn out. New valves and seats will have to be made, but the existing valves were reconditioned to the point that they will work until new parts are available. Greg made a new head gasket for the compressor. The magnet valve on the car’s circuit breaker was leaking and was disassembled, cleaned, and oiled. A new packing cup was installed in the operating cylinder and a new spring was installed in the valve. The whistle valve was also leaking considerable amounts of air. This was a difficult repair as the brake valve and most of the cab piping had to be removed to get access to the whistle valve to remove it. Once out it was quickly repaired. The pantograph raise and lower valve was also cleaned, lapped and lubricated to improve its operation. Dave, Mike, Al, Don McKinsey and Greg worked on this project. The car was released from the shop with a compressor that runs much less of the time.
Work continues on both of our Central California Traction Company wooden boxcars, 2001 and 3001. On CCT 3001 Ray Drew and Pat Bryerton have the framing on the west side of the car finished and have been applying the siding. Near the end of the month this was finished and they began installing the sliding door track and other trim around the doorway. Dick McClenaghan has been working on the roof. He installed all the cleats, and then milled down some salvaged lumber to make running boards. These were primed and painted and installed on the roof. He then filled the screw heads holes and finish-painted the boards. Greg has been leading an effort to sand and prime the car getting it ready for paint. Don McKinsey, Don Meehan, Mike, Lou Schneider and many others have helped out on this project. The first side will be completed before the car is turned around and the other side gets the same treatment. On CCT 2001, Fred Krock got a good copy of the Traction Company’s cloverleaf logo and had it blown up and cut in Mylar as a stencil. He stenciled the logo on both sides of 2001. He would also like to apply this logo to 3001, but so far we have not been able to find any evidence that it was ever used on the newer car.
The shop crew has been working toward the future painting of Key System locomotive 1001. Don McKinsey and Don Meehan have been working on the next step of this project, which is building two new side doors for it. The original doors have considerable rot in them and one door has had the lower double side by side panels kicked out of it while it was stored in Emeryville years ago. The missing panels were replaced with a piece of plywood, which had been in the door for over 40 years now. The doors are being made from ash wood, which is hard, heavy and strong. The ash was purchased rough and was planed to the correct thickness. Then the edges were jointed. The mortising machine drilled square holes in the side rails, and tenons were cut on the radial and table saws. New panels were cut on the shaper. The doors have been assembled and will now be fit the openings.
The 1001 failed on one of the spring Scenic Limited runs. It was brought into the shop, where it was found that one of the switch group contractors had failed. The contractor was removed and repaired. The removal and reinstallation process was very time-consuming, but the repairs were done relatively quickly. Don McKinsey, Mike, Al, and Dave Johnston worked on repairing the locomotive. Al also removed, disassembled, cleaned, set, and tested the safety valve.
Dave Buechler continues to work on MUNI PCC car 1016. He continues to sand and prime the interior and is stripping the rubber moldings out of the window sash and replacing it with new material.
When they were in service, Sacramento Northern electric locomotives 652 and 654 both had canvas awnings above their motorman’s windows. The original awnings rotted away many years ago, so four new awnings were made, two for each locomotive. Dick McClenaghan and Joe Magruder spent several days installing the new awnings in both locomotives
Sacramento Northern locomotive 654 was the last car in the shop during maintenance week and has remained in the shop to finish up details that we were waiting material on. The new awnings were installed over both motorman’s windows. Mike Dreiling repaired one of the arc chutes. The steel pole pieces are held on with a light insulating material. This material fails and the pole pieces come loose. New material was purchased and the proper eyelets were secured so the arc chutes could be properly repaired. Joe Magruder reinstalled the windshield wiper motors. He repaired the wiper arms and installed new blades. He also installed new rubber tubing to connect the wipers to the air supply pipe. Greg painted one of the step boards that had been missed when the locomotive was being painted. The number two compressor was removed so it can be sent to the motor shop to have an imbalance in the armature corrected. It will also get the standard servicing that we give all the DC motors that go to the motor shop.
Sacramento Northern locomotive 652 was brought into the shop with 654. It also received new awnings over both windows. 652 had a hot box on its way to the Museum 42 years ago. When it arrived the hot box had been repacked and doctored with hotbox coolant. This coolant was still in the journal box, so it was decided it was time to properly address this hot box. The brass was removed and scraped. Al spent all day polishing rough spots out of the journal. While this was going on, all the other journals were repacked with new pads. One of the traction motor bearings was also found to be without waste, so it was repacked. Don Meehan and Mike Flaherty removed the sliding side windows so the sash can be rebuilt and new glass installed. Don has been working on the wood sash and has one new one almost finished. Don and Gary Baker continue to work on making new fuse boxes for 652. Both of them are missing.
When work on SN 652 was finished, the locomotive was taken back to Carhouse 3 using the Branch Line as a run around to bypass the passenger loading platform. When Track One was extended and connected to the south shop lead and became our primary operating track, the cars stored on Track One were moved to the Branch Line. With the completion of Carhouse 3, the cars stored on the Branch Line have been moved to Carhouse 3 and for the first time in many years the branch line is clear of cars. In conjunction with the Track One connection to the south shop lead, for the first time, this gives us run around capacity.
Visalia Electric 44 ton diesel locomotive 502 came through the shop for its annual inspection and preventive maintenance along with the electric cars. After the annual effort Joel Cox, Greg and Pete Williams changed the injectors and injector pump in the number two engine.
In addition to the car projects, there were several shop projects also undertaken in May. Bob Immergluck continues to work on building a bridge crane for the machine shop. Dick and Al have preformed various maintenance and repair projects on the Challenger forklift. Joel has had several of the maintenance of way machines in the shop for maintenance and repair. Joel also repacked the lift cylinder on the shop’s high lift forklift.On Saturday, May 19 a large group from the State Railroad Museum visited the Western Railway Museum. There visit included tours of the shop. On the Wednesday prior to this, the shop crew spent most of the day cleaning up the shop to make it presentable for this tour. On the 19th some projects proceed as normal so the visitors would see the shop in action while many other shop staff acted as tour guides.
Electric Cars Report, March 19, 2007
In the shop work continues on Sacramento Northern interurban combine1005. Don Meehan continues to puzzle out the rear cab walls. All the equipment and piping had been removed from the roof to allow for installing of new roof canvas. Joe Magruder has taken on re-installing the safety pipe on the roof. This pipe comes up through the toilet compartment then to the roof. It then goes to both of the train-stop trippers and then across the roof and down into both cabs where it connects to the dead-man handles and foot pedals. This equipment was not original equipment on the car but was added very early. The OA&E chose to run the piping on the roof instead of under the car, which is very congested with piping, wiring and equipment.
This was another month of intense work on Sacramento Northern locomotive 654. All this effort paid off in early March when it ran out of the shop and posed for photos. It then took everyone who wanted a ride to the Gum Grove and then moved into its new home in Car House Three. Lots of small items were addressed again this month. Greg Byers and Pat Bryerton cleaned and painted the walkways on the rear of the locomotive with black paint mixed with a non-slip material. When the locomotive was built the walkways had steel upset with a chisel to make a non-slip surface, but over the last 75 years these steel spurs have mostly been worn smooth. One of the interior cabinet doors had the bottom stile broken off. Mike Dreiling removed the door and Don Meehan made and installed a new stile. Fred Krock then repainted and stenciled the door. Fred has been busy inside the locomotive stenciling appropriate labels on all the switches to allow removal all the plastic labels that Walter Haley had applied when the locomotive first arrived at the Museum in 1965. The stenciled labels look much more like the proper period that the plastic labels. Dave Johnston spent time with the locomotive’s wiring diagram. One thing that was checked was the current rating of the fuses in the locomotive. Of the 12 fuses currently in use, 10 were of the wrong value. The proper fuses were installed in every location.
A big crew spent most of a day sequencing the contactors, which control the power to the traction motors. Both contactor cabinets were opened and the covers were taken of the series parallel switch and the master controllers. The controller was advanced one point at a time and all the contactors were checked to be sure the correct, and only the correct, contactors closed. There are 28 points with 48 contactors and two master controllers so it took some time to check everything. In several cases the proper sequence did not take place and everything stopped until the problem was diagnosed and repaired. This included repairing magnet valves; replacing one open magnet valve coil; cleaning and replacing cups in the contactor air cylinders; and cleaning, servicing and lubricating the master controllers. Working on this were Al Stangenberger, Mike, Dave and Greg. Al is continuing to trouble shoot the front headlight. He has replaced some wires that had most of the strands broken or the insulation damaged, but has not yet located the problem keeping it from working.
Lots of other details were addressed. Don Meehan reinstalled a missing catch on one cabinet door. Don McKinsey made two whistle valve handles by turning maple blocks on a lathe. The locomotive has three whistle valves at each end, one each for the air horn, one for the whistle and one for the clatter gong. There is also a locomotive-style bell with a manual and air ringer. Al spent a lot of time getting this ringer working. It had been disassembled, but he found the missing parts in the outside storage container. After lots of cleaning, lubrication and new seals, he got it to work. At the same time he has been overhauling a replacement bell for sister locomotive 652, which did not have a bell when the Association acquired it. Don McKinsey has been making the required parts to repair both bells. A day was spent inspecting, cleaning and lubricating the traction motors and journals. Some repacking was done on the motor armature bearings. The string banding and brush holder insulators were cleaned. The brushes were inspected and the length was checked.
Both air compressors had the front covers removed to clean the commutator string banding and check the brushes. The sludge and oil return passage plugs were removed and the crank case oil was drained and replaced. Gary Baker blew out and painted the couplers with dry graphite lubricant. Don Meehan cleaned the wind deflector glass with a razor blade and he and Gary cleaned all the rest of the locomotive’s windows. Gary also climbed on the roof and painted the pantograph shoes with graphite dry lubricant. While he was on the roof he located an annoying rattle and fixed it by replacing a missing u-bolt. The interior of the cab was cleaned out and a large collection of spare parts were boxed, labeled and stored in the barn. Dave, Greg, Mike and Al cleaned and painted the trucks.
Even with all this effort, there is still a long list of items that need to be worked off on the 654, but some of them are waiting for parts to be received, so another effort will be made on the locomotive in 6 to 8 weeks. In the mean time, the locomotive is fully operational if it is needed for switching service or other duties.
Mike Flaherty continues leading an effort to return Sacramento Northern locomotive 652 to its proper appearance. He painted the side sills with a third coat of orange paint. Mike also installed one of the recently rebuilt trolley poles in the trolley base on the roof and applied an insulator and trolley rope to the locomotive. Don Meehan is working on reinstalling the latches on the new doors. Gary acquired some of the proper insulators for the fuse boxes from the trolley museum in Fort Smith and had them reglazed in the proper green color.
Dave Buechler with help from Jim Ward continues to work on San Francisco Municipal Railway PCC 1016, which was moved into the shop after SN 654 was moved to Car House Three. They have the interior completely stripped out and are now removing the window sash all in preparation for painting the interior. He has also addressed some of the rust issues on the exterior of the car.
Work continues on Central California Traction Company boxcar 3001. Ray Drew and Pat Bryerton have both of the west doorpost replaced and are repairing the wall framing. Some replacement exterior siding is on hand and more is on order. Don McKinsey has also been helping with this project. He and Al have installed all the new tie rods that tie the roof to the side sill. Ray has not been feeling well for the last several weeks and we wish him a speedy recovery.
Fred Krock has finished stenciling of wooden boxcar RF&P 2289, but he continues as our one-man painting department with piles of parts always sitting on his bench waiting for a coat of paint.
Karl Peery has been using the large press brake to make replacement roof parts for San Francisco Municipal Railway LRV 1258. First he took lessons from Joel Cox on the use of the machine and then he had to change the tooling to get the proper dies for what he was dong. This also entailed cleaning up and rust proofing the die he was not going to use and then cleaning the replacement die. Since he is working is thinner material that we usually brake, he put in a smaller sharper “V” die in the brake to make the bends he needed. These dies are bars of steel about 8 inches square and eight feet long. They are very heavy.
Western Pacific wooden caboose 741also got more attention from Don Meehan.
He installed wood on the front platform and installed both rebuilt doors.
He is looking at making some new sash for it. Bob Murphy did his monthly
oiling and helped out with other projects in the shop. He has also been
making rail-shaped wooden cutouts for the concrete forms that will be
needed for the front walkway in Car House Three. Joel Cox has been making
a tool car for the track department. The tamper broke down and he had
to rebuild one of the tamping cylinders so the tamper could continue
to tamp the track in front of Car House Three. Don McKinsey, Dave Johnston
and Mike replaced the LB-4 body casting on the rear controller of Key
System streetcar 352. It was broken and it deflected to the extent that
the dead man valve did not close completely some of the time. Don McKinsey
lapped the pinion gear in on the traction motor for Melbourne 648. This
motor was sent to the motor shop to have the commutator neck repaired
where the armature coil supporting putty had been thrown out. The canvas
boot was also missing. It fit properly with little work and it was heated
up and installed. Cars P & SR 63, PRy 52, Key 352 and SN 62 were
brought into the shop and received there midyear inspection and oiling.
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