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Project Updates – 6/23/2019

By June 23, 2019Members Only

Submitted by  Rich Brinkley & Tom Nitza

Boxcar Update

It has been awhile since a post on the boxcar was sent.  In that time many small parts have been sand blasted, primed, and painted.  On Friday, Tom and I got serious with the project again with some more deconstruction, but most important, some drilling and fitting of the top sill beam and the installation (temporary at this point) of one new vertical post.  It would have been two, but we had a technical problem with the router that requires acquisition of a new part. We hope to get the second post fitted and perhaps a diagonal or two on Thursday. These beams and posts require a lot of measuring, drilling, and fitting because there are also vertical and diagonal rods that run through from the top to the bottom sill beams (some of them also pass through vertical and diagonal posts) which, when tightened, lock everything together as a unit. Slowly progress is being made.

Plymouth & 1231 Update

The main thrust of this week’s project was to replace the engineer’s window. Work began on Monday by removing the old window and prepping the opening. There was some rust damage and some areas where welds had come loose. By the end of the day a lot of this work had been completed. On Tuesday some final welding was done and the area was primed and painted. The window installation couldn’t begin until the paint dried so we turned our attention to the engines.

With the engines running we used a laser heat sensor to take some readings and concluded that either the water temperature gauge or sending unit were defective causing a low reading. This unit will have to be replaced later. We also discovered that when the throttle was advanced the #1 engine sped up but the #2 engine stayed at idle. The throttle linkage is mechanical and we’ve had to adjust it before to synchronize the engines. We needed to add water to the #2 engine but didn’t see any visible leak, however we did smell anti freeze. I took an oil sample to have it analyzed and we hope there’s no coolant in the oil. The locomotive was left outside because on Wednesday Fruchey needed access in the building to raise the 765 in order to reinstall the trailing truck.

Since it didn’t rain on Wednesday the new window was installed with the locomotive outside. The rubber gasket was installed and then measurements were taken for the two pieces of glass. While waiting for O’Neils Glass to cut them to size, time was spent watching the 765 trailing truck operation. After lunch work resumed, the fixed glass was installed, then the sliding window tracks, and then the sliding glass. Finally some rubber strips were installed to lock everything in place.

While all this was going on we had a discussion about the engineer’s seat. Everyone agrees that the metal folding chair just isn’t working, and it certainly doesn’t look “railroady.” Rich volunteered to build a prototype and see how it would work. He came up with a rotating stool that mounts to the wall. After test driving it he took it home to do final assembly, painting and upholstery.

On Thursday we decided to take a look at the compressors. Both air filters were in good condition as was the oil in the #1 compressor. However, the oil in the #2 compressor looked like it should be changed so we drained it. The drain plug is about 6 inches away from the cab wall and difficult to loosen and remove. However we prevailed. Unfortunately not all of the oil made it into the funnel we put in place and thus rather than being directed to our pan it made its way to the floor and created an oil spill. It was decided that putting in a pipe with a shut off valve to direct the oil to a more accessible place would make future oil drains much easier. However, that attempt proved futile and we’ll have to wait until the locomotive is over the pit to complete that project.

With time remaining on Thursday it was decided to cut out the rusted through area on the engineer’s cab wall. While John was busy doing that a photographer from the Journal Gazette showed up, took his photo, and that photo was run in the next day’s newspaper. With the rusted area cut out we couldn’t help but notice the rusted out portion of the raised
platform for the engineer’s seat.  A quick trip to Metal Supermarket provided a piece of 10 gauge steel bent in a 90 degree shape to repair the area. Once that repair was completed a new cab piece was formed and welded in place. It took some doing the get the contour correct since the cab side bows out at the bottom. Some welding, heating
and beating got everything lined up.

The balance of the week was spent replacing a section of cab floor that had rotted, applying some caulking to the corners of the new window gaskets, and generally cleaning up. The final touch was to clean all of the windows, something we hadn’t done since we obtained the locomotive.

No work next weekend. After that I’ll publish a schedule of work activities. At some point we’ll have to start on items that need to be completed before the open house such as an oil change on 1231 and some caboose brake work.

Special thanks this week to Rich Brinkley, John Jaress, Carl Lyvers and Dave Cox for their efforts. Although the diesel fleet isn’t high profile, it does provide the Society with dependable income. Please thank them for their continued efforts.

ONeil’s Glass did charge us for the window components but provided us with much needed installation assistance and special tools. Blackstone Labs continues to supply the Society with oil analysis free of charge. This has proven to be very valuable for not only our diesel fleet but also for the 765.

The wabash caboose work continues Contact DJ to get in on the email chain for that project at

Work on the box car continues in the following weeks. Contact Rich Brinkley to get in on the email chain for that project at

358 is ready for electrical and plumbing work. Contact WD Miller to get in on the email chain for Project 358 at

534 work continues every weekend. Contact Jerrad Bennet for information on that project at

Rust repair on the cab wall of the Plymouth

New windows in the Plymouth