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Silver Diner Update – 4/30/2022

By April 28, 2022January 8th, 2023Members Only

Submitted by Bill Otter & Wayne York

We completed the cleaning of the booth area of the car and progressed further into the galley area. Tom Jaite completed repairs to the broken half of the car’s air conditioning system and now the HVAC system for the car is fully functional. It is an automatic system in that the controls decide if heating or cooling is required depending on the car’s internal temperature compared to the outside temperature. The cabin temperature is pre-set and not adjustable. Amtrak did this purposely so that folks would not be constantly adjusting the temperature. I will say that it achieves a “comfortable” temperature but that it is a compromise from what some people might like.
Momper Insulation inspected the galley end of the car and has quoted spray-in foam insulation 2″ thick in the ceiling area of the hallway and over the galley where the previous insulation was water and grease soaked. The water came from the roof leak and the grease was from Amtrak operating the grill for many years with the flexible duct that attached to the roof vent being torn and essentially non-functional. The quote includes an option to put a coat of Intumescent Paint (provides a fireproofing surface to the foam insulation) for $936.00 additional. Info on Intumescent paint:
Jack Laurie Commercial Flooring inspected the floor area of the car and will develop a quote for rubber non-slip commercial-grade flooring (from the midpoint of the car to the east end as the car sits and as an option, replacing the carpet strip as well with the same type of flooring). Most likely we will hold off on replacing the carpet strip this year and simply have it professionally steam cleaned.
We inspected the roof externally and can say with confidence that the source of the leak(s) has been identified. There is a 10′ by 3′ patch in the stainless that covers two blanked-off galley vents and provided an exit point for the single galley exhaust vent that was used. It seems that Amtrak had addressed the leak issue through the years by adding layers of roofing tar around the one functional vent. We will need to get the car inside and remove the large patch to see what is underneath it and develop a plan to replace the one functional vent and stop the leak. Ideally, we will be able to clean up the patch and re-use it, properly attached to the roof. On a parallel track, we have feelers out to see about acquiring enough fluted stainless sheet (from a scrapped Budd car) if it is necessary to replace the patch. Tom Jaite estimates that it will take about two-three days to remove the patch once the car is inside. This will be done when the 765 leaves for Cleveland and the SD9 is put over the pit. Please see the attached pictures to get an idea of what I am talking about. Tom indicated that it looks worse than it probably is.
Our window supplier told me that they will be able to improve completion by May 31, or better. They feel that our total order will be able to fit in one of their standard shipping boxes, 36L x 46w x 35h, approximately 400 lbs. If anyone has a pick-up that could handle this load, let’s talk. They told me that if this proves impossible for us, they can pack the windows in several smaller boxes but would prefer to use a single box.
Our window gasket supplier (Dynamic Metals) has indicated that they should be able to complete our order for the INSIDE window gaskets to be close to the arrival of the windows. They are located in Elkhart, IN. It turns out that this company made the original gaskets for this very car for Amtrak. They have the original drawings. We can save freight if we pick up the gaskets ourselves. This should not be a problem. We have a quote in hand for the OUTSIDE window gaskets (same company). We do not plan on installing the Outside gaskets prior to our operating season but instead make this a winter project if the car is inside. To replace the Outside gaskets, the window needs to be removed, and most likely the frame that the window segments mount in will need to be removed as well due to the complex profile of the gasket needed to create a water block. There is one window where we removed the Outside gasket to provide a template for the first company we approached about gaskets. As mentioned previously, they lost it. We will need to put together some sort of acceptable Outside gasket for this window. We are investigating a couple of possible sources for suitable bulk gasket material that would work after being cut and fitted. This would be a temporary fix on this window.
John Jaras and Rich Wolfgang inspected the refrigerator cabinets in the galley that need new handles installed (18 of them). They will come up with a plan to accomplish this. It will involve a little drilling of stainless steel and some stainless screws. We have the new handles.
We are waiting to hear if Current Mechanical is interested in assisting us with this work. This will be all the refrigerated and frozen cabinets in the galley. It would be nice to offer cold water/iced tea etc. when the car is in use. Worst case, we have plenty of room in the galley to utilize coolers to keep cold drinks on hand and offer for sale.
We have been using Jasco stripper for the best results (tried several products). We have not tried the pressure washer yet. Although it would be nice to get all the stripes off the car, it is not going to prevent us from using the car if the stripes are still on. As manpower, temperature, and time permits, we will continue efforts to remove the stripes.

Remember you can always give your most valuable asset, your time. Work is continuing in earnest on a regular basis. If you are at all interested in learning more or getting involved contact Wayne York or Bill Otter.