Fox River Trolley Museum
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Update of progress made in the Car Barn.

January 18, 2020 1:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

On Sunday January 12th after CA&E 458 was moved outside and 304 moved to Track where Jeff Bennett and Mike Gilles jacked up the south truck of 304 for inspection and servicing. 

It was confirmed that the cracks in the concrete floor in the smoking compartment are due to rust heave on top of the bolster and not the failure of the bolster or frame.  This is good news as there is no structural compromise in this critical area of the car so it is safe to operate.  Some bearing lubrication was done along with inspection of the underside components.

     Next both motorman's M-28 brake valves were removed for professional lapping and servicing.  Both door control valves and the two floor pilot valves were also removed with all six units being sent to Pittsburg Air Brake in an effort to reduce air leakage which has plagued 304 since we obtained it.  Both air gauges were also removed for refurbishment and calibration (each one displayed a different pressure) by Gage It Inc.  The cost of this work is reasonable and turnaround time is more than sufficient.

     While there is no picture, Fred Lonnes continued to work on the heat control system of 458 after obtaining replacement coils for some critical relays.  Basically the heat works but its control system needs fine tuning.  All the seats are out of the car so interior work can continue and once Spring weather returns the canvasing and restoration of the roof can start over the ice and water shield which now covers the all new wooden roof (there is a tarp over the roof while it is outside). 

      As all this activity was going on two contractors were expertly cutting out rusted areas, welding in new metal and then grinding the patches smooth to restore the south end of 4451, building upon all the underlying structural work Fred Biederman has done over the last season. 

      With all this work finished Fred, Mike and Jeff dragged out the yellow Line Department extension ladder and replaced one burned out car barn light bulb and then installed a new type of LED fixture in place of another burned out fixture.  The barn is getting brighter and with less power use.  It was a good Sunday with progress made on a number of fronts!

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