FRTM S314 UPDATE
Loco 5 is coupled to CTA S-314 on Track 3 North and a brake test is being performed by Jeff Bennett and Mike Gilles.
The train is ready to depart for its first assignment, in decades, at the Fox River Trolley Museum. Much work has proceeded this move as the Perkins diesel engine that powers the crane had to be rebuilt and the brake system on the car serviced and tested.
Here the hydraulic diesel-powered crane is rotating out to rail stored along the right-of-way near Timepoint 53.
Mike goes in to set the rail dog onto the center point of the first rail to be picked up while Art Lemke stands ready with the control line as Roadmaster Chis Nelson watches. It became obvious that rail has to be picked up at the balance point so it can be safely controlled by the guide line.
The second rail picked is being set down on the deck. Jeff is at the controls of the crane.
A third shorter length of rail is being moved to the deck with Art steadying its swing with the guide line. A fourth rail was also loaded from this location.
The crew is now going for a fifth and last rail at one of the rail piles in Coleman Yard for the trip back to Castlemuir.
The last rail loaded is the first to be unloaded at Track 0 at Castlemuir. The Perkins diesel engine does have a red metal shroud but it was deemed a good idea not to apply it on this first shake down run just in case adjustments were needed. Fortunately, everything went well.
The first rail is down on the ties. The sub station was turned off so that the overhead would not be alive. Jeff was always very careful and never got close to the wire during the whole process but safety first!
All five pieces of rail are now down on the ties and Chris will have start bolting them up and spiking them down. In this construction process the ends of the rail will have to be cut to size and new holes drilled for the joint bars. The museum’s rail saw and rail drill have both been serviced and are ready to go.
Jeff and Mike cover the diesel engine with plastic pending installation of its shroud. It was a successful first outing of CTA S-314 as the day’s goal was accomplished safely. Like all museum rolling stock it will need some tweaks but we now have some experience with the unit and we are confident that it will be a very useful tool in the future.