A painter contracted by Jeff Bennett is painting CTA crane car S-314.
The boom of S-314 was fully extended so it could be painted as the yellow dries on a Sunday afternoon.
It’s Saturday and Jeff is bringing up another load of ballast in the EZ Dumper for the Track 0 project. Mike Gilles photo
Mike and Fred Lonnes bar over Switch 20 so Jeff can deliver the ballast. Jeff Bennett photo
Fred watches as the ballast gets closer to it destination. Mike Gilles photo
It is Sunday and the switch stand for Switch 20 is in service complete with a switch lock. For years this switch had been spiked so it could not be moved.
Chris Nelson brought out a track level, an important tool used to make sure the rails are level when tamping the track up.
Here Fred and Mike use a track jack to raise the east rail while Chris watches.
Tamping begins with Fred and Chris manning the electric Jackson tampers while Art Lempke takes a brief restbit, and I mean brief, from shoveling ballast where it is needed.
A view of the tamping crew and their tools at work. This will be the first pass as after the track settles over time, tamping will have to be done again to get the level surface back. A couple old ties did not come up with this lift so Chris, Art and another new member, who’s name I can’t recall, replaced those ties and then ballasted and tamped them as well.
It’s the end of the day and Track 0 is completed. It is now ready to receive the contactor’s equipment which will be used during the week of June 21st to replace 400 ties in the mainline and Track 2 to keep our trackage safe for operation. CTA 43 and her sisters 45 and 40 are laid up on Track 1.
Here is the plastic shield in place at the ticket window. Agent Laura Taylor would only let one customer into the museum store at a time to make a purchase.
A family about to descend the Castlemuir high level platform after completing a round trip on 43.
Another family, with their masks on, waits to board while the car is turned and sanitized.
Conductor Doug Rundell tells the story of the Forest Preserve extension to our visitors while motorman Bruce Kuhnhofer turns the car. This was a capacity trip with ten total riders, the current CDC/Illinois State limit.
Back at Castlemuir Day Manager Doug wipes down the seats, railings and stanchions for the next trip. While I have no numbers, ridership was better this last weekend as the museum continues to operate in a restricted mode.
Jeff gives Doug and Damin Keenan a quick tutorial on operating our new motorcar which we decided to call BSA (Boy Scouts of America) 973 which was recently donated to the museum.
Here Mike is looking down at the innards of BSA 973, a Fairmont motorcar originally built for the Union Pacific Railroad and later decorated by troop 973 as a project for the last owner.
Mike was looking down at Jeff who was under the car (that’s his legs sticking out) while he was fixing the electrical system so the lights would work. Mike passed him tools and parts during this process.
One of our portable toilets was replaced last week.
It has a hand-washing station attached to it, one of the items needed in order to reopen during the Covid-19 pandemic.