It’s Saturday September 19th,2020 and CTA MS-65 is down at Ward’s Bridge to finally have the nose mount of its traction motor secured. Jeff Bennett, Mike Gilles and Berny Kamenear went down to start the project with James doing the slow, 1/8 of a turn at a time, tightening of the nut on the assembly. The tubes to lube the drive chain were also installed so the locomotive returned to Castlemuir finally complete. Mike Gilles photo
The next day Jeff and Fred Lonnes serviced the OB form 5 couplers on MS-65 so it could do its first task.
And that task was coupling to CTA S-314 and coupling it up to CRT 5001 and in turn, closing the gap with W&SR 73 to discourage visitors from walking between the cars and into the path of any trains moving on Track 2. A glitch was noticed in the control system so currently MS-65 is out of service pending the completion of resolving the issue.
The next move was getting AE&FR 5 out of the Car Barn. Fred and Mike are riding on the back end as Jeff operates it over the barn lead switches.
With 5 out of the barn, Fred with the assistance of Mike piloted AE&FR 304 from its Track 5 outdoor storage position to inside the barn on Track 3. This task was done carefully as 304 tends to ride up on frog, so the edge of the east rail is greased and the wheels are monitored as they pass through the switches.
Here Lorrie Nevens is conducting one of her Facebook Live Streams with Jeff and Fred concerning the locomotive, its history and the details of the current project of restoring its paint and appearance. Link to facebook live video https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3133931053384261
Locomotive 5 residing in its pumpkin orange on Track 3 South in front of the barn.
But 5 did not stay solid orange for long as Jeff sent me this selfie while he was lettering the east side with vinyl transfers. Jeff Bennett photo
Here is what the “fireman’s” side looks like after Jeff was finished. Even though the lettering was professionally made, Jeff confided that applying them is harder than it looks. The black stripes need to be completed along with the “engineer’s” side lettering, but all in good time.
On Saturday September 26th, James Tarbet applied the reflective white stripes to the frame. In the mid 1950’s such reflective markings were very innovative when Bob DeYoung painted the locomotive orange.
Our locomotive rests outside on Track 3 South awaiting the return of its radiator shutters which were taken off site to be sand blasted, primed and repainted professionally.
All the cracked and broken windows on W&SR 73 have been replaced by LeWalt Glass of Crystal Lake as another step in improving the appearance of our rolling stock and the museum.
On Sunday September 20th Roadmaster Chris Nelson, Art Lempke and Fred Lonnes started raising the east rail of Track 0. Unfortunately, I never get there in time to capture them working.
Once gain my luck failed in capturing the track crew at work but on Sunday the 27th Chris with the help of Art and Jim Gonyo raised the west rail of Track 0 and where working around the switches, cleaning them out for better drainage.
On the CTA 4451 front, volunteer Joe Caliedo installed the walls below the new window sills. Mike Gilles photo
Here is Joe with metal worker John as they started working on the pneumatic door engines that move 4451’s massive sliding doors. Just another step in getting the car restored.
During the next week after the walls were primed, our contractor Kyle, sprayed the interior brown inside 4451.
You have seen other pictures of the #2 end cab of 4451 but here it is finally painted in the brown but with the masking still in place. This brown reminds me of milk chocolate. Hopefully next season, motormen will be using this cab to take the car to Blackhawk once again.
Checking in on 4288, more rust and corrosion where found in the frame behind the Northwest door pocket area of the car. The pneumatic door engine and floor underneath it has been removed to survey the issue and then proceed with repairs.
We turn to the Operating Department as CTA L-202 and IC caboose 9648 departs on a southbound trip on Sunday September 20th, the last Sunday of Caboose Train operation this season. Because of the pandemic guidelines only eight people at a time could ride the caboose so our passengers swapped trains down at Blackhawk so more patrons could enjoy the way car experience.
CNS&M 715 makes a diversionary arrival on Track 2 after a fire extinguisher accidentally discharged in the car while it was leaving Blackhawk. After the dust settled there were no injuries and CTA 43 covered the final two trips of the day. Our Monday crew cleaned up 715 and it will be back in service this coming weekend. Oh! and I finally captured the track crew standing in the clear!