Fox River Trolley Museum
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Updates, Information and photos provided by Joseph Hazinski

November 16, 2020 10:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

"It has been a busy time the last several weeks and now I finally have a chance to catch up on the news at the museum." Joseph Hazinski

This was the sight that greeted members and guests on Saturday October 10th, 2020.  The Stars and Stripes hanging from CTA S-314 was courtesy of Jeff Bennett.   CA&E 20 made its only operating appearance this season while our recently donated Fairmount MT-14 motorcar with its all-weather cab was also on display.

Fred Lonnes assisted in the attendance of Ken Ward (seated) and his wife Carolyn seen here with President Ed Konecki and James Tarbet for the reveal of AE&FR #5.  Ken was a substitute operator of #5 when Bob DeYoung, the owner of the AE&FR, was away.  In later years Fred Lonnes also served in that capacity.

After Track 2 was cleared, #5 with Fred Alford at the controls came up from the car barn to reveal its new paint job.  Mr. Alford, who is the grandson-in-law of Bob DeYoung, and son-in-law to Mr. DeYoung's oldest daughter Jane DeYoung/Anderson, donated the funds to paint the engine, has fond memories of seeing #5 coming down LaFox Street with empty hoppers in tow for the IC interchange.

Jeff Bennett addressing the members and DeYoung family guests, relating the past and most recent history of #5 with great appreciation of Mr. Alford’s kind donation.

One of the features of the repainting and our current restoration is the installation of the whistle, which was a standard, as delivered, GE feature, and two sets of two bell horns as installed shortly after the locomotive arrived back in 1946.  The locomotive bell has also been restored.

With the 4000’s out on display and 304 in service on Members Day the car barn looked a bit empty but it certainly is not spacious for the work that has been done inside in close quarters.  There was a lot of effort to clean up this area with the cars outside for the day.

CTA 4451 is looking good in its new paint.  Current emphasis is on rehabilitation all the brass framed windows.  The plan is to finish the car in 2021.

CTA 4288 shows off some of the degree of work being done to repair the frame and sides.  It seems that this may be the only saved 4000 that demonstrates the modernization program that the rapid transit division started by replacing the old-style brass sah windows with aluminum framed units.

A little more than a week later on October 18th #5 rests outside the barn awaiting the restoration of final details and other adjustments.

New member Austin Harvey is behind the step ladder while sanding down 4288 in preparation for priming.  Just another example of the many unseen tasks that need to be done to bring a car back to operating condition.

Here is one of 4451’s brass sashes waiting to be taken apart.  All the glass has been saved while the frames await professional blasting, priming and painting so they can be reassembled and installed in the car.

Also on October 18th, Mike Gilles helps Ralph Taylor install the engine into the Fairmount North Shore Line motorcar in the Maintenance-Of-Way shed. 

Up on Track 3 Fred Lonnes changes the headlight bulb on the back end of CTA MS-65 while Jeff Bennett was inside changing a bulb on the instrument counsel.

A week later on October 24th, Thee’s father finishes up welding the bell onto MS-65. 

At the end of the day three quarters of the museum’s locomotive fleet is lined up on the car barn leads.  CTA L-202, AE&FR #5 and CTA MS-65, which replaced L-202 are at rest.  Warren & Saline River 73 is resting at the north end of Track 3.

As of November 1st, the air brake components inside CTA 4451 were being installed with the goal of getting the brake system to function.

Fred Biederman has put all four door engines in place and connected them to the air system, a necessary step in testing the air system.  The arms have to be attached to the doors, sensitive edges installed on each sliding door and then the electrical wiring installed so door testing and adjustment can begin.

Here Thee is heating up the barrel nuts on a window frame for 4451 so it can be taken apart for repair, blasting, priming and painting.  I think all disassembly has been finished.

CTA 4288’s frame and bolster repairs at the #2 end were completed by November 1st.

On November 8th Thee and his father are welding a seam on the siding that covers the area where the frame repairs are made.  The next step is to start opening up the side sheets in the area of the #1 end doors and bolster area to determine what repairs need to be done there.

Ralph Taylor and Mike Gilles made adjustments to the hub where the starting crank goes on the North Shore Line motorcar and also hooked up the drive belt tensioner.  In this picture you can see the crank in its storage position.  The next task is making up and installing the ignition points so the one lug Fairmount engine can operate with its characteristic hit and miss “putt-putt” sound.

Art Lempke of the track crew trims back brush along Track 1 West in an effort to beautify the area.  Roadmaster Chris Nelson is considering what types of cover to plant to stabilize the embankment.

The last motorcar trip of the day is almost ready to leave to disburse the cut brush into natural areas along the right-of-way where it can decompose and return to nature.

The Way and Structures Department also finished repairs to the 54 cattle pass bridge by sealing the repair to the cracks in the concrete deck and installing a drain tile system for water to run off into the natural creek bed underneath.

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