Fox River Trolley Museum
  • April 23, 2018 10:17 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Well if nothing else, I sure learned a lot about the U4 Triple Valve !!!

    The work continued this weekend on getting 458's brakes to work correctly. We started to realize that the little wasps the make mud clumps to lay larvae, had worked much farther into the Triple valve, than first thought. Last work session on this problem we had found the main bracket exhaust port completely plugged. We were continuing to find dirt contamination in parts of the system that we just cleaned. This led us to believe that there was more contaminates, farther up in the circuit. We also took apart the emergency valve much farther than ever before, and found a broken piston ring. SOOOO, cleaned everything out, AGAIN, replace the ring and lift those big heavy suckers back into place. During one of final installations of the emergency valve I spotted, out of the corner of my eye, a 1/4in exhaust port that we had not found on the diagrams, and did not know existed. Upon looking into this vent hole, it was noted that it was packed full of wasp mud!  Down comes the valve again, and careful cleaning of this port took place. We have now also learned to make sure the contaminates get broken up, and then shot out, not pushed back up into the works. This vent was also really plugged back very far.

    Once we were all satisfied that the cleaning was as good as it was going to get, back up the valve went. With much anticipation while waiting for the compressor to build air, we were all hoping for positive results. WE GOT EM! 458 now has a completely functional braking system!!! We all did a little happy dance, then took turns applying and releasing the brakes.

    This is just one more small step towards getting this car into revenue service!   

    Big huge thanks to all that have put up with this problem, and have worked so hard to fix it!

  • April 23, 2018 9:45 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    As an organization, we have committed to not letting another car waste away. 1030 is a really neat car, and has needed someone to keep her on her wheel so to speak, for some time. This past weekend we had Mike R., who is a recent addition to our volunteer roster, secure some of the windows. We are developing a plan of attack on this car, and will have a much better looking SF street car before the season is out! Keep your eyes open, and watch for some cosmetic improvements, soon to come.

  • April 17, 2018 5:44 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    As some may know (Bob), 304 has had some wiring issues from it's compressor to it's governor. Well, thanks to Chuck, we now have a complete new conduit run from compressor to governor, with new wires and connections. LATE Sunday, you can see Chuck confirming his work, and yep all is good!


  • April 17, 2018 5:39 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Looks like Fred likes to play on the internet too! He has had 84 in wide rolls of canvas and burlap coming in like CRAZY! 

    HOLY CANVAS.... We are gonna need lots of help to canvas some roofs real soon! If you want to join in the fun, let me know directly, Jeffb60md@aol.com.

  • April 17, 2018 5:36 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Now who went and told Jeff about Ozark????  Having an account with them can be dangerous !!!!   

    We certainly have enough flooring material to do some serious repairs!!!


  • April 17, 2018 5:24 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    Last post it could be seen, the carlines had badly rotted wood ribs. All the ribs have been removed from the between and on the sides of the carlines. We have jokingly started to call the wood, sandwich wood, since it acts like a club sandwich to the carlines, and is what gives them support.  With them out now, the carlines are extremely flimsy. Nothing wrong, just interesting how these roofs were engineered!

    A good rib (well good enough) was saved, so new ribs can be made at a CNC shop.

    As to the concerns of the carlines having structural issues, there is no worry here. As can be seen in these pictures, the roof line is pretty perfect. There will be some metal fabrication work done, in just a couple spots, but nothing near as bad as we expected. 

    These pictures show a much more cleaned up roof skeleton, from the last that were posted. Progress is moving nicely and efficiently. 

    Anyone interested in helping out with this project please contact Jeff directly. Jeffb60md@aol.com.  We have a lot to do on this car, and she has served the museum well for many years, so she deserves it !!!!


  • April 15, 2018 12:01 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    The striping of the roof of 4451, led us to find that all the carline wood is rotted. We further realized that the ceiling is/was all screwed to the wood, and not the metal parts of the carlines. We can see where this is going.... So out with the ceiling. All the fixtures were removed and carefully packed. Then all the panels removed. The panels will be blasted and painted out of the car, (which they needed severe paint service anyway) while the carlines are being replaced.

    Maybe we just take the roof off completely and make it an open air car???? 


  • April 15, 2018 11:47 AM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    The roof is now completely off, all under structure is exposed, and all has been thoroughly cleaned. 

    Mother Nature has different plans on painting the exposed components painted than we have. We can not apply paint in the cold, and are anxiously waiting for 60+ degrees to start.

     

  • April 09, 2018 9:28 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    4288 had the roof partially torn off, some parts in the process of being replaced, and other parts still just as they were when the car was pulled into the barn years, and years ago. With 4451 rotting away, it was abundantly clear it needed to come inside NOW. So KRB Construction, who has been a great contractor for us, took on the task of finishing what was started so very long ago!

    Well during the months of January and February, the roof was completed.

    Canvas will go on when (IF, LOL) the weather warms up.

    Our two 4000's being coupled together and moved with 5 (both engines!)

    HOLY CRAP !!!! KRB was able to safely and correctly remove the years of racoon wasteAll done, with water and Ice shield over the entire roof. 4288 is ready to give up her spot, to allow her brother 4451 to get some attentionWe learned a lot on this car. This has prepared us for the massive roof job that 4451 needs!!!  Stay tuned!

  • April 09, 2018 9:20 PM | Jeff Bennett (Administrator)

    20 had it's roof trolley boards, saddles, and all appliances stripped off and all replaced during the month of March.

    Mike and Jeff took her out for a test run on the last day of March, and all was well. Ready for RTV and 2018 season!


2017

FOX RIVER TOLLEY MUSEUM'S 6000s "GO HOME!"


Ever since CTA began to assemble its 21st Century Heritage Fleet, rail enthusiasts have expressed hope that 'L' cars of decades past could be returned from museums or private owners to enlarge the fleet.

Thanks to CTA and the Fox River Trolley Museum, those hopes have come true.

The museum has re-sold cars 6101-02 to CTA for Heritage Fleet operation. The Fox River board approved the sale at its July 8 meeting. CTA signed off on the terms in late July and moved the cars from South Elgin to CTA Skokie Shops Aug. 9-10.

"We've done our part for historic preservation, which is our mission," said museum President Edward Konecki. "Now it's time for them to go home."

The married pair, built by the now-defunct St. Louis Car Co. in 1950, features a set of outside conductor's controls and twin headlights, which makes them unique among surviving 6000-series cars.

Fox River has long-term preservation in mind. CTA once had a Heritage Fleet of streetcars and rapid transit equipment that was disbanded in the 1980s.  Today's Heritage Fleet is its second.  The re-sale contract includes a clause that gives the museum a 90-day right of first refusal to regain possession of the cars, should CTA decide to terminate its current Heritage Fleet program. If returned, they must be in fully operable condition. The cars were never used in public operations at Fox River because of restrictions written into the contact between the museum and CTA in the 1990s. Essentially, Fox River could not carry paying passengers on the cars. That clause will not be included should the cars revert to Fox River.

CTA hopes to unveil the cars to the public in time for its 70th birthday party in October.

CTA, created in 1945 by the Metropolitan Transit Authority Act to take control of the city's mass transportation providers, bought the 'L' from the receivers of the bankrupt Chicago Rapid Transit Co. Oct. 1, 1947.  Today it is one of the three operating agencies that compose the Regional Transportation Authority.  

The Fox River Trolley Museum is a not-for-profit, founded in 1961, dedicated to the preservation Chicago's electric railway heritage and interpretation of the lines' colorful history. All workers at the museum are volunteers.  The museum operates its demonstration railway, a remnant of the old Aurora Elgin & Fox River Electric Co. interurban (inter-city) rail line, on Sundays from Mother's Day through the end of October, Saturdays in July and August and on three major in-season holidays -- Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day..


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