got an upgrade with new seat cushions. Each year, I try to add some feature from the movie. For 2009, I created another Pennsylvania Railroad style sign that read “11344 EDBROOKE” for the station building and hung a clock on the ticket office that was set to 11:55 as you walked down the path. Returning customers saw 12:05 on their side, not really in the movie, but obvious. The down side is that, with all the normal year-end A nyone who thinks we “take some time off” after the steam season ends, couldn’t be more wrong. After the Thomas visit, we chugged along more or less as usual until November 1st. October proved dismal as every Saturday rained and Sundays weren’t usually much better. The next weekend was, of course, beautiful and warm for November. Just as well as we were quite busy with the usual and some unusual activity. Polar Express has added eight trips for 2009 and, even so, sold out by midNovember, so it was time for some serious preparation. Cleaning the train commenced during the first week even before Thursday, when the consist was made up for the Polar Express. Then we went to the out of service track where we store unused equipment and took it all up to the Baer Yard. Seventeen months earlier, member Don Chaudruc purchased two dinky locomotives from the power plant in Holland Township. He sold one, which was trucked out of the plant. After much work just to get his other engine, a GE 45-ton, out of the plant on the track, it was finally time to tow it up to Baer, using our boom truck. It was placed behind the shop to get some much-needed attention, after which it will be leased to us. On Saturday, the 142 was towed up to Kent to our water supply to get its boiler wash. At that point, the engine has been readied for the cold weather and will be awaiting tear-down for the winter maintenance session. It was then tucked away inside the shop for a long winter’s nap. By Sunday, the train interior has been decorated with Christmas lights and other maintenance done, including some fresh paint on the power car, needed to light up the bilevels. Next step was to wash the train exterior before festooning it with more lights. A few weeks earlier, our third bilevel arrived on the railroad, but it won’t see service before next July. After the wash, the exterior of the train was festooned with lights as usual, but with one change. Last year's lights were not to be found, which is not surprising. The brush along the right-of-way knocked many of them out and they weren't worth keeping, so the right-of-way was deScrooged of potential flora that would hit the train. It seems to have worked. This year we sprang for new LED lights, which should prove more durable. The new lights have a soft glow that received many compliments. Other maintenance during the remaining month included new brake shoes and air lines for the L.I. coaches that didn't already have them, repairs to the steps on two of them and some other body work. Our ticket office counter was extended so a third window could be used to speed up the lines. Even the golf cart 14 activity, M-1 sits in Butler in the middle of a brake valve change-out. It was started, but didn’t get completed before the Polar priority took over. It wasn’t until the Monday after Christmas the job continued. An additional day lent to the job later was interrupted by the workers being ordered out of the shop building by someone concerned that a dam was about to burst upstream during the spring rains. We hope that job will be completed soon after 142’s winter maintenance and the car shipped out to the Bel-Del, where it will get the additional attention it needs. Not trying to sound like a broken record, but if all goes well this time, it should be part of 2010 activities before the year ends The winter 142 maintenance program had its problems also. The flues needed replacement a few years earlier than we expected and it wasn’t until that was completed a pressure test could be conducted. That’s when this year’s supply of weeping staybolts appeared. Yes, it’s a fact that our priorities changed when we moved from RDCs to steam as the primary focus in our operating department. That change started immediately after we started running M-1 and were just too popular for a one-car train. But when you consider that we just had our biggest grossing year in our history, you understand that such decisions, while emotionally hard, are for the greater benefit. Still, we’d like to see a three-car RDC train make the occasional trip someday. While we’re not up to hiring additional paid help just yet, if more of our volunteers lent a hand (here it comes – you knew it would), we could get more of our backlog of projects finished. The “Technical” part of our Society is to refurbish this equipment for its use and display it to the public, which is our “Historical” educational purpose. You can get information on how at Mechanical@nyswths.org. Boiler work on #142 Photos left to right, top to bottom: 1. Ken and Dave preparing the tubes. 2. Steve and Ken cutting to size and cleaning the tubes, prior to insertion. 3. Gary working on removing the 2” tubes (all 96 of them). 4. Jessie inserting the new tube in the front end. 5. “rolling” in the new flues. This work is being performed inside the combustion chamber, inside the firebox. 6. Working inside the firebox, inside the combustion chamber the flue sheet is prepared prior to the “rolling” process. 7. This year we had to replace 10 stay bolts and this takes the skills of specialized professional welder. Here we see Ron laying half inside the ash pan upside down welding in a stay bolt in the lower corner of the firebox.

15 Publizr Home

You need flash player to view this online publication