A new floor was put in and new selves installed. The interior wall was moved to make more space in the by-pass hallway, yet there was also more room in the shop itself as the shelves did not take up the same depth. The car was almost completely rewired to include new lighting, making it more cheerful. Carpet was laid on the entire floor, not just to hide the holes. The windows were replaced as part of the water leak mitigation and you can see out of them now. There is no longer a snack bar. That only got use during Easter and Polar Express and it was decided to use one of our stored coaches to make a snack car in a later project. Instead, that area became a storage room for the merchandise. A permanent sound system area is also located there. The exterior got body work done and it was ready First, I have to make a correction to the last edition. There is a serious lag time from when I submit a story to when it is actually published. As soon as one story is published, I begin the next and write as things happen. Unfortunately, I neglected to remove an “update” in the last edition that was anticipated, but did not occur, namely the arrival of M-1 at the Bel-Del. After submitting my story, yet another logistics problem came up that stopped the move and was not resolved until July. Only then did movement begin and the car arrived in early August. On to the winter of discontent. It was time for 142 to get a five-year inspection, which meant removing the lagging and inspecting the staybolts. Upon giving it a hydro test, 18 bolts were weeping, only two of which were inside where we would have seen them anyway as in the past few years when one to three were replaced. After some extensive drilling, grinding and welding, 142 got another hydro when a dozen more wept. Suspicious, Gary performed an ultrasound test, which is more than the government asks of us, and found 63 additional cracked bolts. Now, keep in mind that this May, 142 turned 22 years old, just three years shy of antique status. What we are experiencing is not unusual and it demonstrates the depth of maintenance required, as well as why today there are so few people who run steam engines. But we pride ourselves on being one of the few who do and on doing it correctly, so the decision was made to replace all the suspect bolts and be done with this problem… for now. Meantime come May, the trains had to run, with a diesel, and it was a bit depressing that lasted all the way to the Thomas event in July. The next hoped-for target date was a railfan day in August that, ironically, was to benefit the restoration of 4039, the ex-MCC engine in Whippany with which so many of us are familiar. That was postponed. That only left one deadline – the busy season right after Labor Day through October. I’ll let you know next issue how that turned out – no speculation this time. But the winter news isn’t all bad. The Gift Shop had become a disaster. It was a rite of November that, for Polar Express, we had to patch the holes in the floor from the use all summer. The shelving was also fading fast from all the water leaks in the car. The decision was made to overhaul it completely. The car was gutted and the rusted out metal in the floor removed, leaving us a wonderful view of the track below. 14 for the Easter trips looking a bit like a camouflaged tank. It managed to get primer paint by the Thomas event, but ultimately, the paint job and lettering will match a 1940’s NYS&W style that will shame the other cars by comparison. That means each other car in time will have to get the same body treatment to match. And that brings me to the usual closing point. We are a diverse Society with many functions. When we say “Technical”, we refer to, amongst other things, the restoration of rail equipment. The more people that turn out to help out, the more we accomplish. Like running the trains, we Chris Hutsebaut and Gary Matthews busy drilling out stay bolts. train as we go, so don’t shy away because of a lack of experience. We make it as easy as we can to pitch in. Contact Mechanical@nyswths.org for info or look at the “Members” section of our web site nyswths.org for scheduled work sessions, which are typically (but not always) Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting 8 am at Baer Shop. There are occasionally work sessions elsewhere as well.

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