CAR DEPARTMENT WORK ORDERS - 2017
by Rick Henn
| As you know the winter months are a quiet time for the Car Department. During this time planning goes on for the upcoming year, budgets are detailed and contacts are made to allow us to move forward. Last year, as you know, was a wonderful year for the Car Department with the work that was completed on the Society's parlor car with an interior rehab. That work is not quite finished and one of the plans for this spring will be to get it completed. I have to thank the folks at the Western New York and Pennsylvania for their support because this could not have happened without it.|
Looking ahead there is, as I said, more work to be done on the parlor car. We will be adding drapery panels between the windows in the seating area and the drawing room will be upgraded. The aisle at the drawing room end of the car and the galley will be repainted so the entire interior will be fresh and new. The response from the members in supporting this project was amazing and a grant from the Thomas E. Dailey Foundation and has made it possible to have it completed without digging deeply into the budget of the Car Department so more money is available for the coaches, which are an important revenue source and need to be maintained.
The plan for the coaches is to continue the replacement of the older polycarbonate windows with the newer UV resistant style. The windows are in stock so it will only cost us our labor. One coach, probably #2932, will get new seat covers. The tool room in #2906 will be redesigned with new shelving to make it neater and more efficient. And the list goes on and on but since the Car Department has the largest crew it has had in quite a while this is all attainable.
(1/23/17) - One of the first things I have to do is come up with a budget for the year but I know there are some jobs that must be done and cane be done inexpensively because, in many cases, we already have the materials or the money. Here's what's on my mind.
We have lots of money to continue work on the parlor car project. We can do the drapery panels between the windows and do the drawing room. It'll mean a trip to Olean to get the furniture from the drawing room so it can be brought back here and taken to the upholsterer.
Speaking of the upholsterer, they have offered to let us take a hand held steamer down with us that will get the wrinkles out of the fabric.
We have located a picture that will be used to replace the mural on the bulkhead and we have found a solution to reproducing the mirrors so they will not be easily damaged.
There are also windows to be replaced on the parlor car and we need to look for new oil sending units.
The store room in #2906 (coach 5) needs to be cleaned out and selves built to allow us to better organize what we have. Once that is done it will no longer be acceptable to just toss things in there.
I would like to pick a car and paint the interior.
|There are mechanical issues that need to be corrected, like the installation of the hose on the generator on #2941. I have mentioned that these units can be rolled out from under the cars for servicing. Here is what it looks like with a generator rolled out and supported on the roll out legs. This allows access to almost the entire unit. In the picture you see Al Olmstead and George Specht working on the unit under car #2941.|
|(2/25/17) - First I want to thank Brody and Cody for taking a few hours out of their week off from school to check the cars and get a little bit done. I had them tear down the wall covering in the bathroom of #2915 where the leak had caused it come lose and peel. Now we will have to determine what we'll do to fix the leak and repair the walls. I'm thinking a complete tear out of the space and do it all up new, including a new toilet that doesn't have to be hand pumped to flush. They were also going to move some shades from #2933 to be used in the other coaches where we have removed bad shades but they could not get into the car.|
|As we can all see by the weather we've been having the Western New York area is certainly living up to the old joke that goes, "If you don't like the weather wait 24 hours, it'll change," and working on the cars this spring has certainly been impacted by it.
(3/5/17) - Art, Cody, Brody, Adam and I went to Medina today. It was a bit cold to spend too much time but we set up a couple of things. Art took measurements of the tool room in #2906 and then we discussed what we wanted as far as shelving and storage. We also discussed what we need to get rid of. I think we've come up with a good plan. We also looked at the shades in #2933 so that we can move some over to the cars we use and fill in the spots where shades have been removed. Unfortunately, due to years of not being used. most of the screws were so rusted that they didn't come out and it was too cold to stay there and work with no heat. If things go like they usually do we'll go back when it's 90 and humid. Then we'll complain about that.
We knew that kids had been in the car and had used it as a "club house" but today we found some sort of white substance in a baggie. After a brief discussion we decided to notify the police. A young officer came over, looked at it and declared that it was, in fact, a crushed Oreo that was eons old. We all had a good laugh about that and I assume we were the butt of jokes back at the police station. A few weeks later two of our guys dropped by the cars in the evening to check on them and while they were walking down one side of the cars they heard people walking down the other side so the called the police. They were informed that the people on the other side were the police looking for them because someone had called. So, I guess we will soon be on a first name basis with much of the Medina Police Department.
(3/12/17) - George and I made a quick trip to Medina to do two jobs and then headed home because it was bitter cold up there and the wind was brutal. Coach #2915 needed a new battery for the diesel generator. Once it was installed the unit grumbled in the cold but started. The same coach was leaking air from the emergency portion. One of the studs that hold the portion to the pipe bracket was gone, not broken or loose, it was gone. We found a new one in the tool room, installed it and the problem was solved.
|(3/18/17) - Road Trip: We are still working on the interior work in the parlor car which is located in Olean So we had to make a trip down with today for George, Cody, Adam, Brody and me. George and Adam started by re-placing the faulty oil sending units on the generator. The oil pressure gauge needle would bounce all over before but now it stays right where it should. The rest of us dismantled the furniture in the drawing room and moved the frame for the couch out into the hall so it can be repainted by the railroad while we get the|
|cushions upholstered. The couch, by the way, is large. It measures seventy inches long. While the some of the guys loaded the cushions into George's truck, George looked at some light fixtures that weren't working and determined we need starters for the tubes. I cleaned out a storage locker and got rid of stuff that had been buried for years and wasn't useful anymore. What was nice was the railroad had a couple of guys painting in the shop so they had the car running and warm when we arrived. That also made it nice for our Alco "foamers" (avid fans) to walk around and look at the locomotives of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad, which is all ALCO.|
|(4/2/17) - George S, Adam P., Brody G. and I went to Medina today and got a few things out of the way like inspection of the running gear and checking oil levels. It was a relatively short day but a good one. I have already repainted the armrests for the two chairs from the drawing room of the parlor car. The upholsterer will recover the armrests for the couch at no charge. I think that pretty much gets rid of the Amtrak purple. George made and installed new hold down brackets on the new battery that was installed in coach #2941.|
|(4/8/17) - Art and I got an early start today and covered a lot of ground. First we went to breakfast, which is always a good way to start. We took the seats from the parlor car drawing room to the upholsterer. It'll be about $1500.00 for the work, which should be finished in 4 or 5 weeks. Then we went to Home Depot to pick up supplies and then on to Medina. We removed the old steel shelving from the tool room in 2906 and started construction of new wood shelving that will save some floor space and make thing more efficient. We worked until about 2:00 when Art's cordless drill went dead so we cleaned up and headed home satisfied with a very productive day.
(4/23/17) - Bill G. and I spent a couple of hours today repairing some of the sliding windows on the coaches. As most of you know a number of the screws that hold the frames together have broken off or the piece they actually screw into is gone. We made up six small plates and installed them to hold the windows together. They worked well and there are only a few more to do.
by Rick Henn
|(5/1/17) - I am writing this on June 1st and that means the upholstery should be done soon and the weather should be improving, although to look at it today with 1.29" of rain, you wouldn't know it, Ha!
(5/13/17) - This Saturday was a good day in Medina. First, a bunch of people showed up so we were able to get a lot completed. George, Brody, Cody, Bill, Art, Dave and I were all there. We were able to replace two windows, which for the most part went smoothly as compared to some windows we've had to replace. What helped was having someone like George there with the right tools and know how to drill and tap new holes for some stripped screws. We got on the roof to seal two bad leaks, a yearly issue we have to deal with. Between the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter the stainless steel expands and contracts and seams open up usually where the stainless roof meets the vents. The problem is that you really cannot see if there is a leak by looking at it so you end up cleaning out the old sealant, applying new sealant and hoping for the best. The next time it rains we'll know if we were successful. One leak was so bad that it had soaked the carpet in the restroom, which had then become mildewed so we removed it. Add a couple of minor maintenance things to the bigger jobs and it was a good day.
(5/19/17) - Art and I finished the new shelving in the tool room in of coach #2906. There is more to be done but this will allow us to get things off the floor and more efficiently arranged. Along with the new shelving we will also be the disposing of parts that no longer serve a useful purpose. As this project progressed we discovered other things that could be done to improve things even more.
(5/24/17) - I got an updated price on the window panels for the parlor car. They'll be about $1,400.00. I'll place the order later today. I'm hoping the rain holds off enough on Friday so I can repair those two sliding windows that we had trouble closing.
(5/25/17) - I spoke with Maureen at Upholstery Unlimited today. The fabric is in to redo the drawing room seats in the Parlor Car so I ordered the fabric for the drapery panels.
(5/26/17) - I got to Medina today and repaired the two sliding windows. One will have to be taken apart again because the gasket seems to be missing from the straight edge. I checked the rest rooms in coaches #2 and #4 and they were dry. All that sealant seems to have done its job! I did have a problem with the Dutch door on the south side of coach #5. Someone had jammed the latch and I needed a large piece of wood to knock it free. If I find out who did that instead of fully closing the door and then latching it I will use the same piece of wood on them, Ha!
by Rick Henn
|(6/15/17) - First I would like to thank Brody and Cody for starting the job of painting the interior coach #2941. The old paint is dingy so it will have a nice fresh look when finished.
(6/17/17) - We took a road trip on Saturday to Olean to complete the next step in the restoration of the parlor car. As always, the railroad had positioned the car conveniently for us, provided "blue flag" protection and kept us informed as to expected movements within the yard. We got to see the departure and return of the Salamanca turn with two of the WNYP's six axle Alcos in charge and we were able to watch a four axle remote controlled switcher in the yard.
Even with the distractions we got a lot done, which always feels good. The main motivation for the trip was to deliver the newly reupholstered cushions for the drawing room furniture. Art Toale and I had picked it up earlier in the week but I wanted to get it to Olean and into the car since I didn't want to keep it too long in my garage where it could fall victim to little furry chewy things. Since the drawing room was not yet painted we left the cushions in the parlor car and moved on to other things. George Specht replaced fluorescent tubes and starters and discovered we will have to come back to replace two ballasts. In a closet we found brand new window sills so we used them to replace a couple that had been made of a flake board that had gotten wet and swelled until they popped the laminate. If the get enough moisture they sort of explode leaving quite a mess. The new ones were milled from a single piece of wood and then covered with laminate. If I remember correctly Mike Fitzsimmons gets the credit for making them. Thank you Mike!
One window had completely fogged over to the point that you could not see out of it so we removed the offending polycarbonate and left the lami-nated safety glass inner window in place until we can go back and install new polycarbonate. It might not seem like much but we removed the old light bulb in the restroom and replaced it with an LED, which really brightens it up. We have been working with a railroad employee who has been doing the painting in the car and we will ask him if he will please paint the restroom too. It looks dingy now so a fresh coat of paint will improve it greatly. Finally we glued the carpet where it was coming off the wall in the passenger section. Thanks to George Specht, Art, Adam Puchalski, Brody George and Cody Catlin for taking the day to go to Olean with me.
Since our visit the railroad has completed the installation of the carpet in the drawing and completed the painting. We will go down again to install the new drapery sections between the windows.
(6/25/17) - I received a price from a counter top company in North Tonawanda. They will put laminate on the window sill carcasses for $20 each. I also found five ceiling lights for the NYC coaches for sale. I am hoping to replace those ugly ones that hang down with the ones that are supposed to be there.
by Rick Henn
|(7/16/17) - Bill, Adam and I went to Medina with the intention of continuing to paint the inside of #2941 which was started by Brody and Cody on June 15th. You can see by the pictures how dingy the old paint had become. However, things did not go as planned. We soon discovered that painting the 30 sections of luggage racks would be a horribly time consuming process just because of how difficult it was to paint in between and around each rail of the racks.|
|Instead we removed four sections and will look into finding someone to strip one, hopefully at no charge, to see what is under the build-up of paint. Then we can decide how to proceed. Most of the sections came off fairly easily so a crew of four or five could easily do the car in a day. That would then make the rest of the painting relatively simple, or so we thought!
(7/20/17) - I dropped off the windowsill carcasses at Durkee Countertops in North Tonawanda. He'll call when they are ready. 18 of them at $20.00 a piece. I dropped of a section of the luggage rack to Fearby Enterprises in Medina and spoke with them about what we wanted to do. He will start with a light sanding to see how solid the paint is. If it is good enough to hold paint the least expensive way to go would be to have them sprayed. He said he'd have a price tomorrow. It would have been nice to expose the stainless steel front of the rack but the cost would be considerably higher to strip it, mask it and then paint.
(7/29/17) - Art and I went to Medina and then came surprise number two. It seems the first four luggage racks we took out were the easy ones. After that it became a real struggle. Obviously, they were not intended to move. Not only were they secured to the side wall with four large bolts but they are also secured to the light fixtures with three screws and those screws did not want to come out. We managed to muscle enough screws out to remove the racks from one side of the car, although it meant cutting a few bolts with a reciprocating saw.
As we sat looking at the 15 racks on the south side and, after some discussion, thought the same thing that others had thought. As big a pain as painting them will be, it'll be easier than trying to remove them. We'll get the ones that are already down sprayed and paint the other ones in place. Since we still had some time left we headed to 2906 and got to work throwing junk out and restocking the shelves in the tool room. It is far from finished but we are moving forward. Looking at the luggage racks in #2906 we saw they were not painted and were, apparently, chromed. It looks nice but the chrome is showing wear and rust marks were showing. Tom Stackhouse says there are some special roller covers that are designed to paint around things like the round bars of the luggage racks, maybe we can speed things up.
by Rick Henn
|(8/1/17) - I picked up the finished window sills today. They are not as a cream color like the old ones and might stand out. So, we may have to decide if we want to do one car with them or just spread them around. Also, the drapery panels for the parlor car are ready.
(8/5/17) - Adam got the first coat of paint on the wall above the windows on the north side while Art and I reinstalled the cove molding on the south side so it can all be painted with the luggage racks. When we got tired of that we all went to #2906. and continued cleaning and organizing the tool room.
(8/12/17) - It was just Art and myself today but we got things done. First we went to Lockport to drop off the brake valves for the lunch counter car. That opened up a little more space in my garage. Then we went to Medina where we inventoried the seats that need new covers and got more done in the store room in #2906. The worst of the mess in the tool room is cleaned up but there is a bit more to do.
|(8/20/17) - Thanks to Brody, Bill, Adam and George for joining me in Medina today. We spent most of the time painting in coach #2941. Except for some touch up and finishing the ventilation strip in the ceiling it is done. We are ready to reinstall the luggage racks once they come back from being painted. The car looks much tighter and cleaner.|
|George came up with the intention of leveling the equalizers on a couple of the trucks. Because one wheel set is worn more than the other the equalizer, which is the part of the truck that is always pushing down on the wheels no matter what the car is doing is tipped toward the smaller wheel. There are shims used to level it and our intention was to get that done. However, we ran into a couple of problems. The biggest one was that one of our new 20 ton bottle jacks was low on fluid and would not lift the equalizer so George will get the fluid. We got a lot done and it felt good.|
|(8/22/17) - I took stuff to Upholstery Unlimited today to get prices for the 12 new seat back covers and 6 seat bottom covers for the coaches. The total comes to about $2,400.00 and they will install the new covers on the seat bottoms. I put a down payment on the job so it is underway. I also got a price to completely reupholster the seat backs in #2932. We are probably looking at $375 each. Multiplied by 56 and it'll be $21,000.00.
(8/26/17) - Brody, Bill and I got most of the painting finished in #2941 today. There is some of the ceiling ventilation grill to be done and it will need a second coat. Except for touch-up the rest in complete.
(8/28/17) - The lunch counter car is sold and we will get paid to do the COT&S before it moves. We'll want to plan this for a nice day and as soon as possible so the railroad can get it out of the yard. We should remove the applicators (disc brake version of cylinders) and there are probably 8 of them under the car so if we can schedule this for a day when we can get a bunch of us out there it would be great, I do not have a date in mind. The luggage racks for #2941 will be ready this week. Fearby's is not open on Saturdays so I would like to schedule a day next week to pick them up. If anyone is available to help that would be great. The railroad in Olean is almost finished with the painting of the parlor car (rest room, hall and drawing room) and I have the drapery panels so we will be scheduling a trip down there but it can wait for cooler weather if necessary. However, we also have some windows to get at too so we don't want this to be a winter project unless they can move it inside for the day.
by Rick Henn
|(9/3/17) - Adam and I had a very productive day in Medina. All of the painting, except probably some touch-up, is complete in #2941. It looks great. I'll contact Fearby's this week to see if the other luggage racks are ready. Our first trip is Sunday September 17th, a wine train out of Lockport, so over next weekend and Saturday September 16th the luggage racks have to go in, the tape has to come down, the seats have to be turned, the seat numbers all put into place and the car thoroughly cleaned. The cars will be in Lockport on the 16th. On the way home we stopped in Lockport to check the lunch counter car. The end hoses and intermediate hoses should be changed. These intermediate hoses were installed in 1993. Hopefully our spare hoses will fit since they will be out of date soon anyway.
(9/8/17) - Oh boy, I got to spend Car Department money today! First I purchased a set of cobalt drill bits with 135 degree tips, which are recommended for stainless steel. Once the tool room upgrades are complete and the tool chest is secure the bits will be kept there. It won't go well for anyone that fails to return the bits to the tool chest. Then Brody and I went to Fearby's in Medina and picked up the luggage racks they had painted for us and put them on the train. It took us longer than it should have because we HAD to watch the local switching out the material siding. Then I picked up new screws to reinstall the luggage racks. So now it looks like it'll be me, Art and Brody working on the train on Sunday. Cody has offered to start cleaning the car, which will be a huge help.
(9/10/17) - Today was a long but fruitful day. Thanks to Al, Art, and Brody who joined me in Medina all of the luggage racks have been installed. Because of how tightly the racks fit between the light bars it was frustrating at times and some of the racks needed some not so gentle convincing to get them to go into place. But, eventually, all were in place. Now the cove molding has to be installed, some painting touch-ups and a good cleaning. I am assuming the cars will be moved to Lockport on Friday. Thanks to all that helped with this project. The car looks so much better but it was a lot of work.
(9/15/17) - Adam and I spent a couple of hours in Lockport where we got to see the local arrive with 8 freight cars and the passenger train. We then got to visit with two Lockport policemen because someone reported that kids were climbing on the train. I assume that I no longer qualify as a kid because they seemed totally unconcerned when they saw us. However, had there been a problem I would have blamed Adam. Adam and I cleaned up the car we've been working on, installed the rest of the baggage rack light lenses and installed the LED lights. There will be some lights to be repaired, either switches or sockets but the car looks good.
I have also contracted with Dan Pluta, a certified FRA Inspector, to inspect the parlor car. With a little luck that will happen before the end of the month. Weather permitting I would like to start work on the lunch counter car the weekend of the 23rd.
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