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by Rick Henn

"The Blue Flag" - 1/2017

         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.

"The Blue Flag" - 2/2017

(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.

"The Blue Flag" - 3/2017

(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.

(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.

This page was last updated: March 15th, 2017

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