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by Rick Henn

"The Blue Flag" - 3/2019

         The Car Department has basically been in hibernation since putting the cars away after Polar Express. However, with a little luck the weather will soon warm enough that we will be able to get to work. We will be finishing the replacement of the seat backs in coach  #2932  as well as the aisle and end carpets. All of the parts and pieces are available to finish the bathroom floor restoration in  #2941.  There is also some "heavy" work to be done. One car has a noticeable but not dangerous lean to it so we will be tracking down the source of the problem and making the needed repairs. Another car's buffer plates are not lining up with the car next to it so we will have to see which one is wrong and correct that. Hopefully by next time we will have some good stuff to report.

(3/11/19) - Today, Art and I removed the first dozen seat backs from coach #2932 and delivered them to the upholsterer. They should be ready in a week to ten days.

(3/23/19) - Yesterday, Cody and I remove the next set of seat backs from coach #2932. Today, Art and I picked up the first set, delivered them to Medina and brought the second set to Upholstery Unlimited. They should be ready in 10 to 14 days. While we have things torn apart we should grease the seat mechanisms so they can be turned. When it gets warm enough, we should repaint the exposed seats frames or at least touch them up. Also, we need to get out there to look at leveling those cars before Mr. FRA comes around again, Ha!

"The Blue Flag" - 4/2019

by Rick Henn

       It is that time of the year when I ask for more help for the Car Department. I recently heard that someone commented that they didn't want to get into the really heavy and dirty stuff like brakes and other underbody jobs. That's fine. However, there is also a need for people with basic wiring skills to replace defective light sockets, switches and wiring. The department could use a carpenter to assemble window sills at home, which could then be picked up and brought to the cars by others for installation.

Additionally, it isn't required that you give up every weekend to come out and help. Whatever works for you will help us. We usually have fun and there will be lots of railroad talk. Even if you are not sure, come out for a visit and give it a try. You can contact me at and I will let you know when we will be out.

The job we are focusing on right now is the upholstery of the seat backs in coach  #2932.  This car has long suffered from seats in which the foam stuffing has literally turned to dust and falls out in small piles when the seats are removed. At this time 12 have been completed and 12 more are at the upholsterer to be picked up. That leaves 32 to go. Along with the replacement of the backs we will have to lubricate the swivel mechanisms of the seats while everything is off of them and we would like to freshen
up some of the paint. This is another job that doesn't require any special skill except a steady hand. Most of the interior work requires nothing more than a willingness to come out. Most of all our work is not especially technical it just takes time. The picture above shows that there is more to do than just heavy "grunt" work and also what can be accomplished when enough hands are present.

"The Blue Flag" - 5/2019

by Rick Henn

(5/11/19) - Just a quick update. Over the past few weeks we have had 36 seat backs reupholstered for coach #2932. At one point we had all of the seat backs and bottom cushions off the frames so we took advantage of that to lubricate the frames and repaint the frames. Today we put everything back together since Thomas is next weekend. After Thomas we will remove the last 20 backs to have them done and then move ahead with the new carpeting and a long list of other happy things for the summer months. Thank you to everyone that has helped getting these seats ready for the Thomas© excursions.

This page was last updated: May 15th, 2019

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