spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

John LaCosta

Track Updates for July 19, 1998

John LaCosta    S aturday morning found both the shop personnel and Visitor's Center Manager busy at work. Rick Williams continued to install brackets in preparation for installing the "G" scale trolley track. This track will run from the entrance to the auditorium around to the backside of the gift shop. Rick also cut some of the curved roadbed that will be used to go around the curved section of the wall.

     Meanwhile I installed two more telephone lines into the Dispatcher's office in preparation for the new charge card machines. Yes, you soon will be able to buy books and admissions using your charge card.

     Rick and I also inspected all the cars to determine how many fire extinguishers needed to be inspected. While extinguishers are not original equipment on the cars, it a requirement from a safety standpoint.

     By lunchtime the regular revenue crew had arrived, Bob Krueger as Dispatcher, Chris Howell, Dennis Falter and Greg Thompson as crew. Greg continued doing his required student motorman runs.

     We had two problems just at the start of regular service. One was the PCC failed to energize the door circuits. Rick Obbink and I pulled out the circuits for the car and isolated it to one of two contacts. On the chance that it was dirt, we cycled both contacts a number of time and everything worked fine. The second problem occurred while Rick and I took the Witt out the line, during the trip back a gasket failed in one of the air brake valves. We had enough air to get the car back, but placed it out of service.

     The visitor turn out for Saturday was very good and the crew stayed busy.

     Rick Obbink was up at the shop during the afternoon working on 1164's truck.

     I am a little short on details for Sunday since I was not at the Museum. The revenue crew was Rick Williams as Dispatcher, David Baynes, Dan Lawrence, Fred Schneider, and Tom Phillips as the crew.

     The number of visitors was very small.

     Work was done on painting one of the streetcars, but I have to find out the details and let you know next week.

     Monday evening Ed Amrhein and I went down to the Museum to fix the gasket on the Witt. When I did not need a Ed to help me, he was painting the interior of the crane. The hardest part of repairing the gasket was taking the unit apart. It is under a seat and not only do you have to take the seat cushion off, you have to take a 3 foot panel off as well. Once this is done you only have to loosen four nuts, but there is no easy way to get to them. After the nuts were removed, the unit was disassembled and the bad gasket removed. Given the age of the car, the gaskets are no longer available from WABCO (I had already checked both in the US and Canada). But, since the gasket was relatively simple, we carefully cut a new one out of similar material.

     The unit was reassembled and everything tested OK. I expect that we will have to replace this gasket sooner than I would like due to the design of the mounting bracket. Normally either the mounting bracket or the valve encloses the gasket so that it can not blow out, in this installation the gasket is only held between two plates. This allows more strain on the gasket and becomes a higher failure item. Time will tell how long the new gasket lasts.

     Next week's report should be on time since I have finished performing in the Gilbert and Sullivan Musical.


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