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John LaCosta

Track Updates for July 26, 1998

John LaCosta    T he Wednesday crew had a charter with Warren Olt as Dispatcher and Harry Gesser, John Diefenbach and Carl Thistel as crew. I will try to get the charters in future updates. Many members never get to see this part of museum operation. It is a very important part for it is one of the ways that we help demonstrate this form of transportation to schoolchildren. While Baltimore does have light rail now, it is not the same thing as streetcars.

     Saturday morning was the day to give some streetcars a wash. A group of members arrived and with mops, soap, and wax cleaned and waxed 7404 and 6119, both inside and out. 7407 has a strong attraction for dust. The dust is blown up by the exhaust of the blower system and is attracted to the car by what I think is some form of static electricity.

     Whatever the reason, the car gets dusty very quickly and needs a regular bath if it is too look its best. After 7407 was completed, Ed was done training on 6119 and the crew turned their attention to it. While not as bad a dust collector as 7407, it still has a similar attraction. The cleaning crew included Mark Hurley, Carl Merson, Dan Lawernce and Justin Tillman.

     Justin Tillman also spent part of the morning cutting the grass around the Visitor' Center and along the main line between the substation and the 22nd Street shop. This gave both 7404 and 6119 a nice looking place to run after they were given a bath.

     Ed Amrhein spent the morning on the Witt (6119) training Burnie Sax. This required some coordination since the shop also needed the main line and the car had to be cleaned.

     Rick Obbink and I took 1050 out to the shop and repaired two of the four sets of steps. While the steps were OK, they were getting loose and if not repairs would have only gotten worse. One of the problems was that a number of the original carriage bolts had broken and the wood had worn to the point that a few of the lag screws would no longer hold. We drove the broken bolts out and replaced them with new ones. The lag bolts were replaced with through bolts. The result was two sets of steps that were rock steady.

     It was now noon and Ed had changed cloths and was Dispatcher, with Mike Higgins, Mike Citro and John Diefenbach as crew. The turn out was not great, especially when compared to last Saturday.

     Rick and I decided to cut down a few more weeds (some people call them trees) that had grown up along the line and were blocking the second track. We only cut two trees down, but we had to use a ladder to get up to them since they were growing out the side of a very steep slope.

     Later in the afternoon Denis Year arrived and continued to work on machining end caps in preparation for rebuilding them.

     Sunday John O'Neil was Dispatcher with Paul Ritterhoff, Andy Blumberg, John Diefenbach, Cath La Costa and Carl Thistel as crew. It was a large crew turnout, and a reasonable visitor turn out, almost the reverse of the previous week.


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