spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

John LaCosta

Track Updates for June 20, 1999

John LaCosta    T uesday (6/8)

     Ed Amrhein was Dispatcher with John Diefenbach, Paul Ritterhoff and Carl Thistel as crew for an evening charter.

     Saturday (6/12)

     Dave Crow was Dispatcher with Ben Bates, Dennis Falter and Greg Thompson as crew.

     Sunday (6/13)

     Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Ray Cannon, Buster Hughes and Dave Crow as crew.

     Saturday (6/19)

     This was the day to swap a powered truck from 3828 to 1164 so that our 11-bench summer car would be usable during the warm weather. Swapping a truck is not an easy nor quick task.

Rolling The Truck Ed Amrhein started before 7AM finishing the last tasks needed to ready 1164's truck for the great car swap. When I arrived at 7AM, Ed had just about finished and I stared to get the crane ready to move the truck. As Ed and I were lowering the truck down the shop track to the main line, Greg Thompson arrived to help us with turning the truck and placing it on the main line. Ed and Greg then rolled the truck down to the substation by hand while I dove down and started to move streetcars out of the way.

     The final goal was to put 3828 at the end of track two where 1164 was currently sitting. To do that we first had to put 1164's truck, minus the traction motor, under 1164 so it could be towed out of the way.

     As we cleared the streetcars off of track two, Mark Dawson, Carl Mesrson, Rick Obbink and Justin Thilman joined in.

     With track two cleared, we jacked up 1164 and rolled its truck under and lowered it back down. 1164 was now towable. 264 was connected and 1164 was towed outside and placed on one track, the first time in about two years since it had been outside.

     3828 was run to the end of two track, jacked up and its truck removed. This took longer than expected since we could not get one of the brake rigging pins out. While I fought the brake rigging the rest of the crew had another problem.

     Where to jack 1164 to swap the truck without a motor for one with a motor? The best place was in front of 1164 on two track, but the overhead trolley wire was too low and 1164 could not have be jacked high enough. The other option was to jack 1164 up on track 3 outside (where we unloaded the rail crane). After think about it, we all agreed the best solution would be to move the trolley wire over two track to the side far enough to allow 1164 to be jacked up just in front of 3828.

     Carl, Ed and Rick moved 60 foot of trolley wire two foot to the side and 1164 was towed back in front of 3828.

     1164 was jacked up for the second time, the truck we just put under was removed and 3828's truck rolled under. 1164 was lowered on the truck and towed back to one track to await being wired.

     It was now about 12:15 and Carl was ready to send out the first car. The only problem was that the crew was out at the shop trying to get the truck off of the main line and back up the shop track. By about 12:40 the main line was clear and cars were running to 28th Street.

     In the early days of the museum this swap would have taken at least three days using manual jacks. The donation of unneeded bus jacks by the MTA a number of years ago allowed us to jack cars up and down 3 times in less than 5 hours. In some cases the modern way is not only faster, but safer.

     If this wasn't enough work for one day, Dan Lawrence, Mark Hurley, Justin Thilman, Nathan Collinson-Streng and Rick Williams made final preparations for the grand opening of Trolley Theater. A few light bulbs were replaced, some track lights were re-aimed and some picture captions were added.

     Carl Merson was Dispatcher with Dennis Falter, Fred Schneider and Tom Philips as crew and Nathan Collinson-Streng helped as cashier.

     Sunday (6/20)

     Rick Williams was Dispatcher with David Baynes, Andy Blumberg. John O'Neil, John Diefenbach and Dan Lawrence as crew. A busy day, with over 100 visitors attending the grand opening of Trolley Theater and the premiere of the new video show "Baltimore and Streetcars." Grand-daughter of streetcar builder J.G. Brill, Anna Brill Ruckdeschel was present to cut the ribbon opening the theater, and also to cut the cake celebrating the Museum's 33rd birthday. A steady all day rain did little to dampen the spirits of those present, but did keep the open car inside. (Thanks to Rick for this report on Sunday's activities)


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