Friday, March 10, 2017

Did you miss me???

Hi Folks!
After getting a few (misguided) tweaks that I don't seem to know how to write a blog, I decided to take 2016 off.
To those of you who really did miss me, I am sorry and grateful.
To those of you who complained--well, we will disagree.

It's my blog.
Anyway;
Here we are already in March and It snowed today. I bet the OBRM yard display is looking mighty pretty.
Since October of last year, here is what has been happening
Teddy Roosevelt is smiling down upon us.
We began, in ernest, the restorarion of HIS Presidential Railroad Station.

A brief historical note for you all-
When the Oyster bay Branch Extension Railroad was completed in 1889. the turntable and freight house was brought up from Locust Valley and both were installed as well as having a brand new brick station erected for travelers.
This original brick building is the foundation and backbone of the current building.
When TR became the youngest President of the USA, the LIRR began a rebuild of the original "cape style" building to make it a more befitting and grander structure for the new President.
Since he made his home at Sagamore Hill and ran the country from Oyster Bay, it was  determined that  the architecture be updated and changed.
Bradford Lee Gilbert, a noted architect and designer of different types of public structures was brought on board and his design was built within a year of groundbreaking.
What we have today is a humble attempt at what will be in the near future.
We are pouring all of our heart and soul into the station building as it will be our headquarters.

We hired John Collins and Tim Lee as our head people on this project as they both have the heart and desire to see this restoraion through to tthe end in a most befitting and historical nature.
They began by having new footers dug and poured inside to be ale to install 8 new posts/pilasters to hold up the two main trusses of the building. These in turn are holding up the south side roof dormer.
The LIRR/MTA removed these in1965 when they cut up the building for station and crew facilities.
Big doings-trust me.

Then while that was going on, TML Construction brought in an ass kicking mason crew who were able to open up the west wall and south walls to begin the process of installing all new  correctly designed doorways and 2 new windows. They also had to move 1 window back to its original spot!
This crew will come back when we get to the  underpinning and north wall restoration where 2 new doorways and 2 new windows will need to be installed.
All new roof rafter tail extensions were designed, created, cut and installed on the south roof line and new custom beadboard roofing was installed underneath to match the original.

Now we are engaged in an entire re-roofing with thick cut cedar shingles. Our roofing contarctor has already completed the new installation on the North roof side and East end bathroom section including a new flat roof with new copper vents/flashing. The south roof has been 75% completed and should be 100% complete by end of month April.
We have also received ALL of our new custom crystal transoms to install over the original double hung windows where they were removed. It is a very thrilling site to actually walk up to the West wall of the building and see how it originally looked with the new windows and door with sidelights. Even the glass was custom designed to be original 1902 style wavy glass. True artisans of wood and glass.we are waiting to install the new leaded glass window inserts in the South roof dormer until the completeion of the roof installation.
And just so you know-The masons even rebuilt our fireplace chimney and made it OPERABLE to boot! While the bricks were removed on the outside of he chimney, I snuck up the ladder to take a look and to my surprise, I was able to clearly see the remnants of the original round window brickwork. YES, I did take photos for "posterity". All of our photos are posted on our Facebook page and some are currently on our website as well.

We still have a ways to go before we can light a nice toasty wood fire, however it is done right and after the firebox is installed, we will try and mimic the mantel and surround from the LIRR Southampton station. After all, BradfordLee Gilbert designd this station too and it shares many traits with Oyster Bay.

This is where I will leave you, however, as always, please leave your comments-good and otherwise.

CHEERS!
Gary

Sunday, June 28, 2015

ping pong floor

Hi everyone,
Well, due to a huge Historical Society meeting at the Garden City Historical Society, I had to miss Saturdays volunteer session. I understand that work continued on the M1 simulator program and it is fully integrated now.
But as for yesterday, Brooke took care of finishing up the installation of the door sweeps and then sanded down the entry way into #50 and laid a coat of polyurethane down on the entire floor.

I had set up Mike and Paul to both needle scale the front of #397 dinky.
by the end of the day, it was complete and primed.
We will continue to do 2 parts at a time as manpower can handle. If we can get 2 people a session, I feel #397 can be completed by the end of fall. Yes, that's all body work. paint stripping and painting.

The biggest part of the session for me was to remove some of the rotten concrete on the floor of the Ping Pong coach. I broke up an area from the rear door going inside just to the edge of the bathroom door frame.
Most of the floor is a red color and that is just a skim coat of self leveling concrete that covers the original concrete. The actual flooring in the original floor was 9 by 9 composition tile over concrete. The concrete was poured on top of corrugated steel. This is the same way that most roads and bridges are put together, except, they use stainless steel corrugated panels.
Due to the corrosion of the concrete on the plain corrugated steel throughout the years, the floor is coming apart and will need to be completely taken off the car. What Leon and I did was to mix up some self leveling concrete and pour this onto the solid concrete on top of the corrugated steel.
We will need to pour a 2nd level next time to build up the floor so it will not be a tripping hazard.
The link below is to the picture I took.
ping pong floor

until next time-----

Gary

Monday, June 1, 2015

a little late but still good news

Hi all,
It's been 3 work sessions in for me and I haven't been posting. Getting old I guess.
Anyway,
While some were toiling on the continued restoration of #35's cab-Others were hard at work building a new ramp and staircase onto our M1 simulator. The last Saturday was spent finishing up the woodwork, staircase and the painting. This past Saturday was spent touching up the paint.
I, of course was also working. We have been hampered in our efforts to control a major water leak into the Worlds Fair Alco cab and have determined that it was coming in from the door frame of entry door.
We worked diligently to move the door striker as far forward as we could to bring the actual door closer to the frame. Then we had to wait until it rained to observe the water marks. The job we did worked a little,  but not 100%. So we then figured it was still getting behind the door frame and finally had to bite the bullet and well an angle iron onto the front of the door against the frame.
Since it had not rained from the day I welded in the angle until today, I had no way to measure the outcome of this addition.
If all holds out well for the rain over the next 2 days, I can go up on Wednesday night to see if the new piece kept the water out. If so,  I will spend the next session re- painting the cab.
Keep your fingers crossed !!
This past Saturday saw us finishing up the painting of the Ping Pong truck frames. There are bronze-like plaques attached to the trucks showing the  number of the axle as well as information for the center pins. The #3 axle plaque is missing.
We took the time to needle scale these plaques and I painted them a bright red color. After this color dried I went over the raised letters in bright yellow for contrast against the red and the black of the trucks.
Prototypical, it aint! I don't care; it looks very cool. Next week I will make some touch ups to the red & yellow to complete the task. While needle scaling the air tanks, we came across what appears to be the original green color that the undercarriage was probably painted. A dark green. NOT Brunswick green, but a noticeable green color.
We also began to remove the cut levers and the hand rails on the rear of Dinky #397, the blue and grey unit.
If we can get them all off, it would make our lives easier to needle scale the unit and get all of the weld seams ground down to allow body work to begin.
We would like to get this unit completed this season. It looks like we only need a few more pieces welded on/in to complete the metal work.

As for #35's cab restoration, it continues unabated, however as is our style, we ran out of welding gas during this past Saturdays session and had to cut short the job being done.
Steve Nappy & Ronnie now have the cab even more square than it has ever been.
If their pace continues and we don't run out of supplies, AGAIN!!!!I can see them achieving their goal of completion for this year.

Keep the faith
Gary

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

1st posting of 2015

It's only Tuesday the 6th, yet for those of you who did not see it, we made Newsday this past Sunday.
Thanks Bill Bleier-I hope I spelled that right.
Go to our facebook page to read the entire article.
Also, I received an email today from our curator Josh Stoff. He was able to get a generator to hook up to our steam engine. This ought to be a hoot! We are making arrangements to pick it up at the Cradle of Aviation.
Gary

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We are on the nice LIST!

I know, the last post was supposed to be my last post of 2014, oh well---
This past Friday night (12/19) was the  December LI Sunrise Trail chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (LIST) and even though many of our members could not attend, Mike Bartley was able to go and be our ambassador for OBRM.
He was able to speak a bit about the movement of #35 parts the previous Sunday since he along with all of us spent 10 hours at the yard.
He also accepted a  contribution from LIST to OBRM that helps us continue our endeavors.
A might thanks to Steve Quigley and LIST for their contribution and also to Mike Bartley for helping us all out.
Thanks Mike.
Once again, HAPPY HOLIDAYS TOALL!
Gary

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy Days are here again!!!!!!

No, not the TV show,  silly readers!

Today was the first day of #35's reincarnation.

We had a celebratory cocktail party at Steve Torborgs last night and went through many old photo albums.

We met at the yard around 7:30 am to wait for Silk Road Transportation's trailer to show up. Due to a screw-up on the drivers end, he didn't show up until around 2:30pm.
So, we had a rented forklift and a willing operator-Steve "Nappy" Napolitano sitting around until then.
Luckily, we had a great crew of Leon. Lauren, Gerard, Bonnie, Ronnie, Steve T, Steve & Regina Napolitano, Mike E and Mike B and of course-me, making a bonfire and reminiscing about the "good old" days.
As soon as the trailer showed up, We got to moving parts
This truck took all 3 drive wheel sets, the Pilot truck frame and wheel sets along with all of the drive rods/connecting rods.
We finished up at 5:30 and left Oyster Bay.
Next truck will  probably called for around February and should be loaded with the frame of #35.

Big doings and we are very happy to see all of our hard work come to this!
Many thanks to all of you throughout the years who have sacrificed their time to see this project through.
You can go to our Facebook page to view some photos taken today.

This will probably be the last entry in my blog for 2014, so with that said----

Happy Hanukkah
Merry Christmas
Happy New year to all

If you enjoy what you read, please comment, its appreciated. If you don't like the way I write, oh well, I do what I want, when I want and I only have to make ME laugh. That in itself is impressive enough.

Keep the faith
Gary

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Almost done

HI folks,
Well, we are just about done for the season and here's what happened yesterday.

Steve Nappy, MIke B & Ronnie did a little more work on the cab of #35 and it is now about as straight as it ever was-actually, as square as it ever was. Next season-removal of rivets and sheet metal to be replaced with new panels.

Mike E and Brooke welded on the last patch panel to the rear of the cab on #397, our grey & blue GE 25 ton "dinky".
A couple of small patches are still needed on the front wall under the door.
Next season will see the paint removal/spot welding of seams/priming & painting in original LIRR colors

Mike B also took some time to touch up the black handrails and walkways which were spotted with yellow paint from the last painting session of  GE 25 ton  "dinky" #398.

I continued to try and repair the fireman's door on the Worlds Fair Alco cab unit.
The issue is/was rainwater coming into the cab. It took me long enough to realize that the door did not shut square to the frame, so I decided to try something different. Instead of using weatherstripping to seal the door, I cut the frame to allow the door to seat more flush with it. It seemed to work, however I still need to bolt a small angle piece to the bottom of the door and weld in a small tab to the door frame.
Mike B and I plan on doing this this coming Tuesday as I am off from work and he is retired. It should be a fun few hours!
Hopefully only 2 hours as I would like to take my new dog to the vet I usually use to get him used to going there instead of upstate where I have been taking him to a specialist I know.

I'll keep you all updated.
Thank for staying  up to speed with us.


Gary