Sunday, September 3, 2017

Another great day in Oyster Bay

Hi folks,
let's get right to it, shall we?
So, while we were formulating a plan to remove the rotted floors inside the Ping Pong Coach,
reality intervened and told us what to do.
George and Bernard, found out that the false floor underneath the coach was made up of thinner steel sheets which were bolted to each other and then bolted up to the center sill.
Trying to remove them from the underside like we had hoped to do, proved impossible, SO!, these two gents figured out that just breaking up the concrete from the inside of the car, proved the best way.
This process released the concrete from the  rotted corrugated sheet that it was poured into, forming the floor and allowed them to then cut up the corrugated steel. After this process, they were then able to remove the false floor which now is all gone for about 15 feet of the car. Starting from the West end of the car they also began to remove the concrete over the center sill, which is a channel with a depressed, solid steel top. They figured out that the steel plates which they found underneath the seat mounting frames is actually bolted down to the center sill. By cutting the few attachment points, they were able to remove the one plate which was empty.

The photos above show what needed to be done .

In order to facilitate the cleanup, they first had to tarp the outside of the car to be able to trap whatever fell underneath the car.

Since we began the restoration of this valuable piece of equipment, we have made the car off limits to our guests. We hope that we can get this North side of the floor out by spring and begin the re-installation of a new corrugated steel floor and concrete. Afterwards, we can then repeat this process on the South side of the car. Then we plan on putting 12x12 vinyl or linoleum tiles back as the original floor was made of one of these materials.. We found a small piece under the seat frame while it was being removed.

While this was going on these past weeks, we also began to strip the paint from the west vestibule and stair cases. While removing paint last week on the North stairwell, I found some interesting paint colors. the brighter red caught my eye as it appears to be directly over the primer coat.
And if all this wasn't enough, yesterday, Fred Ruben finally got the forklift to fire up. We are still a ways away from declaring victory in order to use and abuse it, however, we were told that this unit would never work again, so, nuts to all of those naysayers out there!
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Fred and John Petsche who worked tirelessly to help get this unit back to operating condition.
Nappy started the ball rolling and they kept it moving. Thanks guys!
Hopefully, we can have it working next week.

Enjoy the labor day holiday and I'll speak to you next week.
Don't work too hard!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Two weeks in one

Today is Sunday August 27, so it's time for an updated post.
Since I didn't have a working camera last week, I couldn't take photos and I guess I just plain forgot to post what went on.
Here we go.....
For the last two weeks, our President John Specce, has been working on site with our Electrician Steve Bauer to continue putting in our electrical system for the yard and Turntable.
This is the newly installed power head for the turntable. It was installed just below the cross arms which carry the wires to the collector arch.
This photo shows the Main power head assembly going to the Meter Pan which will supply the entire yard with electric. Just to the right of the head you can clearly see the rack which is holding the power conductors from the LIPA pole on Harbor Place.

During the past 2 weeks, Paul and I have been busy needle scaling paint off of the Ping Pong Coach stairs while George, Bernard and John were removing the panels under the windows and removing all of the insulation so we can finally weld up the  rust holes. Also removed were the seats and the heating vent covers. Also removed was the actual heating pipe. It had to be cut out.
At this time we only have to remove the panels under the car floor which will then allow us to break up ALL of the damaged concrete floor from the center beam to the north side windows. We will then weld on an angle bracket along the bottom of the windows and lay in corrugated metal onto which we will then pour lightweight concrete to complete the floor on that side of the car.
When dry, we will remove the seats, wall panels, heating vents and piping on the South side of the car just like the North in order to pour a new floor there as well. Our final plan is to re-install Marmoleum floor tiles to approximate the original flooring.

This is a shot of the paint on the step as I was in the midst of removal.
What is very interesting is that I found a very red glossy color paint under all of the other layers of paint  but right on top of the primer. Strange! I guess I will have to look into it.

As all of this was going on, John Petsche and Fred Rubin were busy getting the forklift running again. We will definitely need this as we will be receiving from the LIRR the M7 and DE/DM simulators that are being scrapped AND we will be receiving our 40 foot x-New Haven boxcar via truck. Our plans are to place the M7 where the Steam Engine is and place the DE where our Forklift is. We will move the crossing shanty west of where it Is and place the steam engine there. We will also move the tender trucks between the locomotive frame and the boiler  as well as move the tender frame so as to make room to place the boxcar between the Coach and the Fence line.

Also going on is that John Petsche has been steadily completing the static restoration of the yellow "dinky" in preparation for its move onto the turntable after the turntable is operating.

Now, For those of you who don't believe that we really work, here is a photo of me taken yesterday when I got home. Believe it or not, this is after a cursory cleanup before I took a shower!

No comments, please but feel free to laugh all you want!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sunday in Riverhead

Hi folks,
I received these shots from Ronnie the other day and just sat down to post them for you all to see.
Our 2nd P72 was moved into the LIRR Riverhead yard for long term storage and we promised the LIRR and Town of Riverhead that we would get all 3 of our cars painted nicely to discourage any new vandalism and to brighten up the area. The other 2 cars were already painted.
Thanks to Don Fischer of RMLI for providing us with the correct Benjamin Moore color mixes.
Top photo is of the south side after scraping and painting.

This photo shows us the north side after scraping and painting.
That is Gerard coming towards the camera.
This is a view of  the west vestibule end. The patches which the LIRR riveted on over the rusted out areas have been removed and new patch panel will be flush welded to repair these ends correctly, not just expediently!
EVERY P72/P75 and the MP versions had this problem area. The crap that was thrown up on these ends kept these sides quite moist.

After this, all that is left is to scrape and paint the roof of this car #2935.
Our crew does an amazing job!
Thank you Ronnie/Gerard/George and anyone else who I might have missed!!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

On Vacation

Hi Folks,
Well, did ya miss me??
I took off a few weeks for a well earned and deserved vacation from work/OBRM/Baldwin Historical Society/Life in General-etc.
BUT, I'm back.
Now lets get down to the business at hand.

Mike Bartley and I busted our humps for over 4 hours putting together the pipe frame and drilling into the new sidewalk to install it. Then George came by, after finishing in the yard, to help us put up the banner. NOW, everyone walking down Audrey Ave, Railroad Plaza and from the LIRR station can see this sign and hopefully dig deep to donate.  Placing this banner here will also allow our contractor ample room to set up their scaffolding so that they can restore this side of the station.

Just before we hung the banner, the 3 of us were joined by Paul and Bill K when a Sagamore Hill NPS ranger brought over 20 people for their tour about Teddy Roosevelt. Seems the station is still part of this tour which I hear ends in a few weeks.

Thankfully these fine visitors were able to see the inside while I told them about the history of the building and they could see us as volunteers. We were well received, BTW!

And speaking about the yard--
While Mike and I were beating ourselves up with the banner, George, Paul and Bernard were busy kicking ass on the Ping Pong Coach #7433.
They took all of the seat cushions off of the North side and turned them over onto the South side seats.
Then they removed the frames from the walls and again, tried to remove the stand attached to the floor.
They managed to remove 2, however a suggestion was made to NOT remove these brackets as they really do not want to come out and cutting off the heads of the mounting bolts really sucks!
I took a look before I closed up shop and I have to agree with Bernard.
My revised plan is to break up all of the concrete floor on the north side of these brackets and remove the inner wall sheets on the North side of this car under the windows to remove any insulation. This will allow us to start welding up any holes and not worry about setting anything on fire! always a good thing

Then we can determine just how the steel plate holding the seat frames to the floor is attached. My educated (?) guess is that it is somehow set into the concrete.
Over the course of the year we will keep the car closed to the public as we will raise a lot of dust and the possibility that there may be some lead in the paint. We cannot take any chances with the kids!
We will also have people needle scaling the paint starting on the west platform and vestibule. Just in case, we will tarp off these sectinos so we can vacuum up any dust and paint chips to keep the little ones safe.
 The photo above shows the empty North side of the car with the remaining seat floor brackets. We will strip the paint in place. The side sheets are located under every window.
 Here is a piece of vinyl floor that was left under one of the seat floor brackets which was removed.
Always take the easy way out. Don't remove the seat brackets when you replace the floor around it! LIRR? K&K? We'll never know
This shot above shows the outline of a steel plate which is what the seat floor brackets bolt to. It runs from the East end of the car until just past the last west end seat bracket. I will have to "assume" that on the South side of the car, this plate also does not go to the end of the car.
Yes, those are my work shoes in the photo.

Tomorrow, the "Riverhead crew" consisting of Ronnie, Gerard and whoever else they get will paint the 2nd P72 coach which was recently brought into the River yard by the LIRR. The first coach and our BM60 baggage/mail car were recently re-painted and look real good. Thanks Jordan for painting the axle covers on the BM60, yellow. Smart move.

Stay tuned for more action packed stories!
Same Bat time-Same Bat station!
RIP Adam West 


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saturday, In the yard-1 day later

HI Folks,
YES! 2 posts in 1 week. Remarkable feat for me if I do say so.
Yesterday, George, Bernard, Leon, Paul, John Specce and I met at the yard with our electrician;Steve Bauer to continue the installation of the circuit breaker box and the underground piping.
Even  with the higher than normal humidity, we were able to adjust the breaker box so it was level and plumb which enabled Steve Bauer to drill out the bottom for the pipe fittings.
While this was going on, John Specce and I set off for the Visitors center to hang up our new fundraising sign on the side of the Visitors Center facing the parking lot and Audrey Ave.

We then went over to the train station to put together the pipe frame for the other fundraising sign that will be bolted into the concrete facing Audrey Avenue, Maxwell avenue and the LIRR station. You can't have enough  "in your face" notice to the community.

I then went back to the yard to assist John Petsche who is working on our dinky to help him in any way. He was testing the coolant system and came up with a number of small but nagging issues that will entail some machining of parts, removal from the other unit to replace on this unit and we still need a new radiator cap!
I picked up special diesel motor oil and have 2 of the 3 filters that are needed. He also planned on opening up the fuel tank sump to see what is inside the tank. I haven't checked in with him to see if this was done, but worse case scenario, we can do this next week. I left earlier that I wanted as I wasn't feeling well due to the humidity. This getting old stuff sucks!!

I spoke with Leon this morning and he let me know that all of the underground piping was indeed installed but the excavation was not back filled.
I'll check in with our electrician to see what still needs to be done.

I will NOT be posting a blog next week as I am taking a trip to Florida to see my dear old Uncle and head off to the Bahamas on a cruise with my wife. THEN, the following week I will be taking a cross country road trip to the Minnesota Transportation Museum in St. Paul.
This is one of the largest collections of trains in the USA and I am attending on behalf of OBRM.
This should be fun!
See you all in a few weeks

Wednesday morning 7/12/17-8am
A quick update-I had to attend an interview up at the visitors center last night (7/11/17) of a potential contractor for the Station Restoration Committee. Afterwards, I went to the yard to drop off some things for future use and while there took these 3 shots.

 The above view is of the Turntable cutoff switch on the left which will be locked so only the operators can use it. The bigger box on the right is the circuit breaker box that took us weeks to install due to bad weather and the massive size.
We spec'd out 400 amp service which will provide everything we could possibly want in the yard.
It still needs the installation of the breaker insert as this is only the empty shell.
 The above view shows the 2 boxes as described above plus the meter pan box in the background, which is where the actual power conduits from LIPA will be installed and metered. The grey piping that you see going underground was installed without wiring inside and we still need to add piping from the circuit breaker box underground to the turntable's cutoff switch. Hopefully, this will be accomplished in a few days during our next work session.

And finally, the above shot shows the relationship of the boxes from the turntable deck. We had to make sure that the boxes were about 6 feet from the edge of the concrete turntable pit in order to allow us to swing our 2 P72 coaches full circle. They are a bit longer than the turntable bridge.
On the meter box on the right side you can see where the piping comes up from the top of the box and makes a small "s" curve to go up the pole to the "weatherhead" which is where we will make the connection to the LIVE wires from LIPA.

Friday, July 7, 2017

yes, I'm late---AGAIN !!

Hi Folks,
yes, I've been busy again.
Last Saturday, Bernard, John S, Leon, Paul and I  were able to (FINALLY) install the circuit breaker box.YEAH for us!!
By putting a ladder in back of the wooden frame and tying off the come along with chains and some lumber, we hauled (more like slid) the (heavy) metal box up a couple of 2x4's.
We lifted it a up a little higher than the frame and pushed the box's cleat into the other cleat we had previously installed onto the frame. After lunch, we added the interior pieces and finally the heavy locking door.
Our biggest issue was that we could not actually lock the door!
Come this Saturday, we will make sure that the box is both level and plumb. That should fix things up. Hopefully, our electrician will be available to continue the piping underground so we can finally fill in the trench which will make our lives SO MUCH easier.

In addition, I was finally able to get all of the fittings to let me put together a pipe frame to let us hang the fundraising "thermometer" at the train station. Visibility folks!

Keep the faith, folks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

it's hectic

Hi folks,
it's  been a couple of weeks since my last post, but DO NOT worry, as I have quite a few things to tell you about.

1:2 Saturdays ago, with a good crew at Oyster Bay along with Steve Bauer our electrician, we were able to mount the shutoff switch box that will provide/disconnect power to our turntable. Steve also added some more underground piping for the wiring.
At the same time, Ronnie and Gerard had a crew out in Riverhead by the RR Museum of LI-Thanks Don Fischer of RMLI for all of your assistance!
The task at hand was repainting the Baggage Mail car. Our ex-LIRR BM60.
It, like our P72 coaches was covered in Graffiti and we needed to get it painted. With the correct color paint (no Barney purple) Tuscan Red, they got to scraping and painting most of the car. They plan on finishing this Saturday.
They have done one hell of a great job.

2:last Saturday, Leon, John Specce, our President, me and Steve Torborg went to the home of a donor who was giving us a scale model of a steam locomotive that his late brother had built in the basement.
We arrived at 8 am and began the (very) arduous task of figuring out how he had assembled this model. BTW- it was wired up to move up and down the track that it sat on!!

It must have taken us an hour before we figured it out due to extremely heavy paint build up that covered/obscured the mounting bolts. We removed the 2 (!) bolts and slipped the very heavy boiler off of the frame.
Then we had to drag it up the stairs and I tell you that it weighed over 300 lbs. if it weighed an ounce. BUT! that was the easy part.

The donor, Danny, and the 4 of us then had to figure out how to get the frame which was solid steel and wood off the table that it was resting on and again, drag it up the stairs and out onto dollies.
This part weighed over 600 lbs, but we didn't know that as we first tried to bring it up nose first.
Big mistake, as we couldn't swing  it out the side door because all of the weight on the rear of the frame.
SO! what we tried out then (after taking a well deserved rest) was to swing the unit around so that the heavy end was at the top of the stairs. When we finally got the frame up, we wound up tilting the unit up on its end which wasn't the easiest or smartest thing that we ever did! Believe me that it was UGLY!
It worked, but I wound up pulling my back out.
We turned the unit so we could tilt the nose into the house while we pulled the rear out the side door and onto a moving dolly.

After what seemed like 2 hours, we finally got the unit onto dollies and to the front of the house when the skies opened up. Luckily, Danny's wife made us a delicious lunch of Sausage and Peppers and his mom made us lemon cookies.. So, we ate while we waited. Finally, we were able to load the unit into the trailer and said our goodbyes.
While John had to leave a bit earlier than we did, Steve and Leon drove the trailer up to Oyster Bay while I went home to rehab my back, WHICH, until even today, 6/21/17, still hurts like a banshee!
We left around 4 pm but Leon and Steve didn't get home until after 6 pm due to the traffic and we were just in Ozone Park!!
This model, because it does move under its own power (electric), can be better utilized as a display model instead of the unit we currently have.
This coming Saturday we WILL get the circuit breaker box installed on the frame.
We just need to take it apart which will lighten it up considerably.

Comment as you see fit.
Better yet, come on down and lend a hand-take a look and let us know how you really feel!
Thank you