Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oyster Festival

HI folks-
for anyone who actually reads my blog-Thank you!
Next Saturday and Sunday, the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum will be active once again at the 37th(?) annual Oyster Festival in Oyster bay, of course!
We will have our food stand and are planning to have open all 3 sites.
If anyone who reads this blog would like to come on down and lend a hand, we will need hands and eyes at the food booth/visitors center on Audrey ave/yard/historic train station.
Many hands make it a fun time for us as well as we get to take breaks to walk around the  festival and feast on many types of food. I like to visit the petting zoo myself.
Maybe I can smuggle out a pygmy goat! inside joke folks.
You can contact Steve Torborg @ 516)297-6232 or email him at storb35@aol.com

Very Sad news

Steve Torborg forwarded to me an email from the family of Keith- KC - Madden.
On June 16th Keith passed away.
Our newer members will not know him, however, if it were not for him we would not be the proud owners of caboose #12.
Keith took it upon himself to fund raise to return #12 back to LI and of course home to Oyster Bay at the OBRM.
KC and his family lived in South Hempstead off Long Beach road near Molloy College and was very active at the OBRM when we were just the "Friends of Locomotive #35 inc" at Mitchel Field.
He had a great sense of humor and was always in a great mood. It didn't matter if he was scraping paint or working on parts, he was just that good of a guy.

Our condolences go out his family and I personally would like to thank his wife for sharing him with us on Saturdays. He left LI to retire to Pennsylvania but was always in touch with us just to "keep up" with what we were doing with #35 and "his" caboose.

We will miss him and his smile. He was one of the good guys!

Friday, October 3, 2014

A rare day off from work

Who really cares?
Well, MIke Bartley & I did-today:Friday October 3, 2014. OR, the day before Yom Kippur.
Tonight,  as I am writing this, began the most holy of days for my fellow Jewish  brethren.
So because I had the day off, I asked Mike if he wanted to get some hours in at the yard site. Since we received the email that tomorrows volunteer session was being cancelled due to an impending rain storm, I figured Friday, no docents, no visitors and no one bothering us or pulling us into different assignments.
We started at 9am and we went like gangbusters until 4pm.

Mike began by needle-scaling the engineers walkway on #398-Dashing Dottie-Yellow Dinky, while I was on the roof putting another yellow coat of paint on. He also needle-scaled the frame that surrounds the grill work on the front of the hood. When I was done, I touched up a few areas on the fireman's side of the cab in yellow and also painted the fireman's side of the hood yellow, as well as the grill & frame.

After Mike finished needle-scaling the walkway, we used an air gun to blow off all of the paint chips & dust and both of us then took to painting the  walkway and the previously needle-scaled and primed frame and and front buffer/coupler black.
WOW! did this look great.
After a short break, we decided to needle-scale the rear buffer/coupler and then paint the entire rear unit black.

Just because we still had the black paint out, we then painted the coupler cut bars from the rear of the unit. They will need to be turned over and finished.
Then we can paint the coupler cut bars from the front of the unit and re-install both sets and the clamps.

As an aside. Many of you know and or have read that I am a huge LIRR NY Worlds Fair collector.
So, after we finished and cleaned up,  we left. I proceeded to kill some time at Willis Hobbies where OBRM friend, Steve Ford took me to the back room to show me something.
He opened a box and told me that it came from the collection of the late John Scala, whom you know of from his highly acclaimed book-Diesels of the Sunrise Trail and his dynamite work on the LIST Calendars.
Johns son Michael and Steve are going through his collection and came upon four (4) LIRR worlds fair painted cars.
 He showed them to me and asked me if I knew about them.
One was a motorized unit and the 2nd car was not. The two others were just painted shells with wood blocks glued inside of them.
I looked at the non motorized unit and instantly recognized it as coming from the actual HO scale model of Long Island that was inside the largest tent at the LIRR Pavilion inside the 1964/65 NY Worlds Fair.
In fact, ALL of the cars came from the model  railroad. It turns out that last month, I purchased a negative of the model railroad and the Motorized unit is in the photo!
Steve then told me that he & Michael wanted to donate the units to OBRM.
Upon saying my goodbyes, Dave McConnell, who works at Willis and has loaned OBRM HIS model from the HO scale layout (which we thought was the only car left in existence), proceeded to tell me that he too, was donating his car to OBRM.
Holy CRAP! First, no cars existed, then 1 car existed and we had it on loan, now 5 cars exist AND OBRM was lucky to have them all donated.

Happy Yom Kippur-It has really started out as a good year for OBRM.

Many thanks to Michael Scala, Steve Ford and Dave McConnell for their priceless contributions.

Keep the faith!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Hi all;
another great day
Nappy arrived later in the afternoon to continue working on #35's cab restoration with Bonnie while Mike E, Ronnie +Jordan   continued to replaced rotted steel on Dinky #397.
John G began to paint the truck assemblies on the Ping Pong Coach while Mike B began painting the trucks on Caboose #12.
Also, John came in and continued to make great progress by finishing up #398"s cooling system.
He has began working on the heating system. 1 item down and about 100 more to go. No one ever said things moved too quickly on a restoration!
Big John & I worked on Dinky #398. He, painting the fireman's side after I needle scaled the roof. It was too far gone just to sand down and paint. afterwards, I put a quick coat of yellow on it. Next week we should get a much better 2nd coat put on.
I also needle scaled the entire front walk way and the buffer beam to where the front coupler is attached.
This was not primed yet and will be addressed Saturday. If time and manpower  permits, we will also get the entire area painted black. It looks great naked but was originally painted black.
We are going to remove the front grill and frame to needle scale the paint off separately and maybe add a bit of "bling" to the wire mesh by painting it a contrasting silver or black. Not "prototypical" but could look great.
as per usual, Leon kept us all safe and things humming along beautifully while Steve T kept things lively and did a lot of the set up work for the dinner.
All in all a great day before we had our "Volunteer appreciation dinner"
This was to honor us all who proudly give of our time for the Museum.
Having had to leave before the food was served, I was told that it was real good and everyone had a very nice time-very informal, no speechifying!
Keep the faith!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Hi folks,
A damn fine day regardless of the rain.
We started at 9 and ended at 3, but what was done was nothing less than spectacular.
Dinky #398-yellow "Dashing Dottie" unit.
A touch up on the bodywork and the unit was painted the correct color yellow.
Now we have to sand the roof and paint the hood sides & front yellow.
The walkway on the fireman's side was needle-scaled to remove 6 layers of paint & crud and was promptly painted black. The uncoupling bars were re-attached on the rear of the unit while the front bars were removed.
Next Saturday we will needle-scale the engineers side and the front of the unit and get those areas painted black as well.
We are still waiting to see if the grill work on the front is stainless steel or just regular steel. This will determine how we go about painting the grill and the grill frame.
While all of that was going on, our intrepid volunteers were still busy putting the paint to the "station" in the yard. It came out GREAT!
Also, the ping pong trucks are now ready to be painted black.
As well, the teachers  (Steve Napolitano & Mike Eftymiou) and students of OBRM welding school, were working on the removal of some really nasty metal on the firemans side of Dinky #397-grey & blue "Dashing Dan" unit. They also managed to remove the battery box from the interior as well as most of the engine parts that were inside.
A newly fabricated patch panel was flush mounted and welded in and will be finished welded next Saturday.
Since this is an educational museum, we are very proud of the instructions given to our volunteers. They have really picked up a lot of diverse skills.

Lets see how This coming Saturday pans out for us.
Until next week.........

Sunday, September 7, 2014

SATURDAY, in the yard

It was sooooo hot that you'd swear it was the 4th of July!

Down a few folks due to prior commitments, Leon still pulled of another great volunteer session.
As always, he kept things moving along safely.

Mike B took to putting a coat of paint onto the "station" building in the yard while John V & Paul F continued to chip off the almost 100 years of accumulated crud from the ping pong coach truck assemblies on the east side of the car. My thoughts are that the trucks will be available to begin painting in a couple of weeks! Great job guys.

Also going on was Mike E, Ronnie S & Bonnie taking to bending steel for a new patch panel on Dinky #397-the blue & grey unit. After fabrication the curved piece to fit the North side and continuing onto the front of the cab, Mike took to stick welding it onto the unit.

Yesterday marked the end of fabrication & installation of new steel to Dinky #398-the yellow unit.
I took my time re-sanding all 3 patch panels and adding a bit more body work to ensure a smooth paint job. We will begin to put a new coat of paint on her next Saturday while steel replacement goes on,  on #397.

Since it was so hot, we did not take a hose to the Worlds Fair Cab to see if the work completed last Saturday kept the water at bay and though I am writing this a day later (Sunday) I don't think that there was enough rain to make it worth my while to go up to Oyster Bay to check on the unit.

until next week------

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Laboring on Labor day weekend

Instead of taking off like most folks-your intrepid volunteers were fast at work again!
Steve "Nappy" , Ronnie and Rich were busy welding up more steel for the cab of #35,
IN between running the work session and other items on his list,. Leon took our entire drill bit collection out and began to sharpen them. It wasn't glamorous work but something that is sorely needed as we are always looking for sharp bits!
John G made great strides, continuing to remove almost 100 years of crud off the truck frames on the Ping Pong coach.
Mike B painted the staircases for #50 + the yellow dinky #398  while I was working on  the patch panels of #398 as well. I kinda like the new look of the staircases.
While they had already been welded, the patch panels still needed some fine tuning on the bodywork.
I can finish up next Saturday while everyone else can begin to cut out the rust on #397, the blue & grey dinky.
And finally, after months of of struggling, I took one last try at getting the door to the Worlds Fair Cab to seal up so we don't get any more water into the cab unit.
I re-tapped the latch assembly, filed down the striker plate and added some shims to build the striker plate out so the tongue latched more securely. Finally I added one more layer of weatherstripping to the bottom 1/3rd of the door frame and now we can't see any light coming into the cab from the door.
Keep your fingers crossed as we will test it next week with a hose.
Have an enjoyable Labor Day!