Friday, September 24, 2010

Levers and Brakes and trains, Oh My!

Just yesterday morning, I had some good feelings about the day.
Thankfully, they materialized.

A few years back, the Railroad Museum of LI (RMLI) received from the LIRR, a 10 lever interlocking machine that was from Nassau Tower in Mineola. This unit arrived on a well worn out flatcar and also came in with a pair of ALCO power truck side frames.
Before my wedding this past August, I visited with RMLI President Don Fischer to ask about this unit.
A few weeks ago, the Board of Trustees from RMLI voted to deassesion this piece from their collection and RMLI President Don Fischer contacted me to let me know about their decision.
As RMLI already had a working interlocking system installed in their museum (from BLISS tower), they felt it was not necessary to duplicate this display and voted to donate this "ARMSTRONG" interlocking machine to OBRM.

I contacted our friend and supporter Steve Krisman from 5th Industrial, and he was more than happy to assist us at this time.
He asked his friend Bob Flutie from BF trucking to pick up our unit and bring it over to 5th Industrials site where Steve would hold it for us until he could get it up to us.

North Fork Welding & Supply donated a crane to assist RMLI in moving the drive wheels for their #16 BEDT locomotive and while the crane was on site, they rigged the interlocking machine and placed it on Bobs Landoll trailer. But lo & behold, Bob, being the friend that he is to Steve, brought the unit from RMLI's site in Riverhead, all the way up to us in Oyster Bay!

THANK YOU Bob and THANK YOU Steve for making this acquisition happen.

I especially want to  offer a big THANK YOU to  Don Fischer and the Board of Trustees at RMLI for making this OBRM acquisition a reality. A great joint effort that benefits the entire railroad musuem community.

Due to all of the projects currently going on , this project will probably not be started until early next year.
It will demand an inordinate amount of rust removal and major amounts of penetrating oil !!
Here is a picture of the unit after its arrival at OBRM's display yard. I put it next to the turntable so as to have room for the forklift to move locomotive parts and to leave a large empty area where we can eventually lay out the turntable ties, when they arrive.

003.jpg Our new Armstrong interlocking machine image by THEWINEGUY35
During the day, we had many of our volunteers hard at work .
Leon Daitz and Steve McKeon were busy getting the turntable motor braking assembly back together and installed. This unit had been removed about 5 years ago and was disassembled, degreased and had the paint/rust removed.
We needed to remove what was left of the broken off cotter pins from inside of the assembly pins. Not a small job in itself which was easily handled by another of our volunteers, Jeff M. Then all of the pieces were treated to a coat of rust converter, primer and finally, paint.
 Steve McKeon  first came to us as a volunteer from Barry Technical School who has been working jointly with BOCES and OBRM.
He is a talented, master welder and was able to fabricate a cast iron part  for the brake lever onsite. This was not an easy task and he was able to make the part from a spare tie plate that was stashed away on a pallet.
Leon has been with us for many years and can always be counted on for his knowledge and diligent work ethics.
The 2 of them made this unpleasant task almost look too easy!
004.jpg Leon & Steve putting braking system together image by THEWINEGUY35
001.jpg Leon & Steve on parts production image by THEWINEGUY35
One of our newer volunteers, Gerard, was assiting them in assembling some of the parts.Here he is assembling  the brake lever that the operator would use to slow the turntable and align the track so he could align it to the lead track coming in from the LIRR yard with the locking pin.
002.jpg Gerard getting brake lever assembled image by THEWINEGUY35
While this was going on, 3 more of our volunteers were hard at work on the drive wheels.
According to the plan list as outlined by our restoraion contractors, Steam Operations Corp., we needed to clean off the outer and inner bearing surfaces from the drive wheels and preserve the faces with a thin coat of primer. We are also in the midst of removing the primer on the drive wheels which OBRM applied many years ago while #35 was in Mitchel Field. So for the next several weeks, this will be an ongoing project.
The top photo is of volunteers Ronnie Schnepf & Paul Floroff working on the rod bearings-On the bottom is Ricky Imperato hard at work on the bearing faces.
005.jpg Paul & Ronie working on Driver bearings image by THEWINEGUY35
006.jpg Ricky working on Driver bearing faces image by THEWINEGUY35
As always, it is the volunteers who ultimately make the restorations work and I am proud to be able to oversee the workings at the yard.
This next photo may not look like much to many of you, however, this is the first time in around 5 years, that the braking sytem has been installed (and working) on the turntable motor frame assembly.
011.jpg Turntables motor braking sytem assembly going together image by THEWINEGUY35
This assembly is a series of levers and rods which is put into motion by the operator pulling a very long lever which can just be made out in the above photo going up at an angle from the  left side of the power wheel. You can see 2 of the bolts above the black metal strap in the middle of the photo.
We still need to finish up the bottom (wooden) brake shoe. You can easily see the top (wooden) brake shoe which is sandwiched between the 2 black metal straps.
When completed next work session, we will be ready to drop the entire frame assembly into the pit and attach it to the turntable bridge, which had previously been sandblasted and painted by Gallagher O'Rourke Company.
NEXT SATURDAY 9-25-10 will be our General Meeting in the Historic Oyster Bay Train Station on Railroad Ave.
Whew! I am exhausted just reliving yesterdays adventures.
Thankfully, I have the brains of a Scarecrow, the courage of a Lion and the heart of a Tin Man.
Now I just want to get back home. Where is that wizard????

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