Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy days are here again!!

And the skies above were clear-for a change!
No wind, No rain, no winter storms could stop us baby, to paraphrase an old r& b tune.
Huge turnout today for our first work session of the year 2011.
We had 2 new interns from Barry Technical school, James & Joseph who come to us through a great program at BOCES. After a brief tour of our facilities and a discussion of the project, We set to work devising a plan to repair the Ping Pong coach. They began the restoration by cutting out the corners of the coach where the roof sheet meets the side walls. This is where most of the rot has set in over the years and the insulation between the sheets has absorbed a ton of water! they opened up all 4 corners and peeled back some of the inner sheets in 3 of them to allow some air flow and left the fourth corner wide open on my request.
With a nice donation from the LI Sunrise Trail Chapter NRHS, we will be able to replace quite a bit of rotted metal on the car and remove some previous patches that were haphazardly applied and replace them with the proper patches. Next weeks session will button up the open end and begin the other corners.
As for the rest of us:
We formulated a different plan of attack to replace the turntable ties with brand new-YES you heard it here first. BRAND SPANKING NEW TIES for the turntable.
The original plan was to layout the new bridge top on the ground, bolt everything together and have one of our neighbors with a long reach excavcator to pick up the new bridge in 2 sections and place them on the bridge.
Well, thats a moot point now.
With  12 volunteers on hand, we wound up using the ties as a pad to drive the forklift over. We made a ramp on the edge of the concrete wall and laid the 1st of almost 100 ties, then the 2nd, 3rd and so on until we had enough laid out to put the turntables walkway grating on top.
We then drove the forklift forward over the grating until we ran out of grating, laying out the ties as we went along until we could place the second set of grates.  We continued all day until we placed the last 15 foot tie.
This was a monumental task but with many hands was more than manageable.

Next week we will be adjusting the ties and bolting them together using the steel straps which were used on the old deck to hold all of the ties together.
We will be utilizing 2 gas powered drills: 1 to drill the holes to set the bolts through the straps and the 2nd to actually drive the bolts into place.
Our intrepid mechanical wizard Mike Efthymiou will be getting us the drills and the bolts, so as the holes are drilled, the bolts can be snugged down right behind in an assembly line pattern. Hopefully we'll have enough hands on deck next Saturday to get this job done (as many of our volunteers are also volunteer firemen and that is their St. Patricks parade day) and maybe we can even bolt the deck down to the bridge using specialzed cast j-bolts as the clamping mechanism.
We also will be installing new curved timbers on the edges of the turntable deck and also new treated timbers on the concrete ring wall which were removed many years ago by the LIRR.
Once this task is accomplished wew will re-install the split ring collector to the arch assembly and raise that onto the deck and get it bolted down, then, when we get the control stand back from the rebuilder this spring we will be able to anchor it to the bridge deck and begin the wiring of the entire unit.
Until then, enjoy the photos.
We will open the yard on the first Saturday of April for visitors.



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