Thursday, April 28, 2011

and the winner is........

Hi all,
it looks like the Oyster Bay railroad Museum is on an unofficial poll to be voted as the best attraction in Oyster Bay.
I ask all of my readers and their friends to vote for us as the best.
Right now, we are #3 with Sagamore Hill #1 and the Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary as #2
Please vote for us
here is the link
Get everyone you know to vote.
There is NO prize, just bragging rights and we have a lot to brag about!!!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rain, rain, go away, come again another day....

I was taught by my mom to say that and maybe, just maybe, it might.

So what the heck did I have to lose??
That was my mantra all of Friday night as I was attending the LIST chapter of the NRHS meeting and when I woke up before looking out the window Saturday at 6:30am.
Thankfully, mom was right and the rain held out longer than I had hoped.

At 8am I arrived to the yard to meet Rich and I unloaded a new tool for us to use. It was a simple "little red wagon" that can hold 1400 lbs and had pneumatic tires to negotiate the uneven ground.
Everyone has been saying that there had to be a better way to move stuff around and I found this in the Northern Tool catalog that I had just received. If this works out, I will order another one to modify into a welding cart for our crew as the current one has a set of small hard tires that swivel in the front and a pair of larger solid tires that are stationary in the rear and don't move as well on the ground. A real pain in the butt to most of us as it takes 2 volunteers to move around the welder.
Doug showed up a bit later after Rich built the wagon and I was getting the forklift, so we proceeded to move the last 15 foot turntable ties away from the west fence area and stack them near the other ties in front of #35's boiler, so we can easily load them into awaiting vehicles.
I put them up for sale on Craigslist and had quite a few responses, but only 1 person was able to show up before we opened the site to visitors at noon.
The rest were scheduled to arrive at 4pm when we closed the site, but due to the rainstorm, I had to re-schedule them for next Saturday.
Whatever we collect goes to the restoration budget that I have for the year.

When Steve & Wayne showed up, we moved onto rounding up the scrap metal that we have accumulated over the years in order to dump them into a scrap metal dumpster provided by 2 Brothers scrap of Farmingdale. We have dealt with them in the past and they take the dumpster back, empty and weigh it then send us a check for the scrap. They are very reputable and that’s why we use them.
As we were moving metal, John showed up and we put him to work painting the remaining turntable handrail. Photobucket
With the impending rainstorm approaching, I told him that we would be closing shop around 3pm and he takes the LIRR in & out, so he didn’t quite finish up before leaving to catch a 2:20 train home and Rich added the last drops of paint in plenty of time before the storm hit. It was flat black enamel and dried quickly. Just an FYI- the handrails and arch were a natural metal color, but were rusting, so I made an executive decision to paint them for greater longevity and to give a balance of colors to the entire turntable. The arch will be painted silver to stand out.
The only thing left was to seal up the 2 roof vents on the M1 simulator. When this unit was in use at the LIRR for training purposes, it was indoors and had air conditioning pumped into one vent and used the other one for exhausting the air out.
Since the unit is now outdoors, we had to remove the vents (4 screws each) and pop rivet aluminum plates over them and re-install them.
While I was on the roof waiting to get the vents back, I took a few shots over the yard and here they are.
Next week we will add the electrical conduits under the ties leading to the turntables control stand and motor then send the wiring through. Also we plan on adding the remaining molding around caboose #12’s windows and doors. I would also like to add a steel plate on the floor of the crossing shanty where the new pot bellied stove will sit as well as give it a final paint coat.
If time and hands permit, I also plan on getting the final coat of paint onto the World’s Fair cab.

In the last post, I wrote about last Mondays book reading by Heather Worthington, author of the children’s book “Miles of Smiles” the story of Roxey the LIRR dog and I had just uploaded some more shots from her last book signing at OBRM, so here are a few more shots of MY ROXEY.
Since I write this BLOG, I think I have a right to show her off.
My Roxey is the one one the right
I wonder if the LIRR Roxey actually sat in this car too!
MY ROXEY and my nephew Daniel
I bet that the LIRR Roxey NEVER sat in an N22a caboose like MY ROXEY!!
Until next posting, as the singer Pink says-
Raise your glass

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stop the Presses!!

I always wanted to say that!!
In Todays (4/14/11) Newsday on page A28, Bill Bleier wrote an aritcle about the donation and arrival of our M1 simulator.
A nice little piece that keeps us in the public eye. Bill has been a long time member of the Newsday team and has covered our museums growth since the old Mitchel Field days.
As someone once said-"any publicity is good publicity!"
I say "if it's free (publicity), it''s for me!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Whats Going on!

Today started out like any other Saturday would. Except, today is Tuesday and this is no ordinary day.

After putting in a full and successful Saturday at the display yard installing the turntables overhead arch assembly, I took Sunday off. Monday I was back up in Oyster Bay for our OBRM book signing with Heather Worthington, who is the author of the children’s book: Miles of Smiles-the story of Roxey the LIRR dog.
I had worked a full day and went home to pick up my dog Roxey for the night out in Oyster Bay where she made many new friends as Heather read her book, talked about how the book & story went together and then signed copies for most in attendance. I myself bought 2 books.
OBRM friend David Morrison was on hand to speak as well and Heather brought her story board that fascinated me on the historical aspect of her book. I just love photos and history!
After a short ride home and a (an ok nights) good night’s sleep, I was awake before the 6:30 alarm went off.
I arrived at the yard around 7:45 and was waiting for the crane when a call from one of our volunteers, Mike Efthymiou, came in. Mike works for the LIRR and was on site when our rigger showed up to pick up the M1 simulator that the LIRR was donating to our museum. Back in the early 1970’s, the LIRR was working to upgrade the electric passenger fleet after almost 50 years of continuous service and were busy introducing a new modern fleet called M1’s. These electric engines were clean, sleek, and fast and had heat and air conditioning. Everybody loved them. This simulator was used by the LIRR to train their engineers.
Now that he LIRR has no more M1’s on their roster, this simulator and another (diesel) simulator were available for donation to us. Since we have all steam & diesel equipment on site, we felt that this electric unit would fill out our roster and the diesel went to the Railroad Museum of L.I. (RMLI) out in Riverhead.

The simulator showed up around 10am and we were still waiting for the crane when the crew informed me that a forklift would be used instead.
When the other crew arrived, the simulator was readied for removal and the trailer that was holding it was backed into place for the lift. A little while later the unit was on the forklift and the trailer was pulled away.
The crew brought the unit onto our yard and began placing it at the front end of the property right across from our World’s Fair diesel cab.
As they were ready to straighten it out and set it down, I realized that we should leave the unit on a slight angle so it looks like the M1 simulator and the Diesel cab were looking at each other.
We finished up around 11:30 and I took one last photo of the finished product and went home in order to go to work.

Steve & Doug at Fifth Industrial Corp of Bohemia coordinated with me and the LIRR for this arrival and I can’t thank them enough for making this easy. The men on the rigging crew also have to be thanked for taking very good care of our new acquisition.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Up, up and awy.....

Wow! That would make a great title for a 60s song, but…….NAHHHH

It could be the title to yesterday’s volunteer session, though.

With help donated by OBRM friend Bob Hotine of DC Crane, the volunteers were able to raise the arch over the turntable yesterday.
Bob brought his excavator and we started the day REAL early.
I myself was awake before the crack of dawn-no Gilligans Island jokes folks. I was a diehard Maryann fan.
I was out of my house by 6:15am in order to get everyone donuts and coffee.

Bob brought one of his crewmen, Chris with him at 8am, while we were just finishing the installation of the collector box on top of the arch.
After looking at the arch again, Bob & I rigged the hoist chain to the arch’s legs and began the lift. Chris did the pick quickly and smoothly and deftly began his 180 degree turn. He then proceeded to the turntables pit wall where he was able to place his unit onto the wall and over onto the bridge. Bob & I discussed using this strategy, having used a similar one to place the bridges ties into place a few weeks ago. With our forklift.
While bringing the unit up onto the bridge we encountered our first of (thankfully) few incidents.
From the turntable power poles there was strung a 230 volt electrical cable which had to be moved up or cut.
Thankfully, the lines were dead, so someone (me) had to climb up the ladder to the top of the arch and cut the wires.
A few minutes later we were back in business and Chris lowered the arch into position. After a few minutes of wiggling the units’ legs into alignment, we drilled a few holes in order to set the lag bolts to hold it onto the bridge ties. We also temporarily drilled out the outriggers legs in order to get them installed. Later we would actually drill through the tie and use a long galvanized lag bolt to clamp the legs permanently.
I was hoping to get Bob & Chris in & out by 9am and kept them about 15 minutes over their time.
Sorry Bob!!!!

After the installation, we still had to accomplish the other goals of the day. We did manage to complete…..
1-repairs to the forklift-a new condenser solved our electrical problem
2-moving of all old ties from the area near the south-west pit wall to an area nearer the boiler of #35
3-clearing out every pallet of parts and all metals/scrap/debris from the south-west side of the pit wall
4-inspection of the pit wall where the track-lead onto the turntable is
5-drill out all 16 holes to set all, of the lag bolts onto the turntables legs and drill 3 holes through the 15 foot ties in order to bolt the legs outriggers in place. Previously, they were only lag bolted through the metal grating into the tops of the ties.

In addition to all of these goals, we still had to get the installation of the roof patches on our Ping Pong coach completed. Since our Barry Tech intern, James, was alone again for the 2nd week, he could not complete his task.
I am still very grateful for his determination to get the job done and quite proud of him and his skills.
We at the OBRM love working hand in hand with Barry Tech & BOCES. It’s a great partnership for both of us.

This was a long day, but one I was pleased with as all of my volunteers were able to contribute so much to the tasks at hand.
Rich Brody, Leon Daitz, Wayne Beers, Doug Kasner, George Mutari, Alan Biershank, Elliot Courtney, Gerard Jewel all broke their backs for the cause. Without these guys, we would not be able to get things done and I thank every one of them and all of my volunteers for their time and sacrifice.
I would just LOVE to wake up at 9am on any given Saturday and not have to think about doing volunteer work, but I still enjoy the results of our labor.

At days’ end, we had NOTHING surrounding the turntables’ pit wall for the first time since we began the OBRM at the yard.

Next week we will finish touch up of the railings, moving some more items and get ready to scrap a lot of excess metal off the site. We will also begin the installation of the final coat of paint onto the crossing shanty AND the World’s Fair cab. I would also like to apply a coat of wax to the new M1 simulator.
Here are the pictures from yesterday session.



Sunday, April 3, 2011

One step closer......

A favorite song of mine from the Doobie Brothers and also, a truth from our volunteers.
Another great large group descended on Oyster Bay yesterday.
Unfortunately Photobucket is not uploading the correct size photos onto this blog so.........
NO PHOTOS unless you go to photobucket.
See  my albums at thewineguy35.

Rich Brody, Doug Kasner, Steve Torborg, Wayne Beers, Mike Efthymiou, Leon Daitz, Ronnie Schnepf, Evan Schnepf, George Mutari, Gerard Jewel, Gary Farkash and our intern from Barry Technical School-James, kicked ass!
While James was busy welding in the patches he created for the corner of the Ping Pong coach,
The rest of us busied ourselves with  the final fitting of the turntables elecrical collector onto the arch assembly. We also wired it up and re-attach the outriggers on the straight side using new hardware.

The final J-bolts were being installed to hold the turntable deck onto the bridge girders.
Since these bolts are still being made we discussed buying a dozen more to make sure that EVERY 15 foot bridge tie was securely fastened to the deck. We will place these during future wrok sessions.
The last handrail assembly was disassembled and a straight line was set on the top of the deck.
The bottom handrail stantion bases were laid out and the holes drilled for the lag bolts to hold them in place.
After bolting them all in, we added the lower rail, vertical risers and finally the top rail.
When the bolts were all snugged up, we were finished with the handrails-As promised last week.

After lunch, we decided to move ahead with the placing of the two ties on the turntables pit wall.
The east side of the concrete wall had, in the past, a wooden timber wedged into place as a sort of bumping block, 180 degrees from the lead track onto the table. We ordered 2 9 foot ties and cut them to fit tightly in place and when completed, it look real good. So good in fact, that we decided to remove the timber on the lead onto the bridge (180 degrees across from the east side bumping block).
Things got real ugly, real fast as we first had to cut off 4 very, very long cross bolts that were drilled horizontally throught the timber which held it to a previously attached rail tie. This tie was rotted so badly that it was sawdust. We used the "hot wrench" (torch) to cut the bolts, then used  a large hammer to knock them through the timber and finally pulled all 4 free of the timber.

This timber must have been there at least 50+ years, maybe even since the pitwall was rebuilt in 1904 , and was in crappy condition.
It fought us tooth and nail, but of course we prevailed in removing it, although we had to call out the big guns and break out the chainsaw. You could still smell fresh creosote as we cut through it.
When the day was done, it was gone.
Not to be outdone, we also began moving all of the used ties that we had piled on the west side of the pit. Unfortunately, our trusty forklift sputtered to a dead stop and we could not get it started. SO, I hiked down to order ignition parts from our local outo parts gurus at OBAR auto parts. The gas feed was fine but we had not spark.
They had a couple of parts in stock but had to order a condesor for under the cap. Oh well, maybe it will start next week!

To condense our days accomplishments:
2nd handrail bolted in place.
deck bolted down to bridge
turntable arch  re-assembled, wired and ready to be installed next weekend
Ping Pongs 1st rotted corner almost completely replaced
Pit wall bumping block installed
lead track timber removed
old tie movement begun

We plan on putting our old ties up for sale on Craigslist. First come first served!
Sorry about the photos, but take a look at them online, you won't be disappointed.