Wednesday, September 26, 2012

wait until the summers gone

This is a song from one of the bands I used to see at "SPEAKS" a club in Island Park.
As I get older, I seem to reminisce more. I had a great time and wouldn't trade anything I have done.
But why reminisce? Simple. Besides #35, #50 holds a memory for me.
This is the first piece of equipment that the "Friends of Locomotive #35 inc." rescued and restored ourselves.
We were a bunch of kids just farting around, but this car got our juices flowing to really learn how to restore trains.
After 16+ years, the weather has taken its toll and #50 was looking worse for wear.
After some major efforts by our volunteers, 3 sides of #50 are looking reat!
One more side to go and we can wrap up this job for the year.
Even though we have new projects, we still have to be able to maintain what we have on site and this seems to take up a lot of time, but its very necessary, especially when everything is out in the weather year round.

As summer winds down, we are now preparing for the Oyster Festival which is our largest revenue stream.
We will once again need many hands to help out at the food booth, visitors center, station and the display yard.
anyone who is interested in lending a hand for a day or two can contact me directly at
or John Specce at john.
We hope to see you there on SATURDAY & SUNDAY October 13+14.
Keep it real folks!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hello, yeah , its been awhile-not much, how 'bout you....

HI all:
sorry I haven't been as vocal a poster as the last few years but time and work caught up with me and I haven't had the time to post. SORRY!!!!!!!
Lets get on with it then.
Just an fyi as to the title of this post.. If you are a child of the 1970's as I am, you might remember the song.
I'd really love to see you tonight by Dan Seals. I know, I'm getting old.

a long term project-the repainting of Caboose (hack) #50 began with touching up the rust spots and welding in a few new patches on both of the crash posts on the ends around the door frames. Everyone has been pitching in and when completed, the orange will look great. We still haven't been able to cure a pesky water problem plaguing the roof. Hopefully we can fix it before the end of summer. The roof will be needing repainting and the re-placement of the roof walks and ladders-that will have to wait until we get the steel. NOT a priority-just a wish.

Also, all that is left for the crossing shanty is the replacement of the front glass in the door and the placement of the smokejack through the roof.

WF Cab-We added a sound system in the nose to make the unit really come alive. Its set for a diesel engine in idle. In the near future-next week(?) we will put the air compressor in the nose as well for air horn power!
This will really wake up the neighbors!!!!!

Ping Pong coach.
Over the spring our crew added the hanging signs on the center of the ceiling and installed all of the ceiling fans  and the roof ventilators. These were cut off to lower the height of the car so it could be moved "over the road".

#12- Mike E led the crew in repairing the stove and Steve T got the volunteers to level the car so the doors will open & close with no issues. I think that after next Saturdays session, #12 should be good to go.

Yellow #398-nothing but paint touch up has occurred.
Blue& Grey #397-all of the batteries and spare engine parts from the cab have been removed. Plans call for the removal of the battery box which will be placed inside the Yellow unit. All of the batteries have been removed in the spring.
Also a massive amount of rust has occurred around the perimeter of the cab base which will entail a lot of steel patch panels to be welded into place.

M1 Simulator-Nothing new has occurred.

Turntable-the portion that we as volunteers have worked on is complete and LIPA has visited the site to go over the addition of a new power line to the pole in our yard. We have to get permits to remove the trees on the east end of the turntable to facilitate the placing of the electric lines. Stay Tuned as this could take some time.

Steam Engine-We received this unit from Old Bethpage Village Restoration a few months ago and Leon & crew have built a strong platform for it to rest upon. I have been busy adding oil reservoirs and hooking up an air inlet line. I still have to add a 3 inch exhaust line and 2 new seals before I can start the engine up. Maybe next week should see it in motion!

EVERYONE has been hard at work getting #35's parts ready for moving day-
From what Steve, Leon & Wayne have informed me (and correct me if I'm wrong)- we will be sending out the frames of the engine & tender/all wheelsets & drive wheels/ and some pallets of parts already set up for transport. As we move ahead we will be removing parts from the trailers and getting them ready for shipping to Alabama and may wind up with 1 empty storage trailer by the end of this years work session.

Interlocking machine(s)-YES, you are reading it right, machines.
To date we are now the proud owners of not 1, but 2 interlocking machines. Regardless of your personal feelings regarding the acquisition of these 2 machines, our museum goal has always been to convey the life of the LIRR through interactive displays.
The "armstrong" machine's restoration has not yet begun, but we saved the unit from being scrapped.
Now we have been blessed with a donation of the Model 14 electro-pneumatic machine from Valley Tower in Valley Stream. It was shipped to us last Friday (8/10/12) during the storm and delivered to the yard. Next day, I spearheaded the movement of the parts inside the train station and one pallet into the storage trailer.
Yesterday, I began to put the machines shell together and with only 4 pieces to bolt together it looks good. I will continue to add parts as time allows.

Keep it real

Sunday, May 20, 2012

And another day in the record books

I remember someone saying that to me many years ago in regards to the end of the day.
Here it is Sunday, a day later and 6:03pm.
I waited until today to write my blog due to the fact that we were visited this morning by a troop of boy scouts from Babylon courtesy of our fellow volunteer, Elliot Courtney. More on this later........

Yesterday was a beautiful day-sun was shining and there was a slight breeze off the water.
I showed up a little after 9am and found Ronnie & Rich chatting it up on the bench waiting for me (someone) to open up the shop so we could get to work.
The focus was to finish up the painting of the turntable arch.
ronniepaintingttarch.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
Mark, Elliot, John, Peter and Gerard  showed up a bit later and then Wayne, Mike, Steve & Leon came over.
Mark and I began the task of setting up the ladders to paint while I had Ronnie take the other guys over to #35 in order to open up all of the valve and steam cylinders for inspection and its annual cleaning + lubrication.
While they were hard at work, Elliot & Peter were set up to lubricate the rocker gear on the pilot truck frame of #35. This is a very important component that allows the pilot truck to actually "lead" the Locomotive into the turns while also providing some springing action to soften the impact of the turn.
All the while, Leon and Rich were busy working on mounting the donated call phone into the crossing shanty and Mike was busy welding up #50's crash beams. These beams had some rust spots that needed to be repaired.
mikeatwork.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
Steve & Wayne took a trip to Dodds and Eder our local garden center to pick up some plants for our entrance. after getting everything installed and watered, some of the guys built rain barrels so we could have an ample supply of "free" water which will save us the energy of having to set up a hose from the fire hydrant and dragging it across the street to water the plants.
Even though this is not something that helps us get our equipment restored or helps in normal museum operations, it does make our little corner of the world a lot less "industrial" and a lot more friendly (read: pretty!) to those who are visiting the park.
At the end of the day, unfortunately, we did not complete the goal of getting the arch finished. Next work session, we'll have to set up the ladders again and paint-paint-paint! we'll "get 'er done" and then??
the volunteers will be finished with our end of the turntable restoration and will have to wait for the electrician and LIPA to get us hooked up to the grid.
Josh came by to drop off a set of legs for the pot belly stove that was given to us by Wayne's grandfather and is being set up in the crossing shanty. A bit of welding repair needs to be done before they will work.
Also we have still to finish the welding repairs to the stove top from #12 AND the removal of the battery box from the dinky #397.

Today, Elliot courtney and his boy scout troop from Babylon arrived at the LIRR Oyster bay station around 12:50 and I was there to meet & greet them.
scouttrainarriving.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
We had 12 scouts and their troop leaders join me for a walk over to the Historic, Oyster Bay train station to show them around and give them a brief history.
scoutsarriving.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
A lot of questions were asked as to its history and upcoming restoration which I was more than able to answer, then it was off to the visitors center up the  street where the scouts found their respective "groove".
After all, they are growing boys and what boy doesn't like to ring bells and play with trains?? I don't know any myself......
After an hour we took a walk through beautiful Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and arrived at the display yard where after opening up all of our equipment, the scouts ran in and out of the cars.
After a little while, I took them aside to instruct them on the differences between electric, diesel and steam locomotives. This went on for a while and they all took the time to look into the boiler and firebox of #35, the engine compartment and transmission of dinky #398 and the M1 simulator.  around 12, the troop left to get a bite to eat in the park and get back to the train station to begin their trip back to Babylon. I received a text from Elliot around 1:30 thanking OBRM for hosting the scouts. I would do it again in a heartbeat!!
scoutvisit5-19-12.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35

On another up-note, the Town of Oyster Bay installed a visitors kiosk on the western platform of the Historic train station. This will act as an additional resource for people to stop and visit and maybe lead them to our museum's visitors center in town.
IMG01228-20120519-0914.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
A bit of an Eastern glare, but......
newTOBkioskatstation.jpg image by THEWINEGUY35
a much better shot looking west.
Well!  Just another day in the record books.
Don't know what will be on tap for next Saturdays work session but, never the less, it will be memorial day weekend.

Please remember those men & woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live free.
Regardless of our flaws, The USA is still the best country in the world to live in.
Buy American.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Have we forgotten something?

Hi all,
a brief update on last weeks work session:
another great day with lots of hands on deck.
We started out removing the batteries from Dinky #397-thats the grey & blue one with the blown engine.
We will have enough sheet metal to renew on this bad boy and don't want to risk having any acid leakage spoiling the fun! will need to remove the battery box in the future.
Welded up a few spots on caboose #50 end beams-these spots were never done in the past
removed the stove top from #12 and with a great suggestion from our fearless leader STEVEN TORBORG (how's that for recognition?) and with input from Mike Efthymiou, it was determined that our best course of action is to cut out a section of the top and weld on a new piece to finish up the restoration.
Over at the train station, the display case was moved away from the fireplace to show it off AND the #35 smoke box mockup was removed from the baggage cart and placed on the floor against the electrical panel wall. This gave us a spot to display the vintage baggage on the cart as it would have looked "back then".
The mock-up of the display yard was moved next to #35 and this opened up the operators bay for a similar display. Also the TV D VD player was moved out of the visitors center and into the station for future use when the station is finally open to visitors
Also accomplished with the aid of Scott Lindsey (via phone) was the jacking up of the boiler from #35 and the replacement of rotted ties. This was a safety concern and all is well.
Just as an fyi-Sagamore Hill is undergoing some work and is  temporarily closed, so the National Park Service has been hosting a TR history walk around town and one of the stops is our train station. I actually listened in on one of the tours and the ranger was able to talk about and show via photos all about TR and our station building.
Since I was listening, I offered to open up the station for the visitors and after their surprise wore off, I spoke to them and answered their questions regarding the building itself and about OBRM.
Now where did I put the paint so we can finish the turntable???

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How's it hangin"??

Or more likely, who is doing the hanging?
When we started the 2012 work season, little did we know that we would be 2 weeks late. That hung us up a bit.
So, we did what any self respecting crew would do-we hung in there!
I know, pretty lame, BUT, we still got it done.
the crossing shanty has had a temporary firewall installed and a steel plate bolted to the floor in preparation of installing a coal burning stove, courtesy of our own Wayne Beers.
It now only needs a set of legs or a stand and the smokejack to be installed.
As for the Worlds Fair cab, John Specce donated a sound unit to be installed. Why a sound unit?
Because its cool and also gives the visitor the sounds to go along with the sights.
When I wired up the unit, I installed outlets in the nose for the side lights so there are places to plug it in.
We have been hard at work welding up the stove in #12 caboose. The cast iron has been rotting away through the years due to water and normal corrosion, so over the course of the next few weeks, we should have it completed. However, it will not support a fire, so we do not intend on lighting her up anytime soon. Its for show-not for go!
And that brings me to this seasons one major task-GET THE TURNTABLE OPERATING!!!!!!!!
Leon & I picked up all of the elcrical components from Wit-Craft Electric in Farmingdale and Bill D. gave us a wiring book to have an electician wire it up for us.
We have been pounding nails, painting metal and installing everything we have to  get us to our goal. Having it operational in 2012.
I believe we can do it. It's just a question of when. And speaking of when, when the Town of Oyster Bay signs the contract, #35 will begin heading to Steam Operations Corp in Mussel Shoals Alabama.
Scott Lindsey is the resident steam expert and his portfolio of work is impressive. Need I say more than the Norfolk Southern Steam Program and the #611? Nuff said.
steve & mike e bolting ring rail together

Folks, it takes people, like our devoted volunteers to be able to do what we do.
I am damn proud of each and everyone of them for giving of their time and of themselves.
We come from all walks of life and interests, yet we all see the big picture.
As you can see from the above photos, yes, we really do work.
And yes, I do have to put up with Steve Torborg!!!!!!

I know, you have all seen this last photo in another blog before, but, oh... what the heck. I like it and its a picture of me! so,  deal with it.
Until next time-same train time, same train station!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

spinning wheel, round and round

Thats what the turntable will do when we get it runnng.
The plan is to have it up & running this year and we are awaiting an electrical drop from LIPA in order to power the turntables motor. Now I know what you must be thinking-Gary, how much electrical service are you going to need?
Good question! According to the electrical contractor that rebuilt the motor, we only need about 60 amps of power because the motor is a high torque low horsepower unit., It only provides 2.5 horsepower!
But that horsepower can't be harnessed unless we have the control stand to operate it.
Well, as of February 13th, we do!
Leon & I took a trip to Farmingdale, actually to ....get this! Motor Ave, to pick up the controller & the starter.
We hauled these pieces back to Oyster Bay and proceeded to place them onto the turntables walkway where they will be permanently installed when we begin work sessions in the spring.
Here are a few pictures from that day.
The first one is a bit dareker baut shows the units on the right walkway looking from one end of the TT to the other end.
The next two shows the 2 units together, but not bolted to each other or to the walkway. We will install a steel plate to make this installation easier and safer for the operator.



Sunday, February 12, 2012

And the year starts on a high note!

Hi folks and WELCOME to 2012-cue up the applause!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you all know, my job became overpowering in June and I had to curtail my OBRM time including my being a trustee, so I had to take a leave of absence. I appreciate all of the well wishes and the questions of when I will be returning.
OK-I'm back, although I won't be back 24/7, like I used to.
Yesterday, Saturday February 11th, we kicked off the new year with a clean-up session.
For those of you who were at the station building last year when we had the memorabilia sale, you will recall that the building was looking kind of...well, ratty.
Our beloved President John Speece had the Town of Oyster Bay (TOB) drop off a huge recycling bin in front of the station building into which,
John, Steve Torborg, Wayne Beers, Leon Daitz, John Speece Dave Morrison, John Grocki, Bill Krushinski and I (although I didn't show up until 11:30-although with coffee & donuts for all) proceeded to remove as much trash, litter and unwanted/unneeded items and dump it all for removal.
When we were done around 3pm, we left a building that could be occupied quite easily with room to display alot and still have another memorabilia sale this spring.
Quite a bit of stuff was earmarked for movment to the yard area where we were able to easily move the items into the shop or our new storage container. This container has proved a godsend to us as we were able to take stuff out of the "shop" trailer which did not belong and just cluttered up the area. I went in there for the first time since the new trailer arrived and can tell you that there sure is alot more room to move around and work in.
Over the course of the next few weeks we should be bringing back the rest of the turntables operating system. Keep your fingers crossed!!!