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!!!