Tuesday, December 23, 2014

We are on the nice LIST!

I know, the last post was supposed to be my last post of 2014, oh well---
This past Friday night (12/19) was the  December LI Sunrise Trail chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (LIST) and even though many of our members could not attend, Mike Bartley was able to go and be our ambassador for OBRM.
He was able to speak a bit about the movement of #35 parts the previous Sunday since he along with all of us spent 10 hours at the yard.
He also accepted a  contribution from LIST to OBRM that helps us continue our endeavors.
A might thanks to Steve Quigley and LIST for their contribution and also to Mike Bartley for helping us all out.
Thanks Mike.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy Days are here again!!!!!!

No, not the TV show,  silly readers!

Today was the first day of #35's reincarnation.

We had a celebratory cocktail party at Steve Torborgs last night and went through many old photo albums.

We met at the yard around 7:30 am to wait for Silk Road Transportation's trailer to show up. Due to a screw-up on the drivers end, he didn't show up until around 2:30pm.
So, we had a rented forklift and a willing operator-Steve "Nappy" Napolitano sitting around until then.
Luckily, we had a great crew of Leon. Lauren, Gerard, Bonnie, Ronnie, Steve T, Steve & Regina Napolitano, Mike E and Mike B and of course-me, making a bonfire and reminiscing about the "good old" days.
As soon as the trailer showed up, We got to moving parts
This truck took all 3 drive wheel sets, the Pilot truck frame and wheel sets along with all of the drive rods/connecting rods.
We finished up at 5:30 and left Oyster Bay.
Next truck will  probably called for around February and should be loaded with the frame of #35.

Big doings and we are very happy to see all of our hard work come to this!
Many thanks to all of you throughout the years who have sacrificed their time to see this project through.
You can go to our Facebook page to view some photos taken today.

This will probably be the last entry in my blog for 2014, so with that said----

Happy Hanukkah
Merry Christmas
Happy New year to all

If you enjoy what you read, please comment, its appreciated. If you don't like the way I write, oh well, I do what I want, when I want and I only have to make ME laugh. That in itself is impressive enough.

Keep the faith

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Almost done

HI folks,
Well, we are just about done for the season and here's what happened yesterday.

Steve Nappy, MIke B & Ronnie did a little more work on the cab of #35 and it is now about as straight as it ever was-actually, as square as it ever was. Next season-removal of rivets and sheet metal to be replaced with new panels.

Mike E and Brooke welded on the last patch panel to the rear of the cab on #397, our grey & blue GE 25 ton "dinky".
A couple of small patches are still needed on the front wall under the door.
Next season will see the paint removal/spot welding of seams/priming & painting in original LIRR colors

Mike B also took some time to touch up the black handrails and walkways which were spotted with yellow paint from the last painting session of  GE 25 ton  "dinky" #398.

I continued to try and repair the fireman's door on the Worlds Fair Alco cab unit.
The issue is/was rainwater coming into the cab. It took me long enough to realize that the door did not shut square to the frame, so I decided to try something different. Instead of using weatherstripping to seal the door, I cut the frame to allow the door to seat more flush with it. It seemed to work, however I still need to bolt a small angle piece to the bottom of the door and weld in a small tab to the door frame.
Mike B and I plan on doing this this coming Tuesday as I am off from work and he is retired. It should be a fun few hours!
Hopefully only 2 hours as I would like to take my new dog to the vet I usually use to get him used to going there instead of upstate where I have been taking him to a specialist I know.

I'll keep you all updated.
Thank for staying  up to speed with us.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Because I'm happy......

Hi all,
a couple of days late, but what the heck?

Anyhoo---- Ronnie & Nappy continued their steel work on the cab  of #35 while Mike E began to create the patch panel for the back wall of #397 Dinky.
While they were going gangbusters, Brian Falzone was painting the cut levers and clamps black while  his dad was painting the hood and engineers side of #398 Dinky yellow.
The lazy putz I am, I spent most of my time getting the compressor to start, then needle scaling the hood hatch from #398 and then spray bombing it with automotive grey primer. After the hood was finished drying in the sun, I then gave it a healthy coat of Yellow paint.
Next week, I plan on placing it back on the hood of the Dinky.
I still can't figure out what Steve T & Leon  D did all day because they were so darned busy, I could only catch up with them for a few seconds
While everyone was eating lunch, I left Oyster Bay early to join my family in a 15th birthday celebration for my nephew Daniel.
He's a great kid and helps out OBRM as a family member. FYI-I was the first and probably the only Lifetime family membership in OBRM, to date.

Next week?
Who knows.
Steve T and Leon D are already working on next years plan of action!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Oyster Festival

HI folks-
for anyone who actually reads my blog-Thank you!
Next Saturday and Sunday, the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum will be active once again at the 37th(?) annual Oyster Festival in Oyster bay, of course!
We will have our food stand and are planning to have open all 3 sites.
If anyone who reads this blog would like to come on down and lend a hand, we will need hands and eyes at the food booth/visitors center on Audrey ave/yard/historic train station.
Many hands make it a fun time for us as well as we get to take breaks to walk around the  festival and feast on many types of food. I like to visit the petting zoo myself.
Maybe I can smuggle out a pygmy goat! inside joke folks.
You can contact Steve Torborg @ 516)297-6232 or email him at storb35@aol.com

Very Sad news

Steve Torborg forwarded to me an email from the family of Keith- KC - Madden.
On June 16th Keith passed away.
Our newer members will not know him, however, if it were not for him we would not be the proud owners of caboose #12.
Keith took it upon himself to fund raise to return #12 back to LI and of course home to Oyster Bay at the OBRM.
KC and his family lived in South Hempstead off Long Beach road near Molloy College and was very active at the OBRM when we were just the "Friends of Locomotive #35 inc" at Mitchel Field.
He had a great sense of humor and was always in a great mood. It didn't matter if he was scraping paint or working on parts, he was just that good of a guy.

Our condolences go out his family and I personally would like to thank his wife for sharing him with us on Saturdays. He left LI to retire to Pennsylvania but was always in touch with us just to "keep up" with what we were doing with #35 and "his" caboose.

We will miss him and his smile. He was one of the good guys!

Friday, October 3, 2014

A rare day off from work

Who really cares?
Well, MIke Bartley & I did-today:Friday October 3, 2014. OR, the day before Yom Kippur.
Tonight,  as I am writing this, began the most holy of days for my fellow Jewish  brethren.
So because I had the day off, I asked Mike if he wanted to get some hours in at the yard site. Since we received the email that tomorrows volunteer session was being cancelled due to an impending rain storm, I figured Friday, no docents, no visitors and no one bothering us or pulling us into different assignments.
We started at 9am and we went like gangbusters until 4pm.

Mike began by needle-scaling the engineers walkway on #398-Dashing Dottie-Yellow Dinky, while I was on the roof putting another yellow coat of paint on. He also needle-scaled the frame that surrounds the grill work on the front of the hood. When I was done, I touched up a few areas on the fireman's side of the cab in yellow and also painted the fireman's side of the hood yellow, as well as the grill & frame.

After Mike finished needle-scaling the walkway, we used an air gun to blow off all of the paint chips & dust and both of us then took to painting the  walkway and the previously needle-scaled and primed frame and and front buffer/coupler black.
WOW! did this look great.
After a short break, we decided to needle-scale the rear buffer/coupler and then paint the entire rear unit black.

Just because we still had the black paint out, we then painted the coupler cut bars from the rear of the unit. They will need to be turned over and finished.
Then we can paint the coupler cut bars from the front of the unit and re-install both sets and the clamps.

As an aside. Many of you know and or have read that I am a huge LIRR NY Worlds Fair collector.
So, after we finished and cleaned up,  we left. I proceeded to kill some time at Willis Hobbies where OBRM friend, Steve Ford took me to the back room to show me something.
He opened a box and told me that it came from the collection of the late John Scala, whom you know of from his highly acclaimed book-Diesels of the Sunrise Trail and his dynamite work on the LIST Calendars.
Johns son Michael and Steve are going through his collection and came upon four (4) LIRR worlds fair painted cars.
 He showed them to me and asked me if I knew about them.
One was a motorized unit and the 2nd car was not. The two others were just painted shells with wood blocks glued inside of them.
I looked at the non motorized unit and instantly recognized it as coming from the actual HO scale model of Long Island that was inside the largest tent at the LIRR Pavilion inside the 1964/65 NY Worlds Fair.
In fact, ALL of the cars came from the model  railroad. It turns out that last month, I purchased a negative of the model railroad and the Motorized unit is in the photo!
Steve then told me that he & Michael wanted to donate the units to OBRM.
Upon saying my goodbyes, Dave McConnell, who works at Willis and has loaned OBRM HIS model from the HO scale layout (which we thought was the only car left in existence), proceeded to tell me that he too, was donating his car to OBRM.
Holy CRAP! First, no cars existed, then 1 car existed and we had it on loan, now 5 cars exist AND OBRM was lucky to have them all donated.

Happy Yom Kippur-It has really started out as a good year for OBRM.

Many thanks to Michael Scala, Steve Ford and Dave McConnell for their priceless contributions.

Keep the faith!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

a beautiful day in the neighborhood

Hi all;
another great day
Nappy arrived later in the afternoon to continue working on #35's cab restoration with Bonnie while Mike E, Ronnie +Jordan   continued to replaced rotted steel on Dinky #397.
John G began to paint the truck assemblies on the Ping Pong Coach while Mike B began painting the trucks on Caboose #12.
Also, John came in and continued to make great progress by finishing up #398"s cooling system.
He has began working on the heating system. 1 item down and about 100 more to go. No one ever said things moved too quickly on a restoration!
Big John & I worked on Dinky #398. He, painting the fireman's side after I needle scaled the roof. It was too far gone just to sand down and paint. afterwards, I put a quick coat of yellow on it. Next week we should get a much better 2nd coat put on.
I also needle scaled the entire front walk way and the buffer beam to where the front coupler is attached.
This was not primed yet and will be addressed Saturday. If time and manpower  permits, we will also get the entire area painted black. It looks great naked but was originally painted black.
We are going to remove the front grill and frame to needle scale the paint off separately and maybe add a bit of "bling" to the wire mesh by painting it a contrasting silver or black. Not "prototypical" but could look great.
as per usual, Leon kept us all safe and things humming along beautifully while Steve T kept things lively and did a lot of the set up work for the dinner.
All in all a great day before we had our "Volunteer appreciation dinner"
This was to honor us all who proudly give of our time for the Museum.
Having had to leave before the food was served, I was told that it was real good and everyone had a very nice time-very informal, no speechifying!
Keep the faith!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Hi folks,
A damn fine day regardless of the rain.
We started at 9 and ended at 3, but what was done was nothing less than spectacular.
Dinky #398-yellow "Dashing Dottie" unit.
A touch up on the bodywork and the unit was painted the correct color yellow.
Now we have to sand the roof and paint the hood sides & front yellow.
The walkway on the fireman's side was needle-scaled to remove 6 layers of paint & crud and was promptly painted black. The uncoupling bars were re-attached on the rear of the unit while the front bars were removed.
Next Saturday we will needle-scale the engineers side and the front of the unit and get those areas painted black as well.
We are still waiting to see if the grill work on the front is stainless steel or just regular steel. This will determine how we go about painting the grill and the grill frame.
While all of that was going on, our intrepid volunteers were still busy putting the paint to the "station" in the yard. It came out GREAT!
Also, the ping pong trucks are now ready to be painted black.
As well, the teachers  (Steve Napolitano & Mike Eftymiou) and students of OBRM welding school, were working on the removal of some really nasty metal on the firemans side of Dinky #397-grey & blue "Dashing Dan" unit. They also managed to remove the battery box from the interior as well as most of the engine parts that were inside.
A newly fabricated patch panel was flush mounted and welded in and will be finished welded next Saturday.
Since this is an educational museum, we are very proud of the instructions given to our volunteers. They have really picked up a lot of diverse skills.

Lets see how This coming Saturday pans out for us.
Until next week.........

Sunday, September 7, 2014

SATURDAY, in the yard

It was sooooo hot that you'd swear it was the 4th of July!

Down a few folks due to prior commitments, Leon still pulled of another great volunteer session.
As always, he kept things moving along safely.

Mike B took to putting a coat of paint onto the "station" building in the yard while John V & Paul F continued to chip off the almost 100 years of accumulated crud from the ping pong coach truck assemblies on the east side of the car. My thoughts are that the trucks will be available to begin painting in a couple of weeks! Great job guys.

Also going on was Mike E, Ronnie S & Bonnie taking to bending steel for a new patch panel on Dinky #397-the blue & grey unit. After fabrication the curved piece to fit the North side and continuing onto the front of the cab, Mike took to stick welding it onto the unit.

Yesterday marked the end of fabrication & installation of new steel to Dinky #398-the yellow unit.
I took my time re-sanding all 3 patch panels and adding a bit more body work to ensure a smooth paint job. We will begin to put a new coat of paint on her next Saturday while steel replacement goes on,  on #397.

Since it was so hot, we did not take a hose to the Worlds Fair Cab to see if the work completed last Saturday kept the water at bay and though I am writing this a day later (Sunday) I don't think that there was enough rain to make it worth my while to go up to Oyster Bay to check on the unit.

until next week------

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Laboring on Labor day weekend

Instead of taking off like most folks-your intrepid volunteers were fast at work again!
Steve "Nappy" , Ronnie and Rich were busy welding up more steel for the cab of #35,
IN between running the work session and other items on his list,. Leon took our entire drill bit collection out and began to sharpen them. It wasn't glamorous work but something that is sorely needed as we are always looking for sharp bits!
John G made great strides, continuing to remove almost 100 years of crud off the truck frames on the Ping Pong coach.
Mike B painted the staircases for #50 + the yellow dinky #398  while I was working on  the patch panels of #398 as well. I kinda like the new look of the staircases.
While they had already been welded, the patch panels still needed some fine tuning on the bodywork.
I can finish up next Saturday while everyone else can begin to cut out the rust on #397, the blue & grey dinky.
And finally, after months of of struggling, I took one last try at getting the door to the Worlds Fair Cab to seal up so we don't get any more water into the cab unit.
I re-tapped the latch assembly, filed down the striker plate and added some shims to build the striker plate out so the tongue latched more securely. Finally I added one more layer of weatherstripping to the bottom 1/3rd of the door frame and now we can't see any light coming into the cab from the door.
Keep your fingers crossed as we will test it next week with a hose.
Have an enjoyable Labor Day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Loss of a friend

Always a bad time to lose a friend, however, last week OBRM lost a great friend in Walter Karppi.
Walter was always well known for his humor and his humbleness. He had a great love of trains & trolleys and never had a bad word for anyone. We offer our condolences to Dagmar & his family at this time.
Walter won't be forgotten.
We can only be thankful that he chose to share his time with us. He was one of the good guys and will be sorely missed.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A grand day in Oyster Bay

Even though I left early today for personal reasons, quite a lot was accomplished!
First and foremost (to me at least) Mike B & I completed the installation of the last oiler on the steam engine's connecting arm. We also began to cut out the new plywood shims for the bearing clamps on the grinding attachment for the take off belt and I also ordered the new take-off belt and timing belt for the engine today from McMaster-Carr.
The rest of the guys were hard at work continuing the great job of rust repair panels for the yellow 25 ton diesel engine (#398), completing the installation of the train simulator in the M1 trainer, doing some minor upkeep on the steel under the turntable and also the repair of the floor under the ping pong coach..
A few were also hard at work clearing almost 100 years of caked on grime from the trucks under the Ping Pong coach. Scrapers were augmented by hammers and chisels-that's how hard the crust was.
With enough hands on deck, we accomplished quite a bit-quite a feat for a bunch of volunteers!!!
Great job folks

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Spinning wheel-got to go round

What goes around comes around.
Again, after wracking our brains trying to figure out WHY (!) the steam engines connecting rod bearing was not functioning correctly, a thought hit us. Don't just listen, stop & look!
Mike B and I saw that the connecting arm was pushing the 1/2 round bearing on the upstroke and pulling the straight bearing on the downstroke, so we figured out that we needed to shim both bearings.
Cutting small rectangles from aluminum gutter pieces gave us about 7 slices. We placed one on the back side each bearing and reconnected everything. It worked better, but still not perfect.
We then noticed that the square bearing cap was still moving, so Brian, Mike & I  then added a few more shims until it stopped moving. We fixed it! YEAH for us. Now we moved on to the breakdown of the other unit that came with the engine. It was designed for a grinding wheel power take off from the engines flywheel belt. we unbolted the bearing caps and cleaned all the old grease and crud off and now need to make new gaskets and get 2 new grease  fittings. At this time we are also waiting for the new grinding wheel and belts to complete the set up. in a couple of weeks we should have a complete and operating steam engine and grinding wheel take that we can utilize as a demonstration piece. After it is moved we will erect a building atop of it.

While this was going on, John G was busy cleaning off many years of grease and grime caked on the trucks of the ping pong coach. 1 down and 1 to go!

Mike E, Ronnie, Brooke, Leon and Steve Nappy  busied themselves by welding the new patch panels on Dinky #398, the yellow unit. Also completed was the replacement of the rain barrel atop the platform of caboose #50 and the installation of the new gutter from the roof scupper of Duke Supply to direct the water into the barrel.

Steve T & Elliot worked on the M1 simulators installation.
After some tweaking, it should be operable in the next couple of weeks.


Monday, July 14, 2014

What a day!

This past Saturday saw a flurry of activities and a huge crowd of current & new volunteers working together.
Steve "Nappy" supplied us with a "transporter" which allowed him to pick up and move #35's cab from behind the Ping Pong coach to a more readily open spot next to #35's boiler. This wasn't easy as there is no floor and plenty of rust, however, the unit hung together and we were able to set it down safely and sturdily.
Now comes the sheet metal replacement in order to use it as an interactive display piece.
Dinky #398-the yellow "Dashing Dottie" unit had some of the lower sheet metal removed due to major corrosion. This will be replaced next Saturday and then the next pieces cut out.
Also accomplished was more work on the steam engine.
If you remember, Conrad Milster from Pratt Institute and the Ct. Antique Machinery Association came out from Brooklyn and went over the unit to help us get it going. It is now a working engine that is having its "bugs" worked out.
There were major leaks around the packing glands and virtually all of the valve nuts. We also had to remove the head end and valve port  inspection covers to replace the gaskets.
The valve stem packing nuts were the first to be tightened in sequence, then the valve head nuts, then a new plug was installed on the head end after the gaskets were all replaced. There is still a small leak on the cylinder head on the connecting arm end as well as a persistent leak from one of the valve head nuts. I'm still working on these 2 points.
The biggest issue I still have is the connecting arm pin. It seems that the bushing is either broken in half or just needs to be re-set. Oh well, that's what next week is for.
I measured for the 2 new belts and will order them this week and now am researching for a grinding stone which will enable us to show the public just what one of these units was used for in an industrial-setting.
All in all-What  a day!

Try this

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

steam in action---almost!

Here is a video from this past Saturday's work session.
Our Civil war era steam engine in action. I posted it on my photobucket account.


What's up OBRM????

so far this season, our intrepid volunteers have been preparing parts from #35 to be shipped down for restoration to Steam operations corp. Some items have already been shipped and we are ready for shipment #3, this year.
Also, they have finished up caboose #50's bi-annual maintenance. Also completed is #12's bi-annual maintenance. We also kept up on the Worlds Fair Alco diesel cab, by repairing the air-horns, paint touch ups and waterproofing the cab, which is a maintenance headache! But we are getting to the finish line with this task.
We also were FINALLY  able to get our 1 cylinder steam engine running. We have been working on this for over 2 years and I was finally able to hook up with a steam engine "legend" Conrad Milster. Conrad Milster is the man in charge of Pratt Institutes power generating plant and works on engines like these all the time. He is famous for installing a steam line in the yard at Pratt every New Years eve and inviting the citizens in to hook up their whistles which they blow at midnight. Its been a tradition which I hope continues.
He also is a member of the CT Antique Machinery Association (CAMA)and within the past couple of years has removed an engine very similar to ours from the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park (NY Worlds Fair grounds) to bring up to CAMA and restore to operating condition.

He was able to get it running in about 15 minutes, although it does need quite a bit of small "tweaks" to get it running. The main issue that stymied us turned out to be that the slide valve was not seating and allowing all of the air around it to go right out the exhaust valve.
See!! It takes an expert and I am smart enough to know that I didn't know enough to get this engine running

Here is what he had to say about our engine:
It is a Civil Ware era single action pumping engine which may have had a feed water system attached to pump water into  another system.
The flywheel was probably used to power another set of machines and the governor was added on later, probably around the turn of the 20th century.
He also stated that his unit operates on 5-10 lbs of pressure & puts out between 10+15 horsepower.

When this unit was donated by the Old Bethpage Village Restoration a few years ago, we also received an add on unit on which we will install a grinding wheel to demonstrate how this engine was used for industry.
The take off from the flywheel is a leather belt which he said we can order from an online retailer once we get the correct measurement and we can also get a belt to power the governor balls from the same retailer.

We plan on having demonstrations of this engine on Saturdays beginning sometime in August.
This will be a hit with all.

Thank you again Conrad Milster, who is a genuinely nice guy.


A new year- a new start

50 years ago, "the world came to Queens".
Today at the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum, we are celebrating a milestone in New York as well as the USA.
Any of you old enough to remember this year, remember it VERY fondly.
It was the year the Beatles came to America, right here in NY. It was also the year that the world was introduced to the Ford Mustang and America to the delights of the Belgian waffle. It was also the year that one of my favorite wineries began. Sterling Vineyards in Napa California.
But most of all, it was the first year of the world famous 1964/1965 NY Worlds Fair.
So many wonderful memories, so many years ago.
So, the board of directors of the OBRM, knowing that we have such a valuable and tangible link to this amazing time, in our collection, decided to install a 50th anniversary celebration of the NYWF.
Utilizing memorabilia in the Visitors Center, we were able to show  people just how much fun this time period was and remind them of how far we have come as a culture since then.
AND, because we are a railroad museum, of course the collection was heavily skewed towards transportation.
Since the LIRR was the host railroad of the area, they got into the fair with their own pavilion featuring a full size cut down diesel cab which was used as a photo feature. This is the same diesel cab that we have in our collection. The pavilion didn't show off new age technology like some of the others, however, it did show off Long Island and the LIRR by allowing the visitors a uniquely Long Island experience.
An incubator where LI Ducklings were hatching showed off this industry as well as the duck pond where the ducklings  were transferred to begin their lives in the water. A windmill similar to the famous,  Hampton windmill anchored the corner. A huge tent which held an HO scale model railroad of Long Island and the "tent of the four counties" of Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk. Beautiful park landscaping and of course, the 2 jewels in the crown, the Allen Hershell G16 model ride on scale train, which is still on LI and in operation at the Railroad Museum of LI in Riverhead AND our very own WF Alco Diesel cab simulator. This simulator has been "spiffed up" and has operating diesel horns as well as a sound system installed in the nose. The LIRR also built an operating interlocking cabin on the pavilion-Fair cabin.
The most interesting part of our display may well be the 1/4 inch scale model of the actual LIRR Pavilion as modeled by me. Using hundreds of photos supplied to me by many LIRR & NY Worlds Fair Historians, such as Bill Cotter, David Morrison, Steve Lynch, Dave Keller and Dick Maksie, I was able to kit-bash and/or custom build EVERY building on the grounds of the pavilion. I was also able to build an operating G16 scale ride on train and found a 4 car set of operating R36 World Fair subway cars for the layout.

This was a labor of love for me and most of the NYWF collection is mine  as are almost all of the NY Mets collection.
We plan on having this display up almost until the end of the year when we will change it out for the Holiday Express.
I hope that you tell all of your friends of this and pay us a visit.
Many thanks to all