Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ping Pong History

Hi Folks,
after being worked on for the past few months, I would like to bring you up to speed on our Ping Pong Progress.

Built by AC&F-American Car and Foundry in 1923 as a P54E steam car as car #433, it was then converted to an MU trailer in April of 1925 without a change in car number. It was then modernized in March of 1958 and given the class P54D and changed to #7433. It was officially "scrapped" on 12/21/1974.
#7433  was then sold to Steamtown Foundation, Bellows Falls, VT, 12-21-1974. Refurbished in 1976 and named Colonel Seth Warner for use on the Vermont Bicentennial Steam Expedition. It was again Sold to the Knox & Kane RR in Marienville PA. It was auctioned off and sold for scrap, 10-10-2008. Sold to Oyster Bay RR Museum, Oyster Bay NY, 11-2008 and was subsequently readied for its travels up to Oyster Bay NY for inclusion in the Museum display yard.
**The information above was compiled by Ed Koehler from List Chapter NRHS***

In September of 2017, we began the restoration by removing the seats, seat frames and finally all of the concrete and steel corrugated floor. 
Our plans are to  add steel channel reinforcements between the floor cross members, cover with all new corrugated steel then add new studs and bolts for the seat frames and finally, pour all new concrete floors. 
From b&w photos, we will re-create the light/dark vinyl tile floor pattern with new 9x9" tiles.
We are in contact with a paint stripping company who will be contracted to sandblast the interior and exterior with a new type of "dustless blasting" system that utilizes recycled glass media in a water solution. They are certified for lead abatement as we believe that there is lead paint under the latex and cannot take any chances.

After that we will treat the metal with a rust converter like Loctite Extend and then Prime and finish paint the entire car.

We have been throwing around the concept of Tichy Gray with a gray/silver roof, natural aluminum window frames and white lettering. A color palette that we do not currently have in our collection.
A photo of work being done inside our car

On another matter-
Work has begun on Phase 2 of the Station restoration to complete the West wall. all 6 windows from the upper part of the building; 3 small squares that were visible and 3 large rectangular units that have been covered up by stucco since around 1942, have been removed and picked up by our contractor in Rhode Island for restoration. Hopefully, we will get them back by February for re-installation.
The contractor will also re-install wood trim embedded in the stucco, that has also gone missing since the 1940's.
All of the paint is being stripped and new sealer, primer and paint will be put on to finish up the facade on the West wall only.
When completed, we will have something grand to show off.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Late yet again!!

Hi folks,
I'm sorry that I haven't  posted since the beginning of October- 10/8, to be exact, however, here is my OBRM update!
Oystefest during the weekend of October 13 & 15 went ok. For some unknown reason, the weekend wasn't  as great as years past as the foot traffic seemed down considerably and we didn't make as much money as usual.
Oh well, we did what we could. We were not open at all that weekend and resumed our work session on Saturday the 21st.
Fred, George and Bernard ganged up and finished removing the rest of the rotted corrugated steel flooring.

As of yesterday, November 4th, we are (were) ready to begin the installation of the new corrugated flooring-one hitch, though. Do (did) we need a custom pressed floor sheet made or can (could) we use something stock.
After a  lot of research, I found a steel master in East Harlem who could custom press whatever we needed. While my company was on strike, I was out visiting some upper Manhattan accounts and made a pit stop at Aquel Metals on 2nd ave between 118th and 119th streets to meet with Said. He took my sample and was able to give me options.
1-use a stock corrugated galvanized that he could give us for $600, which would be enough to cover the North half of the car OR-----
2-he could custom press the same amount in galvanized steel for $1200.
I took a sample back to the Ping Pong coach to attempt a fit up and after the guys placed the 2 halves into place, we realized that the stock pieces would work VERY WELL!!
So, I guess we go with the lower priced option.
As George was attempting to break up the thin coat layer of concrete, he broke through rotted flooring on the South half of the car. SO! now we will have to remove the rest of the concrete and all of the (rotted) steel flooring.
What this now means in terms of our budget is that we will now have to spend the entire $1200.
But that's OK as we do have a $10, 000 budget which will also cover the steel channel that we will have to purchase to connect the cars frame to the cross members UNDER the new corrugated steel floor. NO fall throughs!! This budget may also cover the job of sandblasting the exterior of the car. We will have Restora Blast come out to give us a quote. They utilize a new procedure called "Dustless Blasting" which I know from the auto industry.
This process uses a water base with recycled ground glass as the blasting media. NO free silica dust so we DO NOT have to tent the car (save money!) and no vacuuming. everything outside of the car can be blasted which will allow us to also blast the seat frames. The car will be left to rust so we can then roll on a coat of "Extend" which is a rust converter. This gives us a great base for primer and paint. Before the "extend" goes on, we will cut out the rust and flush weld new steel to repair the car. Fred is very excited at this prospect.

The guys removed all of the seats and stacked them in the vestibule of the coach which opened up the interior so we could remove the seat frames from the South half. Even though WE were hosting a group of folks from SPLIA -the Society for the Preservation of Long Islands Antiquities at the Historic Train Station while work was going on a bit shorthanded, George and Fred and Leon and Jack  and even me, were able to get everything except the part of the seat frame which is bolted to the steel floor stock, out of the coach.
Next week, we will remove the concrete and the steel straps with the seat frames intact as a unit and continue until all of the steel is gone from the car. This will be a multi week job which will take us into the winter. We can always hook up space heaters to keep some warmth inside of the steel car.

George removing the seat frames on the South side of the Ping Pong coach---

As for the visit from SPLIA?
John Collins, our Historic Architect began the visit with an overview of what was going on from his standpoint, after which, Dave Morrison, my co-chair on the Station Restoration Committee spoke about the station building and Teddy Roosevelt. Then I took over and made my video presentation which went over well. Bill Sheeline, another member of the Station Restoration Committee was able to provide additional information during the presentation.
Dave Morrison speaking--
John Collins speaking---
SPLIA members---

The SPLIA members were very impressed and really enjoyed themselves. After the presentation, we walked over to the display yard to show off #35 and our collection. The turntable impressed all.
the day was long and fun. TODAY, Sunday November 5th, we are hosting the PRRT&HS at 4pm. Steve Torborg will be the host.

As though all of this wasn't enough, Doug from Pedowitz Trucking called me about moving the simulators and our boxcar from the LIRR and I asked him who repairs his forklifts. Turns out that his company has an in-house department that does all repairs in NJ.
I told him of our issues on our forklift and he offered to pick up our Hyster unit and bring it in for an inspection and depending on what was found, repairs as well. DONATED!!
Holy Crap!

More work and more words to come.
See ya.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

almost on time

Hi folks,
so it's only Sunday and I'll take that as writing on time.
Yesterday, Fred and  I dove right in on continuing our good luck with the fuel system on the forklift.
When we left last Saturday, the forklift was cutting out and we weren't too sure whether it was the newly installed fuel pump or something electrical.
We hooked up the gravity feed can and the motor started right up and ran until we shut it off, so we knew it was the fuel pump.
It turns out that the 90 degree fitting on the outlet side of the pump was loose and sucking air.
I had already purchased a straight fitting and Fred installed it in minutes.
We then changed out the fuel line for a new one and hooked up a new filter.
We crossed our fingers and then hit he key.......
Success! It started and ran smoothly until WE shut it off.
Smooth sailing, so we thought.
Later, after we moved onto something else, we came back to start the forklift again and found that it was cutting out again.
We were SO pissed off that Fred decided it was time to leave and clear his head. I agreed as I was to leave at 1:30 to get back home. I had to take over the desk at my local Historical Society in Baldwin from 3-5.
Before I left, I decided against Fred's better judgment to advance the ignition timing.
I bumped it  about 2 degrees advanced and started the engine. It fired up and kept running.
I remembered many years ago that this engine seemed to like more timing and just took a shot.
I called to tell Fred and we both laughed.
There's still a chance that it could be vapor lock, but this never happened before and I can't believe that it is the cause of our issues. Who knows??
While this was going on, George and Bernard were continuing their work on removing the floor in the Ping Pong Coach.
They are almost done and there is a very good chance that we could begin welding in cross pieces in a few weeks.
These pieces will divide the width of the open sections where the new corrugated steel will be placed and will provide good structural rigidity for the new concrete pour.
A bit more steel removal and we are ready to go!!

Next weekend will be the annual Oyster Festival and most areas of our campus will be closed in order to focus on our fundraising efforts at our booth.
 The following Saturday will be our annual meeting at the Station and our second memorabilia sale.

Any comments?
Feel free to post
Keep the faith!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

late again

Hi folks,
so it seems that I'm late yet again!
2 weeks ago,
George and Bernard continued to remove the concrete floor in the ping pong coach by using electric jackhammers!
I figured, why work harder, so, I went to Baldwin tool rental by my home and picked up the 2 breakers. Needless to say, we decided to work smarter.
All of the concrete was gone by end of day and I'm sure that the 2 of them were feeling good the next day compared to last week!
While this was going on, Fred and I continued to work on the forklift. This is a big, big deal as we will need to get this unit going. We need to move the crossing shanty and the steam engine so to clear out the areas for future expansion of displays.
at the same time, Paul got busy needle scaling the vestibule and staircases on the ping.
Divide and conquer, I say! by doing the job ourselves, we will be able to save on sandblasting costs.

Last Saturday,
Our day began at the station where we removed all of the loose lumber inside and stacked it all under a tarp out on the track side. Georg, John V, Paul,  Steve T and John Specce really got dirty.
At the yard,
Fred and I continued our work on the forklift while Steve Torborg got our compressor re-situated. He also got us fuel and diesel for the compressor.
John V and George worked on cutting up the corrugated steel floor. By removing all of the floor, we will be able to clean all of the steel and treat it in order to prepare it for the new steel installation.
This is a full press restoration. Floors, walls and then paint removal!
We believe that we can get this job done by end of year 2018.
It's funny to see that the coach is cockeyed to the South.
Paul continued to needle scale the vestibule and we believe that we are more than halfway there.
If you ain't here, you just ain't!!
Any comments??
Bring 'em on.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Another great day in Oyster Bay

Hi folks,
let's get right to it, shall we?
So, while we were formulating a plan to remove the rotted floors inside the Ping Pong Coach,
reality intervened and told us what to do.
George and Bernard, found out that the false floor underneath the coach was made up of thinner steel sheets which were bolted to each other and then bolted up to the center sill.
Trying to remove them from the underside like we had hoped to do, proved impossible, SO!, these two gents figured out that just breaking up the concrete from the inside of the car, proved the best way.
This process released the concrete from the  rotted corrugated sheet that it was poured into, forming the floor and allowed them to then cut up the corrugated steel. After this process, they were then able to remove the false floor which now is all gone for about 15 feet of the car. Starting from the West end of the car they also began to remove the concrete over the center sill, which is a channel with a depressed, solid steel top. They figured out that the steel plates which they found underneath the seat mounting frames is actually bolted down to the center sill. By cutting the few attachment points, they were able to remove the one plate which was empty.

The photos above show what needed to be done .

In order to facilitate the cleanup, they first had to tarp the outside of the car to be able to trap whatever fell underneath the car.

Since we began the restoration of this valuable piece of equipment, we have made the car off limits to our guests. We hope that we can get this North side of the floor out by spring and begin the re-installation of a new corrugated steel floor and concrete. Afterwards, we can then repeat this process on the South side of the car. Then we plan on putting 12x12 vinyl or linoleum tiles back as the original floor was made of one of these materials.. We found a small piece under the seat frame while it was being removed.

While this was going on these past weeks, we also began to strip the paint from the west vestibule and stair cases. While removing paint last week on the North stairwell, I found some interesting paint colors. the brighter red caught my eye as it appears to be directly over the primer coat.
And if all this wasn't enough, yesterday, Fred Ruben finally got the forklift to fire up. We are still a ways away from declaring victory in order to use and abuse it, however, we were told that this unit would never work again, so, nuts to all of those naysayers out there!
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Fred and John Petsche who worked tirelessly to help get this unit back to operating condition.
Nappy started the ball rolling and they kept it moving. Thanks guys!
Hopefully, we can have it working next week.

Enjoy the labor day holiday and I'll speak to you next week.
Don't work too hard!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Two weeks in one

Today is Sunday August 27, so it's time for an updated post.
Since I didn't have a working camera last week, I couldn't take photos and I guess I just plain forgot to post what went on.
Here we go.....
For the last two weeks, our President John Specce, has been working on site with our Electrician Steve Bauer to continue putting in our electrical system for the yard and Turntable.
This is the newly installed power head for the turntable. It was installed just below the cross arms which carry the wires to the collector arch.
This photo shows the Main power head assembly going to the Meter Pan which will supply the entire yard with electric. Just to the right of the head you can clearly see the rack which is holding the power conductors from the LIPA pole on Harbor Place.

During the past 2 weeks, Paul and I have been busy needle scaling paint off of the Ping Pong Coach stairs while George, Bernard and John were removing the panels under the windows and removing all of the insulation so we can finally weld up the  rust holes. Also removed were the seats and the heating vent covers. Also removed was the actual heating pipe. It had to be cut out.
At this time we only have to remove the panels under the car floor which will then allow us to break up ALL of the damaged concrete floor from the center beam to the north side windows. We will then weld on an angle bracket along the bottom of the windows and lay in corrugated metal onto which we will then pour lightweight concrete to complete the floor on that side of the car.
When dry, we will remove the seats, wall panels, heating vents and piping on the South side of the car just like the North in order to pour a new floor there as well. Our final plan is to re-install Marmoleum floor tiles to approximate the original flooring.

This is a shot of the paint on the step as I was in the midst of removal.
What is very interesting is that I found a very red glossy color paint under all of the other layers of paint  but right on top of the primer. Strange! I guess I will have to look into it.

As all of this was going on, John Petsche and Fred Rubin were busy getting the forklift running again. We will definitely need this as we will be receiving from the LIRR the M7 and DE/DM simulators that are being scrapped AND we will be receiving our 40 foot x-New Haven boxcar via truck. Our plans are to place the M7 where the Steam Engine is and place the DE where our Forklift is. We will move the crossing shanty west of where it Is and place the steam engine there. We will also move the tender trucks between the locomotive frame and the boiler  as well as move the tender frame so as to make room to place the boxcar between the Coach and the Fence line.

Also going on is that John Petsche has been steadily completing the static restoration of the yellow "dinky" in preparation for its move onto the turntable after the turntable is operating.

Now, For those of you who don't believe that we really work, here is a photo of me taken yesterday when I got home. Believe it or not, this is after a cursory cleanup before I took a shower!

No comments, please but feel free to laugh all you want!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Sunday in Riverhead

Hi folks,
I received these shots from Ronnie the other day and just sat down to post them for you all to see.
Our 2nd P72 was moved into the LIRR Riverhead yard for long term storage and we promised the LIRR and Town of Riverhead that we would get all 3 of our cars painted nicely to discourage any new vandalism and to brighten up the area. The other 2 cars were already painted.
Thanks to Don Fischer of RMLI for providing us with the correct Benjamin Moore color mixes.
Top photo is of the south side after scraping and painting.

This photo shows us the north side after scraping and painting.
That is Gerard coming towards the camera.
This is a view of  the west vestibule end. The patches which the LIRR riveted on over the rusted out areas have been removed and new patch panel will be flush welded to repair these ends correctly, not just expediently!
EVERY P72/P75 and the MP versions had this problem area. The crap that was thrown up on these ends kept these sides quite moist.

After this, all that is left is to scrape and paint the roof of this car #2935.
Our crew does an amazing job!
Thank you Ronnie/Gerard/George and anyone else who I might have missed!!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

On Vacation

Hi Folks,
Well, did ya miss me??
I took off a few weeks for a well earned and deserved vacation from work/OBRM/Baldwin Historical Society/Life in General-etc.
BUT, I'm back.
Now lets get down to the business at hand.

Mike Bartley and I busted our humps for over 4 hours putting together the pipe frame and drilling into the new sidewalk to install it. Then George came by, after finishing in the yard, to help us put up the banner. NOW, everyone walking down Audrey Ave, Railroad Plaza and from the LIRR station can see this sign and hopefully dig deep to donate.  Placing this banner here will also allow our contractor ample room to set up their scaffolding so that they can restore this side of the station.

Just before we hung the banner, the 3 of us were joined by Paul and Bill K when a Sagamore Hill NPS ranger brought over 20 people for their tour about Teddy Roosevelt. Seems the station is still part of this tour which I hear ends in a few weeks.

Thankfully these fine visitors were able to see the inside while I told them about the history of the building and they could see us as volunteers. We were well received, BTW!

And speaking about the yard--
While Mike and I were beating ourselves up with the banner, George, Paul and Bernard were busy kicking ass on the Ping Pong Coach #7433.
They took all of the seat cushions off of the North side and turned them over onto the South side seats.
Then they removed the frames from the walls and again, tried to remove the stand attached to the floor.
They managed to remove 2, however a suggestion was made to NOT remove these brackets as they really do not want to come out and cutting off the heads of the mounting bolts really sucks!
I took a look before I closed up shop and I have to agree with Bernard.
My revised plan is to break up all of the concrete floor on the north side of these brackets and remove the inner wall sheets on the North side of this car under the windows to remove any insulation. This will allow us to start welding up any holes and not worry about setting anything on fire! always a good thing

Then we can determine just how the steel plate holding the seat frames to the floor is attached. My educated (?) guess is that it is somehow set into the concrete.
Over the course of the year we will keep the car closed to the public as we will raise a lot of dust and the possibility that there may be some lead in the paint. We cannot take any chances with the kids!
We will also have people needle scaling the paint starting on the west platform and vestibule. Just in case, we will tarp off these sectinos so we can vacuum up any dust and paint chips to keep the little ones safe.
 The photo above shows the empty North side of the car with the remaining seat floor brackets. We will strip the paint in place. The side sheets are located under every window.
 Here is a piece of vinyl floor that was left under one of the seat floor brackets which was removed.
Always take the easy way out. Don't remove the seat brackets when you replace the floor around it! LIRR? K&K? We'll never know
This shot above shows the outline of a steel plate which is what the seat floor brackets bolt to. It runs from the East end of the car until just past the last west end seat bracket. I will have to "assume" that on the South side of the car, this plate also does not go to the end of the car.
Yes, those are my work shoes in the photo.

Tomorrow, the "Riverhead crew" consisting of Ronnie, Gerard and whoever else they get will paint the 2nd P72 coach which was recently brought into the River yard by the LIRR. The first coach and our BM60 baggage/mail car were recently re-painted and look real good. Thanks Jordan for painting the axle covers on the BM60, yellow. Smart move.

Stay tuned for more action packed stories!
Same Bat time-Same Bat station!
RIP Adam West 


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saturday, In the yard-1 day later

HI Folks,
YES! 2 posts in 1 week. Remarkable feat for me if I do say so.
Yesterday, George, Bernard, Leon, Paul, John Specce and I met at the yard with our electrician;Steve Bauer to continue the installation of the circuit breaker box and the underground piping.
Even  with the higher than normal humidity, we were able to adjust the breaker box so it was level and plumb which enabled Steve Bauer to drill out the bottom for the pipe fittings.
While this was going on, John Specce and I set off for the Visitors center to hang up our new fundraising sign on the side of the Visitors Center facing the parking lot and Audrey Ave.

We then went over to the train station to put together the pipe frame for the other fundraising sign that will be bolted into the concrete facing Audrey Avenue, Maxwell avenue and the LIRR station. You can't have enough  "in your face" notice to the community.

I then went back to the yard to assist John Petsche who is working on our dinky to help him in any way. He was testing the coolant system and came up with a number of small but nagging issues that will entail some machining of parts, removal from the other unit to replace on this unit and we still need a new radiator cap!
I picked up special diesel motor oil and have 2 of the 3 filters that are needed. He also planned on opening up the fuel tank sump to see what is inside the tank. I haven't checked in with him to see if this was done, but worse case scenario, we can do this next week. I left earlier that I wanted as I wasn't feeling well due to the humidity. This getting old stuff sucks!!

I spoke with Leon this morning and he let me know that all of the underground piping was indeed installed but the excavation was not back filled.
I'll check in with our electrician to see what still needs to be done.

I will NOT be posting a blog next week as I am taking a trip to Florida to see my dear old Uncle and head off to the Bahamas on a cruise with my wife. THEN, the following week I will be taking a cross country road trip to the Minnesota Transportation Museum in St. Paul.
This is one of the largest collections of trains in the USA and I am attending on behalf of OBRM.
This should be fun!
See you all in a few weeks

Wednesday morning 7/12/17-8am
A quick update-I had to attend an interview up at the visitors center last night (7/11/17) of a potential contractor for the Station Restoration Committee. Afterwards, I went to the yard to drop off some things for future use and while there took these 3 shots.

 The above view is of the Turntable cutoff switch on the left which will be locked so only the operators can use it. The bigger box on the right is the circuit breaker box that took us weeks to install due to bad weather and the massive size.
We spec'd out 400 amp service which will provide everything we could possibly want in the yard.
It still needs the installation of the breaker insert as this is only the empty shell.
 The above view shows the 2 boxes as described above plus the meter pan box in the background, which is where the actual power conduits from LIPA will be installed and metered. The grey piping that you see going underground was installed without wiring inside and we still need to add piping from the circuit breaker box underground to the turntable's cutoff switch. Hopefully, this will be accomplished in a few days during our next work session.

And finally, the above shot shows the relationship of the boxes from the turntable deck. We had to make sure that the boxes were about 6 feet from the edge of the concrete turntable pit in order to allow us to swing our 2 P72 coaches full circle. They are a bit longer than the turntable bridge.
On the meter box on the right side you can see where the piping comes up from the top of the box and makes a small "s" curve to go up the pole to the "weatherhead" which is where we will make the connection to the LIVE wires from LIPA.

Friday, July 7, 2017

yes, I'm late---AGAIN !!

Hi Folks,
yes, I've been busy again.
Last Saturday, Bernard, John S, Leon, Paul and I  were able to (FINALLY) install the circuit breaker box.YEAH for us!!
By putting a ladder in back of the wooden frame and tying off the come along with chains and some lumber, we hauled (more like slid) the (heavy) metal box up a couple of 2x4's.
We lifted it a up a little higher than the frame and pushed the box's cleat into the other cleat we had previously installed onto the frame. After lunch, we added the interior pieces and finally the heavy locking door.
Our biggest issue was that we could not actually lock the door!
Come this Saturday, we will make sure that the box is both level and plumb. That should fix things up. Hopefully, our electrician will be available to continue the piping underground so we can finally fill in the trench which will make our lives SO MUCH easier.

In addition, I was finally able to get all of the fittings to let me put together a pipe frame to let us hang the fundraising "thermometer" at the train station. Visibility folks!

Keep the faith, folks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

it's hectic

Hi folks,
it's  been a couple of weeks since my last post, but DO NOT worry, as I have quite a few things to tell you about.

1:2 Saturdays ago, with a good crew at Oyster Bay along with Steve Bauer our electrician, we were able to mount the shutoff switch box that will provide/disconnect power to our turntable. Steve also added some more underground piping for the wiring.
At the same time, Ronnie and Gerard had a crew out in Riverhead by the RR Museum of LI-Thanks Don Fischer of RMLI for all of your assistance!
The task at hand was repainting the Baggage Mail car. Our ex-LIRR BM60.
It, like our P72 coaches was covered in Graffiti and we needed to get it painted. With the correct color paint (no Barney purple) Tuscan Red, they got to scraping and painting most of the car. They plan on finishing this Saturday.
They have done one hell of a great job.

2:last Saturday, Leon, John Specce, our President, me and Steve Torborg went to the home of a donor who was giving us a scale model of a steam locomotive that his late brother had built in the basement.
We arrived at 8 am and began the (very) arduous task of figuring out how he had assembled this model. BTW- it was wired up to move up and down the track that it sat on!!

It must have taken us an hour before we figured it out due to extremely heavy paint build up that covered/obscured the mounting bolts. We removed the 2 (!) bolts and slipped the very heavy boiler off of the frame.
Then we had to drag it up the stairs and I tell you that it weighed over 300 lbs. if it weighed an ounce. BUT! that was the easy part.

The donor, Danny, and the 4 of us then had to figure out how to get the frame which was solid steel and wood off the table that it was resting on and again, drag it up the stairs and out onto dollies.
This part weighed over 600 lbs, but we didn't know that as we first tried to bring it up nose first.
Big mistake, as we couldn't swing  it out the side door because all of the weight on the rear of the frame.
SO! what we tried out then (after taking a well deserved rest) was to swing the unit around so that the heavy end was at the top of the stairs. When we finally got the frame up, we wound up tilting the unit up on its end which wasn't the easiest or smartest thing that we ever did! Believe me that it was UGLY!
It worked, but I wound up pulling my back out.
We turned the unit so we could tilt the nose into the house while we pulled the rear out the side door and onto a moving dolly.

After what seemed like 2 hours, we finally got the unit onto dollies and to the front of the house when the skies opened up. Luckily, Danny's wife made us a delicious lunch of Sausage and Peppers and his mom made us lemon cookies.. So, we ate while we waited. Finally, we were able to load the unit into the trailer and said our goodbyes.
While John had to leave a bit earlier than we did, Steve and Leon drove the trailer up to Oyster Bay while I went home to rehab my back, WHICH, until even today, 6/21/17, still hurts like a banshee!
We left around 4 pm but Leon and Steve didn't get home until after 6 pm due to the traffic and we were just in Ozone Park!!
This model, because it does move under its own power (electric), can be better utilized as a display model instead of the unit we currently have.
This coming Saturday we WILL get the circuit breaker box installed on the frame.
We just need to take it apart which will lighten it up considerably.

Comment as you see fit.
Better yet, come on down and lend a hand-take a look and let us know how you really feel!
Thank you

Monday, June 5, 2017

#35 in the damnedest of places!

So I read somewhere that #35, while it sat in Salisbury/Eisenhower Park, was used as a photo prop for numerous occasions. Here are a few album covers that feature #35.
Some may be easier to spot #35 in the background, however, I assure you,  after diligent research and matching the angle to known photos, that it is really #35 in the photos/album covers. I'm still looking for more.
 The photo above was taken on the fireman's side just behind the steam cylinder. You can see the huge casting for the valve gear hanger on the left side of the photo by the singers shoulder
 This ne is way too easy to figure out, but, Keystone, folks!!! You can see the #3
 Roadbed and tube pilot with the staircase to the right side of the photo.
just another style like the 2nd photo.
And, another view looking upwards from ground level. Again, this is a gimme as you can clearly see the keystone with #3 behind the guy in the center. I would love to get my hands on the photographers inventory of slides from that day!

The electric slide-Part ??

Hi folks,
I've been sick for a few days so I can't remember which part this blog is. Please forgive me.
So let's see whats going on.
2 Saturdays ago, I forgot to post this blog-
While a small, but highly devoted, crew was teaming up in Riverhead to begin the repainting project,
George, John S,Paul, Bernard, Steve,Leon and I installed the 2nd electrical panel board.
We hated the back breaking work, however, we got it done.
We did have to re-hang the french cleat which will actually connect to the electrical cabinet itself.
Hopefully, we will be able to install it come Saturday June 10, if the electrician is around to inspect things for us. If he is and we pass muster, then we can glue up the underground piping which will connect the meter pan to the breaker box and back fill everything. This would also be a help as walking around and over the turntable is getting mighty lame.

Now onto This past Saturday June 3rd.
While Leon, Steve T and myself were attending my sister in law,Betty's, wedding, Gerard was in charge at Riverhead. Thanks to Ronnie, Don Fischer from the RR Museum of L.I. and the OBRM crew who went out, our P72 passenger coach 2956 has had all 4 sides repainted in the proper-silver marlin- color. The roof was not done nor was the underside, but just the 4 exterior walls as there was plenty of graffiti and we desperately need to get it painted over.
Next week, weather permitting of course, we plan on attacking our BM60-Baggage Mail car for repainting.
It too has been tagged while in storage and it will, once again, look splendid in a fresh coat of Tuscan Red.
Again, no underside or roof painting is planned.
After our second P72 coach, 2935 is brought into the storage yard, we will bombard that car as well for repainting.
Photos have been posted on OBRM Facebook page.

All is well, All is good.
Comment as you see fit.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The electric slide-B side

Hi Folks,
Yesterday, the day started out dreary and didn't get too much better.
It turned out that only Bernard and I showed up!
So, what to do??
Simple-get our asses in gear and start putting together the 2nd electrical panel for the circuit breaker box.
just like a couple of weeks ago, it was screw some 2x12's to the pressure treated 6x6's. We then bolted on the "French cleat" on which the actual box will hang on. After this panel is finished and  installed in the ground (and approved by our electrician, Steve Bauer), we will then "hang" the box and add another 2x12 under the bottom of the box which has 2 fold down brackets. these brackets will be bolted to the 2x12 for a permanent installation.
After that, we add the underground lateral electrical piping to the existing underground pipe.

Just in case you are thinking that was all we could do, when we were through, we then took on repairs to our golf cart. It had a flat tire which Bernard took to the Getty station for a quick repair and then we worked on the rear brakes which were locked up on the drivers side.
Around 2 o'clock, Steve Torborg and Leon,  showed up. They had spent the morning out in Riverhead, inspecting the 2 P72 coaches to work out a plan of action for repairs and painting..
Bernard left  around 2:30 and Steve, Leon and I then worked out a plan of action for repairs to the floor and walls of the Ping Pong coach in preparation for its repainting this season.
We finally left at 5pm. with a plan in place.
Let's just pray that we have enough hands and time to accomplish our goals this year!!!

See you next week.
Comment as you see fit.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Long Island-The Keystone county

At least it was last Sunday, May 7th, 2017.
A new chapter for the Pennsylvania Railroad Technical and Historical Society (PRRT&HS) was formed right here on Long Island a few months ago and we received our charter.
There are about 20 charter members of which I am one of.
The reason is that the LIRR was owned by the PRR, so it was a natural fit.
It was decided that both OBRM and the RR Museum of LI (RMLI) would play host to 2 meetings each per year. The last one was at OBRM and was set up by Ed Koehler who had his friend Joe Bux come up and make his presentation to the group assembled inside of out Ping Pong Coach.
Believe it or not, the coach makes a great place to hold a meeting!!
We set up a screen on the west end of the car to block the door and we were all comfy on the coach seats. We had refreshments and coffee for all. Joe put on a  DYNAMITE presentation of how he "worked" for the PRR for a day when he was 19 complete with great photos. We had a lot of fun.
The group who showed up had the run of the yard as we had closed for the day and afterwards, we took off for the Historic Presidential Railroad station. over a dozen folks came over to see our progress on its restoration and then we walked down the street to the visitors center so everyone could look around and avail themselves of the "facilities"
When done, most of the group went out for dinner while I took off for home. I was beat, having been up to Oyster Bay 3 days during the week.
We are anxiously awaiting the next meeting at RMLI.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The electric slide-----

Hola all- I do not know why this did not publish last week, so it's a week late.
yesterday (Saturday May 6th) was a great day for our friend the turntable.
Why you ask?
It's because after busting our butts last week to install the framework to hold the electric meter, We actually INSTALLED the meter box.
This box is where the conductors from PSE&G will come into the yard and houses the actual meter itself.
We had Steve Bauer our OBRM electrician o hand to supervise the installation while John Specce our President, Leon Daitz-volunteer and new board member, Rich Brody,  George Schlicter and I, cut lumber, bolted panels and did the heavy lilting to hang the  meter box.
After everything was deemed "perfect", we then began the task of gluing up and installing the piping which will go up to the mast head from the top of the meter box and added the piping from the bottom of the box to go underground to the new distribution panel box which will  (hopefully) be installed in 2 weeks time.
This was NO easy task but with help from our air compressor and brute strength, we had this task accomplished by about 4:30.
We then took a detour over to the visitors center to build and install 2 sets of stairs which will be used during our first fully sanctioned school trips on  May 15 & 16.
This has been a long time in the works and we are very happy that it is (almost) here.
All that is left is to cut and install the stair treads.
We also had John Petsche show up with is girlfriend to do a little work inside Dinky #398 which got him to the point of having a fully working relay inside the electrical cabinet. 1 down-2 more to go.
All in all,
It was electrifying!
Comment as you see fit.

rainy days and Mondays usually get me down

but today was Saturday, so, the heck with Monday!!
Hi all,
so I showed up earlier than anyone else at the Historic Oyster Bay RR Station and waited.
Since the last phase of construction is over and we are waiting to issue the contract for phase 2b, we want to open up the station building for visitors.
Even though we could, doesn't mean we should. I decided, since it was going to be such a crappy, rainy day, that we should have a cleanup session inside the station building.
Steve T, Lean, John P, Paul, George and Bernard showed up and we split up in 2 groups.
My group began to move all of the lumber and tools inside the station to a different area so we could open up the west end of the building-getting it ready for Phase 2b and more importantly, make it safer for visitors.
The other group went to the visitor's center to remove all of the paint and bring it all back to the  storage trailer.
This worked out well and afterwards, we all wound up inside the visitors center to conduct an all around cleanup of the interior in preparation for our first visit from the grade school classes.
We also finished the staircase and handrail for the viewing platform of the scale model steam locomotive.
Before we split up for the day, we returned to the station building, opened up the storage trailer and removed all of the items that we want to sell. Collectibles, RR memorabilia and model trains are being photographed and will go up for sale on EBAY.
We are now beginning the fundraising to finish up our portion of #35 steam Locomotive balance due to Steam Operations Corp.
We had a balance of $8600 due and just sent him $4500.
In addition to all of this, I had an opportunity to meet with Sarah Kautz from the Society for the Preservation of LI antiquities.
Back in 2015, the Histiric Oyster Bay RR Station was put on the SPLIA list of endangered places.
I contacted them to update our progress and wound up inviting Sarah to see for herself how we are doing. SPLIA is planning their upcoming newsletter and will include a little story about us and the station restoration. We are working towards an official SPLIA visit day during the summer for members to come up and visit us and Oyster Bay.
This should be a great day for everyone.
Keep the faith.
Comment as you see fit!

Monday, May 1, 2017

I saw the light-well, almost

Hola Amigos,
This past Saturday saw George, Bernard, John G, Leon and I cut/built/installed the first framework that will support the meter pan for our turntable electrical supply.
It was a hot day and the sun was beating down on all of us while John P worked to install the 2 new batteries in Dinky #398-The yellow-Dashing Dottie.
When all was competed, he invited us into the cab to demonstrate that the electrical system does indeed work, however, we are still a long ways off from starting up the engine itself!
This was good news, never the less.

As for the turntables electrical needs, next week, our electrician Steve Bauer, will be up to make sure that the panel we installed is in the right spot and the conduit from the supply company, PSE&G, will mate up.
I expect to hear that we will need to make some adjustments to this panel.

After this has been approved, we will then install some of the underground conduit heading to the north and will then cut/build/install the second panel frame to hold the 400 amp distribution panel which holds all of the circuit breakers for the ENTIRE YARD !
Yes folks, that's correct-the entire yard will be energized from this 6 foot tall panel box. All of the wiring will go laterally underground as it is the safest course of action for us.

Your thoughts, comments and concerns?

We just keep chugging along.

Monday, April 17, 2017

From 2 fields

As promised, I have a few updates on our work both in Oyster Bay and out east in Riverhead.

Oyster Bay is from me:
This past Friday, I had the day off from work and arrived up at the yard to meet John Specce our President, our excavation contractor-Jim Schoomaker along with our electrician-Steve Bauer.
Jim brought in his excavator and proceeded to dig a trench from the newly installed line pole acroos the back of the turntable to the area near the other new line pole. This will allow us to install a new meter pan on the first pole and build/install the structure which will house the power distribution panel, aka; the circuit breaker box, near he second line pole.
He had to dig down almost 4 feet so there is enough room to lay out the 4 inch pvc underground lateral electric piping which took him about an hour.
On Staurday, we had our first volunteer session at the yard to ensure that it is ready to receive visitors when we open on Saturday APRIL29.
Most of the work was centered around repairing the fencing around the turntable and the safety netting on the ends of the our 2 Hacks.
Safety first to keep the kids safe!
We had 5 folks show up to lend a hand which made our work very easy and failrly quick. We also started to run the power cables inside of Dinky #398 which, when we get the 2 new batteries, should allow us to test the starting system.
One step at a time!
Just a heads up that our Historic Presidential Train Station has had 2 new bathrooms installed by long time supporter, Steve Minicozzi who also graciously installed our brand new hopper style windows in the east end addition. @ 2 per bathroom. The walls were studded out and then the brick was spray foamed for insulation and added strength. Then they ran all of the electrical, plumbing and Fire wiring before adding the sheetrock. It is looking great and I can't wait for them to be finished. They are just waiting for the proper fixtures to install.
From the West, South and now the East, our station really looks SWEET!
We are now just waiting for the new glass to arrive so we can re-glaze the street level dormer windows and install the upper storey dormer windows which are already on site. We still have quite a ways to go with the North side.  I almost forgot to mention that the ROOF is now finished and by this Friday, all of the roof jacking equipment will be removed.

Now From Ronnie:
"We continued removing the seats from 2956 and cleaning the floor beneath them as we did so. Again, we are working from the west end of the car to the east. The first 4-5 rows are cleaned and back in place, and we have removed all seats up to just past the middle of the car and placed them in the baggage/mail for storage and continued cleaning. The seats in the eastern half of the car are not quite as bad as the west, so we may get away with simply cleaning them on site, or bringing a few back across the street to RMLI on an as-needed basis.
We did not do anything with 2935.
It was  two RMLI members, Matt Maritato and Greg Krusceski, as well as Gerard's friend JD Sepulveda and girlfriend Kelly Cotter along with Me and Gerard doing he dirty work."

Feel free to comment-good only, please!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Did you miss me???

Hi Folks!
After getting a few (misguided) tweaks that I don't seem to know how to write a blog, I decided to take 2016 off.
To those of you who really did miss me, I am sorry and grateful.
To those of you who complained--well, we will disagree.

It's my blog.
Here we are already in March and It snowed today. I bet the OBRM yard display is looking mighty pretty.
Since October of last year, here is what has been happening
Teddy Roosevelt is smiling down upon us.
We began, in ernest, the restorarion of HIS Presidential Railroad Station.

A brief historical note for you all-
When the Oyster bay Branch Extension Railroad was completed in 1889. the turntable and freight house was brought up from Locust Valley and both were installed as well as having a brand new brick station erected for travelers.
This original brick building is the foundation and backbone of the current building.
When TR became the youngest President of the USA, the LIRR began a rebuild of the original "cape style" building to make it a more befitting and grander structure for the new President.
Since he made his home at Sagamore Hill and ran the country from Oyster Bay, it was  determined that  the architecture be updated and changed.
Bradford Lee Gilbert, a noted architect and designer of different types of public structures was brought on board and his design was built within a year of groundbreaking.
What we have today is a humble attempt at what will be in the near future.
We are pouring all of our heart and soul into the station building as it will be our headquarters.

We hired John Collins and Tim Lee as our head people on this project as they both have the heart and desire to see this restoraion through to tthe end in a most befitting and historical nature.
They began by having new footers dug and poured inside to be ale to install 8 new posts/pilasters to hold up the two main trusses of the building. These in turn are holding up the south side roof dormer.
The LIRR/MTA removed these in1965 when they cut up the building for station and crew facilities.
Big doings-trust me.

Then while that was going on, TML Construction brought in an ass kicking mason crew who were able to open up the west wall and south walls to begin the process of installing all new  correctly designed doorways and 2 new windows. They also had to move 1 window back to its original spot!
This crew will come back when we get to the  underpinning and north wall restoration where 2 new doorways and 2 new windows will need to be installed.
All new roof rafter tail extensions were designed, created, cut and installed on the south roof line and new custom beadboard roofing was installed underneath to match the original.

Now we are engaged in an entire re-roofing with thick cut cedar shingles. Our roofing contarctor has already completed the new installation on the North roof side and East end bathroom section including a new flat roof with new copper vents/flashing. The south roof has been 75% completed and should be 100% complete by end of month April.
We have also received ALL of our new custom crystal transoms to install over the original double hung windows where they were removed. It is a very thrilling site to actually walk up to the West wall of the building and see how it originally looked with the new windows and door with sidelights. Even the glass was custom designed to be original 1902 style wavy glass. True artisans of wood and glass.we are waiting to install the new leaded glass window inserts in the South roof dormer until the completeion of the roof installation.
And just so you know-The masons even rebuilt our fireplace chimney and made it OPERABLE to boot! While the bricks were removed on the outside of he chimney, I snuck up the ladder to take a look and to my surprise, I was able to clearly see the remnants of the original round window brickwork. YES, I did take photos for "posterity". All of our photos are posted on our Facebook page and some are currently on our website as well.

We still have a ways to go before we can light a nice toasty wood fire, however it is done right and after the firebox is installed, we will try and mimic the mantel and surround from the LIRR Southampton station. After all, BradfordLee Gilbert designd this station too and it shares many traits with Oyster Bay.

This is where I will leave you, however, as always, please leave your comments-good and otherwise.