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.
Gary

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.
Gary


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?
Simple.
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.
WE CAN DO THIS!!!!
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!
Gary


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.
Gary

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.
Anyway;
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.

CHEERS!
Gary