Article From the Fall 2003 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation

SHOP REPORT by Charlie Lowe

Hornell Traction Co. 34: In the recent high winds at the museum, this car’s worn tarpaulin was blown off the car. A new tarp has been installed to see the car through the winter.

NYS Rys., Rochester & Eastern 157: Dave Johnston of Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista, California has provided NYMT with copies of many Westinghouse Traction Brake Company catalogs and pamphlets. This information will prove useful as 157’s air brakes are restored.

Philadelphia & Western RR Co. 161: Don Quant has determined the proper positions for this car’s trolley pole bases, trolley pole hooks and lightning arrestor equipment. Don has designed a change in the trolley boards to accommodate a conflict between a pole base and a roof ventilator, and the boards have been fabricated, primed and painted. Paul Monte has been continuing the difficult work of rebuilding the stools for the side windows.

New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 437: Placement of ballast on the loop track near 437 continues. From 1997 to this past summer, 437 was stored on blocking on the site of a former ballast pile. As part of the general cleanup from re-trucking 437, the last of this ballast is being shoveled onto the loop track. Since this part of the loop track will soon see trolley car movements, stabilization of the track with proper ballast is a worthwhile improvement.

Electrification: The layout of the substation room has been finalized and agreed to by NYMT and the members of RGVRRM who will be installing the electrical components during the winter once the room is completed. A professional mason will be hired to construct the concrete block room, and this work is expected to be completed by early winter. Ted Strang is investigating heating alternatives for this relatively small (approximately 10’ by 13’) room. All electrical items for the substation are on hand. This coming spring, we will make a final decision on power feed from our local power company and make external hook-ups for both AC and DC. Given success with all of the above, we could be in a position to make test runs of the system during the summer, possibly offering limited rides to the public.

Meanwhile, Charlie Lowe is looking forward to getting some "cottage industry" started in the winter months. Wrapping wires for downguys and prepping overhead components such as insulators and bracket arms will allow us to proceed with extending the trolley line once the substation effort is behind us and enthusiasm for a longer trolley ride predictably arises. These tasks are relatively low-tech, and they’re the kind of mass-production work that goes well with a team meeting on a regular basis. If you’d like to be involved, call and leave a message at 533-1113.

Mack Fire Truck 307: Mike Cassin and Dick Kalpin recharged the battery and started the truck. Mike has resolved the rough running by replacing the fuel filter. Ted Thomas has begun discussions with Jim Dierks on the design of a permanent exhibit on the wall adjacent to the truck, featuring model fire apparatus, photos and explanatory text. Don Quant has agreed to take on the job of project leader for this important vehicle, and will be responsible for all maintenance. We continue to seek responsible, knowledgeable enthusiasts for this segment of our transportation exhibits so that the truck can continue to appear in parades, advertising our museum.