Article From the Spring 2003 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation

SHOP REPORT by Charlie Lowe

NYS Rys., Rochester & Eastern 157: Numerous small projects have been completed on NYMT’s premier car so that it can be reopened to visitors when track car rides resume in May. Soon after the car was placed on its new trucks last fall, the car's interior lighting was reconnected. Standard railroad steps were placed at the passenger door, and the trap door there was repaired. Work then shifted to the main seating compartment where the upper layer of tongue-and-groove flooring was removed, exposing the original floor boards. A large, 2' wide x 5' long hole had been cut in the floor and several structural members of the car when it served as a cottage. New steel beams have been spliced into place to restore the integrity of the car's frame, and custom-milled 7/8" thick tongue-and-groove flooring has been laid to close the hole. An unexpected problem has been cleaning the car of the silt that remains on the original flooring from the flooding the car was exposed to at Magee Transportation Museum in 1972. To provide visitor access to the car, the walkway between cars 157 and 161 is being completely rebuilt using the tongue-and-groove cottage-era flooring removed from car 157.

Bob Miner puts the finishing touches on a "grade crossing"
that will be safer and more spacious for our visitors.

Finally, to help visitors learn a little of the car's history, a "157" display has replaced the Rochester and Eastern display near the front end of the car. Paul Monte and Charlie Lowe have been working on the car itself, with the help of Randy Bogucki. Bob Miner has led the work on the walkway, being assisted by Tony Mittiga.

Of special note regarding R&E 157 is the recent completion of a trade which brings us more appropriate electrical control apparatus, and at the same time provides the proper gear to another museum as a key part of their restoration efforts. We had a Type M control group that had originally been part of Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company car 63, but which, though probably usable, wasn’t the right equipment for 157 and its newly mounted trucks. Meanwhile, the folks at Shore Line Trolley Museum near New Haven, Connecticut are preparing to restore a sister car to 63—number 65—which had been vandalized. The control group we had would be a perfect fit for Shore Line’s restoration. And, they had a Boston Type 3 snow plow which could give up the right stuff in exchange. With thanks to Bill Wall at the Shore Line Trolley Museum who handled all the details (and even the delivery!) we now have a General Electric
Paul Monte, Tony Mittiga, Randy Bogucki, Ted Strang, Trevor James,
and Larry Kastner help Bill Wall with the heavy work.

Type SB 4-54 Form AT contactor box, a General Electric DB 2 B7 reverser, and many supporting switches and parts. We’re happy to have the right control group for 157, but we’re just as pleased that we were able to play an important role, through Shore Line’s restoration project, in preserving PST 65 for future operation.

Philadelphia & Western 161: Don Quant has resumed his efforts to place trolley boards on this car by attaching new cleats to the roof. Each cleat is being thoroughly caulked before being screwed down, to minimize chance of weather damage in the future. Nearly all of the cleats are now in place. Next on Don’s agenda for 161 is attaching the four ventilators to the roof. These original sheet metal devices, which are designed to suck air up and out of the car without allowing rain to enter, are attached with a small army of about 80 small wood screws around the flange of each ventilator. These units often don’t survive on cars as old as 161, and we’re glad we have them. Don will be even gladder, we suspect, when all those screws are in place. At that point the trolley boards can be installed. A work plan has been developed for 161 to manage the completion of the priority tasks, including window refurbishing and stool installation by Paul Monte and whoever is interested in helping out, after which the car will be weather-tight and ready to move outside under a tarp. This will make way for Rochester city car 437 to come inside on its own trucks so its restoration work can start.

Don’s careful layout work assures that the trolley boards will be level
and secure. Note vent louver box in foreground.


Work Schedule for P&W 161

According to NYMT’s Historic Car & Building Manager, Charlie Lowe, there are several key task areas involved in getting 161 ready to move outside. First of all, there’s the roof:

1. Install ventilators, cleats, and trolley boards

2. Run main power wire from control box up through the roof

3. Make and install power wire for the trolley poles

Don Quant is making good progress on item 1; Charlie Lowe will be helping Don with item 2 (which involves sealing the hole once the wire is brought through); Bob Miner will be in charge of item 3.

Don has the lion’s share of the work up top, and is at the museum most Thursday afternoons. If you would like to help him, let us know at 533-1113, and he’ll put you to work.

A second main task area is the window stools. Paul Monte has charge of this part of the car’s restoration, and he reports that the right-hand stool is about 80% complete, while the left-hand one has not yet been started. Paul and Charlie advise that "repair of this stool is absolutely necessary to prevent ongoing leakage, and cannot be performed once the car is tarped" so this work must be finished before taking 161 outside.

The third area is the windows themselves. Paul has listed the steps for windows and stools together as follows:

1. Measure all window sashes for new glass

2. Obtain new window glass

3. Finish interior painting on about 40% of window sashes

4. Install window glass in rebuilt sashes

5. Prime, install and paint wood stool at right side

6. Remove old stool at left

7. Make steel repairs at left stool

8. Fabricate, prime, install and paint wood stool for left side

9. Install side windows

Charlie will handle item 1, and Jim Dierks will take on item 2, but the rest of the list is in Paul’s hands for now. If you can spare a little time to help out, please call Paul (248-5259) to coordinate your schedules.

Philadelphia & Western 168: Charlie Robinson is nearly finished with his project to rebuild and paint the window sashes. He hopes to place them in the car once better weather truly arrives at NYMT. The arduous task of tarping 168 last fall will be undone this spring to permit the car to be enjoyed by our visitors. The car makes an ideal setting for "modules" of large group visits, for classroom talks and sing-alongs, while other modules are on the track cars and receiving their guided tour of the museum.

New York Museum of Transportation 04: A track car axle and two bearings have been provided to NYMT by Rochester & Genesee Valley RR Museum for the purpose of building a tower car. This car will be towed by a track car and allow inspections and light repairs to be easily made to the museums' overhead trolley wire.

Electrification: Rand Warner continues to work over the details of setting up our proposed substation. It’s not so much the technical aspects, but our power supplier has many hoops that we have to jump through before our plans can be approved and construction work can begin. The plans are written and the space is cleared, and we look forward to seeing the light at the end of the tunnel soon. Meanwhile, great progress was made out on the line as RGVRRM members Scott Gleason and Dan Waterstraat and a team from Rochester Gas & Electric contributed their skills and effort on April 25 by installing 17 downguy anchors at the poles that were set by a similar crew last year. This work is done as part of the United Way’s Day of Caring, in which local companies permit employees to adopt various projects throughout the community on a single day of effort. 25,000 area people were involved this year…the largest Day of Caring in the nation. We are glad to be at the receiving end of this generosity and thank Scott for organizing the work, and Dan for pitching in too, along with RG&E crewmen Jim Wilson, Rick Irish, Matt Seaman, and Marc Hryhorenko.

How Do I Sign Up to Help?

Here are the coordinators responsible for training and scheduling volunteer positions at the museums. They are the ones to call to start your participation. Give them a call, and they’ll take it from there:

Gift Shop and Ticket Desk……………...Marie Miner (671-3589)

Track Car….….………...…..…………..Harold Russell (427-9159)

Model Railroad……………………..Dick Luchterhand (334-9228)

Depot Guide…………….…………..….….Don Shilling (381-3171)

Group Tour Guide…………….…..…….….Jim Dierks (473-5508)