Article From the Summer 2003 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation

SHOP REPORT by Charlie Lowe

NYS Rys., Rochester & Eastern 157: Minor structural improvements have been made to the newly-installed steps on this car. A 12-inch-diameter 1903 Westinghouse air brake cylinder was delivered to NYMT by Bill Wall of Shore Line Trolley Museum in New Haven, Connecticut. Our car 157ís original equipment came from the first R&E 157, built in 1903; the carís 12-inch-diameter brake cylinder therefore would have dated from that year. Thus, the brake cylinder delivered by Bill Wall, even down to the year of manufacture, is exactly correct for 157.

Philadelphia & Western RR Co. 161: Don Quant and Jim Dierks continue their steady efforts on Thursday afternoons at rebuilding 161ís trolley boards. All cleats and ventilators are now secured to the roof and are fully painted. Trolley boards have been cut to length and primed; painting is currently in progress. 28 approximately 2í x 2í tempered safety glass panes for the windows have been provided and partially underwritten by North Ridge Glazing, and specially milled ľ" mahogany quarter-round strips have been purchased. Re-glazing will begin as soon as the trolley boards are installed.

North Texas Traction Co. 409: Along with the brake cylinder delivered for 157 came two car bolsters from the same source car. These have been assigned to NTT 409. While a great deal of effort will be required to recondition these car bolsters for use under 409, their acquisition moves 409 one step closer to placement of the car body on its trucks.

New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 437: Car 437 has been placed on its new trucks and is ready to be moved into the main car house once work on P&W 161 is completed. The feature article on this car in this issue of HEADEND gives the full story.

New York Museum of Transportation 04: Reconditioning of axles and wheels for NYMTís line car is now complete, and timbers for the carís frame have been obtained. This car will feature a retractable tower that will permit maintenance of existing trolley wire and construction of extensions to the overhead.

Electrification: Rand Warner has been carrying the load and reports some good progress in discussions with our potential power supplier, Niagara Mohawk. Recent breakthroughs in discussions with their people should promise to provide us with the power we need for our planned substation without breaking the bank for initial cost (extending the existing power to the building) or risking unacceptable operating costs (surcharges and higher rates applied for peak power consumption). Rand is currently seeking an isolation transformer, and getting quotes from electrical contractors for final exterior wiring. Once the remaining questions are resolved, we expect to proceed with construction of the sub-station room, and the electrical crew from RGVRRM will install the rectifier, switches, disconnects and other necessary apparatus. If the recent rate of progress continues, we hope to see trolley test runs powered through our new substation some time in 2004.

Rand has also taken personal responsibility to double-bond all track joints on the portion of the rail line that has been wired for trolley operation. Since the rails are the return path for the direct current trolley power, itís essential that the circuit be complete. Bonding each joint with heavy copper wires assures that circuit without power-robbing resistance.

A joint safety meeting between RGVRRM and NYMT people covered issues and questions pertaining to the substation and general trolley operations. One action item from the session has been to gather existing knowledge and experience, and we have sought written procedures and advice from Western Railway Museumís Dave Johnston and Rockhill Trolley Museumís Tod Prowell.

Volunteers are needed for the work of wrapping wires for downguys to support the poles recently planted by Rochester Gas & Electric crews. This task, plus painting bracket arms, restoring insulators, etc., is relatively low-tech and the kind of mass-production work that goes well with a team meeting on a regular basis. If youíd like to be involved, call and leave a message at 533-1113.