Article From the Spring 2004 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation

SHOP REPORT by Charles Lowe

Track No. 2 at New Car House: In late August, NYMT President Ted Strang took charge of excavation and ballast placement at track 2. An earthmover was rented for the weekend of August 27 and 28. A 10-foot-wide by1-foot-or-so-deep trench was laboriously cut from the switch site into the car house. Much buried ballast and gravel was encountered,

        Ted Strang takes the controls and excavates prior to spreading..........but when it comes down to placing ties, moving ballast,
        ballast for track 2 construction, saving lots of handwork                      and spiking rail, we still have to do it the old fashioned way.                                                                                                                                      Charlie Lowe, Randy Bogucki and Trevor James show us how.

and the material removed was used to bring up the grade around the base of the building. A delivery of 45 tons of ballast was made on August 29, and on September 2, the loader was again rented and Ted placed all ballast up to the bottom-of-tie elevation. Over Labor Day weekend, eleven ties donated by Livonia, Avon and Lakeville Railroad were placed

in the vicinity of the switch. By the end of September, about half of the ties required for the switch were in place. Randy Bogucki, Trevor James and Charlie Lowe did much of the tie installation, but several other volunteers assisted at various times.

P&W Car House: Ted Strang installed much-needed temporary bird guards at the trolley wire clearance opening at the top of the large end doors on the new car house in September. The birds that formerly treated our beautiful building as a giant birdhouse will have to redouble their efforts at getting inside the building. Paul Monte is currently fabricating and installing permanent bird guards. 

Philadelphia and Western 161: Work on the side windows has been steadily moving forward. Wood-worker Ted Thomas, having just finished the new exhibit case now in place in the main car house, has fabricated the three new window sashes we will need to complete the car and is planning to make the replacement upper sash near the carís entry door. Glazing of the other twenty-five sashes is about to begin, following the completion of painting the exterior cream color. Don Quant, John Ross, Roger Harnaart and Jim Dierks continue to press this restoration along. Paul Monte continues his work of restoring the steel frames on the car into which the newly-glazed window sashes will be inserted.

      John Ross and Roger Harnaart
      work the assembly line.

New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 1402: An interior stud wall has been built along the car's left side to support the roof where window posts have rotted. Interior bracing keeps the stud wall upright, and the weakened left side of the car is bolted to the stud wall. Some important relics found with the car have already been removed to NYMT. These include window glass, two conductor's valves (for whistles), a complete door hinge, the front drawbar fitting, many standee straps, some seat parts and the two hoops that formerly held the air tank in place under the car. On October 17, most of the cottage roof was removed by Charlie Lowe and fellow New York State Department of Transportation employee Pete Vanwyle, with Trevor James hauling the debris to a nearby fire pit.

New York Museum of Transportation 04: Randy Bogucki finished welding repairs to the steel stair section of the museum's new line car. These stairs, about 10' tall, will be the top portion of the line car's tower. A telescoping lift section of the tower will be built on the existing car frame this winter. Both maintenance of the existing overhead trolley wire and construction of future extensions to the trolley wire will be possible once the line car is operational.

Substation: The backbreaking job of removing the outside end of the concrete trough in which the wire conduits will enter the substation was accomplished by Charlie Harshbarger in early September.  The substation crew of Charlie, Jim Johnson, Bill Chapin and Dick Holbert placed two ground rods just outside the substation and ran a loop of heavy grounding cable from one rod, through the concrete trough to the substation equipment and back to the other ground rod.