Article From the Spring 2004 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation

SHOP REPORT by Charlie Lowe

NYS-R&E 157: Over the past few months, a few small projects have been undertaken. An upper brace for the car's C6 master controller was fabricated, painted and installed, completing the installation of the controller in the motorman's cab. Where the motorman would stand, though, was a gaping hole cut into the car's floor during its days as a cottage. Using tongue and groove boards salvaged from the repair of the hole in the floor of 157's main seating area, the hole in the  motorman's cab floor is now patched.

P&W 161: Don Quant has completed work on the trolley boards, trolley poles and wiring on the car's roof. Bob Miner prepared the heavy cables to run from the trolley pole bases to the switch cabinet inside the car. Paul Monte continued his progress at rebuilding the side window stools, while Don, Jim Dierks and John Ross are priming window quarter-round.

P&W Car House: Volunteer activities for the new car house are centered on construction of a second track into the building. The new track will consist of a switch and about 200 feet of track. During winter months, Randy Bogucki and Tony Mittiga cleaned and restored a switch machine that must have been sitting outside the main car house for over twenty years, awaiting its call to duty. A proper frog for the required switch has been located, and a few loads of ballast have been brought to the switch site. Two switch points have been towed to the vicinity of the proposed switch. Once warm weather arrives for good, the proposed track alignment will be staked out so that track and switch construction can begin. Ninety-pound rail, salvaged in the late 1970s from the Rochester Subway, will be used to build the new track.

Other volunteer work concerning the P&W Car House was devoted to the removal and replacement of a span wire that conflicted with the south end of the new building's roof. Dick Luchterhand and Charlie Lowe removed the span wire so that car house construction could continue unimpeded. This, of course, caused the trolley wire to sag noticeably. A newly-placed bracket arm, which will not interfere with the new car house, has since returned the trolley wire to its former position.

NYMT 04: The frame of NYMT's new line car has been completed. Fairmont wheels, axles and bearings were used for the running gear while pressure-treated lumber was used for the frame. All parts are securely bolted together and the frame is painted New York State Railways olive green. Work on building the tower has begun with Randy Bogucki taking charge of performing some repair welding on a set of steps that will be part of the tower apparatus.

NTT 409: The car bolsters given to NYMT by Shore Line Trolley Museum last year, possibly to be used under 409, received a little work this winter. When a large trash run was made, loose parts were pulled off the car bolsters and thrown away. Dick Luchterhand and Trevor James assisted Charlie Lowe in this work.

Substation: A substation work crew consisting of Jim Johnson, Dick Holbert, Charlie Harshbarger, Rand Warner, Scott Gleason, and Bill Chapin has been steadily working on Saturdays throughout the winter.  On the AC side, the conduits (3" and 4" diameter) are installed and AC breakers and panels are mounted. For the DC trolley power, installation of the conduits is now underway, and the rectifier has been mounted to the wall. Dick has rebuilt this rectifier for better insulation and more rigid construction, while Dan Waterstraat has rebuilt the safety disconnect and grounding switch, which is now mounted on the slate trolley control panel. A transformer and some components have been mounted for the eventual inclusion of 120-volt AC power in the substation room.

Electrification: Much preparation for an extension of the overhead has been performed this winter. John Ross constructed the top sections for about twenty downguys; these are to be installed during 2004. Six bracket arms have been cleaned, primed and painted by Dick Luchterhand and Bob Miner.

Tangley Calliope: John Ross has removed the calliope from its highway trailer and placed it on a small wagon for easy movement about the museum property. The Tangley is a player machine, that uses rolls of perforated paper like those of a player piano. The pneumatic system needed a good cleaning, and John did this with a player piano pump, a manual device that sucks out the paper dust and other debris that accumulates in the player system. He adjusted several key-actuating rods so that all notes will play fully, and he replaced a pouch in the valve that controls the forward/rewind mechanism. Given warmer weather, John expects to do some trial runs to limber up the calliope, select the best music rolls from our collection, and determine the best location (outside)(!) from which to play. Look forward to hearing the calliope at museum events this summer.