Article From the Winter 2005 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation

SHOP REPORT by Charles Lowe

Track No. 2 at New Car House: Randy Bogucki finalized the purchase of the switch timbers and 64 standard-length ties needed for the new switch and track at the new car house.

These arrived in late October, at which time Randy used a forklift and distributed the ties along the work area. Charlie Lowe, Trevor James, Tony Mittiga and Randy then distributed the standard-length ties inside and in front of the new car house. This was heavy work as all ties purchased are 7" x 9" ties rather than the 6" x 8" ties used elsewhere on the museum rail line. As winter approached, Randy and Tony brought four lengths of 90 lb. per yard Rochester Subway rail to the work site. Charlie and his friend Dave Reifsnyder inserted the two 13í-long switch ties at the points; at another session, Rand Warner assisted Charlie in placing two 10í-long switch ties. With winter weather making further tie placements difficult, attention turned to steel work. Rails are being dragged into position using a large come-along and bolted into position. Just before heavy snows temporarily shut down most outside work, the frog was placed between the rails by Rand and Tony, and a crew of Charlie, Randy and Ted Strang moved two rails into position. These two rails were then bolted onto the point rails. A "January thaw" late in the month provided the opportunity for Charlie and Randy to wrestle the frog into its final position. Working in T-shirts and 50-degree weather was a treat, but just as rewarding was seeing the switch take shape, confirming the design. Assuming winter isnít through with Upstate New York, work on the switch may have to go dormant until early March or so. Completion of this project is necessary for the beginning of the track car season in May. NYMT members who are interested in taking part in this very necessary project are encouraged to contact Charlie Lowe at 223-5747 for work session times.

Charlie Lowe has no trouble keeping warm doing track work.

A frog permits the rails to cross each other at a switch. Thatís it, dead-center in the photo, ready to be spiked in place.

Hornell Traction Company 34: NYMT's little snow plow body, built one hundred years ago by the J. G. Brill Company of Philadelphia, Pa., was recently re-tarped by Charlie Lowe. Carpet remnants were laid on the roof of the car to protect the tarp, and a blue plastic tarp was placed and held temporarily in place with clothesline tied to the grommet holes along the edge of the tarp. Final ties were made entirely around the car, independent of the grommet holes, as a means to secure the tarp in place during high winds.

Philadelphia and Western 161: Work on the side windows has finally been completed. Ted Thomas fabricated three new

window sashes to replace ones that had badly rotted. Don Quant and John Ross finished the glazing of the 28 side windows, and this crew is replacing the last two ceiling panels in the car. Paul Monte has finished the steel repairs to the window posts and continues the work of preparing for the installation of the wood window stools. Don, John and Ted, along with Bob Miner, are systematically removing the wooden

upper windows for replacement. Ted has already produced two replacement frames, and a reasonably accurate replacement glass for the original (and no longer produced) prism glass will be used once glazing begins.

P&W 161 yields it rotted upper sash to Bob Minerís efforts.

New York State Railways, Rochester Lines 1402: The last portion of the cottage roofing was removed from this carís roof, lowering the shipping height about one foot. In December, Matthews Building Movers began the moving process by lifting the car off its concrete foundations. The remainder of the move will be made as weather permits. A large bucket of loose parts, left inside the car, was examined and found to contain 28 brass fittings that once held the standee straps. A bent screw remained in one of the holes, permitting exact replacement. Donations for the move of this car have been generous but a moderate deficit still exists. Contributions to this worthy project will go a long way to making the salvation of this rare car a reality.

Substation: On November 20, the substation crew of Charlie Harshbarger, Jim Johnson, Dick Holbert and Bill Chapin, assisted by Ted Strang, Dan Waterstraat, Scott Gleason, Rand Warner, Dale Hartnett, and Luther Keyes, excavated a trench from the substation to and underneath the loop track. Several rail joints were disconnected and one rail was moved to permit trenching under the track; this will have to be repaired in 2005. Conduit was laid and the trench backfilled. This conduit will receive the 600-volt direct-current feed to the overhead trolley wire. The workbench and electrical outlets have been moved to clear space for the transformer and breaker/disconnect to receive AC power. Rand Warner has made arrangements with Niagara-Mohawk that will ensure a cost-effective hook-up to commercial power will be possible. It is understood that a contractor will make the connections this spring, permitting test operation of P&W 168 in 2005.