We are less then 1 week away from opening day and things have certainly been happening at the museum. This past weekend, I was happy to see so many of our regular motormen back for spring certification, and a few new faces this weekend.
The shop has been making wonderful progress this year dispite the weather. So much cleaning and coordinating of the materials in the shop has really helped allow work to now progress. 2600 is now out of the shop and in service. We still have some minor air leaks and other items to address, but these can be taken care of once some other projects are completed. We have got the compressor armature for 355 back, and I heard that John has already installed and tested the compressor. Once he finished buttoning up the compressor, we can service 355 and put her back in service.
The other big news is that 836 has been moved into the shop. I think we have a consensus on doing the wheel work on her in-house. In order to do this, we have a couple of big projects. First up is getting the wheel lathe back into service. The motor in the wheel lathe was used in 5645, so now we need to pull a spare motor we have in the chessie box car out and install in the lathe. Once the wheel lathe is operational, we will jack the west end of 836 and pull the truck out with the worst wheel flange, disassemble the truck and put the wheels in the lathe for turning.
I hope to have the lathe in operation and the wheels in the lathe by the end of April. Anyone who wants to help, please let me know. I had the pleasure of working with a new volunteer (Russ) this past Saturday, and one extra set of hands helping was a real help. This coming Saturday we will have some heavy lifting and moving of materials inside the Chessie to get the motor out, and then some work to get the motor installed in the lathe.
We will also need help in oiling, greasing etc. on 355 this coming Saturday.
For those who don't want to get that dirty, there is still some light work to do around the visitor center. We also need to move the Halloween materials out of the Northern into storage. This had to wait for all the winterfest materials to be put away since we need to get to the Halloween materials first.
I am looking forward to another great year at the museum. I think we will be seeing alot of progress this year. Come on down and get involved. It is a lot of fun and very rewarding.