Restoration Notes: A Day in the Life of a Railway Museum.

Saturday, December 30, 2000


Last work day of 2000, an update from Greg Ramsey

Yvonne and I rolled into Travel Town about 12:00 p.m. My assignment for the day was to perform a somewhat overdue oil change on the Charley Atkins. As we entered the compound, we saw that Charley was already running and coupled to the cabooses. A crew led by Chris Rippy was preparing to pull the cabooses forward a car length so they could chain the bent "cut-lever" to the forklift and try and straighten it.

After trying a few different methods of blocking and chaining, it appeared they were not getting a straight pull and were only adding new bends. Bryan Reese and I recommended not trying to do any more bending without using heat, and I suggested that the best results would be achieved if they took the bent piece and clamped it into the vise to straighten.

While Chris and crew were removing the cut-lever, I paged Greg Gneier and asked if we could use his oxy-acetylene rig stored adjacent. He agreed and returned to the park to open the shed and find us the new hose they had bought. Two of the bolts came apart easily, however one with a locking nut proved especially troublesome, but with the liberal addition of heat eventually came apart. Not wanting to try and reuse the bolt, we ended up dispatching my wife, Yvonne, to Orchard Supply for a new one, as well as some other supplies.

On the day of the SantaFe Claus Ops, the week prior, the flatcar trucks which have been stored at the end of the track next to the gate, were moved even closer to the gate and placed behind the car stops. Though this allowed the caboose train a few more feet of track operation and protected them from collision, they were blocking the gates from opening and made it more difficult for me to include them into the current round of steam cleaning.

I asked Danny and Jeff to temporarily remove the wheel stops and then arranged a crew so we could move the Baldwin out of the way, and then using Charley, chains and several brakeman with blocking lumber, gingerly moved them over next to the M.177's power truck. We then moved Charley to a parking space just inside the gate and returned the Baldwin to it's prior location.

In the meantime, Bryan Reese and crew were busy inside the Motorcar, though I never had time to find out what they were working on. Finally, I was able to start on the Charley's oil change. With the help of Jeff Barrow moving lube oil drums around and a short delay while I cleaned out my vacuum pump, I was able to drain the sump and filter housings, replace the filters and add new oil. Finally by 5:30 p.m. or so, the sump was refilled and, collecting timecards and mail, Yvonne and I departed.

Greg Ramsey


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