This quarter I have both good news and bad news to report. The good news is that steady, visible work continues on M.177. The bad news is that we still have not been able to take delivery of the freshly overhauled Winton Engine.
While steady movement is being made on the fundraising drive (a fund drive mailing has been printed, stuffed, and mailed) I feel particularly frustrated by our interim plan of assembling a group of people to secure the $26,000.00 debt to the engine rebuilder. Promissory notes were prepared in small amounts that are manageable by the various individuals (ranging between $2,000.00 and $2,500.00 each) and I had a pretty easy time signing up a lot of people.
Much to my consternation, we reached the point where I need just two more people to sign notes, and we would guarantee the full $26,500.00, and the drive just stopped flat. As a result, for the last 3 months, we have been short just two people, and the count has remained stubbornly at that point. These were three months that we could have had the engine back in the motorcar, that have been lost. I need just those two people to step forward to be the heroes to break this logjam.
Besides posing for fund-raising photos (see Gordon's article at right), M.177 was also the center of attention at two other events this quarter: the June 7 Associates Annual Dinner and the August 20 Griffith Park Resource Board meeting and dinner. In both instances, the Charley Atkins engine was coupled to the rear to provide motive power.
Elsewhere this quarter some of the more mundane but nonetheless important details pushed ahead. Greg Ramsey and Brian Moore used their powers of persuasion to get the mounting holes in the roof to line up with the bolts in the radiators. One must consider that despite the fact that railcars are built in factories, they are essentially built by hand. All of the parts, including the radiators, were fitted up by hand, and it is not always easy to get them to line up once again. Alan Weeks did a fine job of painting the engineer's and fireman's side windows in yellow Imron. Ted McConville and Dale Brown worked on removing peeling paint from the roof. Jim Vicars and Greg Ramsey modified the batteries to enable them to fit into their box under the car.
In closing, I would like to make special mention of those of our volunteers who take the time and effort to keep our work areas clean. In particular, Charles Forsher has been especially helpful in this regard. Some who show up might feel that their time is too valuable to be spent pushing a broom or pulling a rake, especially if they are possessed of some special technical skill. Personally, I believe that no job is finished until you have cleaned up and done your housekeeping. Sometimes, though, I feel I'm waging a losing battle against the recurring mess. My hat goes off to Charles for making cleanup of the compound and the work areas his primary activity. This has been incredibly helpful and a great morale booster to us "craftsmen" who benefit from his efforts. Others who have been observed helping Charles include Thomas Seal, Dan Price, Jeff Barrow, and Scott Muir. Thanks, guys!
We are on the final leg of this project and I need each and every one of you to contribute in any way you can, either financially, or by donating your time. I look forward to seeing you some Saturday, very soon.
On June 21 the M.177 was rolled out to a scenic location on Track 5 for her fund raising photo shoot. With her headlight and class lights glowing, and freshly washed to rid her complexion of the excretory indiscretions of our avian friends, photographers Tom Graham and Ed Sikora set up their gear. One could almost hear her purr, "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille." Project M.177's fund raising appeal was off and running!
Of course, there was a bit of preparatory work. A borrowed bell, courtesy of Al Di Paolo, which had been polished and painted the previous week, was hoisted into place by Joe Barilari, Bryan Moore, Chris Rippy, and Doug Stephens. Alan Weeks touched up the yellow paint to cover some last-minute glazing putty, Ed Sikora touched up the coupler to simulate an un-painted look and patiently cleaned some masking tape carelessly left under the front roof lip and baked in place by the sun, Jim Vicars connected temporary car lighting circuits and, with Dan Price's help, set up flood lights inside the engine compartment so that an "open door" shot would emphasize the aching need to move ahead on the engine and generator. Doug Stephens dealt with the aforementioned excretory indiscretions, and cleaned the front windows. Ah, yes, she looked wonderful!
Switching crew included Bryan Moore, Chris Rippy, Dan Price, Jim Vicars, and the writer. Museum visitors got a double treat, for not only was there switching work which is fun to watch, but the M.177 herself, resplendent in the afternoon sun, was snapped by dozens of visitors.
The fund raising group met on June 28 to select the photo to be included in the fund raising appeal mailing, and to plan actual printing of the final appeal materials. We are especially grateful to Linda Barth and Tom Breckner for their creative efforts in preparing camera-ready text and art, to Greg Ramsey for merging the several mailing lists into one, and to Ed Sikora for coordinating with the postcard printer (M.177 photo) and with Kevin Berg, whose name you will recognize as the official printer of The Headlight. We are also very grateful to Jeanne Keeler and the Joslyn Adult Center in Burbank for doing all the collating and envelope stuffing. If you want to know whose photo was selected for the postcard, you'll just have to wait for the mailing and check the photo credit!
As you have all read already, I was nominated and elected President at the last Meeting of the Board in June. I wish to thank the Board for the trust they have shown in me. I will endeavor to do my best and to live up to the responsibility bestowed on me. You've heard this from presidents before, but I'm honored to be leading the SCSRA during a period that will undoubtedly see a lot of exciting changes.
In the What's Missing Dept., you might have noticed that the service yard seems a bit empty and cleaner. Though not directly our concern, on July 19th the LAFD sent out a 70,000-pound wrecker and crew and placed new tires on the water tower fire truck long rusting amongst the ballast piles. They left without their prize, but did return during the week and towed it away for safe storage in the old Hollywood Fire Station on Cahuenga Boulevard, which will one day be the LAFD museum.
Of more direct concern to the SCSRA is the progress on the M.177. You'll read much more about it in the articles by Bryan, Gordon, and others, but among the noteworthy events was the first sounding of the motorcar's horn, also on the 19th. As I wrote on the Internet mailing list Travel Town Today, "by early afternoon, we were treated to a blast from the ugliest sounding horn I've ever heard on a train. It's an ugly sound, though, that I'm sure I'll come to love." In the horn's defense, I must add that it's probably going to sound a lot better with more air pressure and some tuning.
On August 20th, prior to the Friends of Griffith Park BBQ at Travel Town, I attended the Recreation and Parks Board of Commissioners meeting in Van Nuys with Greg Gneier. There were two items on the agenda of interest to us. The first was to send the new park entrance out to bid, and the other was to approve the grant application to the County for the proposition A funds for the Train Shed. Both passed.
Jim Hoffmann will write more, but the special operations that evening was also a great success. My thanks to all the associates who came out for this very important event.
Probably my most important function is serving as SCSRA's representative to the CS&CV Railroad Task Force. Gordon has written a very nice article on the subject, and I won't repeat it here, but the first meeting was August 21st. I cannot honestly say that a lot of progress was made at that meeting, but I do believe that with a lot of work, we will finally come to an agreement that will allow us to actually start the railroad. As of this writing we have another meeting scheduled for a field trip to view the right-of-way with the members of the task force who are not intimately involved with Travel Town and LALS. I will keep everyone advised of our progress, both via The Headlight and our internet mailing list Travel Town Today.
On a more administrative note, on SCSRA's behalf I applied for a non-profit bulk-mailing permit. Unfortunately, I found out too late that it could take several weeks for it to be approved. In order to get the M.177's fundraising package out in a timely manner, I took out a regular bulk mailing permit, and when we receive our final approval, the Post Office will refund the difference. I also attended a 21/2-hour bulk mailing class. Unfortunately, I haven't yet given up any of my other jobs so if anyone want's to take on the job of SCSRA's Postmaster, please give me a call.
I can be reached at home at (805) 984-0332, work at (805) 982-9720, or via the Internet.
This eighteenth report of the research efforts covers the summer quarter 1997.
One letter has been received in this quarter, from Max W. Scott of Fredonia, Kansas, asking for an update on the restoration project. Chell's last correspondence from him was in 1995. I answered the letter and sent him the last several issues of The Headlight.
The only other correspondence we had this last quarter was shared with the Travel Town e-mail list serv, courtesy of Alan Weeks. Apparently we are well known in Japan, as the following e-mail excerpt demonstrates:
From: Hiroshi Naito
Subject: RE: MORE TRAVEL TOWN NEWS
It is good that your M.177 project is nearing completion. I really would like to see the M.177 actually move some day in the future.
Last month, when I stopped by a famous hobby shop in Tokyo, I found a plastic model of M.177 exhibited in a show case. Its livery of the front end was actual gull wing painted in red and yellow. Its price tag indicated that it cost close to $500. I wanted to buy it, but I could not afford to do it....
Sincerely, Hiroshi Naito
Passage of last November's "Proposition A" provided $1.9 million for the long-awaited Train Shed project. The Department of Recreation and Parks project architect has submitted the original plans to the Department of Building and Safety for a new "plan check" in light of code changes accruing since the Northridge Earthquake. Following this, the original Train Shed architect will make any required engineering changes, and the project should go out to bid soon thereafter. We are obliged to rebuild Track 7 before Train Shed groundbreaking, another good reason to become involved with Maintenance of Way work!
Meanwhile, bids are due in late September for the New Entrance Project, which will relocate the main Museum entry from the historic Arcadia Freight Depot to the west end of the parking lot, with a pedestrian bridge leading from an ornamental entry kiosk over the miniature train tracks to the grassy knoll west of the Exhibit Hall. This project includes relocating the miniature train right-of-way from the north to the south side of the Depot. A new wall will be placed south of those tracks, separating the miniature train ride, accessible only from within the Museum, from the CS&CV Railroad passenger platform which will be accessible only from outside the Museum. This enables the CS&CV Railroad to serve as an intra-park transportation system, and not just a Museum "ride."
Cabeese - SCSRA Caboose Instructions, a three-page tutorial covering caboose on-board systems and equipment, authored by the writer with assistance from Jim Vicars, Brian Moore, and Tom Graham, is now available from any Operating Department instructor. Titled Operating Department personnel and interested Mechanical Department personnel are encouraged to get a copy for their reference.
The new aisle floor covering project was completed and the interior of AT&SF 999110 is much enhanced. Meanwhile, the toilet, which had become unreliable owing to more use than maintenance, was tagged "BO" (no pun intended) until it can be serviced. Finally, in response to a problem of sticking brakes that was observed during the July 6 operations, the car was jacked up and both trucks were rolled out and inspected, motion points were lubed, and the foundation rigging was adjusted. This caboose is equipped with composition brake shoes which, while somewhat worn, were found to have many miles left in them.
SP 4049 also exhibited brake anomalies during the July 6 operations (shades of the "One Hoss Shay?"), so it will be jacked up and the trucks rolled out and inspected during the next quarter. Lateral adjustment of the brake beams will be required and new phosphor iron brake shoes will be installed. We are grateful to Bryan Reese who procured 16 brake shoes for us from a private car owner at a very good price, and to Tom Graham who led the effort on AT&SF 999110, assisted by Greg Ramsey, Brian Moore, Doug Stephens, Dan Price, Thomas Seal, and Scott Muir.
In addition, AT&SF 999110 was given a "single car air test" by our air brake guru, Randy Matus, which concluded that the control valve was working well but that we had several small leaks, mostly involving the cut-out cock and some other valves. We greatly appreciate Randy's help since his work schedule at Metrolink makes his free time quite scarce. We will procure replacement parts as required for subsequent installation by Randy.
Buildings and Equipment - Our indefatigable grounds keeper, Charles Forsher, continued to lead the battle against clutter and debris. With help from Diane Molt, Jeff Barrow, Dan Price, John Daum, Brian Moore, and Margaret Daum, eight dumpster loads of debris and deceased vegetation were remanded to the City's Department of Sanitation for interment.
Charles also did the earthwork for a second track car setout, set the ties and placed two rails selected by Ed Sikora for the purpose, and placed and tamped ballast. In these worthwhile endeavors he was assisted by Ed, Diane Molt, Dan Price, Brian Moore, Thomas Seal, and Jeff Barrow. And, in addition to installing rail, the crew also laid timbers on the ties to provide secure footing when moving the track cars on and off the setout. All this hard work was rewarded on August 30 when the speeder and one track car were set out on the new setout.
From the World of Steam - Al completed lubrication of SMV No. 1000 and began work on the regal old SP Atlantic No. 3025. Not only is she a handsome locomotive, but she is the only engine in the collection with a powered trailing truck. Yes, the truck is fitted with a booster engine to gain added drawbar pull!
If you haven't done so, visit the Gift Shop and pick up the post card showing the Museum's founding father, Charley Atkins, on the engineer's throne in 3025's cab. Then, visit the 3025's cab today. You'll be impressed with the effects of over forty years' exposure to rail fans, children, and other predators.
M/W News - Other than the track car setout project which Charles Forsher led, there was scant activity during the quarter owing in part to Joe Barilari's work schedule and in part to the weather. However, the new pneumatic spike drivers were used for the first time spiking some rail on the Track 6 to 7 Crossover project under Ed Sikora's leadership, with help from Brian Moore, Dan Price, Jesse Navarro, Chris Rippy, John Daum, Doug Stephens, and Thomas Seal. They work very well indeed, and should be an incentive to join the Our Gang in the coming cooler months. If you'd like to help with track reconstruction, please phone Joe at (626) 303-1169 or Ed at (818) 243-2247.
The crossing protection equipment was serviced by Ed Sikora and Jim Vicars. There is a temptation to take this equipment for granted once the excitement of initial installation has worn off, but be assured there is a continuing effort required to keep the equipment working. If you'd like to help with signal work, please call Ed. He and Tom Graham will gladly help you on board!
The 1987 Travel Town Master Plan called for a full-size railway between the Travel Town Museum and the Los Angeles Zoo to serve as an intra-park transportation system and as a demonstration railway to interpret branch line rail travel to visitors. Shortly after this plan was approved by the Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners, a contest was held to provide a fitting name and logo for the railway. The winning name was the Crystal Springs & Cahuenga Valley Railroad, and the winning logo, which adorns our signage and stationery, was developed by Gordon Sherwood, a charter member of our neighbors to the east, Los Angeles Live Steamers (LALS).
Early this year the Department of Recreation and Parks awarded a contract to David Evans and Associates, consulting civil engineers, for the design of the western portion of the railroad from a point several hundred feet east of the present eastern Museum perimeter fence to the Arcadia Depot, including the crossing of the miniature train tracks and a RIP track for light repairs and sandblasting in the Museum service yard. In a spirit of partnering, the Department provided LALS copies of the design drawings and invited the club to provide comments since the right-of-way would require some realignment of its 71/2" gauge tracks. Instead of constructive comments, LALS responded with a contentious barrage of opposition that ultimately forced the creation of a special Task Force to develop a final route and schedule for the phased implementation of the railroad, and to recommend mitigations for real and imagined impacts on LALS.
The Task Force includes representatives of the Department, SCSRA, ASRA, the miniature train concessionaire, LALS, the Zoo, and Recreation and Parks Commissioner Leroy Chase. The kick-off meeting of the Task Force was held in late August, and the next meeting is slated for September. SCSRA President Greg Ramsey is our official representative, and he will report on the progress of the Task Force in coming issues of The Headlight.
Since we will construct the railroad once the route and schedule are established and the engineering design has been finalized, we have been acquiring and stockpiling track construction materials, signals and crossing protection hardware for the past six years. Past issues of The Headlight have chronicled the Herculean efforts of Our Gang and other volunteers who salvaged countless tons of donated material from the Loma Linda Steam Plant in Redlands, the AT&SF Pasadena Subdivision, and other smaller sites, and trucked it all to the Museum where it now awaits installation. We estimate that we have materials enough on hand for railroad construction from the Arcadia Depot east to Riverside Drive, including a passing siding just west of Riverside Drive.
To place matters in perspective, the railroad is a component of the Griffith Park Master Plan, and its route and engineering are the responsibility of the City. The SCSRA, under its permit with the City, is charged with constructing the railroad and operating the demonstration railway. At present, demonstration railway operations are limited to available track within the Museum.
I see the emerging CS&CV Railroad as a wonderful enhancement to the interpretive mission of the Museum. Already, our so-called "caboose train" rides attract many riders and generate significant donations as may be seen from the Operating Department reports in each issue of The Headlight. Once railway operations are shifted to the new trackage, trains may be boarded from the parking lot without entering the Museum grounds and, once the rails reach a half mile or so east, the City will be able to initiate ticket sales to help fund restorations and other Muesum improvements.
Watch the Green Eye and The Headlight for further developments.
This past quarter three new associates joined with us to support the SCSRA and the M.177. In June, Robert Kurzenberger and George Vamos became associates number 238 and 239, and in August, Louis Maspero became associate number 240. We now have a total active associateship of 103 people. Thanks for joining us, and welcome aboard!
The Diesel Shop has continued to spend the summer focused on the M.177 and other minor tasks when I wasn't dragging "volunteers" out to Fontana to help me with preparing my ex UP caboose 25428 to move to Santa Clarita. I'm writing a short article about it for the next issue of The Headlight, so look for it. It will be as hot and sandy a story as anything about Lawrence of Arabia.
We haven't completely ignored our faithful diesels, though. Charley required a jump-start from the welder for the July 6th operations, the cause of which was traced back to extremely low water in the batteries. The extreme heat this summer was not just drying out the volunteers, but all the batteries as well. When the water is low, so is the voltage. As a result, all equipment batteries were serviced the following week. Between Charley, CWR 56, M.177, 4049 and 999110, 38 gallons of distilled water were added to thirsty batteries! In addition, Charley's auxiliary, exciter, and main generator brushes were inspected and serviced as part of the regular periodic inspection.
Charley's engineers will be sitting much happier now. Driven by the beautiful reupholstry job Bryan Reese had done on the engineer's seat in the M.177, I prevailed on him to take Charley's engineer seat (stool) to the same craftsman and have it redone also. Thanks, Bryan.
In addition to a fuel leak which Doug discovered last quarter in the tubing to Charley's fuel filters, we discovered that the rubber fuel return hose on the #2 engine had finally rotted out and was leaking a significant amount in the engine compartment. Danny Price and I returned to the Park one Sunday evening after another long trip to Fontana and removed the bad hose. I had a new one made during the week at, appropriately enough, The Hoseman, and reinstalled it the following Saturday.
Other maintenance included oiling all the journal bearings, adding water treatment to both locomotives, and replacing the 12-volt battery on the Baldwin.
Staffing the Diesel Shop this quarter, in addition to the above, included Gordon Bachlund, Doug Stevens, Jim Vicars, Thomas Seal, Scott Muir, and Jennifer Ramsey.
As always, I can be reached at home (805-984-0332), work (805-982-9720), or via the Internet.
The joint SCSRA/ASRA Annual Steak Fry on August 23 was attended by over 60 associates and friends, including many newcomers to our Travel Town Museum special events. Yvonne and Greg Ramsey provided glowing barbecues, soft drinks, beans, and a bountiful salad bar along with condiments to accompany all sorts of barbecued entrees, plus a huge cake for dessert.
In the past we advertised this event as a Steak Fry and Hand Car Race Trials, but scant interest in competitive handcar racing has resulted in our making the handcar available for recreational running only, and it was very popular. In addition, CWR No. 56 was operated to provide cab rides, a new idea this year, and all cars and cabooses were open for inspection.
We are grateful to the Ramseys, and to the evening's barbecue chefs (you who attended, that is) for a great time. We are indebted also to the train crews, which comprised Jim Vicars, Brian Moore, and Gordon Bachlund (CWR 56) and Dan Price (handcar).
By the time you read this, our Great 1997 M.177 Fund Raising Appeal will have been mailed. We are grateful to many for the conceptual planning, preparation, and execution of the appeal materials, especially Linda Barth, Tom Breckner, Steve DeVorkin, Bryan Reese, Ed Sikora, Greg Ramsey, Sue Kientz, and Tom Graham. M.177 herself was "dressed" and posed for a publicity picture (see "Smile, M.177!" on the cover), the winning shot selected, and a color postcard made of that shot. Greg sorted an immense mailing list, culled duplications, and printed labels with bar-coded ZIPs.
The wonderful folks at the Joslyn Adult Center in Burbank, through their retired senior volunteer program, collated the printed materials and stuffed 3,200 envelopes. We especially thank Jeanne Keeler of the Joslyn Center for coordinating this effort, and senior volunteers Marie Jawiche, Frances Bunch, Janis Bunch, Lavinia Rayl, Henrietta Doche, Kathy Siltamaki, Rose Rosen, Lorraine Newmeyer, Marge Slezak, Barbara Nouh, and Martha Honess for their enthusiastic help.
While the stuffing was ongoing, additional labels provided by Linda Barth were compared to Greg's final list and more duplicates were culled. Meanwhile, Greg arranged for a non-profit organization bulk mailing permit which held our postage costs within reason. And Greg led the labeling, sorting, and bagging team which included Mary Jo Hurdle, Jim Vicars, Nancy Gneier, Steve DeVorkin, Amanda DeVorkin, Brad Slosar, Cesar Sanchez, Jim Hoffmann, Chris Rippy, Ed Sikora, Jeff Barrow, and Dan Price.
In the next issue of The Headlight we will report on the success of this appeal.
A new timetable was created this quarter, combining the schedule page from the first timetable with revised Special Instructions. The air brake test procedures outlined therein more closely follow FRA requirements. The new timetable is published in railroad format on orange stock, so that it can be used by train crews for passing hand signals.
Our public operations were held on June 1, July 6, and August 3.
|Sunday, June 1||594||$ 300.93|
|Sunday, July 6||400||315.54|
|Sunday, August 3||390||183.96|
|Total to date:||64,750||$24,359.28|
Operating Days: 94
Our first special operations in about a year occurred August 20, when a special train consisting of M.177 being pushed by CS&CV No. 1 was operated for a meeting of the Griffith Park Resources Board. In addition, the CWR No. 56 was coupled to the cabeese and was available for cab tours along with the cabooses, the Little Nugget, the Rose Bowl, and the diner. Also, a new boarding system was inaugurated, with souvenir tickets given to riders who donate. Sixty-six passengers were carried on nine trips of the train. Thanks to associates Gordon Bachlund, Bob Bennett, Bob, John, and Margaret Daum, Mike Flaherty, Brian Moore, Greg Ramsey, Bryan Reese, Chris Rippy, Ed Sikora, Doug Stephens, Jim Vicars, and Alan Weeks for a very professional demonstration!
A new Qualification Card has been developed by Gordon Bachlund and is computer-printed by Greg Ramsey. As Operator cards expire, they will be replaced with the new ones. Thanks, Gordon and Greg!
A big THANK YOU to our stalwarts who braved the summer heat to keep the trains running. Those with recorded times (in addition to those listed above) include Jeff Barrow, Dale Brown, Steve DeVorkin, Charles Forster, Tom Graham, Randy Matus, Scott Muir, Dan Price, Yvonne Ramsey, Isabel Rippy, Thomas Seal, Kevin Simons, and anyone whose name I didn't get!
NOTE: All SCSRA caboose train operations and ASRA passenger car tours take place at Travel Town during regular park hours, which are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. standard time and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. during daylight savings time.
A California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation, Incorporated January 4, 1984
IRS Tax Exemption No. 95-3947766
Any article or feature published in The Headlight may be reprinted in whole or in part provided that proper credit is given the source.
Questions and comments to Sue Kientz, SCSRA Publications Manager