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

Saturday, May 23, 1998

A battlefield report from our esteemed leader Gordon Bachlund

Here follows the story of a 2 hour project that took 13 hours to complete.

Brian Moore and I, along with Danny Price and Jeff Barrow, arrived well before 8AM to move the SMV 1000. (Dan, Jeff and friends had the previous week replaced five ties in the unrebuilt portion of the Tracks 6 to 7 crossover to sort of ensure its being not too far out of gauge.) We moved the Baldwin to Track 7 and chained (the rear coupler of SMV 1000’s tender has no lock) her to the 1000. By now, Greg Gneier and Brad Slosar had joined us. After two pulls w hich broke our chains, we succeeded in getting her to roll, and we then exercised her back and forth until she rolled relatively freely. (The tender drawbar pin was sufficiently engaged to keep it tethered to the loco.) Then, we set the 1000 near the west end of the track, pulled the Baldwin clear on the crossover, and tried to shove the 1000 with the fork lift. No luck! So we added the loader to "double head" Still no luck! Clearly time for Charley to enter the scene, so we broke from switching to changing Charley’s battery.

Now, the fork lift, which had been very hard to start several times earlier in the day, worked OK to remove the old battery box, and we lubed and inserted the new batteries into the box and connected the interbattery jumpers, lubed them to prevent corrosion, and went to restart the forklift, which promptly died while the forks were elevating - a few precious inches short of where we needed them.

So, we secured the forklift with the loader at its rear to prevent slippage, and wrestled the battery box in. (By now, Andy Evans and Joe Barilari were helping us.) Joe then got the forklift started and out of the way, so....we started Charley (cranked beautifully!) and ran him to the crossover where he promptly went on the ground. By now, Alan Weeks was helping as hogger and is now a member of the "on the ground" club! It seems Charley’s longer wheelbase was more of a strain on the track than the Baldwin, so.....

Joe mobilized all hands to replace a previously replaced tie that had split, and add a gauge bar. Again, Charley went on the ground! SO another gauge bar was added, and finally Charley could proceed West.

We ran Charley up to the end of Track 7, positioned the 1000 east of her with the Baldwin, cleared the crossover switch so the Baldwin could get out of the way, and easily moved the 1000 East of the crossover switch fouling point. Piece of cake! Then we ran Charley back through the unrebuilt switch without any problem. Then we ran the Baldwin back and broke a rail. The break, however, did not impede continuation of the movement, so, the Baldwin went to bed, and newly "energized" Charley switched the Shay to the Tracks 5 to 6 crossover, and the cabeese back to bed, and then Charley retired. The time? A bit past 6:30PM. I went home, but Dan and Jeff stayed on to start prepping the west end of Track 7 for the Scouts, and Bob and Brian remained to install the new window in SP 4049 caboose.

The good news? The SMV 1000 is relocated. Charley’s new batteries are installed. Track 7 west is being prepped for the Eagle Scout project on June 13-14. The bad news? My feet hurt.

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Copyright 1998. The Southern California Scenic Railway Association.