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

Saturday, September 19, 1998

"Don't leave DC on a Friday", a report from Greg Ramsey

Last week I told you that I was planning on leading the excavation under the switch between the Pennsylvania Diner and the public grade crossing. In the interim, the management determined that instead of proceeding with that project, we should finish the cleanup of the West End of the track the scouts rebuilt. I should probably refer to it as track 7 or something, but for some reason I can never remember this numbering scheme.

Since I was in DC all week, I let the folks on the home front make the decisions. With my flight problems, it was just as well. I was supposed to fly back Friday evening, leaving Dulles at 5:15 PM. Of course, the plane broke down, and Friday night is never a good time to try and rebook. United ended up putting us up for the night, and then flew us back to LA on the now repaired airplane at 7:00 AM Saturday morning. With the time change and the time required to get to the Airport, that meant I was up at 2:00 AM Travel Town time.

We arrived in LA about 9:15 AM local and instead of flying all the way back to Oxnard, I had Yvonne and the kids meet me at LAX and then drive me straight to Travel Town. We arrived at the Park about 10:30 AM, and as I opened the gates for Yvonne, I saw Gordon Bachlund, Linda Barth and Greg Gneier having a conversation under the tree near the BBQs. I said Hi, and then went on into the compound to unload my tools and change into overalls.

Bryan was already in the Motorcar and I set my tools near the engineroom door. After exchanging greetings with him, I join the meeting by the BBQs for a few moments. Then Gregory and I decide to take a tour of the entrance project area. Though there is evidence of progress in a number of areas such as additional blocks placed on various walls, new wood forms and completion of some curbs in the parking lot, there is nothing dramatic to see. I decide not to try and take any new digital photos.

As I return to the yard, the MW folks are preparing to head out with the tractor. I see Danny, Jeff Barrow, Brian Moore, Charles and others. Not sure who is leading, but it doesn't really matter. They all seem to work together well.

In the Motorcar, Bryan is plugging away. He has already installed the rocker arms on the #4 head. The other 3 heads still have slight interference from the head studs. With help from Bryan, Brad Sloser, and Doug Stevens, I adjust and grind 4 more head studs, and am able to install 2 more sets of rocker arms. One rocker on the last set is missing the valve follower cap, so I take it with me so I can try and find a replacement at one of the diesel shops.

By mid-afternoon I am about ready to drop. Gordon does point out to me though that the 90-day inspection on the Baldwin is due, so we gather up the records and commence to inspect and sign blue cards.

By the time my mother and Yvonne arrive, someone has started Charley and Brian and Gordon are starting to talk about the training for the evening. I'm too tired to pay attention though and quickly load up my tools and depart.

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Copyright 1998. The Southern California Scenic Railway Association.