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Friday, January 24, 2014

Upcoming Work Sessions on Electroliner/Liberty Liner 803-804, NJT #10, and Recent Work Report

Dear Volunteers and Friends:

There will be several upcoming work sessions focused on Electroliner/Liberty Liner #803-804 and other projects.  Schedule of upcoming work sessions is as follows:

  • Saturday, January 25:
    • Electrical work on replacement resistor grids under outbound (804A1 end) of Liner
    • Prepare NJT #10 for truck swap (to include jacking of car if necessary)
    • Complete repairs to Backup Controller in NJT #10
    • Continued interior work on Liner (loose paint removal is completed; general cleanup and removal of some items to storage)

  • Monday, January 27
    • Swap trucks under NJT #10

  • Monday, February 3
    • Finish electrical work on Liner.
    • Pre-test maintenance work

  • Saturday, February 8
    • Finish pre-test maintenance work
    • Test-run train(?)
Here are the tasks remaining on NJT #10:
- Truck swap
- Complete backup controller repairs
- Remove trolley pole and pole base loaned and installed by RTY for testing purposes
- Prepare car for shipment

Here are the tasks remaining on the Liner before it can return to service:
- Complete repairs to wiring for new resistor grids
- Make new battery terminals, install 3 new 12V batteries
- Inspect MG, clean commutator and brushholders as required
- Inspect outbound motors (under 804A1 and 804C sections); clean brushholders as required
- Check oil level in compressors under center of train and inbound end (803A section)
- Grease brake slides (next to brake pistons on each truck)
- Lubricate roller bearings on axles
- Remove loose stored items from interior (doors, etc).

Our recent membership survey and general membership meeting identified a need to help potential volunteers identify tasks that they can assist with (vice the "just show up and we'll find you something to do" approach).  To support our new approach, here are some specific areas where help is needed:

- electrical helper (cut and crimp wires, wrap insulation, carry tools, inspect commutators and brushes)
- maintenance helper (check oil levels, grease moving parts, etc.)
- general laborer (help carry car jacks and tools for NJT #10, assist with pole removal, help carry items out of Liner that don't belong there)
- car cleaner

Special skills aren't needed - we'll team you up with someone and help train you!

Finally, the upcoming work on the Liner would not be possible had it not been for a dedicated crew last weekend that braved the cold and snow to finish the mounting of the new resistor grids under the outbound (804A1end) - a major accomplishment.

Henry Long led the efforts last weekend.  He was assisted by Lance Myers, Nevin Byers, Tyler McGaw, Nicholas Brightbill, and Stephen Lane. 

To conclude, it is appropriate to post some photos from the RTY Collection of the Liner being worked on...50 years ago.

This scene was recreated by our volunteers 50 years later.

An Electroliner/Liberty Liner with a Bullet Car - could only be at 72nd Street Shops or the Rockhill Trolley Museum

Inside the motor shop area at 72nd street

A Liberty Liner with Plow #10.  Fifty years later both reside at the Rockhill Trolley Museum
My thanks and compliments to our donors, friends, and especially our volunteers whose tireless efforts make everything we do possible!

Friday, January 10, 2014

An Electroliner/Liberty Liner Comes Back To Life One Step at a Time

Dear Volunteers, Friends, and Visitors:

I am pleased to report that Rockhill Trolley Museum continues to make progress on getting the Electroliner/Liberty Liner 803-804 closer to operating status again.  A crew of volunteers displayed a high level of commitment and volunteer dedication by braving the winter cold last Saturday, January 4, to move this project (and others) forward. 

While the train is kept indoors, the building is not heated.  But work continued and considerable progress was made.

Sufficient help was available to enable work to continue both on the replacement of the resistor grids at the 804A1 end of the train (outbound on the museum's demonstration railway) as well as a general interior cleanup to make the train more pleasant to riders. 

Underneath, Nicholas Brightbill, Budd Blair, Stephen Lane, and Matt Nawn devised a method to raise the new grids into position under the train so that new mounting holes could be marked and drilled.  After a few layouts were proposed, it was found that the grids could be hung using the existing framework, which saves considerable hours that would have been needed if new framework was constructed.  The previous arrangement used 4 grid banks; the new arrangement uses three (with elements sized accordingly to provided the same levels of electrical resistance). 

Thus, by lunchtime (12:02PM to be exact), the first of the three new grid boxes was mounted in place.  By the end of the work session, the second set was laid out and all holes drilled making it ready for installation at the next session. 

The first of the new grid boxes are mounted.
The work underneath the train was by no means all that got accomplished, however.  Since last fall, Fred Wagner (who traveled from Rochester, NY to volunteer at this work session) has been patiently and methodically cleaning the train of all of all loose paint chips starting at the cab in the 803A (inbound) end of the train.  He continued his work this past Saturday, with Lisa Maloy assisting him as they completed the A section and worked through the B (tavern lounge) section as well.  This is dirty and tedious work but the results are impressive.  
Fred's dedication has a personal connection.  In his youth, he saw the trains on the day of their return to operation by the Red Arrow Lines.  Many other volunteers have a personal connection to these trains as well, myself included.  My father rode the train on the North Shore and my brother rode them in Upper Darby as we grew up a few blocks from the 72nd Street Shops where they were maintained.  There are many other volunteers with similar connections, and others who do not but simply have the dedication and desire to see it operate again.  Together, teamwork gets the mission accomplished.
Frank Shoop took a break from facilities projects to check on the work crew during the afternoon and offered some helpful suggestions with the difficult mounting of the second grid set. 
Much work remains but the train continues to get closer to operating status once again.  It will be 50 years since the Red Arrow Lines put the trains into operation on January 26.  The train will likely not be ready for operation by then, however, it might not be long after that when the world can once again ride an operating Electroliner/Liberty Liner at special events and on special occasions.  We're optimistic we can make this happen soon, barring any new unforeseen issues.
The work crew pauses for a photo.  From left to right: Stephen Lane, Fred Wagner, Nicholas Brightbill, Matt Nawn, Lisa Maloy, Budd Blair.  Frank Shoop took the photo.
More work sessions are planned for the next month; including at least a few weekday sessions.  Announcements will be posted here as well as via the RTY Maintenance Volunteer email list.
In the foreground is a "Strafford" car, #402, and a Liner; all types vehicles preserved and brought back to life by the volunteers of the Rockhill Trolley Museum.
Thank you to all volunteers, supporters, friends, and visitors who make things like this possible!
- Matt Nawn

Monday, January 6, 2014

2013 Maintenance Department End of Year Wrap Up

Dear Volunteers, Friends and Visitors:

Thanks again to the dedicated help of our volunteers, Rockhill Trolley Museum Maintenance Department ended 2013 successfully.  Here is a summary of work accomplished from mid-October through December:

October 19, 2013 Work Session

Matt Nawn and Joel Salomon completed removal of the old resistor grids from under the 804A1 end of Liberty Liner Independence Hall.
November 16, 2013 Work Session
Volunteers Budd Blair, Fred Wagner, Nicholas Brightbill, Rick Hoffmeister, Joel Salomon, and Matt Nawn worked through the day (and into the evening) ensuring our cars were well prepared for the winter Operations events.  A summary of work completed is as follows:
  • Serviced both controllers on JTC #355
  • Serviced "deadman" foot pedals on JTC #355
  • Serviced inbound brake value on JTC #355
  • Inspected/topped off bearing oil levels on JTC #355
  • Serviced governors cars 355, 163, 1875, 172, and 249
  • Installed fuses and turned on heat in P&W #205
  • Tested feel of brake valves car 1875; no lubrication needed at this time
  • Inspected/topped off bearing oil levels on York #163
  • Inspected shoes/carbon inserts cars 355, 163, 1875, 172, 249, 205
Thanks to everyone who helped get so much done this day!
It takes hard work to keep York #163 running in 2013, just like it did in the 1930s
December 7, 2013 Work Session
Afternoon patronage at the museum's annual Santa Trolley Event slowed down enough to enable several volunteers to be relieved of Operations duties and work on other projects.  Thus, Budd Blair, Joel Salomon, George Rich, and Matt Nawn went to work on the following projects:

  • NJ Transit #10 was made ready for truck removal and eventual shipment to its new owner.  Crews hostled equipment in between revenue cars to get #10 over the pit, disconnect all motor leads, actuator wiring, and track brake wiring, along with the kingpin covers, so it can be lifted off its trucks in 2014. 
  • All brake linkages on STCP #249 were lubricated and exercised after sluggish brake shoe release was reported and observed
  • A frozen air system on STCP #172 was dealt with
Once again, thanks to the volunteers who make all this possible!
Work completed for the day, NJT #10 sits under the lights on December 7, 2013