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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Electroliner/Liberty Liner - Next Work Session is Saturday, February 8; Report of February 4 Work Session

Dear Volunteers, Friends, and Visitors:

Rockhill Trolley Museum will be having another work session focused on the Electroliner/Liberty Liner #803-804 "Independence Hall" this coming Saturday, February 8.  New volunteers and additional help are always welcome.

Tasks for Saturday are as follows:

- Crimp on new terminal and re-connect ground wire from condenser to carbody under car #804A1
- Crimp new terminals on battery box leads and install batteries
- Inspect MG set and ensure brushes are free; clean brushholders as necessary
- Inspect outbound (#804) end motors; clean brushholders as necessary
- Inspect two functioning compressors; clean brushholders/communtators as necessary; check oil levels
- Grease brake slides on each truck
- Testing
Budd Blair and Matt Nawn participated in the work session this past Tuesday, along with some help from Nicholas Brightbill after he got home from school.  The wiring to the new resistor grids under car #804A1 is completed.  See below.
Finally, a correction is in order.  The report of the January 25 work session neglected to mention that Lance Myers and Nevin Byers assisted with the towing of NJT #10 (and perhaps most importantly, got the sometimes balky M-25 diesel to start).  My apologies for the omission!
I hope to see you at Rockhill Furnace this Saturday.
Best wishes,
Matt Nawn

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Upcoming Work Session CHANGE from Monday, February 3 to Tuesday, February 4; Plus report of recent sessions

Dear Volunteers, Friends, and Visitors:

First and foremost, the weekday Rockhill Trolley Museum work session scheduled for Monday, February 3 (tomorrow) has been moved to Tuesday, February 4 due to your author's work schedule changing at the last moment as well as the forecasted snow tomorrow in Rockhill Furnace.

So, if you were planning to help tomorrow, I hope you can still join us on Tuesday.  I plan to be onsite by 8AM. 

Our planned work for Tuesday has only one focus - continue preparations for making Electroliner/Liberty Liner #803-804 operable again.  Specific tasks are as follows (in order):

- Complete wire replacement to new resistor grids at 804A1 (outbound) end.  We have 10 wires left to splice and land at their new terminals. 

- Inspect and replace battery terminals for MG set #3

- Inspect Motor-Generator set #3

We are making steady progress on this much beloved train.  Tell the boss you need a day off and come join me this Tuesday.  Thanks to everyone who has helped with this project; the recent contributions have come from a diverse group of volunteers.  It will be a big morale boost to return this historic train to operable condition. 

Report of Recent Maintenance Department Work Sessions
  • Saturday, January 25
Despite the bitter cold and forecast calling for snow, several volunteers donated their time to support two important projects:
Joel Salomon led a "search party" consisting of Charlie Wootton, Keith Bray, Budd Blair, and Fred Wagner to find a set of lifting lugs used in 1994 to lift PCC #2743 with a crane.  Unfortunately, said lugs have apparently been long since discarded, as the search turned up empty.  However, Charlie and Keith, with some assistance from Budd, pooled their talents to make a new pair of lifting devices to enable the scheduled crane lift of former NJT PCC Car #10 to proceed as scheduled for Monday.  Their efforts and talents literally would save the day with multiple activities scheduled for this car on Monday.  Late in the afternoon, Joel and Charlie braved the snow and hostled #10 to the Carbarn #2 loading/unloading area so all would be ready for Monday.
While the PCC lifting lugs project was moving, Matt Nawn led the team of Jim Cohen and Fred Wagner with re-wiring of the 804A1 end resistor grids for "the Liner".  Progress started well at first but then went a little slower than planned when it was discovered that 4 wires which had been previously spliced in either Highwood, IL or Upper Darby, PA were terribly deteriorated and required complete replacement back to the contactor cabinet.  Fred and Jim fed new conductors to Matt who worked under the center of the train at the box itself.  Good progress was made by quitting time but more work remained. 
  • Monday, January 27
The day dawned warmer than most but a snow storm rolled in by 9AM.  Undeterred, Matt and Charlie got staged at Carbarn #2 to do the planned truck swap with NJT #10.  The ex-Boston shop trucks supplied by UTCRAS arrived very early in the morning and the 40 ton crane from Saylor's in Altoona arrived exactly on time at 9:30AM.  Careful preplanning paid off, as all lifts and the retrucking itself was completed by 12:30PM.  The lifting lugs fabricated by Keith and Charlie on Saturday worked perfectly and fit properly in the museum's car stands while the trucks were being loaded/unloaded from the flatbed.  NJT #10 now sits on ex-Boston shop trucks and the motor trucks from under the car are with UTCRAS for overhaul.  Departure of this car from Rockhill Furnace for its new owner in San Diego will happen soon.
After lunch, Matt was able to spend a few more hours working on "the Liner".  By the end of the day resistor grid bank #3 was completed and hopefully the worst part of the rewiring effort is over as the remaining wires do not appear to be as badly deteriorated as the first group. 
Photos from Monday's Work Session

Getting ready for the first lift.  We hope this picture doesn't ruin Charlie's reputation.
NJT #10 rests on car stands before the front shop truck is pushed into place. 
Storm over, crane on its way home, retrucking completed , NJT #10 basks in the afternoon sun.
New wires landed at Liner resistor grid box #3.
Thanks to all of our volunteers and friends who make this possible!