spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

by
John LaCosta


BSM Update November 10, 2007 to April 6, 2008


John LaCostaThe last five months have been busy ones considering the cold. In the process of adding sprinklers to track 4, it became very obvious that it would require more than just track 4. As track 4 was added the system in the original part of the car house started to fail. In the end, we had to replace a section of the old piping over the cars and put in a new dry valve. This evolved moving a number of electrical items. We now have a sprinkler system that is up to the current code regulations that will protect our collection.

During December we had our annual tinsel trolley fund raisers. As in past years Santa boarded the car at the 22nd street shops, renamed as Santa's Workshop, road up to 28th street loop, talked to the children, handed out gifts and got back off at his workshop as the car headed south to the Visitor's Center.

After a long time on the pit, the PCC was returned to service. This repair not only required replacing a number of resistor ribbons, but a load sensing resistor and a readjustment of the low voltage regulator.

With the second track in good enough condition to send the line car and 1164 down it, the line crew hung 1000 feet of overhead wire. This wire now lets us take cars on the second track from 25th Street switch south to the south end of the shop. This was the limit of the wire and track during the fall. Recently the city has completed work on the storm drain under our tracks, so soon we will build the last section of track to complete the double track. The track gang has also been replacing ties on the current main line as required, it's a never ending task. 

With the wire in place, the final tamping and alignment was delayed as the tamper had a series of failures, both mechanical and electrical. But as of this past Saturday, the final tamping and alignment was completed and 6119 did a test run down the track. Those on board report a smooth ride and we now look forward to completing the rest of the second track.

During January one to the trees next to our line decide that it was time to fall down. It would have made it al the way tot he ground except for the trolley wire. It is amazing how much weight the over head line can support. The line crew also had to do emergency repairs up at the highway yard when one of the support lines broke.

After much thought and receiving a set of regauged PCC axels, we decided to convert the Philly PCC trucks by inserting a spacer behind each wheel and the tire. Two set of truck were converted and will be used a shop trucks. Both trucks made the trip down from 22nd Street shops to the yard under human power.

The restoration crew continues to work on car 417.

Dry Valve

New Dry Valve for Car House Sprinkler System
6119 Xmas

6119 ready to take visitors to Santa
Buster working on Cluster
Buster getting cluster ready for Tinsel Trolley.

On right a PCC wheel is disassembled ready fro cleaning prior to adding the spacer/
Old wheel dismantled
Ed working on wheel

Almost Done
To the left Ed can be seen putting the isolation disk on the wheel plate. In the picture above the four of the six new studs can be seen ready to accept the rest of the wheel assembly.
Completed Truck
The picture above shows the first of two regauged PCC shop trucks. Each wheel has been moved out 1 1/8 inches to get to the Baltimore gauge of 5' 4 1/2". To the right CJ is seen on the turret lathe making the many studs needed for the conversion, 24 per truck.
CJ making studs
1164 stringing wire 1164 finished hanging wire
On the left is a view from the line car as the overhead wire is being hung. Above 1164 is ready to run back up the line with the 1000 foot of new wire in place
Tree on New Line

The picture above shows mother nature testing the new trolley wire less than one week after it was hung. The line crew spent a good part of the morning carefully getting the tree off of the wire.
6119 on track 2
The picture above shows 6119 one its first trip down the new second track after the final tamping was completed.
Putting in a new tie
In the picture above the track crew is installing the second of two ties in the main line behind the 22nd Strret Shop.
Adjusting the supper elevation
Above the track crew can be seen jacking the outside (left) rail to get the proper amount of elevation at the exit/entrance to the curve.
Eyeing the line
Josh is sighting the track to let the rest of the track crew know how to jack the track to get the rail lined up
on the rail head
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