spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

by
John LaCosta


Track Update for April - June, 2004


John LaCosta    S aturday (4/3)

     Charter with Chris McNally and Mark Dawson as crew.

Sunday (4/4)

     The shop was at work with pouring babit bearings and parts for the spring switch. The work crew included CJ, Phil, Gary Fairbanks and Joyce Boblitz.

     The Dispatcher was David Crow with Dan Lawrence, Joyce Boblitz, Don Homberg and John La Costa as crew.

Saturday (4/10)Controller

     With 1050 on the pit Dan McCaffery, Ed Amrhein and I adjusted the brakes, and lubricated the controllers. After that we stopped a leak on 4533's air brake system.

     Dan and I then lubricated the trolley pole bases on cars 264, 1050 and 1164 while Buster Hughes worked on 1164's wheel guard.

Sunday (4/11)

     Before opening for the public, Dan McCaffery and I lubricated 6119's trolley wheel.

     I was Dispatcher with Mark Dawson, Dan McCaffery and Bob Cohen as crew.

Wednesday (4/14)

     Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Mike Citro and Charlie Plantholt as crew for a daytime charter.

Saturday (4/17)

     Dave Naujokas was Dispatcher with Dennis Falter, Joe Naujokas and Greg Thompson as crew for a charter.

Sunday (4/18)

     Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Dennis Falter and Mark Dawson as crew.

Wednesday (4/21)

     Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Mike Citro, Dennis Falter and Charlie Plantholt as crew for a daytime charter.

Saturday (4/24)

     Dan Lawrence was Dispatcher with Dave Naujokas, Chris McNally, Dan McCaffery and Joyce Boblitz as crew for a charter.

Sunday (4/25)

     Chris Howell was Dispatcher with Mike Citro and Joyce Boblitz as crew.

Falls Road Sign Saturday (5/1)

     Ed Amrhein, Dan McCaffery and I repaired one of the Falls Road signs and then worked on adding more roof to track 4 of the car house.

     Charlie Plantholt continued the never ending process of cutting the grass around the Visitor's Center.

     Dave Naujokas was Dispatcher with Dom Homberg and Fred Schneider as crew for a charter.

Sunday (5/2)

     Dave Naujokas was Dispatcher with Joyce Boblitz, Carl Thistel, Bernie Sachs and Fred Schneider as crew.

Saturday (5/8)

     Ed Amrhein and I worked on adding more roof to track four while Dave Wilson worked inside on one of the streetcars.

     Carl Merson was Dispatcher with Mark Dawson, Greg Thompson and Ray Cannon as crew for a charter.

Sunday (5/9)

     Bob Krueger was Dispatcher with Mike Citro, Dennis Falter and Jimmy Genthner as crew.

Thursday (5/13)

     After some discussion with my employer, AAI agreed to donate 900 feet of standard gauge test track to the museum. The cost was $0 (as Elmer Packie used to say, our kind of cost to pay) and all we had to do was remove it. This was a win-win situation, AAI did not have to pay anyone to remove the rail and ties and the BSM received about 500 5 year old ties, 1800 feet of usable 100 pound rail and 850 feet of third rail. Josh Lepman and Ed Amrhein came out to review the scope of the task and the equipment we would need. It was quickly apparent that we would need to get a mechanical spike puller and a front end loader with a fork lift set of forks to do the job. Josh worked on getting a spike puller from the B&O museum while Ed worked on the forks.

Saturday (5/15)

     The track gang was at work unloading the spike puller onto the track. It was an antique that Josh remembers using many years back. This style is no longer used by most railroads which are why I guess it was at the B&O Museum. Due to my limited schedule that day, all we had time to do was off load the puller, check that it worked and wait for the next day we could get together.

     Meanwhile at the museum, Dave Naujokas was Dispatcher with Joe Naujokas and Paul Ritterhoff as crew for a charter.

Sunday (5/16)

     David Baynes was Dispatcher with Bob Cohen, Dan Lawrence and Dan McCaffery as crew.

Wednesday (5/19)

     The track gang was back at AAI removing track, or should I say spikes. The crew consisted of Josh Lepman, Ed Amrhein, Mark Dawson, Rick Obbink and I.

     At the museum Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Charlie Plantholt, Dennis Falter and Mike Citro as crew for a charter.

Sunday (5/23)

     Carl Merson was Dispatcher with Dom Homberg and Joyce Boblitz as crew.

Monday (5/24)

     The track gang was back at AAI removing more spikes; we now had about 1/3 of the spikes removed. Given how recently the ties had been spiked and how little use the track had seen, pulling spikes using had tools was very hard to do. The machine was used to remove most of the spikes with the hand removal save for those that the machine could not do because of track bolts in the way. The crew consisted of Josh Lepman, Ed Amrhein, Mark Dawson, Rick Obbink and I.

pulling spikes Wednesday (5/26)

     With most of the spikes pulled, we were getting to the point we needed the front end loader. It was a long trip from the Museum up to Cockeysville, but Ed Amrhein drove the museum's front end loader up with Josh Lepman following behind. This prepared us for the work on Saturday.

     At the museum Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Charlie Plantholt, M Bates and Mike Citro as crew for a charter.

Thursday (5/27)

     The track crew was back at AAI and removed the last of the spikes and the first 1/5 of the rail. The crew included Ed Amrhein, Josh Lepman and I.

Saturday (5/29)

     The track crew was in full swing, 165 foot of rail removed and stacked and 89 ties removed. The crew included Bill and Sam Shay, Ed Amrhein, Dave Crow, CJ, Joyce Boblitz, Scott, Rick Obbink and I.

Sunday (5/30)

     The track gang was at it again, removing another 89 ties and cleaning up the area so we would not interfere with the normal work during the week at AAI. The crew was CJ, Scott, Ban Bates and I.

     Ed Amrhein was Dispatcher with Kevin Mueller, Chris McNally, Joyce Boblitz, Ben Bates, Mike Citro, Dennis Falter and Charlie Plantholt as crew.

Saturday (6/5)

     The track gang was back out at AAI and finished removing the rest of the running rail and stacked it. The crew was Josh Lepman, Ed Amrhein, Chris McNally, Bill and Sam, Mark Dawson and I.

     Dave Naujokas was Dispatcher with Dan Lawrence, Joyce Boblitz, Chris Howell and Dennis falter as crew for our first summer Saturday opening of the year.

The Crossing Sunday (6/6)

     The track gang was back out at AAI and removed, banded and shipped ties back to the museum. As in the previous week, we then cleaned up so as to leave the area usable for the normal work of the week. The crew was Josh Lepman, Ed Amrhein, JC, Joyce Boblitz, Rick Obbink and I.

     Chris Howell was Dispatcher with Joyce Boblitz and Carl Thistel as crew.

Saturday (6/12)

     No track work so the shop crew worked on 7407 which had been sitting on the pit awaiting enough of a crew to remove the one brake beam so that the bolt holding the brake shoe hanger could be pressed out. Once this was done the shop started making a replacement pin so the assembly could be reinstalled with a new set of brake shoes. With the brake beam removed the crew then adjusted the magnetic track brake height so it did not drag on the rail. The crew then completed the days work by replacing a roof vent air motor. This motor is used to switch the car ventilation system from winter to summer. The motors are a series of small metal bellows that over time, and these are about 60 years old, get small leaks and have to be replaced. The crew was Ed Amrhein, Dan McCaffery and Chris McNally.

     Mark Hurley was Dispatcher with Dennis Falter, Joe Naujokas and Fred Schneider as crew.

Sunday (6/13)

     The track crew spent most of the day removing the switch ties and ties under on of the three crossings on the test line. The switch ties are not only longer, they are also bigger in both width and height. The crossing required the use of the back hoe to dig up the black top and, after the spikes were pulled, rail removed and ties removed, make a temporary crossing using the ballast. The crew was Ed Amrhein, Rick Obbink, Josh Lepman, Scott Rockwell, CJ and I.

     Dave Crow was Dispatcher with Dennis Falter, Joyce Boblitz and Dan McCaffery as crew.

Saturday (6/19)

     The track crew spent the day removing the rail and ties from under the two remaining crossings. All that was left was one more day of clean up. The crew was Ed Amrhein, Josh Lepman, Dan McCaffery, Scott Rockwell, Chris McNally, Rick Obbink and I.

     Carl Merson was Dispatcher with Fred Schneider as crew.

Sunday (6/20)

     No, the track crew was not working, it was father's day.

     Dan Lawrence was Dispatcher with Carl Thistel and Dom Homberg as crew.

Wednesday (6/23)

     Ben Bates was Dispatcher with Charlie Plantholt, John Engleman and Mike Citro as crew for a charter. Saturday (6/26)

     The track crew spent the day getting the last ties loaded for transport to the museum and prepared the many pallets of associated hardware for shipment at a later time. Over the last few weeks we had removed just short of 500 ties. These ties will be used to complete the second track, extend track four into the car house addition and replace ties on our current main line and yard. The crew was Scott Rockwell, Rick Obbink and I.

     Chris Howell was Dispatcher with Paul Ritterhoff, Dan McCaffery and Joyce Boblitz as crew.

Sunday (6/27)

     John O'Neil was Dispatcher with Sharon Higgins, Mike Citro and Mel Boteler as crew.

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