spacer BSM Track Updates . . .

by
John LaCosta


BSM Update December 25, 2008 to July 25, 2009


John LaCosta

With the end of the year behind us, the pace at the museum slowed down slightly.

Work continued on the snow sweeper with installation of trolley poles and a number of test runs. Mother nature provided two snow falls that allowed the crew to check out the clearing abilities of the snow sweeper. It did a great job of clearing the tracks, as long as the track was straight. On the loops is tended to clear the outside of the curve more than the track itself.

Work on the Philadelphia PCC continued when teh weather warmed up this spring and it now has a new beautiful coat of paint and new standee windows. Only minor items are left on the punch list before this car will go into regular revenue service. 

The shop crew regauged another PCC this spring, the PCC line car, which is now on the  museum's Baltimore gauge track after a number of years on a short storage track just south of the 22nd street freight shed. A crew has started working on the outside to prepare it for a new coat of paint while the line crew has started work on the inside to prepare it for sercive as the  third line vehicle of the museum.

The restoration crew continued work on 417 and is now adding the stripping and numbering to the car body.

The track crew did the final cross leveling, ballast spreading and tamping on the new double track. One of our members welded up a ballast plow that was used to profile the ballast to a proper contour. With the new track in good shape, the track crew replaced all of the old ties that were under the removed switch near Glen Edwards Avenue with new ties and finished the final replacement of the track switch rails. The last mahjor area of tie replacement was at the end of the double track. The switch was in place for many years, in fact so many that a number of ties needed to be replaced.

With the second track in service, the line crew connected four track overhead trolley wire to the Car House. Two overhead insulators were added to allow work on a cars both outside and inside the Car House with power removed above the car while still allowing the rest of the tracks to have power. A short section of trolley wire was installed in the car house on track four so the car at the head of the track can run out under it's own power.

In February a number of BSM workers travel down to national Capital Trolley museum to remove the overhead wire from the location that was to be taken over by MDoT for the new road. With the Help of the MTA, the wire and fittings were removed in about 1/2 day, and this with a coating of  solid ice in many locations. In return for removing the wire and returning the fittings to National Capital for use on its new line, the BSM kept a large amount of overhead trolley wire which National Capital was not going to use for its new construction but BSM will be able to use for its future track expansion, a win-win for both organizations.

The Baltimore PCC required major repairs to its control system that required removing the accelerator drum out of the car, no easy task, and sending it up to our 22nd street shop to be rebuilt. This work is just about completed and should be ready too install in the next month.

Members of the museum have been hard at work planting rose bushes along the car house, cleaning up the North Avenue loop area and landscaping the new track 4 area.

Ballast Plow

BSM built ballast plow ready to place on snow plow
Ballast Plow Car
Ballast plow under the snow sweeper and ready to trim the ballast on the new second track.
Spiking track

With the switch removed from original main line track the old ties were replaced and the track crew is spiking the new ties

Tamoing track
Tamping ballast under a tie prior to spiking it.
Planning

Track crew planning on how to build the next switch
Temporary track

Temporary track was built to allow the regauged PCC line car to be loaded onto the trailer.
Unloading car

With the Line car on the trailer it was up to the highway yard to unload it on the main line track.
cleaning Car

Working with a wire brush to remove old glue and rust from the line car in preparation for painting.
De-wire crew

BSM crew taking a break from wire removal. 
Clean Sweep

Clean sweep of the North avenue loop by the sweeper.
NMoving Snow

The snow sweeper arriving at 28th street loop clearing teh line of snow.
letters

Careful placement of stencils in preparation for painting the  letters
Line crew

Line crew installing a trolley wire hanger on four track.

Painting

Putting primer on roof of PCC.
Painted PCC

TPCC with a new coat of paint. now to install the missing window.
Grounds Crew

The crew that built the wall and tends the flowers.
Trolley wheel

Attaching the trolley rope on the sweeper.
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