Saturday, March 30, 2013

A heartbreaking visit to an old friend, and the path of progress is littered with tiny parts

Greetings again from the banks of the muddy Fox River. My travels took me to the Fox River Trolley Museum to take some detail photos for my Island Model Works 4000s.
 What I found broke my heart. I used to run this car. My hiatus from modeling included 1:1 scale activities as well. The sensitive edge is missing off this door. A squirrel gave me the middle finger and ran off down the aisle laughing. All joking aside, I hope the seats taste bad.

 Is this a detail I have to include? I hope someone wins the lottery and bestows a large sum of cash on FRTM. Without that, there might not be much left of this car in 10 years. Folks, life at present leaves me no time for museum activities.... I plead for you to support rail preservation. This was the first car I rode with my kids, and I hope its around to ride with my grandkids(cringe).

 Meet Gabriel Theodore Rohling. He's 8 now, and a budding traction fan. Here we are August 2005 on 4451. God I was fat. Anyway, on to less depressing subjects.

 The ends will be trimmed. Bending 16 handrails to the same specs is a royal PITA. Stuck em to this card to be trimmed with a Xuron tool and installed when the time is right.

My poles for the Illinois Terminal lightweight were made on a Thursday in Castle Rock, WA and in my hands in Illinois today, thanks to Rich Eaton. I've mentioned Eaton Custom Engineering before. Rich's products, hand made to order are superior in quality to anything Ive used previously. Rich made the poles for AE&C 109 to order as well. Talking with Rich about the unique challenge I was facing with the IT car, he made me poles to the specs I requested, as well as pre wired roof bushings. I will rant about how awesome this guy is until the cows come home.

Here is the bushing, wired and ready right out of the package. It doesen't get any better than this!!!!

 After a bit of massaging to the roof, it dropped in. It goes clear through the carbody. Not too shabby for $1.29!
 I coated the roof around the ferrule with some black brush on electrical insulating goo type stuff. It's a good fit and not going anywhere.

 I retrieved my volt ohm meter from the saddlebag of my Harley  (yes that's where it lives).  A quick check to verify that its well insulated, and the second bushing/ ferrule assembly is ready to go.

 So far so good. Took it to the kid's 2 rail layout and stung it to the left hand rail with a piece of bell wire. The headlight glowed a beautiful golden hue, and the car crept forward. Wednesday I'll give it a good shake down run under wire, and Friday it will get thrown into revenue service. We'll see how the citizens of Olsonville like their new car.
  This will be the first this car has been under wire since 1997. This is another car I've had for a long while, probably since I was 15 or 16. This will be a proud moment, as its the last car from my original fleet to be resurrected. My traction collection, as a kid, made grown men jealous. I'm just getting started......

 Thank all of you that read this blog. Seeing hits from China, Germany, Belgium, UK, Wales, Belarus, Venezuela and Austrailia make it all worth it. Check back next week for more happenings, including pics of the IT car under wire.

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