Friday, March 6, 2009

Annual Coach Work - 2009

About this time each year, our attention turns to those big green things with seats in them that our beloved locomotives haul up and down the line. While we spend a lot of time (and money) on the locomotives, we occationally lose sight of the fact that the fannies that sit in those seats actually pay for everything.

Our coach fleet is just as antiquated as the locomotive and just as needy when it comes to maintenance. All the cars are inspected over the winter. We measure the wear on the wheels and couplers, the height of the buffers and replace or adjust as needed. During this time, annual (or bi-annual) servicing is done on the air brake systems. The heating and PA systems are inspected and general repairs are made. Every other year we either repair & re-coat roofs or touch up paint and wax the carbodies. This year we are consumed with the latter.

Scott DeMartino heads up the work on the carbodies (assisted here by Charlie Pike).

Car Foreman Paul Horgan "beds in" new quarter round window moulding in caulk.

Mike Camera repaints the exterior window sash on former Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter coach No. 1000 (the only coach on the Valley to retain it's original number).

Master Mechanic Bill Wolf makes a part for a door latch on our "Hendey" engine lathe.

As of now we have completed work on kitchen car "Colonial Hearth" and coaches 501, 502, 602 and 1000. Most work on open car 600 "Riverview" has already been completed. Ken Blandina is refinishing it's wooded seat slats and window sills for reinstallation later this month. The next car scheduled to come into the shop is dining car "Meriden". The "new" roller bearing wheel sets for coach 503 have arrived and ought to be installed later this month. Next month we plan to work on dining car "Wallingford", parlor car "Great Republic" and coach 1002. Once these are done (whew) coach 1001 will return for more steel work and eventually repainting.


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