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Friends Colorado Springs

A subset of the Friends of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with the mission of preservation, restoration, and interpretation of CTSRR historic assets. The Springs group is primarily involved in restoration. See below for blog archive of older postings. For a brief history of 470 please click the link below to the Friends website.

Friday, April 14, 2017

March 2017

March saw completion of the underside sheathing, installation of the longitudinal truss rods, progress in sealing the floor cavities and fitting the steps, and more work on the trailer.

Bill K. and Don are at it again under the car.  They are very close to finishing installing the sheathing underneath.

On the left, above, they are down to the last board.  On the right, above, Don is measuring twice for a perfect fit.

 In goes the last board.  Great job, guys.

Here is the end result.  We are looking in the opposite direction from the previous photos.

Bill L.started sealing the floor cavities in preparation for insulation to help keep out the cold and noise.  The first task was to clean out the dirt and sawdust with the vacuum.

Then strips were cut from the roll of plastic sheeting that has adhesive on one side.

On cool days the strips were laid out in the sun to soften the adhesive.

The strips were then put into the cavities against the framing and the plastic that had been installed from underneath.

This is a section that has been completed.

This photo shows the steel plates that will fasten the steps to the body of the car.  The one on the left is an original one that was left on the car.  The other three were missing, so Joe fabricated the new ones on the right using the original one as a pattern.

In this photo Joe has positioned a plate for welding to the end sill steel and has it held in place with magnets.  (Click on the photo to enlarge.)

In this photo he is welding along the inside edge.

A view from the end of the car of the plate welded to the sill.

This is a view from below and behind the plate showing the second weld along the edge.  The side of the step assembly will be bolted to this plate.

This photo shows the flat surface of the plate after grinding the weld and polishing.  It is difficult to tell where the weld is located.

This photo shows the steps on the other side of the car positioned and leveled, and held in place with clamps.  The steel plate is on our left.  The right side of the steps will be bolted to the platform end sill.

John did some snugging up of the platform truss rods.

These are the under-the-car longitudinal truss rods to be.  They have been cut to length and Joe will take them to his shop to have eyes welded on one end and threads cut on the other.

The rods are back, being unloaded from Joe's truck.  Seems like a lot of manpower there, but they ARE heavy.

Russ Hanscomb made these eyes and Joe has welded them to the ends of the rods.  He has also ground down the welds so everything is smooth.

This photo shows the other ends of the rods that have been threaded.

 The next step is to bend the rods at the points where they pass under the queen posts.  Don and John are measuring and marking the spot while Craig is looking on.

We used a hydraulic "bender" that pushes the rod up between two posts to produce a bend.  Ron, Joe, John, and Don are getting set up to bend.

A level was clamped to the end of the rod at the eye to insure that the bend was at right angles to the pin in the eye.

This photo shows the rod after bending.  The device is essentially a hydraulic jack that pushes up on the rod to bend it.

This photo shows one rod in place.  The far end is the eye which is fastened to the bracket on the bolster and the near end is threaded to take a turnbuckle for tensioning.  The queen post is at the bend and will apply upward pressure to the needle beam as the tension increases on the truss.

Now both halves of the truss are in place, and John is threading the turnbuckle on to the rods while Joe is helping line them up.

This photo is looking in the other direction showing the other end of the truss after the turnbuckle has been snugged up.

This photo shows a detail of the end of the rod in the bracket with pin and cotter key in place.  The bolster is in the background.

This photo shows the entire truss in place under the car.  Because of its geometry it can support the center of the car between the trucks.

This is a detail of a queen post with the truss through it.  Joe has polished the weld on the end of the post.

Joe also did more work on the trailer this month, building ramps for loading vehicles or equipment.  In this photo he is measuring prior to doing the work in his shop.

This photo shows the completed ramps.  The bottom end grabs on to a pipe across the back of the trailer.

The ramps can be folded up while travelling.

Thanks to John Engs for help with the photos.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

February 2017 - Short month but busy.

Work continued on the under side sheathing.  Here Bill K. and Don are cutting one of the edge boards to fit around the hardware that is protruding through the outer sill, while John is looking on approvingly.

In this photo they are fitting one of the edge boards.

The eyes for the truck check chains were installed as mentioned previously.  This is an original one that was still on the car.  Erosions are readily seen consistent with its age.

Several of the eyes were missing and it was necessary to fabricate replacements.  This is a new one made by Joe S. the welder.

Since last month Craig has assembled the steps for passenger access to the platforms.

They are held together with tie rods under each step in addition to glue.  Here is Craig with the finished product.

 A side view shows the location of the tie rods under the steps.

This photo shows one of the step assemblies temporarily in place on the side of the west end platform.  It will be fastened by an L-shaped plate to the steel on the end sill of the car on the right side, and by bolts into the platform end sill on the left.

Here John is holding one of the original L plates against the side of one of the steps where it will be bolted on.  The upper surface will be welded on to the steel of the car end sill.

This abstract image is of the underside of the car end sill in the center of the image, and the side of one of the steps in the lower left corner.  The L plate will bolt to the side of the step and be welded to the sill above.  We do not have all of the L plates and Joe will be fabricating replacements.

As you might imagine it is a big first step to reach the lower step on the car from the ground, so the solution back in the day was to carry a step stool on the train that was put on the ground for passengers to get on and off the train safely.  Craig assembled this in his "spare" time recently.

This photo shows the face piece of one of the platforms that has been notched to fit over the platform sills.  A corner of one of the deck boards can be seen at the right edge of the picture.

This photo shows the platform decking installed temporarily between the end sill and the face piece.  There is a good tight fit between the boards which will help hold the face piece in place.

In addition lag bolts will be installed at each end through the face board and into the end sill.  It is necessary to drill through the steel on the sill, and here Joe is using the magnetic drill to accomplish this.

The siding for the end of the car was formed into panels before installing.  Grooves had to be routed into the back to allow for the steel bracing.

Here Craig is making adjustments with the router for a perfect fit.

In it goes for one more check.

The moulding around the windows is installed.

Here is some more detail on the prototype seat.  There is a post from the seat back to the clerestory that will support a panel between the seats to give some privacy when sleeping.

This photo shows more detail of the arch that connects the post to the clerestory.  The circle at the base of the arch will hold a rod for a curtain to close off each "compartment."

This is a photo of a photo of the interior of a sister car as it left the factory.  It shows the posts and arches and also has the curtain rods in place.

Approximately in the center of the post is this block that the upper berth platform will rest on.  The actual block used in the car will be a casting made from this model.

We had a visit from two gentlemen from the Railroad this month, John Bush, President, and Efstathios Pappas, Assistant General Manager.  In this photo they are getting a tour from John Engs, COS site leader.  From left to right they are John Engs, Mr. Pappas, and Mr. Bush.

In this photo Craig is demonstrating the workings of a clerestory window to John Bush.

 Joe also made some improvements to the trailer.  He built a frame for the front of the deck and in this photo is welding it in place.

Here it is, finished and painted.  There also is a cross piece welded to the tongue of the trailer to hold a tool box.

Craig built this box to fit on the trailer.  A coat of paint and it will be ready to go.

We had a severe windstorm in January that was severe enough to overturn two semis on the Interstate near the Air Force Academy.  It also separated the zipper tape from the fabric on our shelter on the east end.  The tape can be seen hanging free between the edges of the fabric in this photo.

It was separated all of the way to the top of the zipper.  I used a hand stitcher for leather or sail repair to sew the tape back on to the fabric.  The first stitches are shown on the right.

The photo below shows the completed repair.  The entire length of the zipper on the right needed fixing as well as the lower 2-3 feet of the one on the left. 

Thanks to Tom S. and John E. for contributing photos for  this months posting.