Friends COS calendar

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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

September 2015

September saw progress in several areas, the roof, vertical tie rods on the ends of the car, needle beams and bolsters, and window frames.

The tie rods had to be cut and threaded in order to install as space is limited above and below the car.  This photo shows a coupler joining the pieces together after installation.
In this photo a nut is being placed on the upper end of a rod which is passing through the horizontal beam above the door.

Here Ron is placing a nut and washer on the lower end of a rod.  (I wasn't kidding about the limited space.)

The bottom plates for the bolsters were installed.  This photo shows the plate resting on blocks below the bolster which is at the top of the photo.  It will bolt to the end of the bolster and provide support to the sides of the car.  The pin for the trucks goes through the center of this plate, so it essentially supports half the weight of the car.

This photo shows the bottom plate against the (somewhat rusty) bolster with bolts in place but not yet secured.  The end of the bottom plate is against the truss rod bracket.

Meanwhile Jim and Craig  continued to work on the roof.  The curves on the ends of the car are complex and required considerable fitting.  Here they are installing a piece of "bendy" plywood.

To refresh our memories, here is a drawing of the support mechanism under the car.  The bolsters are near the ends of the car, and the needle beams are on either side of the center running across the width of the car and seen on end in the drawing.  The queen posts abut the needle beams and act as spacers between the tie rods and needle beams.  This provides support to the center of the car.  (Click on image to enlarge.)

Here Ron and Bill are preparing to raise the needle beam into position using an ingenious and one-of-a-kind mechanism to accomplish this.  The beam is surprisingly heavy, not your average 4x4.

Success!  Now to bolt it into place.

These are the bolt holes for the needle beam on one side of the car.  They look innocent enough, but much of the framing had to be removed from the side of the car to expose them.

Like so.

Work continued on the interior of the car as well.  Here Tom is working on the clerestory frames, pulling old nails, I believe.

Craig continues with the trim here on the end of the car as well as inside along the bottom of the windows.  (See previous post.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

August 2015

This month saw work continuing on the roof, mostly on the curved ends of the car, as well as working on the truss rod assembly under the car.

The finishing touches were put on the clerestory roof with the installation of the fascia that Craig had milled.  Bob is putting in the last fastener.  The windows will go in below and inside the fascia.  The frames have been made but not installed.

This photo shows the framing at one of the corners of the roof.  Note the curves in two directions in the lower area.  Covering this neatly was somewhat of a challenge.

The solution is "bendy" plywood.  Sheets of this material were cut into strips and  fastened onto the framing at right angles to the framing.  A second layer was added in the same orientation but offset a half strip width for increased strength.

This photo shows the process.  As Craig says "You can't have too many clamps."

This photo shows the strips in place.  Filler was applied over the surface and sanded smooth to complete the job.The side of the clerestory also has been covered.
Meanwhile Craig was working on the inside of the car, installing the window sills and trim between the windows.  Oh to be left handed.

Here is the finished product.  Nice work, Craig.  We will get a better look at the panel between the windows later.

Work began on installing the needle beams.  They support the queen posts which extend down to the truss rods and provide support for the body of the car.  One of the two needle beams is shown on the ground here.  In the upper part of the picture just to the right of center are two bolts exposed to which the beam will be fastened.

Here is another look at the bolts for the needle beam that can be seen exposed at the bottom of the picture.  The heads of the bolts are behind the two 2x6's that abut each other, and outside the large 2" board that runs the length of the car inside the framing.  And yes, they both turn easily with no access to the heads.

So Ron and Bill L. are beginning to remove the rusty screws that haven't been touched for 126 years so as to remove the boards to gain access to the heads of the bolts.  Where is the impact screwdriver guys?
Earlier in August Ron and Bill K. were drilling bolt holes in the spacers that go between the truss rod bracket and the bolster.  Most of the steel came undrilled and was drilled on site to fit the holes already present.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

June - July 2015

June was an abbreviated month at the COS worksite because of work sessions in Antonito and Chama, as well as vacations.  Efforts continued on the roof decking and truss rod hardware, however.

Bill and Jim are doing the honors on top.  The lower roof is done and they are installing the decking on the clerestory.

Craig is the "cutter," cutting the boards to length and handing them up to the pair on the scaffold.

Meanwhile, John is drilling holes for the bolts for the truss rod bracket on the northwest corner, again defying gravity.  His help disappeared to take this picture.

It is now July 1, an extra work session, and the clerestory decking is finishing up.  In the photo on the left, above, Don and Bob are in the heat in the top of the tent.  On the right there is a small strip to go.

By the next work session in July, John is putting lock nuts on the truss rod bracket bolts.

On the corners of the car roof  there are compound curves, both toward the end of the car as well as to the side.  Therefore flexible material must be used to cover these areas.  Flexible plywood was cut into strips and fastened to the framing.  Two layers were applied with the strips offset by half the width so the seams didn't align.  Here Don is stapling the strips down.

After fastening the strips down, filler was applied to fill the seams.  It will then be sanded after it is dry.

Trim pieces that Craig had made were installed as shown here.

Finally, the roof decking is done.  It really changes the appearance and feel of the car when one walks into it.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Little Adjustment - May 2015

Much of the time in May was spent in squaring the northeast side of the car where the outer sill was removed and replaced.  Apparently some warping occurred such that the car was slightly narrower at this end compared to what it should be.

The spacer blocks were removed in this section and pressure applied with a hydraulic jack to realign the sill.

John is checking the position of the sill in relation to the end of the bolster and they are now in alignment.

New blocks were made that are slight longer to hold the sill in position.

Some of the tie rods had to be lengthened which means the tent flap had to be raised and the rods removed.  This can get "interesting" when the wind comes  up.

Extension pieces were cut and threaded and will be added to the end of the rods.  Fortunately we still had the mechanical (electric) thread cutter on site.

This photo shows two tie rods, the one on the left in the process of being joined to the extension and the one on the right coupled with a coupler and lock nuts.

Then of course we have to fasten down the tent flap with the straps and ratchets.  We try to put the biggest guy (Craig) in the tightest spaces.

On this day Regis from the Streetcar Museum brought a group through our area as part of the Museum tour.  We usually are part of their tours, especially on workdays.

Meanwhile, work continued on the steel as well.  Here Ron and I are drilling bolt holes through the pivot plates at the west end of the car.

This photo shows the under side of the pivot plate with the large pivot hole and smaller bolt holes.

Work also continued on the roof decking which is nearing completion.

Thanks again to Tom for help with the photos.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

April 2015

Good progress was made in April on the roof decking as well as on the truss rod fittings and re-aligning the north outer sill.

Ron and Bill K. are working on one of the truss rod brackets.  Because of no access above to drill downward they must defy gravity and drill upward through the sill for the bolts to hold the bracket in place.
This is another corner of the car showing the steel bolted in place.  Just below the sill is a spacer (to compensate for steel added for reinforcement), the bolster, and the truss rod bracket.

Two more Friends defying gravity on a somewhat "higher" level.  John and Tom are actually under the car drilling the hole for the center pin for the truck with the magnetic drill.  Note the high tech augmentation of the magnet.

Meanwhile, Bill L. is having his own fun with gravity stripping the paint from the ceiling over one of the end platforms.

In this photo Tom caught Bob and me removing the support for the platforms along the side of the care so we could access the tie rods.  These were lengthened slightly in the process of straightening the outer sill on the north side.

Here Bill K. is modifying some of the hardware for the truss rod brackets.

In this photo early in April Don and Jim are finishing the decking on the lower roof on the south side of the car.

Later, work was begun on the decking on the clerestory  as well.  The appearance of the car is changing quickly now.

The fascia for the clerestory was a bit tricky.  This is a view of the end of a piece in place showing the milling that had to be done.  The upper outer corner is rounded, while the lower inner corner is cut out to accommodate the clerestory window frames.

The last project this month was the re-aligning of the outer sill that was replaced.  For whatever reason it was bent inward slightly so that the car was narrower in this area than it should be.  This meant removing the outer framing pieces, loosening the tie rods, and jacking the sill outward.

In this photo Tom is removing the old framing pieces which involved removing the metal bracket holding it against the outer sill.  The inner end is morticed into the intermediate sill.

This photo shows several of the new framing members, slightly longer than the old, in place.  John appears to be securing one to the sill.