Kudos to one and all:
Thanks to you all, the shops, station, grounds and displays were cleaned, cleared, swept, organized and washed.
The full force of the "organized mayhem" by noon had filled the garbage bin to capacity with refuse from around the site.
Master equipment operator Don in the tractor made many, many trips to the burn pile, tie pile and scrap metal bin.
Batteries, oil barrels, pallets, boxes, crates, bags, pails, cans........you name it ....it were found, collected and removed.
For some, it was "father and son" teams that took on the challenge, prevailed and moved on to more projects. Individuals, team work, we had it all in different forms and capacities, all-in-all, a very good day.
Participants were many, travelling distances from far and wide, The season opening and Members Day come Friday, May 17th will be a success because of Volunteers like you.
Thanks to: Don W, Ted V, Jamie M, Barry C, Jim S, John B, Hans H, Phil H, Nathan G, Fred P, Brad R, Dave M, Dave H, Judy W, Irene D, Herb D and the crew members of the CSV's.
Father and son teams of Stephen Y and son, Ken J and son and of course myself and son Barry W.
Other tasks accomplished for our opening were the track inspection by Niale S and the car/coach inspection completed by Ray M. We are ready for the summer.
Again, many thanks to all.
Kudos also go out to the gift shop crew for their behind the scenes, undercover work of organizing the gift shop, putting price tags on everything, and putting out the stock.
The gift shop is the visitor's first stop at the Museum, and as such it makes a huge impression on the visitor. Great work by Gloria, Cathy, Irene, and Judy. Next time you're in, check out the floors.
In spite of the recent snowfalls, we are moving forward on plans for opening day May 18, 19 and 20. This promises to be an exciting season.
Although 1392 has been out of service for several years a superb job of painting and mechanical wizardry will make 1392 the star on opening day on May 18, one to remember for years to come.
As the final touches are being made to the 1392 and tender, the collection is receiving a lot of attention too. Cars are being re-positioned, interpretive signs are being made and a general cleanup is being planned.
Some re-positioning has been made necessary because of the roof damage caused by snow-load on the north side of Dunvegan Shop. Cars will have to be moved so that contractors can repair the damage.
The present plans are to split the display track cars as follows:
Fort Brabant and Regina will remain spotted at the east end of the display track. The track alongside of Dunvegan shop will be cleared. The rest of the display will be moved west and be accessible from the north-west corner of Dunvegan Shop. These moves are still being finalized so this is a preliminary alert!
Thanks to the focused efforts of Terry, Jim, Barry W., Barry C., Jamie, Phil, Ivan, Don, Dave M., Niall and Jinks the Cat everything is a go! They would welcome some additional help if you can spare a half day - Wednesdays and Saturdays are best. Let me know at 780.718.0299 and I will pass the word.
It was my pleasure, on your behalf and mine, to talk to Alan Vanterpool and Ron Bailey in the last few days. Both have dedicated many hours of focused time to the development of the museum. Alan has authored several books and articles and has contributed to our status as a railway museum and archives.
Ron is still as charming as ever! I would have never known that he was Regional Track Engineer if some of his colleagues at CN had not made the connection for me. Ron freely shared his experience with CN in very practical ways. His son Grant is a railroader too.
These connections are supremely important to me personally because these individuals spent hours sharing their experiences and dedication which enriched my understanding of how they uniquely contributed to society generally.
Two GE's Made the day
The planets are aligning and coming together................
Today's switching duties were completed with the use of xCN#4 (GE 44t) and #1501 (GE 25t).
Don had hooked up all #4's batteries yesterday and plugged in the charger over night and after a wee bit of coaxing this morning Brad and Don have both Cat diesels up and purring. With Brad at the controls, #4 was determined, and showed us all what this little gem can do.
The LaFarge unit, 7944 and the recently refurbished NAR Cook Car were pulled out of #3 track and moved over to the back track #12 but not until the 2 to 3 ft drifts were pushed aside with the #4 pushing a stored GP7 acting as a plow.
#4 was then used to move the 1392 back to her tender which was then "chained" and pulled out of still more snow drifts into the shop.
1392 and tender are staged on #2 track separated by a couple of feet until Barry C has the painting complete. With #4's duties done, she was parked in the shop on #3 track for further "tuning 'n trimming". 1501 with Jim at the throttle and Ken on the ground, was used to spot the 9000 close to the shop doors and then parked in the shop on top of the 1392.
A big thanks to Jamie, Brad, Jim, Hans, Ken and Barry C for chipping/digging out frozen switches and crossings which by late afternoon had melted down considerably with the warm sun shining all day. Phil continued the work on the NAR boxcar which is progressing faster than materials can be brought in. Stephen dropped by to ensure we weren't all buried in the snow and to witness the #4 at work, sorry Stephen, we were too fast and had completed the work and #4 was shut down and parked before you arrived.
Herb and Irene picked up the mail today and hand delivered the long awaited boiler ticket for the 1392. All in all, another very productive day (5 in a row!!!) with great results.
Thanks to all for coming out and consuming the bribery material supplied by Judy (special butter-tarts).
With legs, arms and calves aching from walking through "hip-deep" snow all morning, I return back to work and will see you all in 2 weeks.
This kind of teamwork is very gratifying, especially with the opening day looming closer and closer. Work is progressing nicely on getting the stock ordered for the gift shop and obtaining approval for purchases.
We are developing some unique items - jackets, caps, t-shirts, vests and souvenirs for our 1392 celebrations this summer. An updated color logo has been designed for this celebration.
Courtesy of Stephen Y. we are in the upcoming Edmonton Pops, Moms and Tots Show at Northlands Edmonton Expo Centre, Hall B.
Join us there at our booth on Friday, April 12 and Saturday April 13 from 9 am to 5 pm both days.
Go to the website and see the entire program! http://mpt.edmontonshows.com/whats-on.
Thanks to Phil and Jamie assistance, the steam done was torqued, insulated and the cover installed, the 1392 is now complete.
Barry's been itching to finish the painting, and Niale will finish the lettering and stencilling
Phil, Jamie and I assisted Don installing the last 3 batteries into #4. Don has them connected and on charge.
Wednesday, the tender will be mated and everything is complete and ready to go.
The completed cook car will be moved out and #4 will be moved over to the west end of the shop on Track#3. The NAR boxcar will remain on the east end of the shop on Track #3 until completed.
Goals Set and Achieved
With snow drifts piled high and lots of the white stuff everywhere from Thursday’s little snow fall, the parking lot was again full of volunteer cars and trucks.
Thanks to Lukas and Ivan, 1392’s throttle valve was installed, adjusted and the steam dome closed. New-new mounting hardware was picked up by Ivan as the last set turned out to be a couple of threads short. Thanks Ivan for the drive into Ft Saskatchewan to get the pieces.
Ken showed up just in time to anneal the copper ring gasket for the steam dome and continued on with securing and tightening a loose air compressor and bracket. Thanks Ken.
Jim reported for duty after coming ashore from a long southern cruise to regale us all with his travel exploits and to led a hand in repairs and retrieving fallen items. Thanks Jim and glad that you are feeling better. In a week or so we will have you slugging it out with a smile on your face.
Barry C was in full Supervisor role in directing the CSV crew that showed up today. Between painting, scraping and shoveling out switches and side walks, I don’t know where you found the time to cook up a hearty meal to feed a dozen hungry and frozen individuals, bravo Barry on success for your efforts.
On Track #3, wood chips and sawdust was in the air as Phil and Jamie were hard at the relentless task of repairing and replacing bits and pieces of the NAR boxcar. It’s starting to look like its ready to re-enter revenue service.
All in all, a very productive day.
Even though another couple of inches of the white stuff fell today, progress continues on xCN1392. The folks that showed up, ploughing through the drifts are to be commended. It kept Don W and the John-Deere back-hoe busy most of the day.
Thanks to Barry W, the smoke box is all back together and the front door is closed and buttoned up tight.
The throttle valve is lapped, ground in, hoisted up to the steam dome and ready for installation on Wednesday. Thanks to Ivan H, Barry W and Carter B.They all kept me busy locating parts, pieces, nuts, bolts and the sequences of re-assembly. This job would have been completed today but the installation hardware still has to be picked up.
Barry C and his crew of "brush-slappers" (CSV's) were hard at work cleaning and painting everything below the running boards that doesn't move and even some pieces that do!! Bravo Barry, we'll chrome the stack and put the hot-rod flames on the sides later. Hopefully, next Saturday we'll mate up the tender and get it painted as well.
The air compressor is giving us some grief but this to will be reworked in time for the planned light-up in a couple of weeks.
So, thanks to all for a "good day's work" and for braving the challenges that Mother Nature has tossed at us over the past couple of days.
March 13 Volunteer Activity Report
Last Saturday was a beehive of activity at the museum with more volunteers showing up than ants at a picnic.
The latest addition to the slave labour pool is Carter who worked with Ivan installing some brass thingamobs up in the steam whatchamacallit on the sky side of 1392's boiler. Welcome to the Apple Dumpling Gang, Carter.
John C showed up to toil and boil on 1392 as well. And he brought donuts! Our arteries thank you!
John B showed up to toil and freeze in the volunteer centre working on those funny boxes that have something to do with computations and data whatever. It would undoubtedly be easier if we had internet but all we have is inter-not-yet.
Lukas took several of the Community Service Volunteers in tow and gave them a practical lesson in de-snowing/icing track switches and crossings. At the end of the day, they were really chipper.
Barry had the other CSVs continue the glossy black paint application on 1392 and, as always, did a superb job of supervision, at least when he could find them.
Terry continued to work on the moving parts of 1392 and had to keep them moving so Barry couldn't paint them.
Irene, in addition to being Chef du Jour for the CSVs hot lunch program, continued reorganizing the gift shop with Hans' assistance. Hey it's almost spring, must be time to redecorate!
Phil and Jamie managed to get the faux roof walk and the rest of the plywood off the north side of the roof of Box Car 17913 without hurting themselves or anyone else, not an inconsequential feat.
Don used the dozer to plow snow on the north side of Dunvegan Shop in preparation for the impending repairs to the roof. Unfortunately the dozer overheated prior to completion of the project and was letting off steam. So was Don by the time he walked back to the Calder Shop.
And Herb did as good general managers do, quietly took it all in and said nothing.
Wednesday was not quite as beehivey, the return of winter temperatures must have put all those worker bees back into a dormant state. And the few still active didn't move too much farther than arms reach of the coffee pot.
Hans briefly entertained the Edmonton Fire Marshall and gave him the grand tour of the debris pile - always a highlight of any museum visit. He agreed the volunteers deserve a good wiener roast and acquiesced to send us a fire permit forthwith. Date TBA. Byog(grub) and we'll supply the smoke flavoured BTU's.
Rembrandt continued work on his masterpiece and got a big chunk of the engineer's side of 1392's boiler spiffed up in her new-for-this-spring gloss black coat.
Don attacked the CN 4 locomotive battery bastion with some tremulous help from Jamie. It appeared the heroes were prevailing until the switch was thrown and a brief but spectacular fireworks display ensued. Once the smoke cleared from the battery compartment, they acknowledged the batteries had won this skirmish and retreated to the safety and comfort of the coffee room to restrategize for the next assault.
Don and Brad led the latest skirmish in the Battle of the Batteries on the CN 4 Locomotive. Through dogged persistence, and a time-tested DC volt meter, they determined a number of the batteries were getting on in age and not producing like they used to - much like a few of us volunteers. So they dug in the depths of the steam room to find some better ones (batteries, not volunteers), dragged them out with some help from Barry and Phil and are charging them up for next week's episode of this spark spitting, high voltage saga.
Phil, Barry and Jamie moved the north door of the Box Car 17913, which Phil had removed from the car on Saturday, over to the Dunvegan shop for rebuilding in the future. Then they moved the large rolling stairs from Dunvegan to the Calder shop to aid in the roof work on the box car. If anyone needs really awkward stuff moved forth and back and forth again, call the experts!
Phil and Barry had done some reconnaissance deconstruction of the deteriorating roofing on the box car Tuesday. Phil commenced large scale, ripping and tearing demolition of the plywood layer with some assistance from Jamie. It was a somewhat slow process due to an enthusiastic application of spiral nails in previous preservation work on the roof. Generous use of authentic railway shop vocabulary by one of the de-constructors failed to ease the nails holding power. The other's application of patience and a very large sidewalk scraper was far more effective.
Barry aka "Rembrandt" continued the appearance upgrade on Locomotive 1392 with an attractive, glossy, black paint application on the smoke box sides and front, headlight and number board casings, smoke stack, piping and his pants and jacket.
It must be mentioned these volunteer activities on site are only part of the parcel. Off-site Herb, Irene, Ivan, Hans, John, Steven, Marla, Tim and other anonymous folks (the Q-section, for Bond fans) are working diligently (really, they are) on all the behind the scenes and in front of the public marketing, internet, archiving, research and administration activities. That's an equitable division of labor - they do all the hard stuff, museum guys do all the fun stuff!
Often referred to as "deathless prose". Submitted by Jamie who is an expert in this and many other areas!
We have just been informed that approval for operation of 1392 has been granted for another season. Terry is getting the final preparations organized for 1392 to operate this year. Among others, Ivan, Don, Ken H. and Dennis were responsible for this success. We can now finalize plans for the celebration of 1392's centennial. Congratulations!
The cook car is complete. Thanks to Barry, Jamie, Phil and Hans the inside has been repaired and painted and the outside is now complete as well. A lot of siding was replaced and painted, the roof was made weather-tight and upgrades on doors were done. All that remains is to letter the outside.
Work is now beginning on NAR 17913. It was a box car on the CPR and became a supply car on the NAR. 17913 has now been identified as a candidate for restoration. It has been switched into Calder Shop for repair and painting. Thanks to a $5,000 donation from AGRIUM as arranged by Terry.
The snow load was too much for the roof on Dunvegan Shop. As a result a portion of the roof over the north bay has collapsed. We had previously submitted a grant application for upgrading the shop and had included the roof as part of the quote. Ivan is talking to the roofing contractor to get an update.
#4 is also receiving some additional mechanical intervention to increase its reliability.
We are awaiting confirmation of the switching plans for x CN 1179 "Chief Moostoos" and the Alta Steel 80 ton locomotive. Both are in Walker Yard. In addition the 40 ton crane that was part of the donation from Alta Steel is in the On-Track yard, north of the museum. Thanks to CN, all the equipment will be moved to the museum when their schedule is finalized.
Terry and Mike continued with the mechanical work on Locomotive 1392 to ensure she is going to be ambulatory for her 100th birthday party. Another day closer to fire in her belly!
Don continued work on the battery set-up in Locomotive CN 4. He seems to get a charge out of doing that.
Barry did some experimenting on methods to clean the dirt, grime and old paint off Locomotive 1392. He reports it is a really cruddy job. It should also be noted that Barry put in a lot (and I mean, a lot) of elbow work earlier this week to remove the hugely stubborn masking tape and adhesive from Locomotive CN 4 cab windows. It was a sticky situation.
Phil did the final clean-up of the interior of the cook car now that all inside repairs are completed. It was a clean sweep! He then helped Hans in preparations for the restoration of x NAR box car 17913.
Hans identified and marked a number of sheathing boards that require replacement and started removing extraneous bits and pieces from the sides of box car 17913.
Butch completed the installation of the exterior light on the cook car and worked on an industrial grade extension cord that he is donating to the museum. He's no electrician but is a wiry kind of guy.
Jamie continued to drag out the refurbishing of the windows in the cook car and is nearly finished. Just one more day. Well, maybe one more day after that.