PRLM Work Party Summary:
June 10th 9am-5pm & Tues. June 12th 12-4pm
Regulator: Cory and myself spent the majority of the day draining the remaining fuel and
anticipating an in-frame tank clean-out. That was not the case, as the contamination was
found to be so bad that we decided to pull the tank and clean it professionally, especially
after the sediment bowl was filled to the brim with mud/rust and about an inch of crud was
discovered covering the bottom of tank. This task took several hours, but the rewards for
the effort should be tenfold, as rust, mud, and water has been plaguing our fuel system in
recent months. I will have to do some welding upon the install. Before that we will have to
finish our water supply plumbing to provide safe fire watch on site. Hope to have the entire
fuel system flushed and cleaned before our work party on Sunday, June 24th, when we
want to run it and adjust valves. This is about 80-100 gallon tank mounted in the cab behind
the control panel and under the seat. No small task to remove /clean/install. Thanks to the
entire crew we removed it safely with help from everyone on the final pull. About 40 gallons
of diesel were saved and will be filtered and treated before use in this or other machines.
This fuel is safely stowed upon the regulator. Cory hauled the tank for further inspection
and cleaning/treating, and possible relining, if needed.
#53 speeder: This little machine had a rebuilt starter installed by George, as well as the
newly refurbished heater core and fan assembly. I'm sure everybody will appreciate the
addition of heat in this machine, especially come this winter!
After the installation, Dale and Jacob retrieved several large piles of scrap/railroad/track
parts for the upcoming opening of the line. I'm confident that Dale can find plenty of
reusable track pieces for future repair of the main line. Safety training on the speeder
for our young volunteer was done by Dale, as well. I shuttled Dr. Bill to the railriders'
area for a conversation and introduction to Doug. #53 is fully operational, but still need
to tweak the engine timing just a bit.
#55 speeder: This machine received 8 new black naugahyde seat cushions (identical to
#53), stitched and installed by Randel with help from his wife Gunvor. Randel and George
disassembled the left front brake assembly for me to rebuild at home. Brakes on this
machine are one of my top three priorities. More on these later ... They also started on
the left hand door sill replacement, but, as so often in this line of work, more problems
were discovered. We will have to make a partial floor replacement before the sill install.
This isn't a big deal, as John has expressed interest in this particular project. I will take
measurements and get the numbers to John for fabrication. In the meantime, we will
keep the tear-down to a minimum to avoid lengthy down time in either of these machines.
I am building a small temporary block to bolt the roof support down until floor and sill are
ready to go. The small scale, but hard work is really making these speeders presentable
and preparing us for much larger projects in the future. For the present this machine is
running, but non-operational, due to lack of brakes, while I make parts. Pictures of the
fresh interior will be posted online soon.
Crane: Machine was run for 15 minutes. No problems perceived. Need to change fuel filters
and look at fuel system soon, if regulator is any indication of diesel machines' condition.
#900 locomotive: Attempts to start were thwarted by cooler conditions, resulting in low battery
amperage, a condition we were trying to avoid by running it periodically to charge same. A
welder to charge, a 32-volt trickle charger/tender with a power source, and newer batteries
are all on my wish list. We will re-group and tackle these issues in the future. For
now we can continue to rent a welder to start this machine. Randel repaired some small tears
in the conductors's chair, as well. Good news about the cab door lock: I feel I have sourced a
replacement for the broken latch mechanism, so it is looking like we should not have to change
keys at this time.
Brush removal: This task was once again tackled by Janice and Randel, taking care to remove
the many stumps and stubs of scotch broom that remain and are an invitation to a sprained
ankle or falls! Many thanks to Janice for her hard work on this and countless other tasks, such
as logging volunteer hours and sending out my bi-weekly ramblings.
#201 Caboose: Randel repaired some tears in seats in the caboose. Key cutting for the caboose
is still continuing. I hope to have 6-7 keys available for PRLM staff, perhaps with one stashed,
as these take a while to make and distribution will be limited. Which brings us to ...
Key Policy: As we progress up to and after the lease is signed, I have been asked about keys
to the equipment and distribution thereof. Dale Campbell has drafted a policy for this that I feel
will go hand-in-hand with a future equipment operation policy. I was sure he had drafted one
for that as well, but I can't seem to find it a this time. You will find the key usage policy proposal
and forms attached to this email. Board members, please peruse his proposals and add to or
subtract from it as you deem fit, and vote upon a version you can agree upon. At this time, no
one will be allowed to operate equipment on the main line until safety training within the yard
and several hours of supervised training outside the gates is completed, and/or approval from
the board. Designated trainers for each piece of equipment will be chosen by the board. The
small speeders will be the training vehicles and primary movers, with selective emphasis and
training on the regulator, and #54 speeder. Locomotives are to be off limits to all personnel for
operation, unless fully trained and a certified engineer, with the exception of engine warm ups
and charging. Crane operators will need to possess a current crane card as well. Rest assured,
I won't have unqualified personnel running any PRLM machine! A complete equipment operation
policy will be drafted based on these recommendations and guidelines at a later date.
Fire Cart: Still awaiting parts for pump coupler. New fuel tank has arrived and am in the midst of
fabbing a new mount. If the pump portion proves to be junk, I have sourced a reasonably priced
alternative and we can use the 3-1/2 hp engine for a spare or power supply for the future.
Lunch: Dale generously donated lunch, with cold drinks supplied by Janice and George, as usual.
Recent updates the past few days:
Dale made two red and black steps for the caboose that look great and will help people get in
the caboose easier.
On June 12th George and Janice worked at Camp One. Janice did brush clearing. George
loaded up the lighter junk scrap (cables & straps & aluminum cans) and hauled it to the recycler.
The recyclers made a mistake and listed the cheaper unprepared scrap as the more valuable
prepared scrap and wrote a check for $43.60. George went back and told them of the mistake
and over payment. The recyclers were surprised he had come back and been honest about it
and said to just keep the whole amount, as it's too much hassle to void the check and rewrite it!
They will haul the heavy junk scrap another day or two. Will bring in some more money for
PRLM, which is sorely needed.
Future projects: I personally still feel that, upon lease signing, track inspection and repair will take
priority amongst the available volunteer pool. This means continued emphasis on the regulator
being able to run dependably. Also the small speeders shuttling crew and supplies to work areas.
I will try to have both speeders running at all times until tracks are inspected and approved. (At a
bare minimum, one running at all times.) If time allows, we will continue work on the crane, with
filter changes and fuel tank inspection topping the list. Bucket installation and further training with
Bruce will be completed when we can.
I would like board to vote and approve a one-time work party to measure and remark (at least
temporarily) the main line at 1/2 mile increments, with the intent being to establish monuments in
which to gauge and assign future track work. Stakes would be driven after calculations are taken
by GPS from a few surviving mile markers, staying with Simpson tradition and starting from town.
All present mile markers will be used! This should only take 2-3 hours and will be coordinated with
any railrider event taking place. I would like to do this ASAP, so mile post signs can be made and
installed when the lease is finalized.
Continued inventory of track supplies, and repair of all track tools, so we can be ready to work
on the line when the lease is approved. We have a good supply of track hammers and wrenches,
and also about a half dozen handles that need to be installed. I have donated several shovels and
scrapers, but we can always use a few more.
Periodic greasing and oiling of all machines: We have several working grease guns on site and I
will provide the proper lube for now. I will come up with a preventive maintenance schedule for all
equipment eventually, including carts and rolling stock. We will also be washing all equipment on
a regular basis, as well as cleaning interiors every work party.
Installation and fabrication of the new side curtains of both small speeders is being spearheaded
by Randel and Janice. The new canvas and grommet kits were bought by Janice as a donation
to PRLM. It was delivered to Randel June 12th. We look forward to seeing what they come up
with! John will be fabricating some replacement floorboards for #55 before we can finish the
You are probably sick of hearing about water supply and fire protection. However, we still need
to source a few parts to fix some leaks at standpipes. We need to be able to fill the fire cart for
main line fire protection, and to provide water for fire watch at the equipment storage area, as
welding and torch work will be needed within a week or two.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone involved in this organization for your
continued support. It isn't easy to coordinate work parties. Especially when we have so much to
do, but with limited resources and limited area to work on. I do my best with what we have and
the lease situation being fluid. Thank you for being patient. I will always try to find work for any-
one willing to lend a hand, and try to make each task as enjoyable as possible for everyone. If I
left anyone or any task out this week, I am truly sorry.
Next work party Sunday, June 24th at 9AM at Camp One!
William D. Clark