PRLM Work Summary – June 24, 2018

Ballast Regulator:

Since the ballast regulator’s fuel tank was removed, Cory had been in charge of getting it cleaned up. They got about 2 gallons of rust and crud out of it. Plus in the initial cleaning what they thought was mostly diesel was actually water! No wonder this piece of machinery was protesting so much!! Cory delivered a freshly painted, newly cleaned out fuel tank early this morning. George Vocke, Joel Hawthorn, Dale Campbell, Pete Panos, and Jacob Higgins hoisted and positioned it into place. I hooked the sight glass lines up and welded the floor supports in over the tank once it was in position. Proper industrial fire watch procedures were followed, as per the Factory Mutual System (an industrial insurance carrier that both Simpson and Weyerhaeuser use). Extinguishers, fire hose, and several sentries posted during and for 1 hour following the completion of the work. Area and machine completely wetted down prior to, during and after. Janice and George Vocke stayed around and did fire watch for almost another hour, just to be on the safe side. While there, George removed the fuel line sight glass to take home and try to clean it, as you cannot see the fuel level at all anymore. Also put away tools. Then they rolled up hoses and put them away afterwards. No fire reported.

Next step is to hook up linkages and lines after floor installation, fill with fresh fuel, and adjust valves at next scheduled work party. This should help the reliability of this machine and keep our members safe, as it is a crucial component of prepping the track for inspection, AFTER THE LEASE IS SIGNED.

#53 Speeder:

Randal continued his amazing work installing freshly stitched black canvas curtains on this little beauty. The black canvas really complements the newly covered black naugahyde cushions, and will work for any color scheme we choose in the future. Hardest job was spreading the steel rings to get them off the old curtains. Then it was easy to squeeze shut on the new ones. Inserted eight teak sticks in the ends of the curtains and stapled to hold them in the center of the sleeve. Hardware to latch at both ends needs to be installed yet. There are quite a few missing rings. Will get a total count when the last four curtains are installed on #55. Will install the other four curtains in #55 Speeder in the next week or so. Same height dimensions will work.
#53 speeder and it’s trailer hauled two loads of brush today. Machine was topped off with fuel at end of shift by myself.

#55 Speeder:

George and Dale installed new brake parts on front left corner. We will install entire right side next time, as I have fabricated all parts for these machines and it should progress quickly. It was topped off with fuel at end of shift by myself.

#900 Locomotive:
Pete Replinger and Bill Van Slyke installed a new/old stock door lock on our oldest lokie, after I sourced a replacement obsolete latch. Pete Replinger was given a key. Please note that #1200 and #900 are not keyed identical anymore, as these parts are very scarce and we were lucky to find what we have. Thanks to the guys at “Dan Dan The Locksmith Man” for all their help and advice. Pete and Bill also attempted to start the #900, after jumping it with a welder. Sometime in the future we will need to come up with a better solution to charge these batteries. Josh, John, Cory and myself have a few ideas …

Fire Cart:

Water was topped off at 200 gallons by Jacob Higgins and Pete Panos, in order to test the fire suppression pump. We will need to source a large diameter cap for this in the future. It will also serve us well as ballast to test speeder brakes’ power capabilities. I will be able to test the fire pump, as soon as I get caught up on other projects.Water Supply:

Standpipes in equipment storage area were repaired after suffering severe frost damage

In the prior years. Two more valves were replaced and pressure restored. Non-potable water for fire control, lokie coolant, and wash media is now at our fingertips. We have 200’ of donated garden hose and about 100’ of 1-1/2” fire hose at the ready.

Brush removal:

Janice Vocke, Randal Washburne, Jacob Higgins and Pete Panos continued to remove dead brush for site cleanup and fire prevention. Randal helped chop out some brush stubs around the equipment. The area really is starting to shine.

Lunch and Drinks:

Lunch was graciously provided once again by Dale Campbell, and all participants were also treated to cold drinks from George and Janice Vocke on this warm summer day. Dale is going to coordinate this volunteer effort, with different people being in charge at different work parties. Keeping a friendly and encouraging workplace should keep bringing volunteers back, as today upwards of ten people donated 5-8 hours each … not bad!

Safety Training:

Josh contacted me today about training on the speeders as per the PRLM Board and official regulations. We will be doing this as soon as possible, so we can get more members trained and ready to work on the line. Please bear with us, as he gets the paperwork lined up. This will be a top priority, as we not only need professional, well-trained operators to work in the public realm, but our machine operators will need to be held accountable and responsible in any event. I’m sure insurance requires this training as well, and we will gladly welcome it.

Future Projects:

Hopefully, by our next work party scheduled for July 8th, we will have the Regulator tank installed, fueled, and ready to test. Jim Davenport will be here to assist and mentor us in all things diesel! Make it a point to stop by and say “Hi”, as he is a good guy and a wealth of knowledge. We will adjust valves once more and perhaps change fuel filters in our quest to get the old girl dependable and ready for main line service.

We will also install additional fresh brake parts on #55 Speeder, as well as new curtains.

Measuring for several floor pieces will commence, as well.

By this date I hope to have the mandated speeder training completed by myself and Dale, as requested by the board. We will also be doing testing of the reworked fire pump on the fire cart by then, as well. We’ll also be fueling the #900 Lokie, too. Greasing of all equipment and carts will also begin.

There is also plenty of brush and scrap removal/sorting to be done, too.

And since we now have a dependable water source for fire and machine maintenance, I would like to see #55 and #53 speeders hand-washed thoroughly.

Sometime soon, after speeder training, and coordinating with the Vance Creek Railriders group, (but before any lease finalization), we will taking a small work party on the line to measure for mileposts with speeders and GPS. While we are out, we will take a quick survey on line condition and report back to the board.

I would like to take this time to thank the PRLM Board, generous donors, and our volunteers for all your hard work. I know it is hard to stay focused with so much uncertainty, but everyone is doing a great job! Thank you one and all!

William D. Clark