No. 1 Fall Update
Just in case blog visitors were thinking that all we do around the PCRR is BBQ and go to great wedding celebrations, we thought it would be good to show that a lot of work goes into keeping the equipment running around here.
If any of you recall the firing valve on the Harpur, it was a pretty poor excuse for railroad appropriate and did not offer the positive control that one would like for this application. Starting with just a rough idea and some raw metal, Phil designed and built this total awesome firing quadrant and installed it this week. It not only looks great, but gives the impression that it is going to perform perfectly, too.
The Harpur also had a weepy tube. With her really tiny firebox door it was going to be a test to see how to get someone in there with the new touch up roller to seal things up…with Oilcan back in New York! With the purchase of several long 1/2″ extensions and some clever mechanical maneuvering, and some frustrating set backs with the touch up roller stuck in the tube! It looks like Phil might have been successful. We will see if we can run a squeeze this weekend and determine if we nailed it or have to send Oilcan a plane ticket.
We have also been putting a little time in on Karl Hovanitz Denver and Rio Grande boxcar #3126. The plan is to keep it looking aged, but get some linseed oil on the wood and then repaint it, straighten some grab irons, replace the roof walk and make a couple of mechanical repairs. We are starting to set a date for a Karl’s Boxcar Saturday for volunteers to come and help out with this project.
After some rather baffling electrical problems with the #594 Plymouth, we ordered some new ignition parts and installed them this week. Unfortunately, she still has issues starting, so we asked our friend, Joel Switzer of Switzer Diesel Repair in Santa Margarita, to send one of his guys over to take a look and see if we can get her running again.
We ran with the other Plymouth Thursday night for a group of wine retailer buyers who were visiting the Ranch as part of the promotion for the Wittstroms’ Ancient Peaks wines. The Ancient Peaks tasting room is about to open on the main street of Santa Margarita and we are all looking forward to sharing that happy occasion with, Karl, Rob’s ranch partner. The next time you are in town and want to try some really great wines at a good value, stop by and give Ancient Peaks a try. We will post more on them when the tasting room has their grand opening.
We are expecting about 80 or 90 senior visitors this week coming up to the Ranch on a bus tour. We always enjoy these trips as they usually provide some great stories of how train travel was back in their day. Then we start to wonder what we will be saying about trains when we get to be their age!