CTRC - The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation.
Preserving the historical heritage of railroading and trolleys in the Santa Clara Valley of California.

CTRC Calendar

CTRC meetings are open to members and non-members.  You are welcome even if you are not a member.

We usually have a short (30 minute) discussion of status of the various projects.

We meet at 10am at the SP2479 locomotive restoration site in the double wide trailer.

Date: First Saturday of each month.

Time: 10am

2479 Healy Avenue
San Jose, California

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Aux Dome Cover - June 9, 2012

John Ezovski

Machining of new aux dome cover is complete.  Today the cover was hoisted into place to check for fit.  After a few "adjustments" cover slipped into its new home.  Next week the aux dome cover gasket will be annealed and cover set into position.

Shown is an image with safeties, valve and whistle in place.

SP2479 Update - Saturday, May 26, 2012

John Ezovski

Nice size crew today.

With the restoration site being in a highly visible area, appearance is important.  Today a group of workers trimmed trees of low branches passing threw the fence.  Removal of these branches also helps with site security.

Although the lawn tractor does not see heavy use, performing preventative maintenance on the machine is a necessity.  A number of items were addressed needed to help extend its life.

The locomotive's boiler is beginning to show weathering.  Wire wheeling and painting of the boiler has begun and will continue for many more weeks.

The real good news is the fourth and final hole in the center area of the new aux dome cover has been threaded!  The new cover was removed from the Le Blonde lathe and returned to the restoration site for remaining work.

All twenty studs needed to mount the new cover have been machined.  Five of the studs were set into place.

Status Update - May 6, 2012

John Ezovski

The majority of today's steam crew spent the day working at the trolley barn.  Two members worked at returning the barn's Clark forklift to a serviceable state . This machine has not run for several years.  The battery required extended charging and a multitude of ignition issues were repaired.  By days end, the forklift was running.

Progress has been made with the new aux dome cover.  Holes for the two safeties, valve and whistle were bored to an optimum diameter during the week.  Today the gasket seating surface was machined flat on the Le Blond lathe.

Next came the big test.  Could the lathe turn the heavy plate offset five inches from center without counter weights being attached?  The first of two safety holes was centered and the machine powered on.  There was no noticeable difference in rotational rate of the chuck Tapering and threading of the hole began.  By secure time, the first of four holes was complete.  A significant step forward.

At the locomotive restoration site, several other tasks were underway.  Components to provide tender water level to the cab crew were being manufactured.  Nice weather requires weekly grass and weed control.

SP2479 Aux Dome Update - April 28, 2012

John Ezovski

Threading of second hole in test plate was successfully completed.

A machining plan has been created for the aux dome blank.  Four holes to be threaded in blank were located. Boring of these holes will begin this week.

SP2479 Aux Dome Report

John Ezovski

April 7:

Progress has slowed. Upon receipt of the aux dome cover blank, it was decided to practice machining with a piece of scrap plate.  A suitable plate was prepared and a number of small holes bored.

Biggest concern is threading holes for the three inch safeties.  Finished holes will be approximately four inches in diameter with an 8 pitch thread.  CRTC's only machine capable of this work is the Leblond lathe located in the trolley barn.

This machine has not been used in a number of years.  It required cleanup and lubrication.  During this process several deficiencies were noted.  A piece of the taper attachment was missing and was constructed.  The biggest concern is wear in machine parts.  It was noted that there was a near half turn revolution of the crossfeed handle.  The lead screw was removed and inspect. Both the lead screw and nut are heavily worn.  The compound feed is also very loose.

Obviously destroying a four hundred dollar part is not on the task list.  Currnet condition of the lathe is a major concern but we are not ready to give up. Next Saturday the test plate will be mounted.  An attempt at boring and threading of the first large hole will begin.  Upon completion a look at direction will be taken.

April 21:

Weeks of cleaning, fixing and understanding the trolley barn's Leblond lathe has paid off!  Yesterday, 2479's master mechanic tapered and threaded a four inch hole in the test plate!  A cap was set into the hole to prove the work.  With the first hole complete, the test plate was repositioned.  This hole will also be tapered and threaded for added experience.

In image, note plate off-set from chuck center.  The lowest rotational speed of the chuck was being used.  This plate weighs less than half that of the new cover.  The task is looking much more do able on this lathe but there is still a question as to the lathe being able to turn the heavy part off center.

Saturday work crews continue to be very small.  The remainder of the crew has been working at site appearance.  Rain followed by sunny, warm temperatures have kicked grass and weed growth into high gear.  Keeping the storage areas clear of tall weeds is difficult and time consuming.

SP2479 - Sat. March 3, 2012

John Ezovski

The blank for the new aux dome cover was received during this past week.  The diameter of the piece is slightly less than 20 1/2".  And it is 2 inches thick.  In the attached image, a nut that is 7/8" tall was placed on top of the plate to give a sense of size.

Dealing with the blank for the new aux dome cover was the focus of this past Saturday's session.  Boring of holes in this cover for the safeties and other objects will present a significant challenge.

The safeties, whistle and vent valve were mounted on the old cover to verify clearances.  Holes for each of these objects may be relocated slightly.

Prior to cutting into a $400.00 piece of steel, we will experiment on a piece of scrap plate.  A one inch piece of material was located, cut and cleaned.

The trolley barn's big LeBlond lathe is the only CTRC machine capable of performing this work.  The lathe was examined for tooling.  It appears that there is a piece missing for the taper attachment but should be easy to fabricate.  Only if we are successful with the piece of scrap plate will work will begin on the blank, otherwise services of a machine shop will be necessary for the large holes.

Aux Dome Cover - Feb 24, 2012

John Ezovski

This past week I have spent a bunch of time on the phone attempting to locate a piece of material suitable for a new aux dome cover.  Each distributor I called pointed me down the road.

I Ended up getting quotes from two shops.  One in Stockton and another in West Sacramento.  With approval and a very kind donation from Rod Diridon, today the blank for the cover was ordered

The piece will be flame cut to about 20 1/2 inches.  It is 2 inches thick, will have material certs and heat treat numbers.  The piece is going to weigh in near 225 pounds.  Delivery could be as early as this coming Wednesday to the trolley barn.  I hope to meet the truck and immediately deliver to the work site.

This will be the beginning of a multi-step machining process.  Mounting bolt holes should not be difficult.  Cutting the 3 inch holes for the safeties is going to be a challenge.  Holes for the whistle and valve are just a bit easier.

Several years ago, I was informed that changes were coming to cover calculations in the Form 4.  When complete, there will be no issues with aux dome cover thickness and the Form 4.

Next week I will work at getting material for the 20 new aux dome studs.

Over the next weeks (months?) there is going to be a bunch of work.

SP1215 Display Track

John Ezovski

Ballasting of the 90 some feet of panel track that SP1215 rests was completed today.  The site is now ready to receive the Missouri Pacific caboose. See attached image.

Thank you to Reed and Graham for the 17 yards of ballast.  Thank you to Robert Pederson, AtoolShed for the use of a dump truck and loader.

To Ken M. and Steve R., thanks for relocating the rock to San Jose History Park. The guys that worked the shovels another big thanks.  I had figured at least three full days of work to complete this task.  Larry, Steve, Gene, and Tom completed the job in one and one half days.  Tamping ballast under ties is miserable work.  Shoveling stone is right up there with tamping.  We all knew what need to be done and made it happen.

SP2479 - Sat. Jan 21, 2012

John Ezovski

Several things to report.

Over the past couple of weeks, a very detailed analysis of the steam dome cover was completed.  This cover, with out any doubt, is not serviceable.  Bot the steam dome and aux dome covers are to thin to be returned to service.  Material and specs for new covers have been forwarded to Jack and Ken so that quotes may be obtained and new covers created.  All 20 studs in the aux dome and 24 studs in the steam dome will have to be replaced.  There will be lots of work here!

The cross head for the right steam distribution cylinder has been closely examined. One side of the cross head lacks bronze.  Next week an attempt will be made to braze the surface.

A big thank you to Larry M. for donating his old PC.  The site now has a Dell system running Windows XP.  All CTRC files on the old machine have been moved to this new system.

SP2479 - Sat. Jan 7, 2012

John Ezovski

Repairs to 2479's crossheads and guides are complete!

Work began on the left side guides and crosshead Oct. 15, 2011.  A different set of issues were encountered but were quickly overcome.  The guides did not require any repairs.  All holes were reasonably round and the cylinder end of the guides did not require weld repair.  Only four of the eight mounting bolts had to be replaced.  Babbitting of the crosshead was the major issue and required the most time.

Prior to the close of 2011, the crosshead was installed and found to be binding at both end limits of travel.  Close inspection revealed the lower guide to be the problem.  The lower guide was ever so slightly bowed up at the tail end.  Belt sanding of the last five inches of the guide provided the necessary relief.

Binding at the front limits was a function of the upper guide being to wide for the crosshead.  Again belt sanding was used to remove a material from the sides of the guide.  The left crosshead now slides freely within its limits of travel.

Today the left cylinder cover was installed to protect the cylinder from rain and other sources of potential damage.

Next in line are the traming of the steam distribution valve crossheads.  The biggest problem here is the need for the new cage for the front end of the left cylinder.

SP2479 - Dec 27, 2011

John Ezovski

Today the left crosshead was returned to the locomotive.  With the crosshead in place, bolts were installed in the lower guide.  All of the news is not good.

The crosshead was found to be pinched tight when full forward.  A .025 inch shim was added at the front upper hanger to free the crosshead.  When the crosshead was pulled to back to end of travel, a similar situation was encountered.

Measurements show the upper and lower guides being within .005 inch at the two points that have been used to establish guide positions.  Neither guide is perfectly flat.  The upper guide has a very slight arc to it.  Solution to the problem will be identified after the first of the year.

There will be no work session Saturday, Dec 31, 2011

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