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July 2017

The Wheel Report

Notch trains starting running this year on June 13th, and so far GP38 #252 has been covering that job and doing it well. Believe it or not, I have been running high hood units for so long that it takes a little getting used to running one with a low hood. Yes, we are about 40 to 50 years behind the curve of the ‘real world’ up here, but that’s the way we like it!

After the brush was cut at Attitash

Because of all the rain we have had in our area this past spring, the line-side flora and fauna has exploded into a jungle.  Solution?  Bring in a contractor with a hy-rail mounted excavator that has a ‘brontosaurus’ cutting head located on the end of the arm where the bucket would normally be. The excavator can reach out a good 30′ from the center of the track and pretty much mow down everything but the largest of trees. The original plan was to have him work on the view shed up in the Notch but the reality was that he needed to work on what I call normal maintenance cutting. As I write this, the machine will be here for a few more days before he has to go on to his next job. He won’t be able to get it all done, but he certainly has made some serious improvement.

We have been operating long enough this season so that GP7 #573 has gone in for her first 92 day inspection. Everything looked pretty good this time around, so after getting new air and oil filters and undergoing a thorough topside & bottom side inspection, she is on the road again. Faithful GP9 #1751 pinch hit for #573 on the Valley Train.

Somebody was asking me about F7 #4266 the other day. Right now she is in stall #3 of the roundhouse and is ready to go to work any time the power desk needs her! That call will come for sure during our upcoming “DAY OUT WITH THOMAS” event which takes place very shortly now during the last two weekends (Fridays too) of July.

Some of you might be wondering where GP35 #216 is. #216 is currently in stall #2 of the roundhouse where she is receiving work on her low voltage wiring. The Achilles’ heel of these first and second generation EMDs is the wiring, and there are miles and miles of it. The wire that was used when these locomotives were built is beginning to fail. Specifically the insulation on the wires is failing. With age, the insulation gets brittle so that now, if you have to handle it for any reason, the insulation falls off the wire and you have bare wires. If one bare wire touches another bare wire while the locomotive is operating then unexpected things begin to happen. Some of those things you can live with, for a while, other things you can’t live with, like the potential for melt down and a possible fire. So the best practice is to replace the wire. #216 has already had a lot of her wiring renewed in the last few years, so this is a continuation of that project. The shop crew knows that we need the locomotive for the busy Fall season and I have been promised that I’ll have it, rewired, and ready to go to work.

We are all looking forward to our trip out to the Whitefield diamond on Sunday, September 3, on what might be ‘a once in a lifetime event’ (my wife tells me that I have had too many once in a lifetime events!)  First class is pretty well sold out at this time, but we still have seats in coach if you are interested. This will be a day to remember.

That’s about it for now. As always we thank you for interest in and support of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Keep it safe,

Paul Hallett