An update on the Park Train Project

We had an exciting work session. While the heart/engine (affectionately dubbed Christine) is well on its way to reassembly and recovery, we took the opportunity to do a locomotive tire rotation, essentially.

After doing this, I’m convinced a tire rotation would have been much less complicated.

There are two wheelsets or trucks with gearboxes connected to the drive train. It was suggested that we could get more even wear on the drive gears if the rear wheelset was placed in front and front in back.

Sounds easy enough. After lifting the body off of the frame, the trucks were disconnected, pulled from the rails, reversed position and placed back on the rails so that the drive shafts could be reinserted and the body set back down. Each truck weighs about 400 pounds.

Five hours later, with a few mishaps and off-color comments, the mission was accomplished. We hope we have reconnected everything properly.

A special thanks to Dr. Ken Greenwood, DVM, who patiently lead this effort and serves as co-lead on the restoration project. His patience under crisis and a great set of tools helped to win the day. Thanks to Rob Kaufman (our videographer) and Gary Lewis, who provided strong backs to git er done.

Regarding the engine, IER/Roger will update me this week. If the invoice is imminent, we’re hoping the engine’s return is as well.

Several of you have asked how the engine rebuild fundraising is going. Short answer, very well. We are approximately 90% of our $6,000 goal. A Home Depot matching funds gift has been confirmed, which should substantially close the gap.

To all of you who have contributed so generously, we THANK YOU. You are keeping a handful of dangerous, retired old guys off the street, allowing us to learn new skills.

If you haven’t already and are thinking of tossing a few bucks our way, we would love to hear from you. Donations of any size are much appreciated. If so inclined, go to the Southeastern Railway Museum website, select contributions, complete the requested info, including designating the Park Train Restoration project.

Again thanks for your support and interest!

— Bill Bickley

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