Following the completion of the first outside yard track next to the shop building, the dust had hardly settled when the track quickly filled up. I would like to report that the Thomaston Shop Yard can now hold the usual consist of our regular service train, but with the arrival of the equipment from the Saybrook Yard there still is not enough room! The newly built track is now home to Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 steamer #1246, the former shop baggage car NH W-221, the PTM 198 crane and accompanying gondola, and several other pieces best kept at this secure and accessible site. There still is track progress to report – see the Maintenance of Way coverage below. In the meantime, we still need a good volunteer turnout to help with the varied tasks of developing the shop and yard complex.
Following activation of the pump, limited water service is on at both ends of the shop next to the staff exit doors. As with most new deep well-supplied water systems, the initial flow is a bit gritty, but following some extended use the water should clear up. Actually, having a “bit o’ grit” in the water does help as a scouring agent during clean up! Thanks to Louis Edmonds, Stewart Fritts and Jack Tarter for their help on getting this important step completed. Louis will soon be installing a filter on the system as well as making other improvements. Maybe someone can rig up a temporary shower stall for a cold water shower. The fitting-out of the building’s utilities continues, including the hard-working Electrical Department’s various conduit and wiring installation tasks. More work on the water service and shop air piping installation is planned for later this year.
NAUG 2203 has resided on the pit track over the past few weeks, receiving numerous repairs. One item attended to was a radiator leak, which would occasionally show up as a small fountain of water most visible when the dynamic brakes were used backing down Walcott Hill from the Thomaston Dam. Thankfully the 2203’s radiator comes in several sections, and the offending unit was removed for repair. In our type of service the locomotive can be operated with a missing section isolated if need be. As the defective section is in need of heavy repair, a replacement is being sought. NH 529 has been the regular locomotive so far, but its auxiliary generator is making some noises that indicate a replacement will be necessary soon. Note – thankfully this is NOT the main generator! RMNE 42 continues to see service as a shop switcher, and the former HELCO/Yankee Gas 25-tonner is due for some brake work before it can enter service.
Coach 5805 continues to see progress each Saturday at the shop under the direction of Sam Walker. Sam recently finished the installation of the first new window unit, a new framework and mounting design that essentially mounts the new single window frame midway between the former inner and outer window positions. As further repair work uncovered further corrosion problems in the vestibule areas, it was decided to dig in deeper and make more extensive repairs to the bottom side frame, so work is now well underway on the northeast corner of the car.
Additional help with the project is always appreciated. NH 17504 is receiving its final painting of black by Hal Reiser, following the rebuilding of one of the trucks. Remaining work includes the completion of painting and lettering, the completion of the deck installation, and the rebuilding of the other truck.