August-September 2009 Presidentís Report

 

††††††††††† Hope you are having a good summer season.

††††††††††† I would like to fill you in on some of the things going on in the yard. We have had several good weekends of working on stabilizing the turntable. Our yard crew has replaced several of the rotten boards on the deck and will do more shortly. We also have been cleaning off the base of the bridge girder of all the sand and grime that has accumulated there, causing corrosion in several areas. Our plan is to power wash this area, then apply a rust converting product to prevent further deterioration of this collect-all point. I am hoping to paint the bridge girder before fall arrives, and also paint the upper decking. All this is a temporary fix for the turntable. I am trying to buy us time in saving this artifact with the limited funding available to us at this time. I just wish we could have everyone available at one time to work on this project. Just imagine having 30 people dedicated to this, all working together for one goal! There are many hours of work required to even scratch the surface of this project, but to me this is one of our most important assets of the Museum, and is in dire need of attention. I would like to list my plan for stabilization at this point in time. Not all of these items will happen this year, but the more people who can show up on Saturdays, the more work can be done.

1) Clean and scrape the dirt accumulations off the base of the bridge girder

2) Power wash the girder of all residue remaining

3) Apply rust converter with brush and rollers

4) Paint girder with a Rustoleum type of anti-rust paint

5) Clean the loose concrete debris and weeds out of the pit bottom

6) Begin tie replacement of the ring rail

7) Stabilize the wooden end beam to prevent further rotting

These are but a few of the projects ahead of us which will just buy ourselves time. Eventually we must replace the operator boothís floor, the outrigger bearings, and the deck timbers which support the rails. The concrete walls need to be repoured. We volunteers can do some of the work, but some obviously will be contracted out. It certainly is a major project for us, but well worth the effort.

††††††††††† In other news, trackwork continues at the turntable lead switch, with areas just west of the switch on Track 42. We are in the process of replacing about 20 ties in this area, and regauging rail where necessary. We have found that our SW8 and failing ties are a bad combination for operation. The locomotive is very inflexible, literally, with these areas of our yard, and tends to make its own path when traversing through them, even if it is on the ground. Track maintenance is a given at the DRM. It is an ongoing project, or maybe a curse. Unfortunately it must be done on a regular basis.

††††††††††† As usual there is much going on at the DRM. There are probably twenty things happening all at the same time. I have been trying to keep the cleanup projects moving along: recycling oil that has accumulated through our train service or removing the rotted ties that seem to appear overnight. There does not seem to be any end to it but I am slowly making progress. We must maintain a clean and safe environment for both our volunteers and our guests at all times. There also are plans coming together for an antique vehicle show on September 19th. I am excited by the hopes of trying a new event that may attract different people to our facility. We must always try new ideas to attract these people.

††††††††††† I hope you can help out with some of the things I have talked about this month. The Museum needs your help, now, more than ever!