Car Shop Update – July 16, 2019

Forklift – Richard P. reinstalled a ram after getting a new seal installed so the hydraulic system seems leak free now. He is continuing to work to get the fork lift in good operating condition.

DSS&A box car #18052 – The previous post has a picture of Owen’s progress with lettering. Dave M. scrubbed the trucks and they are now ready to be painted. He also painted the south end of the car. The wood fascia and notice board need another coat of paint yet. New volunteer Phil F. cleaned up the roof edge and fascia on the west side and sealed the large cracks with the epoxy sealer. The cracks still need to be filled but painting can get started on the west side.

Soo Line #203 – Fred replaced 2 pieces of siding where there had been a plywood patch. The letter board above those 2 pieces is deteriorated and Fred put a patch over that area.

EJ&S #2 – Bill F. almost got the necessary battens made, but a repair to the drive belt for the table saw cost probably 3 hours of work time. Phil F. shimmed and fastened down the west side baggage door threshold. He also started to take apart the step from the northeast corner. Those steps need new wood and the bent metal side needs to be straightened. I continued to work on the west side window lintels and the exterior window stops.

Over all we got a fair amount of work done. These projects will continue this weekend, July 20-21.

Peter B.
Restoration Department

EJ&S #2 Restoration Update – July 4, 2019

During the last work session on June 29 and 30 siding panels above the window sill were primed and installed. Bill F. made and primed the exterior window stops and some of the window lintels were repaired. Next session work on the lintels will be completed and the window stops installed.

Peter B.
Restoration Department

Car Shop Update – July 3, 2019

Weekend Update June 29th- July 1st

This past weekend we had a great turnout allowing us to work on several projects including assisting the dining services department by making repairs to the roof of the Soo Line #2017. A big thanks goes out to all of the volunteers who helped to make this work session a success.

Following is a summary of the work session activities and progress:

Soo Line #2017 Roof repairs- Volunteers: Gary B., Richard P., Pete B., Richard C., BG Miller and Bill B.

  • Repaired four areas of the canvas roof where the canvas was split or missing. Replaced 7 feet of upper drip rail (nailer) on the west side.
  • Applied rubber (EPDM) material (glued and nailed) with a total area of approximately 100 sq. feet.

Roof repairs made to the north end of the Soo Line #2017. Bill Buhrmaster photo.

DSS&A box car #18052– Volunteers: Owen H., Bill F., Mike M., David P., Richard D., Harry, Bill B.

  • East Side: Wood siding replacement completed on the east side (two pieces on the side and three pieces in the door). Reassembled the door frame and the south door stop. Replacement wood pieces on the east side were given the first coat of box car red paint and the entire side and door given a final coat of paint.
  • West Side and Ends: The west side wood repairs completed (six locations). Epoxy putty applied to cracks, splits and joints. All repaired areas sanded, primed and ready for the first coat of box car red. South end wire brushed and first coat of box car red applied. North end painted (final coat). The south end sign board has been installed.
  • Upcoming work:
    • the east side and north end are ready for lettering
    • the south end is ready for the second (final) coat of paint
    • the west side is ready for the first coat of box car red paint.

Shay Pilot. Volunteers: Jack R., Jerry F., Dave M.,

  • Drilled and fit the pilot pieces
  • Laid out the mounting holes for the pilot
  • Cut and shaped 6 of the 8 spokes
  • Applied two coats of liquid epoxy to all wood parts and pieces

Soo Line #203. Volunteers: Harry, Ross S.

  • Applied the first coat of primer to the east side of the caboose
  • Sanded and prepared the west side for paint.


Soo Line #99085. Volunteer: Harry,

  • Made epoxy repairs to the east side of the car


East Jordan & Southern #2: Volunteers: Pete, Bill F.

  • Worked on the west side of the car installing the window sills, window lentils and the panels between the windows.
  • Made new window stops for the west side of the car. Primed all pieces.

Pete making more progress on the EJ&S #2. Bill Buhrmaster photo.

CRRR #25, WC #63 and C&NW drovers caboose #10802. Volunteers: Harry, Richard P., Dave M., Bill B., David.

  • Ran water hoses from the engine house to the Car Shop.
  • Used the gas driven power washer to clean the flood residue off of the trucks, brake gear and steps of each car.
  • Repainted all of the truss rods and journal box lids.

Harry power washing the cars. Bill Buhrmaster photo.

DSS&A DULUTH. Volunteer: Bill B., Bill F., Richard C.

  • Laid out the display panel for the DULUTH that will be set up in the depot.
  • Cut and fit the mounting board that will be used for the berth lamp.

Laying out the DULUTH display to be installed in the depot. Bill Buhrmaster photo.

In preparation of the Soo Line Historical & Technical Society Convention (September 13th) volunteers are needed for the upcoming planned work sessions on July 12-14 and July 27-28. Mark your calendar and plan on giving us a hand.

Bill Buhrmaster
Restoration Department

EJ&S #2 Restoration Update – June 17, 2019

In the May work session we decided to remove the west side letter board, siding above the window sill and the window sill. Work was then started on fabricating new window sill material.

During the June 14 and 15th work session work on the window sill was completed. This included fastening an inner trim piece to the sill and then attaching the sill to the belt rail. The next steps include installing new siding above the window sill and re-installing the top fascia and letter board.

Peter B.
Restoration Department

Car Shop Update – May 21, 2019

During the past 4-day work session (May 17th -20th) a total of 14 volunteers were on hand for one or more of the days to assist with several active projects in the Restoration Department. The crew of volunteers worked hard and put in some long days allowing us to make significant progress. Following are the highlights from the session:

Goodman Shay #9: Jack cut and fit the oak pieces for the base and back of the replacement pilot.

East Jordan & Southern #2: Pete worked on installing the sill fascia and window sill on the west side of the car. Ross assisted by sanding and priming newly installed trim while new volunteer Pat M. worked on removing paint from interior woodwork.

DSS&A Box car: Harry scraped and sanded the west side of the box car. He also started to remove boards on the east side that need to be replaced. As needed boards were treated with liquid epoxy to prevent deterioration. Additional spot priming was done on the east side and a small portion of the car received the first coat of the finish color.

Car Shop Work Platform: Owen and Bill F. constructed two rolling work platforms for use in the Car Shop. These platforms will enable us to be safer and more efficient when working on the sides of cars that are being sanded, painted or lettered. By the end of Monday the two platforms are serviceable but awaiting the access steps.

DSS&A #213: Jerry and Glenn continued to work on finalizing the design and sketches for making the john (toilet room)

Journal Repacks- Ross and Pat M. drained water and added fresh journal oil to (8) pieces of equipment. Two museum owned cars remain to be repacked.

DULUTH- A crew of (5) including Paul, BG, Richard, Bob and I installed the balance of the air piping for the DULUTH. This was a significant amount of work as it included not only the trainline (1in dia.) but it also included piping for the conductor valves (2), the retainer and the signal line. Combined the air system includes some 250 feet of pipe with numerous fittings and over a dozen custom pipe bends. A total (150) man-hours were spent on fabricating and installing the piping under the car. By 5 p.m. on Sunday the system was tested with shop air. The test quickly revealed that there was a leak inside the car where the conductor valve had been removed when the car was a cabin. Once the open end was capped off the system was pressurized and there were no leaks to be found. This was a very significant accomplishment and a big step forward.

I really appreciate all of the help that we had this past session. It was a lot of work but very rewarding.

Looking ahead we have upcoming work sessions on June 1, 2 and June 7, 8, and 9. Mark your calendar and plan on joining us as we continue working on the EJ&S #2, DSS&A box car, the Soo Line #203 and the Soo Line #99085.

Bill Buhrmaster
MCRM Restoration Department