Monday, November 16, 2009

Learning to volunteer

Have you ever considered why parents bring their children along to volunteer functions?

My father brought my brothers and me to Saturday work days at the church building in Fresno. Michael, David and I almost always acquiesced and willingly assisted the men as they raked autumn leaves, mowed the church lawn and cleaned out the rain gutters.

On Saturday, November 7, the crew of the El Dorado Western Railway welcomed the children and grandchildren of several volunteers onto the project.

"It's exciting to see that youthful energy," said railway president Keith Berry, "and slender bodies that can fit into tight spots."

During the session, four young volunteers prepared sections of the Diamond and Caldor Railbus No. 10 for painting. Doug Youngberg's grandsons worked on the rear truck while Ed Chuna's granddaughter and my son prepared the engine and transmission compartments.

After completing the rear truck project, Doug took his grandsons inside the engine house to work on the Diamond and Caldor No. 4 Shay locomotive. Here Breck (center) uses a die to thread one of eight eye bolts on the brake safety system while Andy observes. There are eight brake safety chains on the Shay, each with two eye bolts. A pair of chains hold each of four massive brake beams in place in the event of a failure.

Ed helps his granddaughter clean one of the differential yokes from the rear truck to the railbus. Ed completed a major re-build of the Camino, Placervile and Lake Tahoe No. 4 track inspection car (in the background) in 1999.

My son, Jacob, scrapes and brushes 30 years of encrusted grease off the railbus. He put his slender frame to work inside the transmission compartment. The engine and transmission were removed last spring for a complete re-build.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Railbus rear truck

Work on the rear truck to the Diamond and Caldor Railbus No. 10 is moving along. Since removing the truck in mid-September. Here's the work that the crew has done in the past three weeks:
  • Fabricate and install the end-frame T-brace
  • Design and install the differential yoke swivel pin brace -- this corrected a problem with unwanted differential movement
  • Replaced the rear differential bearing cap and spacer