• Presston (MN) Historical Society MILW Rolling Stock.

  • General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.
General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

Moderators: Miketherailfan, rob216

  by Komachi
 
I thought I'd also show you guys this too, our interpretive center (as it is now, there's still more work to do) where the boxcar and caboose will go...


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Here's what we started with. This is a view from the South and West side. This is where horsecarts and trucks were unloaded.

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This is the East elevation. Cars were loaded on this side of the elevator.

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There's the tin removed and restoration commencing.

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Scafolding erected and repairs underway.

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New siding going on.

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The stenciled signage denoting the name and location of our project.

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The elevator with its new siding, "barnboard red" paint and white trim. The railroad tracks will be replaced in front of the East elevation, with the boxcar parked next to the elevator and the caboose on the track next to it.
  by Komachi
 
At our last meeting, we discussed a new fundraiser for our three projects...

Three plaques that donors can have their names added to for the following amounts...

Boxcar - $100.00 donation
Caboose - $200.00 donation
Elevator - $300.00 donation

These plaques will be on display in their respective project (i.e. the boxcar plaque will be mounted in the boxcar).


If you would like to contribute to any of the above projects, you can send your contribution to...

Preston Historical Society
PO Box 138
Preston, MN 55965


More updates as they occour.
  by Komachi
 
Things have been slow going, so I haven't had much to update at the moment.

We were hoping to have the boxcar repaired, repainted and on display for the public in time for our local county fair, however, those plans have not worked out. The original contractor, hired to repair the boxcar, was too busy to complete the job, so we have had to hire a new contractor tackle the task at hand.

The caboose still sits in Wisconsin until we can raise the funds to transport it here to Preston for repair work and repainting before it, too, is parked on its track at the interpretive center site. (If you'd like to contibute to the cabbose project, or the boxcar or elevator project, you can send your donations to the address listed in the above posting.

As for work at the elevator interpretive site, a few of our members surveyed the site in preperation for trackwork. This past week has seen the space in front of the loading dock, on the East elevation, prepped, and ballast and ties laid. There's talk of moving rail up to the site in the next day or two. This raises a few quesitons in my mind...

From what I observed, it appears that they just laid a sheet of plastic on the freshly leveled ground, dumped some ballast (one of the schools is having the roof redone, and the gravel was made available to us to use as ballast) and then laid the ties upon this layer of ballast. I do not know how deep of a bed of ballast the ties are resting on, nor do I know how far the guys have spaced the ties. Are there standards we should be following (depth of ballast, spacing between ties, etc.)? Nobody told me when trackwork was going to commence, so I haven't had a chance to inquire about that until now. But, can anyone tell me what the spacing between the two sets of track should be? I should add that these two tracks will be used soley for displaying our rolling stock and will not see active service beyond that.

Also, is there a group in Southeastern Minnesota, Northwestern Iowa or Southwestern Wisconsin that would be willing to come and help us lay our track? Please PM me with your contact info and I'll be in touch with you.


In the mean time, here are two shots of the members working on ties and ballast...

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More updates to come as work progresses.
  by Komachi
 
Well, trackwork continued further today...

As I drove past the elevator site earlier this morning, I found that the guys had brought two of our rails and our supply of tie plates and spikes to the track area. They were busy with their crowbars, leveling and wrestling the rails into place. As I was photographing the progress, I was recruited to pound a few spikes into place with a sledgehammer. We worked for a short while, I was moved from spikes to ballast spreading and we called it a day.

So, for the first time in 31 years (the Milwaukee Road abandoned the Houston to Preston branch in October of 1976, but the tracks remained until mid-1977), Preston, again, has railroad tracks. Yes, it's only a 39 1/2 foot stretch of track, but it's track none-the-less. I think our next work session will be sometime next week, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with these images of our progress thus far...


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A few members of the society getting the rails aligned on the ties.

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A close-up shot of the tracks, looking South towards Preston Dairy and Farm. This track is the siding track that originally sat next to the elevator, so that the boxcars, and later, hopper cars, were flush against the side of the elevator to facilitate the loading of grain. We have decided to move the tracks over five feet or so, so that we can place a ramp/platform for wheelchair access to the boxcar and the exhibits within. In the distance, behind Preston Dairy and Farm, was the location of the Preston yard, depot, roundhouse and "Armstrong" turntable.

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Another view of the track, which the boxcar will occupy. The caboose will sit on a second track that will be built in the foreground, on what would have been the main line.


As usual, I'll update as work continues.
  by Komachi
 
Progress update...

The track has been leveled and the rails spiked down.

The boxcar's trucks were moved to the elevator about two weeks ago and a little work done on the boxcar itself. Last week was the Fillmore County Fair, so all other work was put on hold to prepare our display space at the fair. This year was a bit more work for us, as we took over the old, one-room schoolhouse that sits down at the fairgrounds (lots of clean-up involved...). However, quite a bit has been done in the last few days...

A few of us did a little more clean-up on the interior of the car this past Monday, and yesterday the car and trucks were sandblasted in preperation for paint. Here are a few shots of the sandblasting in progress and the results afterwards.


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Sandblasting in progress.

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Another of the car in media res...

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A boxcar in the nude.

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A view of the worst of the rust spots on the car, located on the B-end, end wall.

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You can still read the ghosted images of the car data (you can also still read "The Milwaukee Road" on the car too, but I don't have a picture of that at the moment).

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The trucks were also sandblasted in preperation for painting. Note the casting information on the sideframes.

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Our sandblasting contractor out of St. Charles, MN.


Also, here's something I thought you guys might find of interest...

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Here's a look at the braking gear on one of the trucks.

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Another view of the braking gear.


As per usual, I'll update as work progresses.
  by Komachi
 
Not long after I was down at the car, yesterday, the painting contractor came by and painted the car in primer...


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I believe the welding contractor comes back next week to do some patch work on the rust spots and then the car will be painted and moved to the elevator site shortly thereafter.

Stay tuned to this thread for further developments. Film at eleven.


NOTE: This post has been edited once, on 8/13/08 at 6:35pm CDT to update the image links that were changed earlier this evening.
Last edited by Komachi on Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Komachi
 
Thanks for the compliments, Otto and PRR Guy! :-D

Work has been slowly progressing on the car. The welder is spot patching the ribs right now, but I'm not sure when he's going to tackle the major corrosion on the B-end of the car.

Here's a look at the work thus far...

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An overview of the corrosion on the ribs of the car.

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A close-up of the corrosion on the lower rib, close to the A-end of the car. These rust spots are indicative of the rust on the rest of the car's ribs.

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An "original" patch on the car. The new ones are similar to this one, and believe it or not, this patch has been removed (due to corrosion damage) and will be re-patched!

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A small hole on the side of the car, near the lower door track that will have to be repaired. There are a few of these that require attention.

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A view of the new patches on the side of the car.


You know, boxcars were the utility car for the railroads (and still are to some degree) and suffer a lot of use and ABuse during their careers. Our car is no exception to that rule. However, for a sixty-nine year-old specimen of the breed (and a rare, home-built breed it is), it's in remarkable shape. A testiment to the design and the men who worked the Milwaukee Road's shops back in '39.
  by Komachi
 
Just out of curriosity...

Does anybody out there have a spare coupler knuckle and pin they'd care to donate to our project? We're missing the knuckle and pin on the A-end coupler on the boxcar.


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A full view of the coupler.

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Some of the casting information is visible in this shot.

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A repeat of a previous image above, but it shows the intact, B-end coupler.


So, if you're in Southeastern Minnesota, Northeastern Iowa or Southwestern Wisconsin and have a kuckle and pin that will fit our coupler, please PM me.
  by Komachi
 
I don't think George Lucas would appreciate me referring to this posting as an example of American Graffiti (and, I missed '62 by fourteen years, if you're wondering where I was at the time*).

So, here's some Boxcar Graffiti for ya to enjoy. ** Does his best Wolfman Jack impersonation ** CAN YOU DIG IT BABY?!?!? :-D

** Note: I have transcribed the scrawls to the best of my abilities. **

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An overview of some of the graffiti chalked on the walls of the boxcar.

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"Tiny hard a work here 3/11/94, Dubuque, IA." "WRONG! I don't think so Jason Robard." (Unreadable)

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"2/11/96 JPC Surviving the I&M buyout."

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"WEA hard at it 2/26/96."

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"JPC 3/11/94 #1 Grinder, welder, faceman?"

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"'The puller work?' (Illegiable) 5/10/99."

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"WEA hard at it 2/27/97 (NOT)"


I figured since I've put up a number of shots of the boxcar's exterior for you to look at, I should put up some shots of the interior. I'm not sure if we're going to preserve these small bits of Americana, or cover them with the displays we plan on putting in the car. We'll address that when we get ready to use the car for display purposes.

ENJOY!!!!!!!


* "Where were you in '62?" was the tagline for American Graffiti. Here's a link to the trailer (on YouTube) for those of you who are feeling a little nostalgic... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6Jo1gH89VM
  by Komachi
 
Welding has progressed a great deal this past week...


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More ribs replaced.

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One of the original patches removed and awaiting replacement.

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The hole down by the door track has been patched.

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A minor rust hole on the A-end of the car has been patched.

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the major rust holes on the B-end of the car have been patched.


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And here's a piece of plywood we salvaged from the interior of the car (we had to remove the wood when we started welding... old, dry wood and fly sparks don't exactly play well together) that bears the original MILW number.


More welding and cleanup to do before we paint and stencil the car. I'll keep you up-to-date as things progress. Hopefully the pace will be a little more quicker now, as we want the car completed and moved to the elevator by mid-September.
  by Komachi
 
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7:00am... the Minnowa crane and boxcar at the worksite getting ready for the lift.

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The trucks (painted black) awaiting the arrival of the boxcar on a chill, October morning.

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One of the trucks had to be rotated 180 degrees before the boxcar could be placed upon it.

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Who says progress can't be made by going in reverse? The boxcar is backed into postion at the elevator site.

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Again the boxcar is lifted from the lowboy...

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... and spun around...

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... the trucks are moved into postion, and...

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... finally placed on its trucks for the first time since leaving Calmar, IA.


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The boxcar sitting next to the elevator, a sight not seen in Preston in about 32 years! (The last train left town on Ocober 29, 1976, when the Milwaukee Road abaondoned the Preston - Caledonia branch of the Iowa and Minnesota Division.)
  by Komachi
 
And we gots to show props...

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Minnowa Construction. These are the guys who not only helped move the car today, but also unloaded the boxcar off of the trailer and onto the cribbing at the worksite after the move from Calmar, IA.

And thanks again to Scheevel & Sons Construction of Preston, MN for their assistance in moving the car from the worksite to its spot at the interpretive center.


Also...

For those of you in the Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin...

We're having a dedication ceremony for the boxcar at the elevator site this Saturday, Octovber 11, 2008. 10:30am. Come and join us, or, at least stop by and have a look at the car if you're ever in the area.


Now, for the caboose...