Thursday, March 7, 2024

March 2024 Update

As of the last update, Car 16’s roof has been completed. This has been an absolute race to the finish line, with the cold fighting us all the way, but the car now sports a brilliant new white roof, with roof vents and running boards picked out in satin black. The car made its first revenue runs with the new roof on March 2nd. More work is planned for the car in the future, including a complete repaint below the roof, replacement of undercar wiring, and at least one motor needing to be rebuilt. While this motor work will keep her in limited service for the time being, expect to see 16 out and about this summer and fall. 

16 in the Shop

16's first test run with new the roof

16's first test run with the new roof

16's first trip to the end of the line with the new roof

New canvas along the side of the car

New Canvas before getting tacked into place

With 16 done, we can now turn our attention to going through the service fleet and give them a full annual inspection and service to keep them in as good as possible condition for the upcoming season.

836 is the first up into the shop, and work is ongoing. All main journal bearings have been re-packed with new wool wasting, and the brake rigging has been gone through and thoroughly lubricated. Controllers are also being overhauled, with some new pieces being machined from raw stock to replace burned-up contact elements. Before the car could be brought into the shop, the Air Governor was replaced after a series of successive failures over Winterfest. Signs are currently positive that this has broken her "bad air governor curse". 

Old and worn 836 controller finger on the left. Newly manufactured finger on the right

Old and worn 836 controller finger on the left. Newly manufactured finger on the right

Over the Winter, it was discovered that Diesel 1 had a water pump leak. This is causing the majority of the radiator fluid to leak out during normal operation. This repair is coming along nicely. The water pump assembly was removed, and we discovered the sealing surface had been painted and not properly cleaned the last time it was installed. This surface has since been cleaned. Finding a replacement pump gasket also proved to be somewhat of a challenge; however, one was sourced and installed. During this process, the shop has also manufactured two new gaskets for the radiator into the engine block.

The crew removing the hood from the carbody of the diesel

Setting the hood on the ground

Just prior to removing the radiator

In other news, if anyone has a Metal Cutting Bandsaw Blade they would be willing to part with, we are in need of one! Reach out to us at

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Winter 2023-2024 Update

Over the course of the past few months, the Shop has carried out extensive repair and rebuild work on both trucks of Springfield Terminal Railways Car 16. It was discovered that the trucks had deteriorated over time and were in need of repair. Repairs included new Leaf spring retainers, New bushings in all pivoting elements of the suspension, new bolster link plates, and a full round of brand new grade 8 hardware. The trucks are now clear for operation, and as a bonus, much, much smoother riding. With the safety critical work complete, we are now free to dedicate full effort into the new roof. 

Gio Inspecting the truck just pulled from under 16

Bolster removed from the truck

Newly reassembled leaf spring

First view of 16's roof prior to work

Jayden and David beginning to sand down 16's roof

Work has also been done on Locomotive 18, being put back into temporary service last November in order to move CN 6714 to the end of the line for its return to Canada. The locomotive was able to complete its task, but unfortunately suffered a minor electrical failure afterwards. As of writing, it is sitting on North Road layup, awaiting time to free up in order to put it back into service once again. 

18 leading the way for CN 6714 on the move to the end of the line

Car 3001 has had the last of its carlins installed, and work is underway to begin the sub flooring. 

Mike and Phil planning the new subfloor. See the new Carlins on the roof ribs of the car

Equipment has made its way through Winterfest, though not without a few minor hiccups along the way. 65 developed a brake stand problem, which was able to be rectified within a night.

The biggest issue coming out has been 836’s air governor developing a string of issues. It is able to operate at the moment, but not without a significant air leak from the governor. As a result, the car is being kept in reserve awaiting a properly rebuilt governor once 16’s roof work is complete.

The shop is always looking for new volunteers for all different skills such as woodworking, metalworking, electrical, etc. However, we welcome everyone of any skill level! We will teach you! Reach out to us at for more information!

Monday, November 6, 2023

Preparations for Winter

 It's that time of year again in the shop at the Connecticut Trolley Museum! The shop crew is hard at work serving the fleet cars and making repairs to get the fleet ready for holiday service.

This past week, the crew has been working on Line Car S-193. S-193 is the main service car used by our volunteers to string over 10,000 Christmas lights that create the "Tunnel of Lights" on our mainline. 

S193's Roof Platform Half Retracted

Stringing Christmas Lights around the Section House. Photo Credit Sam MacMunn

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Car 3001 Update

 Progress is being made on the Restoration of CT Company Car #3001.

Roof Carlins have been made and will be installed soon

Seats are starting to be painted and put back together 

One set of Trucks have been straightened and reinforced. The truck hangers have been milled and welded to the body of the truck 

Monday, August 28, 2023

16's Truck Work

 For the past few weeks, the shop has been hard at work disassembling the East truck on Springfield car 16. The ware components of the truck have worn down to the point that they needed to be replaced, starting with parts of the leaf spring and the bushings. This work will be continuing throughout the next weeks. 

One of the Reassembled Leaf Springs

The bushings will be replaced in the two circular holes

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

836's Motor Replacement

 The shop was delighted to take delivery of car 836's motor which unfortunately failed around this time last year. The day after delivery, the shop crew was in the shop working tirelessly to mount, wire, and test the motor to the car. Overall it took 2 days and totaled to about 12-18 hours per volunteer. 

The first step of the project was to jack 836's car body off the East truck and push the truck out from under the car. 

836 on support stands

The door mechanism had to be removed for the truck to clear the car body

Next was unwrapping the motor from its protective housing on the pallet and inspecting the motor for damage from shipping, as well as other components. 

Front view of the motor

Side view of the motor with Pinion Gear

After inspecting, it was time to mount the motor back onto the truck frame and line up the gears and mounting points

Putting the truck into position to lift and mount the motor

The crew guiding the motor into position for all the bolts to line up

The motor mounted to the axle and resting on the frame

Over the following day, the truck was rolled back under the car. The car body was then lowered back onto the truck.

The next day, the motor was lubricated, rewired, and tested. The motor will still need to have a break in period with the car and will need to be continually topped up with oil and grease to ensure the new motor is well lubricated. 

836 Returning to the shop after a test run

Thank you to all those who helped in reinstalling the motor on to this car!

Monday, June 5, 2023

The Wiring Begins

 This past weekend officially began the rerunning of wires in car 16.

Wire runs now begin through the terminal block in the cargo compartment of the car and run through the side panels to the auxiliary systems

Wires for auxiliary systems now running through the terminal block

Phil created wire organizers out of wood in the shop to further help make the wire runs clean and organized for later maintenance/inspection. 

New wire runs down the length of the car