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 Post subject: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:33 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
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RSB60_Roster.jpg
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The Rochester Subway was constructed by the city of Rochester in the abandoned Erie Canal right of way, opened for regular service in 1927. Operation was contracted to New York State Railways Rochester Railways, which also operated the network of streetcars in the city. In 1938, Rochester Railways was sold to Rochester Transit Corp., and they assumed the Subway contract. The last streetcar line in Rochester shut down in 1941, leaving the Subway as the only rail transit operation in the city. Contract operation ended on June 30, 1956, so the roadbed could be transferred to the state for the construction of part of I-490 and I-590.

Rochester Subway Car 60 is part of a fleet built by the Cincinnati Car Co. for New York State Railways in 1916. The unique design was an early attempt by car builders to create a lightweight car that would cost less to operate and offer faster service. The cars were first assigned to the Utica Railways division until that system shut down in 1936. The cars were transferred to the Rochester Railways division in 1937 to upgrade the Subway fleet. The Subway became the responsibility of Rochester Transit Corp. in 1938. When passenger service on the Subway ended on June 30, 1956, the entire fleet was scrapped, except for Car 60, which was donated to the Rochester Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

Attachment:
File comment: Inspecting the damage to the flat-bed trailer carrying car #2010 from right to left in the photograph: Stan Groman, Jr., his friend Tom Lane, unknown welder, Doreen Groman and unknown gentleman. Photograph by Stanely Groman, RCHM Collection.
RTC60-to-RailCity-1956.jpg
RTC60-to-RailCity-1956.jpg [ 82.41 KiB | Viewed 2945 times ]


Rochester Subway Car 60 was donated to our museum by Rochester Transit Corp. in 1956. Since we lacked a permanent museum of our own at the time, Car 60 was loaned to the Rail City Museum. When they closed in 1974, Car 60 was transferred to the New York State Museum for possible inclusion in a new exhibit that was never constructed. Car 60 spent more than 20 years stored outdoors under a shed until it was returned to our museum in 1998.

Car 60 was one of the first projects placed inside our new Restoration Building in 1998. Immediately it was decided that repairs to the metal body needed to be made before any additional restoration could take place. The car was completely stripped and disassembled. Funds were secured to replace the roof panels.

Progress ground to a halt in 2000 when most of the original volunteers working on the project passed away. With the museum moving on to more pressing and immediate projects, Car 60 was set aside. With new museum management in place, the preservation of Car 60 has become a priority.

Rochester Subway Car 60 will be 100 years old in 2016. Our museum would like to make significant progress towards replacing the roof panels at that time. Completion of the roof will allow us to move on to the next steps, which is repairing and replacing the exterior wall panels and windows.

-otto vondrak
rgvrrm

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Otto Vondrak, Trustee
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 1:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
Rochester Subway Car 60 returned to Rochester in 1998. More than 20 years of outdoor storage was not kind to this old trolley car. Here is what she looked like upon arrival at Industry.

Attachment:
File comment: RTC 60 returns to Industry, 1998
RTC60-Industry-1998.jpg
RTC60-Industry-1998.jpg [ 99.02 KiB | Viewed 2685 times ]


Sam Grover was president of our organization back in 1956 when Car 60 was donated to us. An elderly Sam Grover was present in 1998 to sign for the delivery of Car 60 when she was returned to us. Almost immediately, the car was placed inside our new Restoration Shop...

-otto-

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Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:25 pm
Posts: 245
Otto, while I applaud your ambitious project there are some technical things you should know about the construction methods used to build car 60 originally. These techniques make for a very difficult restoration project.

To make these cars lighter than heavyweight steel railroad cars (built with standard "I" beams and angle iron from the steel mill) the car builders made extensive use of formed sheet steel. These are flat strips of steel that is run through special forming dies to create special shapes (like "W's" and rounded corner strips).

This is an cost effective way to make multiple parts for a production run of a specific product (streetcar, airplane wing, etc. etc.). But it involves the creation of multiple custom rollers to create a final complex shape from flat metal. These steel shapes are not and never have been part of the "standard catalog" of steel shapes use in most structural steel applications (buildings, bridges, electrical power distribution towers, etc). These are not standard "run down to the hardware store and get 8 feet of 2 inch angle iron" shapes. You cannot just order them from a catalog.

See this link for a general overview of the production method used to fabricate the structural members used in car #60;

http://www.custompartnet.com/wu/images/ ... orming.png

One of the reasons the original restoration of Car #60 "stalled" was that nobody could find a way to source replacement steel members (sides beams, floor beams, etc.) for those that rotted away. A good effort was made to remove the "rot", but then nobody could figure out what to replace it with.

I was asked if I could reproduce those structural steel members (some of which hold up the roof) and the simple answer is; "not cheaply". While it is conceivable you could construct a low cost steel roll forming machine I believe it would take multiple tens of thousands of dollars and many attempts before you had usable structural members that people could stand on safely.

And it is likely that a steel fabrication shop would want thousands of dollars to create custom roll forming dies to reproduce those custom shapes from 1916. After all they would not have a chance to use those dies again.

And it is also very difficult to create weldments from standard angle iron and flat stock to match the original shapes without things getting very distorted from the welding heat.

I am trying very hard not to rain on your parade, just sharing prior observations about how to restore car #60.

Best of luck, Kevin.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 4:24 am 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Really interesting. Don't all jump, just trying to be creative here.

a) how about aluminum extrusions? This is affordable, You have to thicken sections, and make precautions for corrosion.

b) use the "wrong" shape. The car gets heavier. So what?

c) wood?

d) fiber composite, fiberglass?

Being a purist on the frame sections, that no one can see anyway, is going to be a deal breaker I guess.

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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 8:28 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:39 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Rochester, NY
NYCRRson wrote:
One of the reasons the original restoration of Car #60 "stalled" was that nobody could find a way to source replacement steel members (sides beams, floor beams, etc.) for those that rotted away. A good effort was made to remove the "rot", but then nobody could figure out what to replace it with.


We appreciate your concern, Kevin, however we were able to source a local shop that could replicate the steel members at a reasonable cost. For example, the shop successfully recreated the replacement letter board channels. (I will let Otto post photos in his next update post.) We talked with a dozen different shops and they were the only one who could correctly recreate the channel with the 180 degree bend at the bottom:

Image

The shop did an amazing job and the new panels are an exact match. I'm sure Otto will follow up with more photos later today. :)

Joe

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Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:57 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
I was trying to build up some suspense here, but we'll get right to the good stuff... Kevin raises good points as to why the project to restore this car has been dormant for so many years. The more research I do about Car 60, the more I realize that Cincinnati Car Co. practically custom-built each order of cars to the specifications of the order. Unlike Brill that used thousands of standardized parts and bodies, each Cincinnati product is like a unique snowflake. Aside from trucks, controller, and air compressor, there's nothing "standard" on Car 60 that I could swap or trade with a similar car at another museum.

Here's what RTC 60 looked like in 2009. The car had been completely stripped down to its bare bones back in 2000 so that welding repairs would not ignite the many wooden components. The "B" end vestibule was so deteriorated, it was removed in 1998. As I mentioned before, many of the key volunteers passed away, and the project stalled.

Attachment:
File comment: Rochester Subway Car 60 as it looked in 2009.
13227038_1180510205316778_6337354064423008846_n.jpg
13227038_1180510205316778_6337354064423008846_n.jpg [ 144.84 KiB | Viewed 2313 times ]


Rand Warner took the lead to research potential contractors in our area that could fabricate and install the unique metal channel that makes up the letterboard. After interviewing dozens of local shops, only two bid on the project. We chose the shop with the better bid and more experience to do the work. GJV Enterprises of Rochester was selected, and work began at the end of May 2016...

Attachment:
File comment: Replacement channel fabricated by GJV Enterprises of Rochester, May 2016
13235457_1180518505315948_1735692273858467823_o.jpg
13235457_1180518505315948_1735692273858467823_o.jpg [ 82.97 KiB | Viewed 2313 times ]


That's Rand Warner in the background, pleased as punch that work is about to resume on what is considered to be one of our most valuable local history artifacts.

-otto-

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Otto Vondrak, Trustee
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


Last edited by Otto Vondrak on Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:04 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
With the newly fabricated material in hand, GJV Enterprises began installation of the new parts on May 24, 2016. They started work on the east side of the car first, removing the old channel and replacing with new.

Attachment:
File comment: RTC 60 - May 2016
rtc60-eastside-may2016.jpg
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Here's the view from inside the car while installation continued on the east side.

Attachment:
File comment: Inside Car 60 - May 2016
rtc60-inside-may2016.jpg
rtc60-inside-may2016.jpg [ 89.33 KiB | Viewed 2310 times ]


Moving right along the east side of Car 60 inside our Restoration Shop. That new concrete floor sure is nice to work on! Now if only we had a scissors lift...

Attachment:
File comment: RTC 60 - May 2016
rtc60-may2016.jpg
rtc60-may2016.jpg [ 99 KiB | Viewed 2310 times ]


-otto-

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Otto Vondrak, Trustee
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 11:36 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 469
Location: Wall, NJ
As I read this post this morning, I couldn’t help but think of those who maintain, rebuild, or restore wooden boats. To save a classic wooden boat, elements of it will be replaced that one could never imagine as being possible. Yet it is done on some regular basis on small and large craft alike. Very happy to see that #60 is really being restored much as one would see in the wooden boat environment. Rotted metal, no different than rotted wooden frames or ribs of a boat, can be replicated and installed. Nicely done, guys. I for one would like to see more of this type of thinking applied to other steel cars that some may feel are too far gone to restore.

Again, nicely done.
J.R. May


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
JR May wrote:
Very happy to see that #60 is really being restored much as one would see in the wooden boat environment. Rotted metal, no different than rotted wooden frames or ribs of a boat, can be replicated and installed. Nicely done, guys. I for one would like to see more of this type of thinking applied to other steel cars that some may feel are too far gone to restore.


Thanks for the kind words. Breaking down this restoration and rebuild into component projects is helping with fundraising efforts and project management. Money had been set aside for this project years ago, so we looked at what we could do in the short term. It was determined the channel replacement was the most critical component to allow us to move forward to other aspects. We were hoping to do the channel and roof panels together as one project and save some money, but that just wasn't possible at this time.

The channel fabrication and installation cost roughly $6,000. We have an estimate in hand for roughly $3,000 to fabricate the roof panels, and then we will need to raise $10,000 for the professional installation of those roof panels. Having numbers in hand and short term goals helps with long-range planning. We have a few high-profile events coming up that I hope will draw attention to our project and demonstrate that forward progress is possible.

Once the roof is complete, then we can take a look at repairing the side panels along the body, which are also welded to the ribs. These panels are critical structural components as well. Once the roof and the body repairs are completed, then we can consider cosmetic aspects such as the reconstruction of the interior and replacement of windows and other fixtures.

We have all of the parts in storage. Over the next few years, we look forward to making Car 60 whole again.

http://rgvrrm.org/support/subwaycar60.htm

-otto-

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Otto Vondrak, Trustee
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 12:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2091
Location: Northern Illinois
One of the unintended consequences of stopping the project for almost two decades, is it allowed new technologies to mature. Kevin is absolutely correct that many of these parts were roll formed, and the tooling to do a short run would be cost prohibited. But as I read the messages last night, I said to myself, "I bet that can be done on a CNC press brake." The only limitation being finding a brake long enough, or designing the repairs to make use of components of a length that can be formed on commonly available equipment, welded together to obtain the needed length.

Forming the parts for this restoration is very much akin to Strasburg machining driver centers out of plate, rather than cast, simply because modern equipment and machining technique allow work that would never have been considered years ago. Well done!

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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:41 pm 

Joined: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:39 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Rochester, NY
For anyone who might be interested, I put together an extensive photo album of Car 60 that documents the car as it was delivered in 1998 and the following disassembly process:

https://picasaweb.google.com/105344392845830088432


Joe

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Rochester and Genesee Valley Railroad Museum
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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:24 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
Additional photos for your amusement:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rgvrrm/al ... 4781816633

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rgvrrm/al ... 4274126189

Enjoy! :-)

-otto-

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Otto Vondrak, Trustee
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 11:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
We are moving into the next phase of fundraising for this ongoing project. A local metal shop has been engaged to fabricate new side panels for the body, including the T-bars that have rotted away. The fabrication cost is roughly $5,000. Thanks to some generous donations, we're only about $2,000 from our goal. This will cover the fabrication alone. The contractor has negotiated with the local union to get the installation costs donated as part of an apprentice teaching program. When completed, some body panels will be completely replaced, others will be patched to help retain some of the original fabric of the car. The body panels are an integrated structural member, welded directly to the T-bar ribs of the car. This will further strengthen the car overall and help us move on to the next phase of development...

There's a donate button on the Car 60 page... A donation in any amount helps us meet our goal. Thanks for your consideration!

-otto-

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Otto Vondrak, Trustee
Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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 Post subject: Re: Restoration of Rochester Subway Car 60
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:03 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:17 am
Posts: 154
Location: New York
Attachment:
Car60-Donation.jpg
Car60-Donation.jpg [ 102.19 KiB | Viewed 884 times ]


We're only $1,500 from our goal. A donation in any amount helps.

http://www.rgvrrm.org/donate-car60/

-otto

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Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum, Rochester, N.Y.


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