Volunteer work days at the APRHF Exhibition of Amtrak History

Our APRHF membership is nationwide. Members often do not make it to the LaPlata area with much time to do projects. We also do not expect any member to do work when they are here. Most are on vacation when they visit and it is treated as that. Of course we visit and have fun. Volunteering is what it is. Volunteering. Member Robert Mecham had some time in his schedule and expressed his desire to do some projects with us while he was in LaPlata, MO. It didn’t take long to zero in on our Exhibition of Amtrak History for the project focus. Sadly this exhibit has been ignored over the past few months due to the business of life and jobs.

There had been a couple of derailment issues and some operational issues with the equipment. After lunch at D’Abolengos Amy and I got the trains, tools and track together. Robert went to the exhibit and opened it up for the work time.After all the stuff was brought in work ensued. Amy started cleaning the track on the rest of the layout while Robert and I got a plan together to fix the derailment area.

The switch on the curve showed a lot of wear. That and being on a curve was the main issue. You can see the siding coming off the curve in the photo below.

A plan was hatched to move the switch to the straight track on the larger loop. Thankfully we had a few totes of Lionel track to sort out and find the exact pieces we needed to fix this. A curve was put in place of the switch. Then we pulled the front track to set the switch in its new place. Success was at hand. Everything fit perfectly. It was then time to rebuild the sidings and set the scenes.

Amy got all the track cleaned and it was time to put on the trains for some “test” running. We all smiled as they ran wonderfully on the layout.

It sure was nice to have the new Amtrak set. It was badly needed. This set was made possible from the sales at the train show in KC.After this day Robert went on another trip out west. When he came back part B of this project was ready to be done. We have had an empty showcase since January and it was time to fill it.

As the sign said. It is time for a change. Our Amtrak uniform collection had been in storage for a while. We got it out and took it to the cleaners, picked up some new white shirts and wow they look great. Amy did most of the building on that project while I put the new signs and lights on the outside. Robert found there to be a short on the layout and he explored that.

New signs and lights at each door. There are also new solar railing lights. Makes everything more inviting in the evening. This will remain in place until the cars get moved to their new home at “Lookout Point Park”

One of the new cars had a short in the lights. So he dug into it and fixed that. The other engine needed its reverser cleaned. All the trains are operating well now.

When all was said and done everything was looking great. We appreciate the help of all our members and volunteers.

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