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RE: [SperryRailService] Re: From The Archives SRS 145 part 19

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  • joseph Klapkowski
    HMmmmmm...we always changed the brushes on the fly sort of speak. You were not really under the car and I do vaguely remember such a rule. I suppose I was
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 4, 2006
      HMmmmmm...we always changed the brushes on the fly sort of speak. You were
      not really under the car and I do vaguely remember such a rule. I suppose I
      was guilty of not making sure that every one knew that I was out there. it
      was a combination of circumstances that alowed the incident to happen.

      >From: "Tom" <mrbaseball426@...>
      >Reply-To: SperryRailService@yahoogroups.com
      >To: SperryRailService@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [SperryRailService] Re: From The Archives SRS 145 part 19
      >Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2006 15:08:34 -0000
      >Nice post Joe. I must say, that's one thing I DON'T miss. Laying on
      >the ground adjusting or changing brushes, on stone ballast, in the
      >cold. I don't miss trying to get EVERY last bubble out of those damn
      >wheels either.
      >One thing though, and I'm surprised that Ivan didn't say anything
      >considering how safety concious he was. Rule #1 if you go under a
      >Sperry car. You take the brake handle with you. That way, no one can
      >move that car with you under it.
      >--- In SperryRailService@yahoogroups.com, "joseph Klapkowski"
      ><riverlinejoe@...> wrote:
      > >
      > > The Sperry experience was a great deal of fun as is evidenced by
      >the fact
      > > that I can remember it 27 years later. However there were some
      > > moments. If you forget about the time that one of us dropped the
      > > carriage on the frog (it wasn't me) and the time that I ran the
      >red (that
      > > was me), and the sink hole that tried to swallow the Sperry Car
      >whole, well
      > > we really did not have much in the way of bad experiences (except
      >for the
      > > heart palpatation when I met the Conrail cop in Buffalo).
      > >
      > > Let me explain about maintenance. the most simple example was the
      > > of the detector room. Generally the detector room floor was swept
      >and mopped
      > > before we went in the hole. That is simple housekeeping.
      > >
      > > One afternoon we went in the hole and I think it was while we were
      >on the
      > > Waterlevel Main. Ivan became aware that we were going to be in the
      >hole for
      > > several hours. So we used the slack adjuster to fix up the brakes.
      >I can not
      > > remember exactly how it worked but we applied the hand brake and
      >then ran a
      > > BIG nut up the adjuster. Somewhere along the line in the process
      >Ivan looked
      > > under the car and saw a whole lotta metal. There were two lining
      >bars, three
      > > large crow bars etc.... I think a lot of it was left along the
      >Right of Way.
      > >
      > > Anyway another one of the maintenance things was to fix rthe
      >rubber tires
      > > that held the transponders that were set at 45 degrees to the rail
      >(did I
      > > get that right Gordon?) This was a tough job when you were moving
      > > the wheels were put togther with hex bolts and they had to be
      >filled with
      > > this mineral oil like liquid and you had to get all the air out.
      > >
      > > The other thing that you had to do was lengthen the brushs on the
      > > equipment. These were metal brushes about half an inch wide and
      >six inches
      > > long. There was a bolt on the outside of the brush holder and you
      > > the bolt with a ratchet and let the brush down.
      > >
      > >
      > > One day, it was a beautiful morning, bright blue Kodachrome skies,
      > > humidity maybe the mid seventies. Jimmy was up front while Rodger
      >and I were
      > > in the rear with Ivan. I was testing while Rodger was Rodgering
      >and Ivan was
      > > watching both of us. We heard one buzz indicating that we were at
      >the end of
      > > the siding. We stopped.
      > >
      > > Ivan got up to get a cup of coffee. He told Rodger to relieve
      >Jimmy up
      > > front.
      > >
      > > I was of course sitting at the testing table. The railroad guy had
      >to get
      > > permission to back up on the siding. It was taking some time to
      >get Lyko
      > > Tower on the radio. I think we were somewhere south of Keating
      > > (Thanks David).
      > >
      > > Well with all these people moving about the Sperry Car I decided
      >that it
      > > would be good to check the brushes. It was sort of like second
      >nature. For
      > > instance anytime you were in the hole or waiting for a signal you
      >might go
      > > around the car and open the cock on the bottom of an air reservoir
      >just to
      > > let the condensation out. You did not open it for very long, just
      > > enough to make sure the water was out. If you did it often, less
      >than ten
      > > seconds.
      > >
      > > So it appeared we would sit for a few minutes. I went into the
      > > and got the ratchet, then slid under the chain by open baggage
      >door and down
      > > to the ballast. In order to lengthen the brushes you had your
      >shoulder up on
      > > the rail and reached around to the inside to get at half of the
      >nuts while
      > > the other half faced out on the opposite side of the carrier. I do
      > > remember how many brushes there were but I think it was on the
      >order of ten
      > > or twelve. You only had to adjust the short ones. So there I am
      >under the
      > > Sperry car and thinking this is a great day and sort of doing the
      > > automatically ..........................
      > >
      > > Then I hear a very familiar sound.
      > >
      > >
      > > The air is off.
      > >
      > > I roll off to the side of the right of way.
      > >
      > > The Sperry Car begins to move backwards.
      > >
      > > From automatic reaction, to fear to anger, I guess that is how I
      > > describe the emotions.
      > >
      > > One minute I am under the Sperry Car doing what I have been taught
      >to do ("A
      > > Sperry Man is always busy Junor ) The next thing I hear the air
      >and roll
      > > out.
      > >
      > > The SRS 145 rolls harmlessly past me and down the track.
      > >
      > > Rodger, now going backwards is not really looking up as his eyes
      >are in the
      > > detector room. I gather myself and just lay there for a moment,
      >the warm sun
      > > shining on my face. I sit up.
      > >
      > > The Sperry Car stops. Rodger has spotted me.
      > >
      > > He climbs down. I stand up and start walking toward the car.
      > >
      > > I do not remember the conversation but I am sure it went somehing
      >like this,
      > > "Are you allrigth?"
      > >
      > > "Yeah I am fine".
      > >
      > > By this time the whole car was aware of what had happened.
      > >
      > > I must have left the inspection room after Rodger went forward `
      > >
      > > Jimmy came through the car and should have asked ,"Where is junor?"
      > >
      > > He did not and since he did not have a checklist it was natural
      >that he saw
      > > nothing awry.
      > >
      > > The railroad guy got Lyko Tower on the phone and gave the ok to
      >back up on
      > > the siding .
      > >
      > > Jimmy gave Rodger three to go.
      > >
      > > No one knew I was on the ground.
      > >
      > > Someone should have missed me tough.
      > >
      > > I walked back to the car and pulled the socket and ratchet off the
      > > where I had left them. i threw them up on the engineroom floor.
      > >
      > > Then I walked back to the rear stairs and went into the detector
      >room. I
      > > announced that I was going for coffee and I would be back in an
      >half hour or
      > > so.
      > >
      > > Ivan did not say anything.
      > >
      > > Jimmy probably tried to say something but I do not remember
      > >
      > > Ivan understood what was going on and did not interfere. If you
      >were going
      > > to be a Sperry Man great! But he was not going to baby you.
      > >
      > > About a half hour later I reappeared.
      > >
      > > I sat in the kitchen the whole time trying to decide whether to be
      >mad or
      > > not.
      > >
      > > Life's a bitch. What goes around comes around. Or the Sperry Car
      >can be a
      > > very dangerous place.
      > >
      > > That night Ivan came out with a new rule.
      > >
      > > "The Sperry car shall not move until everyone is accounted for."
      > >
      > >
      > > And that is another edition of "From The Archives"
      > >
      > > What's in your archives?
      > >
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