6133 Blog: 30 May 2017
6133 Blog: 30 May 2017
The winter was a productive one for Chris Fox and his helpers on 6133, such as Dan Garcia, John Carey and Dave Carey. One engine of 6133 is operational, and the other just needs a few parts. In fact, that was a recurring theme throughout the winter – we need parts. And the parts could be found in Moncton, where the RDCs were sent to the scrapper last year. We’d already bought many of the parts, but we couldn’t get to them until the RDCs were at the scrapyard.
So in May 2017, Chis and I flew out to Moncton. The scrapyard was one depressing sight after another depressing sight.
The day was a lot of work. We have two spare Detroit 110 engines in Moncton that are going to be shipped to us in June, but Chris needed to get a couple of parts off of one of them in order to get 6133’s second engine operational.
It was cold, raining and muddy. Really, really muddy. While Chris spent the better part of four hours getting the part out of the engine, I was negotiating a price for more parts. Under Chris’s tutelage, I also pulled the Rolokron off one of our spare RDC axles. Removing 1 1/8″ bolts that haven’t turned in 20 years is not an easy task. Then carrying the 100LB Rolokron – filled with what felt like a gallon of grease – to the car was also not an easy task. To be honest, Chris did the lion’s share of the work. And he was consequently a lot more muddy and gross.
Finished at the scrap yard, we stopped in at Don’s HO Service.
Ian Dryden was such a gracious host! The shop is in his late mother’s house… which has a shower! It hadn’t been used in donkey’s ears, but Don got it up and running so Chris could make himself presentable. Honestly, he was so covered in grease and rain that they wouldn’t have let him on the train.
Don’s HO Service is a full-service hobby shop serving a good portion of the Maritimes. It is worth stopping by if you are even in the area.
While in the area, you should also have a meal at Calactus, an excellent vegetarian restaurant right beside the mainline. If you have never eaten at a vegetarian restaurant before, this should be your first time. Here’s the view out the front door:
We had to return the rental car to the airport, and seeing as you can drive from one end of Moncton to the other in 15 minutes, I naively sent Chris with the car about an hour before train time. In 20 minutes he got three blocks. Rush-hour traffic in Moncton has gone from “none” to “insane” in a very short time. I guess all those Torontonians who couldn’t afford a house have bought in Shediac.
Our buddy, Luc Doiron, kindly drove the car back for us so we could board the train. No trip to Moncton is complete without spending time with one of my greatest friends, Cindy Robinson. Cindy has worked for VIA for 39 years and I see her so often that the staff at VIA’s Moncton office are used to the crazy train guy showing up all the time. She made sure we could put our stupidly heavy train parts in the baggage car and she made sure we had bedrooms C and D in the Park Car. Now that was a way to travel home…
The trip was sublime as usual. The food was outstanding, even if it was not prepared by a chef in a Budd diner!
Upon arrival in Montreal and the slog of getting our train parts from the baggage room to the taxi, we rented a U-Haul. We asked for a 10-foot cube van. We got a 26-foot truck. Now that I drive a bus regularly, this thing was a pipsqueak….
We rented the truck to get more parts for our sleeping car, Edmundston. Exporail has an extra sleeper, Edmonton, not to be confused with Edmundston, (are you following this?) and they have been kind enough to sell us many of the parts we need from their car. For junk like trim and carpets, they just gave them to us!
We now own almost every piece of carpet that was in VIA sleeper Edmonton so we can replace the damaged bits of carpet in our own sleeper. This is better than spending $15,000 on new, custom carpets.
Chris is now hard at work getting 6133’s other engine started with the new parts from Moncton, and we’re arranging for the shipment of the rest of the stuff from Moncton.
We have a spare Detroit 110 engine if anyone needs one for their RDC….
We’ll have more updates soon.
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