Hello Everyone! Matt Parker here, with an update on goings-on around the museum today.
Today was my first opportunity to visit the museum this summer. Disappointing that so much of our busy season has passed, but with other matters settled I am looking forward to spending more time around the property with our other volunteers during the back-side of the season.
Elise was quite busy in the Gift Shop today, which is always good news. I introduced myself to her (today was the first time we met) upon arriving and let her know I was available to man the store, giving her a break for lunch.
After catching up with volunteers David Elems and our all-time favorite “wrench nazi” Seth Adams, it was time to go to work. A guest with physical limitations desired an RAL, which necessitated preparing WP 917-D for service and the efforts of a few volunteers to get the guest aboard the locomotive. The guest later said that running a locomotive was something on his “bucket list” which he was not sure he would be able to achieve due to his difficulties in getting on and off the equipment. Making magic for guests such as this gentleman is a great reward for our volunteers who go the extra mile to get it done!
Between assisting with this RAL as well as taking time to answer visitor’s questions and give a few equipment tours, it was after 2:00 by the time I got to eat my lunch and give Elise a break! So goes those days when it is busy around the museum, but being busy is never a bad thing.
Charlie Spikes was here, cleaning up in the Silver Plate dining car and also handing our walk-in RAL’s. David spent the day performing work on WP 501’s prime mover, getting it ready for return to service after many years of being sidelined. Seth was working on several small issues on WP 1501. Also present was Larry Hanlon, who has been on the property throughout the beginning of this week working on electrical issues on WP 805-A. To facilitate his work, Larry rigged up the dynamic brakes on the #2 power unit of our DDA-40X, UP 6946, to use as a load box. During his testing this afternoon, the combination of WP 805-A’s engine throttled up while the dynamics on UP 6946 screamed, absorbing 805’s load, provided some GREAT acoustics.
During the day, Portola City Manager Robert Meacher stopped by with some family members. We had a nice chat with Mr. Meacher regarding Portola Railroad Days, which is just over a week away, as well as some planned future cooperative efforts between the City and our organization.
It was another great day in Portola! If you can, come visit us soon, and experience the ongoing efforts to preserve the Western Pacific!