6133 Blog: 19 October 2017

6133 Blog: 19 October 2017
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Hello again folks. It’s been quite the last few months and we’ve been a little light on the details of our restoration efforts on 6133. Rest assured, our restoration expert Chris Fox has been working his tuchus off getting our RDC into fine form. There’s been a lot of work done to 6133 this fall, so this is kind of a “catch up” blog post in hopes that we don’t miss any of the juicy details. Be sure to click on the YouTube links to view Chris’s videos that he’s been taking along the way.

If you missed our last blog post, about a month ago Chris was up on the roof of 6133 installing a new bell. We assume he was shot out of a cannon to get up their because we don’t recall providing him with a ladder. As much as we would have liked to install a traditional mechanical bell, two main issues arose. One, mechanical bells are a haven for collectors and we’d likely expect ours to play a disappearing act at the most inopportune time. Second, you can’t see the darn thing unless you’re actually on the roof (which we don’t suggest doing – ever – even if you want to experience being shot out of a cannon). So it was settled on salvaging a Transtronic Electronic bell from former VIA RDC 6224 shortly before it was scrapped in Moncton earlier this year. Installing the new e-bell went amazingly smooth. Well, except for tracing the 64 volt power supply back down to the cab. The new e-bell uses an air-actuated switch, so we’ve also maintained the air line up to the roof from the cab. I’m certain we could’ve gone all-electric, but why? Who doesn’t love old-fashioned air-actuated goodies on their toys?

Two weeks ago, Chris, along with the help of John Carey, spent the day at TMC doing extensive work – mostly on the roof – to get some of the support systems in better working order. After initially lifting all three radiators off and installing new foam gaskets to improve air flow, the fourth radiator was fully replaced due to a rather unappealing hole in it. Chris is hoping to do some work on the bad rad so that we’ve got a spare on hand.

John Carey works on installing the new radiators and then connecting all the piping.

The four radiators were plumed and tested for leaks and after everything checked out, the rad grills were reinstalled. Only one of the fan motors was wired up – since 6133 is still running on one engine – and after some tests (and getting LRC 6917 out of the way) Chris drove 6133 out of the shop and back to its regular parking spot unaided, and still only on the one engine too. This is the longest trip the unit has made under its own power since Rapido took ownership. We have unconfirmed reports that Chris was giddy as a schoolgirl during this accomplishment.

“No comment” – Chris Fox

Look at those beautiful new radiators!

Finally on October 17th, after months of hard work, manufacturing parts, recovering parts from the scrapper in Moncton, and no doubt some colourful language, Chris made another attempt to get 6133’s second motor – which hasn’t run in years – to finally turn over. For those have been following along, our Detroit Diesel series 6-110 engine had a couple of internal issues which is what likely rendered 6133 out of service a number of years back and subsequently sent to Moncton for repairs – repairs which would never come under its tenure at VIA. After a final systems check, crossing fingers, a “come on baby” and a final prayer to the railway gods, it finally turned over! 6133 now has not one, but two columns of smoke coming from the roof. That’s only possible when you’ve got TWO WORKING ENGINES!

Engine no. 2 – a Detroit Diesel series 6-110 – sure is a beautiful sight, eh?

Chris has undoubtedly been doing far more work than we ever expected to be done getting 6133 running as it should. And an extended thank you to John Carey for assisting Chris and manufacturing a lot of the parts needed to get the second motor up and running. There’s still a lot more work to go, but having a working bell, repaired radiators and not one but TWO WORKING ENGINES is a huge step towards getting 6133 certified to run outside the yard limits. In the coming months, we’ll be moving towards doing work on the interior of the car to bring it back to the glory of the 1980s.

We don’t care if the view of all those RDCs is obscured by smoke, because it’s the smoke from TWO ENGINES on 6133!

Stay tuned for further updates from us here at Rapido, and be sure to follow Chris on Youtube here for his exploits playing – sorry, working – on both RDC 6133 and LRC 6917.

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