Boston and Maine 4590
This car is B&M 4590. 4590 has been subject to much abuse over the years, but she is in good hands now. 4590 needed a lot of work done to it, and much of that work had been put off for many years, causing much more unnecessary deterioration. In the above photograph, you can see below the Womens Bathroom(First window after the door) was especially bad. This was the result of the bathroom Roof vent being sheered off and not capped. However, due to our volunteers wanting to work on this car and a Grant from the NRHS for stabilization work, work has begun and 4590 is finally getting the attention it needs and deserves!
Before we got the grant, there was work done on the car, albeit nothing structural. As we were wrapping up work on 63 and 64 one night, it was getting late. One of our volunteers decided to try the lights before it got pitch black. He had to isolate one particular socket, but after that, they all worked! This is the first time these lights lit up since the car was preserved.]
This photograph was taken the night we turned on the lights. It may not look like much on the outside, but it made a huge difference on the inside!
After most of the lighting was complete, we took out the electrical panels and one of the partition walls from the cars days in Alcohol service. These were all unnecessary for our purposes. Their removal really opened up the car.
As the walls came down, windows went up! We cut the windows from 4x8 sheets of plexiglass.
One huge issue that came up was that the window frames had two lips on them. This dates back to when the car had double paned windows. When the Long Island replaced the windows, they put the new single-pane windows on the inner lip, causing water to pool on the bottom of the frame. We suspect that this is the reason why there is rot along the bottom portion of the car, particularly under the windows.
When we were testing the brake lines on 63 and 64, we decided to pump up 4590 and to our surprise, it held air enough to release the brakes!
4590 needed a bath. After the lettering was applied to C-63 and C-64, we power washed the car to get rid of the grime that was on the side of the car, along with any loose paint.
With the vestibules now lit(Except one), we decided to have some fun one night and light the car up!
Then the heavy work began. Thanks to a grant from the National Railway Historical Society, we were able to start the stabilization process on 4590. As you can see in this photograph, the steps on the Southwest trap were hanging off.
After cutting that panel away, we realized how bad the womens bathroom really was. Thankfully, we were prepared for this and ready to replace the horizontal and vertical beams that literally rotted away on this section of the car.
After assessing how bad the womens room was, we then cut the bottom 14 inches off the car. We planned to replace the bottom horizontal support beam along the entire length of the car on both sides. We started with the south side.
Almost finished cutting
Next up, the southwest steps and trap. As mentioned earlier and can be seen in this photograph, the steps were hanging off the car.
It only took a few cuts for them to come off. You can see on the steps how bad the rot was. Part of the car is still attached to the steps in this photograph...
...and it had to come off. We cut the bolts that were supposed to keep the steps attached to the car, took the remaining piece of the car off, and cleaned up the steps.
With the steps down and the rotted steel off them, We began cleaning them up. While the steps were being wire wheeled and primed with etch primer, the first pieces of new steel went up. By the time the steps were ready to go up, the southwest trap area had been rebuilt.
One big problem however was that we forgot how heavy the steps really were!
But up they went! And soon the first Vertical support beams were going in under the womens bathroom!
And our crew worked tirelessly to get those horizontal beams up.
They ground down rivets...
...Cut new beams...
...And put the beams up.
Slowly but surely, the new Horizontal beams went up
Just about there!
Now, with the Southeast steps out, the final horizontal beams can go in on the south side! You can see how bad the rot is on this end as well, though it is not as bad as the west end was.
Now the beam is set in place! We just have to position it!
Like what we did on the West end, the East end required us to jack up the beam to make it even with the car.
Once the beam was even, it was welded in place.
And the Vertical beams went up!
And just like the horizontal beams, there was a routine: Measure, Cut, fit, and weld.
And soon, most of the vertical beams were up!