California Trolley & Railroad Corporation (CTRC)
Preserving the historical heritage of railroading and trolleys in the Santa Clara Valley of California.

Posting Pullup - 2012

SP2479 - Saturday, Dec 8, 2012

John Ezovski

Machining of the right side reverse shaft bushing is complete. Today the bushing was installed. A number of different machining processes were required to turn the $240.00 piece of bronze into the required part. Big thank you to AJR.

Several studs were turned out to replace short studs holding the front left valve cover. Studs were installed.

A new cover was installed on the tent frame. The frame was relocated so that protection is provided to both forklifts.

A goodly amount of water was found in the smoke box and front coupler pin holes. Most of the water was evacuated from both locations. New covers were fabricated for the stack and coupler pin access hole.

Trash was collected and trash bins emptied.

Inaugural “Holly Trolley” rides to commemorate start of historic trolley service

The Valley Transportation Authority will roll out an historic trolley for the holiday's "Holly Trolley" service this Friday, 12/7, at 6:00 PM and until 7:00 PM at the Civic Center Light Rail Station.

On Friday, December 7, join transportation leaders and the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation (CTRC) volunteers on a “Holly Trolley” ride! The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) historic trolley only operates this time of year, offering free rides to the various holiday festivities in downtown San Jose. Don’t miss out on this festive ride down memory lane and a chance to learn more about the spirited volunteer effort to fund and restore all six vintage streetcars on display at the San Jose Historical Museum in Kelly Park.

When: Friday, December 7, 2012; 6 – 7pm [See note, below, for CTRC attendees] First train departs at 6:15pm from the Civic Center Light Rail Station, 803 North First Street, San Jose.

Through the month of December, the Holly Trolley will operate on an hourly schedule every Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., weather and conditions permitting. Visit for trip planning assistance or contact VTA Customer Service at (408) 321-2300, TTY (408) 321-2330. Follow us on Twitter: @VTA and “Like” us on!

Who: Join Rod Diridon, members of the California Trolley and Railroad Corporation, and the talented volunteers who were vital to the restoration process on a historic trolley ride to downtown San Jose. Learn about the spirited efforts that led to the funding and restoration of six vintage streetcars.

The California Trolley and Railroad Corporation is a private, non-profit organization with a Board of Directors composed of local business and community leaders founded in 1982. The restoration effort was made possible through donations from the community and over 90,000 volunteer hours by more than 300 volunteers. Each car took over one year of full-time volunteer work to be completely restored. Old parts were saved when possible, and new parts were designed and built when necessary. Special attention was paid to the historic characteristics of cars which have undergone many changes during their lifetimes. When fully restored, the cars are better than new, with hand-polished wood interiors and fresh coats of brightly colored paint.

CTRC Attendees will need to gather at the Civic Center Light Rail Station (parking at County/former City Hall building) to catch the first loop that begins at 6:18p, arriving at the Diridon Station at 6:38p; the trolley heads back to Civic Center at 6:46p and arrives at 7:04p. The trolley runs every hour so if attendees want to stay downtown to have dinner or go to Christmas in the Park, they certainly can!

Since we have already promoted the start of “Holly Trolley” service, this opportunity would focus more on the history and volunteer effort (different spin in the media). Members of the public would have a chance to meet volunteers, learn about the history either while gathered on the light rail platform or in the trolley itself when making its way downtown since you will have a captive audience. I can distribute a news release and stakeholder update on Wednesday announcing the inaugural ride and include more detailed information about the restoration efforts.

Super Heater Units and Large Rack - Nov. 6, 2012

John Ezovski

Today (Nov. 6) Larry, Denis and I unloaded the 23 super heater units stored in the large rack. The rack was partially disassembled. Rack components were then moved into the inside passenger car and reassembled. Most of this work was done by noon.

There were a few rack components to assembled after lunch. About 1:15 we began to load super heater units into the rack. I don't understand why them things got heavier as the after noon wore on; they must have a positive temperature coefficient. By 3:15 the 23 units were in the rack.

There are 17 units remaining on the second rack at the end of the double wide. At least six of there are units that tested good and need to be moved into the car. Hopefully there will be sufficient workers present to complete this Saturday. Otherwise we will meet again on Tuesday to move remaining units under cover.

Sad News

The following email was received today (October 5, 2012) from Barbara Johnson, Director of Operations, History San Jose:

We just learned that our long-time friend and Trolley Barn volunteer, Gene Martin, died last night. Gene was one of the most helpful people I knew. He was always there to help our education department. He made Contenta the cow, the Statue of Liberty Puzzle and many other projects for HSJ's education programs, in addition to all his work in the Trolley Barn and with CTRC. He worked endless hours to make sure the Senter Road trolley line kept on track and on time. I will miss seeing him at the Park, but know that he is now at peace with no more pain and suffering.

The date for a celebration of Gene's life has been set for Saturday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church of San Jose, 160 North Third St.

Because street parking in the immediate vicinity is metered on Saturdays, people attending should probably park in the Third Street Garage, 95 N. Third St., between St. John and Santa Clara Streets.

SP2479 Status - Sept 29, 2012

John Ezovski

Today's crew was small but a bunch of work was completed.

Prior to departing on vacation our master mechanic machined two grease fitting adaptors for the frame which allow lubrication to the reverse link pins. There were issues getting grease to flow around the left side frame's inside reverse link bushing but they were overcome.

Today the reverse link and radius rod were installed. None of the issues that were experienced on the right side were encounter.

Cleaning and painting of running boards continues and is near completion. The upper surface on the right side including the engineer's platform are now complete. The fireman's platform has been cleaned and primed. The "well" area between the engineer and fireman have been wire brushed also wire brushed was the apron between the locomotive and tender.

The piece of bronze needed for a new bushing for the engineer's side of the reverse rod has been received.

SP2479/SP1215 - Sept 1, 2012

John Ezovski


The past couple of work sessions the crew struggled with assembling the right side reverse link, radius rod, and combination lever.

The combination lever pin would not seat in the valve cross head. After three plus hours of filing and polishing with emery paper, the pin was seated and secured with tapered pins.

Assembly of reverse link, reverse link block, cheeks and radius rod were next. Bolts that hold secure the cheeks and capture the reverse link are fitted. Each hole and bolt was marked by SP. The first bolt did not fit its assigned hole. As the afternoon wore on, the task was terminated. Measurements of the bolts and holes were taken before returning components to storage. It was noted at this time that bolts did not match assigned holes. Bolts were then matched to holes.

Yesterday the reverse link assembly was bolted into place. Assembly went off with no issues. Securing the radius rod to the cross head did present some problems. The pin which retains the radius rod to the cross head would not fully seat. A small amount of filing on the pin resolved the issue. (See photo.)

Tramming of the cross head for the left steam valve is now under way. Yesterday a wire was centered in the bore of the cylinder and measurements taken.

Cleaning and painting of running boards continues. Running boards on the left side are complete. Right side is in work.


Locomotive at History Park has begun to show affects of weather. Some polishing of rods and a coat of clear lacquer has been applied. Windows are in the process of being repainted.

29th Annual Volunteer Recognition BBQ - Thursday, August 16, 2012

29th Annual Volunteer Recognition BBQ
Thursday, August 16, 2012
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
San Jose History Park
1650 Senter Road, San Jose, CA

Beverages provided by Bottomley Distributing Company

BBQ provided by the Santa Clara County Firefighters

Music by the Singing Conductors

This is a FREE event in appreciation of CTRC’s dedicated volunteers and guests (Please RSVP so we know how much food to have available!)

Event Title Sponsor: Wells Fargo Bank

Sponsors: Dan Caputo Company, Cupertino Electric, Hatch Mott MacDonald, Hensel Phelps Construction, HNTB, KLIV/KARA Radio, and Anonymous Donor

Please RSVP by 8/9/12 to Lynda Ramirez Jones via email at: or 408-924-7560

SP 2479 Saturday July 28, 2012

John Ezovski

Paint has been applied to all remaining areas of boiler. Boiler courses 1, 2, 3, and firebox from running board up over roof sheet to opposite running board now have a fresh coat of black.

Weld build up the second combination lever pin hole in cross head for left steam distribution valve.

Inspect reverse shaft bearings. Found fireman’s side bearing okay. Engineer’s side bearing exhibited severe wear thus must be replaced.

Complete improvements to power cables to Bridgeport mill and Hardinge lathe.

SP2470 Status

John Ezovski

June 30

Traming of the cross head for the right steam distribution valve is nearly complete. Adjusting the cross heads position with shims has consumed two worker's time over the past two weeks. It now appears that the cross head is in a good position to accept the valve's rod.

Two tasks remain before the valve can be inserted into the cylinder. The two bolts that attach the right upper and lower guides must be replaced. These will be machined in the coming week. A grease fitting and path need to be added to the outside lower guide. Once this work is complete, the task will be repeated on the left side.

Upper surfaces of the locomotive's boiler have begun to show affects of weather. Flexible staybolt caps and sleeves show the most weathering. To prevent damage, most of the boiler will be wire wheeled, primed and painted. This task is well under way. Above the running boards on the fireman's side, barrels 1 and 2 have been thoroughly wire wheeled and primed. The backhead and the firebox wrapper sheet above the running boards on the engineer's side has seen the same service.

July 14

Wire brushing and application of primer to boiler continues. Except for two small areas primer has now been applied to the boiler and firebox from the running boards on one side, up over the top of the boiler to the running boards on the opposite side.

Traming of the cross head for the left steam distribution valve is on going. Both holes in the cross head that holds the pin which connects the upper end of the combination lever are over size and out of round. The upper and lower "bridges" were thin. Decision was made to weld up both holes. Today the first hole was built up. During the coming week the welded area will be bored.

A wire was position in the middle of the left steam distribution cylinder. Several measurements were taken. Until the cross head is finished this process can not continue.

Aux Dome Cover - June 9, 2012

John Ezovski

Machining of new aux dome cover is complete. Today the cover was hoisted into place to check for fit. After a few "adjustments" cover slipped into its new home. Next week the aux dome cover gasket will be annealed and cover set into position.

Shown is an image with safeties, valve and whistle in place.

SP2479 Update - Saturday, May 26, 2012

John Ezovski

Nice size crew today.

With the restoration site being in a highly visible area, appearance is important. Today a group of workers trimmed trees of low branches passing threw the fence. Removal of these branches also helps with site security.

Although the lawn tractor does not see heavy use, performing preventative maintenance on the machine is a necessity. A number of items were addressed needed to help extend its life.

The locomotive's boiler is beginning to show weathering. Wire wheeling and painting of the boiler has begun and will continue for many more weeks.

The real good news is the fourth and final hole in the center area of the new aux dome cover has been threaded! The new cover was removed from the Le Blonde lathe and returned to the restoration site for remaining work.

All twenty studs needed to mount the new cover have been machined. Five of the studs were set into place.

Status Update - May 6, 2012

John Ezovski

The majority of today's steam crew spent the day working at the trolley barn. Two members worked at returning the barn's Clark forklift to a serviceable state . This machine has not run for several years. The battery required extended charging and a multitude of ignition issues were repaired. By days end, the forklift was running.

Progress has been made with the new aux dome cover. Holes for the two safeties, valve and whistle were bored to an optimum diameter during the week. Today the gasket seating surface was machined flat on the Le Blond lathe.

Next came the big test. Could the lathe turn the heavy plate offset five inches from center without counter weights being attached? The first of two safety holes was centered and the machine powered on. There was no noticeable difference in rotational rate of the chuck Tapering and threading of the hole began. By secure time, the first of four holes was complete. A significant step forward.

At the locomotive restoration site, several other tasks were underway. Components to provide tender water level to the cab crew were being manufactured. Nice weather requires weekly grass and weed control.

SP2479 Aux Dome Update - April 28, 2012

John Ezovski

Threading of second hole in test plate was successfully completed.

A machining plan has been created for the aux dome blank. Four holes to be threaded in blank were located. Boring of these holes will begin this week.

SP2479 Aux Dome Report

John Ezovski

April 7:

Progress has slowed. Upon receipt of the aux dome cover blank, it was decided to practice machining with a piece of scrap plate. A suitable plate was prepared and a number of small holes bored.

Biggest concern is threading holes for the three inch safeties. Finished holes will be approximately four inches in diameter with an 8 pitch thread. CRTC's only machine capable of this work is the Leblond lathe located in the trolley barn.

This machine has not been used in a number of years. It required cleanup and lubrication. During this process several deficiencies were noted. A piece of the taper attachment was missing and was constructed. The biggest concern is wear in machine parts. It was noted that there was a near half turn revolution of the crossfeed handle. The lead screw was removed and inspect. Both the lead screw and nut are heavily worn. The compound feed is also very loose.

Obviously destroying a four hundred dollar part is not on the task list. Currnet condition of the lathe is a major concern but we are not ready to give up. Next Saturday the test plate will be mounted. An attempt at boring and threading of the first large hole will begin. Upon completion a look at direction will be taken.

April 21:

Weeks of cleaning, fixing and understanding the trolley barn's Leblond lathe has paid off! Yesterday, 2479's master mechanic tapered and threaded a four inch hole in the test plate! A cap was set into the hole to prove the work. With the first hole complete, the test plate was repositioned. This hole will also be tapered and threaded for added experience.

In image, note plate off-set from chuck center. The lowest rotational speed of the chuck was being used. This plate weighs less than half that of the new cover. The task is looking much more do able on this lathe but there is still a question as to the lathe being able to turn the heavy part off center.

Saturday work crews continue to be very small. The remainder of the crew has been working at site appearance. Rain followed by sunny, warm temperatures have kicked grass and weed growth into high gear. Keeping the storage areas clear of tall weeds is difficult and time consuming.

SP2479 - Sat. March 3, 2012

John Ezovski

The blank for the new aux dome cover was received during this past week. The diameter of the piece is slightly less than 20 1/2". And it is 2 inches thick. In the attached image, a nut that is 7/8" tall was placed on top of the plate to give a sense of size.

Dealing with the blank for the new aux dome cover was the focus of this past Saturday's session. Boring of holes in this cover for the safeties and other objects will present a significant challenge.

The safeties, whistle and vent valve were mounted on the old cover to verify clearances. Holes for each of these objects may be relocated slightly.

Prior to cutting into a $400.00 piece of steel, we will experiment on a piece of scrap plate. A one inch piece of material was located, cut and cleaned.

The trolley barn's big LeBlond lathe is the only CTRC machine capable of performing this work. The lathe was examined for tooling. It appears that there is a piece missing for the taper attachment but should be easy to fabricate. Only if we are successful with the piece of scrap plate will work will begin on the blank, otherwise services of a machine shop will be necessary for the large holes.

Aux Dome Cover - Feb 24, 2012

John Ezovski

This past week I have spent a bunch of time on the phone attempting to locate a piece of material suitable for a new aux dome cover. Each distributor I called pointed me down the road.

I Ended up getting quotes from two shops. One in Stockton and another in West Sacramento. With approval and a very kind donation from Rod Diridon, today the blank for the cover was ordered

The piece will be flame cut to about 20 1/2 inches. It is 2 inches thick, will have material certs and heat treat numbers. The piece is going to weigh in near 225 pounds. Delivery could be as early as this coming Wednesday to the trolley barn. I hope to meet the truck and immediately deliver to the work site.

This will be the beginning of a multi-step machining process. Mounting bolt holes should not be difficult. Cutting the 3 inch holes for the safeties is going to be a challenge. Holes for the whistle and valve are just a bit easier.

Several years ago, I was informed that changes were coming to cover calculations in the Form 4. When complete, there will be no issues with aux dome cover thickness and the Form 4.

Next week I will work at getting material for the 20 new aux dome studs.

Over the next weeks (months?) there is going to be a bunch of work.

SP1215 Display Track

John Ezovski

Ballasting of the 90 some feet of panel track that SP1215 rests was completed today. The site is now ready to receive the Missouri Pacific caboose. See attached image.

Thank you to Reed and Graham for the 17 yards of ballast. Thank you to Robert Pederson, AtoolShed for the use of a dump truck and loader.

To Ken M. and Steve R., thanks for relocating the rock to San Jose History Park. The guys that worked the shovels another big thanks. I had figured at least three full days of work to complete this task. Larry, Steve, Gene, and Tom completed the job in one and one half days. Tamping ballast under ties is miserable work. Shoveling stone is right up there with tamping. We all knew what need to be done and made it happen.

SP2479 - Sat. Jan 21, 2012

John Ezovski

Several things to report.

Over the past couple of weeks, a very detailed analysis of the steam dome cover was completed. This cover, with out any doubt, is not serviceable. Bot the steam dome and aux dome covers are to thin to be returned to service. Material and specs for new covers have been forwarded to Jack and Ken so that quotes may be obtained and new covers created. All 20 studs in the aux dome and 24 studs in the steam dome will have to be replaced. There will be lots of work here!

The cross head for the right steam distribution cylinder has been closely examined. One side of the cross head lacks bronze. Next week an attempt will be made to braze the surface.

A big thank you to Larry M. for donating his old PC. The site now has a Dell system running Windows XP. All CTRC files on the old machine have been moved to this new system.

SP2479 - Sat. Jan 7, 2012

John Ezovski

Repairs to 2479's crossheads and guides are complete!

Work began on the left side guides and crosshead Oct. 15, 2011. A different set of issues were encountered but were quickly overcome. The guides did not require any repairs. All holes were reasonably round and the cylinder end of the guides did not require weld repair. Only four of the eight mounting bolts had to be replaced. Babbitting of the crosshead was the major issue and required the most time.

Prior to the close of 2011, the crosshead was installed and found to be binding at both end limits of travel. Close inspection revealed the lower guide to be the problem. The lower guide was ever so slightly bowed up at the tail end. Belt sanding of the last five inches of the guide provided the necessary relief.

Binding at the front limits was a function of the upper guide being to wide for the crosshead. Again belt sanding was used to remove a material from the sides of the guide. The left crosshead now slides freely within its limits of travel.

Today the left cylinder cover was installed to protect the cylinder from rain and other sources of potential damage.

Next in line are the traming of the steam distribution valve crossheads. The biggest problem here is the need for the new cage for the front end of the left cylinder.

Next Post Previous Post