I have been very focused lately on the blogs regarding the Kansas City Union Station Model Rail Experience here on the blog lately, but I have been doing so much other rail fan activity lately that I have not taken time to share. I assure you it has not been out of lack of desire, but it’s a work schedule/sleep schedule thing, as well as the fact that I have been very busy selling things between a garage sale we had at our home a couple weeks ago, and one we will be having this Saturday 4/11/15 from 8am-4pm as well as postings on various Facebook pages that have led to some sales, as we are raising additional funds for the 25th Anniversary trip my wife and I will be taking later this month. We will have been together 26 years on 4/25 and married 25 years on 4/28.
In my last Model Rail Experience blog, I made mention of the fact that Fred Cassity, brother to a fellow MRE volunteer had invited me to come tour New York Air Brake in Riverside http://www.nyab.com/en/aboutus/locations/riversidemo/address_1.jsp where they refurbish braking systems for trains but also do air horns and various other systems. I took Fred up on this on Monday 3/18/15. I have been having issues with my camera having been broken recently, making me mostly dependent on my phone’s camera for both pics and video, so this creates a data shortage issue, so I can’t take nearly as much as I was able to when I first started the blog and most of my rail-fan activity in June, 2014. But here is the short video I took at New York Air Brake.
After taking this video, Fred explained that New York Air Brake has a Westinghouse Side as well as the New York Air Brake side to their remanufacture facility where about 85 employees turn out hundreds of braking conversion valves a day, many for the Amtrak trains, that their work is crucial in saving Amtrak lots of money on, since they don’t have to ship these units to Germany for remanufacturing.
Our first stop on the tour was the recondition station. I was shown how the braking units are dis-assembled, the parts are washed, how the station is set up with green totes indicating used parts that have been cleaned, and blue totes indicating new parts. I was shown how, once the units are re-assembled, they are tested on either a single-car test device that has been in use for freight cars for over 50 years, or a newer automated version that resembles a suit-case.
These units are then given a yellow test sticker, and a bolt-on tag that has the test date, and the warranty date-which is one year out from the test date, though most units are still in good working order way past the warranty date. I saw several recently tested and tagged units sitting on pallets.
Fred explained that older locomotive equipment has the designation of 26L and then there is the CCB-New York Air Brake‘s primary locomotive control valve that replaces the 26L. I saw some of those units that according to markings on them came from CSX and GE units, though those are just two of many railroad companies that New York Air Brake services units for.
There are many stations at New York Air Brake that are more simple, and then there are some that are very high-tech, with computers that have step-by-step instructions including photos, that Fred is instrumental in implementing.
Because of my technical issues, Fred gave me an open invitation to return to New York Air Brake later to take more pictures and video, and learn more about New York Air Brake‘s process. I also hope to meet more of the employees one-on-one and talk with them about their jobs with New York Air Brake.
Let’s wrap up with a music video from the Durango & Silverton Railroad in Colorado!
I’m John Losh, reminding you to continue leaving Legacies…….On The Rails!