ET&WNC Boxcar 434
Alexander Chapter NRHS
Inside the car, original interior sheathing is reinstalled in areas that we had to carefully remove. All bolts/nuts/hardware go back into their original positions.
(Photo at left and above) With the roof cleaned, primed, and painted, the next step of restoration is the roofwalk. We were able to save all of the original carriage bolts, washers, and nuts to reinstall the new supports. We did put some rubber roofing between the blocks and roofing for additional protection.
(At left), The restoration of this car utilized as much of the original metal work as possible, including the carriage bolts, washers, and nuts. These parts were sandblasted, primed with iron oxide, and then coated with black glossy paint.
There has been some internal debate about the black paint being "authentic" on the metal parts, and color photographs of the subject are inconclusive. The prevailing sentiment is that the black color does make the detail "pop" to the eye and of course, can easily be repainted to the traditonal "boxcar red" if necessary.
(Right), On March 5, we hung the door stops on each side of the car, as well as installed some grab irons and the aforementioned roof walk supports. Steadily, ET&WNC 434 comes to life due to the efforts of the Alexander Chapter-NRHS.
This stuff ain't cheap, and if you want to help, be sure to come to the NC Railroad Expo in Hickory, NC on April 9th, or the National Narrow Gauge Convention in September. We'd love to meet you and we appreciate your support.
(Photo at right and below), Historian Johnny Graybeal painstakingly hand made stencils for the boxcar using photographs from his award-winning "Along the ET&WNC" series of books. With an artist brush, he has patiently been lettering and numbering the car.
(At right), In December 2010, the chapter fabricated new ladders, utilizing the old ones as patterns. The frames were made of solid oak from wood milled by the members after a local tree was blown over.
Note the installed ladder in the photo at left. Look at how the back of the ladder frames are cut so that the frame is spaced away from the car body. Why the ladders were designed this way is a mystery. Was it to prevent rot? Was it to increase "toe space" on the ladder? Whatever the reason, we duplicated it.
The ladders were installed without primer or paint initially so as to allow the wood to dry completely. We will remove them and properly paint them after several months.
(At right, and below): Who says this hobby is dying and is for old people? The youngest member of our chapter (9 years) put the primer coat on our oak roofwalk supports (below). These supports were milled from the same oak tree that the ladder frames came from. We gotta get that baggage cart together soon as well !