Project X201 is still dragging on. I'm
trying to fight discouragement as I keep finding more body-prep chores
that need to be done. I know it will pay off in the end. On May 6, X201
went for a trial run on the end of a Calera and Shelby RR excursion train.
I wanted to test the mechanical repairs before moving forward with
painting the car, in case there was a problem that required major repairs.
As expected, the brake system worked perfectly and the truck repairs
seemed to be adequate as the ride was nice and smooth; although I hear
from retired conductors that a caboose ride at 15 mph is quite different
than at 50+ mph!
I have recently sand-blasted the platforms and steps and re-primed the
handrails. The car is ready to receive the top coat now.
I have also begun work on the interior
paint job. I had initially planned to leave the inside the light gray
color that it was when I obtained ownership. The Old Depot Museum had
painted the interior, but had used a gray that was way too light. The
paint almost appeared to be white. I wanted something closer to the SR
gray. I chose the Rustoleum brand Smoke Gray from Lowe's and decided to go
with that. I looked for SR paint codes for caboose interiors but came up
blank. I compared the Smoke Gray to the interior of a derelict cab at NS
Norris Yard in Birmingham, and it was reasonably close. I have completed
about half of the interior painting so far.
Hopefully the next update will include
some red paint!