It was a quiet Sunday in Langley; most members were busy celebrating Mother’s Day. Courtesy of Angus McIntyre are these photos. As many of you know, #2040, our Brill T-44 trolleycoach travelled to VTC for inspection. It will help TransLink celebrate the 75th anniversary of electric trolley bus service in Vancouver later in the year.
After last week’s mechanical inspection, it was time for a wash-and-brush up. Milan Streit, Matthew Walker and Stephen Goodman hooked up the hosepipe, got the brushes out, and gave GM Fishbowl 4107 a good clean. After 3 years of outside storage, there was mildew and green algae growth.
Last Tuesday, as part of the “Big Bus Move”, Fageol Twin M852 went to Fraser Valley storage, and Brill trolleycoach 2040 was trucked to VTC. Also, part of the plan was a quick visual inspect of GM ‘Hillclimber’ 4107 to determine whether it could be driven to Langley.
Bryan Larrabee, Sean Keating, Milan Streit, and Lawrence Walker met at our satellite storage at 10am, off-loading the Fageol from the Mundie’s Landoll, trading it for Brill 2040. After that, their attention turned to ‘Fishbowl’ 4107. In preparation, it had been connected to a charger overnight.
“(When) we hit the starter… she wouldn’t start. Lawrence and Sean decided to connect our booster pack and the spare battery we brought from Langley to give it maximum power. After rechecking by Sean and Lawrence, Milan hit the rear starter switch and she started first try. We got a brief bit of black smoke on start up, and white smoke for another 10 seconds and no smoke afterwards.
We knew the fuel level was okay so we decided to chance the drive to Langley with Lawrence following closely in my truck. The bus ran fine. Brakes appeared to be okay and the steering was great. We parked the bus face in. All done by 2pm.”
4107 was selected for outdoor storage at the satellite storage site when we moved from Roseberry. Our intention in bringing it back was to determine what effect this was having on the coach. The exterior had some green-spot algae, mildew and mold, but nothing a good wash and scrub wouldn’t deal with.
On Sunday, Sean, Milan, Richard Dyer and Matthew Walker attended to examining its mechanical condition. Putting the bus upon on ramps, they inspected the suspension, steering, brakes and other items ‘below deck.’ The report: good, with just minor issues.
From Buses to Blooms
Member Jason Sharpe visited the site of our former home at Roseberry Avenue in Burnaby, last week. As you may know, our unit, #6, was part of a complex of two buildings owned by United Flower Growers.
United Flower Growers is a co-operative of 80 members engaged in the floriculture industry. Flowers and other floral products are supplied to retailers and wholesalers throughout BC, as far as Manitoba in Canada and California in the United States. Flowers are auctioned “Dutch-style” – that is the price starts high and is lowered until someone buys. The process is now computerized, available online, each transaction taking from two to five seconds.
UFG began in 1963. The auction is said to be the largest in North America. The former building housing Unit #6 was opened in 1986, part of a $5M complex. Below is Jason’s photograph of the beginnings of a new structure, believed to be more warehousing. (I’m not sure whether a new auction hall is being built – the number of ‘in-person’ auctions declined considerably during the pandemic, moving on-line.)
Meanwhile at our new facility in Langley, buses were again moved around, in preparation for a possible “trade” with our satellite storage. Fageol M852 may travel out to the Fraser Valley in exchange for 4107 or 3106. Both coaches need minor work performed on them. Lawrence Walker and Angus McIntyre gave the Fageol a spin around the Langley parking lot. (Above, Mathew Walker starts the engine while Lawrence makes some adjustments to it.)
On Tuesday, Brill T-44 trolleycoach travelled from satellite storage to TransLink’s VTC to be be prepped for a special event coming up in August. (Photo: Bryan Larrabee)
(Photos: Angus McIntyre)
Bryan Larrabee writes:
We had quite a day on Tuesday April 24th.
Mundies Towing was very accommodating as we made a change of plans the day before. Sean, Lawrence, Milan and I met the Mundies truck at 8am at our Langley shop. They loaded the Fageol and it was trailered out to our Fraser Valley storage where we all met at 10am. Lawrence backed the Fageol off and parked it aside and then Fraser used his 4×4 tractor to tow #2040 carefully out of the barn, out the driveway to the road, pulling it backwards past the Mundies truck, lining it up then winching it onto the truck. Sean and Milan helped the driver (John) measure the height and the load was okay.
After that was done, Lawrence backed the Fageol into place. Lots of help by Sean and Milan spotting.
We then turned our attention to the Hillclimber #4107. Fraser had it on a charger overnight for us and after a quick check of everything by Sean, we hit the starter and she wouldn’t start. Lawrence and Sean decided to connect our booster pack and the spare battery we brought from Langley to give it maximum power. After rechecking by Sean and Lawrence, Milan hit the rear starter switch and she started first try. We got a brief bit of black smoke on start up, and white smoke for another 10 seconds and no smoke afterwards.
On the drive home, we stuck to the curb lane and easily followed the flow of traffic through Maple Ridge onto the Golden Ears Bridge into Langley. The bus ran fine. Brakes appeared to be okay and the steering was great. We parked the bus face in. All done by 2pm.
In the meantime, #2040 arrived safely at VTC met by James and Angus. The plan is to have the trolley guys start looking at it asap and give us an assessment on it’s roadworthiness.
Quite a day and thanks to everyone that helped.
It was a quiet Sunday; Matthew and Lawrence tidied up a few of our destination blinds. Recently they had unearthed a vintage Winnipeg roll. It’s in very good condition. Angus has been in touch with his contacts at Manitoba Transit Heritage Association to see if they are interested. (Photo: Editor)
Trevor Batstone drove TDH4519 #4612 over to fuel up. Lawrence did a quick calculation of its diesel consumption: 7.9 miles per gallon or in today’s language 35 litres per 100 km. Which is impressive for a vehicle of its age. (Photo: Matthew Walker)
The TMS crew headed by Sue Walker (and TDH4512 #730) will be at David Lam Park in Vancouver for “The BIg Picnic” next Saturday, April 1st. The event runs from 10am till 4.30pm. Stop by and say hello!
It’s an attempt to get our vehicles in better positions within our Langley shop to allow for easier exit when required for duty and to allow for inspection to diagnose vehicle condition.
Step 1: Move everything outside. Luckily it’s a Sunday: the are very, very few other vehicles in our parking area.
Step 2: Put everything back where we want it.
It can be a tight squeeze. The coach has to be brought in at an angle… there is less than ten feet available to enable it to turn the 90 degrees so it may be backed in to the lefthand side parking spaces.
Phase 1 completed: time for lunch!
While this may sound simple, it really isn’t. Few of our coaches have power steering. So this involves a “work-around”: two person steering, one in the driver’s seat, the other providing extra muscle. Then we have to consider those participants that are reluctant to start (or shouldn’t in an enclosed space!).
While doing the dance, opportunity was taken to inspect the business end of TDH4512 #730. Our maintenance staff have noticed some vibration back there, that over the years has caused some components to shake loose, or cause oil leaks. The consensus seems to be that it is occurring in the transmission. While not urgent, its something they’d like to fix in time.
Sean Keating lines up the ramp – but the 671 aboard #730 doesn’t provide enough “uumph” to reverse up. So driver Lawrence Walker has to perform some tricky two-foot driving to give the coach of a running start while being able to brake in time before overshooting the ramp.
Jason Sharpe, Lawrence Walker, Sean Keating and Richard Dyer hunt for the cause of the vibration.
Meanwhile, taking advantage of the sunny weather, Jason Sharpe moved his “seat rehab” project outdoors.
Just a few odd-and-ends to report this week.
Sue Walker has been busy cleaning the seat covers on the cushions that Jason Sharpe removes from our D40LF.
Hubby Lawrence meanwhile has constructed a permanent solution to our problem of ventilation aboard #730 during the summer.
On summer days, the interior is quite hot. To provide a cross-flow breeze, we generally open the emergency door. In the past we cordoned off the exit with a cone and fabric rope, Now we have a child’s gate. Lawrence modified it so that bolts extend from the gate into the body of #730, making a rigid and safe anchor.
Matthew is putting the finishing touches to a Grant Money Meter farebox to be gifted to Vancouver mayor, Ken Sims. Meanwhile, he is starting on restoring another farebox, but this one is slightly different to the ones we are familiar with.
This one has a window to show the mechanism… the BC Hydro versions we have seen usually had a plate covering the aperture instead.
On March 10th, #4612 -driven by Trevor Batstone- visited Winston Churchill Secondary School. It was part of an end-of-term project by TMS Member Aden Wong.
During the couple of hours the coach was parked in front of the school, 155 students visited. Says Lawrence, who with Matthew, hosted: “We were well received and quite popular.”
And, in closing, we’d like to mention Matthew’s YouTube playlist featuring our TMS buses. You can watch it at:
Jason has emabarked on a project to replace seat cushions on #9753. In the midst of recovering the seat frames, he decided to take a break and tackle the heating enclosures on #9753. Though the heaters are working, there’s a lot of rust and flaking paint: anything attached to the floor will naturally be subject to moisture.