With the coming rejuvenation of the railroad, the decision was made to shift attention to the shop area during the February work session. The Woodford Brothers will return to the railroad to right the walls that surround the shop alleyway as they did with the blacksmith shop years back. This meant that we needed to prepare for their visit by removing all parts, machines and other debris within 4 feet of the walls. All available hands at the work session were helping with the prep.
The first step was to move several heavy machines. These were jacked up with bottle jacks just far enough that lengths of conduit could be slipped underneath them. Once they were resting on the conduit bars, they could be rolled with relative ease. Some dips or steps in the floor made this harder from time to time, so a chain come-along was also employed. Once the machinery was moved, any other items along the walls were also relocated. These included such things as kegs of nuts and bolts, various parts and materials, as well as some very large fixtures for the planer.
With a clear floor along both machine and boiler shop walls, work began on pulling floor boards within 4 feet of the walls. At the east end of the machine shop wall, the expanse of removed flooring grew to 8 feet wide due to rotted beams beneath. Only two boards came up on the boiler shop side, but overall excellent progress was made.
In March we will continue to remove the flooring on affected walls in the shop, begin emptying the alleyway, and if enough hands are present, continue work on the combine and box car.