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RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 17 . . Production . . Part 3

RAILCAR GOLD    Chapter 17 . . . Production   add 2 blanks after GOLD
RAILCAR GOLD   Chapter 17 . . . Production

RAILCAR GOLD is a historically accurate multi-generational fictional tale of hidden treasure, primarily set in York County, Pennsylvania during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century.  This is Part 3 of Chapter 17 . . . Production.  A new part will be posted every Thursday.  Recent chapters stand alone, starting here; however new readers may want to start at the beginning.


CHAPTER  17  . . . PRODUCTION . . .  Part 3

David Small points to the rails, “Both Billmeyer & Small factories and the factory of our competitor Michael Schall are all in close proximity to one another.  All three car works essentially border the York rail yards.  All three locations build standard gauge cars and narrow gauge cars; that is the reason parts of the York rail yards are laid out with a third rail to accommodate cars of both gauges.”

David continues, “This is specially evident on the east side of town with our two car works plus the Northern Central Railway standard gauge connection point to the narrow gauge York and Peach Bottom Railway; all in very close proximity.  As you’ve seen at the York Car Works, you’ll see, throughout the Spring Garden Car Works, a third rail is used to accommodate cars of both gauges.”

George Billmeyer notes, “On the left side, we’re already next to the buildings of the Spring Garden Car Works.  We’re on our siding that leads to the Transfer Table.”

As the car they are riding in is uncoupled from the locomotive, John Small explains, “Our car is now sitting on the Transfer Table.  The table is steam operated to move laterally.  This allows us to efficiently shift cars, mid-stream, between any one of our three production lines or to insert cars from the York Car Works, as we are doing now.  This car is being positioned to move into painting line three.  Step off the car and we’ll examine how this car works operates; from raw material delivery to finished car shipping.”

David Small leads the group until they are standing between the sets of rails delivering raw materials.  He indicates, “The west rails primarily deliver raw materials to the Blacksmith Shop, which stands adjacent to the east side of the Erecting Shop.  The Blacksmith Shop contains nine forges.  We form all our metal parts in that shop and machine them in the Machine Shop, which is nestled between, and attached to, the Woodworking, Erecting and Blacksmith Shops.”

John Small points out, “The west set of rails delivers all the wood that goes into building a car.  The wood is staged in piles, adjacent to the rails, over that sizable distance.  Wood is preprocessed in the Steam Dry Kilns, then sent directly into the Woodworking Shop or staged in the Lumber Sheds.”

George Billmeyer tells the reporter to follow closely, “We’re now entering the Woodworking Shop.  This building fronts the main turnpike between York and Wrightsville.  All the raw sawed wood, from our sawmill in Wrightsville, enters the car works at the rear of the east end of the building.  The flow of the wood is initially east to west on the first floor, where it is planed and sawed to the numerous sizes required.  The big pieces, creating car frames, stay on the first floor and pass through the carpentry shop for drilling and final processing prior to heading out onto the floor of the Erecting Shop.”

John Small continues, “Follow me upstairs, the second floor of the Woodworking Shop is what really makes the Spring Garden Car Works very efficient in building cars.  All the wood intensive subassemblies are produced on these fifteen feeder mini-production lines.  Subassembly production is staged so that each part rolls out on the overhead lines into the Erecting Shop and drops down to the mating car frame only at the instant it is required.”

David Small leads the way into the second floor office overlooking the Erecting Shop, “This office offers a nice view at how the subassemblies drop onto the car frames on each of the three production lines.  It is done in such a clever way that we have little need for overhead cranes.  It is like, at just the right instant, the parts fall from the sky onto the cars.  I’m amazed each time I sit here in this office and watch how the cars are fabricated with ease.  John Small and George Billmeyer deserve all the credit for the design and layout of this super efficient Spring Garden Car Works.”

Go to Part 4