RAILCAR GOLD Chapter 17 . . Production . . Part 4
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 4 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 4
As the group walks between production lines two and three in the Erecting Shop at the Spring Garden Car Works, George Billmeyer explains, “Wheel truck components, having been completed in the adjacent Machine Shop, only a few feet to the east, are quickly assembled as finished trucks onto the beginning of each production line. The car frame is then assembled upon the truck sets; with all pre-drilled, framing components, having just been completed in the first floor of the Woodworking Shop, only a few feet to the south.”
John Small continues, “The platforms adjacent to both sides of each production line vary in height, based upon the height that each particular assembler requires to mate the subassembly onto the car as it is lowered from the overhead delivery system. A group of assemblers also ride along inside the car, completing assembly tasks from within. And so, in the relatively short distance that we have walked, a car assembly is complete.”
George points out, “The assembled cars move across the Transfer Table into the Painting Shop. Usually cars stay within their assigned production line, however they can easily be shifted to another line using the Transfer Table.”
John motions the group to the side building on the east side of the Painting Shop, “We’ll detour through the Head Lining Shop, that way you’ll be safe from errant paint drops. The Head Lining Shop produces the head linings for all passenger coaches, however it is also the collection point for all materials and items that decorate the interior of our passenger coaches. These items are produced at the various satellite works that we have scattered around York, such as our Specialty Works, that you saw earlier today.”
George opens a door on the east side of the Painting Shop, which is part way down the paint line. George notes, “The Painting Shop begins with three sets of rails, however after the cars are painted, each set of rails contains two side branches; creating a nice length of nine-track-wide drying space for cars prior to varnishing. We’ll walk up to the next door, bypassing the varnishing operations.”
David Small opens the door to reveal a large room, filled with finished cars; being readied for shipment. David proudly states, “At peak production, we’ll have close to 700 employees spread out between our two car works and our various specialty works around the city, including our sawmill in Wrightsville. We are the largest employer in York County.”
The group took the Journal reporter for a short ride on their narrow gauge development car. As they rode along the York and Peach Bottom Railway, George Billmeyer took great pride in showing off their development lab on wheels.
David Small offered an invitation to the reporter for him to return upon the completion of the Baltimore & Delta narrow gauge railway. “I envision the Baltimore & Delta narrow gauge railway as a continuance of the York and Peach Bottom Railway. Thus creating a showcase narrow gauge railway; stretching all the way from our Spring Garden Car Works through southeastern York County and across Maryland; into the important railroading City of Baltimore. It will be a sight to see. Make sure you don’t miss it!”
Go to Part 5