Progress continues on the Electroliner restoration project. This is a very large, complex multi year project that began in 2013. In the past three and one half years, hundreds of individuals (including a significant number of NEW IRM members) have donated over $850,000 and a small crew of dedicated workers have worked weekly on interior restoration (more hands are needed - if interested, contact Ed Oslowski at (773) 710-3226.)
The motors are at a contractor and a number have been rebuilt/repaired and returned to Union. Four new wheels have been fabricated, the others have been turned to the original NSL profile, and the trucks are nearing complete tear down and restoration (with some new parts) at Avalon Car Company in Milwaukee. Reupholstering of seats is ongoing. These projects have been very expensive and taken much of the money that has been donated.
Major projects remain, especially restoring the air conditioning system. We have several members with expertise in HVAC who we hope will help with this project.
Our estimated need to complete the restoration of the Electroliner, hopefully to operational condition by the end of 2017 and full restoration by the end of 2020, is $1.2 million. That is a very ambitious goal! We have applied for and received a number of grants and more requests are being planned for the next few months. We have also received several extremely generous donations and bequeaths, which were unexpected but allowed us to begin the "heavy" work described above.
In order to continue our work, especially on the air conditioning, we need to keep money coming in. As we approach the end of the year we ask that you consider a special donation to the Electroliner fund by the end of December. We will continue to report on our progress - look for at least one story and pictures in one of the upcoming RAIL & WIRE issues in 2017!
Donations can be made with a credit card by visiting www.irm.org and going to the “Museum Store” (look under “Bestsellers” “$25 NSL . . .” or by sending a check (IRM Electroliner Fund) or your credit card information to: IRM, PO Box 427, Union IL 60180. You can also call during normal business hours (815) 923 4391 #2.