Refurbishing the Safari Car
Joel Manns is interviewed by a local TV Station
The work begins
Great Progress on the first day
Benchs being removed by Tom T. and Enbridge
Benchs and most of the fence and railiing
Taking a bench apoart for refurnishing.
On June 3, 2021, The Lake Superior & Mississippi Railroad held a news conference at our garage to announce that our 2021 season is being postponed until 2022 due to the US Steel Superfund project that is currently underway. Our tracks pass through 1.5 miles of the work site where bridges and track will be replaced to help with the environmental improvements to the area.
This season’s downtime offers us a unique opportunity for maintenance and renovations.
Enbridge Energy has provided a generous grant to renovate the outdoor Safari Car.
Enbridge has also provided employees to begin work on
this project. To date, The Safari Car has been “stripped to the frame”, the first step in the
rebuild process. Further updates will be posted as the project moves along.
The crew adding planks to the frame
Julie and Jessie working on bench supports
On July 7, 2021, the decking had been replaced on the Safari Car. Like any refurbishing project, there were some surprises along the way.
Planks needed to be custom cut to fit the unique layout of the Safari Car. Large rivets protruded from the frame causing the planks to not lie flat. The rivets needed to be ground-down and the planks hollowed out in places to fit level.
All the planks in place on the Safari Car
Mike P grinding rivets
The new posts and rails on the Safari Car
Close up of the grinding
Duayne driving screws to secure the top rail
Tom, Marilyn, Jim and Steve adding a top rail
On July 15 &17, 2021, the new posts and rails have been replaced on the Safari Car. The next steps will be to add new fencing to the posts and rails and returning the refurbished benches.
The view from the new deck of the posts and rails
During the last week in July 2021, most of the refurbished benches were placed on the Safari car. The front and back walls were added. There is still the final bench and a gate that need to be attached. That will complete the work for this year. Painting will be done next spring, once the treated wood has a chance to dry.
Most of the benches are now in place. The back wall is framed in, waiting for a gate to be added.