Author Topic: Monson track plans  (Read 2388 times)

Ed Lecuyer

  • Administrator
  • Supervisor
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,859
    • View Profile
    • wwfry.org
Monson track plans
« on: September 15, 2010, 08:48:59 PM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
Monson track plans has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
Information contained within this post may be superseded by more recent postings and conversations.

bperch wrote:
Quote
For years I have been inquiring if anyone has accurate track plans for the following parts of the railroad without success.  I have most of the usual books on the railroad and they only have the usual plans for Monson yard and the junction yard.  I consider the following innacurate or missing:

1.  The trackage at the quarry shown on P81 of Two Feet to the Quarries.
The plan on P6 shows too many crossings to be practical and I
cannot detect that many in the photo.

2.  The trackage at the quarry between this one and the Monson yard.
One plan I've seen just shows a single line going into this area.

3.  The trackage on the spur going past the engine house.  Again on maps
it just shows a fork without any sidings.  There must have been more.

4.  The trackage at the very end of the line at its fullest length.

5.  Where does the siding go on the bottom of P73 of Two Feet to the
Quarries and are there any sidings off of it?

6.  Exactly where was the photo on the middle of P126 of Two Feet to the
Quarries taken.  Is it verifiable by other photos?

Bernie Perch

James Patten replied:
Quote
I've always been really curious about the trackage shown in the photo at the bottom of P90 of Two Feet to the Quarries.  It shows track going from flat to some sharp upward angle all in a few feet.  Must have been hard to push those pushcars up that hill, especially if loaded.

Bernie, do you have The Monson Railroad by Roger Whitney?  It's a 88 page paperback book published in 1989 or so.  Page 6 shows a track map superimposed over a USGS map.  On page 7 there's a rough map of the track in Monson village.  The line continued past the Monson Maine Slate Co to the Eighteen Quarry, which probably states somewhere how long the branch was but it looks to be a couple of miles at least.

I'm hopeful Roger becomes a member on this forum because he grew up in Monson.  Former WW&F president Larson Powell was a visitor to Monson as a child, when he and his family made the trip from Lenox, Mass to Monson to visit relatives in the later days of the railroad.

bperch replied:
Quote
Jim,

I do have Roger's book and looked at the maps.  What I am looking for is the fine detail of those areas--each and every siding.   Page 8 shows the kind of detail maps I am looking for.  The only thing is that these maps are in several books and we are all familiar with them.  I want to find out about the rest of the railroad.

Bernie

Roger Whitney replied:
Quote
Hello all!  I have finally fulfilled James' wishes and joined the forum.  I'd like to get the Monson forum revved up some.  I will research your questions Bernie, but what you see in the books is mostly what there was.  There are some exceptions however.  I'll post when I have time.

bperch replied:
Quote
I am looking forward to any new material.  If you look at my original post with its various questions, any answer to them will fill an unpublished void.  I could probably add several more but since there was no response to them, I didn't bother.

Bernie

Roger Whitney replied:
Quote
OK everyone, get out your Monson books and follow along!

I have never been able to see or find any  fine detail of most of the trackage at the Monson Maine Slate Co.  Probably doesn’t exist.  I had a nice engineered drawing of the mainline which unrolled, was about 8 feet long. Lost it in my fire back in 2003.

Bernie Perch asks.....
1. The trackage at the quarry shown on P81 of Two Feet to the Quarries.
The plan on P6 shows too many crossings to be practical and I
cannot detect that many in the photo.
RW-The top picture on page 81 is of the right side of the Monson Maine Slate Co. (MMSC) The bottom is of the left side . The yard at the quarries changed a lot over the years, according to needs.  At one time or another the trackage pictured on page 6 was indeed that complicated, maybe even more so. When Moody drew the map on page 6, he was probably drawing it according to what was told to him by the crews, THAT USED TO BE.  By the time Moody visited the Monson, the train crews had been employed for a LONG TIME operations were winding down.  Page 43 shows a photo of #3 beside the quarry that is shown on the top of page 81.  Which means there may have been access from the north.  At one time there was access to this quarry-side trackage from the main line that initially led into the complex.

Bernie asks....
2. The trackage at the quarry between this one (MMSC) and the Monson yard. One plan I've seen just shows a single line going into this area.
RW-There were several quarries the Monson served.  The one on page 81  was the MMSC.  Page 11 shows the quarry on Homer Hill which is located NW of the village.  As far as I know there was only one spur off from the mainline to MMSC, which serviced the Kineo quarry, about half way down to MMSC.  Refer to the map in my book, or page 137 in the Jones book.  This was quite a grade down to MMSC.  The first .3 mile was pretty level, but the last .25 mile amounted to a 6.8% grade according to topographical map calulations.  Many references call it 5%.  In the company letter presses, Harold Morill states that they judged their engine power by how many cars they could bring up over that grade.  Before they bought Vulcan No. 3, the best Hinckley could barely get one loaded car up the grade.  Of course by that time (1913) the Hinckleys were about worn out.  When No. 3 was delivered they were able to bring up two loaded cars from MMSC much to Mr. Morrill’s delight!  Moody mentiones this with the quote, “they didn’t exactly have her (the engine) hooked up to center.”  I love Moody’s understatements!  The engineer had to have the reverse lever at full stroke!


Bernie asks....
3. The trackage on the spur going past the engine house. Again on maps
it just shows a fork without any sidings. There must have been more.
RW-Yes.  The trackage which went right beside the engine house extended to Homer Hill at one time.  It went beyond the enginehouse, crossed Chapin Avenue, continued in a slight curve about 1/2 mile to Route 15, crossed it and up to Homer hill.  Homer hill yard trackage was only a few forks and maybe some swithcbacks as far as I know.  Also back at the station, there was a very short track to the car house which was beside the enginehouse.  No more sidings.

Bernie asks.....
4. The trackage at the very end of the line at its fullest length.
RW-The Monson orignally went another two miles beyond the MMSC quarry pictured in page 81 to another pit called 18 Quarry, or just “18” to the locals.  That would be 8.16 miles from the junction. If you look on some older topo maps, you will see 18 quarry pond with a road going to it from the MMSC quarry complex.  This was the road bed.  As far as trackage at “18” I don’t know.  It was probably very simple with a few forks like on Homer hill.  Locals I have interviewed don’t remember.
Topozone on-line topo maps show this as well, as the entire roadbed to the junction is shown, since most of the row is now used for a power transmission line.

Bernie asks.....
5. Where does the siding go on the bottom of P73 of Two Feet to the
Quarries and are there any sidings off of it?
RW-This photo was taken south of town and serviced the Portland- Monson Quarry.  Moody makes reference to this on page 39 of his epic book. This was mainly a shafting operation as opposed to an open pit operation.  This was taken in later years.  Another view of this building is on Page 96. Originally there was a double ended siding servicing the front of the building which was sort of a warehouse.  The track to the right on page 73 goes down to the P-M operation which is on page 83.  How would you like to jump on that platform and be lowered 1000 feet into the ground??!!!

Bernie asks.....
6. Exactly where was the photo on the middle of P126 of Two Feet to the
Quarries taken. Is it verifiable by other photos?
RW-Yes ....  it was taken at the MMSC finishing sheds.  Windows in the upper left match windows on page 81.  Bottom photo of page 127 is also shown on page 81 where the vertical lumber is stacked.

The Monson is an incredible two footer to model.  I’ve never understood why it wasn’t modeled more as the trackage is fairly simple as was the equipment.  I modeled the Junction yard, Ladd Brook Trestle, Monson Station yard and was working on the MMSC yard in HOn30 when I lost it all in a fire.  Keep e’m coming Bernie!!

bperch replied:
Quote
Roger,

Thanx for your in debth reply to my questions.  I realize the industrial trackage constantly changed and my inquiries generally covered the more permanent track.

I have Jone's book and your's both here and have been busily paging through both.

In reference to my question #1, on page 81, lower photo, the photo shows only one track swinging past the left hand building and it would make sense that all the tracks going to the right hand buildings would all come from it.  The top photo on page 78 shows at least two sidings doing that.  I really don't think there were that many crossings on the sidings or lead tracks from the main line.

The next four questions were very helpful but what I would like to see are track plan drawings showing these areas if something like that could be generated for any future publications.  I may be sticking my foot in my mouth as I don't have alot of time for this, but I would be willing to make a drawing (not computer) of this if we could get more information.

On question 6, I disagree with you.  Before posting the question I studied these areas and even though the windows are similar, other things don't match.  The rough shed with two windows (coal bin?) isn't in any photos I have studied.   The overhead thinggy (insulated steam line?) isn't either.  The overhang on the two buildings is different.  It also is not in the shadow of any close building.  I am going to ask you to keep digging on this one unless you can convince me otherwise.

A few more questions------

Where is the quarry located on page 36 in relation to the buildings on page 81?  A picture of another view (the camera would have been about 2" to the left of the center on the page 81 photo on the edge of the slate tip) was on ebay a while back and identified it as Monson.  Was it served by the RR at some time?

Your book--page 59:  is the "snow plow" sitting on a siding or was it just pushed there?  The location is easy to identify.

Your book--page 78:  on this snow plow, history states and plans show that the front truck was part of one of the earlier locomotives.  Any idea of how much of the frame and wheels did they use?  Did it swivel or was it rigid?

Jone's book--page 84:  where is this building located?  I can't seem to find it in any other photos.

I have one or two more questions but have to do a little more research on them to make sure they are accurate.

I'm sorry to hear about "the fire".  Was there much history permanently lost?  Despite our best efforts, sometimes it is impossible to keep from losing more history.

Again, thank you for all your information.

Bernie

Roger Whitney replied:
Quote
Bernie states:
On question 6, I disagree with you. Before posting the question I studied these areas and even though the windows are similar, other things don't match. The rough shed with two windows (coal bin?) isn't in any photos I have studied. The overhead thinggy (insulated steam line?) isn't either. The overhang on the two buildings is different. It also is not in the shadow of any close building. I am going to ask you to keep digging on this one unless you can convince me otherwise.

RW-Looking carefully at the photos, there may have been two parallell buildings in the photo on page 81.  The picture on 126 may be between them.

A few more questions------
Bernie asks....
Where is the quarry located on page 36 in relation to the buildings on page 81? A picture of another view (the camera would have been about 2" to the left of the center on the page 81 photo on the edge of the slate tip) was on ebay a while back and identified it as Monson. Was it served by the RR at some time?

RW- I’m not sure  but  I think it is a view of the quarries on Homer Hill NW of town.  The picture was taken from the south of town across the east end of Hebron Pond which is obscured by the trees.

Bernie asks.....
Your book--page 59: is the "snow plow" sitting on a siding or was it just pushed there? The location is easy to identify.

RW-I have misplaced my only copy of my book however will check on it when I find it.   If it is the picture taken of the plow in Monson Yard, then the snowplow was stored on the track, when not in use, which went to the plow-only turntable.  If it is a picture of the dialect No. 2, then it was just pushed onto an unused track at Monson Maine SC.

Bernie asks
Your book--page 78: on this snow plow, history states and plans show that the front truck was part of one of the earlier locomotives. Any idea of how much of the frame and wheels did they use? Did it swivel or was it rigid?
RW- To my knowledge, a plow affair was built around the carcass of No. 2 and was pushed.  It was unsuccessful.  I haven’t heard of anything swiveling.  The front trucks of the regular snow plow were regular freight trucks I think.

Bernie asks.....
Jone's book--page 84: where is this building located? I can't seem to find it in any other photos.

RW- I believe this is at the Portland-Monson Slate Co. south of town.

bperch replied:
Quote
Roger,

Again, I thank you for your informative replies to my questions.  I could comment a little more but I see we are discussing things which could only be answered by getting in a time machine and going back 80 years or so and searching out these things by actually looking at the items.  It's amazing how things fall into that deep hole called the unknown.

Bernie

James Patten replied:
Quote
I looked at Roger's book, on p. 59.  The engine carcass looks pretty level, my guess is that it's on a track - but probably pushed right to the very end.

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
"Harold Morill states that they judged their engine power by how many cars they could bring up over that grade.  Before they bought Vulcan No. 3, the best Hinckley could barely get one loaded car up the grade.  Of course by that time (1913) the Hinckleys were about worn out.  When No. 3 was delivered they were able to bring up two loaded cars from MMSC much to Mr. Morrill’s delight!  Moody mentiones this with the quote, “they didn’t exactly have her (the engine) hooked up to center.”  I love Moody’s understatements!  The engineer had to have the reverse lever at full stroke!"

Great job to you both Bernie and Roger with your questions and answers, and yes...ya gotta love Moody and that wit of his... [/quote]

bperch replied:
Quote
I finally found my plans for the Monson snowplow in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette Jan/Feb 1987 issue. These were reprinted from the Jan 1974 Finelines and drawn by someone named Tenney.  The plans show that the front set of wheels were 30" in diameter and had  centerlines of 52".  Before I got Jones' book I had no clue why these dimentions existed on this drawing.  I wonder where Tenney got this information?  It is possible that this front set of wheels were fixed and what appears to be the trailing truck of one of the earlier engines in the back used the centering mechanism besides swiveling.  Does anybody out there have any more information on this?  Really, this is trivia, and if someone modeled this plow, it wouldn't make any difference how they did it.  I'm just curious.

Bernie

Stephen Hussar replied:
Quote
Bernie, my dad modeled the Maine 2-footers in On2, as a mish-mash of the different railroads. He scratch-built things he liked regardless of which railroad they came from, and he ran them all together as one.
One of the things he built was the Monson plow -- which I have somewhere. He was meticulous about detail... I'll try to find it and shoot some pictures of it.

bperch replied:
Quote
Stephen,

At least you can blame your dad for the two-foot disease.  Mine came frow who knows where.  I guess I can blame Moody and his book and all the narrow gauge lokeys in the coal region.  Anyway, photograph the underside and see if he went prototype or just used two trucks.  It really wouldn't matter as everything is hidden.  Chances are that if I modeled in two foot, I would have gone the way of your dad.  I would have difficulty sticking to any particular railroad.  Maybe it is good that I am sticking to making patterns for WW&F full sized projects.

Bernie
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum