W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

Other Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Other Maine Narrow Gauge => Topic started by: Mike Fox on June 07, 2010, 12:25:29 AM

Title: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Mike Fox on June 07, 2010, 12:25:29 AM
Browsing some photos on Railpictures.net, I found this interesting photo.
http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=324676&nseq=16 (http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=324676&nseq=16)
 Anyone have any info on this?
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Cliff Olson on June 07, 2010, 10:52:15 AM
This appears to be the American Thread Co's former spool plant in Milo. Birch bolts (apparently originating on the MEC) arrived via the B&A (BAR).
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Keith Taylor on June 11, 2010, 03:41:27 PM
That is a very early friction drive Plymouth, when the builder was still known as The Fate, Root and Heath Co. Most of those early Plymouth friction drive locomotives had four cylinder Climax gasoline engines.
They are very sturdy and reliable little locomotives.
Keith
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Cliff Olson on June 15, 2010, 08:41:47 PM
Earlier, American Thread Co. had a spool mill in Willimantic (then called Howard), from which it hauled spools to Howard Siding in Abbot (just below Monson Jct. on the B&A) for shipment to Willimantic, CT.  This mill, about 30 miles from Milo, apparently did not have its own railroad.
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on February 17, 2015, 03:13:37 AM
This engine and a large collection of small ‘flat’ cars and track do indeed survive.  See
the attached link which is a story about an older gentleman from Milo Maine who purchased
some property including a shed in which was found The American Thread company's narrow
gauge equipment.

He set it up on his property in conjunction with a sawmill he was running in his basement!
He later put the collection up for sale and it is my understanding that Basketville – a basket
making mill and retail store in Putney Vermont purchased it with the intent to run it on their
property. It rusted away in the grass for several years and was then purchased by a fellow
in Southern Massachusetts who intended to set up a backyard railroad. The project proved
to be too costly for him so once again it was sold. At this time the collection is said to be on
the property of a cranberry bog owner also in southern Mass. Inspired by Edaville? No mention
of it can be found on the internet so the current status is uncertain.

A small grouping of wheels, axels and bearings remained at the second to last owners property.
I responded to a Craig’s list ad in which he was hoping to find a buyer at scrap price or that's
where they were headed.

As can be seen in the photographs(I was unable to add them as my file size is too large - I'll try to fix that) they are actually not two foot gage but more probably
19 inch gauge or possibly a metric gauge as all of the bearing housings are marked with Arthur Koppel’s Berlin Germany location – WW1 surplus?????


http://news.trcmaine.org/media.php?num=302
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Keith Taylor on February 20, 2015, 05:58:57 PM
As can be seen in the photographs(I was unable to add them as my file size is too large - I'll try to fix that) they are actually not two foot gage but more probably
19 inch gauge or possibly a metric gauge as all of the bearing housings are marked with Arthur Koppel’s Berlin Germany location – WW1 surplus?????

My guess is that the equipment is 2' gauge. The Metric equivalent is 60 cm which is just a hair under 2'.
My memory is terrible, but unless my memory is playing tricks on me, there is a Koppel dump car at Sheepscot.

Keith
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: James Patten on February 20, 2015, 08:08:18 PM
Your memory has not played tricks on you, there is a Koppel dump car (and several Koppel chassises) at Sheepscot.
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on February 20, 2015, 11:40:53 PM
As stated in my entry this line was NOT 24 inch gauge! I have a pile of wheel/axle
sets used in Milo but couldn’t post photographs because my files are too large and I don’t know how make them smaller.
I have uploaded several shots to photobucket which are hopefully accessible in the link below. 

They measure about 18 1/4 inches to the inside of the flanges so I’m guessing that it is about
19 inch gauge though it could be 20. I don’t know how much play there should be between the
rail and flange. Both 19 and 20 inch gauges along with many others were used by industrial
railroads throughout the world.

Do we know if the museum’s Koppel cars are the actual ones from the WW&F?

http://s870.photobucket.com/user/BENJAMINCAMPBELL5/library/American%20Thread%20Milo%20Maine%20narrow%20gauge%20Railroad?sort=3&page=1   
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: James Patten on February 21, 2015, 12:10:49 AM
Do we know if the museum’s Koppel cars are the actual ones from the WW&F?

They are supposed to be.  They were among the equipment that came north from the Ramsdell Farm.
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on February 21, 2015, 02:50:50 PM
Glad to hear that about the side dump cars - I wonder whether there was any confirmation
back in Harry’s day that they were the actual cars pictured in Wiscasset? They were a type
of car commonly used at early construction sites etc so may have come from another source.
If those are the WW&F cars it means the guys were scrounging around in the yard and it’s
too bad that they didn’t load up on other smaller artifacts.

I wish someone had grabbed one of the switch stands used in the Wiscasset yard. It seems
that was the only place on the line where they were used and I've never seen a similar one
on any other road. One can see writing cast on their sides but I've never seen a closeup
photograph where it can be read. Portland Company?
                        
The American Thread Company wheel sets which I have came off of wood frame
four wheel flat cars. The fellow had two of the steel frame four wheel flats shown in
the photograph which prompted this thread. I could have taken them but didn’t.

In all there were about 20 cars, the locomotive in the photograph, a cast iron turntable
and a large amount of track. I bought the left over scraps - the bulk of the collection is
purportedly on the grounds of a Massachusetts cranberry bog owner. Edaville all over
again! 
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Keith Taylor on February 21, 2015, 04:50:53 PM
A Plymouth that small is a real rarity!
I would like to see more photographs of it.
Do you know what make of i.c. engine it has? The two foot gauge Plymouths had Climax engines with a friction drive.
Keith
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: John McNamara on February 21, 2015, 05:12:15 PM
I wish someone had grabbed one of the switch stands used in the Wiscasset yard. It seems
that was the only place on the line where they were used and I've never seen a similar one
on any other road. One can see writing cast on their sides but I've never seen a closeup
photograph where it can be read. Portland Company?
I have some recollection that the switch stand nearest the water tank is a WW&F switch stand, but I don't know anything about it. Jason? James?
-John
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on February 21, 2015, 06:53:10 PM
John - I do believe that the switch stand you mention is modeled after a WW&F original. One of
our members made a beautiful wooden foundry pattern to produce it. I believe that there is at least
one unfinished casting somewhere in the shops.

The railroad had at least two types of switches though - probably more. The style that I am
talking about is only seen in the Wiscasset yards and date I believe back to the earliest days
of the W&Q. If you look in any of the books you will see them – Sort of milk bottle shaped.
Straight up in design and then thinning down to a narrow ‘neck”. There appears to be writing on
them but none of the photographs which I have seen are clear enough to read. They would be easy
foundry patters to make and casting to machine.

Keith - I’m not sure - I’m far from an expert on Plymouth engines or industrial powerplants for that matter. I’m tempted
to contact the photographer to see whether he has any other image from that day.
It’s amazing that this little line was running into the early 70s. How the world has changed!

She’s sitting somewhere in Southern Mass - hopefully under cover. To bad the present owner
isn’t doing something with it - or if he is - posting it on social media. I had - and may have -
an image of her sitting in tall grass in Putney Vt. Pretty rusty by then
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on March 07, 2016, 03:00:52 AM
Here is a link to some wonderful negatives of this line which sold on Ebay tonight. I had hoped to bid
but missed the end of the auction.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-Thread-Co-Milo-Maine-Action-RR-Negatives-B-W-Photo-Train-Vtg-Old-/141913487355?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMESINDXX%3AIT&nma=true&si=H0B7ffJuz7jHlBlseZuOY3ZKRds%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on March 09, 2016, 03:17:14 AM
That is a neat operation.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Mark Hendrickson on March 09, 2016, 03:33:42 AM
I have the 1978 edition of Northern Rails.  Published buy The 470 Railroad Club.  It states that the gauge is 18 3/4"  locomotives are 3-ton Plymouth Model AL.  SN 750 purchased 1919 and SN 895 purchased 1920.  Original built with Continental 4's replaced with Chrysler 6's.  For 1978 it states the locomotives are store, but cars are hand pushed.
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on March 09, 2016, 12:29:41 PM
Great info Mark! Are there any photos? I imagine that 18 ¾ inch gauge may in fact be a metric gauge.
The majority of the equipment was manufactured by Arthur Koppel and several of the bearings I have
are marked “Berlin” rather than with their Pennsylvania address.

The layout of this industrial line is super cool! There is at least one ‘diamond’ – there was at least one
turntable which still exists down here in Mass. We see some sort of ‘transfer table’ presumably
for transferring the bolts(squared up pieces of wood are called bolts) to the spool turning lathes.
Behind the transfer table we can see the line pass through a ‘tunnel’ in the building. Amazing that
this remained active into the 1970s.

Hard to tell whether the ‘bolts’ are arriving in the standard gauge cars or being shipped out in
them.

On a side note - I read somewhere that 18 inch gauge was the narrowest gauge that could
accommodate center aisle passenger cars.

It would be great if someone with better computer skills than I could permanently post the photos
in this thread. When the Ebay listing is pulled these historic photos may disappear into a private
collection. 
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Benjamin Campbell on March 09, 2016, 12:36:27 PM
Here is a link to a discussion about the Koppel bearings over at Practical Machinist.

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-and-history/early-light-railway-roller-bearings-274092/
Title: Re: Bangor Industrial Two Footer?
Post by: Mark Hendrickson on March 10, 2016, 03:02:04 AM
Odd gauge.  Works out 47.6 cm seems like I've read about it some where but can't find where yet.  My guess is the line may have been hand or 1 horsepower originally and then add locomotion later.  18" was fairly common in the mining world.  Used extensively at Homestake mining in South Dakota.  which was originally mule driven.