W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

Other Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad => Topic started by: Matthew Gustafson on May 15, 2012, 06:03:19 PM

Title: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on May 15, 2012, 06:03:19 PM
Ive seen no new updates from the museums website except for operating time days. Anything new going on there like restoration, maintance, or anything? Anybody here have any updates?  ???
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on May 15, 2012, 06:23:06 PM
I'm a member and this year I never received a renewal notice. Nor have I received a newsletter in ages. The website is unbelievably dated as well.  I think they mean well, but have trouble communicating with their members and the outside world in general.

It's too bad, because they have made great progress over the years.  But you have to communicate.

Does anyone have an idea what's going on up there?
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on May 15, 2012, 06:35:56 PM
Thats strange. I mean its a shame that they dont use the website to keep us updated that much anymore. I hope somebody here will give us some answers  ???  :(
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on May 15, 2012, 11:38:49 PM
I recently received my SR&RL membership renewal and newsletter the "Ledger".  Erin had to step down from the editors job so Noah MacAdam has taken her place.  The latest SR&RL Ledger highlights some of the things that happened in 2011 and will continue this year.

A bit of news from the Ledger -

A Fay Scott 36" lathe was donated by Gordon Davis.  It needs a few repairs and will be set up in the shop for turning wheel sets.

Sandy River coach #5 (SR&RL #17) is getting new wooden frame roll-over seats to replace the missing original cast iron seats.  

Boxcar #59 has a new end sill and has been re-sheathed.  This car is one of the rare cars with small end doors.

Caboose 559 is getting handbrakes on one truck.  To accomplish this, one truck was rebuilt with a new top frame for the brake beam.

The Model A railcar is progressing with some of the smaller parts being fabricated.`

Hillside flag stop - Last year the original 10X14' Hillside flag stop shelter was donated by a family and moved to Phillips.  It was placed along the southern most part of the mainline.  The structure has a tin roof and is in fairly good shape, complete with graffiti dating back to 1897.  At some point the door was enlarged but the original door post locations are in the top sill so the station can be restored to it's original configuration.   The enlarged door made some think the structure was used as a section house but research indicated that it was always a flag stop until the railroad shut down.  The building originally sat 4.6 miles from Strong on the Franklin & Megantic and will eventually be painted in the F&M's maroon and mustard colors.

Stewart  
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on May 16, 2012, 01:26:15 AM
Then there's still hope that I might receive my renewal notice!

Some years ago I spoke with Jerry Devos. He had tried editing the Ledger. Unfortunately, he gave up after a couple of issues and it returned to its haphazard schedule. He had been working on it from his New Jersey home, and told me that trying to get material to publish was difficult at best.

They would get much more support if only they would update their website (2009 "news") and put out the Ledger on a regular basis.  Phillips is so far off the beaten track that most people who would support them can only get their information from those two sources, so it's crucial that they be more up to date and timely.  Not being critical, just pointing out facts.

Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Steve Klare on May 17, 2012, 08:58:04 PM
I just got my Ledger, and I was pretty impressed with it: a lot of interesting content.

Some years (decades?...centuries?) ago when I was single, twenty something and more active there I was sitting behing the counter in Phillips station and I found a box of their earliest newsletters. They dated back to not too long after the first rails were spiked down there. Really interesting: wish I has copies of them now.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on May 18, 2012, 12:55:02 AM
We were up there in the mid to late 1960s, and already someone had been laying "track" at Phillips across the river where the museum is now.  It was mostly old hunks of mismatched rail spiked to ties which were really only hunks of log or even some original SR&RL ties that had lain around since the scrapping.

There was some sort of crude 4 wheel push car, and some odds and ends of junk. That was it.  So, from that simple beginning they have progressed to where they are now. Mostly due to just a couple of people at the start, and for some years afterward.

Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on May 18, 2012, 01:32:57 AM
True, the Sandy River group had crude beginnings 40 years ago but Wes Spear and a few others brought about the first rebuild of a Maine two footer.  With the dream of running trains, rail was put back on the P&R grade and #4, a nice replica locomotive was built. #4 is now 4 decades old and still going.  The SR&RL has the best collection of original two-foot structures in Maine, from the Phillips crew house and three flag stop stations to the only two level section house (Reeds), all restored and in use.  Add in one of the few 8 stall narrow gauge roundhouses in the U.S. and you have a great museum.  New freight car trucks have been built and the mainline rail is now 60lb.  With Monson 3 coming back this year steam will be afoot on the SR&RL.  Like any museum there are many things to improve but they have come a long way since 1970. 

Stewart
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Hansel Fardon on June 20, 2012, 08:11:16 PM
Does anybody know whats left for #3's restoration? I'd LOVE to go up there and film while it's running! I remember I went the year before the restoration (and even got a cab ride in #3!)
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on June 23, 2012, 02:38:56 PM
We only wish they would better communicate with the "outside world".  That is their greatest downfall.  We've been all over this before, but it never seems to get resolved.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on June 26, 2012, 08:38:20 PM
This communication was just posted in another 2ft mailing list:

=====

As many of you know, the SR&RL leased Maine Narrow Gauge's Monson #3 back in 2008 so the SR&RL could retube the boiler and operate her on the SR&RL on a 15 year lease agreement.  The good news is that we expect her back on the property shortly as the boiler has passed it's preliminary hydro test.  The bad news is that the SR&RL is now totally broke having spent over $100,000 rather than the $25,000 anticipated due to a long list of unanticipated expenses.

I beg all of you to visit:
http://www.srrl-rr.org/news/money_troubles.htm (http://www.srrl-rr.org/news/money_troubles.htm)
and make whatever donation you can.  Do you know steam fans not on this list?  If so, please pass this along.  We estimate that it will take $25,000 just to get us out of the financial hole this project has put us in.  That does not count the fact that all other major projects have stopped for lack of money.

Please help!
Bob Troup
Secretary, SR&RL RR
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on June 27, 2012, 12:23:30 AM
We recently heard that someone had donated $60,000 toward the rehab of #3. Can anyone substantiate that? If true, is that sum reflected in what has been spent, and what is left?

It sounds as if MNG got a virtually new boiler for their #3 at the expense of the SR&RL Group.  If the latter organization cannot pay for the work, then does that break the lease?  If so, SR&RL will have gone bankrupt for no product.

Surely it must have been suspected that the #3 would require more than just a retubing. It sounds as if the whole project became a "tar baby" from which the more you struggled, the deeper in you got.  I'm not sure that folks will want to take a chance on tossing more money into this situation with no guarantee that all the problems will be overcome. 

All museums are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. The further out on the fringes, the worse the effect. Even if conditions turn around, we are hearing from historical groups that the public has become spoiled by electronics and sophisticated entertainment, to the point that old house museums, historical societies, and small special interest museums will have trouble maintaining their operations in a new era. 

Perhaps the SR&RL Group needs to sit down and take a long breath and rethink
their future in realistic terms before asking for even more money.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: James Patten on June 27, 2012, 12:38:16 AM
In SR&RL's defense, everyone went into the project thinking that all they needed was new tubes.  Then Brian & Jason discovered the issues with the staybolts, which canned MNG's #4 and has drawn out the #7 project, and nearly canned #10.  I'm sure if they knew then what they know now, they'd have rather have had a new boiler built for 3/4 of the cost.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on August 18, 2012, 12:37:36 AM
Sometimes you have to look at the horse's teeth before you buy him.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: James Patten on August 20, 2012, 12:48:49 AM
I finally got around to sending in money to help out with the Monson #3 boiler work.  I asked how much they still needed to raise.  Bob Troup said that his post to the newsgroups/discussions forums netted about $1000.  If you look at the figures quoted on their website page (http://www.srrl-rr.org/news/money_troubles.htm), there's still a long way to go!

Once again - anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated.  Bob says they won't go under, but the belt will be pretty tight for a while.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 02, 2013, 09:23:55 PM
Update on #3 posted 1/1/2013 at:
http://www.srrl-rr.org/Projects/Monson_3/Monson_3.htm

The engine is back in Philips and awaiting some final work and assembly.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on January 03, 2013, 02:04:49 AM
Gosh If I had some money right now I would donate to them right now. Im sorry to hear that they are flat out broke right now. I hope they get the money soon.  :o :-[ :( ;)
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on January 04, 2013, 12:28:32 AM
Who made up the difference between the estimated amount of $25,000 and the actual amount of $128,000?  Or is that, "on the tab"? That's $103.000 to come up with.  From where? Within what time frame? Wasn't Phillips advised how much the final cost was getting to be as work went along?  Who gave the "go ahead" in spite of the vast over-budget amount that was piling up?

Again, is not Maine Narrow Gauge Museum the real owner of #3?   So the Phillips folks are basically on the hook for a rebuilt locomotive, which they don't own. And the MNG gets a rebuilt locomotive for free, plus lease payments from Phillips.  Is that correct?

Is there an itemized bill of material and labor for the work done so far on #3?  If so, I think it should be made public before asking for more donations.  Who's to say that future donations will be any better accounted for?  There seem to be way too many extra marbles in this game.  Speaking for myself, I would be hesitant to toss one more cent into this pot without knowing a whole lot more about what went down so far, and what may yet lie ahead. 

Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Vincent "Lightning" LeRow on January 04, 2013, 07:03:15 PM
RE:
Quote
Again, is not Maine Narrow Gauge Museum the real owner of #3?   So the Phillips folks are basically on the hook for a rebuilt locomotive, which they don't own. And the MNG gets a rebuilt locomotive for free, plus lease payments from Phillips.  Is that correct?

MNG is the current owner of #3, and leased to Phillips for a rebuild, no payments on top of that.  At the time of the lease (before issues with #10 and consequently all of the Dylan built Edaville boilers cropped up) the expected work was new tubes and running gear work (timing, tramming, wheel turning etc.).  with volunteer labor factored in 25k was a reasonable, perhaps slightly optimistic, number for materials and occasional expertise.

It has been said before "if what is known now was known then, this lease would not have happened."  Hind sight is  20/20.

As a whole, let's stop trying to demonize MNG for this.  They did not intentionally lease a lemon.  They are not trying to gut another organization for a free rebuild.  #3 was the regular engine for quite some time before re-doing #4, which was estimated to be in worse condition than #3 and spent many years plinthed in the museum building.

The intended plan was to lease #3 to Phillips where it could run as-is without a form 4, and with a suspected light overhaul (tubes and running gear) it would return to MNG with approximately 5-10 years of form 4 left.  It would have been a boon to both parties if things went to plan, but the plan was only good until the battle started.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 04, 2013, 07:26:17 PM
let's stop trying to demonize MNG for this.

Moreover, I'd prefer to give all parties the benefit of the doubt - and not "demonize" (a strong term, but I'll let it slide) either party.

MNG made what they considered a reasonable deal, and SRRL agreed. The locomotive (no matter who owns it, leases it, or whatever) needs money for continued operation. It is in *everyone's* best interest to see it under steam again.

The deficiencies with the Edaville-ordered boilers (all 5 of them) are now well known by the various mechanical-minded people of the organizations. I suspect this was discovered as #3, #4, and #7 all were worked on during the same time frame.

I really doubt that anyone sets out to ruin someone else's organization (or their own.) We're all human. Mistakes are made, and lessons are learned.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: John McNamara on January 04, 2013, 08:14:44 PM
I would hope that all readers of the WW&F Discussion Forum are also readers of the Interchange forum at www.rypn.org. There they will find chronicles of dozens (hundreds?) of other restoration projects that involved the expenditure of more time and money than was ever envisioned. Old locomotives (and old buildings) are full of surprises. Mid-project we say,  "We'd never have started this had we known," and wish we could have examined the historic object with some sort of MRI-like machine to reveal the hidden flaws. However, with such perfect fore-knowledge, most of our history would lie rusting and rotting before us with no attempt to salvage it.

-John
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Keith Taylor on January 04, 2013, 09:11:42 PM
I know that with any of my home repair projects....it always turns out to be way more involved than I ever imagined. It also will require six trips to the hardware store to buy tools that I know I own, but cannot find.

Keith
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on January 04, 2013, 09:31:34 PM
"Lightning" has struck!

Thank you for the explanation. That's what we needed to know. . . the details behind this situation.  Some of the questions we posed still have gone unanswered, but we'll leave it at that for now, lest we give the Moderator cause for alarm.

We were not, and are not, trying to "demonize" anyone or any organization. Merely trying to get to the bottom of the story.  If the ordinary person is being asked to continually send more money to a group, they at least deserve to know the details of what's going down, so they can make up their minds whether or not to continue to support the project.  There's way too many "pie in the sky" projects going on out there. We all know what they are and where they are and how long they've been "in the sky".  People begin to get gun shy after seeing these "black holes" parade past in review over the years.

We wish ALL restoration projects well, but we urge more complete communication up front and continually from the "inner circle" folks to the rest of us out here in the boonies who are being asked to support them. That's all.  Then we can choose what to support and to what extent.

The WW&F always has done well in fundraising because they constantly COMMUNICATE to the members and they SHOW in the newsletter the proof of the pudding, so to speak. Members and other potential donors have come to expect no "surprises" at the WW&F, only success stories, year in and year out.  That's what some of the other organizations need to emulate.  We hope they will.

Richard

PS: Happy New Year to all
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Mike Fox on January 06, 2013, 01:53:26 AM
I would like to think that with the completion of No. 3, this could be a success story you are looking for from them. They are a much smaller organization than the WW&F or MNGRR. Less of a "core group" to do the thank you's, etc. I am looking forward to a ride behind it again once it is operational.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Colby Miles on February 19, 2013, 03:00:49 PM
If anything, SR&RL not having a core group is what hurts them the most if anything. I am going to, should time permit, start volunteering at SR&RL and help them out. I am a 7 year old hand at this point from MNGRR. I think they could really use an extra hand up there.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on March 10, 2013, 10:28:12 PM
That's a great idea!
I wish I lived closer so I could do the same but... oh well.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Mike Fox on September 05, 2015, 11:39:35 PM
I know this thread is old, but have no other place to put this. So here goes.

While out doing the family thing, I managed to sneak a railroad related item in since I was the wheel steerer. I stopped late afternoon and parking by the roundhouse, got out to see what was happening. I was just in time to see Noah lowering the motor into the replica railcar he is building. Not much to see of it yet, but what there was was done perfectly. I also took a few minutes to look around the roundhouse at the several other projects they have. The coach they have been working on is looking real nice, though years away from being done, barring a big push on it.
The train was out with some passengers and they pulled from the station up to the roundhouse, pulled by #4, the Wesley Spear. I said something about the locomotive being historic, and Noah said it was 45 years old. A historical piece in itself.
The train was an open car and a caboose, 559 I think, but don't hold me to it.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on September 06, 2015, 03:08:19 AM
Did you gather anything firsthand about #3 while you were there? The most recent update I can find is 3 yrs old now.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Mike Fox on September 06, 2015, 10:50:22 AM
Did not ask.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Hansel Fardon on October 31, 2015, 09:10:05 PM
Since its FB official now, here's the link:

https://www.facebook.com/BridgtonSacoRiverEngine7Rebuild/posts/921800834522880 (https://www.facebook.com/BridgtonSacoRiverEngine7Rebuild/posts/921800834522880)
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on October 31, 2015, 09:38:43 PM
For those who don't have Facebook...
Quote
Today, another huge milestone was reached on the path to rehabilitating the Maine Narrow Gauge Steam fleet. Monson Railroad #3 moved under its own power again for the first time in 8 years following a major boiler overhaul. This accomplishment reflects a strengthening partnership between the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, Sandy River and Rangley Lakes Railroad and Maine Locomotive and Machine Works. Over the next couple of weeks, final reassembly will take place and the locomotive will be transported to Portland for FRA inspection and placement into service for Polar Express. In the spring #3 will be returned to Phillips, Maine where it will operate at the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad Museum through an ongoing lease agreement with the Maine Narrow Gauge. We hope you will celebrate this major milestone with us by riding behind #3 during Polar Express or in Phillips next season.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Philip Marshall on November 01, 2015, 12:19:39 AM
Great news!
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on November 01, 2015, 12:54:02 AM
Fantastic! I didn't even know that #3 had been MOVED there!
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Fred M. Cain on March 27, 2018, 12:22:43 PM
Can anybody update this thread for me?  I'm trying to find out how much track SR&RL has and what (if any) their expansion plans are.  I sent them an e-mail to their website online contact form but did not get a response.

Perhaps we have another active thread on this, I don't know.  Anybody have any info on this?

Regards,
Fred M. Cain,
Topeka, IN
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: James Patten on March 27, 2018, 01:52:29 PM
The SR&RL museum has about 3/4 of a mile of mainline track, if I remember correctly.  Plus some sidings, and an 8-stall roundhouse. 

They have a new president (as of October last year), Sharon Berber, who hopes to shake things up a little bit.  In previous years they have been open infrequently (1 or 2 weekends a month), which understandably limits the income.  Sharon wants to be open more often and more regularly.  Part of the issue is volunteers for the operation.

There are plans to build a storage barn, but I think those plans were set aside after they had to pay for repairing #3's boiler years ago.  I don't know where they are with it now.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Joe Fox on April 03, 2018, 08:24:28 AM
They have several projects being worked on in the roundhouse such as coach restoration, and a few other projects. They have a very nice set up, and although the operation is short, there is a lot to see. From things like historic artifacts, buildings, and train ride it iis neat to see what a shop yard looked like back in the day.

The operation would love to expand, but has a river on one end, and a road on the other. Going across the river into downtown Phillips would be cool because then you would be near the old Phillips station, which is still standing.
 
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Tom Casper on April 03, 2018, 10:38:23 PM
Where are those Navy Seabees?

Tom C.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Bob Holmes on April 03, 2018, 11:29:00 PM
Speaking of historic artifacts, did you know that the very first American two foot locomotive -- Ariel of the Bedford and Billerica -- resides at the Sandy River.  It is obviously just a rusting remains, but when it was pointed out to me, I was truly awed...
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: John Meixel on April 04, 2018, 07:25:03 PM
Bob, I didn't know that.  Is it the rusting boiler I saw years ago in Phillips somewhere?
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Philip Marshall on April 04, 2018, 08:05:30 PM
My understanding is that the boiler is supposed to be from P&R No. 4 'Bo-Peep', ex- Sandy River No. 2, which would be Billerica & Bedford 'Puck' rather than 'Ariel'. It came from the old Starbird sawmill in Strong, and was identified in the 1970s by Virgil Starbird who said his grandfather had purchased the remains of 'Bo-Peep' from the SR&RL when the engine was being scrapped, circa 1912.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Bob Holmes on April 04, 2018, 11:51:01 PM
Your information is better than mine.  If it's Puck instead of Ariel, it's still amazing!!
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Skyler Kimball on April 05, 2018, 12:11:56 PM
Here is a map concerning the situation involving the road and river.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: John Kokas on April 05, 2018, 10:32:03 PM
If we haven't done so already, maybe we should let our friendly bridge engineer know about the situation.  One never knows when an orphan bridge may need a new home.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 06, 2018, 12:52:51 AM
John,
What a great idea to help out our friends to the north.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: James Patten on April 06, 2018, 01:16:26 AM
The gap over the Sandy River is much bigger than the gap over Trout Brook.  So they'd need a bridge probably 3 times our size.  However I think there's a house immediately across the river, so that property would need to be bought out.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Philip Marshall on April 06, 2018, 02:40:48 AM
The P&R covered bridge was long enough (~200 feet) that it had a center pier in the middle of the river that has since disappeared. The granite abutments are still in place on either side though.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Mike Fox on April 06, 2018, 01:26:53 PM
(http://i1132.photobucket.com/albums/m573/miketrainnut/Screenshot_2018-04-06-09-18-31_zps0neiehvh.png)Here is what is left of the center pier. Ice flow took most of it away.
Title: Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
Post by: Bill Piche on April 10, 2018, 07:52:02 PM
The P&R covered bridge was long enough (~200 feet) that it had a center pier in the middle of the river that has since disappeared. The granite abutments are still in place on either side though.

The center pier didn't so much disappear as fell over into the river when there was some bad ice in it. Some of it is still there under the water but it's probably not salvageable at this point I would think. The center rock makes a great place to hang in the middle of the river when the water's low, though.