W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

Other Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad => Topic started by: John Meixel on November 01, 2017, 12:44:09 AM

Title: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 01, 2017, 12:44:09 AM
In another topic I described a Sandy River hat badge that I bought in Farmington, Maine back in the late 70s early 80s. I also bought a Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes whistle at the same time. See attached pictures. Do you think it's from the SR&RL? Bob Werner thought it was from #15.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Bill Piche on November 01, 2017, 03:43:14 AM
Are there any markings at all on the whistle? What are the dimensions? Bowl diameter? Bell length? Size of the pipe in the inlet?

That looks like a lot of different single chamber whistles I've seen in the past, but I haven't seen them all either.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 01, 2017, 11:03:36 AM
Bill, the whistle is 13" tall from base to top of finial.  The bell is 5.5" tall and 3" in diameter.  There are no markings.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 12:42:13 PM
Bill, On the NGDF another poster asked for the whistle's dimensions and said he believed it was too small to be on a SRRL engine.  What do you and others think?
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Bill Piche on November 03, 2017, 03:43:16 PM
It sounds like it's the right size to be a mill whistle. There were a lot of those up where the SRRL would have been running.

Locomotives used all manner of single note and "chime" whistles, but something like the 15 probably would have been given some sort of bigger whistle than a 3" when she was rebuilt by the Maine Central. A lot of the pictures from my copy of Sunset on the Sandy River show a lot of big 3 chime whistles on all manner of locomotives that were around at the same time as 15.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 05:23:20 PM
The other interesting thing about this whistle is when I bought it it was completely black from tarnish and a piece of pipe was still inside that had been cut off.  This is what you would expect to see when coming from a scrapped locomotive.  From a mill I would expect it to be unscrewed from its mount.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Bill Piche on November 03, 2017, 06:28:25 PM
A whistle that hasn't been off for a while will be hard to get off the pipe. We take the whistle off of our locos in Portland every year and they're tough to get started. Moreso some years than others.

Mills get scrapped the same way that locomotives do, and I don't think that the whistle would have been tarnished all that much if it was accessible on a steam dome. Most crews would keep brass items like the bell and the whistle clean. If it was high on a pipe in a mill it wouldn't be touched at all until it came back down after years (or decades) of use.

There used to be a BIG (at least 6 inch, maybe 8 inch) Portland co whistle on a pipe attached to the old erecting shop that was probably up there since before the old Portland company closed in the 80s. That had a flange connector between the whistle base and the pipe, and they took that apart rather than spin off the whistle or the flange from the pipe. Don't know who took it but I assume it was somebody who was involved with PYS.

All this is based on my limited experience. I wasn't there when it came off of whatever it came off, so for all I know it really is a SRRL locomotive whistle. It could be SRRL but just not from 15 (brass whistles that looked like that would be more common on an older loco or could be from 15's previous life as P&R 3).
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Philip Marshall on November 03, 2017, 06:56:26 PM
I've been going through all my SR&RL books looking at whistles in the photos, and I'm quite sure at this point that it's not from No. 15 or any of the other "big" engines. (Bob Werner may have been an authority on SR&RL motive power, but I just can't see what he was thinking here.) However, there are some photos of No. 7 (P&R 'Calvin Putnam') with a whistle similar to this, even down to the pointy "acorn" nut on top. So, if it really is from an SR&RL engine, then my best guess would be No. 7.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 07:09:43 PM
Cool thanks! 
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Philip Marshall on November 03, 2017, 07:13:42 PM
Speaking of SR&RL whistles, I recall reading that Edgar T. Mead purchased several of them when the railroad was being scrapped, at the same time that he acquired the railbus. I'd love to know where they ended up.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 07:31:12 PM
What book and page number was it on?
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Philip Marshall on November 03, 2017, 08:05:43 PM
If you have the Two Feet Between the Rails books, see for example the picture of No. 7 jacked up on blocks in the Phillips shop, volume 2 page 71 (which, oddly enough, is credited to the collection of Bob Werner).
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 09:29:12 PM
I just got home and looked in the book and agree it looks the same.  My wife also agrees so that makes it official.  Back in the 80s, when I was still living in New Jersey, I took it to a train show and showed it to Bob Werner.  That's when he said he thought it was from #15.  He also put it up to his mouth and blew it!
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Bill Baskerville on November 03, 2017, 09:40:58 PM
John,

With the caveat that I am no expert, what has occurred is that there is now some agreement and more importantly, it has been written down.   

Hence, history now records that the whistle you have is from SR&RL #7.

Good buy.  Now when you are ready, pick a good museum to entrust that narrow gauge artifact for perpetuity.

Bill 
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 09:54:12 PM
Bill,

Will do!

Of course this information is now on the Internet which makes it fact!
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Philip Marshall on November 03, 2017, 10:17:34 PM
But for another very similar whistle ~20 years earlier on a different engine, see pictures of F&M No. 1 at Carrabassett on Two Feet Between the Rails volume 1 pages 174-175 and 176-177.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 03, 2017, 11:05:40 PM
It does look similar but seems to be a bit fatter or shorter.
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Mike the Choochoo Nix on November 05, 2017, 12:03:22 AM
An interesting whistle, I have a similar whistle with a nine inch tall bell that came off my great uncle's traction engine. Have you blown yours on high pressure air? Wear ear plugs if you do, I speak from experience. Mike Nix
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 05, 2017, 01:21:40 PM
It has been blown once on my my friend's Cagney locomotive.  Yes it was loud!
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: Steve Smith on November 06, 2017, 02:02:30 AM
John, are there any videos of your friend's Cagney on Youtube, and if so, could you post links to them?
Title: Re: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Whistle
Post by: John Meixel on November 06, 2017, 03:10:47 AM
Steve, No there aren't plus he recently sold it to the Strasburg Railroad so you will be able to ride behind it someday!