W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: John McNamara on August 13, 2019, 02:15:13 PM

Title: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: John McNamara on August 13, 2019, 02:15:13 PM
On August 18, 1996 Jason was bending a guard rail for a Sheepscot switch. He was using flatcar 118 as a work surface.
(https://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f379/john_mcnamara2/Jason%20Bends%20Rail_zpsrrxfsmeu.jpg)
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: John McNamara on August 13, 2019, 03:50:26 PM
Here are parts of the switch for which Jason was bending a guard rail on the previous 8-18-96 post.
(https://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f379/john_mcnamara2/Switch%20Point_zpskrnnxmeb.jpg)
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Baskerville on August 13, 2019, 04:06:09 PM
When it comes to railroading Jason is far more skilled in so many ways than am I.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Steve Zuppa on August 13, 2019, 04:30:28 PM
Ah, the good old days. When we used skill, ingenuity and hand tools to build a dream. When we shared a vision. When we all pulled in the same direction. When we gave whatever we had if it would further the goals of the Museum. When we became the darling of the restoration community by doing the seemingly impossible with next to nothing. All the while being what we jokingly referred to as "the best kept secret in Lincoln County". When a diverse group of folks became friends and ultimately ( do I dare say it?) family. When we didn't aspire to be the more than what we were. I miss the good old days.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Wayne Laepple on August 13, 2019, 06:52:38 PM
"Oh, the times, they are a-changing...."  --  Bob Dylan
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Reidy on August 13, 2019, 07:35:32 PM
I'm curious which switch at Sheepscot received these parts.

Great photos, John.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: James Patten on August 13, 2019, 08:32:04 PM
My best guess, based on the date, would be the switch heading into Bay 3, from the Bay 2 lead. 
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Reidy on August 13, 2019, 09:47:26 PM
So this later was replaced by/became part of the three-way switch?
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: James Patten on August 14, 2019, 06:51:30 AM
After the 3-way stub was built, the switch was moved to the western track.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Keith Taylor on August 14, 2019, 08:24:38 AM
Here's a point for the switch for which Jason was bending a guard rail on the previous 8-18-96 post.
(https://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f379/john_mcnamara2/Switch%20Point_zpskrnnxmeb.jpg)
That’s not the point John, it is the frog of the turnout.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bernie Perch on August 14, 2019, 08:49:33 AM
Ten years from now, someone will be referring to now as "the good olde days".  I do feel what Steve is referring to.  At one time the railroad was quaint.  Now it is starting to become "big time".

Bernie
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Mike Fox on August 14, 2019, 10:38:04 AM
I agree Bernie. The times of single projects with one leader that everyone works on are behind us. We now have several projects, some with the same leader, but all that take different skills, simutaneously going on. It is hard to keep up with. One thing we all like to see is progress.. Moving forward.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Benjamin Richards on August 15, 2019, 12:48:45 PM
I'm younger than a lot of folks here. In fact, I'm younger than the museum itself.

I want to be sensitive but also clear. I have lots of cherished memories from my younger years, and I hope to make many more throughout my life. However, we should be careful not to let nostalgia (as a cognitive bias) distract from the mission of the museum. When newcomers hear things such as have been shared in this thread, it is very easy for them to not only feel that they are somehow missing out on something or "late to the party", but also feel that they are in fact unwelcome, as if somehow their presence (as part of the growing group) is contributing directly to the passing away of the "good times", as it were.

From what I can see, the museum has thus far stayed faithful to its mission statement. To me, that's a very important measure of success, and an important driver for recruiting and continuing volunteer interest.

Anyway, I hope I did not offend anyone. I'll be sending my annual appeal check pretty soon.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 15, 2019, 01:24:16 PM
Hi Ben,

Everyone is always welcome at the WW&F. This has been one of the hallmarks of our organization - to make lots of friends and share common goals. I pray that will never change.

The WW&F is also readily transparent in all matters. BOD meetings are open to all members, with notes available to those unable to attend. Members are constantly being polled for ideas, suggestions, etc., and everyone's feedback is considered before major decisions are made. All projects and events are rendered in light of the museum's Mission, Values, and (soon to be published officially) Vision statements. And, as you say, doing so in light of the mission is a key measure of success.

Of course, not everyone will agree with every change that has occurred over the last 30 years - but we are blessed that most everyone, once the leading circumstances are disclosed, gives each new endeavor their full support; then offers suggestions on how to make it better. This trust ensures that funds are spent wisely, and resources/volunteers allocated appropriately.

So thanks for jumping on board with us, and here's to what the next 30 years will bring! And trust me, you didn't miss much when we were doing hand tamping, or shaving telephone poles to make railroad ties! (Anyone got more "old days" photos they want to share?)

-Ed
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 15, 2019, 01:37:05 PM
Here's a good photo of where we've been - Sheepscot, 1992.
Notice the pile of telephone poles ties waiting to be installed. I think some of them may still be on the mainline in front of the station!
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Mike the Choochoo Nix on August 15, 2019, 02:06:20 PM
When I was a teenager I realized that there were two kinds of people in the world. Those that said it can't be done, and those that found a way to do it. I'm glad that the volunteers at the WW&F have been the latter kind. Keep up the good work, and I hope to see you in October.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Mike Fox on August 15, 2019, 02:10:33 PM
Nicely said Ed. I will add that the good old days saw less volunteers per day than there is now. We are growing, and we need the help to continue to grow. So continue to join in the fun. Create more memories. We can do it.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Philip Marshall on August 15, 2019, 03:12:47 PM
(Anyone got more "old days" photos they want to share?)

I believe I've posted these on the forum before, but here are two pictures from July of 1990. That's 15-year old me in the blue shirt with my late brother Steve and, of course, Harry Percival (second picture, far right).
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 15, 2019, 05:02:54 PM
Wow Philip!
I never knew you went back that far with the WW&F.

The photos of your late brother remind me of another important piece of what we share - that is the ability to spend time with loved ones while volunteering here. Some of my best father-daughter times were at the railroad. Now my daughter is all grown up, living in China (the country not the town in Maine), and I have those memories to cherish. I think of her every time we pass along Albee's field - where the second photo was taken during the Spring Work Weekend in 2008; the first photo is from 2003, looks like we're on the ladder.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Philip Marshall on August 15, 2019, 05:22:22 PM
Wow Philip!
I never knew you went back that far with the WW&F.

The photos of your late brother remind me of another important piece of what we share - that is the ability to spend time with loved ones while volunteering here. Some of my best father-daughter times were at the railroad. Now my daughter is all grown up, living in China (the country not the town in Maine), and I have those memories to cherish. I think of her every time we pass along Albee's field - where the second photo was taken during the Spring Work Weekend in 2008; the first photo is from 2003, looks like we're on the ladder.

Thanks, Ed. I like to think of the things we build in this world (like the railroad) as a way of preserving the memories of people who were with us then but who are now gone, and as a way for others in turn to remember us.

Yes, I joined in the first year as annual member #40 (I had to dig out my old membership card to confirm that), but then allowed my membership to lapse a few years later when I was in college and the complexities of adult life became too distracting. Then I rejoined five years ago after a gap of almost 20 years with a much higher member #, which means I missed out on a lot. :)
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Baskerville on August 15, 2019, 06:18:58 PM
These are the good "ole days".  There just hasn't been enough time since today for us to reminisce about yesterday, the 30th anniversary and annual picnic last weekend, the spring work weekend, or last falls work weekend or all the days and activities and adventures in between.

As a relative new comer with only about 13 or 14 years as a gandy dancer, it was the trains that brought me to Sheepscot.  It was the people who brought me back.  I try to remember that with each person that I greet, both the 'old hands' and the stranger who wanders in to look around mid week. 

This is our museum, all of us, young and old, newbies and old hands.  We are creating our own history and memories together while we recreate Maine's 2 foot Railroad History for all to see and enjoy.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bob Holmes on August 15, 2019, 07:00:38 PM
Just as an aside:  the frog for the new ramp track switch was built by a small team using essentially the same methods as shown at the top of this discussion.  Jason was still leading the work.  We used the large air driven rivet machine in the shop.  Even as we grow, the old ways of doing railroading are still very much with us.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on August 16, 2019, 09:59:22 AM
Hello you all ! I'am very interested in that discussion and I'd like to get my two cent's worth in. On the 56 years old AMTP, it's by now the third generation of volunteers that runs the association and operates the railroad .They are very young.  The officers are in their thirties and the BOD is as young  on the whole. They  have the qualities and the flaws of their age. They are very dedicated, active and go-getting and all due to them the slow dying AMTP is now off the hook. But on the other hand  they have kind of made a clean sweep of the past ,which quite a lot of directors and volunteers of  the second generation has very much resented and a few of  them have quitted. I joined the AMTP in 1973  but  I'm not a volunteer anymore. Yet, I'm still a member and I back up  the association leadership and the policy that the BOD implements but I avoid giving them advice and remenisceing  too much about the "good ole days" over my monthly visits because they would not appreciate it. But when I read  your wise replies  and especially Ed's,  I'm quite sure that the WW&F will know how to handle the tricky moment when the eldest start to give way to the newcomers in order to keep the friendly atmosphere that rules the association for it is the primary factor of your successful,and already very long adventure.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Mike Fox on August 16, 2019, 10:08:29 AM
I like to listen to those that worked before us. How it was done then may still be the best way to do now.. Someone else has already figured it out. Give them credit and run with it. Real experience is something that should never be over looked..
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on August 16, 2019, 10:51:58 AM
I fully agree with you Mike. When I was a newcomer I did like listen the eldest  remeniscing and giving me advice and  most of the newcomer did the same at that time. Eldest experience is always interesting and listening to advice avoids  being in trouble. But I must say  the atmosphere was  anything but friendly a few years back on the dying AMTP. But it's a sad story and not interesting at all.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: John Scott on August 17, 2019, 09:01:46 AM
What Alain has described has happened and is happening even here, on the other side of the world. I suspect that it would be the same, everywhere. Generational change is inevitable and Alain's approach is very wise.

Young people don't know enough to ask the right questions to gain the knowledge that they do not have - but they cannot be blamed for their youthful ignorance! Only time can close the knowledge gap and the exercise of patience is a necessity, on all sides.

The cultural changes that seem to be leading to reduced volunteer participation (everywhere) may be the most worrying development.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Joe Fox on August 17, 2019, 11:41:59 AM
Change is inevitable. In my 15 years with the museum now, I can honestly say that I may miss some of the times from the years when I first started, but looking at what we have become and where we are going our tracks lead to a bright and prosperous future. I have very much enjoyed the last 15 years with the railway, and look forward to the next 15 years, etc. We have amazing people, doing great and amazing projects.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Sample on August 18, 2019, 03:19:15 PM
I was up at the work weekend when Emily was helping out,  quite covered with Maine clay mud and really enjoying herself.  One thing she did was moving some rather large stones to the slope of  the Albee's crossing approach road and I'm sure they're still there if the logging equipment didn't disturb them.  I've mentioned that weekend to family and friends that I have ridden with on the train when passing that point.

Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Paul Crabb on August 18, 2019, 09:17:46 PM
I have the same memory of Emily as Bill does. She was definitely covered in mud and clay that day and I think I mentioned to her that her Mom might not be happy with how dirty she was. Didn't seem tp phase her. Seems like only a short time ago and now Ed says she's grown and in China. Time flies.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on August 19, 2019, 04:06:01 PM


John Scott wrote
Young people don't know enough to ask the right questions to gain the knowledge that they do not have - but they cannot be blamed for their youthful ignorance! Only time can close the knowledge gap and the exercise of patience is a necessity, on all sides.
I do agree with Scott but I have known ones of the old brigade that were not too eager to share their knowledges and  knowhow with newbies  because they were afraid that they would do better than they did eventually and  they would lose their pseudo prestige and authority consequently. As Scott rightly mentionned voluntary work is on the wane , so it's a duty for the eldest to  kindly welcome and properly train the newcommers  especially the young that  are the future of everything .It' quite up to the eldest to make the newcomers feel like staying in the association and continue what has been started before.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Dana Deering on August 20, 2019, 06:15:27 AM
I think Steve Z.  made some good points and one that I think, based on the responses, was missed.  I want to respond but I want my response to be thoughtful so I won't continue right now as I haven't fully put my thoughts together. 
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on August 20, 2019, 01:32:21 PM
Aspiration is a funny thing.

When I joined our organization in 1992 at 14 years old, I was three years into a deep study of the Maine two foot railroads, developing a particular appreciation for the public service to which these lines committed. As a kid- it was a wonder of the image of a two foot gauge plow train, complete with a caboose full of high-school-kid-helpers, working their butts off two two days straight, all for this mysterious and vague but obviously high calling purpose.

I never put a finger on it as a 12 year old, but I knew it was worthy of living on. So, without knowledge of Harry’s Sheepscot Valley Railroaders in any way, I began writing my 12-year-old version of rebuilding the railway, beginning in Albion. It was an elaborate plan that was all designed from Webb’s Economics of Railroad Construction, 1906. It was childish silliness- complete with analysis of balancing directional freight traffic flows, designing passenger commuter services, and amortizing maintenance costs.

Finally, at 13, I convinced my father to bring me on a tour of the line, beginning of course in Albion. I’d memorized the route of the road from Big Dreams & Little Wheels and Two Feet to Tidewater, so we found many of the nooks and crannies which held evidence. Arriving in Alna, pulling down Cross Road, I expected to find what I’d found everywhere else- barely discernible abandoned right of way crossed by a modern road.

Instead- there was 1/3 of Harry’s train shed, complete with 60’ of two foot gauge track. A single information sheet presented the Sheepscot Valley Railroaders mission: Rebuild the Railway.

I have many memories of Harry Percival. Most of them are fabulous and treasured. Relaxing comfortably in an empty wheelbarrow as he chatted with my father and I the first time I met him. Making a wild concoction of a lunch in bay 1 cafe “hey let’s add an egg! Sure! Hey let’s add some bbq sauce! Sure!” Looking up at from the brookville at Harry’s broad, proud smile after he and I, alone, managed to dump it 8’ down the embankment just above Sheepscot station (on Monday, February 20, 1995). Seeing loco 9 for the first time in Alice’s barn on a private trip with Harry. On the return trip, seeing Harry’s wild eyes as they met mine-  he’d just got into the driver’s seat of the car adjacent his own while I waited in his passenger seat at the grocery store.

I got a great many things from Harry. Not the least of which was sharing a dream, separately born but grown together. What stands above all- the most important thing I learned from Harry has nothing to do with the railroad.  Value your dreams. He never said this to me. He never had to. It was an implicit part of our relationship.

My childhood fantasy was his when he was a child. At 14 years old, Harry “borrowed” his dad’s lumber and began rebuilding the railroad on the old grade behind their red cape in Head Tide (yes, THAT red cape).

Harry didn’t just teach me to dream and keep dreaming, he taught me to believe in dreams. Harry taught me to aspire. Without Harry- my childhood fantasy paper on how to rebuild the railroad would be left behind as just that- just as most others in my life have advised to let go of fantasy. Instead- that paper was a first draft.

As to the Museum- we advance on the shoulders of those who have given so much to support Harry’s aspirations.

Aspiration is a funny thing.  With support, it becomes a lifetime.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on August 21, 2019, 09:28:12 AM
 Thank you Jason for sharing your amazing and touching story. Living one's childhood dream is something priceless. Meeting Harry and being friendly welcoming by him althouh you were still almost a child was the paramount factor of your story. The first day I came in Pithiviers on the AMTP to  help out as a volunteer I was very kindly welcome by those ,much older than me, who were around.At the end of my first day I looked forwards to coming back because  I  was aware that I was about to make my dream come true.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Al Michelis on August 21, 2019, 10:03:43 AM
Thanks for sharing that Jason.  Even at my age, I find your story inspiring.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Baskerville on August 21, 2019, 12:03:15 PM
Jason,

What a wonderful story of your childhood dream and of Harry. It helps clarify what each of us brings to our railroad museum.

Harry is smiling proudly on your reflections and your accomplishments.

Thank you for sharing your childhood memories.
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Bill Sample on August 26, 2019, 09:59:14 PM
Jason, I thoroughly enjoyed your memories of your early days at the WW&F.  I didn't get there that often, but I seem to remember one time back before the turn of the century meeting you at the WW&F during the time I was learning a lot about the 2 footers.  I think you had ridden your bicycle to the WW&F that day and you were primarily working on track at this time and you said your goal was to have track to the same standards as Harlan White had on the Sandy River.  I must have just finished reading one of Jones's Sandy River books as I knew of Harlan White's work.  I remember thinking that if this young lad was that familiar and interested in the history of the 2-footers then there is a good future up here.  Since then I remember talking with other younger members such as Joe Fox and more recently Bryce Weeks, Dan Malkowski and James Noblini to name a few - yes, there is a lot of good youth around there. 
Now that I'm one of the old timers at my "home" railroad museum I try to spend extra time encouraging new and especially younger members there, usually adding "I started getting into rail preservation back in the 1960s when I was your age."
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
Post by: Ted Miles on August 30, 2019, 09:03:31 PM
This Reply to #14 looks like the picture i saw in Locomotive & Railway Preservation that introduced me to the museum. I have been admiring it ever since! Ted Miles, WW&F Life Member
Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F: Tracklaying in 2003
Post by: Graham Buxton on October 31, 2019, 08:03:27 PM
I was looking for something completely different and stumbled on this RYPN article from 2003 titled "WW&F Fall Track Meet 2003" (aka Fall Work Weekend 2003):

http://www.rypn.org/articles/single.php?filename=041114021315.txt

Of course, this was prior to Elmer Gantry being constructed, so things are a bit different ...

(http://www.rypn.org/rypn_files/articles/Articles/031028WWF/images/many%20hands%20rail.jpg)

More photos at that link, along with some [16 years younger] familiar faces.  ;)


Worth a look at the linked article.






Title: Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F: Tracklaying in 2003
Post by: Bill Baskerville on October 31, 2019, 11:09:58 PM
I was looking for something completely different and stumbled on this RYPN article from 2003 titled "WW&F Fall Track Meet 2003" (aka Fall Work Weekend 2003):

http://www.rypn.org/articles/single.php?filename=041114021315.txt

 ...

(http://www.rypn.org/rypn_files/articles/Articles/031028WWF/images/many%20hands%20rail.jpg)


Worth a look at the linked article.
When I was half way thru reading the article I looked for the author as I thought it read like Wayne's writing.  I had to go to the index to verify that our good friend and very dedicated volunteer Wayne Laepple wrote the article.

Wonderful reflection on a part of the history of the Museum.