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Messages - Russ Nelson

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Anybody ever brought up the 2' gas engine, two mine dump cars, 2' truck, and track panel (looks like Decauville) in Freeville, NY? Track panel looks lightweight. Maybe 25 pound rail? I was driving past it on Friday. Stopped in to the building, got a phone number for the owner. It's probably been sitting there for twenty years. They said they ran it last year and it ran fine. Owner had .... plans .... but time and resources are always limited.

Is this something useful to the museum? Should I make inquires? I have no use for it myself given that I'm selling the 87 acres of land on which I would install the track. I can't afford to buy it and donate it to the museum, either, so it would need a special fund-raising plan.

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Museum Discussion / Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« on: October 15, 2017, 12:56:26 AM »
I'm fantasizing about an ultimate railfan weekend at the WWF. What would it entail?
  • A train ride. Or two.
  • A runby of #9.
  • A tour of the facilities, including back shop, car barn, and rolling stock.
  • Letting people wander around the yard (which, frankly, you can't do anywhere else.)
  • A presentation on the history of the original railroad and the recreation.
  • A book, possibly just on the WWF, or all Maine two-footers
  • Meals
  • Accommodations
  • A bus tour of remaining bits of the WW&F not part of the Museum (if there are in fact enough worth looking at)
  • (feel free to add other suggestions below)

The way to do this at minimal financial risk is to get binding quotes for a certain patronage from everyone involved, then make it a kickstarter.

3
My apologies for not being able to give credit where credit is due, but a fellow standing next to me suggested that if we had a chute that guided the stone from the side of the flat into the gauge, that would let us unload the stone flats in record time. I added a few suggestions, like the chute should have wheels and ride on the rail head, and should be repositionable from one stake pocket to another.

But on my way home, I reconsidered that. On a day when you're laying ties and rails, you've got a lot of people. They can empty the stone train faster than it can be loaded, with six people to a side. I agree with my anonymous maker friend that it would be faster, but in terms of the system as a whole, it's an efficiency that's not needed.

A better efficiency, having laid track on both the Mill Spur on Saturday and the Main Line on Sunday, would be to get the grade as close to lined as possible. The Mill Spur was pretty darned flat. The Main Line was not, having had recently been culverted and filled with rip-rap.  I realize the world is not a perfect place, and that some improvements are already understood even if not always implementable. I'm just voting for a smooth railbed as my favorite.

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Original Railway / Re: Burnham Overhead Crossing
« on: October 14, 2017, 11:50:12 PM »
There were two potato houses, an icehouse, Bessey tannery, Chalmers Mill and a canning factory.  All of these were at the Albion terminus but not all at the same time.
So my guess is:
Outgoing cars: potato houses, ice house, finished tannery goods, finished mill products and canned goods.
Incoming cars: bark (possibly, but more likely from the Chalmers Mill), hides (more likely, coming from a slaughterhouse), tin for the cans.

Following up from Paul's post, there must have been a freight house to serve all those businesses. The bicycle makers would have needed steel tubing, tires, hubs, spokes, rims, seats. The agricultural customers would have needed grain coming in. The general store would have needed goods of all sorts, which probably came in barrels made in a cooperage (not here). Undertaker would have needed coffins. Might have made his own, or bought them locally, but I expect there are on-line coffin makers.

There were probably four or five spurs, and a run-around track because it was the end of the line.

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On April 28, 1869, during construction of the transcontinental railroad, crews built 10 miles in one day, a record that still stands.
Yes, and then they had to go back and rebuild it, because it was done so shoddily. They were getting paid by the mile, not by the usable mile. I'm pretty sure that the rails we laid Saturday morning for Mill Spur won't have to be redone. Lined and tamped, yes, but we were running trains on it Saturday afternoon and Sunday.

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Original Railway / Re: Burnham Overhead Crossing
« on: October 13, 2017, 05:29:52 PM »
Is there a listing of railroad customers? I'm curious what was in Albion to justify leaving the tracks down after pulling them back from Burnham Crossing. Just passenger service to Albion? Freight (probably). But any source of products going out? Or need for goods coming in? e.g. talc for high quality paper?

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Original Railway / Re: Burnham Overhead Crossing
« on: October 13, 2017, 05:22:38 PM »
Ah, Windsor, Winslow same thing. Lol.
I'm a mere Engine Wiper (literally -- wiped #9 down on Sunday morning)! Don't confuse me!

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Original Railway / Re: Burnham Overhead Crossing
« on: October 13, 2017, 03:06:00 AM »
Weeks Mills had a Wye, and he should have said Weeks Mills to Winslow section was built with removed trackage.
Aha! Gotcha.

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Original Railway / Re: Burnham Overhead Crossing
« on: October 12, 2017, 03:21:38 AM »
Tracks ended where the line would need to build across the Maine Central and the river. Money ran dry once more, and this remained the end of the line even though most of the grading between Farmington and Windsor was complete, and some bridges were built.
Great discovery! I'll do some research on the location and add it to my Unfinished Railroads page at http://russnelson.com/unfinished-railroads.html . I'm a little confused, though. Joe says that the line from Albion to Burnham Junction was torn up and built from Weeks Mills to Windsor. I can see ripping up from Albion to Burham Junction if you can't cross the MEC there. But Weeks Mills and Windsor are on the way to Albion, so wouldn't that section have been built already?

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Volunteers / Re: October 2017 Work Planning
« on: October 11, 2017, 08:06:07 PM »

* The Vic Hamburger memorial tree was planted yesterday, the memorial stone arrived this morning, and the dedication ceremony was this evening.
Please (somebody on site) make sure that the tree gets 5 gallons of water a day until the ground freezes. A newly transplanted tree won't be able to absorb most of the water, so it needs that much just to get a little.

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Work and Events / Re: Shop Building Improvements - Official Work Thread
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:51:24 PM »
The floor is sealed, so grease and oil stains should clean up with some kitty litter.

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Work and Events / Re: 2017 Fall Work Weekend Review
« on: October 10, 2017, 05:55:34 PM »
Thanks for the compliments. Google Photos didn't include this video, which I think is the best: https://photos.app.goo.gl/LaCH1ABYfpyPpSQ02

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Work and Events / 2017 Fall Work Weekend Review
« on: October 09, 2017, 03:18:04 PM »
Summary: Excellent time, would visit again

First time volunteer. Live in Weare, NH, a 3 hour ride. Heard about the WW&F via railroad.net, knew about the bi-annual work weekends. I had the weekend free-up unexpectedly, so I thought I would check it out. Came prepared with battery tools and hand tools in case I ended up working on carpentry or machines. Really wanted to do track work, though, because those other things you can do elsewhere or on your own house.

Friday we added ballast to track 2 and lined it.  Saturday was the most fun and we had the most people. More than enough people to lift a stick of rail and place it without feeling the weight. Added 18 sticks to the shingle mill siding, so 9 x 30, or 270 feet. Carried ties out, started spikes on one side, carried the first rail out, placed it up against the spikes. Carried the second rail out, bolted the rail joiners, spiked the first rail, gauged and spiked the second rail. Sunday we dropped more stone and added ties and another four sticks to the main line. Still needs ballast and alignment. We're now past the culvert on the south side of the dump truck access road.

Learned many subtleties, like the inside spikes should be on the same side of the tie to prevent the tie from rotating. Alternate ties should have the spikes on opposite sides. You should hit the spike with the spike maul. Not the tie. Not the railhead. Admired the skill of others who were able to drive in a spike like the tie was butter.

The sole unpleasant part of the work was waiting for the stone train to arrive. I want to work on a work weekend, not wait.

The bunkhouse was comfortable, if a bit "snorey" (I don't snore, of course, or if I do, I sleep through it). Definitely a bargain compared to any hotel. The food was hot, tasty, and plentiful, and on Saturday, delivered to us.

Updated OpenStreetMap at Top of the Mountain (https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/44.09555641992282/-69.62409245305264) and the yard (https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=19/44.06114088433436/-69.62396341684173). Added the mill siding and updated the new end of the line.



Photos and video from my weekend: https://photos.app.goo.gl/dtDphCUMCzMQ8xFz1

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