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Messages - Bill Piche

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General Discussion / Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« on: November 13, 2017, 03:30:50 AM »
Believe it or not it doesn't take long to leave even a slight indintation. A train in notch 8, and a sudden stop can cause wheels to let go and spin uncontrollably. Which at night can make for one very interesting display of sparks.

Reminds me of the time right after they put the concrete floor in the roundhouse at Conway Scenic. The rails in the new floor were higher than the ones that were in the old brick\dirt floor and the table hadn't been shimmed on that end yet.

You had to have a good rolling start going into the house to get over the bump. I found that out the hard way my first day firing with the new engine house floor when I was putting the engine away for the night by myself. After the tender went up fine, the first set of drivers hung up and were effectively chocked by the lip. Rather than roll forward and back again I first tried a little extra power and ended up leaving 6 shiny spots on the table rails. They're probably gone now but they were a reminder of my shame for the rest of that season.

Volunteers / Re: Northeast storm October 2017
« on: November 04, 2017, 02:32:37 AM »
Parts of the roofs of combine 12 (electrical and sound car for regular trains) and car 19 (out of service) suffered roof damage. In addition a portion of the old part of the engine house was blown out about 8 feet above the ground. Weekday volunteers have been working on at least car 12 to repair the roof in time for Polar Express, but I don't have an update on their progress. Car 19 I haven't heard anything beyond the initial report. Steam team volunteers will have their hands full with doing the fra prep tomorrow but we'll attempt to get to the engine house and other projects as manpower dictates.

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).

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.

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.

Excellent turnout for the first weekend of the Pumpkin Trains. We had over 1150 riders between Saturday (550+) and Sunday (600+).

If you're in the area come by and go for a ride or just to see 3 in action. I'll be engineering on Sunday if you want to say hello.

The most that I can say is that it was an internal decision. I cannot say what the decision was based on, nor can I speculate. I was merely the messenger since I'm one of the few members of MNG that post here with any regularity.

And yea as soon as I decide to post about the evening trains, they get canceled. *sigh*

3 will still be in service on the Sat\Sun of the last 2 weekends of the month. Friday days may end up being steam in place of the evening trains.

Hi Bill,

Is this the first time. MNG is running autumn evening trains? As I'm sure you've seen, we ran one 2 Saturday weekends ago and were quite pleased with the turnout. I'm hoping to get down to ride one of them. Either way, best of luck welcoming No. 3 back in Portland


I did see that. I actually delayed putting this up on the forum until after the apple trains were done so that there wasn't any sort of conflicting ads on the forum.

MNG used to run a night train the last weekend before Halloween but that was usually with diesel power and didn't have lights in the cars. It hasn't been done for years, though. I believe what made it a Halloween train was that they put the flat car on the train with a blow up pumpkin. Not sure what else they did for that.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / MNG Autumn Moonlight Limited & Pumpkin Trains
« on: October 11, 2017, 02:16:22 AM »
Maine Narrow Gauge will be running Friday evening trains for the final 3 weekends in October.

Come on by and see Monson 3 in action Friday evenings (20th and 27th) and the final two weekends of the month (21/22 & 28/29).

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: September 20, 2017, 04:29:01 PM »
Yet more good news from just slightly to the north of Sheepscot.

Yesterday we set the boiler into place and welded on the first of the 4 supports to the firebox. This marks the first time since 2008 that the frame and boiler have been together and was the last major (projected) hurdle in the reassembly process.

Next steps will be finishing up installing the support brackets, plumbing, grates, brakes, smokebox, and tank work, (probably in that order).

Our current goal is to have the boiler "fire ready" by the time the FRA inspector makes his annual visit in November. Not saying that this will be when the first fire is placed, but just that we have the ability to do so if he requests it.

Work and Events / Re: Ice Cream Social II 2017 images
« on: September 01, 2017, 01:30:05 PM »
Great pics as usual Stephen.

Did you ever process those pics from Easter?

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: August 18, 2017, 05:12:47 AM »
More good news!

Today water was placed in the boiler and pumped up to regular operating pressure (150 psi).

A few small leaks were found around some stays and rivets, but overall the results were very encouraging.

We're currently on track for a boiler lift sometime on or before Labor Day.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: August 14, 2017, 07:49:36 PM »
For those that haven't had the opportunity of hearing in person from myself or other members of the MNG steam team via the facebook group, there have been a large number of steps forward for the B&SR 7 project.

Two weeks ago all of the tubes were loaded in the boiler, rolled, and seal welded.

Between then and last Friday the last of the rigid and flexi stays were headed over and stay caps installed on the flexis. The lower 4 rows of stays were seal welded inside the firebox on on the outside wrapper sheet.

Boiler plugs were test fit and installed on all of the openings so that the first water test can take place. The throttle and turret will be reinstalled when this is taking place.

The first test fill will be planned to take place sometime in the next week to two weeks. Once we check for any and all leaks we'll do a test hydro and place the boiler back on the frame.

Stay tuned.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: April 18, 2017, 02:55:42 AM »
Progress update on #7 for those that don't follow the facebook page.

3 side sheets are done with threaded stays and the flexi-stays are 95% done. Half of the mud ring rivets went in today.

All that's left with the boiler itself is the throat sheet stays, the welded stays, the other half of the mud ring rivets, and welding on the steam dome collar. Once that all is done we can put tubes in and hydro the work.

Link to video of riveting from today.

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