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Messages - Bill Piche

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Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend 2018
« on: October 09, 2018, 03:41:42 PM »
Great work over the weekend to all involved!  I noticed in the above photos that the joint bars are staggered, yet it appears to be tangent track.  I thought we had the joint bars across from each other on tangent track to prevent side rocking of the cars?

Thanks from Chicago for another week.

Dave Crow

That track is just starting to come out of a curve. The joints were staggered on the curve to help alleviate kinking in the curves. I will defer to Joe or another higher up track guy but I would think that the staggering won't be taken out on that straight because there's another curve further down the grade from that spot.

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Bridge - Official Work Thread
« on: September 23, 2018, 03:48:41 AM »
Somebody is gonna be real upset that you took their doorstops to mock up a bit of track there.

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: August 02, 2018, 08:13:30 PM »
I've used and been witness to using power hammers to do spike driving and they do have their benefits and drawbacks.

One big drawback (and you can see it in the picture provided) is that you need a pilot hole for every spike or you need them the be pre-set in the tie by somebody with a maul. You can't start them with the power hammer.

Another drawback is that you're more prone to bending spikes beyond recovery. Hand hammering is just as likely to bend the spike, but you can stop and bend it back out mid drive. With the power hammer you're liable to not notice it until it's too late. The possibility of bent spikes goes up if you're using smaller spikes than you see on 3' and standard gauge lines.

With the pine ties it seems easy enough to drive spikes that I bet the gangs will have no major problems putting down 300-500 feet a day. That's 150-250 ties and 600-1000 spikes. 800 ties and 3200 spikes in a weekend is a big order, but doable based on what has been done in the past. I believe the record years they were doing it with oak ties and no pilot holes, which from my experience in Portland I can tell you is no fun.

Turnout is never predictable but with how much it's been known that "new iron" is going down my understanding is that turnout is up, especially with the younger demographic. I believe Joe's spring tie replacement group had at least 8 guys under the age of 25. That's not the 100+ that have mobbed the fall work weekends in the past, but 75 or so replacements plus the wholesale track section replacement in 4 days is testament that even a small crew can get a lot done with the current materials.

My understanding is that we only want a maximum of 1600 feet this year anyways because the contractors are going to be accessing the roadbed from right next to where that 1600 feet stops. Equipment and additional materials and whatnot are going to come in through there instead of going over the bridge to reach the areas between the future EOT and the bridge site.

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Bridge - Official Work Thread
« on: July 18, 2018, 06:53:45 PM »
I don't see evidence of gauging or spiking ahead of the machine.....

It's subtle, but if you look closely they're using gauge rods to hold the track in place. The spike crew is probably following along behind the train.

I say probably, and then I watch the rest of the video and do in fact see that the spike gangs are behind the track train.

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Bridge - Official Work Thread
« on: July 18, 2018, 06:51:10 PM »
I don't see evidence of gauging or spiking ahead of the machine.....

It's subtle, but if you look closely they're using gauge rods to hold the track in place. The spike crew is probably following along behind the train.

Those interested in seeing B&SR 7 in operation, she is tentatively scheduled to run the following days in May through early July.

As a hedge against the longer fire ups that the bigger locomotive would require from cold we've decided to run her Friday evenings for the ice cream trains. Day trains (10-4) will be diesel operated with 7 taking over for the 5, 6, and 7 PM departures.

The following days are confirmed scheduled steam days subject to the usual equipment may change without notice disclamer.
Sat May 26
Sun May 27
Mon May 28

Fri June 15
Sat June 16
Sun June 17

Fri June 29
Sat June 30
Sun July 1

Below dates are tentative and subject to changes:
Mon July 2
Tue July 3
Wed July 4

A few videos have started to surface on the youtubes from Saturday.

Here's one from Hansel Gordon:

One from an account called "NorfKhazad":

A video of clips from Mark Spremulli:

A "musical" video with pics and clips from an account "726Berkshire"


That's my nephew Ben. If you want a window into what I was like at that age, check in with him the next time you see him with my mom or my brother.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / GoFundMe launched for Cars 12 and 19
« on: May 05, 2018, 12:10:12 AM »
As some of you probably already knew, the big wind storms late last fall were not kind to part of our collection.

Combine 12 (the regular wheelchair and power car) had a portion of the roof damaged and spent Polar Express with a "reindeer landing pad" covering up the hole.

SR&RL coach 19 fared worse with more extensive damage to the full length of the roof. The majority of the top layer was ripped off and there was damage to the wood boards underneath as well.

12 is nearly complete and will be better than before, with a steel sheet for a top layer as opposed to the tar paper layer that it had previously.

The damage to 12 was partially covered by our insurance on the cars but we need your support to help defray the rest of the costs for 12's top layer of steel sheet and 19's complete roof repair.

Anything that you can give would be appreciated. Even a signal boost on your preferred social media platform would be most welcome.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: May 02, 2018, 09:19:36 PM »
Be nice when the last picture has 3,4,7&8 in service

Might be a long time for all 4, but 3 out of 4 is feasible depending on future fundraising.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: May 01, 2018, 03:17:54 PM »
After passing by the Sheepscot campus on Friday morning (I heard Jason got a picture but nobody was able to hijack the truck), B&SR 7 was delivered back to Portland and on "home" rails as a complete locomotive for the first time since the boiler went north 10 years ago.

7 coming off the truck

(photo credit: David Fletcher)

#7 received some break-in runs on Friday and Saturday of this weekend. Some bugs were worked out and a few more were put on the punch list, but things are looking good for the steamfest unveiling on the 19th (see the post on that for more detail).

This pic is of the completed 7 sitting at the ocean gateway platform. We survived the S curve at the ocean gateway project, which was the only questionable corner on the railroad for us since it was built after 7 went out of service.

(photo credit: either Wes Heinz or David Fletcher)

7 running around the consist after pulling the annual meeting train out to the bridge

(photo credit: Sandy Piche)

Discussions at the platform following the first trip with a consist in almost 15 years.

(photo credit: Sandy Piche)

Lots of room in the cab for us folks who aren't from the 1920s

(photo credit: Sandy Piche)

Looks good with a string of cars, but all we have (at the moment) is with one car and the locomotive going away.

(photo credit: Sandy Piche)

The most important picture of all

(photo credit: Trevor Hartford)

Hansel was on hand and grabbed some video of the occasion as well.

Join us for Steam Fest as we welcome Bridgton and Saco River Steam Locomotive #7 back into service!  The locomotive has been undergoing restoration since 2007 and the museum will welcome her return with Steam Fest. Both Bridgton and Saco River #7 and Monson #3 will be operating for the event. Trains will operate approximately every thirty minutes throughout the day. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to see two historic locomotives in action!

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum will hold a Steam Fest event on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 to welcome back into service Bridgton and Saco River Steam Locomotive #7. Built in 1913 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the locomotive has been undergoing restoration since 2007. “We are truly excited to have #7 back in service. The full restoration of this heritage steam locomotive speaks volumes to the dedication and commitment of the volunteers, staff, and contractors who worked tirelessly over a decade for this moment,” said Executive Director, Donnell Carroll. The restoration was made possible thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, contractors, individual donors, and several grantors including the Amherst Railway Society, the Davis Family Foundation, the Maine New Century Community Fund, the Mass Bay Railway Enthusiast’s H. Albert Webb Award, the Maine New Century Community Fund and the Tom E. Dailey Foundation.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: Whistle Parity
« on: April 25, 2018, 06:45:27 PM »
Until fairly recently there was a very large Port Co whistle on a pipe attached to building 1 at the Portland Company complex. It disappeared shortly after the announcement of the sale of the property to private developers.

It looked exactly like 9's whistle except for a valve-less bowl. Based on how big it looked I'd say it was at least 6 if not 8 inches in diameter and was probably the shift call\change whistle for the complex back in it's heyday.

Too bad it disappeared, that'd probably beat anything that I could muster up for #7 short of an actual whistle that she had while in Bridgton.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: April 20, 2018, 05:24:50 PM »
Congrats and good job to all. Is there a Welcome Back 7 event planned like they did thr Farewell to 4 event?

There will be an announcement of an event in the coming days. Once the museum makes the official announcement I'll relay it here.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: B&SR 7
« on: April 20, 2018, 03:03:23 AM »

After what seemed to be an overly brief inspection of a few hours, the FRA has officially signed off on the boiler and will grant the form 4 as soon as the paperwork is filed.

Today marks the end of an over 10 year road to bring a giant of Maine Two Foot railroading back to live.

Another coat or two of imron, a few coats of clear, and some polishing up and she'll be ready for her official debut next month.

We'll have more information on future running dates as they get announced officially. For now here's a picture from after Brian applied the first layer if imron the other night.

A big thank you goes out to everybody that supported the project with money, expertise, and their time. Without all of them this wouldn't have been possible.

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