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Messages - Ed Lecuyer

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Volunteers / Re: February 2018 Work Planning
« on: February 22, 2018, 11:44:25 PM »
Ok, I'll bite, what is a fusible plug?

While it is too soon to call this a "success", I am pretty certain this is the first truly "viral" fundraising campaign that has hit the rail preservation community. I've seen lots of "GoFundMe"s for various projects (heck, I've helped run three for the WW&F; and have personally contributed to a few) but I never seen this level of interest.

I suspect that the urgency of a ticking clock is a big motivation. Also the mental and visual image of taking a wrecking ball to a steam locomotive I think is pretty striking. And let's not forget it's a mainline steam locomotive - everyone instinctively knows that those need to be saved, whereas not everyone understands the rarity of the Moose-Trout Brook Bridge or the Maine narrow gauge. (Let's not forget that some folks think of 2fters as oversized toy trains and are ignorant of their history and function.) I suspect that this sort of campaign will be tried again, and will probably fall short - unless all the stars are in alignment (as they were in this case) for an immediate project with mass appeal.

However, what is most encouraging is that this is being funded mainly by small donations. The average donation is about $50. This implies that there is widespread intergenerational interest in rail preservation, and that should be very encouraging to us all.

total is at $55,872...

Jason S explains the price increase quite diplomatically in this Facebook video:

Didn't I say something about this being a rapidly changing fluid situation?

Anyhow, this just in from the GoFundMe page...
Broken down, the projects costs are now:
$35,000 to Inland Environment for the purchase
$10,000 to Over-the-Top Construction for trucking
$20,000 for cranes
The deadline for raising funds is now February 28th! A purchase agreement for the locomotive will be signed on February 21st.

Fundraising continues at a staggering rate: $51,560 as of this writing.

And yes, the public donor list reads like a who's who roll call of railfans and preservationists from around the country. I see a lot of our members have donated.

Fundraising has topped $40,000. I've never seen an online fundraiser for rail preservation do so well, so quickly.

Thanks Bill. The key to making this happen is to get lots of eyeballs on this ASAP. When I last checked, they had raised nearly $20,000, with the average donation only being $50. That's a LOT of $5-20 donations from all over.

I agree, with Mike; the WW&F (as an organization) should probably not make a donation. I consider this an important cause and thought others may as well. (And after I made this posting, I did note a few familiar names join the GoFundMe donor list.)

The locomotive was underwater during one of the hurricanes. However, the high water mark was well below the driving wheel journals. The lead truck journals were just at the water line - so they may be fine (but would likely be converted to roller bearings, anyway.) The tender trucks are toast. Also, all tires are worn out and will need to be replaced anyway.

And someone is donating the transportation (trucking) to the Texas State Railroad (for temporary storage) at cost. Crane expenses have yet to be announced.

Hi WW&F Friends.

It's rare that I will mention other preservation efforts on our forum. There are just too many important projects across our country (and around the globe) that need support. There simply isn't enough preservation dollars to go around (and, like many of you, I am particularly "narrow minded" in what I choose to support.)

That said, there is a legitimate preservation emergency in Texas where a (formerly City-owned) "park engine" was sold to a scrapper.  It's a long, complex story, but the upshot is that the city didn't contact the "right" people to deal with environmental concerns (leaking asbestos and fuel oil) caused by recent storms, and it is now waiting to "demolished" using a wrecking ball and and be cut up. In fact, the only reason it hasn't been destroyed already is due to inclement weather.

Now, fortunately there has been a last-ditch effort to save Louisiana & Arkansas 4-6-0 #503. Preservationist and steam restoration contractor Jason Sobczynski is on-site, made an inspection of the locomotive, and has made plans for its purchase from the scrapper, transportation to the Texas State Railroad, and possible return to operation. Yes, his initial assessment of the locomotive (and ultra-sound testing of the boiler) reveals that it is in mechanically good shape, but needs a new backhead, tender trucks, and cab.

Obviously this is a very fluid situation and things are constantly being developed. As of yesterday, there was a deadline of Wednesday 2/21 to come up with a viable plan for #503's removal, or it would be smashed and cut. A ground-roots fundraising effort was launched via social media, and as of this writing, over $16,000 has been raised. It will take about $50,000 to purchase and move the locomotive.

Now this is why I share this on the WW&F forum. Money is desperately needed. Jason S. not looking to "buy" the locomotive; he only wants to see it saved. (As do I.) Moreover, this series of catastrophic events only shows how relevant and necessary the mission of the the WW&F is to "educate and enlighten the general public" about rail preservation. Yesterday at the Steam Train Snow Day a first-time visitor asked me exactly what is the purpose of doing what we do - and she then came to understand that our educational goals are that purpose.

If you can help out this cause, please throw a couple of bucks at:

I've made a contribution. I hope you can too.


(Speaking in no way in an official capacity for the WW&F.)

Work and Events / Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
« on: February 16, 2018, 07:36:44 PM »
I am not even going to dignify that with a response. I can't be constantly coming up with new jokes off the top of my head.

Work and Events / Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
« on: February 16, 2018, 04:33:55 PM »
[Moderators Note]
A discussion regarding caps was moved and combined to the Vintage Clothing topic:,2317.0.html

Two Footers outside of the US / Re: AMTP in Pithiviers, France
« on: February 16, 2018, 12:14:53 AM »
I fixed Alain's link.

Volunteers / Re: February 2018 Work Planning
« on: February 13, 2018, 07:54:58 PM »
The plan is to replace ALL the ties on Davis curve. This will be accomplished by removing the rail (temporarily), repairing the subgrade, placing new ties, then putting the rail and ballast back in place.

Museum Discussion / Re: steam heat in passenger cars
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:41:24 PM »

Museum Discussion / Re: steam heat in passenger cars
« on: February 09, 2018, 03:00:43 PM »
Even excursion car 103 has remnants of the Edaville steam heat. (In the winter, the excursion cars were covered with clear vinyl. I remember riding in them, and the "windows" would fog up with condensation.)

I think we should reinstall stoves into our cars. For safety purposes, however, they would probably have to be "powered" by something other than coal or wood. Maybe a kerosene heater (like the ones we use now with the automatic shutoff) but shaped/enclosed to resemble the cast iron original?

Work and Events / Re: Steam Train Snow Day - Feb 17, 2018
« on: February 09, 2018, 02:06:09 AM »
We're making plans for a snow day at the railway on Saturday, February 17. Board the train at Sheepscot station between 10am and 2pm and we'll bring you to our 20+ acre field and forest at the Top of the Mountain. Bring your snowshoes, backcountry skis, or winter hiking gear and enjoy the Maine outdoors. Or, we'll be cutting trees and burning brush along our "Mountain Extension" – new volunteers are most welcome, and the bonfires will be sure to keep you warm. Check out the photos below for more details. Train fare will be $5.00 per person.

At the Top of the Mountain, trails have been marked for snowshoeing or hiking. With yesterday's fresh coat of 10" on top of the existing snow pack, the conditions should be excellent for winter fun.

Locomotive #9 will be all steamed up for your travel. Be sure to bring your camera as 'steam in the snow' is a visual that you'll want to capture. Rail-enthusiast photographers are welcome to join us, but note that we will not be making 'runbys' etc., and we ask that photographers honor our neighbors' private property.

One acre of former farmland has been cleared at the Top of the Mountain. Eventually this location will house a sawmill, a shingle mill, and other attractions to illustrate the era of the WW&F Railway. This winter, it would make a great location for a snowman!

A half-mile of trails at the Top of the Mountain wind through the forest. It's difficult to imagine that when the railroad operated 100 years ago, this was all open farmland.

At the end of the 'green' trail, you'll discover an abandoned camp. We ask that you do not enter this unmaintained building, and suspect that you will choose not once you peer inside. Instead, turn around and admire Trout Brook through the trees, some 20 feet below the overlook.

The end of the orange trail is the base of the valley which holds Trout Brook. Please do not attempt to cross the brook as there are no facilities or marked trails on the other side. Instead…

…admire its beauty.

Meanwhile, we'll be working on the railroad. Follow the railroad north on foot or through the backcountry on cross-country skis, and lend a hand as we clear the path along the Mountain Extension.  There will be bonfires burning brush to keep us warm (and entertained.) Please dress appropriately should you want to participate in rebuilding Maine history.

At the days end, we'll bring you back to Sheepscot station after an enjoyable snow day on the railway.

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