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Messages - Jason M Lamontagne

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Thanks Al,

Ed, can you edit my post to reflect that? 

See ya

Thanks Joseph, all,

The rail laying crew is, necessarily, a fairly tightly controlled unit.  This is the success of the system: that everyone had a job and does the same thing each time.  For that, we largely use the regular team members in critical positions on this crew, and ask others to stand back during much of the operation.  There is, however, leeway during certain portions of the cycle- particularly tie laying.  All in all- the crew will need the help, but please don’t be overly tempted by this crew, as the spiking crew will need a solid corps all weekend to make this work.


Crews, Foreman and Volunteers Needed

Centerline and Tie Location. Rick Sisson. 3.
Rail Laying. Jason Lamontagne. 10-12.
Spiking. Dana Deering. 15-30.
Joint Tightening.  TBD.  2-4.
Tie Bundling (ToM). Jay Barta. 4-6.
ToM Agent. Wayne Laepple.
Dispatcher Ed Lecuyer
Pumpkin train management: Ed Lecuyer
Sheepscot Crowd Handling (3): Ed Lecuyer
Parking: Al Michelis. (3) [and signs]. 
SS Material Loading: Brendan Barry
Lunch Nancy Weeks 5-8

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: October 06, 2019, 01:37:49 AM »
Locomotive 9’s grates are literally identical to this.  The V pattern allows expansion with less fatigue stress and resulting breakage.  Loco 4 is a decent guess.

Great find!

Work and Events / 2019 FWW Operating Plan Notice
« on: October 04, 2019, 02:48:32 PM »
Hello all,

I want to highlight the fact that Ed and I are developing a very intricate and careful operating plan for 2019 FWW.  This involves a work train on the Mountain, with 6 individual support work crews, two passenger trains handling both SeaLyon pumpkin service AND material supply to the work activities.  Ed and I have it figured out (Ed has spent HOURS- last email came at 12:30AM), but I ask that everyone respect the plan and adhere to it as instructed.  Ed will be dispatching the entire Fall Work Weekend.  He will be drafting operating plans on Sunday; I'll review and we'll finalize them on Monday, with the intent to disseminate them to the crew by the end of the day Monday. 

Thank you all, we're in for a historic weekend in many ways!

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 24, 2019, 09:06:57 PM »
Bill, all,

Wednesday train departure 9:30am.  We got rained out today after 4 sticks.  Tomorrow is rain, sleet, snow, hail, meteorites, cats, dogs, elephants, or shine.

Thanks all,

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 22, 2019, 12:16:31 PM »
Rail laying will resume this Tuesday and Wednesday, September 24,25, 2019.  We will lay “cycle 2” of this year’s extension, which is about 280’ and should get us nearly off the curve.

Prep and start Tuesday- finish Wednesday.

Crew call!

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 20, 2019, 08:57:29 PM »
It’s just a pipe clamp with a spacer cut to the width between 60#rail bases at correct gauge.

See ya

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 20, 2019, 07:06:58 PM »
Yes, we’re preparing new instatrack, for the express purpose of not needing to spike cycle 2 prior to work weekend.  These instatrack are of a different design so they may be used on the bridge.

See ya

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Work Reports
« on: September 15, 2019, 01:18:21 AM »
We also had a crew assemble tie bundles in preparation for Tuesday, as well as staging and loading the two yellow work flats. 

We dabbled with the new torch which will be used for continued flanging. 

Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 13, 2019, 06:34:59 PM »
7 cycles for a goal of 1960 feet.  This is just shy of the large boulder near 218.  The idea is to get as much done as possible while leaving room to remove some of that boulder, prep and install the turntable and northern rail track.  Possibly also a station.

Even building nearly 2000’ this fall- next year will be extremely busy.  Switch, turntable, siding, tail track, ballast 2000’, tamp, dress.  That is why we’re pushing to get as much done this fall as possible.


Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 10, 2019, 06:20:00 PM »
Hoping Dana sees this and answers Bill’s question. 

We just measured the track laying distance in terms of crane cycles.  According to our schedule, next Wednesday will bring the rail head within view of the bridge.   Another cycle prior to work weekend gets us almost off the curve, while FWW Friday’s two cycles get us about 90’ from the south end of the bridge.  The FWW Saturday morning crane cycle is centered on the bridge.  Track laying will conclude midday Sunday about 300’ from the shoulder of 218.  We’re leaving that much space to allow for the construction of terminal facilities in 2020.  This also gives a day and a half of 2019 FWW devoted solely to spiking, to ensure it keeps up with rail laying.

Should be fun!

Volunteers / September 2019 Track Construction
« on: September 10, 2019, 04:31:05 PM »
Hello all,

We plan to lay one crane cycle of track on the Mountain next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 17/18.  Tuesday will be load out and ferry move, possibly followed by a soft start.  Wednesday will be production track laying.

There is a major spiking effort planned for that weekend, September 21/22, led by Dana Deering.

Please consider this a crew call for both work events!


Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: September 08, 2019, 12:06:08 PM »
The track laying system is designed to distribute ties in a consistent manner which maximizes labor usage.  It’s very important to retain that consistency so we don’t run into unexpected efficiency problems, and keep the work flow consistent and predictable.

Edit: put in practical terms, our volunteers will have their hands full prepping for work weekend as it is!


Museum Discussion / Re: Reflections on 30 Years of the WW&F
« on: August 20, 2019, 05:32:21 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.

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