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Topics - Stephen Piwowarski

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Volunteers / WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 15, 2019, 02:09:07 AM »
The WW&F is seeking volunteers to serve as car hosts on our trains this season. The Museum will be offering a series of workshops to train car hosts at the Museum’s 97 Cross Road campus in Alna on March 23, March 30 and April 6. Classes will begin each day at 9AM and will generally end by 2PM.

   The car host’s job is to engage and interact with visitors, sharing interesting information about the railway and surrounding region and answer visitor’s questions. The workshops will provide you with all the materials and resources you need to be a successful car host. No previous experience is necessary, but a desire to interact with our visitors and help offer them a meaningful, personal experience will be helpful. Becoming a car host is also a great introduction to other volunteer positions available on the railway. Volunteer who are already active with the Museum are also welcome to attend the sessions as they will go over WW&F history and public interaction techniques.

   To participate in workshops either call the Museum at 207-882-4193 with your name and contact information or send an email with the same to visitor interaction coordinator Steve Piwowarski at stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org.

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Work and Events / Steam & Sleighs Recap
« on: February 19, 2019, 02:25:00 AM »
Hi all,

With January and February's Steam & Sleighs events now in the rearview, I wanted to provide some info regarding the events. In three days (January 19, February 16 & 17) we carried right around 500 passengers (give or take a few). This past Sunday was our busiest day with just over 200 riders.

It was a wonderful time and we got to interact with lots of new, first time visitors, which always puts a smile on my face, along with returning visitors as well. I was serving as conductor on Sunday and got to see one of my students (who was as surprised to see me as I was to see them!) Despite some minor hiccups each day, passengers had consistently nice things to say, and had a great time.

Here's what some had to say (from Facebook):

"We had a great time at the Railway today and on the Sleigh Ride"

"Today’s adventure..ride on a steam train, sleigh ride turkey tracks, and our conductor who punched hearts in my ticket. Great time... and beautiful weather!"

"Who wants to go to the 19th century."

"Fantastic day at Steam and Sleigh! Highly recommend this adventure and hope you do it again next year!!"

Our volunteers did an amazing job crewing the events and hosting our visitors, but also before and after, putting lots of time into making sure the parking lot was cleared and sanded, station platforms were shoveled off, feeding crews, and keeping the line open in the midst of the constant freeze/thaw cycles which ensured that there were always flangeways to clear and ice to pick out around switches. Thank you!

500 riders is 1/10 of our total ridership from last year. Here we are in February and we are already off to a great start for the year. More importantly, we've made new friends and introduced many more to this special place and they've learned a bit more about it. The questions and comments from our passengers were fantastic. Looking forward to a great year.

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Hi All,

James Patten has volunteered to represent the Railway at the Whitefield Lions Train Show in Augusta on Saturday February 16th. Thank you James!

The show is at the Augusta Armory at 179 Western Avenue in Augusta and runs from 10AM until 3:30PM.

Are there 1-2 more volunteers who would be able to join James at the show to represent the WW&F? I've heard it is typically a good, fairly well attended show, with good sales for the WW&F.

Let us know if you can be there by responding in this thread- That way James can plan his coffee consumption on whether he is able to leave the table or not. :)

Thanks!

4
Work and Events / September 29th Fall Festival and Evening Train
« on: October 02, 2018, 03:13:31 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to compliment everyone on a really wonderful Fall Festival and Evening Train this year. Everybody pulled together and made some really nice magic happen for our visitors. I thought it would be nice to share some of the comments on the day from Facebook here to highlight how much people appreciate what we are doing. I don't have any photos, but I'm sure someone does, and maybe they could post them here. Both events were incredibly well attended, with the day totaling over 350 riders. Thanks to all who made it happen.

Here are the comments:
"We went to the fall festival today and it was fantastic! My son loved the ride, the conductor and all the friendly staff. What a gem! If you haven’t been go!"
-Samantha De Garmo

"Great experience for the whole family"
-Leah Isaacson

"Tonight we had an amazing time with amazing people. Thank you for making your moonlight event so special to our family. ??"
-Cheryl Partridge

"We were so impressed with our recent visit to your museum for the sunset train ride with general store history presentation. Can’t wait to return with grandkids next year. Volunteer staff so pleasant and knowledgeable even the youngest members."
-Brian-Candice Carrier

"Can we set another date..." -Sherry Beck-Poland

And set another date we shall- we are looking at doing an additional night train with narrow gauge theory as the focus of the talk. More information to follow in another post.

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Other Narrow Gauge / Budapest Children's Railway
« on: August 03, 2018, 12:05:26 PM »
Attached below is an interesting article on the Children's Railway in Budapest. It is interesting to note that all of the positions on the railway, save the engineers are filled by children under age 18, and some as young as 10.

There were many children's railways across the former USSR and Soviet Satellite states, most of them 600-750mm gauge. They were meant to prepare children for work on the state railways but, perhaps more importantly, to teach teamwork, problem solving, and life skills.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/gyermekvasut-budapest-railway/index.html

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Museum Discussion / 2018 Operating Schedule
« on: July 08, 2018, 09:25:15 PM »
Visitor count today was 56 with 6 on pass, so 50 paying passengers. When combined with yesterday that makes for over 200 for the weekend- a good weekend. Amazing Ice Cream Social- the games were great and people were having fun.

Steve

7
Work and Events / WW&F Launches its first Summer Concert Series
« on: June 12, 2018, 03:22:20 PM »
Join us for a summer concert series  at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington's Alna Center station. The series includes a concert each month during July, August, and September. Park at Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) and take the train to Alna Center for the show. Train fare and parking at Sheepscot are included in the ticket price. Advance sale tickets are $15.00/adults, $8.00/kids 4-12, free/kids birth-3. Feel free to bring a blanket and picnic (no alcohol, please).
For tickets and information to the other concerts in this series, please go here:  http://wwfrytickets.simpletix.com/Event-List/

All Train departs Sheepscot at 5PM sharp! Please arrive early to ensure a relaxed experience. Music at Alna Center is from 5:30PM to 7PM.

Concert information:

Opening Concert July 28 featuring Married with Chitlins
Married with Chitlins is kicking off our 3 concert series! An acoustic music duo comprised of Chris and Liz Lannon, Married with Chitlins perform Traditional American music, Old Time Country and Blues, some Jazz standards and Celtic reels and jigs, with guitar and fiddle with a strong female lead vocal with harmonies but you'll also hear sprinklings of mandolin and harmonica.
Find them on facebook and on reverbnation.
Online ticketing ends 7/27/18.

Second concert August 25 featuring Rough Sawn
This local string band is composed of farmers and carpenters - true salt of the earth people. They are renowned  for their excellent covers of classic country, bluegrass, folk and Western swing as well as timeless originals. They've played local farmers markets, breweries, and other events.  Their four part harmonies are not something you're going to want to miss. You can find Rough Sawn on facebook.
Online ticketing ends 8/24/2018.

Final concert September 8th featuring GoldenOak
GoldenOak is an Indie Soul-Folk band fronted by sibling duo Zak and Lena Kendall. Originally from the Sandy River Valley of Western Maine and now based in Portland, they began to write music and perform in 2014. GoldenOak released their first album, Pleasant St., in 2016 an album they co-wrote with cellist Seth Wegner. The full length album painted a landscape of the duo’s childhood and their experiences growing up and leaving home. The original album with beautiful instrumentation and voice solidified the band as ambassadors of the Maine Folk Scene and earned them praise such as a nomination as “one of Portland's most important upcoming bands” by Dispatch Magazine. Over the last two years, they shared the stage with many notable artists such as Lady Lamb, The Dustbowl Revival, The Ghost of Paul Revere, and The Mallett Brothers Band. In October 2017, GoldenOak released Foxgloves, a 6 track EP that builds on Zak and Lena's folk roots with a remarkable orchestral approach and earthy sound. The band kicked off their Foxgloves release tour with a sold out show at Portland’s One Longfellow Square, and in December, Foxgloves was voted “EP of the Year” by the Portland Music Awards. Zak and Lena record and often tour with fellow musicians and band mates, Seth Wegner (cello), Max Eddington (piano), and Jackson Cromwell (percussion). Find out more at GoldenOakband.com.
Online ticketing ends 9/7/18



8
Hi All,

It's high time we share this, not only publicly, but with all of the folks who follow us here on the forum. Next Saturday, September 30th is the Museum's Fall Festival. We're looking forward to it, and look forward to seeing folks who have made attending a tradition along with new faces.

We are adding something new! For a long time, folks have been asking for us to run an evening train. This year we partnered with an expert on local apples, John Bunker of Palermo, to create a unique and wonderful Fall evening train. John is well known in these parts for his work with Maine Heritage Orchards at MOFGA and FEDCO Trees. He also has his Out on a Limb CSA. He also wrote "Not Far from the Tree: A Brief History of the Apples and the Orchards of Palermo, Maine, 1804-2004"

The train will leave Sheepscot promptly at 6pm, and arrive at Alna Center where a bonfire, cider, and snacks will await. John will share the history of apples and cider making in the Sheepscot Valley, along with the transport of the apple harvest on the WW&F. For those of you who have heard stories of how apples growing along the railway wound up there, there will be a special surprise.

John also welcomes anyone who has an apple they would like to know more about to bring a specimen to the event. He will identify it for you.

After enjoying sunset at Alna Center, the train will return to Sheepscot in darkness amidst the warm glow of oil lamps.

Tickets will be the regular price ($8 adults/ $7 60+/ $5 12 & under)
Tickets will be available beginning at 5pm at Sheepscot Station.
The Moonlight Extra will run weather permitting.

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Museum Discussion / Less than Carload Freight Shipping/Boxcar Packing
« on: July 13, 2017, 07:03:24 PM »
Hi All,

The WW&F is embarking on a project to build a LCL freight exhibit in one of our boxcars. We have examples of boxes that were shipped on the original railway as less than carload shipments, but need some help filling in the blanks.
If you have any documents or information that could assist in creating this exhibit, especially information from the original raiway, please either respond to this post or send a personal message. You can also reach me by e-mail @ spwoodwinds@gmail.com


Thanks in advance,
Steve Piwowarski

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Museum Discussion / Archival Storage
« on: May 15, 2017, 08:19:28 PM »
Hi All,

Another member of the WW&F, Ted Miles, just posted on RYPN about the progress of the Northwest Railway Museum in Washington. I, it led me to take a second look. When I visited last year, their Railway Education Center (an archival, library, teaching, and visitor service building) was just under construction. The building is now complete and has an archive with some really nice features like rolling shelving and water-free fire suppression systems. It seems, by all accounts, to be a great building, and very well done. Maybe, when the WW&F gets to create a new space for museum and archival purposes we could incorporate some of these features. Their work was funded by the NEH. Take a look on the NWRYM's blog here:
http://trainmuseum.blogspot.com/2017/01/compact-rolling-shelving.html
Further information, with building and funding specifics can be found here:
https://www.trainmuseum.org/index.php/support/new-facilities

Take care,
Steve

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Too bad. It looks like the freight operation will be taken over, but if you want to ride, do it now.

http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/freight/short-lines/me-pulling-out-of-maine.html?channel=94

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Museum Discussion / Trails at ToM
« on: June 03, 2015, 08:25:27 PM »
Recently while reading an article about the Talyllyn Railway I learned that the stations connect with a network of hiking trails, some which allow a station to statin hike.
Has any thought been given to establishing a trailhead at ToM which would allow riders to detrain and walk a trail which would connect with the trail network of the Trout Brook Preserve?
Eventually people could detain at ToM, hike to 218 or head tide, reboard the train and return.

Steve

13
General Discussion / Cooking Baked Beans in a bean hole
« on: May 31, 2015, 12:12:06 AM »
Ok, funny question:

Has anyone here ever cooked up beans in a bean hole. I hear this was the way it was done in the old days in logging camps and that caught my attention. It also sounds really cool. How long does it take and what sort of pot do you use?

Thanks,
Steve

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General Discussion / An interesting photo I stumbled upon
« on: January 27, 2015, 11:21:32 PM »
I found this photo when I was looking for some information on Kathadin Iron Works and thought it might be fun to share, especially considering the recent attention the railcar has been given.


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General Discussion / Building with Hand Tools
« on: January 06, 2015, 10:00:46 PM »
Found this great film from Finland of a crew building a log home using only hand tools in the traditional style. Sorry for the language, to all the non-Finish speakers out there, but it's greta just to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3J5wkJFJzE

Steve

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