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Topics - Ed Lecuyer

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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 / Steam Train Snow Day - Feb 17, 2018
« on: January 29, 2018, 02:59:53 AM »
We'll be running a special public and volunteer event on 2/17. Concurrent with the cutting activities along the Mountain Extension,  public trains will be operating to TOM for snowshoeing, backcountry x-country skiing, and related winter fun. #9 will be under steam and our main motive power, too!

Mark your calendars for a Snow Day!

Moderator Announcements / In Memory Of...
« on: January 10, 2018, 06:14:11 PM »
I know we've lost a number of volunteers and friends over the history of the museum. Ira's death hit home because I think he was the first one that we've lost that I had the pleasure of working and laughing alongside of. (I just never had that blessing with most of the others we've lost over the years.)

At any rate, I have created a new section of the forum "In Memory Of..." for those who want to share stories and remembrances of those we have lost. To protect privacy, this section is in the "Members Only" discussion area. (If you are a museum member, and do not have access, please contact me.)

I've moved Ira's thread there, along with several others that I found with some forum searching. Please feel free to start new threads there for others that are no longer with us. (A big gap is that there is no thread on Harry Percival.)

Also, if you see a thread that should be in that area, let me know and I will move it.



General Discussion / Amtrak to Wiscasset (and Rockland) in 2018?
« on: October 25, 2017, 09:27:51 PM »
Looks like they are going to try extending the Downeaster to Rockland (via Wiscasset) in 2018:

Maybe Amtrak will view us as a destination/attraction rather than a competitor (like Maine Eastern did.)

Museum Discussion / Unsolicited Praise
« on: September 08, 2017, 11:09:50 AM »
The following comment was posted on Trains magazine's web site underneath Wayne Laepple's story of the donation of the Moose Brook bridge from the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.

For those who are not aware, this group is a "poster child" for successful US railway museums. Realistic, conservative budgets and annual fund drives that result in returns exceeding the detailed requests. Equipment that has been restored and/or built new to original specifications - steam locomotives, passenger cars, freight and work equipment - much of which now housed under the cover of period replica structures. More and more track in service very year on what is a fantastic, historic ride. Of the many rail-related groups out there seeking your donation, these folks should be considered at or near the top of your "worthwhile" list.

Congratulations everyone on what we are accomplishing. I am proud to be a small part of our organization; I am honored to call you my friends.

Moderator Announcements / FORUM SWITCHOVER - 08/12 - 08/13
« on: August 11, 2017, 01:48:41 AM »
Hi everyone,

There seems to be a few people that are having trouble logging in (or joining) our discussion forum. James and I have tried all the tricks we know - but we haven't been able to fix it.

However, we are running a very old version of the SMF forum software. So we have to upgrade. We hope this will go smoothly - but it will take some time.

To allow us this time, we will be closing the Forum tomorrow (Friday) night with the goal of having it back and running (with the new software) by Sunday evening. We hope that all the posts and discussions (and bad puns) will automatically migrate over. We'll see how that goes.

We're timing this with our normal weekly backup schedule so that if things do go poorly, we can easily set things back.

So, don't be alarmed when the forum goes down on Friday night - it will be back.


-Ed & James.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Deep Thoughts...
« on: July 18, 2017, 01:46:29 PM »
Would the phrase "Crank up the ol' telegraph machine" be considered a mixed metaphor or an oxymoron?

Museum Discussion / What's wrong with this picture?
« on: June 28, 2017, 02:46:38 AM »
Anyone know what's unique about this photo:

Here are 3 close up views:

That's right - shop bays 2-4 were (for a brief moment) nearly empty on Saturday 6/24/17. I doubt we will see that again.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Captions Needed...
« on: May 10, 2017, 06:02:11 PM »

Museum Discussion / WW&F Receives Railway Heritage Grant
« on: April 07, 2017, 12:09:50 AM »
The National Railway Historical Society has selected the WW&F Railway Museum as a recipient of a Railway Heritage Grant. This award of $3000 will be used to help equip the locomotives and rolling stock of the railway with an Eames Automatic vacuum brake system. Automatic vacuum brakes are an important safety feature as our railroad expands, as they will engage automatically if the cars in the train become separated. Moreover, the single control in the cab will give the engineer greater control over the train.

The original WW&F used straight vacuum brakes on their locomotives, and the restored Number 9 now utilizes these as independent (engine) brakes. To protect the entire train, Eames patented an automatic vacuum braking system, but it was never fully developed in the US, due to his untimely death. As the Museum is a continuation of the original WW&F railway, it is fitting that we fully develop automatic vacuum brakes – which is likely the choice the original WW&F would have considered had it been required to install an automatic braking system.

Already WW&F museum coach 8 and Number 9 have been equipped with this system; but testing was not completed in 2016 due to other projects. Testing will be completed in the coming year and the system added gradually to the remaining locomotives and rolling stock.

The WW&F thanks the National Railway Society for choosing this project to receive a Railway Heritage grant. The NRHS has been very supportive of past projects at the WW&F, including funding the recreated Planished American Rolled Iron (also called "Russia Iron") jacket on Number 9 and our continued mainline extension.

This particular grant application was originally authored by museum volunteer Bill Baskerville. Later it was revised by Ed Lecuyer, Steve Piwowarski, Jason Lamontagne, James Patten, and John McNamara. Anyone who would like to help this ad hoc grant committee with future applications is welcome to contact me.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / CRRC to Build Coaches for WW&F
« on: April 01, 2017, 04:00:29 AM »
In a move that will startle rail preservationists everywhere, CRRC (the Chinese-government owned railcar builder) will be assembling new low-cost coaches for the WW&F in its newly-completed Springfield, MA factory. Having successfully received contracts to build subway cars and commuter coaches for some of the US' largest transit systems - including Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Chicago - CRRC now wishes to enter the narrow gauge preservation market.

CRRC became interested in bidding on the project when officials were impressed by the modeling of Eric Shade at a recent railroad hobby show in Springfield. CRRC has hired Mr. Shade to oversee the preservation group, starting with a fleet of coaches for Maine's historic WW&F Railway.

"With all the crappy models coming out of China these days, I thought this might be an opportunity to build something of quality" explained Shade.

Shade had planned to oversee the construction of a single coach at the WW&F Museum. However, since the Chinese offered to fabricate a fleet of coaches for the price that one would have cost the museum to build, Museum Superintendent Zack Wyllie hailed the decision as "a no brainah." When told of the change in plans, WW&F CMO Jason Lamontagne covered his ears and repeated "LA, LA, LA" very loudly. He was last seen making baby talk with his daughter, Amelia.

Terms of the contract were negotiated by Feiyu "Felix" Qi, long-time boyfriend of museum volunteer Emily Lecuyer. Qi's mother is a senior manager for CRRC at their Dalian, China headquarters. Qi is negotiating similar contracts with other narrow gauge railroads needing additional coaches, including the White Pass & Yukon, Durango & Silverton, Cumbres & Toltec, and Dan Markoff.

The coaches will be constructed as true replicas of historic Jackson & Sharp cars. "This will help us avoid pesky FRA crashworthiness requirements" explained Qi.  However, the coaches will be fully compatible with the WW&F's iChooch system.

Similar negotiations are underway to bring several Chinese 0-8-0 narrow gauge locomotives to the WW&F for operation, and Chinese steel rails to extend the WW&F main line all the way to China (Maine.)

This topic has been moved to Museum Discussion as it is better suited to the WW&F Museum than the SR&RL.

Original Railway / Sheepscot Details
« on: March 12, 2017, 08:13:25 PM »
Over on Facebook, Stewart published this photo:

Some interesting details....

What is the building to the right of the station? Did it have any connection to the WW&F?

There is a sign on the building. What is it? Can/should we get a replica of it for placement on our building?

The coach clearly shows the pocket used by the Miller Hook coupler. It looks like the boxcar (308?) has link and pin.

Volunteers / January 2017 Work Planning
« on: January 01, 2017, 10:08:13 PM »
Anyone planning on being at Sheepscot on Mon. Jan 2nd?

Museum Discussion / Victorian Christmas 2016 - Official Announcement
« on: December 06, 2016, 11:12:45 PM »
Join us for Victorian Christmas 2016!

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