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Topics - Gordon Cook

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General Discussion / Spiked Rails Puts Train In Drink
« on: March 09, 2020, 09:00:56 PM »
How can a tender wheel get a flat? It's neither powered nor braked....

Waiting, waiting......

Uhhh, nail?   ::)

Work and Events / Work Weekends and volunteer labor
« on: October 23, 2019, 10:47:12 AM »
The Mountain Extension thread has diverged into a discussion of track extension and next projects because the track laying is coming to an end for the foreseeable future.
This is touching on a bigger subject, hence I'm starting a new thread.
I think the reason that track laying has become synonymous with the work weekend is that it has been the focus for almost all of the museum's existence, and that the jobs involved can be done by most anyone. Basically we all become day laborers for a weekend, no skills required!
Building track is fun for volunteers because there is sense of doing it the old way, being useful, getting a workout, camaraderie, and tangible progress to celebrate.
In recent WW's, with the necessary automation of the rail and tie laying process, the number of hands required for that has shrunk, and the remaining tasks tend towards those jobs that require relevant skills or plain old heavy duty brawn like spiking.
This means that some folks may not be busy and feeling like they contributed. This problem will get worse as we finish up the mountain extension track by 2021.
I'm thinking that the board is aware of this and would welcome useful ideas on how to keep the work weekends busy, fun, and productive.
If you were at FWW what did you see and what would you suggest?

Museum Discussion / ROW Vegetation control
« on: April 11, 2019, 04:43:04 PM »
Relevant to a topic brought up a few years ago on ROW maintenance:
I especially like the donkeys; maybe they could also be rented out for trail use?
Does the goat output result in more goat input, i.e. a feedback loop?   ::)
No editorial comment intended, just FYI and amusement.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Whistle Parity
« on: April 01, 2018, 11:26:45 AM »
Alna, ME:
April 1, 2018
Steam crews on the WW&F Ry. are concerned that they are falling behind in the whistle race in Alna.
On Saturday, March 31, it became apparent that WW&F's #9 whistle is no match for the much louder and multi-toned whistle on the Maine Narrow Gauge's ex-B&SR #7, which was in steam for the day. #7's crew could be seen with silly grins on  their faces as their bigger equipment overwhelmed #9's authentic but smaller hooter.
Rumors are that the leadership of the WW&F is considering the return of Bernie Perch's CNJ #113 whistle replica to regain tooting domination in the Sheepscot Valley. This would require the rapid return to action of #10 so that it would be available solely to carry and power the larger whistle at full volume.
Observers in the area remain skeptical that this will happen soon, since WW&F CMO Jason Lamontagne prefers historically accurate solutions. He is quoted as being confident that adding two more replica Portland Co. whistles to #9 will close the hooter gap without resorting to more modern appliances. "Size does matter," he explained, 'but it's not the only thing."

General Discussion / Spanish Yeti
« on: March 27, 2018, 02:24:31 PM »
In the train museum in Madrid, Spain:

I'm not sure what the spare tire was going to do for you...

General Discussion / American Precision Museum
« on: October 25, 2017, 02:49:27 PM »
We visited the American Precision Museum in Windsor, VT last weekend. It is located in a mid 1800s water powered factory building and has a collection of early machine tools mostly involved with how industry transitioned from hand made and custom fitted parts to precisely machined and interchangeable parts. This area of Vermont became a hotbed of innovation in the mid-19th century in inventing new and clever machine tools, originally for the firearms industry, but spinning off into all areas of manufacturing. The museum is staffed and run by volunteers.
There is also a collection of miniature machine tools made by one individual that all work and will have you wondering how he did it.
For anyone who is interested, it is a small but worthwhile museum to visit. You can also experience the covered bridge which spans the Connecticut river there between VT and NH. Yeah, it's a big one!
This coming weekend is the last weekend they will be open this year (no heat) and will be hosting a large maker and model engineering show.

Museum Discussion / 2016--Quite a year at the WW&F
« on: December 26, 2016, 03:39:03 PM »
So, in this last week of 2016, how about reminiscing a bit about the accomplishments and events at Sheepscot this year?

I'll start off with the latest event, which may not have been a record setter but certainly for me personally was an experience I'll keep with me for a long time: Victorian Christmas in a Maine snow storm, running #9 with a brace of three 2' gauge coaches trailing behind, full of happy folks.
All day, #9 barking, fighting, all the way to Alna Center Station, AKA the North Pole. Wes keeping her hot. Kids scraping through the frost on the windows to see out of the coaches. Drivers slipping and spinning. Train crew making everything work. Smell of pine wreath baking on the smokebox. Santa and Mrs. Santa, toughing it out in the cold to make the kid's smile. The handsome pair of horses (and human!) seemingly oblivious to the snow and cold as they took a wagon full of hardy Mainers around at AC . All our fabulous volunteers making sure everyone is warm, safe and happy.
Thanks, everyone. Looking forward to 2017.

General Discussion / For your listening pleasure
« on: May 23, 2016, 01:47:20 PM »
From a favorite artist of mine:

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / For your amusement
« on: January 08, 2016, 07:00:56 PM »

Be sure to keep scrolling down....

Work and Events / Sheepscot Turntable - Official Work Thread
« on: January 08, 2016, 04:54:40 PM »
While I was enjoying Start's excellent turntable pictorial on FB, I was fascinated by the picture of the table at Albion, where the left most queen post has evidently been forced away from where it was supposed to be.
The comment was that the Wiscassett turntable had an extra tie rod to prevent this.
That is a bit confusing to me. I would have expected the tension in the rod to force the posts toward the middle, hence the angling of the posts outward to counteract that tendency.
Does anyone know why this might happen? Might it have something to do with the stresses on the table when the engine is run on or off?
More importantly, should we understand that before we get started on the turntable?

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / 0-2-2-0 Grass Chompers
« on: June 08, 2015, 09:14:57 AM »
From the Trains newswire:

"GENEVA, Switzerland – Beginning last month Swiss Federal Railways, known throughout Europe as “SBB,” hired a herd of sheep to work in its embankment maintenance department. The herd of 80 sheep works 22 hours a day, tasked with eating the grass along the tracks – a first in Switzerland, USA Today reports.
 The sheep have their own website; a Twitter following, #sbbmääh; and a blog, in which the head sheep talks about the herd’s life on the pasture."

AND, we could have nice woolly sweaters!

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Maine Attractions
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:18:13 AM »
This picture was taken in a museum in Rome devoted to Italian emmigration. This postcard was supposed to show how prosperous
it was in the USA so that poor Italians would make the journey. Basically this was propaganda from the folks selling boat tickets.

Museum Discussion / WW&F RY on Google
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:17:34 AM »
I just saw that the museum is now marked on Google maps.,+Waterville+and+Farmington+Railway+Museum/@44.05284,-69.5995746,13z/data=!4m5!1m2!2m1!1slodging+damariscotta+maine!3m1!1s0x0:0x99e60ff947391b9f

It would be great if we had a few more pictures and reviews. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Steam punk Sci Fi
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:38:41 PM »
For the steam/sci fi fans out there, check out the coal fired/steam driven space ships in "Mutant Chronicles", a low budget offering I found late one night on Amazon streaming video. A very curious combination of zombies, stereotypical action film heroes and heroines, mysticism, and Ron Perlman as the spiritual leader saving humankind in the 22nd century.
A teaser: the space ships were hand bombers!

Massachusetts' Two Footers / Edaville Christmas 2013
« on: December 30, 2013, 11:21:10 AM »
A short report on my experience at Edaville this season.
We were there on Saturday night, Dec. 27, and it was very crowded, the line for the train was extending back past the amusement park rides. They had 2 trains operating; #21 with the Polar Express and the diesel train for the less fortunate. Both went out full from 4:30 till 8. My understanding is that the PE takes a different route than the PODT (Plain Old Diesel Train), heading for the North Pole and Santa. There was no sign of #11.
We got on the 4:45 PODT and that took about 20 minutes at estimated 5 MPH to go around the loop.  I believe there was 5-6 Edaville cars, two open cars, a genuine coach (?) and a caboose on the train. Many lights, definitely old school. No computer controlled Youtube worthy displays here! We passed an area of lots of dirt moved around just before we got back to the north end of the parking lot, with signs explaining there will be go karts and bumper boats in there. Also what looked like it may be an enginehouse taking shape.
In general the park was tidy and clean, reasonably well taken care of, with enough stuff to keep the under 12 crowd happy for a couple of hours. The former greenhouse now holds a cranberry exhibit and kids play area on the second floor, with a tinplate model train (vintage AF and Lionel), restrooms, and more play space on the first floor. Tacky and useless gift shop, too.
Of interest on the second floor were some nice old tractors and a video playing with a lot of B&H footage of fan trips in the early 40's, as well as an explanation and footage of the beginnings of Edaville. #7, Rangely, and W&Q #3 could be seen rolling around the bogs.
Edaville is unfortunately not a must see destination for two footer railfans anymore, but still hanging in there as a kiddy park.

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