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Topics - John McNamara

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Now that the "Springfield Show" is less than a month away, it's time (past time) to think about getting our show materials there.

At one time, Bob Cavanagh / Zack (van) and John Robertson (large station wagon) brought stuff. Neither are going this year. I used to also bring stuff in my large station wagon, but I now have a very compact mini-SUV. Cindy and Stewart are coming, but they are handling her father's exhibit. I expect the Piwowarski family, but their status is unknown. The only people signed up are me, Susan Hackett (CT), Marcel, Duncan Mackiewicz, and Dan Malkowski.

I will be coming up to Sheepscot on either the 12th or the 19th, and staging stuff at my house in Maynard (MA), but my carrying capacity is limited.

Is there anyone out there who can help bring clothes, books, and trinkets from Sheepscot to W. Springfield on January 25-26? The more we bring, the more we sell, and the more money we make for the WW&F. Please post here or PM me.

-John M

General Discussion / A Steam Railway in Japan
« on: January 20, 2018, 04:52:41 PM »
Please enjoy the maintenance portions of a video of a railway I visited a few years ago.  I'm pleased to report that there was no Thomas anywhere in sight when I was there.
-John M

General Discussion / Proposed Advertising Text for Excursion Car 103
« on: March 04, 2017, 09:13:46 PM »

Open air viewing

Imagine feeling the wind rushing through your hair, having that epic scenery within touching distance and feeling as though you were standing out there on the plains taking in the awesome sights. Well, that's what our open air viewing carriage was especially designed for.

The outdoor viewing carriage also provides uninterrupted views making the ideal spot for some amazing photos.

If you're travelling during the winter months be sure to pack a coat and hat as it can get a little chilly, especially in the alpine regions.

General Discussion / Bangor & Aroostook Wood Chip Cars
« on: February 19, 2017, 12:36:46 AM »
Does anyone know how to get a hold of drawings for CM&Q wood chip cars? A friend would like to model them.

Museum Discussion / Losing Our Direction
« on: October 16, 2016, 11:33:13 PM »
The only problem with #9 facing north is that when giving signals yesterday to start the train I couldn't recall which way it was facing!
Just think of it as a Diesel :-)

On Saturday (6/18) I took a ride on the Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth ( The consist had two restored coaches book-ending an open car that had folding chairs and picnic tables. The first and last quarters of the car were sheltered from the sun. Motive power was a 1950 ALCO S4 (#1055). A feature of possible interest to WW&F folks is that they sold snacks and bottled water both at the station and aboard the train. The price of these items was extremely reasonable - $1 each. The ride is quite long, 90 minutes, as it involves a trip north (with a run-around), followed by a trip south to the Washington Junction wye, followed by a return to the boarding area behind Cadillac Mountain Sports. BTW, the trips use the parking lot of the old Ellsworth station, now home of the Maine Community Foundation, managers of our endowment. :)

The runaround seemed to take quite a while. I wonder if that's because of dealing with the air brakes, and I wonder if dealing with our vacuum brakes will also lengthen the run-around time.


General Discussion / Downtown Wiscasset Traffic Design Options
« on: March 20, 2016, 11:53:30 PM »
The Maine DOT has announced two traffic improvement design options for downtown Wiscasset. They have posted an impressive video at The "Milk Car Museum" is shown in both options and explicitly mentioned in one description. So, we're now a formal part of Wiscasset! ;D

-John M

Work and Events / Happenings on the Horizon
« on: January 17, 2016, 11:02:31 PM »
I believe that the Annual Meeting is May 7th. Is that correct?

Is the Spring Work Weekend April 22-23-24?
Is the Spring Work Weekend April 29-40-May 1?

-John M

Museum Discussion / Association of Tourist Railroads and Museums
« on: December 27, 2015, 06:11:18 PM »
As a result of some emails between James Patten, myself, and Aaron Isaacs, the editor if the ATRRM newsletter, the restoration story of Number 9's tank and cab now appears on their blog ( Have a look!  :)


A very nice shot of Number 10 "passing through a snowy field Between Alna and Sheepscot, Maine, in 2011" by photographer Dirk Hertel appears on the February page of the Mystic Valley Railway Society 2016 calendar. The snow in the picture appears to be very deep and sticky. My guess is that the date is March 5th, 2011, as that was the date of the MVRS charter, a memorable event in terms of deep and sticky snow. Thanks again to super-shovelers father and son Warmhold from Montreal for making this possible. My guess the location is just entering the power line clearing southbound.


Museum Discussion / Plymouth Research
« on: April 22, 2015, 12:45:13 AM »
Some time ago I was wanting to buy something for #52 and contacted Williams Distribution, parts suppliers for Plymouth locomotives. Their first question was "What's the serial number?" I have been unable to determine this despite pursuing several suggestions from people claiming to know where it is to be found in the cab, in the engine compartment, etc.

I recently purchased a binder/book compiled by R. H. Lehmuth of St. Georg, Utah. This lists the build dates, gauge, model designations, power plant, and horsepower for all Plymouth locomotives from 1939 through 2002. There are ten listed for Carpenter Steel:

Serial 5896, 1/18/1956, Carpenter Steel #12
Serial 5970, 10/3/1956, Carpenter Steel #13, Edaville Railroad #12
Serial 6034, 8/2/1957, Carpenter Steel #14, LaPorte Steam Assn, Heston, Ind.
Serial 6151, 12/12/1958, Carpenter Steel #15, LaPorte Steam Assn, Heston, Ind.
Serial 6220, 3/7/1960, Carpenter Steel #16, High Country RR Golden CO, Nevada Traction $2 Nevada City CA
Serial 6290, 1/16/1963, Carpenter Steel #17, Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Ry Alma Center ME
Serial 6367, 7/19/1963, Carpenter Steel #18
Serial 6554, 5/17/1967, Carpenter Steel #19
Serial 6601, 10/25/1967, Carpenter Steel #20 (15 tons)
Serial 6602, 10/27/1967, Carpenter Steel #21 (15 tons)

Except as noted, all are model DDT-6, powered by a GM 4-71, 160 HP, 12 tons.

Also of interest is Serial 7086, 10/29/75, a 71 HP, 10 ton unit powered by a Caterpillar 3304NA. built for US Metals Refining, Carteret NJ and listed as being at Maine Narrow Gauge.

As is the case with so many research projects, this information produces lots of questions:

1. I've been told (by James?) #52 was built in 1967. Where does that information come from and is it accurate?
2. Why no mention of Biddeford Station? Dwight?
3. Is the Maine Narrow Gauge information accurate? Bill Piche?
4. I think Allan Fisher has some information about #52.

Please pardon the red letters; I just wanted to catch the attention of those folks.


From today's Portland Press Herald:

The owners of the Portland Co. complex on Fore Street announced Thursday that the Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum will remain on Portland’s eastern waterfront through 2017.

The quoted sentence said "through 2017," but Donnell Carroll"s quote later in the article said "through 2016 and into early 2017."

For more detail, see


General Discussion / Portland Locomotive in Canada
« on: January 29, 2015, 06:45:54 PM »
This is not new information, but there might be some additional details here. A recent posting on RyPN links to the Bytown Railway Society, and they have a pdf:

Stored Inside Museum Warehouse - not open to public
LOCOMOTIVES - #3 a two-truck Shay, and

40 Portland 233 11/1872 4-4-0 ex-CN Museum Train 40, 1967; exx-Chaudiere Valley 40, 1949; exxx-John Breakey Ltd. (near
Charny, QC); exxxx-GTR 40, 1/1903; nee GTR 362, (1898)

There's all sorts of other interesting motive power and other equipment listed in that PDF, and that's only Ontario. The other provinces also have PDFs.


General Discussion / New Life for a 1954 0-8-0 Fireless
« on: December 10, 2014, 12:03:39 AM »
There's an interesting article on RyPN about a power plant in Mannheim, Germany, that has acquired a 1954 fireless loco that had been preserved in a museum for 20 years after being in service for 40 years. The power plant people said that this purchase had nothing to do sentiment. It was strictly a business decision, as being a power plant they had lots of surplus steam, and thus the fuel for the loco was essentially free. The loco was thoroughly checked out before the sale, and is being readied for service - to join the other three they are using!

General Discussion / From a Post in RyPN
« on: November 28, 2014, 02:25:00 PM »
From a post ("Doyle McCormack Interview) in RyPN about the future of mainline steam excursions. The post is by "J3a-614:"

"The industry has some very dedicated people in it and "outside" it, too. Some are as professional as anybody in any field--see the Fort Wayne Historical Society, the Strasburg Rail Road, and the WW&F for just three examples--and think of the many more we have read about and celebrated here and elsewhere."

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