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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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1
General Discussion / Re: Engine wiper
« on: December 08, 2017, 08:56:22 PM »
I should mention that our regular runs operate by timetable authority. Other trains outside of regular operations are either self dispatched (if the only train operating) or dispatched by a dispatcher.

2
Volunteers / Re: Trimber framing, post/beam wood working skills
« on: December 08, 2017, 12:15:31 AM »
Not to take away from the Shelter Institute's program but Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson (one of the towns adjoining Alna) puts on an excellent weeklong timber framing workshop several times a year. I have had several friends attend, and all speak very highly of it.

Steve

3
General Discussion / Re: Amtrak to Wiscasset (and Rockland) in 2018?
« on: November 16, 2017, 05:16:41 AM »
Rockland is a changing demographic. It is becoming very popular with the younger generation who, having left the big city, are working on making their way in smaller cities and towns without the use of a car. If the trend continues, I could see Rockland becoming a draw for Downeaster traffic.

Steve

4
Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas 2017
« on: October 23, 2017, 12:54:47 AM »
Also, note that tickets for VC will likely be by reservation this year. Details will be available shortly. The goal is to ease this parking situation and disperse the crowds more evenly across the day. Stay posted!

Steve

5
Too bad Bill. It sounds like it would've been fun, but sometimes that is not enough. Thanks also for holding up on posting here- I could imagine that it could've led to some confusion. Maybe next year you'll get to try again :)
Take care,
Steve

6
Hi Bill,

Is this the first time. MNG is running autumn evening trains? As I'm sure you've seen, we ran one 2 Saturday weekends ago and were quite pleased with the turnout. I'm hoping to get down to ride one of them. Either way, best of luck welcoming No. 3 back in Portland

Steve

7
Museum Discussion / Re: Finding the WW&F on Facebook
« on: October 02, 2017, 04:26:51 PM »
I've made a small wording edit in the post to accommodate Joe's request. It doesn't change the content, but it does add that point of clarification.

Steve

8
Volunteers / Re: September 2017 work planning
« on: October 02, 2017, 02:37:47 AM »
Thank you guys. I couldn't have done it without all of you. I was a bit more long winded in my other post, if you want to read it, but- the enthusiasm and history you've all shared with me over the past 10 years was the key in making this happen. We're the caretakers of a special place, but the people make the place.

Can't wait to do it again!

Next stop, Head Tide :)
Steve

9
Well, this year's Fall Festival and the Apple Harvest Moonlight Train have now moved into the history books. Annie and I had a great time at the Fall Festival which was superb! Everyone we met or spent time with seemed to be having a great time and it was just about as relaxed as could be. It was a great success.

Meanwhile, the evening train, which was a sort of 'proof of concept' for similar trains in the future was wonderful. Certainly attendance exceeded our wildest imagination. I had anticipated 30-60, but we wound up with a full 3 car train of nearly 100 passengers. The crew who helped put this together and happen was awesome, including many who had already put in a full day during the Fall Festival. Most impressive was how, when faced with the larger than expected crowd, everyone came together and helped the event run smoothly without missing a beat.

Improvising on short notice to help fill some time before everyone got situated, Dana delivered his great story Gagnon, world champeen moose caller. John, our speaker did an awesome job conveying his story of apples in the Sheepscot Valley which actually went back to the earliest cultivation of apples in Kazakstan.

Again, people seemed to have a wonderful time. Alan Downey pointed out that we had a lot of first time visitors who were local, yet came because the event was something they were interested in and the train seemed like a cool way to get there.

As for me, I couldn't imagine a better adopted family who was willing to hear out my crazy ideas, help develop them and then bring them to fruition. I hope that those of you who attended enjoyed the evening. Thank you all volunteers and passengers alike for helping to make the event a success.

Can't wait to do it again!

Now, onward to Head Tide :)

10
Ok, so I've been watching these ideas develop with a lot of interest. I think a perfect tie in for dairy/milk is the Ice Cream Social. And... In case we missed our relevance in modern society, I was just talking to a Maine Cheesemaker from the Common Ground Fair about ways of increasing efficiency and lowering production costs. One of the ideas being tossed around is constructing a cooperative creamery to handle dairy processing... Not unlike Turner Center in Wiscasset over 100 years ago!

The potato idea is slick and totally new. I'd suggest we don't do the same exact thing again next year, but if it's well received do another apple related event. Pie baking/eating contest anyone?!

Steve

11
Volunteers / Re: September 2017 work planning
« on: September 28, 2017, 01:52:08 AM »
Steve Z. Was saying we could absolutely use more folks at AC on Saturday during the day. It's always a lot of fun!
Afterward we'll need a couple folks to convert AC from daytime to evening activities.
During the evening, we could use a couple of folks at A just to help things move along smoothly.

Thanks,
Formerly Vermont Steve

12
I had actually planted some potatoes outside the Percival house earlier this year. Just dug them last week. The one I tried was pretty tasty!

13
As an aside to Steve Z's earlier note- he needs people during the day to assist with Fall Festival at Alna Center.

14
Hi all,

From the get go, this idea has been a partnership between Alan Downey and I. As Mike said, the board has been very supportive throughout. The train crews are also critical to making it happen, as is Jason who, as trainmaster, has worked hard to develop effective operating plans. It's been great bringing this to fruition and we hope that everyone who attends gets to enjoy a seldom seen part of the railway. We've been talking over the idea for months now, but he was the one who really lit the fire in my imagination. We started to talk over ideas and figure out what would work best.

Potentially, this will lead to similar events next year and beyond.

15
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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