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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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Work and Events / Mother's Day Tea- May 11th
« on: April 23, 2019, 10:23:36 AM »
Hi Everyone,

At long last, tickets for the Mother's Day Tea have been posted at Note that the event has been rescheduled from Sunday May 12 (the actual Mother's Day) to Saturday May 11th to ease the burden on our operating crews and work within our existing operating schedule.

Details are below:
Ride aboard reserved cars on our noon train to a special English-style Mother's Day tea at our Alna Center Station. The tea will feature locally-sourced cakes, scones, and sandwiches, plus tea and coffee. Moms will receive a special Springtime gift to bring home along with special treats when they board the train at Sheepscot. We're looking forward to making this a special day for the whole family and moms in particular.

Capacity is limited to 40, so get your tickets soon! Advance-purchase tickets are required, so that we can adequately prepare for the number of guests we will be hosting. Tickets are available at

Please arrive by 11:45AM to ensure a relaxed boarding experience. Tickets for the Mother's Day Tea are all-inclusive. They include tea service at Alna Center (accessed on the noon train), along with access to the other train at 10:30 and the Museum. After tea, ride the northbound train to Top of Mountain and return to Sheepscot at 2:15. All trains leave from Sheepscot Station at 97 Cross Road in Alna.

Ticket Prices are as follows:
$20.00 for adults
$15.00 for children 4-12
free for children birth-3

This event is weather dependent and, in the event of foul weather, an announcement will be made and emailed regarding the cancellation of the event. The full ticket price will be refunded.

Tickets are non-transferable (except by a Railway representative) and refundable up until May 9th.

Volunteers / Re: April 2019 Work Reports
« on: April 22, 2019, 02:41:45 AM »
Facebook targeting "boosts" (ads that went out to specific demographics) went out to 2 areas centered around southern Maine, Augusta, and Bangor.

Posters went up locally, along with some other local sharing of the event.

It was a great day and people had a really nice time from all of the comments I've read and heard in person. Great job team.


Museum Discussion / Re: ROW Vegetation control
« on: April 14, 2019, 09:43:19 PM »
I checked prices. Good wildflower mixes seem to cost around 100.00 for a 50lb bag.

It might be a nice gesture to coordinate with Midcoast Conservancy, Maine DEP, or U Maine Extension on choosing a mix that contains appropriate species for our area.

Museum Discussion / Re: ROW Vegetation control
« on: April 13, 2019, 12:42:56 PM »
Goats are really great foragers but sheep are better grazers- that is, they prefer pasture. A problem we might encounter with goats is plant toxicity. Goats cannot eat bracken fern and milkweed. Both occur along our ROW. Wilted cherry tree leaves and branches are also toxic. There are ways around this, however.

We are probably getting some goats either this year or next, so we should be able to test this. Meanwhile, seeding along the ROW with a wildflower mix could not only help us manage the ROW more easily, it could also provide a point of interest for visitors.


Work and Events / 2019 Easter Express
« on: April 11, 2019, 12:33:34 AM »
Hi All,

With Easter Eggspress coming up on the 20th, it is time to put posters out. Bill Reidy has out together a beautiful poster for us which Jason has been kind enough to print. Tomorrow copies will be available by the sign in log at the Percival house. If you could assist in putting them up at local businesses, it would be appreciated.

Thanks very much,

« on: April 05, 2019, 12:30:54 AM »

We've still got a bunch of excavation to do around the house and general construction going on so right by the house, where an RV would make sense isn't available right now.

« on: April 04, 2019, 02:31:05 AM »
If anyone wants to camp on the back 40 adjacent to Alna Center, message me. There's no running water or utilities, but if you have a tent and like roughing it- this could be your ticket. Plus, commuting distance, which has its perks.


Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 23, 2019, 11:29:35 PM »
Today we had the pleasure of working with 5 trainees during the 1st car host training workshop. We learned a lot from each other and every element of the training proved that many hands working together can truly produce a superior product! Thanks to everyone who participated and assisting with the training. I'll be posting the documents from the training here shortly.

I'd like to heartily welcome Lisa and Andy Gross, Dick Picard, Raija Suomela, Sonja Wyllie (who has been with the Ry many years, but not in this context) to the WW&F fold. You all brought plenty of excitement and great questions with you! Your presence has us all excited and looking

We'll be holding additional trainings the next two Saturdays March 30th and April 6th. You only need to attend one session to become qualified and we'd love to have you join the crew! Classes start at 8:00 with coffee and introductions and get underway in earnest at 8:30 we go until 11 when we break for lunch, then continue with a trip up the line after lunch.

Whether you are available every weekend, or only occasionally, consider joining us!

More classes will be offered towards the summer months for those not regularly available.

Thanks so much everyone!

See you on the narrow gauge,

Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 23, 2019, 10:58:54 PM »

That worked.

Thanks for the test. It is good to know that can be an option.


Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 23, 2019, 03:35:47 AM »
Just to give everyone a heads up, so far we have 3 folks signed up for tomorrow's class but anyone is welcome to join in. Instead of the original format of a three day course for training, we are consolidating to a one day course which I'll offer each of the next 3 Saturdays.


Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 23, 2019, 03:33:15 AM »
Anyone who participates in the training will receive the materials free of charge. The museum guide is typically free, but the WW&F pamphlet regularly has a small cost attached to defray printing costs.

I would typically hand them out at the trainings, but if someone wants to look them over ahead, I could make some up for that. Alternatively, I suppose we could post both here on the forum, but that might be technologically difficult... so I'm not sure about that.


Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:46:50 PM »
Hi Gary (and others),

The Museum Guide is the guide is published by the museum and handed out to every visitor with their tickets. It goes over the various things around campus and things seen during the trip.

"Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway: the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge" was published last year by the Railway. It is a more in depth version of the article that was published in the NRHS bulletin, but without photographs.


Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 16, 2019, 01:41:50 PM »

Thanks for the compliments though I am motivated by the energy I get from all of the good people I am surrounded by here- the ideas, excitement and energy all fuel my passion to bring the WW&F and its story to new audiences and individuals while continuing the great work of rebuilding the railway.

As I will be working on the plans for each of the meeting days, the documents I develop will form the basis for an electronic summary I can later send to you and others who are interested. Maybe they could event get posted to the forum!

I will tell you that the two resources that form the basis for the training are the Museum Guide authored by Bill Reidy along with the 28 page pamphlet "Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway: the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge" published last year by the Museum. For starters, these are a good jumping off point.

Wayne L. pointed out an important detail- the Car Host program is great for someone who would like to take on an active role in the public, operational side of the railway without the responsibilities of a brakeman, conductor, etc. It is also low-impact physically, as hosts are encouraged to sit with passengers and have one on one or small-group, personal conversations, rather than standing and addressing an entire car of people.

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

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: March 12, 2019, 07:02:41 PM »
Sounds good. I think you jogged my memory. Maybe I was there for that. In any case, maybe we'll get a chance to sit down together this coming Saturday at some point.

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