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Messages - James Patten

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Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: March 23, 2018, 02:12:08 PM »
I started working on this May last year.  I attended the June planning board meeting to get an idea of they wanted.  I missed the July meeting because I was hiking Mt. Katahdin.  I got more input at the August meeting.  I missed the September meeting because I wasn't ready, then at the October meeting they were generally happy with it, but they wanted to wait until the Traffic Study results were in.  Those didn't come in until after the January meeting, so Jason was kind enough to go before them at the February meeting.  This brought the final wave of feedback, which made it into the application for the March meeting.  Then its getting the notification letter written and mailed out to nearby landowners.

Alongside this was the application for the shoreland zone, which allows us to build the bridge and work at the "pinch point".  And after this is done, we'll probably have to do another shoreland zone application for the Head Tide Trail work that needs to happen (tree work mainly, I think).

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: March 23, 2018, 01:45:25 AM »
For those of you who are interested in the gory minutae that it takes to build a railroad, the latest Alna Planning Board submission can be found at  It's a few minutes of excitement wrapped up in some boring technical bureaucratese.  This PDF also includes the traffic study, if graphs and numbers really get you excited.

Note that this covers both activities at Sheepscot and for the Mountain, but since I announced the acceptance of the plan on this thread I thought I'd give you the link here.  This is what the townsfolks will be downloading if they go online.

At least it's not as large as the Lynton & Barnstable application.

Other Maine Narrow Gauge / Re: SD Warren Tank Engine
« on: March 21, 2018, 06:46:59 PM »
It's currently sitting in their shop waiting for the finishing touches.  I think one of the limitations is time to work on it.

Other Maine Narrow Gauge / Re: Biddeford station (defunct)
« on: March 21, 2018, 06:45:31 PM »
Biddeford Station was actually supposed to be a satellite operation of Seashore Trolley, and eventually the terminus for the Trolley Museum.  The STM owns all the right of way between their current terminus and that location.  However, it would have required that STM buy another electrical sub station, which runs into millions.  So that plan died.

I believe all the track has been torn out. I don't know if the passenger equipment is still there, but we believe that the diesel still is, and is available (for a higher price than we're willing to pay, since I am sure someone will ask).

Volunteers / Re: March 2018 Work Planning
« on: March 21, 2018, 11:02:19 AM »
Anticipated work for Saturday March 24:

* Easter Eggspress prep - Easter trains are the 31st.
* Boxcar 67
* #10 boiler work
* Mountain ROW clearing

Volunteers / Re: March 2018 Work Planning
« on: March 14, 2018, 11:28:27 AM »
Anticipated work for Saturday March 17:

* Storm cleanup - we got at least a foot, probably more.
* Trout Brook tree clean up
* Boxcar 67
* 10 boiler work

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: March 13, 2018, 12:21:45 AM »
I'm pleased to announce that at tonight's Alna Planning Board meeting our 5-year plan with the Town was accepted as complete.  The public hearing will be April 2 at 6:30 PM at the Alna Fire Department.  This covers the period July 2017 (yes we're late) thru June 2022.  This plan, once fully approved, will cover construction activities at Sheepscot, Top of Mountain, and the construction activities down the Mountain to 218. 

The Shoreland Zone application/approval from December only applies to 2 places: the bridge, and the pinch point.  This covers everything in between.

Volunteers / Re: March 2018 Work Planning
« on: March 11, 2018, 12:44:43 AM »
Work done on Saturday March 10:

* Big Joe: The hydraulic pump was disconnected from hoses and frame, and Big Joe was rolled outside the pump was pushed off the frame into the snow.  The frame was then moved forward so that the controls to the Airman could be accessed.  Mike and Jay primarily worked on it, with assistance from various other people.  Mike's goal was to get it started.  It took 3 batteries, two battery chargers, and a jumper cable to the diesel engine to get the compressor going.  Mike also had to clean out a fuel filter (nasty stuff in it) and who knows what else on it.
* Machine shop: Alan was making chips, probably for something related to #10.
* House: Fred shoveled off most of the long ramp, and when he was nearly done I helped.  ;D  One of the unused fridges was moved downstairs.  Also Cindy, Mike and Brendan helped move some infrequently used supplies out of the upstairs kitchen closet to downstairs and to the master bathroom, then moved the water/soda from the hall closet to the kitchen closet.
* Roster shots: Ed was wondering where two of the four wheeled cars were (1002 and 1004 if I recall), which I didn't really know.  I unlocked the car barn and we found them there.
* Board meeting: Pretty uneventful board meeting.

I'm really glad we didn't have to fill out the amount of paperwork that they did.

Volunteers / Re: 2017 Volunteer Hours
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:36:57 PM »
Yes, "Jonas" could be "James" - it's often difficult to make out signed names.  I consider myself fortunate to get it right more than half the time.

If I didn't know Josh Recave's signature I'd never be able to decode it.  He signs with a large illegible scrawl which takes up 5 or 6 lines.

Volunteers / Re: 2017 Volunteer Hours
« on: March 08, 2018, 12:42:41 AM »
Contact info needed for the following folks from last year:

David Arthur
Jay Attili
Tim Averell
Allison Bailey
Harrison Bissonnette
Linda Blomquist
Philip Blomquist
Corey Boucher
Charlie Brogan
Ted Darling
Richard Forrest
Joseph Gilbert
Alyson Graham
Paul Hunt
Chris Johnson
Christine Kokas
Stewart Loft
Tom E. Lupien
Tom W. Lupien
Cullen Maher
Hannah McAnec
Mark Metz
Nick Miacchacaso
Barbara Moore (Fred is this your daughter?)
Jonas Nobilini
Jen Nordhauser
Laura Rochette
Kara Rodgers
Barb Smith
Eric Snyder
Amanda Sproul
Pete Stevens
Gail Thayer

Replies to this thread, messages on the forum, or emails direct to me will all work.

I'm getting a chuckle out of the locals that say "We can't let you take our engine out of town!" when it was scheduled to be destroyed, which would effectively remove it from town.

Volunteers / Re: March 2018 Work Planning
« on: March 07, 2018, 01:27:36 PM »
Anticipated work for Saturday March 10:

* Storm clean up - we're supposed to get a foot or so of snow tonight/tomorrow.
* Mountain ROW clearing
* Boxcar 67
* Board meeting at 4

It's not a Presidential Palanquin.

A proper ejection seat is something that Big Joe is missing.  Sometime's it's difficult to get down off that lofty height.

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