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Messages - Joe Fox

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Volunteers / Re: November 2017 Work Planning
« on: November 19, 2017, 09:12:33 PM »
Oooh. A forging day sounds fun. :)

Museum Discussion / WW&F mentioned in local Model RR club newsletter
« on: November 16, 2017, 01:56:52 AM »
The WW&F is featured in this months edition of the Great Falls Model Railroad Club Newsletter. I picked up a copy and will bring it to the museum next time I am down for anyone that is interested to look through. Although it has a small reach, any publicity is better than none. Theres two photos included as well taken during the fall work weekend featured previously on the forum.

We are always eager to teach people. Sharing knowledge is always fun, and enjoyable with those willing to learn.

Unfortunately, it is hard to get a crew together on any day ready to leave before 9a.m. On a normal day now very few arrive before 8 which is why weekday track work is critical. Thus allowing a normal departure time of 9:30, back for lunch, and then go out again to be back by 4. Many of the weekday crew said they would be willing to bring a lunch if we get to the point of being further away from Sheepscot, and or leave a vehicle at Alna Center. On days when we advertise a weekend track crew no one shows up or ready to go till 9. Which doesn't work well. After the last few years we have gotten away from weekend maintenance and just this year started weekday work or non operating weekend day. Which I think works very well.

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak to Wiscasset (and Rockland) in 2018?
« on: November 14, 2017, 05:09:47 PM »
Weekend service is the only thing they are currently talking about.

All of this taken into consideration, we can try for better schedules. Next spring I hope to have a set schedule, which I could have right now if I wanted to work nights again, but right now I am chasing the money. There was hopes of regular track days this summer, but too many projects kept popping up, equipment issues, etc.

We can try for Saturday track crews, but this year was lead to too many other weekend projects and lack of interest by volunteers. And by 8:30 I tend to lose ambition for trying to recruit guys. Best bet in reality is to continue planned week days coordinated with and or around shop help. Jason and I had discussed earlier this year that two days a month for 5 months and we could surface almost all of the rough spots along with other select work in those areas at the same time.

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak to Wiscasset (and Rockland) in 2018?
« on: November 14, 2017, 02:50:15 AM »
Freeport does ok on Weekends, however due to current scheduling its not a very good schedule for commuters or visitors to Freeport.

As for ever coming up here to Lewiston Auburn, in my mind they already cganged their minds against that by going to Brunswick, the complete opposite way from Auburn however puts it on the way to Augusta, Waterville, & Bangor. Who knows what the future will hold, but Maine as a whole needs to work on improving public transportation.

General Discussion / Re: Amtrak to Wiscasset (and Rockland) in 2018?
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:47:46 PM »
Me personally do not see where any of those lines will be profitable. Amtrak went to Brunswick to try to ease congestion on 295, and it did not work. Why? Because us as Americans would rather deal with traffic and have our own wheels to get us there on short hauls. The line is only profitable from Wells south because that is where the most commuters start to get on to take the train to Boston. Very few people if any ride the train from Portland to Brunswick, and vice versa.

General Discussion / Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« on: November 13, 2017, 11:45:44 AM »
Lol. It happens to everyone Bill.

And Steve, they do have slip control, but if it takes off at a steady rate the slip control just thinks the engine is going very quickly and will not drop the amperage. Then theres times when you have a small wheel and larger wheel because one axle got turned and the other did not, that you get constant wheel slip.

General Discussion / Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:01:01 AM »
Believe it or not it doesn't take long to leave even a slight indintation. A train in notch 8, and a sudden stop can cause wheels to let go and spin uncontrollably. Which at night can make for one very interesting display of sparks.

General Discussion / Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« on: November 12, 2017, 12:12:10 AM »
Another huge aspect of being an engineer is knowing what is needed to keep an almost tonnage train moving in less than ideal conditions. Sometimes theres nothing you can do, but it still sucks to call up and tell the dispatcher you have stalled.

1: sometimes less power means more power.
2: in cases of extreme wheel slip, even sand won't help so you need to use a little engine brake to help provide a little resistance to the wheels.  The only time this doesn't work is if you have engines dead in tow or not providing power, as it makes more pull on the engines.

General Discussion / Re: Joe Fox at his day job...
« on: November 11, 2017, 10:34:31 PM »
Knowing how to make up time on a scheduled run was one I learned from my ex Maine Central and BM engineers at Conway. The Maine Central engineer taught me how to run to Conway, which had no schedule in between the two stations, so he taught me on schedule and no speedometer such as steam or the f-unit 4266, you go by the point at this time, this point at this time, etc. And if you need to make up a little time, you can do so in the smoother points, and easier done while traveling uphill. In my previous story, we left for the 1:30 Conway trip at 1:49, 19 minutes off schedule. So doing the best I could do and not make people feel uncomfortable we arrived at Conway at 2:08, a mere 13 minutes off schedule. With a quick run around, and set and release on the last car we were off at 2:15, now just 12 minutes off schedule. Again doing the best possible we arrived back at North Conway at 2:36. The trip back always seemed quicker which made making up time a bit more difficult.

On the 2:30 Bartlett run we departed at 2:45, and with track being a bit smoother to Bartlett I was able to get right after it. We arrived at Bartlett at 3:15, only delaying the notch train by 6 minutes. Not bad at all.

Hopefully the new DW will help speed up tie changing next summer. As for scheduled track work, there is always several smaller tasks that can be done such as tighten loose bolts, replace worn out joint bars, etc that is listed in the track inspection/work book. I wanted to get to the museum last month several times, however I only had 4 days off for the month and of course did not realize till it got to the 24 hour mark when the phone would ring thus starting 5 more days. What a hectic month October was.

Spiking is exhausting, but I am voicing what is commonly heard from the workers. My favorite comment, "you know Joe we wouldn't feel hurt at all if your dad or others build us a hopper car"

As Russ, and many other often say during a work weekend, they would love to build as much track per day as possible any day, rather than shovel stone. A new way to ballast would be very helpfull for both track building and maintenance. Shoveling, even at my young age, kills the wrists and finding an easier way to ballast would not offend any of our volunteers.

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