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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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1
Work and Events / Music on the Railway 2020
« on: March 10, 2020, 03:25:55 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Season passes for the Music on the Railway 2020 season have gone on sale. The season pass gets you in to all 4 concerts, which are always held on the 4th Saturday of the month (June, July, August, September), for the price of 3. The season passes will be on sale throughout March. On April 1st ticketing will shift to individual concerts. The line up is:
June: Rough Sawn
July: Pejepscot Station
August: Freemont Street String Band
September: Old Hat Duo

Tickets are on sale here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wiscasset-waterville-farmington-music-on-the-railway-season-pass-tickets-90315671605

2
Work and Events / Re: WCSH's '207' visits the WW&F
« on: March 02, 2020, 10:03:45 PM »
Hi Everyone,

For those of you who are interested, the WW&F will be featured on tomorrow night's episode of '207' at 7PM. It's on WCSH - channel 6

Enjoy!

3
Work and Events / Re: Coach 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: February 28, 2020, 11:15:18 PM »
Ah, I understand! Not a bad idea to ask for a discount! ;)

4
Work and Events / Re: Coach 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: February 28, 2020, 10:29:27 PM »
Harold- first and foremost great work and thank you for sharing an update on your progress.
Interesting about your trouble finding quartersawn white oak. In organ building we use quite a bit of white oak for casework, but also in the windchests and smaller dimension wooden pipes, because of it's strength. We used white oak specifically because it has closed capillaries which do not allow air to leak readily as opposed to red oak, which could leak air readily.

As for the quartersawn oak, that was specifically sought after for casework due to the appearance and aforementioned rays. Leonard Lumber, in Durham, CT was our supplier and we had good luck with them, but it's a bit far for you. Surprised it is hard to come by your way.

Steve

5
Work and Events / WCSH's '207' visits the WW&F
« on: February 21, 2020, 11:48:56 PM »
Today the WW&F was visited by WSCH's (channel 6) Amanda Hill and her cameraman Devin Crawford.

Museum member Andy Swift for connected us and told Amanda she needed to get up to Alna stat to see what we were up to, so she did.

There were a several interviews, lots of filming at Sheepscot and the environs and a run up to Alna Center, which was not without a few interesting moments because yours truly brought the trai  to an unintended stop with the engine right on the Averill Rd. crossing, which led the train to stall. After letting all of our slack in and thoroughly cleaning and sanding the crossing, we were able to get back on our feet once again, pull the train into the clear on the main and run around on the passing siding.

With our minds put together, we figured it out. A nice display of some of the challenges of winter railroading.

For what it's worth, Averill Rd. seems to be worse than usual in terms of ice build up on the crossing- maybe due to snowmobile traffic.

When I hear of the date that the segment will air, I will post it here.

Steve

6
Museum Discussion / Re: A letter of encouragement
« on: February 21, 2020, 10:26:47 PM »
I'd like to piggyback on Ed's the comments Ed shared below. Everyone, from Steam & Saws volunteers, to train crew, to SeaLyon Farm crew did a magnificent job of hosting our guests of the course of January and February. Lots of hard work went into making it happen, not the least of which was the weekday crew working hard to keep the line open between storms.

We also had several 'sometimes' volunteers join us with greater frequency during the events, and the word on the street is they had a great time and will be back for more.

Here are a few brief observations of what made the event a success:
*Lots of good media attention on Facebook- one keen observer noted that nearly all interest in the event was derived from people who learned about it on Facebook.
*We learned from Saturday and made tweaks and improvements for a better experience on Sunday.
*Conductors briefed crews at the beginning of each day and again if the plan changed or needed talking through.
*The few complaints we had (2) were promptly addressed and dealt with quickly and thoughtfully.
*Plans are already afoot to discuss how the event could be improved from our experience this year.

Thanks for doing what it took to make the magic happen. Going by what I've read, you all made a lot of people very happy.

7
Work and Events / Re: SWW 2020 - Spouse/Member Activities & Tours
« on: February 01, 2020, 01:45:48 AM »
These are great, support the local economy, and potentially could draw more volunteers and build lasting friendships. Great addition! I'm hoping we can advertise them as we recruit for SWW. Thank you!

Best,
Steve

8
Work and Events / Re: West Springfield, MA Railroad Show
« on: January 28, 2020, 10:15:19 PM »
Thank you to the entire ground crew for making the a great, yet appropriately narrow, splash at the 2020 ARS Show. Glad also to hear of the strong sales. I'm very curious as to what merchandise sold well/what didn't move.

Again, thanks to all of you who were in Springfield for putting on a great show on behalf of the WW&F!

9
Work and Events / Re: West Springfield, MA Railroad Show
« on: January 06, 2020, 10:05:25 PM »
Thank you Duncan for getting the ball rolling by setting up this thread!

I am helping to organize personnel and travel to the show this year and wanted to check in on the forum. I have a list of folks who usually help out at the table which includes Duncan, among others who will have passes provided.

We are transporting materials to W. Springfield the Friday night prior to the shows opening. Bill Reidy has stepped up to carry the majority of materials in his vehicle. However, his schedule is sometimes effected by work emergencies. Is there anyone else headed from the Sheepscot area to W. Springfield arriving in the area on Friday night who would be willing to haul show merchandise in a pinch, or simply to ease the burden on Bill?

At the show, John McNamara will have the passes for those who have already committed to volunteering and we need to figure out how best to distribute them. If you are planning to volunteer and are in need of a pass, please PM me and I will see what we can arrange.

This year, I will not be at the show. Instead I will be at Sheepscot helping to ensure smooth sailing (or sledding) during Steam and Sleighs. Hope you all have a blast!

Best,
Steve


10
General Discussion / Re: Velocipede
« on: October 28, 2019, 08:45:41 PM »
Hi Russ,

The body of a velocipede- not unlike the Sandy River one pictured above, and nearly identical to the one Harry is riding is in the old wood shop upstairs in the car shop. I am not sure when it was built or who built it, but the project has been languishing for many years.

A couple of years ago some of our younger members took an interest in it- and I am certain they would still be interested in helping if someone were willing to champion the project.

There are many mechanical parts too, but I believe some things would need to be made. I am not sure how complete/incomplete the 'kit' is at this time.

Steve

11
Work and Events / Re: NOV. 2 - WORK-EVENT- ROCK THE MOUNTAIN!
« on: October 27, 2019, 07:52:31 PM »
Richard- Don't forget the Sheepscot Hilton! $10.00 a night- bring your own sheets or a sleeping bag and a towel. Best wishes for s speedy recovery Steve!


12
Work and Events / Re: NOV. 2 - WORK-EVENT- ROCK THE MOUNTAIN!
« on: October 26, 2019, 11:27:06 PM »
I'm going to be your cookie for the day. Thinking chicken and dumplings or beef stew and biscuits. Maybe split pea soup. Pies or cobbler for dessert. It'll be simple, good, and warm you up on a cold day.

Steve

13
Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: October 26, 2019, 11:15:12 PM »
I'm of the sentiment that track maintenance is as satisfying as track building. Both have their pros and cons, but one thing is for sure: once it is built it must be maintained.

One of my favorite work weekends was a couple of years ago when Dana took us out with a crew on Monday and spent it lining track, lifting low joints, and tamping mostly north of the ladder. It was work that needed to be accomplished and a few small groups of people accomplished a lot in about half a day. Afterward, we looked back at where we had just been and the flaws had been replaced with proud accomplishment. What a great way to end the weekend!

As Ben pointed out, frequent slow orders can really kill operations on a railway and we have our share. Working towards getting them fixed will give everyone, volunteer and visitor alike a better experience.

As Dana points out balance is key.

14
Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas, 2019
« on: October 26, 2019, 11:02:46 PM »
As Ed says it is a capacity issue in many respects.

The on an 'average' day the railway is handling more passengers than it did in the 1920s an perhaps earlier. This is supported by conductors reports.

To that point- both Sheepscot and Alna Center were designed mainly as flagstops- never intended to be terminating locations or major destinations. To that point, Sheepscot has had its platform extended, waiting canopy added, etc. Alna Center remains largely the same design it had at the turn of the last century. They were designed to handle dozens, not hundreds of passengers and, as such, managing more can be a real challenge safety wise. 1550 was unsafe and that was the primary reason we took steps to implement a system to distribute and control when people rode the train and how many ride.

15
Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Work Reports
« on: October 12, 2019, 09:19:42 PM »
Thanks Gary and Barb!

If it's not too much trouble and it would be a help, fiction non-fiction, children's- the kind of books to help pass the time while waiting for a train, or learning more about trains are ideal  ;D

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