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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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1
Work and Events / Re: West Springfield, MA Railroad Show
« on: January 29, 2020, 01:15:19 AM »
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!

2
Work and Events / Re: West Springfield, MA Railroad Show
« on: January 07, 2020, 01:05:25 AM »
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


3
General Discussion / Re: Velocipede
« on: October 28, 2019, 11:45:41 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

4
Work and Events / Re: NOV. 2 - WORK-EVENT- ROCK THE MOUNTAIN!
« on: October 27, 2019, 10:52:31 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!


5
Work and Events / Re: NOV. 2 - WORK-EVENT- ROCK THE MOUNTAIN!
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:27:06 AM »
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

6
Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:15:12 AM »
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.

7
Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas, 2019
« on: October 27, 2019, 02:02:46 AM »
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.

8
Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Work Reports
« on: October 13, 2019, 12:19:42 AM »
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

9
Volunteers / Re: October 2019 Work Reports
« on: October 13, 2019, 12:18:10 AM »
Not wanting to be idle for even a moment, we also have been concurrently running public trains all weekend to Top of Mountain where they are met by a hay wagon from SeaLyon farm for a trip up to their pumpkin patch. We are doing these 'Pumpkin Picking Trains to SeaLyon Farm' for the 10:30AM, 12, and 1:30PM trains.

Today we probably had in the neighborhood of 50 riders, which is great considering the rain. Conductors could give better information. Meanwhile, we've got about 45 tickets presold for tomorrow's 10:30AM train.

It's great to see the railroad doing what railroads are meant to do even in the midst of extending the railway. And what an impressive effort to pull it all off. Very nice work everyone- you've done a great job and it shows in the nice things people are saying online and the kind comments from passengers who've ridden so far this weekend.

Nice work setting a great standard of service.

Steve

10
Volunteers / Re: September 2019 Work Reports
« on: October 12, 2019, 01:28:35 AM »
A big, big thanks to Bill for constructing these libraries! While alone they might not seem like much, they will go a long way toward providing other activities on and along the railway for visitors who may not necessarily be railway enthusiasts to enjoy.

The one at Sheepscot will allow visitors to choose a book to read on the platform while they wait for the train or one to read on the train itself.

Meanwhile, the one at Alna Center will compliment the expanded picnic grove and pavilion there and give visitors something to pass the time between trains if they choose to extend there stay at Alna Center for a picnic, concert, etc.

Books can be freely exchanged between the stations and will eventually be able to be exchanged (by trail) with the one at Alna's town office.

We're looking forward to getting them painted, installed, and hopefully filled with books (childrens, railway, and everything in between) so our patrons can enjoy them next season!

Thanks for making the addition possible- I am beyond motivated by your enthusiasm and support on this project!

Steve

11
Work and Events / Re: B&SR tank car rebuild
« on: August 21, 2019, 02:59:10 AM »
Although, the cars themselves may have been assembled in the early 1900s, I believe Phillip Marshall suggested that the tanks themselves may have actually belonged to earlier, standard gauge tank cars.

12
Work and Events / Re: Moving passenger cars from MNGRR to WWFRY
« on: July 26, 2019, 11:11:49 PM »
An article detailing the move along with the arrival of the Rangeley was recently in the Wiscasset Newspaper. Read it here: https://www.wiscassetnewspaper.com/article/special-delivery-rr-cars-arrive-alna/121777

13
I am sure there will be work that can be done on Sunday regardless of whether it is the planned work or not. I suspect some RoW cutting could happen, along with a few other things.

14
Heads up folks! Joe Fox and I spoke this morning and we are still on for Rock the Mountain this weekend. We are expecting hot weather, so having more people rather than fewer will be key to make sure no one gets exhausted. Plenty of water and drinks will be provided to keep everyone hydrated. If it does prove unbearably hot, we will likely find some other work to do as there is always plenty happening around here.


15
This weekend we are hosting what we are calling 'Stuff a Boxcar'.

Each person who brings a non-perishable food item or monetary donation will receive a free round trip ticket to ride the train. Food donations will be sent to area food pantries for Alna, Wiscasset, Whitefield, and Jefferson. Monetary donations will be split 80/20 between food pantries and the WW&F.

This is as especially important time of year for food pantry donations because outside of the holiday season food pantry donations typically fall off, but the need remains steady. Summer can be a hard time, so events like this help to bring necessary resources in at a critical part of the year.

Come on out and support a worthy cause while riding the railway you love!

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