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Messages - Stephen Piwowarski

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Work and Events / Re: Steam & Sleighs Recap
« on: February 19, 2019, 11:39:21 AM »
I manned the caboose/hut and found that the January Saturday had sparse attendance - only about three parties of two each. The February Saturday event was more active - perhaps ten parties of two each. I don't know about the February Sunday event. Perhaps someone else can comment.

On Sunday, we probably had quite a few detrain for activities at ToM.
12 on the 10:30 train,
about 10 on the noon train
and 8 on the 1:30 train

We also had folks exploring the old Averill rd. in both directions on snowshoes at AC.


Work and Events / Steam & Sleighs Recap
« on: February 19, 2019, 02:25:00 AM »
Hi all,

With January and February's Steam & Sleighs events now in the rearview, I wanted to provide some info regarding the events. In three days (January 19, February 16 & 17) we carried right around 500 passengers (give or take a few). This past Sunday was our busiest day with just over 200 riders.

It was a wonderful time and we got to interact with lots of new, first time visitors, which always puts a smile on my face, along with returning visitors as well. I was serving as conductor on Sunday and got to see one of my students (who was as surprised to see me as I was to see them!) Despite some minor hiccups each day, passengers had consistently nice things to say, and had a great time.

Here's what some had to say (from Facebook):

"We had a great time at the Railway today and on the Sleigh Ride"

"Today’s adventure..ride on a steam train, sleigh ride turkey tracks, and our conductor who punched hearts in my ticket. Great time... and beautiful weather!"

"Who wants to go to the 19th century."

"Fantastic day at Steam and Sleigh! Highly recommend this adventure and hope you do it again next year!!"

Our volunteers did an amazing job crewing the events and hosting our visitors, but also before and after, putting lots of time into making sure the parking lot was cleared and sanded, station platforms were shoveled off, feeding crews, and keeping the line open in the midst of the constant freeze/thaw cycles which ensured that there were always flangeways to clear and ice to pick out around switches. Thank you!

500 riders is 1/10 of our total ridership from last year. Here we are in February and we are already off to a great start for the year. More importantly, we've made new friends and introduced many more to this special place and they've learned a bit more about it. The questions and comments from our passengers were fantastic. Looking forward to a great year.

Museum Discussion / Re: Map of WW&F Museum
« on: February 01, 2019, 07:43:23 AM »
No, those 'plans' have not been cancelled, but there never was an official 'plan' either.

Right now we are concentrating our effort on completing the Mountain Extension. We are already beginning to assess in which direction to extend track next and how far. That being said, extending to The Head Tide area might not be the next thing to happen, but it is on the table.

Rest assured that an announcement will be made at an appropriate time once a decision has been made.

Volunteers / Re: January 2019 Work Reports
« on: January 29, 2019, 02:12:11 AM »
Thank you all for representing the Railway this weekend! Wondering about conversations that were had at the table- were there any really interesting questions or new folks interested in memberships/volunteering?

Hi All,

James Patten has volunteered to represent the Railway at the Whitefield Lions Train Show in Augusta on Saturday February 16th. Thank you James!

The show is at the Augusta Armory at 179 Western Avenue in Augusta and runs from 10AM until 3:30PM.

Are there 1-2 more volunteers who would be able to join James at the show to represent the WW&F? I've heard it is typically a good, fairly well attended show, with good sales for the WW&F.

Let us know if you can be there by responding in this thread- That way James can plan his coffee consumption on whether he is able to leave the table or not. :)


Museum Discussion / Re: Smithsonian RR tours and the WW&F
« on: January 25, 2019, 06:07:26 AM »
Not to seem anachronistic, but I believe part of the charm and authenticity of our Railway is being able to avoid these sort of 'concessions to modernity' or 'infringements' as they could be considered.

Hopefully the car host program can help resolve this issue, but we should continue to look for ways to balance technology with the need to maintain authenticity.


Volunteers / Re: January 2019 Work Reports
« on: January 20, 2019, 07:17:28 AM »
Good day today. I believe when I checked with Linda, she said their were approximately 168 paying passengers, not including the approximately 20 or so volunteers who rode the train north to participate in the brush clearing on the Mountain Extension. I say 'approximately' because we have had some trouble with our online ticket reservation software which made accounting for the exact number of passengers difficult. Needless to say it was a good day, passengers and volunteers alike seemed to have a good time- there were lots of kids and families and most had big smiles on their faces.

Work and Events / Re: Steam and Sleighs
« on: January 17, 2019, 02:42:42 AM »
Saturday's 10:30AM train to Steam and Sleighs has sold out. There are still tickets available on the 12 and 1:30 trains. Tickets are still available at Tickets will also be available at Sheepscot the day of the event. Buying ahead saves you an annoying wait if a train turns out to sell out.


Work and Events / Re: Steam and Sleighs
« on: January 14, 2019, 05:51:10 PM »
Hello All,

Given the forecast, we've decided to cancel Sunday's Steam & Sleighs. Saturday's will continue as planned. For patron's who reserved tickets on Sunday we will be offering transfers to either Saturday or February or a refund.

Work and Events / Re: Steam and Sleighs
« on: January 14, 2019, 03:32:16 AM »
Heads up All,

We are in good shape headed into next weekend with 1-3" inches of snow predicted for Friday providing a good base for skiing, snowshoeing and sleighing. Saturday is forecast to be a very nice day, with about an inch of snow spread throughout the day- just enough to create the right atmosphere. Sunday, on the other hand, has a major storm forecast to drop over a foot of snow in Alna between Saturday night and Monday morning. With that in mind, we are encouraging people to make plans to join us either Saturday or in February, rather than risk unsafe conditions on Sunday.

We will be offering ticket transfers for those with tickets on Sunday to either Saturday or February later in the week as the forecast is more conclusive.


Volunteers / Re: Steam and Saws
« on: January 10, 2019, 05:20:22 AM »
This works to develop our brand identity too. Trains take you to places. There is one thing happening at Alna Center while something entirely different will be happening at Top of Mountain. Ride the train to whichever you'd like, or, if you make a day of it, ride the train to both of them.

That being said- let the work begin! I think we are on target to have a fine day next Saturday for everything that has been planned and a great volunteer turnout will be a boon to the work that needs to get done. Plus, its always more fun with a good-sized group to keep things flowing and the heavy work light. Wouldn't it be something if come spring we will have all our cutting and burning done?!

Volunteers / Re: December 2018 Work Reports
« on: December 30, 2018, 01:48:21 PM »
So nice to hear of good reports from yesterday! James, I know we were very close to our highest ridership year ever. How did we do?


General Discussion / Re: New York City film - 1911
« on: December 14, 2018, 05:49:18 AM »
There is an effort afoot to restore Day Line-type service under a heritage organization using one of the steamboats that once served Boblo Island amusement park in Michigan.

Work and Events / Re: B&SR #34 flat car - Official Work Thread
« on: December 02, 2018, 02:13:38 PM »
Fascinating! It would be great if we could establish this through further research. When did the B&SR purchase the tank?

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Bridge - Official Work Thread
« on: October 30, 2018, 03:15:11 PM »
Yay for a second mention by Down East this year. Just in case there was extensive concern over the lack of publicity specifically in relation to the Trout Brook move (it was covered in the local papers), since we have decided to look at the "Mountain Extension" as a whole, there will be a large media focus when we open the railway to Trout Brook Station, including the bridge, extended track, right of way work, connection with Midcoast Conservancy and our overall aim of restoring service on the WW&F.

Rebuilding a railroad is a huge project, and I am continually impressed to see how we have made strides on the restoration of this one. May we continue to experience such success and meet like minded people who would like to come and join us.

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