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Messages - Philip Marshall

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General Discussion / Re: Rhode Island and South Eastern Massachusetts coal
« on: November 04, 2014, 06:38:40 PM »
According to a US Geological Survey publication titled "The Bedrock Geology of Rhode Island", the coal in Rhode Island is highly metamorphosed "meta-anthracite" or graphite with very limited fuel value because of its high ash content and low volatile combustible content. Nonetheless, the Cranston mine is supposed to have been in operation until as recently as 1959, though mostly as a source of industrial graphite.

Wasn't graphite used as a lubricant for cylinders and crossheads? Maybe it's possible the WW&F used some after all. :)

Museum Discussion / Re: U.S. Census reports
« on: October 29, 2014, 02:41:58 AM »
Great research Steve, and also Eric. Census records are a gold mine of information.

I was doing some genealogical research of my own a few years ago and found my grandfather (who was born in 1915) in the 1920 census, in which he was listed as living with his parents and brother in New York City. One of the questions asked that year was whether each person was able to read and write, and the census enumerator dutifully recorded my 5 year old grandfather as "illiterate". Of course he did eventually go to school and learn to read, but that just hadn't happened yet as of 1920.:)  It's a snapshot in time.

-Philip Marshall

Princesses and animatronic dinosaurs??? I don't think I'm ever going back there.

Work and Events / Re: New Whistles for 9 and 10
« on: October 08, 2014, 11:20:43 AM »
That's impressive, Alan. Your skills are pretty amazing.

-Philip Marshall

Work and Events / Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« on: September 25, 2014, 02:49:29 PM »
Wow -- the switch looks great!

UK (Welsh, British) Two Footers / Re: Recent super power trains in Wales
« on: September 23, 2014, 12:27:42 AM »
Wow is right!

Volunteers / Re: A few stories ...
« on: September 22, 2014, 02:25:50 AM »
Great story, Stewart! It's an exciting time on the WW&F.

Work and Events / Re: Top Of The Mountain Siding - Official Work Thread
« on: September 08, 2014, 01:00:30 AM »
Didn't the Phillips & Rangeley RR have a small "gallows" turntable at Perham Jct. where the Barnjum Branch diverged from the main line?  Something such as that might work at Top of the Mountain.

Yes, there was a turntable at Perham Junction but I think it was full size, big enough for the SR&RL 2-6-2s (barely -- there's a famous photo of engine 16 with its tender hanging off the end!).

Something like the small turntables used on the KC and the Monson might be more appropriate, just the right size for a small Forney. I believe the Monson turntables were based on Mansfield's Billerica & Bedford turntable, for which drawings are available. (It's often said that the Monson turntables were only used for the snowplow but I think the engines also were turned in the early years of the line. Why else would the Monson Junction water tank have been on the turntable lead?)

-Philip Marshall

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Re: SR&RL #16 - Odd Tender Truck
« on: September 05, 2014, 01:16:15 AM »
Both 16 and 18 received new tenders from Baldwin either at the time of their MeC rebuilds from 2-6-0s to 2-6-2s in 1916 or just before -- I don't think 1926 is correct. I had been told by someone (Bob Troup I think?) that the shorter tenders were so they could still fit on the turntables despite their longer wheelbase, but there is at least one picture of 16 with a new shorter tender when she was still a 2-6-0, so perhaps not.

(Incidentally, the original tender tanks from 16 and 18 still exist and are preserved by the SR&RL group in Phillips. They were dumped into the fill at the south end of the Phillips yard, from which they emerged again in 2005!)

At any rate, it seems clear to me that the same trucks were used under 16's and 18's new tenders as were under the old -- they were just recycled. The tender trucks on 18 appear to have stayed the same to the very end in 1936, so I don't think the replacement truck on 16 could have come from 18.  Engine 19 was out of service by 1931 for a tube replacement which never happened, but she appears to have remained intact despite this condition, so I'm still inclined to think the replacement tender truck came from 15.

What a mystery all of this is!

-Philip Marshall

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: MNG - The latest on the move to Gray
« on: September 02, 2014, 04:18:57 PM »
Hi Glenn,

Thanks for sharing this. I'm happy to see a roundhouse, carbarn, and restoration building are all in the works! Getting the equipment under cover has to be a priority.

-Philip Marshall

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Re: SR&RL #16 - Odd Tender Truck
« on: September 02, 2014, 04:09:54 PM »
Hi Tom,

That's a really interesting observation -- a little detail I had never noticed before. Thank you for posing this question.  I think you're probably correct that one of 15's tender trucks was given to 16, but I'm not sure about the years.

The first volume of Jerry DeVos' series on "The Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad and Predecessors" has a detailed history of each of the SR&RL Baldwin engines. DeVos makes no reference to a truck swap, but he does note that while there are no known photos of 15 in service later than 1923, it doesn't appear to have been officially retired until 1929. Furthermore, he shows a couple of photographs of 16 in Rangeley in September, 1928 (well after its rebuilding from the 1924 "Roundabout" collision with 23) with two matching tender trucks. So assuming these dates are correct, I would guess that the truck swap happened sometime after 1929.

Of course, that just presents the new question of why the truck had to replaced in the first place if it wasn't as a result of the 1924 wreck.

Something else I'm noticing now as I pore over old photos is that 16 and 18 appear to have had different tender trucks! The trucks on 18 were more like those on 15 than 16. I have always been in the lazy habit of thinking that 16 and 18 were identical, both as delivered from Baldwin and as rebuilt by the MeC, but that really puts this assumption to rest. (The preserved tender tanks of 16 and 18 in Phillips already show that they had slightly different designs as far as the tank itself was concerned.)

-Philip Marshall

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: August 02, 2014, 04:55:24 PM »
Some inspiration from Australia:

-Philip Marshall

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: 3 foot gauge in Ireland
« on: August 02, 2014, 02:21:47 PM »
Hi Terry,

I don't have any current information to offer but I will be very interested to hear what you find. The 2009 financial crisis hit Ireland very hard, and I expect Irish narrow gauge operations have been especially badly affected because of their rural locations far from larger towns and the usual tourist attractions. It's a sad situation.

In the world of Irish broad gauge (5'3") however I understand this is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland, and there are various special events including mainline steam excursions happening both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland throughout the year.

Best regards,
Philip Marshall

Thank you Ed and Stewart for the kind words about my post on the NGDF. I'm glad you found it interesting! It was really good to meet you, Stewart.

-Philip Marshall

I was in Phillips on Sunday and talked a bit with Bob Troup. He said they have made a proposal to the MNG to purchase Monson 3 outright, the logic being that they have already invested ~$120,000 in the engine while MNG values her at only $90,000. It's unclear to me how this idea will be received by MNG, but all further work has been put on hold pending the outcome of negotiations.

Whatever happens, they are still in desperate need of money.

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