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Messages - Graham Buxton

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I'll be at FWW Fri-Mon.  I have never driven spikes in the past, but over the years I have plenty of experience with the operating end of a splitting maul.  :P Having said that, in recent years,  I have mostly used a hydraulic splitter.  8)

I already expect that I will need to rotate to a pinch bar operator periodically.

US Two Footers / Re: Fort Benning Georgia 2' gauge Baldwin
« on: July 21, 2019, 09:24:07 AM »
Here is the text of that plaque:
The students of the US Army's Infantry school stationed here in the early days of Fort Benning had many names for the beloved railway, the "Bull's eye Limited", the "A.E.F. Special", "Old Fuss and Feathers", the "Cinder Siesta", the "Toonerville Trolley" and of course the "Chattahoochee Choo Choo". But the railway operators simply called it the "Dinky Line". Yet to make a correct historical link with its origin, the name should have been the "Fort Benning Light Railway"!

 From 1919 until 1946 the Fort Benning narrow-gauge railway spanned much of the post, serving as a utility and as the primary means of transporting soldiers to and from their training areas. It also carried supplies and assisted in lumbering and gravel operations across the post. The railway grew from two locomotives in 1919 running on a mile of track to an eventual high point in 1923 of 20 locomotives running on 27 miles of track.

 Between the war years the aging 60-centimeter-gauge railway became ever more expensive to maintain and it was inevitable that it would soon be honorably retired. Most probably sentiment and tradition rather than requirement and utility kept the beloved Dinky Line running past the start of World War lI. Yet during the war, the railway carried as many as 2,000 soldier trainees per school day at Fort Benning. By the end of the war the locomotives and rolling stock were considered by many to be too old and obsolete and so in 1946 the word finally came down which said, in essence "Close down that relic of a narrow gauge railroad!" Due to resistance to its demise, the final disposition was not imposed until late in 1947. The locomotives and rolling stock were moved off post onto Central of Georgia tracks to await sale by the War Assets Administration. Before the final sale, some unrecorded hero with a proper sense of railroad history managed to have withdrawn from the sale one locomotive and the infantry blue observation car that had been built in the local shops in 1935. The locomotive was a Davenport 2-6-2T, numbered V-1902 in Transportation Corps designation. Unfortunately the builder plate had been vandalized, and the exact builder and USA numbers are still unresolved. Today that same locomotive and observation car now proudly stand before you, here at the National Infantry Museum, recalling the bygone era of Fort Benning's Light Railway. Over the decades the observation car have been painted and relocated several times as the Infantry museum changed locations.

 The origin of Fort Benning's railway began on the battlefields of World War I, when light narrow-gauge "trench" railways were used  by the armies of Europe to ferry troops and supplies to the front lines from standard-gauge railheads. As theAmerican Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) arrived in France in 1917, the army quickly realized that it too needed the ability to go "up front" with these light railways. Orders were first placed with European manufacturers for narrow-gauge locomotives and equipment but as the demand increased, U.S. manufacturers were contracted. When World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, these U.S. Government contracts still had to be honored. Many of the locomotives and rolling stock manufactured in the U.S. were never sent overseas and became surplus stock held at port or remained in supply depots. Some of this railroad stock would be offered to U.S. military installations for their transportation needs. Fort Benning's only surviving locomotive was built by the Davenport Locomotive Works of Iowa, one of the U.S. companies contracted to supply narrow-gauge trains for use by the A.E.F. in WWI.

 The establishment of Fort Benning's light railway must be credited to the imagination and zeal of Colonel Sam Robertson, a fabled Texas railroader who had commanded the 22nd Engineers, Light Railway, in France. Dispatched to survey 13 Army posts for railways, he arrived at Camp Benning, his first stop, on April 23, 1919. His prompt report back to Washington recommended, as a first step, a 5.62-mile utility line to serve the target range, haul freight, and to service the sawmill and gravel pit. His hastily drawn plan called for 42 miles to serve future training areas. Robertson then continued his tour to other army posts, but his enthusiasm for the Benning project was strong. He enlisted the help of Major George Lewis, who served in France with the 16th Engineers; Lewis agreed to carry out Robertson's plan at Benning. Per Robertson's request, two Davenport locomotives, 16 flat cars, and three miles of track and equipment were shipped to Fort Benning, arriving on May 27, 1919. By June Major Lewis' men had laid one mile of track and had the sawmill cutting railroad ties. As a result of Robertson's survey and the investigations of others, the Chief of Engineers decided that light railways would be installed at 19 wide-spread army posts, with trackage totaling 340 miles. Washington determined that the plan was too ambitious! In April 1920, it was decided that Camp Benning would become a permanent installation (becoming Fort Benning) and would maintain its railway. All other installation railways were disapproved.

The text is quoted from this page, which also has a "click to enlarge" image of the plaque to see larger versions of the images on the plaque.

Volunteers / Re: July 2019 Work Planning
« on: July 04, 2019, 10:46:28 AM »
If so, perhaps we can now find a solution to keep the rails from creeping down the stub end with the heating and cooling to make the wishbone switch easier in the summer heat.
Here is one way that larger railroads might handle a situation where the rails are known to expand and cause a problem ...

(photo credit to this Wikipedia page:)

US Two Footers / Re: J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
« on: June 23, 2019, 08:08:20 AM »
That last photo above is a striking example of #58's ability to handle sharp curves!  :o

Likely so.   

Here is the NY Times obit for "our" Frank Winter with the same date of death:

(click the image to see larger)

Image source:
(You may possibly need a NY Times account to see the source page though.)

Volunteers / Re: May 2019 Work Reports
« on: May 27, 2019, 11:45:42 AM »
Wood is not "static".  It grows and shrinks as the humidity changes, and screwing the stakes to the sideboards means that each stake would have to line up *perfectly* with its pocket to mount the sideboards.

Even more frustrating than mounting an imperfectly lined sideboard is trying to de-mount one where the stakes are jammed against a pocket.  When mounting a "staked" sideboard, at least one can rest the misaligned sideboard atop the pocket while examining where the problem might be.  But trying to remove a jammed sideboard (with attached stakes) most likely means finding more helpers to hammer or pry while the original two guys lift.

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Water tanks on the WW&F
« on: May 27, 2019, 10:54:49 AM »
Prior to widespread electric service availability, windmills were sometimes used to fill railroad water tanks.   While I haven't found direct evidence that the WW&F employed any windmills to fill their tanks, I did find an interesting story about a windmill at Weeks Mills [newly restored in 2017].

Story link:

Quote from that story about the Weeks Mills windmill:
“The water tank that stores the water is still in the village and still in use today,” he said. But the power for the pump now comes from a gasoline engine, not a windmill.

Bassett said etching on one of the legs indicates the tower was sent to a Mr. Massey, who developed the water system.

“It came on the WW&F (Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington) Railway,” Bassett said, giving the colloquial translation as “Weak, Wobbly and Frail,” and noting that it was a narrow gauge railway.

Stephen's post (message #1 in this thread) was published pretty much word-for-word in Tuesday's Wiscasset Newspaper, accompanied by a great Stephen Hussar WW&F photo. 

Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend 2019
« on: May 03, 2019, 02:41:26 PM »
News article about the change in Maine ...
April 26, 2019  / CBS News;  Maine on Friday became the latest state to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples' Day when Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill making the change official. Other states that have made the change include neighboring Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota.
Full article here:

Work and Events / Re: Spring Work Weekend 2019
« on: April 27, 2019, 05:45:44 PM »
There were 95 names in the log book for Saturday a bit after 6pm.

Museum Discussion / Re: ROW Vegetation control
« on: April 13, 2019, 08:38:17 PM »
If one really expects to make 'mudballs' that can actually be thrown from the train, a source of clay is likely needed.   The seed ball needs to be cohesive enough to be tossed/thrown without coming apart before it hits the ground. 

Where I am in East Tennessee, clay is more than abundant, ::) but I don't know whether clay can found on the Museum property.

Wildflower seed mixes can be surprising expensive.  The best pricing is in a larger quantity, but from what I see, a 50 lb bag starts at about $16 per pound and goes up from there. [That is in the neighborhood of $800 for that 50 lb bag.] ;D

Museum Discussion / Re: Useful relics at Portland Co?
« on: April 10, 2019, 01:03:54 PM »
Brendan posted this image of the Wiscasset turntable to RYPN in 2016 that appears to show a jib crane ...

Here is that earlier thread:

Note that the WWF forum message editor has a button for the superscript effect (and also a corresponding subscript).
And the easiest way to get the effect that Bill appears to be looking for is to add that into a signature line, to have it appear without typing the phrase in each message. (Edit your profile to change your signature.)

It appears that  the text effect buttons aren't visible when editing the signature line, but the effect is still available by using BBCode of:

type  that into your signature area, but substitute square brackets [ ] for the parenthesis ( ) shown

Volunteers / Re: WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 23, 2019, 08:16:56 AM »
Alternatively, I suppose we could post both here on the forum, but that might be technologically difficult... so I'm not sure about that.
Assuming the documents are in an electronic file form, say PDF or Word etc, I think they likely can be made available here at the forum.
Exactly how that would be done best will likely depend on the file size. In any case, I'm willing to see what I can do if you'd like to email the file to me at
(as a initial test, I attached trivial PDF file to this post, but I can't see the results til after I post this message.) :P

Work and Events / Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« on: March 11, 2019, 08:55:41 PM »
I'm not an 'engineer', but I would expect that if the only significant change to Ichabod was the track gauge, then the  weight  lift capacity of a load was on a flatcar that is  "ahead" or "behind" Ichabod  (meaning on the same track) would be pretty much the same as when Ichabod was standard broad gauge.
If the load was swung to one side or the other, then the narrower gauge of  the WW&F rails could negatively impact the stability of Ichabod. :o

It seems to me that the Tie Changer could be loaded/unloaded from a flatcar without swinging the load by picking up the Tie Changer with Ichabod, then moving the flatcar out of the way and setting the Tie Changer down without any swinging around.

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