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Messages - Ed Lecuyer

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It is possible that the local group will not get enough interest (and financing) to perform any substantial restoration work. If that occurs, then Jason S's proposal would have a very good chance.

Volunteers / Re: 2017 Volunteer Hours
« on: March 08, 2018, 03:03:03 AM »
Could 'Jonas Nobilini' be James Nobilini - Bryce and Dan's friend?

The City of Port Arthur canceled their contract with the scrapper and has re-asserted ownership of locomotive #503. They then voted unanimously to turn it over to a yet-to-be-formed group of local citizens for its care within the city.

In short, the locomotive will not be scrapped - this time. However, it will likely just continue to languish and deteriorate, as so many "park engines" have. It has not been announced if Jason S. intends to hold the money raised temporarily to see if the local group fails, or if he is going to submit his own proposal. GoFundMe does have strict disbursement rules, so it is unlikely that he can forward the raised funds to a group whose goal is not operational restoration.

Article from Trains News Wire: (currently does not require a Trains subscription to view)

Article from the Port Arthur News:

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: February 27, 2018, 08:52:05 PM »
[Moderator's Note]
A discussion regarding crossing Route 218 was split from this thread and combined with one in the "Members Only" discussion section. If you are a current museum member, and can not access that section, please let me know. If you are not a member, then please join us!

I'm not sure I've seen this film before. Periscope Films just posted 20+ minutes of SR&RL action. Find it and others on the WW&F YouTube Channel, Historic Footage playlist:

FYI, every WW&F-related video on YouTube is part of a playlist on our channel. Many perfectly good hours can be wasted at:

Work and Events / Easter Eggspress - March 31, 2018
« on: February 23, 2018, 02:11:32 AM »
Come join the WW&F Railway Museum on 3/31/18 as we celebrate Easter with a Spring Steamup! Bring your Easter basket, and catch the train bound for Alna Center where the egg hunt awaits. Locate a special egg and a large basket of goodies is yours!

Upon arrival at Alna Center, three separate egg hunts will be held each trip for children ages 0-3, ages 4-6, and ages 7 and older. If the special egg is not found, the basket will go to the child who finds the most eggs.

Trains depart every 35 minutes starting at 11:25am. The last train and egg hunt leaves from the museum's Sheepscot station at 3:30pm.

Train tickets are only $5.00 per person, and free under age 3. Advance reservations recommended - purchase tickets at: (Walk-up purchases the day of the event will be available. However, seating on a particular train may not be guaranteed.)

Volunteers / Re: February 2018 Work Planning
« on: February 22, 2018, 11:44:25 PM »
Ok, I'll bite, what is a fusible plug?

While it is too soon to call this a "success", I am pretty certain this is the first truly "viral" fundraising campaign that has hit the rail preservation community. I've seen lots of "GoFundMe"s for various projects (heck, I've helped run three for the WW&F; and have personally contributed to a few) but I never seen this level of interest.

I suspect that the urgency of a ticking clock is a big motivation. Also the mental and visual image of taking a wrecking ball to a steam locomotive I think is pretty striking. And let's not forget it's a mainline steam locomotive - everyone instinctively knows that those need to be saved, whereas not everyone understands the rarity of the Moose-Trout Brook Bridge or the Maine narrow gauge. (Let's not forget that some folks think of 2fters as oversized toy trains and are ignorant of their history and function.) I suspect that this sort of campaign will be tried again, and will probably fall short - unless all the stars are in alignment (as they were in this case) for an immediate project with mass appeal.

However, what is most encouraging is that this is being funded mainly by small donations. The average donation is about $50. This implies that there is widespread intergenerational interest in rail preservation, and that should be very encouraging to us all.

total is at $55,872...

Jason S explains the price increase quite diplomatically in this Facebook video:

Didn't I say something about this being a rapidly changing fluid situation?

Anyhow, this just in from the GoFundMe page...
Broken down, the projects costs are now:
$35,000 to Inland Environment for the purchase
$10,000 to Over-the-Top Construction for trucking
$20,000 for cranes
The deadline for raising funds is now February 28th! A purchase agreement for the locomotive will be signed on February 21st.

Fundraising continues at a staggering rate: $51,560 as of this writing.

And yes, the public donor list reads like a who's who roll call of railfans and preservationists from around the country. I see a lot of our members have donated.

Fundraising has topped $40,000. I've never seen an online fundraiser for rail preservation do so well, so quickly.

Thanks Bill. The key to making this happen is to get lots of eyeballs on this ASAP. When I last checked, they had raised nearly $20,000, with the average donation only being $50. That's a LOT of $5-20 donations from all over.

I agree, with Mike; the WW&F (as an organization) should probably not make a donation. I consider this an important cause and thought others may as well. (And after I made this posting, I did note a few familiar names join the GoFundMe donor list.)

The locomotive was underwater during one of the hurricanes. However, the high water mark was well below the driving wheel journals. The lead truck journals were just at the water line - so they may be fine (but would likely be converted to roller bearings, anyway.) The tender trucks are toast. Also, all tires are worn out and will need to be replaced anyway.

And someone is donating the transportation (trucking) to the Texas State Railroad (for temporary storage) at cost. Crane expenses have yet to be announced.

Hi WW&F Friends.

It's rare that I will mention other preservation efforts on our forum. There are just too many important projects across our country (and around the globe) that need support. There simply isn't enough preservation dollars to go around (and, like many of you, I am particularly "narrow minded" in what I choose to support.)

That said, there is a legitimate preservation emergency in Texas where a (formerly City-owned) "park engine" was sold to a scrapper.  It's a long, complex story, but the upshot is that the city didn't contact the "right" people to deal with environmental concerns (leaking asbestos and fuel oil) caused by recent storms, and it is now waiting to "demolished" using a wrecking ball and and be cut up. In fact, the only reason it hasn't been destroyed already is due to inclement weather.

Now, fortunately there has been a last-ditch effort to save Louisiana & Arkansas 4-6-0 #503. Preservationist and steam restoration contractor Jason Sobczynski is on-site, made an inspection of the locomotive, and has made plans for its purchase from the scrapper, transportation to the Texas State Railroad, and possible return to operation. Yes, his initial assessment of the locomotive (and ultra-sound testing of the boiler) reveals that it is in mechanically good shape, but needs a new backhead, tender trucks, and cab.

Obviously this is a very fluid situation and things are constantly being developed. As of yesterday, there was a deadline of Wednesday 2/21 to come up with a viable plan for #503's removal, or it would be smashed and cut. A ground-roots fundraising effort was launched via social media, and as of this writing, over $16,000 has been raised. It will take about $50,000 to purchase and move the locomotive.

Now this is why I share this on the WW&F forum. Money is desperately needed. Jason S. not looking to "buy" the locomotive; he only wants to see it saved. (As do I.) Moreover, this series of catastrophic events only shows how relevant and necessary the mission of the the WW&F is to "educate and enlighten the general public" about rail preservation. Yesterday at the Steam Train Snow Day a first-time visitor asked me exactly what is the purpose of doing what we do - and she then came to understand that our educational goals are that purpose.

If you can help out this cause, please throw a couple of bucks at:

I've made a contribution. I hope you can too.


(Speaking in no way in an official capacity for the WW&F.)

Work and Events / Re: Spring 2018 Work Weekend
« on: February 16, 2018, 07:36:44 PM »
I am not even going to dignify that with a response. I can't be constantly coming up with new jokes off the top of my head.

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