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Messages - Cliff Olson

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Glenn, are you suggesting that the line may become available to MNG for dual gauging or that MNG may lose its ability to operate around the Eastern Prom? Everything depends upon how quickly the state might try to operate passenger service between Portland (presumably India Street) and Lewiston.  Of course, the Back Cove swing span would have to be repaired for either passenger service to india Street or extension of MNG track north toward Falmouth.

Monson Railroad / Re: Monson combine
« on: July 29, 2013, 10:12:27 AM »
Don't know history at this point.  The toilet is in good condition.  Society was approached by local antique dealer, who apparently donated the toilet.  I will attempt to learn more.

Monson Railroad / Monson combine
« on: July 29, 2013, 09:38:53 AM »
The Monson Historical Society has recently acquired the toilet from Monson's Laconia combination passenger/baggage car. The curvature of the new acquisition matches the diagram of the toilet on p.81 of Roger Whitney's book, and the porcelain portion below the wooden seat bears the name Astbury & Maddock.  The toilet is currently on display at the Monson Museum.

Monson Railroad / Re: Properties on or abutting Monson ROW for sale
« on: June 13, 2013, 06:10:49 PM » is now showing a home and former business location adjacent to the Hebron Pond Quarry Branch's crossing of Route 15 (the Greenville road).  The asking price is $169,900, and the property (71 Greenville Rd.) contains 2.74 acres.  The business structure was known years ago as Earl Waymouth's Garage and more recently functioned as "Sal's" convenience store and snack bar.  Just behind it is the Imperial (a/k/a Underground) Quarry, and nearby is the Pine Tree Quarry. This property was included in Monson's proposal to Maine Narrow Gauge as a potential site for a turnaround wye and possible engine repair/car storage facility.

It was probably Bob Bennett that you saw at Springfield.  He was there and showed me the same photos.

I think you're right that the end plates (or "pilot beams") on #3 and #4 are about 6" above the rail.  I don't see a requirement that the foot board be that low.

Mike, this discussion did, in fact, touch upon footboards (see Keith Taylor post on p.2) and, despite going off in several directions, appears to establish that the Monson #3 and #4 end plates would meet FRA requirements if additional material were added to the bottom of those plates to reduce clearance to 6" above the top of the rails.

Monson Railroad / Re: Monson Photos
« on: January 17, 2013, 11:48:17 AM »
The Monson Historical Society has posted many historical photos of Monson, including some Monson RR and many slate quarry photos, on the Maine Memory Network. The MMN website, to which the Town of Monson website has a link (look first under Monson Historical Society), has a zoom feature that allows close scrutiny of the photos.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: Polar Express just before sunset....
« on: January 17, 2013, 10:08:12 AM »
Mike, I don't think the earlier discussion addressed footboards, and I am not advocating their use on Monson #4 (or #3).  I will have to reread the earlier thread if I can find it.  I am simply in favor of restoring the "industrial railroad look" to the Monson engines. 

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: Polar Express just before sunset....
« on: January 16, 2013, 09:43:17 AM »
Getting rid of the fake pilot (as was done with #3) would be a big improvement to Monson #4.  I don't think we ever established in an earlier lengthy forum thread that the current pilot is actually required by the FRA.

General Discussion / Re: Traditions
« on: December 07, 2012, 09:18:05 AM »
Re. snow rollers:
Monson has a "Snow Roller Day" every February, at which they sometimes take their replica snow roller out of the museum and roll snow.

The active standard gauge railroad operation from Lewiston Jct. to B&M plant in East Deering is generally once per week w/one car each way.  The ROW is owned by the state for future passenger use.
At one point, Portland Trails was interested in extending their trail system over the swing span  - - not sure where this stands at present.   

Monson Railroad / Re: Monson in 2007
« on: September 16, 2012, 05:33:58 PM »
Hi again, Dan. The quarry that you have now changed from "Eastern" to "Imperial" is actually the Pine Tree Quarry, which consists of only one pit. The actual Imperial Quarry is barely visible in the distance of the photos now captioned "Imperial Pit from the platform" and  "Crane support".

Monson Railroad / Re: Monson in 2007
« on: September 14, 2012, 03:29:34 PM »
Hi, Dan.  Nice photos!  The major correction I would offer is that you have some of the quarries mixed up.  Your "Pine Tree Quarry" is actually the Eureka Quarry, and your two-part "Eastern Quarry" is actually the Imperial (or Underground) Quarry (nearer the main road) and the Pine Tree Quarry. The real Eastern Quarry is the second to the northeast of the Hebron Pond Quarry (with the Dirigo Quarry between the two). Also, although some maps are misleading, your "Eighteen Pond Quarry" is actually named the Eighteen Quarry, apparently for its location in Lot 18 of the early Piscataquis County maps.

Monson Railroad / Re: Electric Locomotives in the Monson Slate Quarries
« on: September 06, 2012, 09:52:25 AM »
According to John Tatko, owner/manager of the Sheldon Slate Company's Monson operation (former Portland-Monson Slate Co.), the Portland-Monson did not use electric locomotives in its quarries.  Slate was moved from tunnels into the main shaft by means of winches.
John did think that electric locomotives had been used by the Monson Maine Slate Company in some of its tunnels.

I have also heard that MMSC sometimes used horses in its quarries to move slate from tunnels. The horses, wearing blinders, were lowered into the main quarry by derrick. One such horse, at the end of the work day, reportedly would go on its own to the daylight end of the tunnel and wait to be lifted to the surface. 

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