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Messages - Cliff Olson

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Except for a couple of casual references, I have seen no documentation of electric railways in the Monson slate quarries.  Whatever rolling stock existed presumably was removed at the time the quarry in which it was located was abandoned.  The electric locomotives probably were lowered into the quarries by the same derricks that hoisted blocks of slate (and lowered workers in the wooden boxes that Moody referred to as "elevators").

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: Erv Bickford passes
« on: May 20, 2012, 08:03:01 PM »
Erv's passing is a big loss to the Town of Yarmouth, where Erv lived for many years and I now live. He and his truck were instrumental in bringing Monson #3 to Monson in 1997.

The Monson Blog / Re: Dismantling the Monson
« on: April 26, 2012, 03:54:00 PM »
I doubt that the Monson rolling stock was actually burned in a "quarry" or "pit", as those terms are normally used in Monson, because of the difficulty of retrieving the scrap metal (not to mention the difficulty of burning because of the water in most of the Monson Maine Slate Company pits by the end of 1943).  Most likely, Bob Jones was referring to a shallow depression in one of the slate dumps.  Maybe Larson Powell can provide some insight into this, although I don't believe he is on the forum or uses a computer.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, the majority of Monson stock was acquired in 1944 by Francis Marshall.  Although Francis Marshall also owned the Monson Light & Power Co. and probably used some of the remaining assets of the Monson RR in the conduct of Monson L&P's business, I have seen no evidence that Monson L&P ever actually owned the railroad assets.

The Monson Blog / Re: The Monson After Passenger Service
« on: April 13, 2012, 03:42:22 PM »
The Monson Maine Slate Company went out of business about the same time as the Monson Railroad and sold most of its machinery and equipment and significant land holdings east of its mill in 1944. It probably was the railroad, rather than MMSC, that had the mail contract until then, even if the mail was actually delivered in a truck owned by MMSC. I don't know if the Monson Railroad Company, under the majority ownership of Francis Marshall beginning in 1944, continued to have the mail contract by truck.  I don't recall seeing a photo of a truck owned by either MRR or MMSC.
According to Bob Jones, it was actually August 14, 1943, not 1942, when the MRR filed to abandon the railroad.

The Monson Blog / Re: Treasurers Come and Treasurers Go
« on: March 22, 2012, 04:08:23 PM »
Roger, I have information from Dick Marshall showing that Monson Maine Slate Co. was issued 453 shares of Monson Railroad Co. stock on July 1, 1905.  These shares were previously owned in varying amounts by several Whitings: George, Isaac, H. A., Henry, G. O and    J. S.  J. S. Whiting's 93 shares had been issued only 12 days earlier (June 19, 1905) and appear to have been owned previously by Cyrus Latham (36), G. A. Mathews (1), George S. Cushing (42) and F. B. Shedd (14).  Together with at least 210 shares that MMSC previously owned or controlled, the 453 former Whiting shares gave MMSC total or nearly total ownership of MRR, which had a total of 700 original shares. The July 1, 1905 certificate for the 453 shares was signed by Charles J. Wier in the capacity of both treasurer and president of the railroad.

On June 20, 1944, the same 453 shares of Monson stock were reissued to Francis G. Marshall, Dick's father, who then became majority owner of the Monson until it was dissolved in 1975.

The Monson Blog / Re: Monson Railroad In The News
« on: March 16, 2012, 05:49:31 PM »
Julius Carlberg had become the fireman for the Monson RR in September, 1909.  Before that, he had been a hoister operator at the Kineo Quarry. I suspect that he decided to get out of the quarry after his 16-year-old brother Lewis was tragically killed earlier the same month by a large rock that fell off a dump car at Kineo.

Perhaps it was the B&A brass, rather than the Monson brass, who anticipated a huge volume of business at Monson Jct.  The two sidings west of the B&A main apparently were a passing track and a team track, neither of which had anything to do with the Monson RR. After the Monson was abandoned, the siding next to its transfer track (and east of the B&A main) became the primary team track, where Moosehead furniture was loaded for most of the next 20 years.

The Monson Blog / Re: Side Ladders On Monson Boxcars: Labor Saving Device?
« on: February 16, 2012, 03:37:30 PM »
The transfer track at Monson Jct. was definitely raised to bring Monson RR cars up to the level of standard gauge cars, but I have never had the impression that the transfer track itself had a downhill slope at the transfer site - - especially enough to cause a car to roll simply by releasing the hand brake. Also, since the Monson crew apparently did all the transferring, there was probably no need to move cars at the Junction without the engine being present.  However, I have no alternative theory for explaining the location of the boxcar ladders.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: MNG RR Museum - Moving to Gray Maine
« on: February 10, 2012, 05:01:50 PM »
Sorry, Ed.  I thought you were referring to new information on the possible "done deal".

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / MNG RR Museum - Moving to Gray Maine
« on: February 10, 2012, 04:48:36 PM »
Ed Lecuyer says in the recent pilot/cowcatcher discussion that MNG "may be moving".  I have heard from another source that Phin Sprague's Portland Co. property is about to be sold.  Does anyone have further information on this?

Keith, as I said, sec. 231.31 (which addresses drawbar height) is the only provision of Part 231 that applies to narrow gauge railroads.

Wayne, what's the difference, except that Monson #3's "bumper" appears to be heavier and lower than the one on the British locomotive?  I don't see why that makes Monson #3's device a "pilot" rather than "an end plate that extends across both rails", which the FRA apparently distinguishes from a pilot (at least in the case of non-steam locomotives).  We're still left with the questions of whether a steam locomotive is required to have a "pilot" and whether Monson #3's front end device is considered a "pilot".

According to the locomotive diagrams in Roger Whitney's Monson book, neither Monson #3's nor #4's original "bumper" met the current FRA height requirement for pilots (although they were close, and #3's now visually appears low enough to qualify).

By the way, 49 CFR Part 231, cited earlier, applies only to standard gauge railroads, except regarding drawbar height.  49 CFR sec. 231.0(a),(g).

I can't imagine that removing the fake cowcatcher would involve any significant expense - - if a pilot is not required for operation under FRA jurisdiction, which is what we have been trying to discern from the FRA regs.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Re: Monson #4
« on: February 09, 2012, 05:36:12 PM »
Thanks, Ed, for the cross-reference.

Maine Narrow Gauge Museum / Monson #4
« on: February 09, 2012, 04:55:56 PM »
What happened to the discussion re. whether Monson #4 should have its fake pilot?

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