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Messages - Gordon Cook

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Volunteers / Re: October 2019 Work Reports
« on: October 27, 2019, 07:28:15 PM »
And Zack and Marcel were putting the deck on,  almost halfway there.

Work and Events / Re: NOV. 2 - WORK-EVENT- ROCK THE MOUNTAIN!
« on: October 25, 2019, 09:57:07 AM »

To do this efficiently, and minimize downtime between stone loads, we should run two trains - but that requires two train crews and a dispatcher all of whom would then not be available for ballasting.


Running ballast is going to be a bottle neck. What if we moved some stone to the north end of the track like was done for FWW, and used 52 to shuttle loads from there to the north end of the work, and steam from AC up to the south end of the work area?

Double your pleasure, double your fun.  ;D

Work and Events / Re: Work Weekends and volunteer labor
« on: October 24, 2019, 08:50:42 AM »
Sounds like smaller projects plus advanced signups and skill to project matching may be a good way to think about this going forward?
I would point out that we have advanced signups now for the train crews.  Same idea.
As Ed mentioned, we definitely would not want to require signing up ahead of time and can still be pretty flexible as walk ons, weather, or other events occur.
There may be a hidden benefit in that it may encourage more folks to show up if they know they will be useful. Especially if they do not want to swing a spike maul but are a machinist or carpenter.
But I think that knowing who is coming and what they can/want to do would ease the job of the organizers and ensure a good experience for all the volunteers.   

Work and Events / Work Weekends and volunteer labor
« on: October 23, 2019, 10:47:12 AM »
The Mountain Extension thread has diverged into a discussion of track extension and next projects because the track laying is coming to an end for the foreseeable future.
This is touching on a bigger subject, hence I'm starting a new thread.
I think the reason that track laying has become synonymous with the work weekend is that it has been the focus for almost all of the museum's existence, and that the jobs involved can be done by most anyone. Basically we all become day laborers for a weekend, no skills required!
Building track is fun for volunteers because there is sense of doing it the old way, being useful, getting a workout, camaraderie, and tangible progress to celebrate.
In recent WW's, with the necessary automation of the rail and tie laying process, the number of hands required for that has shrunk, and the remaining tasks tend towards those jobs that require relevant skills or plain old heavy duty brawn like spiking.
This means that some folks may not be busy and feeling like they contributed. This problem will get worse as we finish up the mountain extension track by 2021.
I'm thinking that the board is aware of this and would welcome useful ideas on how to keep the work weekends busy, fun, and productive.
If you were at FWW what did you see and what would you suggest?

Work and Events / Re: Moving passenger cars from MNGRR to WWFRY
« on: July 18, 2019, 08:48:17 AM »
Very impressive that all those moves were accomplished smoothly and without incident.  Thank you to everyone for all your efforts.
Does anyone have or can point to pictures of the original move from Edaville to Portland?
When was the last time the Rangely was out of the museum building and was part of a train?
What is the lever for on the rear platform?

Museum Discussion / Re: New front end loader for the railway.
« on: June 14, 2019, 10:38:06 AM »
I am trying to remember if the old front loader is still at Alna Center?
If it is still there there may be some interest from collectors of vintage construction equipment rather than just hauling it to the junkyard.

Museum Discussion / Re: Wood you Believe it
« on: May 07, 2019, 11:45:41 AM »
Just thinking out of box, can #10 be easily converted to wood?  I think we can use the same grates.
Interesting question!
A quick search shows that wood has about 2/3 the energy density of coal (which was actually more than I would have guessed). I would assume that would be for perfectly dry hardwood, not pine or poplar.
This would require a 50% larger firebox and changes to the front end. Not to mention finding, cutting, splitting and drying enough hardwood each year, lack of space on top of the tank, and other logistical issues.
In short, it would not appear to be practical.
Too bad, it sure would smell better.  ;)

Museum Discussion / ROW Vegetation control
« on: April 11, 2019, 04:43:04 PM »
Relevant to a topic brought up a few years ago on ROW maintenance:
I especially like the donkeys; maybe they could also be rented out for trail use?
Does the goat output result in more goat input, i.e. a feedback loop?   ::)
No editorial comment intended, just FYI and amusement.

Ed, that map looks very familiar..
Are you sure it isn't one of the Wiscasett bypass maps from a few years back?   ???

Work and Events / Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« on: March 20, 2019, 06:21:13 PM »
It looks like there will be a force perpendicular to the track when the tie is moved in or out.
How is that taken care of? Is there any mechanism to tie it to the rails or is the weight enough?

Re: New  Toolboxes....
Thank you, thank you, to the donor of the toolboxes for stepping up. They should make a huge difference in improving the efficiency of the shop.
And thank you to Alan and helpers for sorting and organizing.

Work and Events / Re: Tie Changer Machine - Official Work Thread
« on: March 11, 2019, 07:07:47 PM »
It should be noted that this machine weighs around 1200 pounds ready to work, so unless the track crew has eaten its Wheaties, Ichabod will be the preferred method to load and unload it. Also, in thinking about it a little more, there should be space on the push car that Ichabod rides on to carry tools and a can of spikes.

Great work, gentlemen, all around. Gracias. We riders of the rails will appreciate the improved maintenance.
Actually, I think we would need more than Wheaties to lift that much weight. :) :)

Is 1200 pounds pushing Ichabod's limit? I thought that was around 1/2 ton?

Volunteers / Re: March 2019 Work Reports
« on: March 04, 2019, 10:58:15 AM »
Last thought:
We're bigger now: more people, more projects, more machines, more tools, etc.
This issue has become acute because of our growth and facilities improvements. That's a good thing, but, as you all know, bigger means more complication and requires more planning and coordination to keep things moving. We've seen that already in other areas and organizing the shop is another part of all the good things that are happening.

Volunteers / Re: March 2019 Work Reports
« on: March 03, 2019, 07:05:18 PM »
I am a big fan of making it easy to do the right thing. If there's already a spot designated for the tool I'm holding, it's doesn't take much more effort to put it away. If I have to figure out what to do with it, then I'm probably going to mutter "#%#*!" and just set it down somewhere.
John's idea is great, 'cause if a volunteer doesn't know exactly what category thing they are holding, they will still have a good chance at getting it back in the right place.
I am with Wayne in acquiring more tool chests to store tools out of the dust of the shop and keep those that are precision instruments separate from the every day stuff.
And we shouldn't forget to organize all materials.
And, to Mike's point, I'm optimistic that a neat shop will encourage its own discipline. If the shop is a mess, it will tend to stay a mess. If we see a well organized shop, we'll be more inclined to keep it that way, and that will become part of the WW&F culture.

Volunteers / Re: March 2019 Work Reports
« on: March 02, 2019, 11:26:47 PM »
[This is not meant as a criticism, but as a recognition of a side effect of the many tasks being done by many people at the 'Shoppes at Sheepscot", and a suggestion going forward to make our new shop more fun and productive. ]

Jason writes-
"The shelving is a hugely important step as it allows us to organize the mess which has congregated in the center of the new machine shop area.  Instead of moving the mess, we now have the opportunity to find permanent homes for what the shop needs, save some for upstairs, and throw a lot of stuff away."

One of the frustrating things for all of us trying to accomplish a job at Sheepscot is the time wasted looking for something. Many people work in our shop, and have different habits, styles, and ways of doing things. Moving the machine shop shuffled the deck even more than usual.
A place for everything and everything in its place will be a tremendous time and energy saver for everyone. 
I would encourage a thorough and complete plan for the location, storage, and identification of all the 'stuff' in the new shop, including someone responsible for implementing it. That person will need to be someone who can be there often, to keep things under control, with a good sense of organization and understanding of how tasks are done.
I feel we've ignored this for a long time for many good reasons, and I understand that it is not a 'fun' job or one that just anybody can do well.
But now is a great opportunity to make the new shop space much more efficient and fun and really make the most of all the good work already done.

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