Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Jason M Lamontagne

Pages: 1 [2]
Museum Discussion / Hand Spiking vs. Power Spiking
« on: April 18, 2016, 07:00:02 AM »
Perhaps the next step is an attachment for a jack hammer to drive the spikes.  That would help those of us who are getting a little long in the tooth for swinging a spike maul.

Jack hammer to drive spikes-- ahhhhh!  

Way back when we always had the idea that we were rebuilding the railroad by hand, they way they used to.  One by one we made compromises- each for very specific reasons.  The obvious one is the tamper- the reasoning that the railroad was never burdened with hand tamping stone ballast in the first place.  

I always figured the last bastion would be hand spiking- the literal building of the railroad by hand.  It has come up before and I figured it'd come up again; someday we may even need to move on to power spiking if the majority of the crew is giving up on hand spiking.  Maybe that's sooner than later, I don't know.  But the above, and below, conversation should be had.

If power spiking is to be adopted, there are mechanical realities involved.  Jack hammers are not used; spiking hammers are specific devices that are enormously heavier than a tamping hammer (as a point of reference).  They are so heavy that unless you're built for this work, can't be effectively controlled.  Most of our current spikers wouldn't be spiking.  They're so hard to control that quality goes down the tubes.  They way one can start a spike tight and draw a rail by hand spiking- may be possible with someone with extreme skill on a power spiker, but I suspect not by any of us.  All in all its not a lot of fun; between the noise and the logistics of setting this thing(s) up and dragging it around, the dynamics of our volunteer force rebuilding the old railroad out in the Maine woods would completely change.  

Personally I group radio communication and power spiking in the same place, for us.

Just my opinion!  Figured the two sides deserve hearing out, as they have been in the past.

See ya

Museum Discussion / Number 9 Boiler Jacket Final Report to NRHS
« on: March 18, 2016, 10:18:27 AM »
We have written a final report in conclusion to our obligation to NRHS for their grant to recreate number 9's boiler jacket.  Thanks to Ed Lecuyer for leading this effort; he got substantial input from Steve Piwowarski and myself.

The report has been posted on our website.
It can be found here:

Happy Reading!

Work and Events / Victorian Christmas 2015
« on: December 19, 2015, 07:50:28 PM »
1558 riders.  18 round trips; 6 trips per engine.

All of our crew performed absolutely fabulously- thank you everyone!!!


Volunteers / November 2015 Work Planning
« on: November 03, 2015, 08:27:37 AM »
Been a while since I've posted on the weekday effort but I mean to do so more regularly.  So here's an attempt!

Yesterday, Monday, Nov 2, Jonathan finished making connections from the tank to the injectors.  Last week he finished the vacuum brake plumbing- this all major plumbing on no 9 is complete.  Some of it has been removed for paint access.  Brendan continues work on interior tank braces.

Today Josh is up to essentially complete no 9 electrical.  Tuesday Phil (Bleauvelt) will likely finish the steam line to the generator, while I'll make some slight mods to the frame casting to clear a washout plug and then work on vacuum brake and generator exhaust lines.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, we'll switch the yards out, do some minor inspection work at the bridge and make a repair to a ToM switch.  Starting Wednesday we're going back to very limited access inside the tent so Stewart and Marcel can work on finish application of wood cab components, paint, and varnish, without worrying about us marking up the paint job mid way through.

Thursday will likely see some coach brake mods as we give the paint crew space...   We'll also begin on a new plow mounting arrangement for 52 soon.

No 9 is nearing a test fire, as you may have guessed.  It won't be this month- as it looks now...

See ya

Volunteers / March 2015 Work Planning
« on: March 02, 2015, 06:09:01 PM »
First week of March:

Making swab cups for the piston rod packing glands.

Spring modification to allow more rocking.

Figuring and making main rod bearing shims to center left piston.

Prepping for ring installation.

Jacket polishing to continue Thursday.

A few other odds and ends.

See ya

Work and Events / Steam in September, 2014
« on: August 31, 2014, 07:51:50 AM »
General announcement,

We have revised our September 2014 operating plan to include steam motive power in all Saturday and Sunday trains.  Subject to the normal crew and equipment availability disclaimer- but we feel confident with both. 

Will try to arrange for similar postings and updates to facebook and the website.


Work and Events / New Whistles for 9 and 10
« on: August 16, 2014, 09:32:45 PM »
Jason and Bob had re-arranged the steam dome arrangements on Loco 10 earlier in the week, putting on a steam loco pop valve, putting the state-code pop valve elsewhere, and putting in a different, single chime whistle.  The new whistle was not popular, especially with me being right next to it - too high pitched and loud.  They will rethink their plans.


Aww- James, give it a chance!

The 'new whistle' is a single chime 4" bell locomotive whistle- which we got from Bernie several years ago in a trade.  It is very appropriate for this application.  It took a substantial rebuilding of the valve mechanism, and a new lever arrangement in the cab- to make it all work out.  Bill Baskerville helped us quite a lot.  I want to give more folks chance to hear it, and give it some fermentation time before pulling it.  Not quite fair to say we are rethinking it yet.

The whistle change was secondary- our primary objective was installation of a Kunkle locomotive pop valve.  The only opening large enough to mount this new, 'unofficial' pop was where Bernie's big whistle was mounted.  We've had increasing trouble with modern safety valves lately, so, with the state's blessing, we've serviced, mounted and set the old kunkle to pop about 5 psi lower than the new, official kunkle.  It works fabulously- I couldn't be more pleased with this old valve.

My apologies, Bernie, that you've learned of the unmounting of your whistle in this fashion.  I meant to have a conversation with you this coming week about it- after a weekend to see how the new pop would work.  

Regardless of the outcome of the loco single chimer, I'm afraid the large dome opening should remain dedicated to our loco pop valve.  But, please, give the hooter a fair chance.  It really is narrow gauge appropriate.  

There's also a 4" Crosby chime whistle upstairs- I'll take a look at it.  I think the mud wasps have taken it over at the moment...

See ya

(Some grammar edits...)

Original Railway / FS&K Entry into Farmington Yard
« on: March 15, 2014, 08:01:01 PM »

This may well have been discovered by some of you here already, by I just found this on google books:

Hope it works.  Starts near the bottom of this page (129) and continues for some length.  Fascinating account of the FS&K trying to condemn MEC's station grounds to gain access to SRRR's north yard- which was their southern most legal location.  Apparently the commissioners' deciding with MEC spelled the end for Leonard Atwood's dream. 

FS&K already had permission to cross MEC and the somerset rr in Oakland- from a report earlier that same summer.

Hope this works for all...


Volunteers / Easter Express a Success
« on: April 03, 2010, 07:37:13 PM »
The final count I heard was 247- the best yet for Easter trains.  We're getting into a steady format and date for this event- and it's working.  Huge credit goes to Jane Robertson, whose been doing local advertising for us lately- her efforts showed with today's turnout.  The photo freight in the morning is growing into a tradition as well.


Work and Events / Oct 2008
« on: September 24, 2008, 09:40:56 PM »
For those keeping count, below is the event outlook for the next month or so:

Sun. Sept. 28:  Septemberfest, joint event with Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association.

Fri. Oct. 3:  John Craft Photo Charter.

Fri- Mon, Oct 10-13: Work Weekend of course.

Fri Oct 17- Halloween, first night

Sat. Oct 18, AM, Trains Unlimited steam charter

Sat. oct 18- Halloween, second night.

Sure feels busy!  We could, as always, use help with any or all of these.  Let us know of interest!

see ya

Pages: 1 [2]