Author Topic: A few stories ...  (Read 147673 times)

Craig "Red" Heun

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2011, 10:50:53 PM »
At least you have hair to be gray!

 I still go by Red and I can't find a Red hair among the remaining few!   Take the discount and run with it!  ;D

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2011, 11:55:01 PM »
Story #18   Southern Broadgage -

We've had a number of visitors to Sheepscot this week.  People from Kansas, Pittsburg, and Atlanta have gotten tours and/or a train ride.  The fellow from GA told us that he was one of the first people to see the old Southern Ry shop complex at Spencer when the museum was being planned.  He went in to do an evaluation of the site.  He described the shop, crew quarters and roundhouse and said it was like a time machine.  He added that the Southern left things in good shape.  The roundhouse is the largest poured concrete railroad structure in the US and is now the center of the museum.  (I have visited the Spencer, NC shop and it's a great facility.  There's a steam powered train that tours the yard area.  The tour train is needed because the yard is hugh.)  The Spencer Shop Museum restores steam and diesel locomotives as well as rolling stock.  Each Memorial Day a special exhibit is set up featuring a WW II camp with one of the few surviving Army hospital cars.  

Some of our guests were thrilled to see #10 and the railcar.  The GA family said that they would come back Saturday to see #10 in steam.

Stewart    
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 11:08:43 AM by Stewart "Start" Rhine »

Wayne Laepple

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #47 on: July 13, 2011, 12:38:04 AM »
An update to Stewart's comments about Spencer. Unfortunately, there has been little steam operation at Spencer in the last several years. Both the big 2-8-0 No. 4 and the Graham County RR Shay are out of service indefinitely. The only steam at Spencer has been a few visits by Flagg Coal No. 75, a 40-ton 0-4-0T. The trains are handled by an ex-Southern Railway GP-30 most of the time.

In 1981, I wandered around the Spencer complex. It had only recently been designated as a museum, there was no staff on hand, and only a few items on display. But I could see the potential of the site.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 12:39:37 AM by Wayne Laepple »

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #48 on: July 14, 2011, 03:54:26 PM »
I suspect most of us who have seen pictures of the various 2 footers being scrapped and have felt a certain sadness watching rails being taken up. Where I work in Massachusetts there has been recent activity involving full size rail removal. Holyoke is an old mill town that had much train activity years ago. Most of that is gone now but there still is a substantial amount of rail in sidings that have long since been discontinued. This week a group workers from a local contractor began removing the rail. It creates a certain sadness to watch an excavator crawl down the track simply pulling the rail free. Another group follows with torches and a Lull cutting the rail and plcing it into dumpsters. I feel like I'm watching a modern version of the 2 footers' demise since many sidings pass thru deep vegitation. Just like with the 2 footers, this removal is just a job for these guys.
Duncan

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #49 on: July 14, 2011, 05:57:45 PM »
The company known as "Iron Horse Preservation" has been taking up rail in the greater Boston area to make way for rail trails. The last couple of years they worked in downtown Topsfield, Mass., and progressed down to Wenham and Danvers. They sell the rail and ties and in return they compact the right of way and put down stone dust at no cost to the towns.  I watched them cutting up and removing rail all along the way. And yes, it was sad. The trackage was once part of the "inland route" of the B&M from Wakefield Jct. to Newburyport. Service was abandoned north of Topsfield in 1941 and the rails torn up, but from Topsfield on down the rails remained after service on that end stopped about 1978. I've actually ridden to Topsfield on the local freight that went up there a couple of times a week in the 60s and 70s.  So it's especially sad to see it go.  Rail trails are nice, but I'd much rather see the trains running!

Richard Symmes

Mike Fox

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #50 on: July 15, 2011, 12:22:51 AM »
Hey Richard, any 60# there?
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #51 on: July 15, 2011, 01:18:56 AM »
Ahhh.... dream on!  No, it was all 85# stuff. And, guess where it ends up?  They sell it to the folks who are building the wall between the U.S. and Mexico.  Gotta love that! 

Believe me, I was on the lookout for 60# rail, but no dice.

Richard

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #52 on: July 24, 2011, 12:54:31 AM »
Story #19   The Good Friend -

Today I had the pleasure of giving Adrian and Barbara Shooter a ride in the Model T railcar.  If the name Adrian Shooter sounds familiar, it should.  Adrian is the owner of the The Beeches Light Railway in the UK. I had a nice conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Shooter at AC as we waited for the s/b steam train to work through.  Mr. Shooter is a fan of many narrow gauge railways including the 2 foot Darjeeling Himalayan Railway which he has visited many times.  He also likes the Maine 2 footers and has been to Portland, Phillips and the WW&F a couple of times.  He's collected or replicated a number of historic 2 foot pieces in the last few years.  His interest began when the Festiniog reopened in the mid 1950's.  He told me that he has been a volunteer on the FR for over 50 years, working as a fireman and at Boston Lodge Works.  

The conversation turned to the Maine 2 footers and Mr. Shooter told me that he came to see and ride the Model T railcar.  He was very impressed by Leon's work and took many photos of the underside of the car.  He talked of the replica of SR&RL railcar #1 (the Vose car) that he built for his railroad.  He stated that his car is built from a 1925 Model T and has a turntable lift that is worked by a hand pumped hydraulic unit hidden in the back tool box.  Clever!  We compared notes on a number of things on the WW&F railcar.  He then talked of the replica parlor car that he has.  Named Carrabasset, the car was built at Boston Lodge in 2004.  It features an electric kitchen and has a dining room that seats 8.  The other end of the car has the standard parlor/obs with seating for 8 guests.  The car, which is a bit smaller than the Rangeley ran on the Festiniog in 2005.  Mr. Shooter pulls his BLR train with a variety of motive power including restored Darjeeling engine #19.  The engine ran on the DHR until being sold to a fellow in Indiana in the early 1960's.  The engine then went to the Hesston Steam Museum where Mr. Shooter purchased the locomotive in 2003.  The engine went back to the UK in January of 2003, 113 years after it left.  A new tender was built for the locomotive and it has FR style couplers.  He told me that in October he is going to run engine 19 the full length of the Welsh Highland to Portmadoc then change to the Festiniog and run it's entire length.  Sounds like a great trip!

Our conversation ended as #10 crested the hill and we were off.  During the return trip I offered a shop tour and the couple accepted.  I later learned that Mr. Shooter joined the museum today.  It was great to have met someone who is so involved in 2 foot railroads in the UK.

Stewart    
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 11:12:19 AM by Stewart "Start" Rhine »

John McNamara

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #53 on: July 24, 2011, 02:00:26 AM »
Two things:

1. I am surprised that he would have a "electric kitchen." I thought most railroad diners used some sort of coal, or at least gas. It takes a lot of electricity to operate a kitchen.  Did he happen to mention why it was electric?

2. Due to a paid-for trip to Japan that I had to cancel due to the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation, I have a big travel credit that I need to use before 2/12. Any further word on this October extravaganza in Wales?

Thanks!
-John
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 02:03:10 AM by John McNamara »

Nick Griffiths

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #54 on: July 24, 2011, 08:30:13 AM »
................ 2. Due to a paid-for trip to Japan that I had to cancel due to the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation, I have a big travel credit that I need to use before 2/12. Any further word on this October extravaganza in Wales?

Thanks!
-John

It's "SuperPower" and is over the weekend of 10th/11th September. The details are being worked out and aren't (AFAIK) published, but have a look at: http://www.festrail.co.uk/content/publish/specialevents/Super_Power_2011.shtml  for more information. 

Ffestiniog Travel are arranging a weekend with accomodation and transfers, details here: http://www.festrail.co.uk/content/publish/whrnews/Ffestiniog_Travel_Welsh_Weekend.shtml

HTH,

Nick

James Patten

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #55 on: July 24, 2011, 10:31:34 PM »
Mr. Shooter also got a cab ride in #10 on the following steam train trip.  Later I talked a little bit with him about the Carrabasset.  It's 6' shorter length, 6" narrower, and 6" shorter height than the Rangeley (so it's proportional).  It fits the Festiniog's loading gauge, but just barely.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2011, 12:36:44 AM »
John,  To answer your question about the kitchen in the Carrabasset, Mrs. Shooter described it a little.  She told me that the electric kitchen is safer and easier to use and that it is powered by a generator located in a small gondola car coupled to the parlor car.  She said that the generator car was used when the Carrabasset ran on the Festiniog.  Mr. Shooter added that when the Carrabasset runs on his railroad one of his diesel loco's has remote control so it can pull the Carrabasset and be controlled from the parlor car.  Fasinating stuff.  I wish he could have stayed at Sheepscot a bit longer.  Mr. Shooter is like a modern day Ellis Atwood.  He built a railroad on his own estate and brought in or built historic narrow gauge motive power and rolling stock to operate it.

Nick,  Thanks for the festrail links.

Stewart

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #57 on: August 01, 2011, 09:00:03 PM »
Story #20   Across The Pond -

We had more visitors from England at Sheepscot on Sunday.  A couple (friends of our cook and gardner Brigid) toured the shops and rode the train.  The fellow was quite impressed by the machine shop.  He knew every machine and said that he used a number of them in the UK because the machines had been shipped to England to help with rebuilding after the war.  He told me that he worked in the Wilkinson Sword Works in the early 1960's and that most of their shop still had the line and shaft system.  He added that the flapping belts made the place the loudest shop he ever worked in.  He said that his first job was on a band saw about the size of the one in bay 2 and it was powered by a foot pedal.  He would pump the saw with his right foot then switch to his left.  He was some glad to be promoted to a belt driven lathe about 6 months later.  I told him that the WW&F's original shop was powered by the shaft system and showed him the portion of the drive line in the museum.  He was impressed that part of it survived.

      
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 11:17:50 AM by Stewart "Start" Rhine »

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #58 on: August 10, 2011, 03:01:50 AM »
Story #21    Engine 52's first career -

Last weekend saw visitors from many places, including two different families from San Francisco who rode back-to-back trains but didn't know each other - small world!  We also had folks from Colorado, Germany and Norway.  One fellow was a bit more local, from Wilmington, Delaware.   He recognized #52 as soon as he boarded the train.  He pointed at the locomotive and told his wife, "that engine is from a large steel mill".  I was sitting across from them in coach 8 and overheard.  I commented on the history of the engine and he told me a bit more about the mill railroad where he worked 30 years ago.  He said that he was employed at a Pennsylvania steel mill that had about 6 miles of 2 foot track.  He went on to explain the "hot ingot cars" that the railroad used to pull between buildings.  He said that one of the engineers got an idea of how to cook breakfast while working.  The guy added a polished steel plate on the frame of one of the cars and would put eggs on the plate to fry as he went from the furnace to the casting shop.   The engineer had the portable "grill" for about 6 months until the car needed wheel work and the shop manager asked "what the heck is this palte for?" He then had one of the shop guys cut the plate off.  After that, the supervisor checked the cars more often.  The vistor got to laughing as he told me about the added "option" on the ingot car.

When the trip was done I had a hankering for some chow so I went over to the Percival house for lunch ... no eggs though.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2016, 11:22:49 AM by Stewart "Start" Rhine »

Keith Taylor

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Re: A few stories ...
« Reply #59 on: August 26, 2011, 10:31:15 PM »
Today (Friday Aug. 26, 2011) I had some friends visiting and I took them to see the WW&F. My guests were Dr. Tom Davis and his brother Joe Davis. Tom is the proprietor of The Station Inn in Cresson, PA. His Inn is a mecca for railroad enthusiasts as it faces the NS's former Pennsylvania RR mainline. Over 70 trains a day pass the Inn. Luckily for me, Zach. W. was there today and he kindly acted as a tour guide for Tom & Joe. I am still recovering from recent foot surgery and was very happy to turn over the tour guide duties to Zach! (Thanks Zach, both Tom and Joe asked me to pass along their thanks for your time and friendly tour)
Keith
P.S. You can read about The Station Inn here: http://stationinnpa.com/