Author Topic: How about an update?  (Read 1466 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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How about an update?
« on: December 13, 2008, 05:04:21 AM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
How about an update? has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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petecosmob wrote:
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Well, it's been close to a month since the last post regarding MNGRR on this forum, and considering the pics of new trackwork on the NERails photo site, an update as to what's going on up there would seem due.
I'd like to know:
a) Who is doing the work on the new track? The caption in NERails only said "contractor".
b) Will the new trackwork include a run around aas the original (2') layout did?
c) I noticed the volunteer-laid tracks have a std-ga-sized tie every few feet,..is this to accomodate the "possible future standard guage use" agreement the museum and the town accepted  for MNGRR to use the property?
Thanks in advance to whomever has the answers,
Cosmo

Bill Sample replied:
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I was told that one of the conditions for the construction of the MNGRR was that they had to allow for possible reconstruction of the old GT line into Portland.  IIRC one of the MNGRR rails was bolted onto one of the old GT rails at the end of the swing bridge.
If the proposal to locate a passenger line along the highway to connect former MEC and GT routes, I would think that the standard gauge tie requirement would be dropped.
Going into history, I think I read that there was a time that the SR&RL installed a few standard gauge ties between Farmington and Phillips as part of an anticipated "broad-gauging" proposal, so 2 foot on standard gauge ties may have had precident.  If nothing else, it sure shows the public the difference between the railways of our affection and the common gauge.

mwmoulison replied:
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I don't know whose doing the work.  It is being paid for by the Ocean Gateway Project, so it is there subcontractor doing the job.

Right now, no runaround is being put in place.  This will happen in the spring, but the MNG and Ocean Gateway have not yet agreed where it will be placed.  This has to do with new crossing locations.  At this time permanent tracks are being laid to Hancock St. Crossing (which is new), and temp tracks will allow service to India St. for Santafest.  The temp tracks will go across a paved parkinglot I am told.

Tie length has been a problem.  The track foreman and the treasurer wated to use 4'3" ties as a cost saving move.  But Phin was concerned that we were in violation of the lease.  So we bought 100 4'3" ties and 50 8'6".  we placed 20 of the 8'6" under joints.   We have petitioned the MDOT for a waiver to use narrow gauge ties.  The standard ties in the new section where put in place in case the state said no.  It was a sign of good faith towards the lease in other words.  The remaining standard ties have been cut in half, and will be used on the temp track to India St. After this is done, all future projects will be done with 5 foot ties to give added stability for when we use the heavy baldwins 7 and 8.

Please come out for Santafest and show your support!  I have some fear that the temporary condition of things will be detrimental to our image.

I pray that everything will be in place and ready to go for the Narrow Gauge Convention!

-Mike Moulison
MNGRR Co. & Museum

James Patten replied:
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I saw some photos on NERAIL of the new track being put in place.  I haven't been there in a couple of years so I can't picture in my mind where the track is going compared to what was there.

I thought that the ties in the pictures were rather short looking, and I guess I was right!

mwmoulison replied:
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Do you guys use 5 foot ties at WW&F?  What is the recommended tie length for the 2 foot?  I've only worked on standard gauge track, I am still learning the specs for working on the 2 foot.

I'm not too worried about the 4'3" on the new section since it has been completely re-graded and ballasted properly.  Though I'll let you know if my feelings change after the Baldwins come out.

The new ROW has been moved towards the water.  The tracks bend about 10-20 degrees right our of the museum station now and end up about 150-200 feet closer to the water.

-Mike

James Patten replied:
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We use 5 footers at the WW&F.  I don't think I'd be comfortable with much less than that.  4 foot ties seem rather precarious, to me, considering the center of gravity on the cars, how much they sway, etc.  That's not anything scientific, BTW.

Joe Fox replied:
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I noticed that in Portland they have a three foot tie, a few four feet ties, then a standard gauge tie. This is repeated for a while, and I can't help but remember seeing the SR&RL using three foot ties, and having a four foot tie every so often.

Joe

petecosmob replied:
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Ok all!!
I've made up my mind,...
come Hellor high water I'll be up for satafest with my daughter. I hope to be by sometime around train time, but with enpough daylight to see stuff.
What time is the first train on Sunday? Last year I got there early and had to wauit in the museum a while,...not that that was so bad.
Pete "Cosmo" B.

Joe Fox replied:
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I am pretty sure that trains are only running on Saturdays now. It says on the museum website that the Victorian christmas is on Saturday, December 16th. I believe the first train out it at 10, but I am not possitive on that.

Joe

petecosmob replied:
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Joe! I meant at MNGRR,...sorry!
I already have plans to stop by the museum on Sat w/ my little gitrl and hopefully my folks from Mass.
I checked out the MNGRR homepage earlier and I know trains there start at 430.
Cosmo

mwmoulison replied:
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Trains will run at MNGRR 4:30 PM to 7:30 PM.  If you're up this sunday drop by the cab and say hi.  I'm the best looking one in there!

-Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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That's all right Cosmo. One of these days, I would like to go and see what and how MNGRR is doing since I haven't been down in a few years now. Talk to you later.

Joe

petecosmob replied:
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Will do Mike,
and no sweat, Joe!
See y'all sunday,
Cosmo

petecosmob replied:
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I was at MNGRR on SATURDAY, Not Sunday.No big woop.
I would've looked for more of the train crew, but my little girl & I were getting pretty hungry at that point, so we skipped the museum itself and headed for dinner.
Anyway we did have fun, and we were both at WW&F earlier that day too. Due to lodging constraints at my Aunts place in Strong, (just of the old grade to kingfield!) we could only spend one night there, and so we hit both 2'ers in one aft/eve and on to my folk's place in Mass.
Anyway.....
See y'all again soon!
Cosmo

petecosmob replied:
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I heard a bit of rumor from someone (to remain nameless) who used to be up the museum quite a bit a few years back that Mr Sprague was threataning to evict MNGRR from thier current location. As I have heard nothing else about this recently I only ask as a form of rumor control. It seems to me I MAY have heard something about this a while back, that it was old news even then and nothing ever came of it, or it was already resolved.
If someone in the know (MIKE!) could shed any light on this I'd be much appreciative.
Thanks again,
Cosmo

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Ah, the old military system:
If you don't hear a good rumor by 1000 hrs, start one!!

Ira Schreiber

Hear no evil, speak no evil, and don't get caught doing evel!!

mwmoulison replied:
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I do recall when this chatter started.  This was back in summer 05'. The fact is, Mr. Sprague has the ability to hand us our notice of eviction at anytime.  This is because he own the building, and there has been speculation he wishes to sell the entire Port. Co. complex.  Phin had never charged us rent money before, but this is changing.  MNG and Phin are trying to work out a lease agreeement that will give us a better sense of security.

I remember our OM in 2005 being concerned about a lack of contigency plan.  IF handed our eviction that gives us under a year to leave presents a nearly impossible task.  Where do you put all this stuff then?

This is purely my opinion, but I am of the school of though that we should be looking to set up a second sight over in the Bridgton/Sebego Lake area.  It wouldn't hurt to have two sites, and we have more than enough equipment.

Things over there are strange.  The circumstances under which MNG formed back in 1993 has haunted the place ever since.  Anytime you try to improve certian things you hit a wall put up either by Phin or the city.

SO the short answer to you original question is he can evict us, but it is unlikely.

best,

-Mike

p.s.  On an entirely different topic:  I was wondering about car restoration.  I have been pushing someone at MNG to take it upon themselves to do some serious car restoration.  I have enough on my plate leading the the charge track restoration and maintaining the steam program.  What is involved?  How much knowledge of carpentry do you need?  How do you guys at WW&F go about it?

James Patten replied:
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Zack Wyllie is the primary person who does our car (re)construction, as far as woodwork goes.  He's a plumber by trade, so there's apparently no unlearnable secrets to it.  Marcel Levesque is another who does carpentry, and he's a parts desk person at a auto dealership.

He started with the reconstruction of flatcar #118, which was basically a whole new car.  So was flatcar 126, as in both cases new sills and floor were needed (which really all there is to a flat).  The fancy parts come in fitting the steel or other metal (bolsters, trusses, couplers, etc.) to the wood.

Boxcar 309 was torn to the floor, some sills were replaced and spliced, and then the box was replaced.  Somewhat more difficult to build because there are more trusses.

An enclosed passenger car is another whole ball of wax.  We've never done it, but we hope to someday.

If we want to pursue a discussion on car building, it should have it's own topic.

petecosmob replied:
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Thanks Mike,
that answers my questions pretty well. It was hard for me to imagine Phin acting "out of spite" which was the impression I'd gotten from the source.
I DO think setting soething up in Bridgeton would be a neat idea,...but from what I understand property rights would be quite an issue there. AND, there's only so much of the old ROW that's not privately owned.
But I'm not an expert on that area, anyway.
I still think it's a neat idea.
Maybe the threat of moving the whole operation might get the city's attention,....but then they might just tell you "Go for it."
Who knows?

htbrandes replied:
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To answer the question about the ties.  During our track weekend we were forced to lay some standard gauge ties (too long a story for this forurm). Since then we have obtained a written waiver on our lease with MDOT which lets us officially put down ties that are less than standard gauge.

So...going forward we are going to lay 5'-0" ties on the mainline working on areas that need it most. The few new standard gauge ties that were laid last fall will be cut back to the same as the other new ties.

Joe Fox replied:
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Glad to hear it. I remember seeing photos of the ties, and boy did they look funny.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Some of the original two footers did it that way. Using Standard Gauge ties with the 5 foot ties. Most notably was the SRRL Between Farmington and Strong, where some ties were replaced with standard gauge ties. Maine Central owned the line at the time so they probably supplied them or there was thought of standard gauging the line to some point north of Farmington.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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I remember reading about them wanting to standard gauge part of the line, and also heard about it on the SR&RL tape we hvae here at the house.
_________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Mike and Joe are correct.  At one time there was discussion of converting the SR&RL main line from Farmington to Strong to standard gauge.  The SR&RL did install some standard gauge ties, centering them on the track.  One reason for conversion was a planned move of the transfer/transloading tracks to Strong in a new yard with more room.  As we know, the conversion never occurred.

The difference with MNG is that they used standard gauge ties with the rails set towards one end of the tie.  The west rail was spiked down where the standard gauge running rail had been and the east rail was spiked to gauge, leaving a long portion of tie sticking out on the east side.   The original plan was to allow for a possible standard gauge track for dual-gauge use.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum