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Author Topic: W, W, & F Winter Photo Freight Poll (Only an opinion)  (Read 1450 times)
Ed Lecuyer
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« on: September 16, 2010, 02:44:47 AM »

MODERATORS NOTE:
W, W, & F Winter Photo Freight Poll (Only an opinion) has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
Information contained within this post may be superseded by more recent postings and conversations.

Joe Fox wrote:
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This poll is only an opinion, and is not saying that it is a planned event for this year, or for any year as far as that goes.

Joe Fox replied:
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Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions on how an event like this could be held, if we were to ever hold an event like this. Thanks.

Joe

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Presidents Day week end is a three day holiday and many cold weather locations run snow trains during that weekend.
Might as well join the crowd.
Ira

Josh Botting replied:
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Wait for real snow

Joe Fox replied:
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You could wait for real snow, but that would be a last minute decision and not many people would show up. January, as other people have also decided, snow is most likely in December and January. However, there is all ready an event in December, so it could be in January. Last year we didn't have much, to hardly any snow in January, and February it was all rain. Snow is most likely to be on the ground in January, since that is near the middle of winter.

Joe

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hi Everyone,

I can't vote because we never know when snow come. Sometime big snow come in December then it melt fast. Sometime we have rain in Winter. It is not same as long time ago. Long time ago there were alot of snow but in future there will be less or no snow. This year Fall came too early. Maybe we have Winter early.

Dave

Joe Fox replied:
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Hard telling. I wish we could have the long winters like we used to have back in the 90's. Now, the lowest temperature during the middle of the day is about 30-40. Not a good sign. I remember back in the 90's when we would be thankful to have the temperature get up to 0, and at night watch it drop to about 15-20 bellow zero sometimes. Those were the good old days, but then again, so was the age of steam.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Back in the 90's??? PUP.

James Patten replied:
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Back in the '90s, eh?  When I was a kid, back in the '70s, we had some real winters.  I had to walk uphill to school both ways through 5 feet of snow.....

I discussed a winter freight with Jason this weekend.  He mentioned that Brian at Boothbay Railway Village wants to do something similar, and that maybe our two museums should cooperate on this.  We do something for half the day, they do something for the other half of the day.

Joe Fox replied:
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That seems to be a real good idea. Maybe both railroads could get a lot of railfans for the day. When would it be, and would it be this year?

Joe

James Patten replied:
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It's important to realize that the first year of an event will get a small amount of patronage, because it's the first time.  Add to that the small amount of time there will be to get the word out for an early January event, and we may well be disappointed at the results.

Perhaps, Joe, you should work with Jason and maybe even Brian Fanslau in getting a good date down and starting to figure out what should be done that day.

Joe Fox replied:
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Okay,

If all goes well, I will be at the museum this weekend. Key word there was, if all goes well. If I come down, I will be sure to show you the scripts that I have made, and you can tell me all of the stuff that should be added or taken out. Will Jason be at the museum this weekend? If so, maybe me and him could talk during our lunch break. I think that we shouldn't just run half a day. Both railroads could run for the entire day, and tell people about the other railroads operation. Now I know how Dana feels when track laying weekend comes around. Talk to you later.

Joe

James Patten replied:
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Jason plans to be there working on #10 this weekend.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Joe and everyone,  One thing to do for publicity is to get info/ads into Railpace 2-3 months ahead of time.  The info can be emailed to the New England editor.  The magazine covers the Northeast so many railfans would see it.  A combined event with Boothbay would be an added attraction to bring out more people.

As James said, the first year may not be well attended.  But, if you get photos from the first event sent into Railpace, Trains, R&R,etc. it gives you free publicity and helps promote the following year.   Note: do not send the same photo(s) to all the magazines, use various shots.

Another thing we can do is send a couple of free tickets to the Editors of Railpace and Trains.  That lets them know what we are doing and gives them a reason to show up.   They would probably write a piece about the WW&F which makes it worth it.

Stewart

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Great suggestion, Stewart. Now all we need is the official OK and some one to run with the ball.
Good Luck...
Ira

Joe Fox replied:
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Stewart,

That is a real good idea. I have been watching videos of other railroads during their Railfan weekends, and the Cumbres & Toltec winter freight trains. I have been trying to get ideas, and a few have come up. It appears to me that most of the same trains, that were run during the annual picnic, could be run during the winter snow freight event. With the exception of no mega train.

Joe

Jason M Lamontagne replied:
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All,

I now have a computer.

I've been interested in winter operations for a long time, and would love to try it.  There are, however some obstacles which must be respected.

1.  Engine shut-down.  Boiler inspection is in January. In preparation for this I do a complete clean-out; this is not just to keep the inspector clean but is for preservation, and I typically like to keep it clean as long as I can afterwards.  We'll be firing again in late March for Spring Equinox, so a winter event would have to be prior to mid January or in mid March.

2.  Object.  While I respect the railfan's perspective, I think we'd be better to take a different approach- one which I personally believe much more in.  Make it a historical operating day, showing typical winter operations.  This would still be aimed at railfan's to some degree, as they would be most interested in seeing this, and some catering (i.e. some run-bys, etc) would still happen, but the day would progress more along the lines of a living history day rather then "ok what photo op is next."  This seems a little less cheap to me, and more at our mission.  It would be well suited to a documentary type recording that we may rope Steve H. into.

3.  Difficulty.  Our railroad can be a bear in the winter, with crossings that gather 3 to 6" of hard frozen ice and mud over them.  At the worst it can take an entire day to clear the line to Alna Center.  This can be dangerous work too.  I take pride in helping to keep the line open, for many reasons, but there is a cut-off point.  I don't know how to advertize around this.

4.  Other opinions.  There are several, including our superintendant, who think we should close in the winter, period.  We have to find a way to respect this, while advocating a good idea even when it might contradict those opinions.

see ya
Jason

Steve Zuppa replied:
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Thanks Jason. Once again, you've taken into account  the intent of the posters on this forum and have offered a clear,concise assessment of the benefits and pitfalls to any venture that involves the WW&F Ry Museum.I,too,would like to see winter operations but if it turns out to be more trouble than it's worth, then I'm willing to forgo it until such time as it can be done with less headaches. Don't forget, we've still got to do 1910 Day. That should bring the railfans out in droves and still meet our criteria for historic operations. Thanks again.
Steve

Wayne Laepple replied:
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I agree with Jason and Steve Z. Having been intimately involved with the planning and execution of more than 10 years' worth of intensive winter train operations at the East Broad Top Winter Spectaculars (1969-1981), I can tell you that operating antique trains in winter weather is extremely hard on the equipment, the track and the crews.

If the intent of said winter train operation is for our own pleasure and that of a few friends, it's one thing. No one cares if the trains don't run on schedule or extra photos stops are planned. If the intent is to make money for the museum, it's another. You have to run things according to a schedule, since people are paying for that. A peripheral matter that must be considered: many motels and restuarants in the area are not open during the deepest winter months. Also, mid-coast Maine is a lot further away from the centers of population than central Pennsylvania.

In those years that I was involved with operations at the EBT Winter Spectaculars, we had every kind of weather imaginable, from a howling blizzard that actually required us to postpone the event for a week to pouring rain and mud up to our boot tops, and temperatures ranged from the 60's to 16 below zero. Running this kind of operation requires a lot of advance planning, and then when the weekend rolls around, people have to be there a day or two before to shovel the platforms, clear switches, clear out areas for people to park and stand around, etc. Also, there need to be places where people can get in out of the weather to warm up periodically, and as far as I know, only the station and the shop are heated.

We started out in 1966 with a one day event with internal combustion power (M-1). The next year we added one steam locomotive for the one-day event. As we grew into it, we did more. I think the best plan for the WW&F might be to do a one-day "winter operations day" as Jason suggested and see how things go before going public with a big event that may not come off quite as was expected.

Joe Fox replied:
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Hi Jason, and others,

I agree with your views and opinions on the winter photo freight. I think that it would be very helpful if we had a bigger plow to mount on 52. For example, the plow on Portland Narrow Guage's engine. The next thing would be to have a flanger of some sort to clean out betweent the rails.

]http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2004013119341531924.jpg&byrail%3A28%3AMaine_Narrow_Gauge[/img][/url]

The above link shows the Maine Narrow Gauge's plow. I think that having somehting that is wider, and possibly more of a V would make a great plow. I think that would help prevent the snow banks from coming back and traping the engine.

Joe
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