Author Topic: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???  (Read 18987 times)

Matthew Gustafson

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Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« on: May 15, 2012, 06:03:19 PM »
Ive seen no new updates from the museums website except for operating time days. Anything new going on there like restoration, maintance, or anything? Anybody here have any updates?  ???
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Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 06:23:06 PM »
I'm a member and this year I never received a renewal notice. Nor have I received a newsletter in ages. The website is unbelievably dated as well.  I think they mean well, but have trouble communicating with their members and the outside world in general.

It's too bad, because they have made great progress over the years.  But you have to communicate.

Does anyone have an idea what's going on up there?

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 06:35:56 PM »
Thats strange. I mean its a shame that they dont use the website to keep us updated that much anymore. I hope somebody here will give us some answers  ???  :(
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 11:38:49 PM »
I recently received my SR&RL membership renewal and newsletter the "Ledger".  Erin had to step down from the editors job so Noah MacAdam has taken her place.  The latest SR&RL Ledger highlights some of the things that happened in 2011 and will continue this year.

A bit of news from the Ledger -

A Fay Scott 36" lathe was donated by Gordon Davis.  It needs a few repairs and will be set up in the shop for turning wheel sets.

Sandy River coach #5 (SR&RL #17) is getting new wooden frame roll-over seats to replace the missing original cast iron seats.  

Boxcar #59 has a new end sill and has been re-sheathed.  This car is one of the rare cars with small end doors.

Caboose 559 is getting handbrakes on one truck.  To accomplish this, one truck was rebuilt with a new top frame for the brake beam.

The Model A railcar is progressing with some of the smaller parts being fabricated.`

Hillside flag stop - Last year the original 10X14' Hillside flag stop shelter was donated by a family and moved to Phillips.  It was placed along the southern most part of the mainline.  The structure has a tin roof and is in fairly good shape, complete with graffiti dating back to 1897.  At some point the door was enlarged but the original door post locations are in the top sill so the station can be restored to it's original configuration.   The enlarged door made some think the structure was used as a section house but research indicated that it was always a flag stop until the railroad shut down.  The building originally sat 4.6 miles from Strong on the Franklin & Megantic and will eventually be painted in the F&M's maroon and mustard colors.

Stewart  
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:50:21 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 01:26:15 AM »
Then there's still hope that I might receive my renewal notice!

Some years ago I spoke with Jerry Devos. He had tried editing the Ledger. Unfortunately, he gave up after a couple of issues and it returned to its haphazard schedule. He had been working on it from his New Jersey home, and told me that trying to get material to publish was difficult at best.

They would get much more support if only they would update their website (2009 "news") and put out the Ledger on a regular basis.  Phillips is so far off the beaten track that most people who would support them can only get their information from those two sources, so it's crucial that they be more up to date and timely.  Not being critical, just pointing out facts.


Steve Klare

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2012, 08:58:04 PM »
I just got my Ledger, and I was pretty impressed with it: a lot of interesting content.

Some years (decades?...centuries?) ago when I was single, twenty something and more active there I was sitting behing the counter in Phillips station and I found a box of their earliest newsletters. They dated back to not too long after the first rails were spiked down there. Really interesting: wish I has copies of them now.

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2012, 12:55:02 AM »
We were up there in the mid to late 1960s, and already someone had been laying "track" at Phillips across the river where the museum is now.  It was mostly old hunks of mismatched rail spiked to ties which were really only hunks of log or even some original SR&RL ties that had lain around since the scrapping.

There was some sort of crude 4 wheel push car, and some odds and ends of junk. That was it.  So, from that simple beginning they have progressed to where they are now. Mostly due to just a couple of people at the start, and for some years afterward.


Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2012, 01:32:57 AM »
True, the Sandy River group had crude beginnings 40 years ago but Wes Spear and a few others brought about the first rebuild of a Maine two footer.  With the dream of running trains, rail was put back on the P&R grade and #4, a nice replica locomotive was built. #4 is now 4 decades old and still going.  The SR&RL has the best collection of original two-foot structures in Maine, from the Phillips crew house and three flag stop stations to the only two level section house (Reeds), all restored and in use.  Add in one of the few 8 stall narrow gauge roundhouses in the U.S. and you have a great museum.  New freight car trucks have been built and the mainline rail is now 60lb.  With Monson 3 coming back this year steam will be afoot on the SR&RL.  Like any museum there are many things to improve but they have come a long way since 1970. 

Stewart

Hansel Fardon

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 08:11:16 PM »
Does anybody know whats left for #3's restoration? I'd LOVE to go up there and film while it's running! I remember I went the year before the restoration (and even got a cab ride in #3!)

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2012, 02:38:56 PM »
We only wish they would better communicate with the "outside world".  That is their greatest downfall.  We've been all over this before, but it never seems to get resolved.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2012, 08:38:20 PM »
This communication was just posted in another 2ft mailing list:

=====

As many of you know, the SR&RL leased Maine Narrow Gauge's Monson #3 back in 2008 so the SR&RL could retube the boiler and operate her on the SR&RL on a 15 year lease agreement.  The good news is that we expect her back on the property shortly as the boiler has passed it's preliminary hydro test.  The bad news is that the SR&RL is now totally broke having spent over $100,000 rather than the $25,000 anticipated due to a long list of unanticipated expenses.

I beg all of you to visit:
http://www.srrl-rr.org/news/money_troubles.htm
and make whatever donation you can.  Do you know steam fans not on this list?  If so, please pass this along.  We estimate that it will take $25,000 just to get us out of the financial hole this project has put us in.  That does not count the fact that all other major projects have stopped for lack of money.

Please help!
Bob Troup
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Ed Lecuyer
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Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2012, 12:23:30 AM »
We recently heard that someone had donated $60,000 toward the rehab of #3. Can anyone substantiate that? If true, is that sum reflected in what has been spent, and what is left?

It sounds as if MNG got a virtually new boiler for their #3 at the expense of the SR&RL Group.  If the latter organization cannot pay for the work, then does that break the lease?  If so, SR&RL will have gone bankrupt for no product.

Surely it must have been suspected that the #3 would require more than just a retubing. It sounds as if the whole project became a "tar baby" from which the more you struggled, the deeper in you got.  I'm not sure that folks will want to take a chance on tossing more money into this situation with no guarantee that all the problems will be overcome. 

All museums are feeling the pinch of the economic downturn. The further out on the fringes, the worse the effect. Even if conditions turn around, we are hearing from historical groups that the public has become spoiled by electronics and sophisticated entertainment, to the point that old house museums, historical societies, and small special interest museums will have trouble maintaining their operations in a new era. 

Perhaps the SR&RL Group needs to sit down and take a long breath and rethink
their future in realistic terms before asking for even more money.

James Patten

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2012, 12:38:16 AM »
In SR&RL's defense, everyone went into the project thinking that all they needed was new tubes.  Then Brian & Jason discovered the issues with the staybolts, which canned MNG's #4 and has drawn out the #7 project, and nearly canned #10.  I'm sure if they knew then what they know now, they'd have rather have had a new boiler built for 3/4 of the cost.

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 12:37:36 AM »
Sometimes you have to look at the horse's teeth before you buy him.

James Patten

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Re: Anything New Here Going On at the Sandy River RR???
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2012, 12:48:49 AM »
I finally got around to sending in money to help out with the Monson #3 boiler work.  I asked how much they still needed to raise.  Bob Troup said that his post to the newsgroups/discussions forums netted about $1000.  If you look at the figures quoted on their website page (http://www.srrl-rr.org/news/money_troubles.htm), there's still a long way to go!

Once again - anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated.  Bob says they won't go under, but the belt will be pretty tight for a while.