Author Topic: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)  (Read 21019 times)

Paul Bennett

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Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« on: January 26, 2013, 06:19:04 PM »
As progress continues with the planning and development of Downeast Thunder Railroad in Milbridge, Maine, plans and drawings for just about everything are being made available to anyone wanting to look at them for free. Here is the latest release of plans in pdf format some of you may be interested in:

The complete plans package for the DTRR Train Depot is now available for free download in pdf format. The package contains 21 pages (8-1/2" x 11") of documents and drawings. If anyone would like a copy of the plans for personal use/perusal, simply hover your cursor over the "about" button on the Downeast Thunder Railroad home page ( http://www.downeastthunder.com ), and click on the "plans & drawings" button that drops down. Then select the DTRR Train Depot Plans hyperlink. That will take you to the Train Depot info page where you will have to click on just one more hyperlink to start the pdf download. Since the plans are now complete, the concept drawings for the train depot have been removed. I'm presently working on plans & drawing packages for other concept drawings, and working up concept drawings for other items needed for the farm and railroad. All will be made available free to anyone wanting to download them. This train depot can be used for other things such as a small house or cottage, or many other uses with a few modifications. Bear in mind I am not a licensed architect, so you should check your local building codes and perhaps hire a licensed architect to review the drawings and make changes as necessary if you decide to build this structure. The drawings you see here represent the building that will be erected on our farm/railroad site as progress continues.

As always, your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2013, 09:40:16 PM »
This sounds familiar. Wasn't it the same idea Ellis Atwood had for a working railroad on his cranberry plantation?  Then it accidentally became a tourist attraction.  Will you be doing a Christmas Festival of Lights?

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 12:58:18 PM »
Yes Richard,

It sounds familiar because Ellis D. Atwoods story & Edaville Railroad are my inspiration for Downeast Thunder Railroad (only on a much smaller scale). I used to live in the town of Bourne, Massachusetts (Upper Cape Cod), only about 35 to 40 minutes drive from Edaville in South Carver, Massachusetts.

I made many visits to Edaville over the years and volunteered now and then in the mid/late 70's while majoring in engineering at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

Our farm in Maine is in a very rural, and somewhat remote location in Maine, well beyond where most tourists care to venture. They seem to go about as far up the coast as Bar Harbor, but don't seem to travel any further (it seems southern and mid-coast Maine get's the majority of the tourist traffic). We're located a little over an hour's drive from Bar Harbor, further up the coast.

We have recognized the need to make our farm a destination by capitalizing on "agritourism" which has become quite popular lately, but it helps to also have attractions. The idea of a railroad isn't new - I had thought about it for work use on the farm (mainly logging), but remembered how Ellis D. Atwood's Edaville Railroad began.

The railroad is being developed such that the mainline will make stops at different areas about the farm such as the "sugar shack" during maple sugar season, Christmas tree area - choose your own live tree & we cut it for you, Pick your own apples, pumpkin patch, main train depot which also doubles as a farm store, plus many other places of interest (including livestock petting zoo). Various spurs will be in place for such things as logging and collecting maple syrup. I don't know about creating a "festival of lights" such as you might find at Edaville, but Christmas light displays on a smaller scale, along with Santa's Village is still on the planning board.

As of now, we have a  parking lot (approximately 400' x 500') cleared with about a third of it filled and leveled with gravel. We also have a 600' gravel access road completed from the town road to the parking lot. Quite a bit of land has been cleared for the right of way coming in and leaving the parking area (for the train tracks), and we have also made a clearing at the far end of the parking lot for the train depot/farm store.

The junk wood cut when clearing is used for firewood (we have an outdoor wood boiler) and the good timber is set aside for lumber (we have our own saw mill). All of our railroad ties will be milled and cut from the timber on our property.

We are a long ways away from opening the doors to the public, but we try to accomplish something each and every day. In fact, as soon as I finish lunch, I'll be out cutting and milling wood since the outside temperature is now above zero degrees.

Thanks for your interest in Downeast Thunder Railroad and Downeast Thunder Farm.

Ira Schreiber

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2013, 05:18:18 PM »
An ambitious project but what a concept.
Good luck on it.

Ira Schreiber
(Who has never been to Edaville)

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2013, 06:17:58 PM »
Never having been to Edaville is like never having read "The Maine Two-Footers".  I can't imagine it.

You still can visit Edaville (USA) park, but it never will be the place we fondly remember.  They still offer a bit of the old atmosphere, but the Atwood / Blount / Richardson days were the best.

Richard

Hansel Gordon

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2013, 10:40:00 PM »
WILL THERE BE STEAM?!?!? :-)

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2013, 12:49:19 AM »
Steam is most definitely in the works, but due to budgetary constraints as this project goes together, diesels will power the trains initially, and will be the workhorses for the farming operations. When steam can be added, it will be used as an attraction, just to haul passengers (it won't be used for day-to-day farm work).

Studies have shown the use of steam locomotives over diesels can increase attendance to an excursion train/theme park by upwards of 80% to 100% so just from a financial standpoint, steam is a very serious consideration.

Dylan Lambert

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2013, 08:22:10 AM »
Hey Paul, do you remember by any chance where you found those studies? I'm just curious to the prospect for a project proposal I'm working on, and having some solid numbers would be nice.

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2013, 08:59:35 AM »
Hi Dylan,

I just went through all my bookmarks but couldn't find the page (I'm sure I bookmarked it). During some research on theme parks and park trains, I came across a site that discussed studies that had been completed regarding theme park and train attractions (this took place months ago). It included quite a few attractions beyond trains, and what seemed to attract the most visitors. Unfortunately, I can't recall the name of the site. I'm now checking a few other sources and files to see if I can dig up that info for you. If successful, I'll PM you with the details.

Maybe some of the members on this site might be familiar with this and have the URL handy.

Since finding that info, I've corresponded with several individuals involved with the management of various train museum/theme parks throughout the country, and asked their opinions about the addition of steam and how it increases visitor attendance. While none of them cited any exact numbers, all agreed with the results of the studies on theme park/train attractions.

Steam locomotives are of course quite expensive, require constant maintenance and attention, and are labor intensive - all adding to an exorbitant overhead, yet everyone I corresponded with agreed the expense was well worth it, and paid off in dividends with the increase in visitor traffic.

Above all else, I'm an old steamboat engineer and steam is in my blood. That's not a very good reason to employ a steam locomotive in terms of making business decisions, so I need to find that data myself so I can have all my ducks in a row before meeting with investors.


Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2013, 06:28:39 PM »
DTRR Workshop Fixtures (Free Download)

This plans package for DTRR Workshop Fixtures is now available for free download in pdf format. The package contains 28 pages (8-1/2" x 11") of documents and drawings with 7 Workshop Fixtures featured. These workshop fixtures are quite handy to have in any shop. The designs are simple, fast, and easy to build. They are also relatively inexpensive. With a few minor modifications, you can easily change the dimensions to better suit your needs.

These fixtures are handy for use (almost) anywhere, not just working on your railroad. Just about everyone can use another pair or two of sawhorses, or storage racks, tool benches, work benches, and so forth.

My boat plans  business customers have been building and using these items from my drawings for years. They were redrawn and updated in 2012 after ten years without revisions or updates. The new drawings are less cluttered, easier to read, and follow.

Just like all of the other plans I've offered for free download, simply go to the Downeast Thunder Railroad web site: http://www.downeastthunder.com hover your cursor over the "about" button and click on the drop-down menu; "RR Plans & Drawings."

If you build anything from any of the plans I've made available for free on my website, I hope you'll send me a picture or two. That's all I ask in return.

Paul Bennett - Downeast Thunder Railroad & Downeast Thunder Farm

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2013, 09:42:21 AM »
DTRR 2T 0-4-0 Switcher Locomotive REVISION-A Concept Drawing

The original concept drawing for the DTRR 0-4-0 switcher has been revised. The revisions reflect the need for a larger machinery space such that there will be sufficient room to house a larger engine, air compressor, and generator. This is still a concept drawing. Construction drawings are still pending further research. You can view this concept drawing by downloading the pdf file posted on the Downeast Thunder Railroad web site as per instructions in previous posts above for accessing and downloading DTRR drawing files.

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2013, 08:23:28 PM »
Progress and Equipment Photos now Posted

Photos of progress thus far on the Downeast Thunder Railroad, and of our equipment are now posted on the Downeast Thunder Railroad website http://www.downeastthunder.com

Just hover your cursor over the "about" button and click on the appropriate page title displayed in the drop-down menu.

Paul B.
Milbridge, Maine

Paul Bennett

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2013, 11:33:56 AM »
Need Help with Turntable Design

Greetings all,

I'm presently researching and gathering information on turntable design for the 18" narrow gauge, DTRR turntable. I'd appreciate receiving any photos, info, data, comments, and suggestions any of you may have on this subject. As always, the drawings will be posted in pdf format for anyone to download once they are completed.

Does anyone have comments about good features to incorporate? Perhaps you might share your insight with respect to design flaws in existing turntables and other details to avoid?

Has anyone been involved in the construction of a turntable? I'd really appreciate everyone's input on this subject. Thanks!

Paul Bennett
Milbridge, Maine

BTW - We're presently experiencing DSL issues, so I'm posting this from my laptop at the local public library, using their wi-fi connection. It might be a couple of days before I respond to your input. Thanks again - PJB

John Kokas

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2013, 04:48:00 PM »
Hey Paul,

After looking at your pictures I think you should consider a wood-burning steam engine as it appears you have "plenty" of free fuel.
Moxie Bootlegger

Keith Taylor

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Re: Downeast Thunder Railroad (18" Narrow Gauge)
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2013, 07:20:25 PM »
There used to be a Christmas tree farm in southern New Jersey that had a live steam railroad. People came from far and wide to cut down their own tree (the farm would also cut them down for those who were unable to do so themselves) and then carry the family and their tree to the parking lot where the trees were loaded into the family car.
As I recall...the train rides were free but the State of New Jersey decided it was an amusement ride and needed to be taxed!
The train was also then required to meet very strict safety rules that eventually led to the farm's owner removing the train ride.
The locomotive was a scale model of the SR&RL No. 23.

Keith