Author Topic: Maine Central 470  (Read 1376 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Maine Central 470
« on: December 13, 2008, 05:03:04 AM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
Maine Central 470 has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Stephen Hussar wrote:
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Apologies for the non-narrow gauge content, but I thought those of you in Maine might be interested in seeing what Waterville plans to do with the 470. Image is from the city's official website. http://www.ci.waterville.me.us/470/images/470_design.jpg
Though not exactly etched in stone, it IS a plan....and a $1.8 million dollar plan at that. Some of you may recall that after our presentation to the city council, one of the members remarked that the city should simply hire "the guys down at the WW&F Museum" to perform the necessary work to the engine.

So in actuality there is a reason and connection for posting this here! 


_________________
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"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Josh Botting replied:
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I have seen this Loco many times, the buffet across the street is realy good.  I think it is the Talk of the Town Buffet.

Joe Fox replied:
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That is interesting Steve. I didn't know that they had plans to do something like that for the 470. I have been up there with Dad to visit the engine, which is no longer fenced in, I don't think.

Joe

James Patten replied:
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They should "hire the guys at Boothbay Railway Museum" to build it a new boiler (or rehab the old one).

Joe Fox replied:
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Boothbay is starting to get a lot of people that want a boiler built for them, such as the W, W, & F, or the Conway Scenic, which wants the 501's boiler to be restored and repaired. I am not sure if they have any other museums that want them to work on any more steam engines or not.

Joe

Stephen Hussar replied:
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James, I agree Boothbay could do it! The comment about the WW&F doing the work came completely out of the blue, and simply shows how "well thought of" the museum is (it may even have been the Mayor himself who said it -- I don't recall).

Interestingly however, through all of the various machinations I keep hearing that even if the locomotive was restored to operation, there'd be nowhere to run her. And I continue to wonder why, since the state of Maine owns the Rockland branch, could she not operate there?
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Joe Fox replied:
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If 470 was restored, they could lease the engine to a tourist railroad, so that way they can use it. I don't know if Conway Scenic would want a third operating steam engine, but there are a few other tourist railroads in the state of Maine that might want the engine. Or they could use it to pull a passenger train on a special event, or weekend, like what they do out in Ohio.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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Need to tell the City of Waterville to contact Eric B. For the drawing part of their presentation. That doesn't look like the 470. Looks like a saddle tank 0-6-0. But I hope they do something like that. It would make a great welcome center for Waterville.
Mike

James Patten replied:
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Conway Scenic only has one operating engine right now; MEC 501 is nowhere near operating condition.

It would be nice to have 470 operating on the Rockland Branch but I imagine it all comes down to liability for the operator.

As long as we're dreaming, don't forget there's always the B&ML.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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It would be nice to have 470 operating on the Rockland Branch but I imagine it all comes down to liability for the operator.
As long as we're dreaming, don't forget there's always the B&ML.

Let's just use the city of Portland Oregon as an example. While they own the 4449 and the 700, both are maintained and operated by all-volunteer groups and are often times run on city and state owned trackage. But in order to access those tracks both engines routinely utilize UP and BNSF trackage. As a matter of fact the roundhouse where they live is owned by the UP and leased to the city.

I guess I can't understand why the same thing couldn't happen here. Remember, the Daylight was a park engine too, until Mr. Rowland came calling to use her for the Freedom Train.

You want dreaming? Maine became a state in 1820, which makes its bicentennial in 2020. 
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

ETSRRCo replied:
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Need to tell the City of Waterville to contact Eric B. For the drawing part of their presentation. That doesn't look like the 470. Looks like a saddle tank 0-6-0. But I hope they do something like that. It would make a great welcome center for Waterville.
Mike

I am touched that you would mention me! (If you are referring to me lol) If someone could get me full side views and measurements and a lot of detail photos I could do a scale drawing of the 470. Would be fun.

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I guess I can't understand why the same thing couldn't happen here. Remember, the Daylight was a park engine too, until Mr. Rowland came calling to use her for the Freedom Train

Speaking of Mr. Rowland I am firing for him on the 23rd! That should be interesting as I have never met the man before and now I am going to fire for him!

-Eric B.
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Eric Bolton
East Tigard & Southern Railroad Co 1889-1958

Joe Fox replied:
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Eric,

That is cool. What engine are you firing for?

Joe

ETSRRCo replied:
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New Hope & Ivyland Railroad #40 
_________________
Eric Bolton
East Tigard & Southern Railroad Co 1889-1958

Joe Fox replied:
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Oh. Great shot. I have a railcamp buddy that works on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, but he said that he doesn't know you, his name is Mike Mouldowney and he is an apprentice firemen.

Joe

ETSRRCo replied:
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Yeah I am a student fireman too. I hope to be qualified before the end of the year. I have to take all my tests on the 27th. I havent met your friend yet but I have seen his name on the roster.
_________________
Eric Bolton
East Tigard & Southern Railroad Co 1889-1958

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Speaking of Mr. Rowland I am firing for him on the 23rd! That should be interesting as I have never met the man before and now I am going to fire for him! -Eric B.

That's teriffic, Eric -- let us know how it goes! Bring a camera and ask someone to take a couple of pictures of you in the cab.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Josh Botting replied:
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Earlier this year, a diesel passenger was run from Waterville to Millinockett.  Now that would be a cool trip.  Having grown up near that line, I would love to see the country from the rail, there are some beautyfull places along there.  That would be an amiazing run for the loco.....

Joe Fox replied:
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I think that any steam engine that had a main line passenger run in the state of Maine would be a big hit, because you can't see a lot of Standard gauge steam locomotives in operation any more, unless you go to a tourist railroad.

Joe

Josh Botting replied:
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From personal experience, prettymuch always living near the RR when in the Old Town/Orono/Alton areas, the lines see very little traffic.  Mostly at night.  Even less now with the closing of the OT mill.  However from walking the tracks, they are in awful condition up there.  Its a hope though.  If any one hears of a trip that way, I would really like to know, I saw some pictures of a speeder trip earlier in the year.....

James Patten replied:
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I'm willing to accept nearly any bet you place that Guilford Transportation (or do we call it Pan Am now?) would never never ever allow a steam-powered excursion run on any of its trackage.  Look at the time and expense it took to get Amtrak to Maine.  Add a few zeros to the end of that to get steam going.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Yes, the 470 would have to traverse Pan Am trackage to get to the Rockland branch, but there's precedent for such a deadhead move.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Joe Fox replied:
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It would be nice if Pan Am would let a steam train excursion go from Portland to Boston. That would be cool, but the 470 is a MEC locomotive, so I don't think it ever went to Boston. However, I think any spot on the MEC trackage would be great. Especially the Mountain Division would be cool.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
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You would Have to lay track to get the steamer to the Moutain Division.
Mike

Stephen Hussar replied:
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I'd love to hear Allan's opinion on this, but in general terms if an operator made the proper arrangements, would the Downeaster route be available for a steam excursion due to Amtrak having usage rights?
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Allan Fisher replied:
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The Hauling of a steam locomotive - dead or live  - is up to the owner of the track. Only an Amtrak train has rights on Guilford - and every extra train , or train not covered by the Contract between Amtrak and Guilford (i.e equipped with steam locomotive, dead or live) would need Guilford's permission, and would need to meet Guilford's specific insurance requirements. When I was still working , the insurance requirement for steam locomotives on most Class I Railroads was a minimum of $20,000,000, and many Class 1 Railroads would not allow any steam moveseven if the operators could meet the insurance requirements.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Allan, thank you for the clarification.

For what it's worth I was recently told by the NPS in Lowell that Guilford was very supportive of the 410 project, assisting with the prep and ultimately moving the locomotive (by rail) from Billerica to Lowell free of charge.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Jon Dandridge replied:
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You would Have to lay track to get the steamer to the Moutain Division.
Mike

I believe there is still a track connection to the rest of the world at Hazens - that is how Conway Scenic gets their equipment in. However it would be a pretty roundabout routing.

Jon

Mike Fox replied:
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But between Conway and Fryeburg the track is very overgrown with some fishplates removed and even track removed in Fryeburg. Could be done though but would need some attention first.
Mike

BM1455 replied:
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Hi all,
I too would love to see the 470 run again at some of the previously mentioned places.  Aside from whatever the moving issues would be the main problem may be weight restrictions.  I think the 470 was a heavier class pacific, where most of the Maine Central's pacifics were older lighter ones.  There may be weight issues on both the mountain division and the Rockland branch bridges.  I have never seen a photo of the 470 or her heavy sister 469 on any of these branches.  They seemed to stick only to the main line.  There may have been a real reason for this besides the newest engines staying on the main routs.
Any one know more about this?
Eric.

James Patten replied:
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I have a book on the history of Maine railroads where I believe the cover has #470 on the Rockland branch.  But I'll have to look when I get home to be sure.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Just a nice shot of everyone's favorite pacific, the last time she was under steam.

_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

James Patten replied:
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The book I mentioned is The Best of Maine Railroads by Ron Johnson, and the front cover shows a picture of #470 on a Westbound passenger train in Waldoboro on the Rockland Branch in 1950.

Mike Fox replied:
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Guess there is a home for it then. Those NIMBYs in Rockland would really fuss if that was sitting by the station, hissing away, then the compressor kicks on,etc.
Mike

James Patten replied:
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I've thought the Rockland Branch would make a great home for a steam locomotive, with the turntable in Rockland and the wye in Brunswick.  Not to mention meeting up with narrow gauge steam when we get to Wiscasset someday (knock on wood).

Unfortunately the other lines out of Brunswick don't make for such a great run, unless the line through Augusta was restored and the engine ran to Waterville to get turned on the wye or table there (but then we deal with Guilford).

Steve Zuppa replied:
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To heck with Waterville. What's wrong with the 470,, Brunswick to Rockland, with a meet in Wiscasset on the narrow gauge to...what...Weeks Mills? (Why not,by the time they get their s*** together,we could be there.) lol
S
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"Keep to the code!"
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Stephen Hussar replied:
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those NIMBYs in Rockland would really fuss if that was sitting by the station, hissing away, then the compressor kicks on,etc. Mike

Mike, I hope they would see it as a tourist magnet...from what I've been hearing the whole midcoast could use the kind of shot in the arm something like this would provide.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Mike Fox replied:
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Yes, Brunswick to Rockland. Turn it on the Wye at Brunswick and the turntable at Rockland.
Mike

Bill Sample replied:
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Last September, after nearly 40 years of driving on parallel US 1, I finally took "the alternate route."   Sue (who already had the mileage) dropped me off at Rockland, and picked me up at Wiscasset (as the WW&F connection didn't show up ).  I always thought the line would be scenic, but it was beyond what I had expected.  One thing would make it better - a native steam loco.
As Mike said the Rockland NIMBYs would probably pitch a fit, but in reality the steamer could slumber overnight quietly if the safety valve didn't pop and the generator and compressor feeds were shut off.  Sue would say my snoring would be louder than 470's

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Making something like this happen would take a joint effort by the city, the state, and perhaps one of the transporation museums -- Cole or Owls Head... but it could be done.
And of course one individual would need to step forward -- a Percival, Atwood or Blount-type.

But never say never.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Jon Dandridge replied:
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If you can't have a steam loco, an ex-NH FL9 covered wagon is the next best thing 

A little OT but is it reasonable that the WW&F could ever get back to Wiscasset? I was under the impression the right of way through town had been built up. I assume though that it would be possible to restore the trestle along the waterfront.

Jon

James Patten replied:
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Restoring the WW&F to Wiscasset is a dream at current.  There are 2 or 3 houses parked on top of the roadbed, with 1 or 2 more inside the ROW; there's 3 roads to cross; the town owns the old shop area (it's now a ballfield); and the roadbed along the shore is slowly eroding away.  But never say never.

Mike Fox replied:
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It would be Nice to restore part of the trestle and park something or build something on it to serve as a billboard. A shell of a caboose perhaps. Nothing that would ever run but just a little advertisement where someone might see it.
Mike

petecosmob replied:
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Isn't there a perfectly good enginehouse in Rockland that could house the 470 overnight? I think the M&E trips START in Rockland in the am and run south, don't they?
Either way,....perhaps someone should begin trying to interest M&E in the idea, just to see if they will bite?
Cosmo

Bruce Wilson replied:
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There seem to be several rail restoration projects and ideas either underway or in discussion stages within Maine.

Pan Am has reopened a freight line to Anson, I believe and the line from Brunswick to Lisbon Falls is now serviceable. Customers are being solicited and the City of Lewiston is aware of this lines existance and among transportation solutions being sought for the future. When you look at what has gone on with "the Port of Auburn", it is very encouraging.

Maybe a forum reader/contributor will have knowledge on where the "Flying Yankee" will take up residence (and on what tracks) that train will operate...?

But yes, the "470" would be right at home on the Brunswick to Rockland run.

I recall that former Gov. Angus King was pro-rail and attended the Wiscasset & Quebec centennial celebration in 1995. It seems that Gov. Baldacci has helped in setting the stage for rail to be replaced on the Maine Narrow Gauge routing into Portland, that which had been removed earlier this year.

I wonder if a citizens advisory committee might be formed. This committee could chart commercial and municipal rail projects, inventory available transportation corridors and equipment, and advise legislators on the needs and concerns of the rail tourist, rail commuters and museum operations.

A first step might be to create a contact with Maine D.O.T. and Amtrak, the Nat'l Association of Rail Passengers and one of the freight carriers.

In Auburn, the local economic growth council has ownership of a former Grand Trunk line (through Auburn and into Lewiston). There is approximately one mile of rail remaining, with some sections (including the bridge over the Androscoggin River) disconnected. But, it is the goal of this growth council, to keep the corridor intact. At the Lewiston "end", sits a beautiful old brick depot (currently for lease) and at the Auburn "end" is short, stretch of rail running under Pan-Am's mainline. A granite block tunnel allows the old G.T. trackage to pass under the former M.E.C. grade.

There is still a small network of switches and some yard trackage (buried in the grass) in what is now called "railroad park" in Lewiston. Also, within Lewiston sits an old steel 40' boxcar with no markings, painted red.

Sure would be nice to see the old grade get brush cut, the yard tracks be restored and that old boxcar moved over to the depot as a display. Hhmmm, maybe someone ought to write a letter or two...maybe I will
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum