Author Topic: W&Q No. 1's boiler  (Read 5668 times)

Philip Marshall

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W&Q No. 1's boiler
« on: March 26, 2014, 05:37:09 PM »
Forgive me if this topic has been discussed elsewhere on the board, but I'm curious about what became of the boiler of W&Q No. 1, ex Sandy River No. 3, "Butterfly".

Numerous authors, including Linwood Moody and Dick Andrews among others, have made the claim that after the engine was retired from service, its boiler was recycled as a culvert, and was still (as of the second half of the 20th century) in place as such somewhere along the right of way.

Has any attempt been made to locate and/or recover this artifact? If it still exists (and that's a *big* if, even considering the greater corrosion resistance of old wrought iron as compared to more modern steels), it might make an interesting display for the museum alongside the original boiler of No. 9.

(And it also might not be the only one out there, as Jones mentions in Two Feet to Tidewater that the WW&F was in the habit of buying old standard gauge boilers from the MeC to use as culverts. Could there be a whole roundhouse full of lost engines buried along the WW&F?)

Yours in late-winter daydreaming,
Philip Marshall

James Patten

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 05:48:05 PM »
In our little 2.5 miles of railroad, we have encountered 3 or 4 boiler shells (or what could have been boiler shells) as culverts.  The rest of the culverts had been pulled out and presumably scrapped.  The first one, and the one that was probably in best shape, was the one less than a quarter mile from Sheepscot.  It was likely a standard gauge boiler, it was so big.  We had to pull it because the frost heaved it up every winter and made riding over it tricky.  Others aren't in such good shape, including the one at the end of the line, which we had pulled when grading.

Philip Marshall

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 06:31:44 PM »
Three or four in just 2.5 miles? That's incredible. It implies there could be dozens more of them out there.

What did the museum do with those boiler shells? Were they scrapped?

John McNamara

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2014, 07:03:29 PM »
Readers with access to the Newsletters section of this forum are urged to see the front page of the January/February 2004 issue. The photo shows a large boiler-shell culvert being removed a short ways north of Sheepscot Station. As noted in the accompanying text, it was roughly five feet in diameter and probably ex-Maine Central. It is still lying beside the ROW.

-John

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2014, 07:36:40 PM »
I was surprised how thin the metal is on that probably-MEC boiler. I thought it would have had much more to it. I was also surprised how little there is that is left of any sign of it being a locomotive at one time.
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Philip Marshall

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2014, 08:58:37 PM »
In his article on W&Q No. 1 in the July/August 1985 issue of Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette ("Porters on the Maine Two-Footers Part I: Sandy River Cinderella"), Dick Andrews quotes Ruth Crosby Wiggin as saying the location of the culvert was somewhere between Whitefield and North Whitefield.

Is this portion of the right of way still owned by the W&Q?

Perhaps I should go have a look myself if I manage to get up to Maine this summer.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2014, 09:59:15 PM by Philip Marshall »

Mike Fox

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2014, 10:33:49 PM »
I think we have debated enough about the culvert near the Top of the Mountain before, that we have come up with it was a stack or pipe of some kind, not a boiler. The one just North of Janes way does appear to be some kind of boiler shell, but it would have had to be standard gauge or larger due to the diameter.
Mike
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 11:09:15 AM »
The museum owns the R-O-W running north from the Whitefield station site up to near where the railroad crossed Rt. 218.  Engine 1's shell is not in that section but it's a nice walk that includes a concrete cattle pass and a high fill.  Harry told me that the shell was in the grade about a half mile north of where the R-O-W crosses the brook on the other (east) side of Rt. 218.  This would be where the railroad goes up toward N. Whitefield.  It's a portion I have not walked as I was told it is private land.    
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 11:32:10 AM by Stewart Rhine »

Philip Marshall

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Re: W&Q No. 1's boiler
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 06:05:10 PM »
The museum owns the R-O-W running north from the Whitefield station site up to near where the railroad crossed Rt. 218.  Engine 1's shell is not in that section but it's a nice walk that includes a concrete cattle pass and a high fill.  Harry told me that the shell was in the grade about a half mile north of where the R-O-W crosses the brook on the other (east) side of Rt. 218.  This would be where the railroad goes up toward N. Whitefield.  It's a portion I have not walked as I was told it is private land.    

Thanks for this information, Stewart. I was sure Harry would have known, so I'm glad to hear he passed this knowledge on.