Author Topic: Another Alna?  (Read 11609 times)

James Patten

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2015, 02:08:00 PM »
This image of Timetable No. 83 from 1930 posted on the museum's Facebook page last October shows AC as MP 7.0:

Well ... Austin himself told us about his camp, it was pretty obvious that there had been a building on site there once (right by a road that was active up until a few decades earlier).  As to why the railroad would show the AC station at MP 7 rather than 6.4 is beyond me.  I suppose that in 1930 things were on the slide, and Winters may not have been too interested in fact checking.  I can't reconcile the two.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2015, 02:38:34 PM »
Something is weird with the mile posts.

I used my mapping software to see where Mile Posts 1-7 should be placed, calculated from the MEC diamond. While not super-accurate, my measurements should be within 50ft or so.


MP1 - On the northernmost curve of the bay formed by the Sheepscot River, just north of the stream crossing.

MP2 - North of the 218 Crossing, North of the bridge site (near where the berm disappears into the woods today.)

MP3 - 1500' North of the Alna/Wiscasset boundary.

MP4 - Just shy of Verney Mill Road. Next to Verney's cabin.

MP5 - 400' SOUTH of Sutters Crossing.

MP6 - 430' SOUTH of Alna Center

MP7 - AT TOM where the North Switch is today. This is 1800' NORTH of our presently labeled MP7.


Note that I am making the total measurements from the MEC diamond. I suspect, back in the day, they would have measured from one existing Mile Post to the next. Thus, if one distance was in error, all subsequent distances would also be off by that amount (if calculated from the MEC diamond.)


So, the station at TOM, if/when it existed, was at MP7 - provided there was not a mistake in the original survey.
Alna Center, by the same calculation, should be at MP 6.1.

Another WW&F Mystery!


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Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2015, 02:43:02 PM »
FWIW, by my calculations:
- Sheepscot should be at MP 4.5 (not 4.8 as indicated in the 1930's timetable.)
- Alna Center should be at MP 6.1 (not 7.0 as indicated in the 1930's timetable.)
- Head Tide should be at MP 9.6 (not 9.1 as indicated in the 1930's timetable.)

Also, technically the platform for Wiscasset station would be 100' north of the MEC diamond - but that does not explain the magnitude of the discrepancies.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 02:55:23 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Mike Fox

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2015, 03:07:31 PM »
Ok, who wants to drag out the old surveyors chain?
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Philip Marshall

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2015, 03:43:27 PM »
I don't doubt that AC is in the right place, but when both Frank Winters and Linwood Moody say it's MP 7.0 and not MP 6.4 I think you can see why I would be confused!

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #20 on: July 02, 2015, 04:48:29 PM »
I love it when work and hobby intersect - I can test my software while exploring the WW&F!

Anyhow, on page 85 of Two Feet to Tidewater, a 1903 Time Table is Reproduced. Note that the locations of Alna Center (or Alna, or Alna Centre) are not included in most timetables. The 1903 table shows Alna Centre at MP 6.4. This conflicts directly with the 1930s table, showing it at MP 7.0.

However, MP 6.4 would be consistent with the other calculations for Sheepscot and Head Tide - short by about +/-.4 miles.

I propose that when Frank Winter's 1930s timetable was produced, he either:
1. Guessed where Alna Center was, because he wanted to fill in the blank left from other timetables.
2. Accidentally used the location of the discontinued ALNA station - which is where we now call Top of the Mountain.
3. Just made a plain old mistake.

To investigate argument #1, look at the 1899 timetable on page 64 in Two Feet to Tidewater. No MP locations are given for: Alna Centre, Prebles, Maxcys, Newells, Coles, and So. Albion. On the 1930s timetable, these are listed at 7.0, 15.7, 23.0, 31.0, [not listed], 40.0 respectively. It is interesting that Alna Center, Maxcy's, Newells, and So. Albion ALL have nice round numbers for their mileposts.

However, I did some quick measurements with my software, and the other distances work out to be:
Albion to So. Albion: 3.4 Miles (shown as 3.5 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
Palermo to Newells: 2.4 Miles (shown as 1.9 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
Newells to Weeks Mills: 2.4 Miles (shown as 2.8 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
Windsor to Maxcy's: 1.4 Miles (shown as 1.0 mile in the 1930's timetable.)
Maxcy's to Cooper's Mills: 2.2 Miles (shown as 3.2 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
N. Whitefield to Prebles: 1.5 Miles (shown as 1.7 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
Prebles to Whitefield: 2.5 Miles (shown as 2.4 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
Head Tide to Alna Center: 2.5 Miles (shown as 2.1 miles in the 1930's timetable.)
Alna Center to Sheepscot: 1.5 Miles (shown as 2.2 miles in the 1930's timetable.)

Note the wide discrepancies for the locations of Newells, Maxcy's, and Alna Center. These all had ".0" mile posts on the 1930s timetable. HOWEVER, if you consult the 1903 timetable, the locations for Prebles, Newells, Maxcy's, and Alna Center all align with the 1930s timetable (with nice round numbers.) So that kills theory #1.

So, I strongly suspect that the MP 7 location of Alna Center in the 1930s Frank Winter's timetable is simply an error. Perhaps it is based on the location of the discontinued Alna station at TOM; I think it is more likely just a typo. Later, Linwood Moody used this timetable for his documentation. Thus, the "correct" location of Alna Center is MP 6.4.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 05:55:09 PM by Ed Lecuyer »
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Wayne Laepple

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #21 on: July 02, 2015, 05:57:02 PM »
HOWEVER, viewing the photographic evidence may tell a different story. Take a look at the photo of the Alna Center station on page 79 of "Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot River Valley," Volume 1. The topography visible in the background does not look the same as what exists at the present station site. There appears to be an embankment of a road in the middle distance, and further away a hillside with a building behind it, that doesn't resemble the scene we'd see today from the station if the woods were instead pastureland.

And on page 81 of that same volume is a view of the now-abandoned building from a somewhat different angle, and again, the distant topography doesn't seem quite right. In fact, it doesn't look anything like the background of the earlier photo, so perhaps this indicates the actual station was moved to the Averill Road location. Finally, somewhere I have seen a photo (though right now I can't locate it) of the Alna Center station, and in the background is what appears to be the Alna Cemetery, which is along Route 218 not far from the Alna Meeting House and north of Averill Road. All that said, I'll again assert that the original location of the station was on the north side of Albee's field, prior to being relocated to the side of Averill Road. (I wonder what the distance is between those two locations?)

By the way, on my visit to the National Archives in february, I recorded the measured distances across each property as shown on the original survey of the WW&F through the Town of Alna. Perhaps those measurements (in rods!) may help us solve this interesting conundrum.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 11:40:30 PM by Wayne Laepple »

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #22 on: July 02, 2015, 09:04:52 PM »
I seem to remember that Harry told me that Mile post 0.0 was the WW&F crossing of US Rt. 1.  Not sure why they would have started there, anyone know if this is true?   How did they measure the line down to the MEC and Boothbay Steamer interchange, was it in minus numbers?  That would be unusual, of course the WW&F was not a typical railroad.

John Kokas

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2015, 09:09:09 PM »
Thinking towards the future, if we end up building the shingle and sawmill "industrial" site at TOM, then we'll be obligated to re-create Alna station in the timetable for the industrial interchange. Oh darn the bad luck  ;D

James Patten

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2015, 10:30:53 PM »
I think the Rt 1 crossing was MP 0.0 of the W&Q.  Since Harry was a great W&Q fan, I'm not surprised he had this bit of trivia.  Using that as the starting point MP 7 is right near where Ed says it should be, at the north switch at TOM.

Moving the 0.0 mark south one half mile (hopefully that's the end of the dock and not somewhere in the Sheepscot River) brings us to our current mile posts.  Long time volunteers may recall the MP 5 milepost being at the south end of Davis curve.  Somewhere around 10 years ago we moved it to the current spot.

Philip Marshall

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2015, 11:08:13 PM »
So the Route 1 crossing was MP 0.0 for the W&Q, but the MEC diamond was MP 0.0 for the WW&F?

Now I'm even more confused. :)

James Patten

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2015, 11:51:33 PM »
No, the south end of the docks should be 0.0 for the WW&F.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #27 on: July 03, 2015, 12:59:17 AM »
HOWEVER, viewing the photographic evidence may tell a different story. Take a look at the photo of the Alna Center station on page 79 of "Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot River Valley," Volume 1. The topography visible in the background does not look the same as what exists at the present station site. There appears to be an embankment of a road in the middle distance, and further away a hillside with a building behind it, that doesn't resemble the scene we'd see today from the station if the woods were instead pastureland.

And on page 81 of that same volume is a view of the now-abandoned building from a somewhat different angle, and again, the distant topography doesn't seem quite right. In fact, it doesn't look anything like the background of the earlier photo, so perhaps this indicates the actual station was moved to the Averill Road location. Finally, somewhere I have seen a photo (though right now I can't locate it) of the Alna Center station, and in the background is what appears to be the Alna Cemetery, which is along Route 218 not far from the Alna Meeting House and north of Averill Road. All that said, I'll again assert that the original location of the station was on the north side of Albee's field, prior to being relocated to the side of Averill Road. (I wonder what the distance is between those two locations?)

I'm not 100% sure I agree. I believe the structure in the background of the pg 79 photo is Tom Albee's house. (Or possibly another structure near that site - the 1893 topo map shows a house lot there.) I used Google Earth to plot the location, then went to ground view centered near the present Averill Road station site. When rotated so to be looking East, Albee's house is just where it is in the photo, and the background topography looks to be a good match. Rotate further to be looking SE (as in the pg. 81 photo) and the backgrounds align again.

I tried the same trick using the location you proposed, at the end of Albee's field. You have to rotate the view to be almost purely to the south before Albee's house comes into view; and the rest of the topography doesn't align as well.

That said, it is interesting to compare the two photos. By the end, the stovepipe is missing, as are the stairs. Also there is a shutter for the window - and the front door appears to be removed.
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Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #28 on: July 03, 2015, 01:08:35 AM »
So the Route 1 crossing was MP 0.0 for the W&Q, but the MEC diamond was MP 0.0 for the WW&F?

Now I'm even more confused. :)
I think you got that exactly backwards. The MEC diamond would have been MP 0.0 for the W&Q, but Mr Winters may have used the Rt. 1 crossing as MP 0.0 for his own weird logical reasons.

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: Another Alna?
« Reply #29 on: July 04, 2015, 12:34:22 AM »
I seem to recall MP 0 being defined on the original w&q property survey map- though I don't recall if it said the diamond or rt 1 was mp 0.  Also, same map put Sheespcot Station at 4.8, as did most or all existing original timetables.  I believe all of our locations are based on sheepscot station at 4.8.  This puts today's Alna Center Station at 6.4 (as well as verifying all locations figured by James and used in our current employees time table). 

The original Alna station, supposedly at MP 7- must have been on a road that existed in the 1890's but presumably abandoned sometime early in the railroad's life.

I'm somewhat of the mindset that we should simply define ToM as the new Alna station, to coincide with our development plans there.

Jason