Author Topic: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?  (Read 361 times)

Russ Nelson

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Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« on: October 15, 2017, 12:56:26 AM »
I'm fantasizing about an ultimate railfan weekend at the WWF. What would it entail?
  • A train ride. Or two.
  • A runby of #9.
  • A tour of the facilities, including back shop, car barn, and rolling stock.
  • Letting people wander around the yard (which, frankly, you can't do anywhere else.)
  • A presentation on the history of the original railroad and the recreation.
  • A book, possibly just on the WWF, or all Maine two-footers
  • Meals
  • Accommodations
  • A bus tour of remaining bits of the WW&F not part of the Museum (if there are in fact enough worth looking at)
  • (feel free to add other suggestions below)

The way to do this at minimal financial risk is to get binding quotes for a certain patronage from everyone involved, then make it a kickstarter.

Joe Fox

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2017, 02:25:42 AM »
This was actually just done almost to the letter during the Narrow Gauge Convention with a WW&F ROW bus tour. The tour was very well attended and the guests had a great time. The campus is pretty much open every day volunteers are there, and we encourage visitors to tour the buildings, explore the grounds, and ask questions as desired.

On that note, and with as interested as people are to how the railroad has been recreated over the years, it would be cool to have an event where we have a slide show and presentation of the growth over the years.

We also do a few railfan type charters each year, with our last official ones from this year were in January when 3 museums teamed together to put on two winter weekends that were spectacular.

Joe Fox

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2017, 02:38:08 AM »
I forget all the stops of the bus tour that the museum held during the convention, but the bus group had a full scheduled day, with things such as the Albion Historical Society, a short vistit to a few historic and known railroad locations like the Head Tide cut, train ride, and the tour finished off the day at Wiscasset with a tour of the old yards, etc. Feedback from the guests was very high, and many wished we had a second bus tour, since the first one was pretty much sold out before the convention even began.

Russ, my dad (Mike) had done a few Bridgton tours, and has been asked by many about the possibility of another day. If it happens we will be sure to let you know. It can be fun to explore these things, and in fact I think if anyone wanted to explore any of the two footers we could generate enough interest to warrant a field trip.

Bill Reidy

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 01:00:57 PM »
The tour happened on the Friday of the convention week -- a very hot day.  We departed early from the convention center (was it 8 or 9 a.m.?  I'll have to look it up).  We took Route 3 east over the 32 north, where we picked up the Winslow branch.  We made slow drive-bys of two remaining stations on the branch, as well as the American Woolen Mill in North Vassalboro.  We then over to Albion, where members of the Albion Historical Society proved to be great hosts.  Tour members toured the station and grounds there.  We ended up spending quite a bit more time there than planned.

We then drove south, crisscrossing the right-of-way on our way to the museum.  We drove by the old Palermo station and through Weeks Mills.  We stopped at Head Tide to see the elevated right-of-way there and to tour the Head Tide Church.  We then spent about 2-1/2 hours at the museum, including lunch, tour of the grounds and a train ride.

We then drove down to Wiscasset.  We stopped at the elementary school and for those that wanted to (it was hot), we walked around back and saw the location of the upper yard.  We then drove down to the waterfront north of U.S. Route 1.  At this point, it was so hot (the bus driver said it was about 95F when we stopped) I gave folks the choice of staying in the bus with AC or walking with me as we reviewed the site of the WW&F station, trestlework over the water, and the pier.  We crossed U.S. Route 1 and saw the dairy car and the remains of the trestlework to the lower yard.  Then everyone saw the stand and got ice cream on the pier.

We returned to Augusta via Route 27.  I pointed out the Kennebec Central right-of-way when we crossed it in Randolph.  We got back to the convention center between 5 and 6 p.m.

Did I mention it was hot?

Mark Spremulli

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 01:43:12 PM »
This sounds great. Has the museum thought of publishing a pdf of the locations so fans could visit them on  their own?

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2017, 02:07:18 PM »
Why yes.
He Who Must Not Be Named wrote the book, complete with photos and maps. It is available in our gift shop (online and in-person).
http://giftshop.wwfry.org/item/tours-of-the-narrow-gauge-railroad-in-the-sheepscot-river-valley
Ed Lecuyer
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Jeff Schumaker

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2017, 02:07:47 PM »
Mark,

Early in the museum's history, a member wrote a book on a self-guided tour of the WW&F. Bill Reidy updated the book with photos. I believe it is still an item in the gift shop.

Jeff S.

(ed.) I see Ed beat me to the punch.
Hey Rocky, watch me pull a moose trout out of my hat.

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2017, 02:14:41 PM »
I would enjoy a repeat of that tour, but in the late fall or early spring where the ROW is not so hidden by the trees. (I understand it was hot that day.) I would also like to see a tour of the local layouts that feature the WW&F and/or other Maine Two-Footers. Ideally, both would be on days that do not interfere with museum operations.
Ed Lecuyer
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Jeff Schumaker

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2017, 02:21:30 PM »
Why not on a Friday, like it was done for the narrow gauge convention?

Jeff S.

As an aside, on the same Friday that Bill hosted the bus tour of the WW&F, I gave a walking tour of the Kennebec Central r-o-w. I was amazed at the number of people who came to see what was no longer there. And, yes it was hot.
Hey Rocky, watch me pull a moose trout out of my hat.

Bill Reidy

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2017, 02:48:41 PM »
I should mention that a generous long-time member graciously paid for the motor coach for our convention tour -- a major expense our museum did not have to incur.

 

Mark Spremulli

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2017, 04:14:23 PM »
Mark,

Early in the museum's history, a member wrote a book on a self-guided tour of the WW&F. Bill Reidy updated the book with photos. I believe it is still an item in the gift shop.

Jeff S.

(ed.) I see Ed beat me to the punch.


Just ordered, thanks.



Bill Sample

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Re: Ultimate Railfan Weekend?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2017, 02:38:38 PM »
The WW&F guidebook is gold to the do-it-yourself explorer.  I've done a lot of exploring over the years and no other areas are covered as well as the WW&F.  The only exception that I know of is the former Central New England Railway in western CY and eastern NY state, where a series of bus tours over the past 20 years eventually covered the entire route and now are "re-runs" over territory previously covered, each year's tour accompanied by a detailed guide book.  A group tour is the best as the knowledge of many minds are combined.  As most explorers probably know, the non-foliage season is the best and this is made even better by a dusting of snow to highlight the man-made R O W grade.