Author Topic: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick  (Read 1489 times)

Bob Holmes

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WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« on: January 19, 2018, 12:02:47 AM »
Just out of curiosity how will the bridge abutments be constructed? Will there be piles driven? Which brings up another good historical question: Did the W,W,&F have a pile driver?

Rob

Well, they must have used something to drive all those piles in Wiscasset, from the main yard down to the loading docks in the harbor.  You can still see many of them today at low tide!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2018, 04:11:07 PM by Ed Lecuyer »

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 12:28:07 AM »
We know they had a Derrick crane car- large enough to require a full flatcar.  We also know that pile driving crane attachments exist.  A few of us have surmised this may have been their solution.  Of course that’s completely unverifiable...

Jason

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 12:30:10 AM »
Of course that’s completely unverifiable...

And of course, I think we should build one anyway...

Wayne Laepple

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 12:56:23 AM »
Wasn't it more likely that when the trestlework across the bay was built, piles were driven by a floating pile driver with a steam hoist? I can't imagine the WW&F's derrick car had a power hoist. And I would think it more likely the original Trout Brook bridge bents were placed on mud sills rather than driven piles.

Note: I may be all wet here, similar to my theories about grades and bridge approaches last week.

Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 12:59:47 AM »
contractors would have had small portable pile drivers, I have the single drum steam winch from one, bought it from a contractors son. It would have used steam from a vertical boiler. They could have gotten one easy enough if they needed to.
I will also note, it's only about 3'x4'x3'high , something like it could have easily fit on a boom car and taken steam from a locomotive.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 01:05:16 AM by Mike the Choochoo Nix »
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Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 01:05:07 AM »
Theoretically the WW&F’s derrick had a steam powered hoist, w loco steam- I think?

The ICC records list a Derrick car.  There are a few photos which show a small part of the car, including a small housing.  The ME Two Foot Quarterly magazine studied the matter, and published an article which surmised the car was quite possibly very similar to a three foot version.  The article is thorough and convincing, even if hypothetical, as it uses the existing photos of the WW&F car as evidence to support the case.

What has me nearly sold is this:  there are driven pile stumps in Trout Brook, and a 1950’s photo of the dilapitating Trout Brook Bridge shows it sitting on driven pile bents.

I’ll see if I can find that photo...

See ya
Jason

Philip Marshall

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 03:17:12 AM »
I haven't seen the Maine Two-Foot Quarterly article Jason refers to, but I've always imagined WW&F derrick No. 10 might have resembled a scaled-down version of D&RGW derrick OP, now at the Cumbres & Toltec. OP has a steam hoist that works off loco steam via a temporary pipe connection to the steam dome, so no need for a separate boiler.

That said, there is a great photo on page 173 of Two Feet to Tidewater that shows a floating derrick (it doesn't appear to be a pile driver) and crew at work on the Wiscasset trestle, which suggests at least some repair work was done by contractors.

Joe Fox

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 04:48:47 AM »
Phillip, yes it resembled OP. I have the M2FQ article, I can take pictures and have my Dad post them here. It looks very interesting, and to my knowledge was tge only such car to exist in Maine.
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Mike Fox

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 10:29:21 AM »
Here is a photo Jason sent me of the trestle that replaced the Carlton (now Trout) Brook Bridge after the Masons Wreck.

Mike
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Robert Hale

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 01:44:26 PM »
I'm glad I asked about the pile driver. Looks like it has brought up allot of forgotten information about the RR. I'm in agreement about the pile-driving being contracted out to a company to drive piles in the bay since that would be the best way to build infrastructure using experienced techniques on the water. As far as building along the line, the derrick crane could be use to drive the piles for the bridge abutments. Very interesting history indeed.

Rob

Benjamin Campbell

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 03:33:50 PM »
I have several Maine Central letters from the spring of 1912 concerning the WW&FRy's need to get a pile driver into the bay behind the Maine Central's bridge - presumably so they could work on the pile trestle between the station and shops. This would seem to suggest that the WW&F did not have a functioning rail mounted pile driver at this date.

Letter 1. April 11th, 1912 - from MCRR chieft engineer to MCRR engineer of MofW.  "The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Company thinks it very necessary that it should have a barge or flat boat about 20 feet wide and about 40 long taken into the bay behind the Railroad Company's embankment and wishes to have some arrangement made so that it may be taken under the stringers of the first bridge east of the crossing at Wiscasset.

I do not know whether the Railroad Company is legally liable to be compelled to permit the passage of this boat, but I should think it quite likely it might be.

Will you please to let Superintendent of Bridges and Buildings Watson look matters over in connection with S. J. Sewall, Manager of the W.W.&F.Ry.Co. to see if Mr. Watson thinks it at all feasible to cut out one bent of piling, let the boat through, and put a bent of trestle on top of the piles which might be used until it became necessary to take the boat out, after which time a new pile bent could be put in.

Mr. Sewall thinks that a small bridge crew could arrange to let this boat through some Sunday."

Letter 2 - April 13, 1912 To G. F. Black - Eng'r M of W Portland - "Dear Sir: - Replying to your letter of April 11th in relation to letting the pile driver outfit though our bridge at Wiscasset, Mr. S. J. Sewell, Manager of the W.W.&F.R.R., thinks they would like to have this skow put through about the first of May. I can arrange to remove a bent of piles in the bridge next east of Wiscasset station,(where we took out the iron girders), and let this skow through. We can do this at a small expense, and will arrange for it if you wish me to do so. Yours truly, P N Watson Supt. B&B"

Letter 3 - April 15th, 1912. To S. J. Sewall, Esq., General Manager, Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Ry. Co., Wiscasset Maine.

"Sir:- Superintendent of Bridges & Buildings Watson advises Mr. George F. Black, Engineer, Maintenance of Way that he thinks he can arrange to let your boat under the stringers of the first bridge East of Wiscasset railroad crossing in some manner which he talked over with you.

When you are ready to move this boat, please to give me a few days notice and Mr. Black will arrange to let your boat through under the stringers."

Letter 4 would appear to arrange the removal of the barge and pile driver after the work had been completed and is dated June 25th, 1912. " The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Company states it shall be ready to have its scow taken through or under the fist bridge East of Wiscasset next Sunday, 30th inst, about noon. - I know Superintendent Bridges & Buildings Watson arranged to let the boat through and understands just what is necessary to let it back. - I shall write S. J. Sewall, Manager, that Mr. Watson will have sufficient number of men on hand next Sunday to assist him to get his scow under the bridge."


 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2018, 03:39:01 PM by Benjamin Campbell »

John Kokas

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 05:56:58 PM »
Well that answers the question on the bayside part of the RR.  But it still leaves open the question about inland pile-driving.  Nicely presented Ben, would have received an "A" in my social studies class.   :D
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Benjamin Campbell

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 06:33:58 PM »
Thank you John.  Several options that I can think of. They did not have pile driving capabilities in 1912 but may have in previous and/or later years. Their pile driver was so primitive/inefficient that it was preferable to subcontract the Wiscasset work. They subcontracted inland pile driving as well.

John Stone

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 06:37:35 PM »
In "Big Dreams and Little Wheels" mention is made of a trip-hammer arrangement  utilized to drive piles on the Burnham extension. Four poles, 25-30 feet tall were erected over the place a pile was to be driven and two large draft horses were used as motive power to lift an 1100 pound weight used to pound the piles in.Sounds painfully slow!

Wayne Laepple

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Re: WW&F Pile Driver/Derrick
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2018, 07:48:39 PM »
Those poor horses. Pull ahead. Stop. WHAM! Back up. Stop. Repeat. By the end of the day, they wouldn't know whether they were coming or going!