W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) => Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad => Topic started by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on August 22, 2010, 08:43:36 AM

Title: Phillips Old Home Days
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on August 22, 2010, 08:43:36 AM
Cindy and I went to Phillips yesterday for Old Home Days.  What a great event. The town of Phillips has held Old Home Days in mid-August for decades.  The event includes street vendors of local crafts, food, music, kids bike races, a parade and much more.  The Phillips Historical Society Museum was open and we spent over an hour touring the facility.  The Railroad Room is a must see with many rare and interesting artifacts from The Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, PHillips & Rangeley and SR&RL lines.  We then went over to Sandy River Park to ride the noon SR&RL train from the Sanders Station.  The consist was the open car (a sister to the 103) and caboose 556.  The weather was perfect so the open car was full.  Gasoline/mechanical engine 4 pulled our train.  I like the locomotive, it's 40 years old and was the first narrow gauge engine built in Maine to revive the Two Footers on their original grade.    The trip took us down to the end of track near the bridge abutment where the P&R crossed the Sandy River.  Our Conductor took us to the side of the river and showed us photos of the covered railroad bridge.  He then answered a question I've had for years... when was the bridge removed.  It turns out that the bridge lasted until October of 1939.  It was dismantled and the timbers used in local buildings.  In fact some of the timbers survive today.  They have been in the structures about as long as they were part of the bridge.   

We then boarded the train and rode up to the round house for a guided tour.  I saw Noah McAdam and he showed me the Frame of the Model A railcar that he's building.  He had just installed a new engine and transmission on motor mounts that he fabricated.  He told me that Leon Weeks had just been there looking at it, he came in on the 11:00 train.  Cindy and I then walked through the roundhouse and saw the progress on the restoration of coach 5.  What a beautiful car.  It will look great when it's done.  Someday the SR&RL boys will be able to have both Laconia cars  on the same train -  WOW  The next stop was by the turntable where coach 21 was getting a new coat of Tuscan red paint.  The coach is being leased from MNGRR and has been undergoing repairs for a couple of years.

Leaving Phillips we stopped at an Antiques shop and ran into Jerry DeVos, we were both looking for railroad stuff.  What a good day!   
Title: Re: Phillips Old Home Days
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on August 20, 2011, 07:30:16 PM
Cindy and I went to Phillips today for the town's Old Home Days.  The event has things happening all week with Saturday being one of the biggest days for attractions.   We started by touring the Phillips Historical Society's old house and barn.  I saw some SR&RL artifacts that I don't remember seeing last year.  There are a lot of old photographs on display, some unpublished.  Next we walked along Pleasent St and browsed the flea market tables for railroad stuff.  One fellow had a couple of unmarked lanterns and a bunch of old Maine license plates, but no 1932's - darn!   We decided to take a train ride so we went over to Sanders station to get tickets for the 11:00 run.  The station area was full of Civil War soldiers in Union blue.  There were also ladies dressed in 1860's clothing on the train.  The Union soldiers and their Captain were guarding the train.  Two soldiers were stationed by the coach platform and told us to be on the lookout because a Confederate raiding party had been spotted near by.   The coach was full so we boarded the caboose.  More soldiers were present, guarding a strong box that was by the side door.  

Our train took us south past the (1970 era) Phillips station and then came back for a stop at the roundhouse.  We got out to look around and Bob Troup was with us.  We talked about the on-going restoration of Monson #3 as well as the rolling stock on the property.  Coaches 5 and 21 were in the roundhouse, looking much better than last year.  Soon the Conductor was calling us back to the train.  We began traveling north when we heard a shot fired as the train neared the field by the big curve.  The soldiers detrained and had a 10 minute skirmish with the Rebs as we all watched.  The Rebs eventually got the upper hand and boarded the train looking for the strong box.  The soldier guarding the box was overpowered and the box removed from the train.  The Confederates then went through the train questioning passengers until a gray haired lady produced a pistol and ran the Rebs out of the coach.  A round of applause went through the car.  The Union soldiers then retook the train and we went on to Sanders.   I noticed that the Confederates had a camp in the field about 200' from the tracks.  It was very authentic looking.  I spoke to a young Union soldier who told me that since this year is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, his unit considered it to be August 20th, 1861.  The Civil War action was well received by the passengers and I heard some folks complimenting the soldiers.  Maybe the WW&F should have a Civil War event.  True, there weren't many skirmishes in New England but the public enjoys the action and history.

Back at Sanders I saw Noah McAdam who told me that the SR&RL had recently gotten another historic building.  The structure is a flag stop from a private stop called Hillside.  Noah told me that the building was down near the south end of track.  Cindy and I drove down Bridge Street then turned down the lane and drove along side the Sandy River.  We found the Hillside station next to the driveway by the grade - not far from the north abutment where the covered railroad bridge sat.  We got out to look at the station and the train arrived with Noah as engineman.  He came down to unlock the door so we could see inside.  The flag stop has a window in each end and is painted white.  It was not sheathed inside but it does have the original floor.  The building has a corrigated tin roof (applied in the early 1960's) that has preserved the structure very well.  At some point the front door was changed to a sliding door but you can see the notches in the freeze board where the original smaller door was.  Noah showed me where the white paint was peeling to reveal the original railroad colors of mustard yellow on the clap boards with dark red trim on the window frames.  He advised that the station will be restored with it's railroad era front door and painted in the original colors.  They are also going to extend the mainline south so it's in front of the structure, the first time the station has been next to track since 1935.  I'll have to get back to Phillips to see the finshed project!

It was a good day in Phillips,   Stewart
Title: Re: Phillips Old Home Days
Post by: Stephen Hussar on August 21, 2011, 02:48:45 PM
Thanks for the excellent report and posting, Stewart!

Title: Re: Phillips Old Home Days
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on August 21, 2011, 08:29:09 PM
So what'ss the latest on #3?
Title: Re: Phillips Old Home Days
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on August 22, 2011, 07:48:25 PM
Pete,  Nothing new to report on #3 as the Boothbay shop crew has been busy with their own motive power and rolling stock.  They'll get back to the boiler work once the operating season is done.   

Title: Re: Phillips Old Home Days
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on August 22, 2011, 08:53:32 PM
Ok, thanks Stu.