W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Work and Events => Topic started by: Jason M Lamontagne on December 19, 2015, 07:50:28 PM

Title: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on December 19, 2015, 07:50:28 PM
1558 riders.  18 round trips; 6 trips per engine.

All of our crew performed absolutely fabulously- thank you everyone!!!

Jason
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Mike Fox on December 19, 2015, 07:58:47 PM
58 volunteers in the book when I left at 5:45.

Nice planning by Jason. It made for a great day.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Joe Fox on December 19, 2015, 09:38:21 PM
Very smooth. Every thing ran like clock work. A friend of Bill Samples was very impressed with how well the two trains were dispatched all day.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Brendan Barry on December 19, 2015, 10:03:21 PM
10 from the back of the departing "A" train. 10 pulled the "A" train south bound was uncoupled and 52 was coupled onto the north end. 52 pulled the train north and backed into track two in the yard to clear up for the south bound "B" train.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0727.jpg)

10 has pulled into the passing siding to clear up for the "B" train coming south behind 9. After 52 departs north with the "A" train 10 will pull out on the main line and couple onto the "B" train and take the "B" train north. 9 will wait in the siding at Sheepscot waiting for the "A" train to come back south and swap out with 52.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0733.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0738.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0750.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0752.jpg)

10 with the "B" train passing the "A" train at Alna Center. 10 will back "B" train down to the station when "A" train leaves for Sheepscot.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0759.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0764.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0769.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0779.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0780.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0785.jpg)

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0790.jpg)

"A" train coming into Sheepscot behind 10.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0812.jpg)

Eric's live steam setup next to the shop building.

(http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s5/bbarry74/bbarry74004/DSC_0820.jpg)
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: john d Stone on December 19, 2015, 11:57:11 PM
Wow! Classic Forneys working side by side. Clever coordination of train moves. Truly a first class affair!     
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Terry W. Shirley on December 20, 2015, 12:50:48 AM
Beautiful Shots!!!!!  Also glad to see that Edaville caboose in service.  Is it a real SR&RL caboose?
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Paul Uhland on December 20, 2015, 01:51:28 AM
Excuse my criticism, but  those ugly puddles partially blocking pedestrian passage  between depot and shop really need draining.
Some Case-y Jones creative grading with more ballast spread over the area could eliminate the problem. ;)

Great trip coverage, BTW. 
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Philip Marshall on December 20, 2015, 02:52:32 AM
Is it a real SR&RL caboose?

Nope, not the original SR&RL 554 (that burned in 1926) but a pretty good replica. The surviving real SR&RL cabooses are 551, 553, 556, and 557 -- plus *possibly* the cupola end of 558 which was reported years ago to be in a private collection in New Jersey.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Mike Fox on December 20, 2015, 09:49:26 AM
Excuse my criticism, but  those ugly puddles partially blocking pedestrian passage  between depot and shop really need draining.
Some Case-y Jones creative grading with more ballast spread over the area could eliminate the problem. ;)

Great trip coverage, BTW. 


For years I have wanted to build a catch basin and install a drain pipe under the track but have yet to get it done. There is no where for the water to go other than where it is, without building the area up significantly.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Wayne Laepple on December 20, 2015, 10:00:08 AM
Well done, all.

Merry Christmas, folks.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Steve Zuppa on December 20, 2015, 11:34:57 AM
Whew! Another Victorian Christmas under our belt and arguably the best one, yet. Our fifteenth year but notable for a number of firsts. A record 1558 passengers were carried. Three separate trains run. Two steam locomotives in operation.

Anyone involved in an event of this size knows that it doesn't just happen. A tremendous amount of preparation by a dedicated group of volunteers spent weeks ahead of time prepping and planning. Kudos are due Jason Lamontagne for an operating plan that worked perfectly and kept wait times to a minimum. Brendan Barry for caboose haulage and flatcar benches. Brian Fanslau for use of his caboose. Joe Fox and Stewart Rhine for publicity. Linda Verney for the last minute addition of another horse drawn wagon when we looked to have a high turnout.

Finally, thanks go to all the volunteers who turned out on the day, 60 at last count (Mrs. Claus and I didn't get to sign in until this morning.). It was truly an "all hands on deck" effort and it couldn't have been done without you. I'm proud to be associated with you all.

Merry Christmas

Steve Zuppa
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Stephen Hussar on December 20, 2015, 12:29:05 PM
Phenomenal, just phenomenal. Pretty soon, when people across the country think of Maine, they'll think lobster rolls and narrow gauge railroads. Some moments captured along the way.

Merry Christmas!
Stephen

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/664/23786931491_736f374ed1_c.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5804/23963479265_fea4356bb3_b.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/680/23760720692_899ca11224_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5741/23882486861_830f91048f_b.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/693/23842626116_e90622d743_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1527/23938127616_00195a8d69_b.jpg)

(https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/657/23572065120_1824b41921_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5801/23963778785_5182bdc401_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1497/23687670690_0e9e55da7e_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5830/23241902603_d5f5d20da3_b.jpg)

(https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5742/23869086925_eabcb11e7f_b.jpg)
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Paul Uhland on December 20, 2015, 03:05:15 PM
All outstanding!
And I love Santa's little shelter, obviously recently built.
Unending Bravos!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Philip Marshall on December 20, 2015, 03:59:40 PM
It looks like it was an amazing weekend, another great success for the railroad after a year of great successes. I wish I could have been there.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Hansel Gordon on December 20, 2015, 04:37:32 PM
Here's My Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDWVI-7pyZQ
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: John McNamara on December 20, 2015, 04:59:46 PM
Nice stuff, Hansel. You had a couple of new angles in there, especially one close to a tree at Humason Trestle. I gather that you, or someone, got some good stills at Cockeye Curve, as I could hear a shutter clicking. I did notice, however, that a certain piece of motive power was not included in your otherwise excellent production.  :P :P

-John
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on December 20, 2015, 05:20:30 PM
Nice video Hansel, but I wish you'd gotten some of the "folks" enjoying the event.  Especially up at Alna Center, with Santa, etc.  This clip was fine for the railfans, but a little human interest would have told the WHOLE story.  Perhaps next year?
   Richard
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on December 20, 2015, 05:45:52 PM
Check facebook for lots of Santa, people (and horse) photos!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Hansel Gordon on December 20, 2015, 06:05:21 PM
Nice video Hansel, but I wish you'd gotten some of the "folks" enjoying the event.  Especially up at Alna Center, with Santa, etc.  This clip was fine for the railfans, but a little human interest would have told the WHOLE story.  Perhaps next year?
   Richard

I usually get some people shots, but this year I was too busy talking.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Mike Fox on December 20, 2015, 06:22:57 PM
Nice stuff, Hansel. You had a couple of new angles in there, especially one close to a tree at Humason Trestle. I gather that you, or someone, got some good stills at Cockeye Curve, as I could hear a shutter clicking. I did notice, however, that a certain piece of motive power was not included in your otherwise excellent production.  :P :P

-John

Yes, the high speed work horse was left out...
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Richard "Steam" Symmes on December 20, 2015, 06:25:31 PM
You mean that "smelly" green contraption?  Only the color fit in with the atmosphere of the event!
   Richard
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Joe Fox on December 20, 2015, 06:27:30 PM
I am going to say its safe to say, 55-60 out of the 300+/- people I talked to came because of the Hometown Maine segment that first aired yesterday morning. I am very excited that they were able to come up to film an episode. Along with that, and having hit up 6 & 13 for the events page, I think we found something very useful. I hope to get more news coverage for future events as well.

 http://m.wmtw.com/news/hometown-maine-alna/37045000
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: John McNamara on December 20, 2015, 06:27:53 PM
Yes, the high speed work horse was left out...

I hope its operator was wearing hearing protection. The "high speed work horse" whinnies very loudly!
-John
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Steve Smith on December 20, 2015, 08:33:36 PM
Stephen, thank you so much for those FABULOUS pictures! Would love to have a Christmas card with your shot of No. 9 coming onto the trestle over Humason Brook. And Brendan, thank you as well for your photos, so helpful in giving us an idea how Jason’s A- and B-Train plan worked.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Mike Fox on December 20, 2015, 10:19:16 PM
A and B plan worked well. The crew and train always did the same thing. A train would load and back into track 2, awaiting arrival of B Train, then go north to AC. When B Train was loaded it went North to AC. At AC, A Train would arrive as normal at the station, the locomotive cut off and run around the train, and wait for the arrival of B Train. B Train would always take the siding at AC, and continue North until clear of the North AC switch, and then reverse down the Main to the station after the departure of A Train. The locomotive would then run around and then procede south when ready.

3 locomotives was the trick. The southbound train would pull all the way in at Sheepscot. The next locomotive in rotation would couple on and depart when ready. Depending on which train it was is what was done next (proced to track 2 or AC), so the locomotive crews had to pay attention.

Once uncoupled, the locomotive that just brought the southbound train in would move to the run around when the train was clear, and do it's servicing to get ready for the next train. The locomotives would have 2 successive trips, then a break of 15 or 20 minutes, awaiting the A Train.

This set up worked very very well.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: John McNamara on December 20, 2015, 10:35:41 PM
One of the advantages of the A/B system was that the number of people unloading and loading was halved versus megatrain. At AC (and I presume at Sheepscot) there has always been a trainload unloading into a trainload of people waiting to load. In the A/B method, this was still the case, but "a trainload" was half the former size.

-John
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Wayne Laepple on December 20, 2015, 10:40:11 PM
That's an excellent point, John, and one I hadn't considered previously.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on December 20, 2015, 10:46:26 PM
As John stated, 

At AC it was easier to get people to cross the tracks from the Santa side when clear and have them collect on the east side of the main away from the track so the new arrivals could detrain.  Having less people waiting on the east side left more room for the operation.

The reverse was also true, less new arrivals crossing the tracks made it easier to guide people to the 3 attractions on the west side.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Bill Reidy on December 20, 2015, 11:05:22 PM
Whew! Another Victorian Christmas under our belt and arguably the best one, yet. Our fifteenth year but notable for a number of firsts. A record 1558 passengers were carried. Three separate trains run. Two steam locomotives in operation.

Anyone involved in an event of this size knows that it doesn't just happen. A tremendous amount of preparation by a dedicated group of volunteers spent weeks ahead of time prepping and planning. Kudos are due Jason Lamontagne for an operating plan that worked perfectly and kept wait times to a minimum. Brendan Barry for caboose haulage and flatcar benches. Brian Fanslau for use of his caboose. Joe Fox and Stewart Rhine for publicity. Linda Verney for the last minute addition of another horse drawn wagon when we looked to have a high turnout.

Finally, thanks go to all the volunteers who turned out on the day, 60 at last count (Mrs. Claus and I didn't get to sign in until this morning.). It was truly an "all hands on deck" effort and it couldn't have been done without you. I'm proud to be associated with you all.

Merry Christmas

Steve Zuppa

Amen.  A tremendous achievement after a year of amazing achievements by our Museum.  What a year this has been!  Harry must be smiling down from heaven seeing all that's been accomplished since he founded the Museum in the late 1980s.  I can hardly wait for 2016!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: John McNamara on December 20, 2015, 11:16:16 PM
Because A/B failed at a previous event, I had my doubts. However, Jason determined the causes of the previous failures and calculated the necessary train capacities and timings. After some slight roughness at the beginning, it all worked very well. Holding the second AC arrival at the north yard limit also helped prevent congestion there.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Paul Uhland on December 20, 2015, 11:47:53 PM
OUTSTANDING WORK!
Thanks.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on December 20, 2015, 11:55:30 PM
Another good thing this time the restrooms had towels and tp refilled during the day.  That's much better than a previous event when we ran out of paper products in there.  Many thanks to the parking and rest room police.

Victorian Christmas is not quite over for some members.  Yet to do:

* Shop - More work on #9.  There are some mechanical things and there will be much cleaning and touch-up on the engine before the Spring roll out.  There's also up coming work on #10.  

* Yard - There's much switching to do since most of the rolling stock was left outside. We will sort cars (so they are in the correct order) and put them away in the car shop or car barn.

* Kitchen - Extra food must be inventoried, some marked and frozen for later, some to be ready for lunch next Saturday.

* Campus - Clean up.  There is trash from the yard and 5 buildings to be collected, cash bottles sorted out and everything bagged.  Rough count so far has about 10 bags of trash, that translates into a successful event!  
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Paul Uhland on December 21, 2015, 01:48:04 AM
Jason and crews...Amtrak NEEDS YOUZE GUYS!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on December 21, 2015, 09:31:49 AM
It's been noted that I didn't mention -

*  Taking down all the Christmas decorations and lights.  We just don't like thinking about that before January 1st!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Terry W. Shirley on December 21, 2015, 04:32:40 PM
You know, it just occurred to me that this past weekend probably saw the heaviest rail traffic EVER for that stretch of Right-of-Way in such a short period of time.  George Mansfield would be pleased!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: James Patten on December 21, 2015, 06:42:20 PM
Drone video from Saturday, thanks to Chris DeRaps and Spared Technology:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjnVw_d97Jk&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjnVw_d97Jk&feature=youtu.be)
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Mike Fox on December 21, 2015, 06:57:07 PM
I talked with the gentleman that made the video. Very interesting set up. And above my price range. He said he had about 20 minutes run time per charge in good weather, with about a 3 mile radius. But it does take excellent photos...
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on December 21, 2015, 08:53:22 PM
Interesting to note that of the 1558, A train carried 775 while B train carried 783.  Really balanced...

Just been looking at the conductors reports and dispatch record to gain insight for next time.

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: John Kokas on December 21, 2015, 09:40:41 PM
Really cool overhead shots with the drone, adds a new perspective to the museum.  One thing that quickly stood out - time for a bigger parking lot  :)
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: James Patten on December 21, 2015, 09:53:49 PM
Not sure if this falls under Victorian Christmas or #9 returning to service, but the Coastal Journal has an excellent article about #9 and VC: http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/CoastalJournal/ (http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/CoastalJournal/)  See it quickly because it may not last much longer.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015 --> My photo album
Post by: Kevin Madore on December 22, 2015, 01:51:00 AM
Folks,

Better late than never with the photo album from Saturday.   I have a tendency to spend more time than I should fiddling with photos in Lightroom.   Apologies up front.....I have been trying to spend more time photographing people, but last Saturday, my laser focus was on train ops.   From a photography standpoint, the day was a real challenge.  Mother nature could not seem to make up her mind what she wanted to do.   During my hike from Sheepscot to Alna Center, I saw dark clouds, bright sun and I got snowed on at least a couple of times.   It was pretty chilly too.   But I think I did manage a few keepers.   Here's a small album if you are inclined to take a look.   Click on any of the photos to enlarge them.  Click in the upper right hand corner to go full-screen and page though them if the spirit moves you.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157662677166485 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157662677166485)

Saturday was a great day.  Number 9 is a beautiful piece.   I tell people she looks like a Smithsonian-quality restoration....but unlike the stuff in the Smithsonian, this beauty actually runs!

Have a very Merry Christmas folks!!

/Kevin Madore
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Paul Uhland on December 22, 2015, 03:10:46 AM
Great story.
Artistic photos.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Stewart "Start" Rhine on December 22, 2015, 09:23:21 AM
Hi Kevin,

Thanks for posting the link for your beatuiful photos.   Nice Christmas present for WW&F members and friends.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

News.  Yesterday was a very full day at the railroad, 7 of us were busy with a number of projects:

* Campus - Trash pick up around the yard and buildings, plus cleaning the inside of the passenger cars.

* Motive power - #9 and 10 were pulled outside and the boilers and tanks drained.  It's best to do this when the engines are still warm for better drying.  #10 will likely get a UT in the next few weeks so the water dump preps for the test.

* Rolling stock - The sheet roller was removed from the car barn and set out at the end of the roundhouse spur.  Passenger and freight cars were switched into the car barn and car shop.  Both flats are in the CS for work this Winter so everything is inside.

* Track - A lining crew centered the track in the 3rd bay of the car barn.

* Gift Shop - More items were sent out for pre-Christmas mail orders.

* Alna Center - Christmas decorations were removed from Santa's shelter. 

There's more to do on Tuesday and Weds but most of the "heavy lifting" work from Victorian Christmas is done.  
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Greg Klein on December 22, 2015, 12:12:42 PM
Not sure if this falls under Victorian Christmas or #9 returning to service, but the Coastal Journal has an excellent article about #9 and VC: http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/CoastalJournal/ (http://digital.olivesoftware.com/Olive/ODE/CoastalJournal/)  See it quickly because it may not last much longer.

Several of the folks who I talked to said it was their first time at the museum because they saw that article.   I think it was the front page photo that did the job of grabbing your eye. It caught my attention when I saw it at my bank.  Great article too!
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: john d Stone on December 22, 2015, 06:56:57 PM
Beautiful photos, Kevin. You've really managed to capture the almost magical quality of two footers.
I'm also quite impressed by the drone video. #9 makes a nice smoke ring as she departs!
Of course, Hansel's videos are always top notch, as well as Brendan and Stephen's excellent shutter skills.
Fantastic documentation of a well executed operation!


Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Joe Fox on December 22, 2015, 10:03:28 PM
There were a variety of first timers there on Saturday, many I talked to were word of mouth, the Channel 8 Hometown Maine and event advertisement, as well as news paper press releases, etc. And of course many had attended before. :)
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Wayne Laepple on December 22, 2015, 10:14:35 PM
Pennsylvania's Wanamaker Kempton & Southern has been doing Christmas trains for close to 50 years, and they find their trains are generally sold out weeks before they actually operate. The majority of their riders are long-time passengers, some having started visiting when they were kids. Some three-generation groups have been part of the event for a number of years. The WK&S folks look upon the income they realize from the Christmas trains as their "profit" for the season.
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Kevin Madore on December 22, 2015, 11:13:35 PM
As I noted to several of you on Saturday, I believe that Connecticut's Valley Railroad likely has the most successful Christmas Train program in the entire country.   They have their "North Pole Express" which is the premium experience that they offer at night, and the "Santa Special", which is a shorter, daytime ride that has fewer frills and a lower fare.   From mid-November to late December, they run 4 trains a night, 6 nights a week, and they also add 3 daytime trains on Saturdays and Sundays.  During the last two weekends of December, that daytime schedule is expanded to 6 daytime runs.   They have two steam locomotives in operation and two complete, 9-car consists.  

All of these trains are sold out.  The North Pole Express goes on sale in September and sells out within a week or two.  Santa Special tickets don't typically sell out until the season begins, but by early December, there is nothing to be had.   The railroad folks have indicated that they had sold 50,000 tickets this year.   Not five thousand....FIFTY THOUSAND!

Needless to say, their money season is no longer April to October.   God bless 'em.  They have a great operation and have found a way to make money running steam.   Their location doesn't hurt.

/Kevin Madore
Title: Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
Post by: Gordon Cook on December 23, 2015, 09:25:42 AM
I'll second Kevin's comments about the Valley Railroad. They are a class act.
I was down there a few weekends ago in the evening, and, similar to Strasburg, they set a high standard for the quality of their operation and successful business.
For anyone who would like to spend a few hours basking in the sights and sounds of steam era, branchline, heavyweight passenger trains, that's the place to go.