W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: James Patten on November 18, 2018, 05:55:19 PM

Title: A letter of encouragement
Post by: James Patten on November 18, 2018, 05:55:19 PM
We received this letter in the mail from a donor to the 21 Campaign, which I thought should be shared to the forum.  Although the donation applies to the 21, the message in the letter applies to the forum and the Museum as a whole.

Quote
This donation is in recognition of the tremendous progress your whole team has made in 2018.  As you know, the list of accomplishments the museum has made this year is long, varied and inspiring.  You have an exceptional team of employees and volunteers who worked together to get all of this done.  I only wish I lived closer so that I could donate some of my own "sweat" to help in meeting your goals.

I want to add how important your "Forum" is to keeping my interest and enthusiasm about your progress high.  I read it at least daily.  The many postings and pictures keep me up to date and make me feel almost like I am there.  Without them I'd lose my connection and interest in your wonderful organization.  Please encourage your "posters" to keep it up.

Consider yourselves all encouraged!
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Baskerville on November 18, 2018, 06:20:59 PM
James, Thanks for posting this.  As one who can only get up a few times a year, I also read the forum one or more times a day and follow closely the great progress that everyone contributor of time, talent and money make to our organization.  It helps me continually feel a part of the activities and wish for more.

This Thanksgiving we can all be thankful to be a part of such a wonderful and talented group of people who love trains, history, and being a part of something that will outlive our meager influence on the world around us.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on November 18, 2018, 06:52:42 PM
I am constantly getting notes like this. They are always encouraging and "can't wait to see.." Perhaps this would be a great spot to start posting them..
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on November 18, 2018, 07:53:22 PM
I second Bill, thank you James for posting that letter I would not have said more. It has been a real treat for me to follow you all everyday  for a year on the forum and on fb. As I told you when I joined the association a year back I would  have never be , an on -hands volunteer  on the spot cause I'm too far and a bit too old  by now but  watching everyday what you are doing  in the shop or on the ROW  and how commited you guys  are, is very much inspiring. So keep on posting pics and reports about the outstanding work you are doing  to  make your dream come thru.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bob Holmes on November 18, 2018, 08:33:55 PM
To me, the Forum is the lifeblood of keeping me connected to WW&F, both when I'm working with the weekday crew or when I'm away from Maine for a time.  I totally agree with the sentiments already expressed...it's a remarkable daily connections that I treasure...
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on November 18, 2018, 08:38:42 PM
I am constantly getting notes like this. They are always encouraging and "can't wait to see.." Perhaps this would be a great spot to start posting them..

That is a great idea, Mike. I hope to see more notes of this type.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Baskerville on November 19, 2018, 12:13:10 AM
... As I told you when I joined the association a year back I would  have never be, an on -hands volunteer on the spot cause I'm too far and a bit too old ...

Alain,

We are going to have to find a way to get you over to the colonies to see our operation in person and meet some of our other wonderful members and volunteers.

As to being to old, well look at the pictures of us posted on our forum, a lot of us are way to old and should know better... or, perhaps we do know better and love our museum and trains to much anyway.  Remember, age is just a number.

Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Joe Fox on November 19, 2018, 12:24:37 AM
One important note, with the exception of ONE contracted employee, everyone is ALL volunteers. Which is absolutely incredible. Everyone has stepped up to the plate this year to accomplish our endless task list. Some of us even doubled or nearly trippled our hours on top of working 40+ hours a week at our paying jobs.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on November 19, 2018, 07:45:10 AM
Bill, I thank you so much for your heartfell words. I do know that you  guys would be clever enough to envision and make a giant gantry crane to convey me over the Pond into New England. It would be a bliss for me to go over to Alna and meet  my outstanding Stateside family and admire  the countless feats of engineering they 've been achieving  for 30 years. It's on my bucket list. BTW, if by any chance some of you flew over to France,  let me know, I would be looking forwards to meeting him or her and to showing around Pithiviers. 
As for being old , well, to coin a phrase  it's all in the mind, but still, I'm getting over 70 soon and by now trackworks would be beyond my strengh especially my hands one,  despite your smart gantry crane. It's the main reason why I've been the first AMTP  volunteer retiree for a couple of years.To be fair, I must admit that being a hands-on volunteer for 43 years has eventually worn out  a bit my commitment as a volunteer but I'm still a member, a donator and an staunch supporter of that endearing two-footer.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on November 19, 2018, 11:13:41 AM
Alain;
You and Bill are about the same age and I'm only five years or so younger. We have very active members in their mid to late 70's and even 80's. Bill is correct - age is just a number. I believe the Fountain of Youth is somewhere around Sheepscot which is why I bring water back to my home in Massachusetts!
Dave
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Baskerville on November 19, 2018, 11:45:43 AM
Dave and Alain,

For the record, actually I am a young 74 and a half.  Dave may have hit on the explanation... it is either the water at Sheepscot or the youthful elixir of working around locomotives, freight and passenger cars and with rails and switch stands that are 127 years old or so that makes us look and feel comparatively young. 

When I look around the campus on a work day or visitor operating day I see that everyone finds a task that fits their interest and abilities.  Everyone makes a contribution.  Everyone is appreciated.  Like the forum, that feeling of acceptance and appreciation makes us all youthful again.

As a full disclosure, it is also great to work with our younger members who bring such a joyous sense of youthful energy and sometimes playfulness to our teams.  Their contribution also helps keep us youngish.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on November 19, 2018, 03:26:56 PM
In one of those issues that come with age, I was actually having a conversation about age on Saturday in the caboose and I transposed that person's age onto Bill. He indeed, is a youthful 74 1/2.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Carl G. Soderstrom on November 20, 2018, 02:11:11 AM
Joe

It will be interesting to see this years Volunteer Hours when they are totaled.
It is amazing in a normal year the time that is put into the Museum.

This year will be flabbergasting. 
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on November 20, 2018, 02:32:10 AM
Alain;
You and Bill are about the same age and I'm only five years or so younger. We have very active members in their mid to late 70's and even 80's. Bill is correct - age is just a number. I believe the Fountain of Youth is somewhere around Sheepscot which is why I bring water back to my home in Massachusetts!
Dave
Please Dave ,while you are at it, could you ship me a few gallons ? Thanking in anticipation.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike the Choochoo Nix on November 20, 2018, 10:42:45 AM
I think one of the reasons for older s members to feel youthful is that while operating a railroad is serious business the museum is the big train we wanted as kids, I know I always wanted one that size, smaller then a standard gauge but big enough to stand up in, the perfect size. Also working with others on something seems to make the work day fly by.

And remember "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional).
Mike  Nix
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Baskerville on November 20, 2018, 11:55:03 AM
And remember "Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional).  Mike  Nix

Mike, I like the way you think.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on November 21, 2018, 10:01:10 PM
"Good Luck on projects in 2019. Newsletter is great."
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on November 23, 2018, 08:48:08 PM
"Thanks for all the information provided on FB and WWF Discussion Forum"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: ALAIN DELASSUS on December 02, 2018, 03:34:29 AM
Hello everybody!
 I don't know if it is the right section of this forum to express myself. If not , I apologize for the wrong turn and kindly request Ed, the forum conductor, to switch my post into the right bay.
How time flies! It's a year since I joined the WW&F and it's about time I renewed my membership. But beforehand, I'd like to tell you how much I enjoyed that first year and how rewarding it was.
Through the on-time newsletters, the almost daily updated fb and this newsy discussion forum,day after day I've been following the association exciting adventures and admiring all the feats of engeneering the volunteers achieved and God knows how many there were over the past twelve months. I've met the staunch, dedicated , friendly volunteers that everyday, rain or shine, work for the revival of that two-footer on the ground and backstage. I tremendously admire your great sense of organization and the skill and cleaverness you use to preserve all the historical aspects of that railway.
I'd like to thank you for all those inspiring moments I have spent along with you and for the freindly welcome, the family have given to that distant relative, throughout the year.
I'd like to let you know ,as well, that my membership has enabled me to merge my life-long passion for the railroad with my twelve years old one for american english.
I consider the WW&F Ry museum the prove that the pioneer spirit still exsists in the US. As this spirit has enabled your ancestors to build RR tracks to conquest the Wild West, it will enable the association to reach Albion someday.
 I look forward to that day but by then, I'd like to keep on going thru your thrilling adventures on the ROW and on Sheepscot campus.So it's the reason why I'm going to renew my membership for life.
Best regards you all.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on December 06, 2018, 09:43:39 PM
"Could I take this opportunity to say how fantastic I think your achievements have been in the last 12 months. What you have accomplished is nothing short of amazing"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: James Patten on December 26, 2018, 10:18:25 AM
From a recent donor:
Quote
Relay my appreciation for all the work everyone has done.  I know it's not easy.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on December 26, 2018, 03:56:45 PM
Discovered on the chalk board in bay 4, during Victorian Christmas.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Joe Fox on December 26, 2018, 07:34:01 PM
Well thats pretty cool, and a new way of showing thanks. :)
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on January 04, 2019, 09:31:34 PM
"I continue to be amazed and proud to be a member of the best RR Museum in the world!"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on January 04, 2019, 09:36:57 PM
"Onward"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 22, 2019, 07:28:45 PM
"I had a great day riding the train and hiking. The organization is very well run and all the staff was friendly and helpful."
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 28, 2019, 09:09:16 AM
"Very nice very helpful gal Susan from Waterford CT top notch operation of all the Maine two foot gauge people you are the best I have a deep love for the equipment from Alice Ramsdels farm"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 08, 2019, 04:12:02 PM
I received this email:

"a few notes from past years.

Back in the 1980s I was approached by a gentleman who had an idea to start an organization to create the WW and F. He then asked to speak to my organization the Damariscotta Rotary club, I thought the idea was very interesting and set him up for the next week, his discussion brought down the house. I was the first to donate and become a charter member (CM3).

I have been following the progress since the beginning, I was the owner of Clark’s Cove farm and sold it a number of years later, but I continued to follow it’s progress, and it has been amazing as I try to visit each year. When I come home to my home state of Maine after being away for 65 years and I donate when I can afford it, you and associates have done an amazing job and I am proud to have been a charter member.

Respectfully, Just Wold - presently living in Scottsdale Arizona"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Steve Smith on March 08, 2019, 11:34:17 PM
The letter from Just Wold is Just Wonderful!
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 09, 2019, 09:52:24 AM
Well said Steve!
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on May 20, 2019, 10:40:30 AM
Feedback left 5/18:
"Very fun! We’ll be back!"
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: James Patten on June 17, 2019, 11:57:01 AM
From visitor Don Plotkin:
Quote
Now that I'm back from my travels, just wanted to again thank you and your staff, and especially the engine crews, for the fine day I had there on Sat. June 8 - even arranging to have ideal weather that day.

As it turned out, I didn't have enough time to go see your new bridge, but I hope to do that on a future visit.

Please relay my appreciation to the rest of the group.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on July 08, 2019, 08:11:20 PM
Feedback left 7/7/19:
WWF RR is a wonderful piece of history, educational for all ages, with a volunteer staff who whole-heartedly give of themselves to maintain and share the joy of maintaining this Maine treasure.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 20, 2020, 10:49:58 AM
Feedback left over the various days when Steam and Sleighs were held:


A big THANK YOU to everyone who pulled together over the 4 days (one day was "steam only") and dealt with the cold, shifting schedules, the weather, the prep work, the cold, the ticket sales, the weather, hosting nearly 1000 passengers, and of course the cold.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 21, 2020, 10:26:47 PM
I'd like to piggyback on Ed's the comments Ed shared below. Everyone, from Steam & Saws volunteers, to train crew, to SeaLyon Farm crew did a magnificent job of hosting our guests of the course of January and February. Lots of hard work went into making it happen, not the least of which was the weekday crew working hard to keep the line open between storms.

We also had several 'sometimes' volunteers join us with greater frequency during the events, and the word on the street is they had a great time and will be back for more.

Here are a few brief observations of what made the event a success:
*Lots of good media attention on Facebook- one keen observer noted that nearly all interest in the event was derived from people who learned about it on Facebook.
*We learned from Saturday and made tweaks and improvements for a better experience on Sunday.
*Conductors briefed crews at the beginning of each day and again if the plan changed or needed talking through.
*The few complaints we had (2) were promptly addressed and dealt with quickly and thoughtfully.
*Plans are already afoot to discuss how the event could be improved from our experience this year.

Thanks for doing what it took to make the magic happen. Going by what I've read, you all made a lot of people very happy.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 23, 2020, 09:17:15 PM
5-star Google Review from 2020 Annual Picnic:
An amazing chance to experience a time gone by. The Maine "two-footers" are a unique piece of America's railroading past. It is amazing that there is a group of volunteers who are putting so much effort into presenting it to those who are interested. I had a great visit here, and would absolutely recommend a visit and ride through history.

5-star Google Review for a "Handcar Hop":
We were lucky to be on the maiden handcar tour today!! What a fantastic experience. Our knowledgeable guide Ed, regaled us enthusiastically with tales of the Maine narrow gauge railway as we pumped the handcar through the woods, over streams and up the hills. It was an exhilarating experience.

Private email received:
My grandson Eric  had a great time and so I had a great time too.  Please tell the young woman who organised the egg hunt including
using her own money to finance the golden eggs that we really appreciated what she did, including even helping Eric to find a gold egg
for his doddering grandfather.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 31, 2021, 08:52:55 PM
"This is awesome!"

Here's a video that a family who booked a Winter Caboose Adventure on Saturday 1/30/2021 did of their trip.
It offers a great perspective from our passenger's eyes.
https://youtu.be/YAesaQ-5znc (https://youtu.be/YAesaQ-5znc)
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: John McNamara on January 31, 2021, 09:24:00 PM
Fantastic! I'm amazed at the smoothness of the ride (unless the camera had a stabilization system). I gather Brian's caboose now has a gas furnace (such luxury). it looks like a Monitor heater, but the venting is different (no air input).
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on January 31, 2021, 09:43:22 PM
Wonderful!  Love the enjoyment expressed in this video. 

Congratulations to Ed for conceiving and executing this idea.  While he certainly had help from Steve and others, the completeness of this package- concept, brand, detail (personalized sign on the door, anyone?)- is pure Ed, who can make a train ride more than just a train ride. 

See ya
Jason
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Baskerville on January 31, 2021, 11:32:13 PM
How wonderful to share a families fun trip on our railroad.  Well done to Ed for the program and all the volunteers who made it happen.  This is just one more example of how the WW&F and it's great crew of volunteers makes things happen!
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on January 31, 2021, 11:35:47 PM
It is always great to see people like these. I am guessing it was their first time. And the saw noise in the background at TOM was perfect..music to Freds ears.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Gordon Cook on February 01, 2021, 11:25:26 AM
Perfect, just perfect. Excellent idea to make the most out of this crazy time.
Hey, don't we have two cabeese?
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Jeff Schumaker on February 01, 2021, 11:50:19 AM
I see one brave soul rode in the open car to TOM.

I also heard one of the party say she wants to come back for pumpkin picking.

Jeff S.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Bill Piche on February 01, 2021, 12:02:39 PM
I see one brave soul rode in the open car to TOM.


That looks like Brakeman Dan in his WW&F MOW sweatshirt. Good place to be since the open air car has been "reserved" for volunteers and he can get to two brake wheels from there.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Wayne Laepple on February 01, 2021, 01:56:27 PM
I hope these folks will consent to our use of a clip from their fun video for advertising. You can't buy this kind of publicity.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 01, 2021, 08:48:53 PM
I gather Brian's caboose now has a gas furnace (such luxury). it looks like a Monitor heater, but the venting is different (no air input).
Brian's caboose 554 now has a kerosene heater rated for indoor use, but it also requires electricity (fan, ignitor, etc.) Unfortunately, the west side of the Davis/Brook crossing slopes slightly above the WW&F loading gauge, which causes the generator platform to scrape the roadway at Davis/Brook crossing; so the generator has been (temporarily) removed. On 1/30/21, the heat was provided by a small camping heater fueled by Colman propane.


Hey, don't we have two cabeese?
We do. However, the consist for "Steam and Sleighs" is already 4 cars (2 coaches, open car, caboose) so to have room for social distancing. Adding a second caboose is not really doable. We did, however, run two cabeese on a Saturday when we had to cancel the sleighs (due to weather) and that was fun. Note that 320, while much more historically appropriate, is really not well-suited for passengers, especially in the winter when the baggage doors can't be open.

Ideally, I'd like to see us put a small amount of effort into doing some clean-up carpentry and paint on Brian's 554 so that we can make this a regular offering. At $125 a run, it is very lucrative.


I see one brave soul rode in the open car to TOM.
That looks like Brakeman Dan in his WW&F MOW sweatshirt.
Yep, that's Dan. For the most part the crew was either riding the open car or on the vestibule. Passenger interaction is kept to a minimum.


I hope these folks will consent to our use of a clip from their fun video for advertising.
They posted it on our Facebook page where at least one member has started sharing it around. While the YouTube video is public, it is not set to allow linking from other YouTube Channel playlists like ours.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 01, 2021, 08:51:38 PM
Another glowing email received, this time for 'Steam and Sleighs to SeaLyon Farm':
I just wanted to let you know our group had a great time!  As a group we try to do different adventures throughout the year.  This one was new to most of us and we were very pleased. [...] We all agreed that the summer concert might be a do, we will keep an eye out on dates and may be back.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 02, 2021, 02:29:10 PM
Via email (from our credit card system)

We stopped by on a spur-of-the-moment ride around with our grandchildren "looking for trains". We had our first experience there last winter and couldn't wait to come back. We didn't have reservations, and were short on time before I had to get the kids back. We were greeted very nicely at the entrance by a very helpful gentleman who heard of our "dilemma" with wanting to ride the train but not having enough time or a reservation, we really didn't think we were going to be able to ride so we were just going to walk around and look at the trains. He suggested that we ride a "round-trip" up the hill to drop off the ones with reservations who were going on the sleigh ride and then ride the train back down the hill. We were ecstatic!! The kids were so excited to be able to take a train ride! He took us inside to see Cindy and advised her of our situation and that we would be riding by donation only. I know that the 3 year old would have been free, however, I was so thrilled to be able to give them this chance that I included him in the donated price I was more than happy to pay. Everyone had a wonderful time (even though it was extremely cold) and everyone is looking forward to "the next time we get to ride the train". This is definitely something we are going to do again and again. "Mr. Conductor" was amazing...as were all we spoke with. The kids really got a thrill when the engineer and fireman waved to them and said hi on our way past the engine. I can't say enough good things about you all. Thank you for what you do, and I will happily continue to support your railway and your efforts to keep it alive.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Benjamin Richards on February 08, 2021, 11:48:10 AM
Randomly saw this on Colorado-focused ngdiscussion:

Quote
Totally agree. [...] I'm also marvelling at the WW&F as it extends its line and goes from strength to strength. Lots worth seeing and supporting east of the Mississippi.

People continue to take note.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on February 19, 2021, 11:11:21 PM
From February 13 on TripAdvisor, regarding Steam & Sleighs:

'Very accommodating staff, fun ride through the woods Sleigh ride was terrific. Very knowledgeable and willing to share info. Fun for adults and kids.'

5 out of 5 stars.

Well done all!
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 20, 2021, 11:04:03 PM
From Yelp, 2/7/2021:
"Great time ! We did a steam train ride and a sleigh ride in the same excursion! WOW. I was in heaven."
5/5 stars.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 21, 2021, 06:50:49 PM
"Best Day Ever!"
Our new friends who produced the "Winter Caboose Adventure" video had such a great time, they came back for the last run of "Steam and Sleighs to SeaLyon Farm".
Watch their video at:
https://youtu.be/ccu3qd1zJNU
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Mike Fox on February 21, 2021, 08:48:36 PM
I forget just how peaceful and seemingly unhurried things can be. No rushing, just a great time. Thanks for sharing this Ed
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on February 22, 2021, 12:25:47 PM
Another 5-Star Review on Google:
Awesome family adventure. Friendly, helpful staff, wonderful rides, beautiful scenery and a great deal for 2 hours.
Title: Re: A letter of encouragement
Post by: James Patten on February 26, 2021, 07:07:58 PM
From Cathy Simmons, one of the horse team owners:

Quote
Please pass along a huge thank you to everyone on the railway! It was great to see people out & about having fun & being able to enjoy this event! We had a wonderful time & look forward to working together in the future!