W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Work and Events => Topic started by: Bill Baskerville on March 15, 2020, 05:27:41 PM

Title: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 15, 2020, 05:27:41 PM
Other events, such as Spring Work Weekend, will be dependent on what the situation is at the April meeting.
I know how much we all love the Work Weekends, and those of us who live further away, really need our twice a year WW&F 2 Footer Railroad Fix. 
We miss the smell of steam and coal;
the sound of the whistles as the train comes from far away with lunch or to pick us up at the end of a satisfying day of working harder then we ever would at home,
the renewing of old friendships and making of new friends,
the great food that is not on our usual diets, and (for most of us) no one is monitoring our choices,
the satisfaction of helping to accomplish something greater than ourselves and that will outlast most of us.
The last point being that most of us are in an (age) group that places us in a club that we didn't ask to join.
We can't foresee the conditions a month from now, but I trust that our leadership will make the correct decision as that magic date approaches.
I am sure those wise ones who are our leaders, who along with their predecessors have gotten us to this point in our Railroad journey, will, if necessary, come up with an alternative SWW, perhaps a Summer Work Weekend.
Stay Safe Everyone.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Al Michelis on March 16, 2020, 05:31:10 PM
The CDC is now recommending groups of no more than 10 people.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John McNamara on March 16, 2020, 05:57:15 PM
I regret to report that if Spring Work Weekend does occur, telephone sanitizers will not be on duty, and readers of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are doubtless aware of the unfortunate consequences.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Joe Fox on March 17, 2020, 07:12:18 PM
May I suggest if we have to cancel the Spring Work Weekend, may we try to reschedule it instead? I fear the loss of even one work weekend will dradtically change the opening of the Moutain we have all wirked tirelessly to try to keep on schedule.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 17, 2020, 07:16:51 PM
While no one can't predict anything at this point, I would imagine that Spring Work Weekend certainly falls under "to be postponed" in list of events presented.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bob Holmes on March 17, 2020, 07:17:36 PM
Joe, that would be wonderful.  But we cannot predict at this point what our world will be like in the coming months.

Just keep your optimistic thoughts coming and stay safe in your own community.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John Kokas on March 17, 2020, 07:29:21 PM
FWIW, In lieu of a rescheduled SWW,  I would suggest several "mini-weekends" during June/July/August where groups can still come for scheduled work but on a much smaller and manageable scale.  Many folks have jobs that don't allow them to make major rescheduling of vacation time unless its done far in advance.  But if we did several weekends where folks can make just the weekend or can take one Friday off we can still get a lot done.   I would suggest (2) weekends in June, (1) in July, and (2) in August.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: john d Stone on March 17, 2020, 07:35:55 PM
I really enjoy the work weekends and it is such a shame that this strange world development is infringing on our fun! The SWW has been on my mind most of the day and I was afraid that the crisis would be far from over by the end of next month. I'm sure that I speak for many of us when I say that I would gladly come up at a later time. I know that the momentum of this museum's efforts will not be halted by this thing, only slowed a bit.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: john d Stone on March 17, 2020, 07:41:55 PM
Maybe Mr. Kokas' idea of mini-weekends is worth exploring. I would be up for the idea of scheduled days to work with a small group spreading ballast. Maybe when we can get a better handle on how bad things are going to get and whether travel restrictions will be in place this could be do-able.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 17, 2020, 07:50:18 PM
(Jumping the gun, just a bit, however...)

One thing to consider is that the SWW falls outside of our normal operating season. This allows up to three trains (and crews) to do the work.

Once this pandemic ends, assuming we start regular service, we'll loose the operational and man-power flexibility we get each Spring. It would still be doable to have several mini-weekends, but it makes things a bit more challenging - especially where we will need to be running stone loads from AC to the work site between scheduled trains.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John McNamara on March 17, 2020, 07:53:55 PM
It would still be doable to have several mini-weekends, but it makes things a bit more challenging - especially where we will need to be running stone loads from AC to the work site between scheduled trains.

Mixed trains and lots of magphone calls - I love it  ;D
-John M
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 17, 2020, 07:58:46 PM
Mixed trains and lots of magphone calls - I love it  ;D

GREAT! Thanks for volunteering to dispatch!  ;)
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John McNamara on March 17, 2020, 08:10:07 PM
No, no. You are the traditional dispatcher, and I'll be too busy emptying the coin boxes on the new magneto pay phones. I guess I haven't told you about those yet.....
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John Kokas on March 17, 2020, 08:18:34 PM
 ;D ;D ;D  John, I assume they will be BitCoin operated?   :o 8)
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on March 17, 2020, 09:25:57 PM
Maybe hold two mini-work weekends back to back. The first one Saturday-Sunday-Monday and the second on Friday-Saturday-Sunday. That way, if there are folks who can stay around, they could work during the week without any trains to be worried about. And two of the six scheduled days (Monday and Friday) would also not have train service except for the ballast trains. That's not to say ballast trains would have to run the whole time. There will be plenty of surfacing and lining to be done as well, so at least a couple of days could be devoted to that task. How about the first two weekends in August, leading up to the Annual Picnic on the 7th and 8th?

With a smaller crew, only No. 52 would be needed for the ballast trains, and while the unloading crew waits for the train to return from Alna Center, they could dig jack holes for the tamper crew. Or just rest....

Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 17, 2020, 10:21:13 PM
Sounds like we may have a viable option with Wayne's idea.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 18, 2020, 08:06:00 PM
Due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Wiscasset Woods Lodge will be CLOSED during the Spring Work Weekend. All extra activities have been cancelled. Those with reservations will be contacted by the Lodge for a refund.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Duncan Mackiewicz on March 21, 2020, 02:45:39 PM
Ed, thank you for the update on the Lodge. Those of us who have either already made reservations or were still planning to do so really appreciate this info.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Russ Nelson on March 24, 2020, 09:24:57 AM
We shouldn't reschedule yet, given that the SWW is a month from now. Conditions are rapidly changing, and if the outbreak has peaked by then, there will be relatively little risk. Remember that 40,000 people die from the ordinary flu each year, 30,000 people die in automobile crashes, 20,000 people shoot themselves, 10,000 people get shot by others. A life free of risk doesn't exist. People who are at greater risk, e.g. with existing respiratory problems, smokers, and the aged (which is anybody older than me :) may wish to stay away. We shouldn't force that decision on them by cancelling or rescheduling, though.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Gordon Cook on March 24, 2020, 10:22:48 AM
Please, let's listen to the doctors and experts who do understand and know how this disease works and spreads. Citing meaningless numbers out of context can only encourage behavior that puts more people in danger and lengthens the outbreak.
I, for one, do not want to ever think that I may have passed this on to another person, and from what I read you really don't want to take the chance of getting a serious case.
The one thing we do know for sure is that all the projects and plans we have at the WW&F can and will wait, and we want all of our loved ones, friends, neighbors, and fellow WW&F members to be here and healthy when it is safe to come together again.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 24, 2020, 11:25:43 AM
Gordon has a good grasp of the best way forward. 

Additionally, we must abide by the state guidelines in place at the time of the SWW. 

Even if I wanted to go now, my current understanding is that I couldn't get to the WW&F by driving, my usual mode of getting there, since I have to drive thru NY, which is under lock down.

I have faith in our leadership who have taken, and will continue to take proper steps to protect our volunteers and our visitors during these uncertain and trying times.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on March 24, 2020, 11:39:02 AM
Yes indeed. Gordon has the right idea. But I have no faith whatever in our political leadership. I'll listen to the doctors.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on March 24, 2020, 11:46:33 AM
In my other life I'm a church musician.

Two weeks ago the pastor and I were deciding what to do in New Hampshire, as the guidelines had not been so strict. (No groups of 50 or more, No groups of 10 or more "at risk" individuals.) We decided to move forward with the service, (we have a very small congregation) but sending a notice out asking (nicely) that if you were elderly or (potentially) sick, to stay at home and watch the service on line.

~30 people showed up for the service (slightly below average attendance.)
Many were age 60 and up.
At least one person was visibly sniffling (seasonal allergies, but none-the-less.)

The following week the guidelines had not changed, but it was clear that we could not trust everyone to do the "right thing." So we cancelled service and had it all online instead. (We still had ~30 people tune in "live", countless others have watched it since.)

I give this example as to remind us that "social distancing" is not about the individual - but the whole population. Those responsible for managing group gatherings are in a pickle, but need to conscious of the fact that not everyone is voluntarily going to adhere to the guidelines set forth.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Mike the Choochoo Nix on March 24, 2020, 10:07:35 PM
I agree with Gordon, everything can wait. If we lose the whole season it's not the end of the world. Our current completion dates are only what we wanted to do, not what we needed to do.
M. Nix
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Mike Fox on March 25, 2020, 09:17:13 AM
When we had our last board meeting, the virus was just beginning here in the US. We made a plan, based on CDC guidelines and Bob H., who as some may not know, is a retired Dr. Our April Board meeting is coming up, but not sure how it will be handled because of the virus. Open space would be best. Pavilion?? Plenty of air there.. This is still developing and we will not jeopardize anyones health or safety. We can't trust the honor system because someone might not know they are sick..
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John McNamara on March 25, 2020, 12:56:16 PM
Pavilion?? Plenty of air there.. This is still developing and we will not jeopardize anyones health or safety.
For your convenience, the picnic tables are 6 feet long, so two people at opposite corners should be fine. Place the picnic tables in the Pavilion a bit more than 6 feet apart and you should be safe. Since there is only natural light, the meeting will automatically end when you are all in the dark...
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bill Baskerville on March 25, 2020, 05:54:02 PM
... Since there is only natural light, the meeting will automatically end when you are all in the dark...
That should really keep meetings short, at least in the winter months.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Joe Fox on March 31, 2020, 06:24:06 PM
The Governor has just issued a stay at home order April 2nd through the 30th unless going to work at an essential business or doing an essential activity. Guessing Spring Work Weekend will be cancelled. Insteas of mini work weekend through out the year, what if we plan a work weekend in November? Its the off season, and yes I know it is close to FWW, but I am thinking folks are more likely to come for a 3 day weekend then select days through out the summer. Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: James Patten on March 31, 2020, 07:18:15 PM
Safe to say even before the stay at home order that the SWW was going to be canceled.  At the April 11 board meeting (online) we'll be discussing all this.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Graham Buxton on March 31, 2020, 07:48:38 PM
Instead of mini work weekend through out the year, what if we plan a work weekend in November?
What would work better for me, and possibly others driving a long distance, would be an extended FWW.  Obviously, many people have real jobs ;D and need to get back to work, but perhaps there may be some tasks set up for either pre-WWF or post-WWF that those of us with flexible time on our hands 8) could do.

Left to my own devices, I'd prefer a pre-FWW, but I am willing to do a post-FWW if that works better for others.

For instance,  what is the status of the sanding/painting of the big flatbed trailer?


Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on March 31, 2020, 08:25:44 PM
While I suggested a Work Week leading up to the annual picnic in August, that may be too early in the recovery from this pandemic. So perhaps some though could be given to a Fall Work Week leading up the previously scheduled Fall Work Weekend. But at this point, even that may be optimistic. I don't know that any plans should be cast in concrete at this time.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: John Kokas on March 31, 2020, 08:57:31 PM
Well, I was planning to be in Italy for a couple of weeks before FWW but that is now scrubbed, so what Wayne suggests is beginning to sound much more doable.  Although with the working folks it may be more flexible if we have a big "general" to-do list that we could attack early for those who can come up early and just continue the list for those who can only schedule for the week following.  That way we can accommodate as many folks from afar as possible.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 01, 2020, 11:07:06 AM
My thinking on a "Fall Work Week" is as follows.

If it starts on Saturday, Oct. 3 and continues daily through Monday, Oct. 12, it includes the traditional days of the Fall Work Weekend, Friday, Oct. 9 through Monday, Oct. 12. If even a small contingent of volunteers is on hand between Monday the 5th and  Thursday the 8th, more can be accomplished. Even arriving a day or two earlier for the FWW would add to the pool of volunteers.

Or, if the Fall Work Week begins on Friday Oct. 9 and continues through the following weekend (Oct. 16-17), some folks may be able to take an extra day off after the traditional Columbus Day holiday on Monday, Oct. 12.

On the other hand, with so many people furloughed or laid off during the current COVIS-19 pandemic, many folks may be unable to afford vacation days or time off from work, assuming they actually have work to get back to. We have a lot to think about, and fortunately we have a lot of time to think about it.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Al Michelis on April 01, 2020, 11:52:26 AM

On the other hand, with so many people furloughed or laid off during the current COVIS-19 pandemic, many folks may be unable to afford vacation days or time off from work, assuming they actually have work to get back to. We have a lot to think about, and fortunately we have a lot of time to think about it.

I think Wayne is correct.  I suspect that most of the working-age folks will not be able to participate in any workweek/weekend.  SSW is usually used for ballasting.  Perhaps we could do a little each weekend once we are open again.  A couple of flat cars each day wouldn't tax us older folks too much.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Russ Nelson on April 01, 2020, 12:33:08 PM
Please, let's listen to the doctors and experts who do understand and know how this disease works and spreads. Citing meaningless numbers out of context can only encourage behavior that puts more people in danger and lengthens the outbreak.

We accept other risks all the time. This panicdemic isn't helping us. People need to work. Locking down an entire state for a month is going to produce havoc far beyond the predicted illness. Remember that people suffer and die from bad economic conditions, and we are INTENTIONALLY creating these bad conditions. I mean, geezums, we don't even know what the denominator is! We have no idea how many people have already contracted it, coughed a little, stayed in bed a few days, and are all better and immune now. NO IDEA.

Doctors and politicians are consultants. They'll give you advice, but you don't have to take it.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Wayne Laepple on April 01, 2020, 04:18:42 PM
IF we do a work week, I was thinking that whatever folks are available could do smaller jobs around the campus, such as painting, clean up, organizing, etc. until enough people are on hand to tackle spreading ballast, surfacing or building track. I don't know if anyone will have had time before that for track maintenance, but that is something that a crew of four or five could work at, now that we have the tie changing machine. That same size crew could also do spot surfacing or changing out defective rails.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 01, 2020, 05:18:18 PM
IF we do a work week, I was thinking that whatever folks are available could do smaller jobs around the campus, such as painting, clean up, organizing, etc. until enough people are on hand to tackle spreading ballast, surfacing or building track. I don't know if anyone will have had time before that for track maintenance, but that is something that a crew of four or five could work at, now that we have the tie changing machine. That same size crew could also do spot surfacing or changing out defective rails.
With Airbnb relaxing their cancellation policy after this weeks extension of travel bans I have read the tea leaves and, regretfully, canceled my SWW lodging. 

By the time this current unpleasantness is over, I, for one, will be ready to smell some coal smoke and steam and get my Sheepscot railroad fix.  I suspect that sometime in late summer or this fall our leadership will come up with a suitable plan and a lot of us will find, or make, the time to convene at our favorite railroad. 

I also know from experience that there is always something to do at the WW&F.  There are plenty local folks, and those who come from afar, who can get a little direction from the local leaders and come up with a plan and a work team to improve and expand our railroad.  I know I plan to make up as much of my missed time as I can, when the opportunity becomes available.

Stay Safe!
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Joe Fox on April 02, 2020, 01:40:49 PM
Graham, typically there is lots of volunteers to help prep for SWW or FWW. Amd we are very fortunate because each work weekend literally requires HUNDREDS of hours of prep work.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Bill Baskerville on April 02, 2020, 02:59:01 PM
Graham, typically there is lots of volunteers to help prep for SWW or FWW. Amd we are very fortunate because each work weekend literally requires HUNDREDS of hours of prep work.
Joe is correct.  I know I have started arriving for the WW's a day early because there are always last minute preparation things that still need to be done.  It is also clear to me that there were weeks of preparation work that had already been completed ahead of the day before.  Everyone does their part to the best of their abilities and availability.
Title: Re: Rescheduling the SWW? Speculation Thread
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on April 11, 2020, 06:39:52 PM
To no-one's surprise, and since it is mandated by the statewide stay-at-home order, the 2020 Spring Work Weekend has been cancelled. A formal rescheduling was not discussed at today's BOD meeting, but it was suggested that Labor Day Weekend may be appropriate.  At the very least, targeted work sessions will resume as soon as it is possible to do so - taking advantage of the railroad's shut down until the Annual Picnic - August 8, 2020. This will continue to be discussed and announced when details are ready.