W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

WW&F Railway Museum Discussion => Museum Discussion => Topic started by: Ray Davidowski on July 29, 2009, 10:04:14 AM

Title: Steam Weekends
Post by: Ray Davidowski on July 29, 2009, 10:04:14 AM
Hi guys,

I'm planning my first trip to New England, probably for next summer or fall.  I figured I'd hit the Mt. Washington Cog if they're still running some steam, the WW&F, and the Valley RR in CT.

The picnic in August would seem to be the no-brainer to visit the WW&F, though I am considering a trip in the foliage.  I checked the operating schedule on the website, and if I'm reading it right, it looks like steam only operates regularly until the beginning of September? (beginning of school/end of primary tourist season I guess?)  Does steam run during any of the fall events?
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on July 29, 2009, 11:50:23 AM
Hi Ray;
    Steam should be operating Columbus Day Weekend and for our Halloween trains. Columbus Day Weekend is an excellent time to visit us as it is one of our two work weekends. Hopefully we'll be laying some rail. If the weather holds there will be upwards of 80-90 volunteers doing all sorts of things. Stop in and say "Hi"
Dave
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Bill Piche on July 29, 2009, 11:51:05 AM
Hi Ray,

I can't speak for the WW&F guys' steam schedule, but Maine Narrow Gauge is running a bit of steam in Sept (most weekends in Sept will be both Sat & Sun steam ops as well as 3 days on the Labor Day weekend).

The cog is still running some steam. I believe that they run the first train of the day (get there VERY early in the foliage season to compete with the leafers and steam nuts) with steam and all subsequent trips with those ....things.... they call locomotives.

Conway Scenic also ramps up their steam schedule after Labor Day. If you're in the area of the cog, you might as well head down to Conway while you're at it. Last I heard, they weren't doing any major work on 7470, so she should be good to go by then.

If anybody else has anything to add/correct, feel free.
Bill Piche
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: James Patten on July 29, 2009, 12:06:27 PM
I can make a guess at next year's steam schedule.

We cut back on steam this year not because of the economy, but because of steam crew availability.  I don't forsee the number of licensed steam crew changing between this year and next, as it takes 2 years to go through the program and we have 2 or 3 guys starting out this year.  So my guess is that our steam schedule next year will resemble this year's. 

Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Ken Fleming on July 29, 2009, 06:20:24 PM
Is having a boiler license a State of Maine requirement or an insurance policy requirement or the museum rules?  I've operated on many steam tourist lines, as regular crew, and none of them had this requirement.  I have shown steam tractors in public for over 50 years and only the boiler was licensed and not the operator.
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: James Patten on July 29, 2009, 08:15:46 PM
Because we are not under FRA we are under State guidelines.  I don't know if it was a requirement or we just wanted to have an overseer.
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Jason M Lamontagne on July 30, 2009, 09:15:47 PM
Boiler operator's licenses are required by state law for our operation.  Once we cross a road, taking us out of state jurisdiction, we may still require this as a minimum, to ensure we maintain the same level of qualification as now.

Jason
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Ray Davidowski on July 31, 2009, 08:12:54 AM
Thanks for the heads up.  Along the lines of steam crew availability...the mission for this year's vacation is going west to Sumpter Valley to do their Egr for a Day program (with a train) before 19's inspection expires next year.  I've been trying to decide whether operating a steam locomotive would be something I want to shoot for someday in my (lack of) spare time, or make a career switch for.  Sumpter Valley's deal sounds like the most comprehensive experience from which to say "Once was enough" or "Let's do it again!".  Watching and admiring them, understanding how they work, and respecting the technology is one thing, but taking the reigns and operating safely within rules and the railroad environment would seem to be completely different - the difference between Flight Simulator and flying the real thing.  Though it's easier to rent an airplane...

btw - what's involved in getting a boiler operator license?  It's a state thing, right?  and does it transfer from state to state, or are each's requirements vastly different?  (FRA and organization-specific training requirements aside; I just mean for any boiler)
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Bill Piche on July 31, 2009, 09:34:27 AM
Quote
btw - what's involved in getting a boiler operator license?  It's a state thing, right?  and does it transfer from state to state, or are each's requirements vastly different?  (FRA and organization-specific training requirements aside; I just mean for any boiler)

The state of Maine requires a "High Pressure Boiler Operator's Liscene" to be allowed to operate any steam pressure vessel above a certain amount of steam generative capacity (I believe). The liscense is only valid in Maine, but some states have similar liscenses. To get the Maine license, you need to apply to the state office in Augusta for a "High Pressure Boiler Operator's Permit". Valid for 1 year you need to hold it for at least 6 months before taking the written license test. About 95% of getting your liscense is taking the test, but getting time in on steam while you have your permit is important to them, too.

I'm not sure how the bigger tourist railroads work it, but Maine Narrow Gauge only requires that the engineer have a license. The fireman and his apprentice/helper don't need a liscense, but should be working on it if they ever want to be an engineer.

As for operations, it depends on if the railroad is under FRA guidelines or not.

I believe that some railroads require that their engineers go through actual classes with CSX (or their local freight railroad) as part of them being certified, but I'm not entirely sure.
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Ken Fleming on August 01, 2009, 08:26:07 AM
The State of Maine has a online license database with a good search engine.  The URL below shows all of boiler license information for WW&F Ry Museum.  Interesting to search for other operating, non-FRA, 2 foot engines.  It appears that the MAINE NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD CO. engines without a Form 4 and on lend to elsewhere seem not to appear in database.  At least I couldn't find them.


http://pfr.informe.org/almsonline/almsquery/ShowDetail.aspx?CLIENT=1&BOARD=4520&GP=CO&LN=1185 

Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Stephen Hussar on August 01, 2009, 08:47:06 PM
We were talking just today about that list... as it is wrong, or incomplete. There should be at least 8 names listed.
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Mike Fox on August 02, 2009, 11:36:58 AM
Wow, that is a short list. I wonder if someone in the office neglected to put the other names on when the list went to the online database.
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Gordon Cook on August 02, 2009, 06:18:09 PM
The State of Maine has a online license database with a good search engine.  The URL below shows all of boiler license information for WW&F Ry Museum.  Interesting to search for other operating, non-FRA, 2 foot engines.  It appears that the MAINE NARROW GAUGE RAILROAD CO. engines without a Form 4 and on lend to elsewhere seem not to appear in database.  At least I couldn't find them.


http://pfr.informe.org/almsonline/almsquery/ShowDetail.aspx?CLIENT=1&BOARD=4520&GP=CO&LN=1185 



That list is clearly wrong. Not sure how they came up with that list.  ???
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: James Patten on August 03, 2009, 03:04:22 PM
I checked all our engineers and they are all listed, but not everyone has the WW&F as their "employer".
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on August 03, 2009, 03:18:11 PM
Sounds like an issue for a database adminstrator for the State of Maine government.
Know any, James?
 ;D
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Bill Reidy on August 03, 2009, 08:20:20 PM
Speaking as an Oracle database administrator, it's not the database administrator's fault the application is not used correctly -- that's up to the application managers and users.  The DBA only supplies the tools.

James - if you're a DBA, you're off the hook!

- Bill
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: James Patten on August 04, 2009, 07:07:53 AM
I'm not a DBA for the State, although I might be considered the DBA for the RR.  Anyway, I agree with Bill that it's up to the users to get it right.  Blame it on budget cutbacks.
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: Jock Ellis on August 08, 2009, 12:08:32 PM
So how does one go about actually getting a permit now? I know the steam road firemen took home-based programs from International Correspondence School (or one like it) before taking their tests. Incidentally, when working at The Great Train Store in Atlanta, I met a retired CSX engineer who hired out as a fireman on the ACL in 1947. Part of his training near Wildwood, FL was spent learning how to fire a wood burner. Uh, you don't have that requirement do you?
Jock Ellis
Title: Re: Steam Weekends
Post by: James Patten on August 08, 2009, 07:38:53 PM
One gets a permit by filling out a form and sending it plus a sizable "donation" to the State.  Eventually should you decide to take the test, you send in more money for a test date.  Once you take (and hopefully pass) the test, you send in more money for your license.

No requirement for firing a wood burner at the WW&F.