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Messages - Wolf Siedler

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General Discussion / Re: First Museum-Railway of Germany
« on: January 12, 2014, 03:57:23 AM »
Give the Germans credit, they have the sharpest uniforms!

I take this as a compliment. I can assure you, though, that the wearer feels slightly warm when doing the shunting in 100°F...

It might bee interesting to know that the uniform code of 1900 granted a somewhat relaxed style during extreme summer heat - permitting to exchange the black for white trousers (only). I don't dare to imagine how they looked like after running the mixed train with plenty of shunting...

General Discussion / Re: First Museum-Railway of Germany
« on: January 12, 2014, 03:49:34 AM »
That is a great idea for a handcar - seats for people who don't want to/cannot pump the car.  As long as there's enough people who can pump the car!

And I would like to emphasize that the handcar was built that way. It's exact origin is still somewhat unclear but has been built prior to 1930. From 1930 to 1970 it was with another meter gauge common carrier in the German northwest, after which it joined the museum collection.

General Discussion / Re: First Museum-Railway of Germany
« on: January 12, 2014, 03:43:42 AM »
He and his family have a residence--I think it's a second residence--within sight of the railway museum track. Whatever it is...main, 2nd, 3rd......I think it would be cool to have! (As long as somebody else maintains it, for free.)

I thought some WW&F-ers would enjoy a look at two links Wolf sent, one for the museum's website and one a YouTube clip showing a museum train hauled by a tram type locomotive. (Kind of smoky coming into the station. I hope the fireman was just in training.)

The home is indeed a weekend home only. To complete the story, it is the left (smaller) part of the building seen in the YouTube video. The right part is owned as retirement home by the museum founder. Who is also serving as station master in the video.
The building was erected in 1991, patterned after an original built in 1899 for a meter gauge railroad in northeastern Germany. Unfortunately, neither construction nor maintenance of the building is free. But the museum visitors keep liking it.

Regarding Steve's remark about smoke amount, well there's a significant difference in the firing style between the museum trained volunteers and those senior engine crews who ran steam engines for a living (the generation now 80+ years old). The latter ones usually operated very economical on steam and typically stopped with the last little bit a steam at the platform, hardly ever touching the brake.

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: WW&F boxcar 309
« on: June 15, 2010, 02:35:14 AM »
On what RR did your coach run?

On the "Kleinbahn Leer-Aurich-Wittmund" in north-western Germany (near North Sea and Dutch border).
You might not have heard much about it, the line stopped running most passenger trains in 1956 and was dismantled altogether in 1969.
Should you wish to get a visual impression, there is a group which builds a highly details modular layout of just the railway. Some images can be seen at their homepage at; German language, but the pictures are probably language-independent...
This project is an interesting case study on how much historical research work can benefit from a model representation (the modeling group does not allow fantasy arrangements, everything has to be as historically possible as possible).

There was once even a model produced of my coach, but it will still be a long way until the prototype looks again as neat as the model.



I second your thoughts.
When doing my plan for this car (which didn't make it into vol. 6), I had studied even more photos of this car. The horizontal windows boards were indeed there and they seem to have been intentionally applied (not as a quick fix). Regarding the interior, all images pointed in the same direction as your findings: That indeed the RPO partition was entirely removed. As for the seats, at least most of them seem to have been removed. I do not dare to claim all were gone as I have not yet seen any interior photo facing the lavatory end.


The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: WW&F boxcar 309
« on: May 09, 2010, 05:46:38 AM »
I would like to thank everybody who contributed to this mystery.

Mike's last comment points in the same direction as my thoughts now go:
I believe now the mysterious "patches" were not anything applied *on*the siding, but instead the protruding end beam ends of the donor W&Q flatcar frame. This would then explain the lack of visible fasteners as well as the offset from the body corner (end board thickness). Furthermore, an early photo from the Ramsdell farm also makes it at least very unlikely that anything patch-like was has ever been applied to the ends.

I have since received high resolution scans of some of the 309 photos (during its first career). They show the siding board separation lines better (or at all in some cases). Superimposing the beam ends from the W&Q flatcar plan to the 309 plan and cross-checking with the photos showed a very, very close match. Thus I now accept this theory as very likely.

And just to avoid any misunderstanding:
I do *not* intend to blame/contradict/... anybody involved in the 309 restoration. The woodwork must have been seriously deteriorated and it certainly was not easy to make any determination of such a minor detail. Besides, I myself have owned a 1900-built meter gauge coach for 15 years and still haven't yet fully concluded the research into its original appearance - so I know only too well it is a tedious task.


The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: WW&F boxcar 309
« on: April 17, 2010, 01:27:30 AM »
Kind of hard to see exactly what you have circled.

Same here, Mike - that's why I asked for input.
Just for clarification: I was not not referring to the rectangular sheet metal (steel?) objects between endbeam/siding and the truss rod washer on WW&F boxcars.

My curiosity got triggered when mulling over the purpose of the rectangular patches on the lower corners corners of 309's *sides* and the fact that they are today no longer there. The photo in Wiscasset shows 309 in good shape, so I excluded that they were patches applied to quickly cover rotted siding. The shadows indicated a significant material thickness, pointing more towards wood boards as material as opposed to sheet metal. (Please remember, I am still discussing the car *side*.)

When guessing that the patches may have been siding reinforcements to protect from poling damage, I wondered whether there might have been similar patches protecting the end corners.

Unfortunately, I have not yet seen any clear photos of 309's ends while still in active duty. Or shortly after arriving at the Ramsdell farm (early photos would be most helpful, as during almost 60 years of storage alterations to such minor parts may have occured easily).

The closest one I found was the enlargement I posted and even that doesn't show an end patch clearly, only a shadow line of where such a patch *may* have sat and removed/rotted since.

I am familiar with the metal corner braces you mention on i.e. the TCDA cars and they are clearly distinguishable. However,  I believe on 309's corners we see something different. As said, the shadows indicate in my opinion a thicker material, pointing more towards wood scraps then metal. Furthermore, I can't identify on the photos how the items were fixed to the siding on 309. This suggests to me that they may have been nailed, pointing again IMO more towards wood as material.
But then again, if their purpose was the same, then there surely must have been similar patches/boards/plates on 309's ends?!

Let me also state here how much I appreciate your and everybody elses' input on this matter.


The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: WW&F boxcar 309
« on: April 15, 2010, 11:46:51 PM »

Thanks for your suggestion, this was also my first guess.
But if this is correct then shouldn't have been another similar patch on the end? In my opinion, a protector at that spot (lower end corner) would have been more important with regards to protecting siding boards from poling pressure.
In terms of durability, would an angle from sheet metal or steel have made more sense? We will probably never know for sure. But even with that uncertainty, I find it interesting to see whether more circumstancial evidence (end photos) could be discovered.


The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / WW&F boxcar 309
« on: April 15, 2010, 11:47:23 AM »
I am in the final stage of a (hopefully) historically accurate plan for boxcar 309 as it looked in 1933.
There are a few discrepancies between the well-known photo of 309 in the string of boxcars at Wiscasset (published i.e. in Peter Barney's Pictorial Review) and how 309 looks today:
One of them are the roughly square wooden patches applied to the sides between the steps and the body corner. I am certain that this can not be a random negative or print irregularity - they must have been there in 1933. I wonder now
1. What was their purpose?
2. Were similar (probably slightly narrower) patches applied to the ends?
I found one photo taken at the Ramsdell farm where a shadow line might indicate so. Unfortunately, the printing quality does not allow any qualified observations.

I also had extensive communication with Marcel L. on this subject as he was one of the participants of the reconstruction. He was certain to have documented extensively the state of #309 when reconstruction began and could not remember the patches. However, during 60 years of storage, they might have simply rotten away...

Can a fellow reader shed further light on this issue?
I would be particularly interested in whether early photos from the Ramsdell farm might show a better view of the car end, either confirming or disproving my guess.


Bridgton & Saco River Railway / Re: Perleys Mills Photo?
« on: April 12, 2010, 01:18:32 PM »
Who is Peter Cornwall?

L. Peter Cornwall was a very nice gentlemen who belonged to those early railfans travelling (and documenting) the Maine Two-Footers during their last days. He even co-authored a book on the SR&RL. I was lucky enough to meet him once; sadly - but inevitably - he passed away a few years ago at high age.
AFAIK, his collection went to Jerry DeVos - Jerry might be able to provide more details from notes or the negative if Mike's photo was indeed taken by him.



I would highly appreciate any details (measurements, photos, whatever...) you might be able to find/rediscover. My private email address remains unchanged at: siedler.edv (at)
I have very little chance these days to come again to Maine now that the direct flight Thailand-New York has been discontinued.

Especially with regards to the window sash, which seems to be somewhat elusive... Alan Socea also told me that he had actually seen it. But was equally unsure about its present whereabouts. Please keep my interest in mind.


The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Taconnet combine
« on: April 12, 2010, 01:52:04 AM »
Yes, Joe, Wayne is right - I am indeed looking for information regarding the converted excursion car.

Thanks for the pointer to the HTC/JTD plans in Two Feet to Tidewater. I own that book and had even bought the plans separately before.
My plans are based on J&S plans plus various (plenty of) photos. The carpenters in those days were craftsmen and clearly not always following what was coming from the drafting board. Hence the only way to historically accurate plans is to do plenty of cross-checking.
Those plans for the short combine are actually finished already. I am unsure why they didn't make it into the Sheepscot Valley series. If you want a copy, please feel free to contact me directly at siedler.edv (at)


I like your idea of showing an RPO to visitors, even though it might not materialise within short.
A train ride through nice scenery is one side, but capturing more aspects how seemingly minor railways once were an important connection of remote communities to the outside world is another worthy task for a museum.

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / WW&F RPO combine - questions
« on: March 20, 2010, 01:00:28 PM »
I am researching this car with the hope of creating someday an accurate plan. So far, I accumulated several bits and pieces on Jackson & Sharp trolley car building practices so that this seems to be feasible if just a few hard dimensions could be discovered.

I have heard two rumours and wonder if a fellow reader could shed some light on this:

1. At the site where the RPO was finally bulldozed, there is said a partial frame to be still visible. At least until a few years ago.
Does anybody have photos and/or dimensions?

2. Supposedly one or two window frames are still existing.
Is there anybody who could provide dimensions?


I am aware of the plan by John T. Derr. For several reasons, I believe it is not 100% accurate. This is no author bashing - simply an observation based on information discovered post-publishing.

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