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Messages - john d Stone

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Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: New WW&F Event
« on: September 30, 2022, 09:48:47 AM »
Will there be a practice drill prior to this event?

I have a book called Cape Cod Railroads, by Robert H. Farson, which has a chapter on each line. Some really neat photos! The Martha's Vineyard line was a one engine pike with a cute little Porter 0-6-0 which had a lot of the same "stuff" that WW&F 1/Sandy River 3 had when originally built: Big, open cab, slanted cylinders and a tall, thin stack with a diamond shaped spark arrestor. That line was gone at the end of 1896 and the equipment sold off. Maybe the little Porter found another life on a logging pike or something.

The Nantucket managed to work its way through 4 engines on its slightly longer line with a slightly longer history. Two 4-4-0's, a Mason 0-4-4T from the Boston, Revere Beach & Lynn and the Alco 2-4-4T which went to war after the island line gave up. They also ran a couple of gas-mechanical contraptions with varying degrees of success and at least one fire.


Fascinating little pikes, but dismally unsuccessful. Shoulda pushed the rails in a foot.

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: August 17, 2022, 05:26:23 PM »
Classy looking depot! That interior is beautiful!

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Station - Official Work Thread
« on: August 01, 2022, 07:39:16 AM »
The whole terminus blends perfectly into the natural surroundings. Can't wait to see it in person!

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension Cleanup
« on: July 19, 2022, 06:13:21 PM »
Really looks good!

Work and Events / Re: Engine House - Official Work Thread
« on: June 25, 2022, 03:09:53 PM »
Wow! That's an amazing amount of work! Looks great!

Obviously a trestle bent

Museum Discussion / Re: Steam and Sleighs makes The Bangor Daily News
« on: February 14, 2022, 11:39:18 AM »
Really good news coverage! Sounds like a wonderful, but exhausting time which brought a lot of joy to the visitors and crews. You guys are the best!
I really like Gordon's description of cold-weather steam railroading. Quite an effort to get over the road! Running with cold, stiff journals is an all but forgotten aspect of railroading in the good old days!

General Discussion / Re: Unique steam locomotive built in India
« on: January 27, 2022, 01:12:32 PM »
I like the press-fit bolting! Wouldn't want to be the guy holding the tool for the sledge man! Quite an impressive machine!

I'm surprised the driver (doesn't sound right, but trying to stay with the British theme) was able to get things rolling again after that stall! A couple of trips ago, I was on my usual intermodal run to Philly. Railroads now seem to be addicted to distributed power, so my two 4400hp GE's were separated by 3500'. Leaving Acca, in Richmond, the distributed unit failed to load. Ringing up the dispatcher, I told him of the situation. I knew we could get over the road in a reasonable fashion, we had about 4200 tons and about 7000' of train. The question was whether or not we could make it across the Baltimore Belt Line. With a long grade, exceeding 1% for a good portion and that portion being nicely curved, it has been the downfall of many tightly powered freights. We were a few hundred tons under the tonnage, but the long cars and damp rail would make things close. Not wanting to be delayed and full of misplaced pride, I told the dispatcher we'd make it. When we got into the BE dispatcher's territory, at the entrance to Baltimore terminal, he informed us that we'd be pulling through the Mt Royal siding and cutting off the setoff in said siding. This siding is on the worst part of the grade and 10mph to boot. Gulp. "Do you think you can still make it?" "............yes...sure." As we headed in the greasy siding at the prescribed 10, I could feel the train tightening up behind us. The 6th notch was as high as I could go and still sorta hold the rail. 9..8...7.....6.....5 not looking good for the home team. A nice coating of leaf grease was challenging GE's wheelslip protection and shaving our speed ever lower. An old trick is to play the independent against the wheels to clean some of the goop off and keep a runaway wheelslip from killing the momentum completely. Distributed power means that the engine brake would also apply on the dead unit, so that option was out. Down to 2, BE dispatcher calling "I032?" We hit a little straight stretch at the east end of the siding, conductor dropped off and the speed climbs back up to 4. Slipping and chewing rail through the east switch, we attained better rail conditions on the main. The speed slowly gets up to 10. Made it! The conductor cut the rear 2000" off and hung a new EOT and a van brought him to the headend. Off to Philly! 

Work and Events / Re: Engine House - Official Work Thread
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:38:07 PM »
Amazing progress!

Volunteers / Re: October 2021 Work Reports
« on: October 13, 2021, 11:02:57 PM »
I don't know if I'm putting this in the right category, but I just wanted to express my thanks to those who organized and participated in the mini-work weekend last Saturday. As always, I am amazed at the progress made during the intervals between my visits. With a two year gap this time, the difference was absolutely staggering! It was so nice to see and work alongside the good folks who make things happen. It's very rewarding to feel like I've at least participated a little bit in this wonderful venture and I eagerly look forward to my next visit.

Thanks again!

John Stone

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: September 10, 2021, 11:03:34 PM »
Quite the spectacular line! I've never tried the sweet-talk and beer method to get a cab ride, though I think it would work on me!
Cass also features some frightening grades on the line to Bald Knob. I think they may have a stretch of 11% too. Diana and I went out there one year and took the ride to the top. We were dressed for warm temperatures. It was not warm at the top! During the layover, we huddled up next to the firebox of the Shay. Two Shays had shoved us up there and one had already departed down the mountain, running lite. The engineer took pity on us and invited us to ride down the mountain in the cab. It was quite an interesting ride! I don't believe they turned up retainers, but brakemen would snug up the handbrakes on certain stretches. At one point, there was a rather heated exchange between the engineer and the relatively new fireman about water level. The engineer was not too happy that fireboy hadn't gotten the water a little higher in the glass before they tipped over onto a real steep stretch. I guess the water in the front of the boiler was barely covering the tubes!

Volunteers / Re: August 2021 Work Reports
« on: August 13, 2021, 10:04:14 AM »
And I will third Wayne!

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