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Messages - Kevin Madore

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On Saturday and Sunday, July 31st and August 1st, 2021, the WW&F Railway Museum, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company, and Maine Locomotive & Machine collaborated to re-create scenes from Maine's 2-foot gauge Bridgton & Saco River Railroad during a couple of photo events. The first event on Saturday, was organized by the collaborative and featured B&SR Locomotive #7, which is the largest of the surviving, operable 2-footers. This event also featured demonstration trains from the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad and the Monson Railroad. On Sunday, and additional trip was run for a videography group called Dynamo Productions, which featured just the Bridgton Locomotive.

The Bridgton & Saco River Railroad.....later called the Bridgton & Harrison Railroad, was a 33-mile long, 24" gauge common carrier, which existed from 1883 until 1941, running from Bridgton Junction, and its connection with the Maine Central Railroad, all the way north to Harrison, Maine. The line had a total of 8 locomotives during its existence, all of which were Forney types. Two of the engines survived by virtue of their purchase for use at the Edaville Railroad in South Carver, Massachusetts, where they ran for half a century. Both of the survivors, #s 7 & 8 are large, Baldwin Forneys of 33 and 38 tons. They are now owned and cared for by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company of Portland, Maine. The #7 is operable and has an FRA boiler ticket, and there are long-term plans to restore the 8 as well. Over the past couple of years, these big 2-footers have been visiting at the WW&F, allowing us to present re-creations of the B&SR, as was done on this weekend. For the most part, the consists used were all B&SR original equipment.

I've prepared an album of images from the weekend's two events for those who would like to see what it looked like. My apologies that it took a couple of weeks to get this out. For the moment, I am still working a day-job and preparing for a couple of upcoming trips. I also like to add captions to all of my photos, which takes more time than editing them, but I think some viewers prefer to have a bit of context. Take a look, if the spirit moves you!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157719730751345

Thanks!

/Kevin Madore

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General Discussion / Re: BUFF B-52, Air Force, Snoring, and French.
« on: March 11, 2021, 08:29:46 PM »
The last models, the "H" model were built in 1962.  The Air Force is working on another electronics upgrade and new engines.  They are expected to be flying into the 2050's.  The famous quote that seems to be true is "the last B-52 pilot has not yet been born."  I am now hearing that the quote has been changed to the father of the last B-52 pilot has not yet been born.
BTW, I have flown on B, C and D models.

Bill,

I've heard that when the last B-2 Spirit goes to the boneyard at Davis Monthan, the crew will be picked up and brought home by a B-52.   ;D

/Kevin Madore

3
Kevin's photos are great!
And, well done captions.  8)

Another participant in the Lerro charter was Matthew Malkiewicz, and he has posted his photos to his Zenfolio album. I'm posting a link to a thread he started on the NGDF forum (which links to Matthew's photos)  as his NGDF thread comments on his WW&F Lerro photos are part of the story:
https://ngdiscussion.net/phorum/read.php?1,414418

Hi Graham,

Thank you for the kind comments.   Although I know that many purists believe that a photo should speak for itself, I try to caption everything I post, because I know that among railroad enthusiasts, the history and the context are often just as important as the visuals.   I've also had the experience of looking an old, legacy photos of 19th century railroads that often leave me with far more questions than answers.   Assuming that any of my work survives when I fly west some day, I am hoping that my stuff won't leave future viewers feeling the same way.   :)

/Kevin Madore

4
Museum Discussion / Lerro Photography Charter on the WW&F >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: February 02, 2021, 10:19:34 PM »
On the weekend of January 16-17, 2021, Lerro Photography of Glenolden, PA held a limited attendance photo charter at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, Maine. Although there have been some photo charters around the US in the last 9 months, they have been few and far between due to major concerns about COVID 19 and some significant travel restrictions as a result. Never the less, with some careful planning, abundant precautions, mandatory testing, a smaller than normal group of photographers....and some significant weather challenges, the WW&F Museum and the Lerro Team were able to pull off a really nice 2-day event in the woods of Maine. The charter featured authentic freight and mixed trains, pulled by WW&F Locomotive #9, and running on most of the museum's in-service track. Day 1 featured some very difficult weather conditions, that included a cold, wind-driven rain pretty much all day. Despite the weather, we managed to get most of the scenes that we planned. Day 2 featured a lot of clouds, but some sun, and much more comfortable conditions for photography. As an added attraction, Monson Locomotive #3 joined in on the show and we had 2 steam trains to work with, both led by historic Maine 2-Footers.

Special thanks are due to Ed Lecuyer and Brendan Barry for their efforts to help coordinate this event, and of course, to the train crews who volunteered to come out and make it all happen, despite the tough conditions on Saturday. 

For those who would like to see how it all turned out, I've created a Flickr Photo Album featuring some of my favorite scenes. Check it out when you have a few minutes!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157718127341006

Thanks for looking!

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Re: Dynamo Productions Charter >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: November 04, 2020, 03:54:32 PM »
Does anyone have any legacy photos of how it was done in Wiscasset back in the day?  I seem to recall Stewart telling me that they had some sort of coaling arrangement in the yard, but it was crude when compared to the coaling tipples we see on larger railroads, such as in Chama.   I seem to recall that the B&SR used some kind of bucket and pulley arrangement.   Perhaps the WW&F had something similar?

Here's another image I took of the "shovel method" during Annual Picnic, this time starring both Bill and Joe.   This shot features a better image of the black diamonds in mid-flight.

https://www.railpictures.net/photo/745515/

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Dynamo Productions Charter >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: November 04, 2020, 11:03:34 AM »
Folks,

Apologies that it took a couple of weeks for me to review and process the images from the October 18th charter that was organized by Dynamo Productions.   It was a beautiful day and the operations that were conducted produced some very nice photos.  These were some of the best fall images that I've shot in Maine since John Craft's charter, way back in 2008.   My, how things have improved in so many ways since then.   I think I shot about 850 frames that day and it is always tough to narrow that down to a set of pictures that's large enough to tell the story, but short enough to keep people's attention.   Here's the album that I've put together for this event.  It includes a few pix from the put-way, which is always worth sticking around for.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157716745941787

Thanks to Daniel Day and Ben Bourrie of Dynamo Productions for organizing the trip and creating a very nice plan for the day.    Thanks also to the museum crew for executing a pretty ambitious shooting schedule and putting on a great show in the process.

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Re: Dynamo Productions Charter
« on: October 20, 2020, 09:31:05 AM »
As a participant in that event, I would echo Daniel's comments.   The Dynamo folks had a fairly ambitious shooting schedule and from what I could see, we pretty much hit all of the locations and more or less when we were supposed to hit them.   Timing is really critical on photo charters.   Photography is all about light and here in the Northeast, the light in any given location is often only great for a very short time.   External organizers typically assemble a shot list and they'll scout the line in advance to know when the light is favorable at each of the chosen locations.  Then, they'll work with the railroad to ensure that their schedule is doable.   After that, the key thing becomes execution.   Getting started on time and then working closely with the organizer to let him/her know when the train needs to leave a given location for the next one really helps make it a good day for the customer.   I think this event went pretty darn well in that regard.

I think I shot about 800 frames on Sunday.  It will take me a little time to go through them, but we'll put together an album of the keepers in the near future.   I'm still finishing up posting all of the Cog stuff that I shot over the last 3 weeks up on Mt. Washington.

Great job by the crew on this one.

/Kevin Madore

8
Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend 2020
« on: September 17, 2020, 01:18:32 PM »
Given how successful last year's FWW was, it is so unfortunate that the upcoming one had to be called off, but when it comes to people's health, there is only one right answer.....err on the side of caution.  And as Joe notes, the last thing the museum needs is to be associated with a "super-spreader" event. 

The thing that really disappoints me most however, is America's seeming inability to unite around precautions to defeat this thing.   Everyone pulled together after 9/11 and roughly 3,500 people died due to terrorist attacks, yet with nearly 200,000 deaths due to COVID, we still can't get people to wear masks when in close contact with people.  Every time I walk into a Walmart to pick up a few things, I see people with masks down around their necks, or with their noses uncovered and its a bit infuriating.  Some percentage of the population just won't sacrifice a little bit of their own personal comfort to perhaps save a few of their fellow human beings a lot of suffering, or worse.  Sloppy mask discipline....or a complete lack of usage, sends the message that the person doesn't care about anyone else.   A few weeks back, a prominent national health official indicated that if we could just get people to religiously use masks, we could drive the numbers down to the point where some events (like FWW) just might be safe, with reasonable precautions.  It's just sad that despite our shared misery, our society can't seem to come together about anything these days.  :'(

9
Museum Discussion / Re: POLL - Fundraising Special Train
« on: May 20, 2020, 08:44:14 AM »
If I had to pick, I'd like to see the first public trip to MP 8, followed by the sunset at AC. Really make the trip spectacular..but I am a sunrise guy myself..how come that option wasn't mentioned?? 😁

Sunrise at Albee's field.....with the brush cut.   It's THE best shot on the railroad.  :)  Ooooh, I forgot, it's not a photo trip.   :-\

/Kevin

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Folks,

I don't know about you, but with all of the virus-related stuff on the TV and everywhere else, there are times when I want to just shut it all off......and try not to think too much.    In those times, I find it relaxing to just immerse myself in some of the thousands of photos that I've taken over the years, or in those of my photographer friends.

A couple of weeks back, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad's 50th anniversary Rotary Run on the 4% grade from Chama to Cumbres Pass.   The operation featured Rotary OY, one of the two extant D&RGW snow plows that normally resides in the Chama Yard.   In anticipation of this event, OY was given a pretty thorough restoration by both the C&TS Mechanical Department and the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec.   Because she was used only sporadically back in the day, OY was actually in pretty good shape mechanically, but much of the external siding was replaced.  The plow looked very nice.

As you might imagine, a lot of planning had to go into this event.  Since the railroad really couldn't afford to do this on their own,  both the restoration and the operation had to be financed by ticket sales.   Needless to say, for an operation as expensive as this one, that involved a difficult balance of keeping the ticket price semi-affordable, and keeping the number of attendees semi-manageable.   "Semi" was the operative word.   Additionally, there was the constraint that the railroad's insurance company wanted no part of a free-for-all.   They had seen some of the things that went on during UP's Big Boy tours and were very concerned that little Chama did not have the police, fire and EMS resources to deal with a mob-scene.   As RR CMO Stathi Pappas put it: " A rotary plow is the nuclear weapon of railfandom.  If we did not exercise control, we would have bedlam."   So the railroad engaged the police and highway departments of both New Mexico and Colorado, and they elected to implement a rolling work-zone around the event.   Photographers would ride in motor coaches and shoot from the highway.   Police and highway department people would close the road and escort transient traffic through the zone in a safe manner.  Transients would not be allowed to stop or park.

Needless to say, the costs for all of this were pretty astronomical.   The train operation alone would cost $30,000 per day just to break even.  The cost to rehab the rotary was estimated at $68,000.   Each uniformed State Trooper would cost $3,000 per day.   Oh, and the railroad needed to feed everybody breakfast, lunch and dinner, because little Chama is basically sleeping in February.  Not much of the tourist infrastructure is open.   Ticket cost?   Well, that was $1,200 per person, and attendance was limited to 150 people.   Yeah, it was crowded, and it was very challenging for most of us, who were used to perhaps 30-40 people, not 150.   You couldn't necessarily be where you wanted to be. 

All of that said, it was pretty thrilling to watch and listen to, especially when the rotary outfit was up on the rock shelf near Windy Point.  This was my second rotary run......I was at White Pass in 2011, so I felt very fortunate.   These days, rotary runs are rarer than solar eclipses.   And because of all of the logistical hassles and costs, C&TS President John Bush admonished us to please "Enjoy the show!"   He said they do not anticipate running OY on the west side again.   

So with that background, I present an album of representative photos that I shot during the event.   I hope you find at least one or two that you will like!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157713526092742

Thanks for looking, and STAY WELL!

/Kevin Madore

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Other Narrow Gauge / Re: EBT is SOLD! New non-profit to open RR in 2021
« on: February 14, 2020, 04:14:58 PM »
I think this is wonderful news.  Depending on how the new organization is structured, this change may open up new channels for fund-raising and volunteerism.  If they’re careful about establishing reasonable goals, and getting things done on time, people will contribute to the effort......not unlike the way people step up to help us in our goals in Maine. 

The saddest story in railroad preservation today now has at least a chance for a happy ending.

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Re: Maine 2-Foot Grand Reunion >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: February 03, 2020, 06:03:10 PM »
Hi Gordon,

The socks that I purchased were from Hotronics.    These are several steps beyond the cheaper socks that you can get a Dick's Sporting Goods.   I bought them at a professional ski shop for about $270 a pair.   The Lithium-Ion battery packs are separate from the socks and are pretty sophisticated.  They have 4 heat zone settings and 4 LEDs on each unit, which indicate the heat zone in use. They mate to the sock units via snap-on couplings in a folded compartment at the top of the sock.   I'm told that the replacements for the battery packs are $80/each.   Replacement socks are also expensive.   Obviously, they are designed so that the batteries are removable at the end of each day for recharging, and of course, for laundering.

The Hotronics product appears very well-made.   There is also another brand called Lenz, which is even more sophisticated and expensive.   You can adjust the heat zones on those remotely with your cell phone.....no kidding!   That was a bit more functionality than I was willing to pay for.    Honestly, I was never worried about the product shorting out or burning up due to any defects.....as noted, they are pretty high quality.   I was concerned however, about what might happen if I started tromping through deep snow and some of it got into the contacts at the top of the sock.   Fortunately, I was able to pull 2 layers of long underwear down over them, as well as the gators inside my snow pants, so even though I DID tromp through some deep stuff up at the museum, no snow ever got into the batteries.   I am off to Nevada in a few days, and I will be taking them with me.   They are not perfect, but at least my feet did not freeze, and that is well worth $270!!!   :)

/Kevin Madore     

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Museum Discussion / Re: Maine 2-Foot Grand Reunion >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: January 29, 2020, 01:39:23 PM »

That said, inquiring minds want to know... how did the heated socks work out?

Hi Ed,

Well, let's say they were a definite improvement over the charcoal-based, toe heaters that one can buy in Walmart.   Those require a steady supply of oxygen to work, and when you seal them up in a boot with thick socks, they give about 10 minutes of heat and don't work again until you try to peel them off your socks at the end of the day.

The heated socks I purchased were called "Hotronics."    At about $270/pair, they are clearly the most expensive socks I've ever purchased.   Unlike older, battery-powered socks, these use Lithium-Ion batteries, and they last quite a bit longer.   They have 4 heat settings, which have trade-offs.   The more heat you ask for, the less time they'll work.   On Friday, which was very cold, I started out with Zone 1, and after about 2 hours, my feet felt cold (but not freezing), so I jacked them up to Zone 2.   My feet were then comfortable all day and right until the train returned at about 4 PM.   But then, after shooting around the yard for an hour, my feet started to freeze.   When I got back to the hotel, the batteries were exhausted.   So, for Saturday and Sunday, I left them in Zone 1 all day.   Yes, my feet did feel cold a times, but never freezing or numb.   Zone 1 was enough to take the edge off all day, and when I got back to the hotel, there was still some juice left in the batteries on both days. 

So, are they worth it?   Yes, I think so.   They are definitely coming with me to Nevada next week.   The one worry I did have was when we were tromping through all of the fresh snow on Sunday.   I was a bit concerned that if snow got into the battery connections at the top of my socks, I could end up with a Lithium Battery fire, which would not be good.   Fortunately, the socks have a flap over the batteries, and I also stretched 2 layers of long johns over them, and my snow pants have gators that cover them.   So, they stayed dry all the time. 

If you are someone who has issues with cold feet during prolonged exposure to low temperatures, they are definitely something to consider.   They seem pretty well-constructed and you can buy components, such as replacement battery packs and sock units.   The batteries are also alleged to be good for upwards of 5 years.

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Maine 2-Foot Grand Reunion >>>Photo Album<<<
« on: January 29, 2020, 10:54:22 AM »
Folks,

On the weekend of January 17-19, I attended the first of the two, Maine 2-Foot Grand Reunion events held at the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna, Maine. This event featured the first-ever gathering of all 5 surviving 24" gauge steam locomotives, from Maine's historic, 2-Foot common carrier lines. It also featured the rolling stock collections of both museums, allowing re-creations of trains from four historic narrow gauge lines, including the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes, the Bridgton & Saco River, the Monson Railroad and of course, the WW&F.

If you could order a menu of perfect weather for a winter steam event, the conditions that we experienced this weekend were pretty close to perfection. About the only thing missing was a period of snow during daylight. A recent, 6" snowfall on Thursday left a fresh blanket over the railroad for Friday morning. The sky was completely clear, the temperature was about 9F, and the trees were all caked with snow. Saturday featured a blend of sun and clouds, with another 6" snowstorm after dark to cover all of our footprints. Sunday was once again mostly sunny and cold. The photo shoots featured a mix of yard servicing and switching scenes as well as operations out on the line. A formal night session had been planned for Saturday evening, but the incoming snowstorm prevented the crew that was to put on the event from reaching the museum. Fortunately, two of the paid attendees, Pete Lerro and John Craft had a bit of experience with night photography. Pete, who was returning from one of his Lighthouse Tours, happened to have a few lights with him, so an impromptu session was organized, to photograph some of the yard switching and put-away operations. That session concluded just in time for everyone to beat feet for their hotels before the roads got too bad.

For the benefit of those who could not be there.....or those who were working the event and had no time to take photos, have a look!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/112261457@N06/albums/72157712881210241/with/49456732431/

/Kevin Madore

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Museum Discussion / Re: Sheepscot pictures for the away crowd.
« on: January 20, 2020, 11:31:59 PM »
Bill,

Thanks so much to you and your crew for helping us "chase the light" yesterday afternoon.   The photographers were really hoping we could find a sunny spot where we could shoot the double-header in the late afternoon sun and the shadows were closing the line down fast.   I know it must have been a chore getting all of the brakemen and the engine crews briefed on the plan change, especially when the engine guys were 13 cars and a lot of snowy footprints away.   Everyone REALLY appreciated getting that last spot.

/Kevin Madore :) 

PS - Apologies for the lousy image quality in the sample below.  The forum only allows a 200KB file.   The 1 MB version looks much nicer!

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