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Topics - Stephen Piwowarski

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Hello All!

In an attempt to be proactive, I've set up a sign-up for the Amherst Railroad Society's Railroad Hobby Show at the 'Big E' in West Springfield, MA.
The show is being held on Saturday January 28 and Sunday January 29. Setup happens Friday afternoon/night and takedown is immediately following the show at 5PM on Sunday. I've made an attempt to split the days up so people could still help the WW&F at our display and also enjoy the show.

Sign up here:

If you've never been, the show is a really fun way to meet folks interested in all-things railroad from around the Northeast, and really, the entire country. If you've already been, you know what I'm talking about!

Thanks for helping get this crewed so we can all go down, spread the good word about the WW&F, see old friends and make new ones and welcome some folks who don't yet know what we're up to in Alna


Volunteers / WMTW Visits the WW&F July 2nd
« on: June 25, 2022, 10:58:20 PM »
Hi All,

I wanted to give everyone a heads up that WMTW, the Portland ABC affiliate, will be visiting the Museum Saturday July 2nd from 5 AM to 8AM. The format is to carry out 5-6 short, live interviews which are interspersed between the morning news segments. They are interested in getting interviews with our volunteers, showing the projects we have going on, what we are up to, etc.

This is great, 4th of July weekend coverage for us, and with lots of great things happening at the Museum, it should be a great piece for us. If you plan on being around, maybe give me a heads up so I can confirm that we will actually have enough people on site in the 5-8 window to help them accomplish their goals.


Hello All,

In the background for the past few years there has been momentum growing around the need for a website updates. During this past year, the situation turned more dire, with our website failing to display properly on some IOS devices.

For our part there had been lots of desire to create a new website from the ground up, but very little labor resource to actually accomplish that goal. Enter FareHarbor, our online booking partner for the past several years. As part of their services, they offer free web development, with the hope that if they optimize their partner's websites, they will generate more bookings, so this is mutually beneficial.

As part of these web updates, I invite our forum readers to submit photographs for possible inclusion on the new website. I cannot guarantee that all photos will be used as it will depend on what submissions we receive.

Specifically, photos of the following would be especially appreciated:

- Capture the atmosphere and environment of the railway
- Show people (both volunteers and visitors alike) interacting with the railway
- Show the railway in a variety of seasons (Especially Winter and Fall)
- Feature some of our current special events
- Share some special detail about the railway

The easiest way for you to get photos to me is by either:
emailing photos to me at
if you have a large number of photos you'd like to submit, email me at the same address ( and I will send you a google drive link where you can add them directly.

Thanks very much,
Steve Piwowarski

I just watched this short video on the development of signaling, train movement and  interlocking systems in the UK. It seems like a good intro from the POV of someone who’s never worked on a signaled railway or a UK railway but I’d be curious to learn more about the UK train movement control in general.

Other Narrow Gauge / ‘The Steam’ short film
« on: November 01, 2020, 02:07:52 PM »
Hi all,

If you get a chance check out this 16 minute short filmed at the Yosemite Sugar Pine RR on passing the torch- it’s quite good. Enjoy


Volunteers / August 1st 9AM-5PM Train Crew Training Session
« on: July 17, 2020, 09:05:38 PM »
August 1st from 9AM to 5PM, the WW&F will hold a day-long training session open to all. This session will formally introduce and review the newest edition of the rulebook.

The day will be broken into 2 parts:
The AM session will be a classroom-style introduction to the rulebook with time for questions & review.
After lunch, the PM session will consist of in-the-field learning on the railway demonstrating correct methods for certain operations. Again, there will be time for questions & review.

The training session is recommended for all volunteers because the topics covered are of value to anyone on or around the railway. This training session, while a step toward becoming a member of a train crew, is only one piece of the program.

This session will be offered annually; attendance, and the passing of a written test based upon the session, is required at least once every 3 years for train crew members to maintain their qualification.

Work and Events / Music on the Railway 2020
« on: March 10, 2020, 02:25:55 PM »
Hi Everyone,

Season passes for the Music on the Railway 2020 season have gone on sale. The season pass gets you in to all 4 concerts, which are always held on the 4th Saturday of the month (June, July, August, September), for the price of 3. The season passes will be on sale throughout March. On April 1st ticketing will shift to individual concerts. The line up is:
June: Rough Sawn
July: Pejepscot Station
August: Freemont Street String Band
September: Old Hat Duo

Tickets are on sale here:

Work and Events / WCSH's '207' visits the WW&F
« on: February 21, 2020, 10:48:56 PM »
Today the WW&F was visited by WSCH's (channel 6) Amanda Hill and her cameraman Devin Crawford.

Museum member Andy Swift for connected us and told Amanda she needed to get up to Alna stat to see what we were up to, so she did.

There were a several interviews, lots of filming at Sheepscot and the environs and a run up to Alna Center, which was not without a few interesting moments because yours truly brought the trai  to an unintended stop with the engine right on the Averill Rd. crossing, which led the train to stall. After letting all of our slack in and thoroughly cleaning and sanding the crossing, we were able to get back on our feet once again, pull the train into the clear on the main and run around on the passing siding.

With our minds put together, we figured it out. A nice display of some of the challenges of winter railroading.

For what it's worth, Averill Rd. seems to be worse than usual in terms of ice build up on the crossing- maybe due to snowmobile traffic.

When I hear of the date that the segment will air, I will post it here.


This weekend we are hosting what we are calling 'Stuff a Boxcar'.

Each person who brings a non-perishable food item or monetary donation will receive a free round trip ticket to ride the train. Food donations will be sent to area food pantries for Alna, Wiscasset, Whitefield, and Jefferson. Monetary donations will be split 80/20 between food pantries and the WW&F.

This is as especially important time of year for food pantry donations because outside of the holiday season food pantry donations typically fall off, but the need remains steady. Summer can be a hard time, so events like this help to bring necessary resources in at a critical part of the year.

Come on out and support a worthy cause while riding the railway you love!

Do you feel as though you are often confronted with too many choices in life? Happen to be building a railroad? You're going to be faced with many choices, not the least of which is the choice of gauge (the distance between the rails). Do you wonder about the so-called 'standard' gauge and whether it is really always the right choice when building a railway?

Come to a presentation at the Alna Center Station on Saturday May 18th to learn more. Attendees can reach the event from a train departing Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road, Alna) at 6:30 PM. Following the presentation, the train will return to Sheepscot at 8:30PM

Learn first-hand why 2-foot narrow gauge railways, like the ones built by the sensible people in the state of Maine, could be the right choice for your community. WW&F Railway Superintendent Jason Lamontagne will explain just how such a narrow gauge railway can enhance transportation, commerce and culture while doing so with an economy of cost and ease of construction, both things a 'standard' gauge railway could not match.

At Alna Center there will be a bonfire and bean supper available at the event for $8.00, including hot dogs, salads, and drinks. Proceeds will benefit the continued reconstruction of the railway.

Event tickets are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 4-12 and free for children birth-3. Event tickets are available at the railway prior to 6:30PM or online. Advance tickets (available at are recommended, but not required. We cannot guarantee space on the train without an advance ticket.

Arrive 30 minutes prior to departure to ensure a relaxed boarding experience.

For more information visit or call 207-882-4193

~Event is weather permitting~ In the case of foul weather ticket holders will be informed and tickets will be refunded.

Work and Events / Mother's Day Tea- May 11th
« on: April 23, 2019, 05:23:36 AM »
Hi Everyone,

At long last, tickets for the Mother's Day Tea have been posted at Note that the event has been rescheduled from Sunday May 12 (the actual Mother's Day) to Saturday May 11th to ease the burden on our operating crews and work within our existing operating schedule.

Details are below:
Ride aboard reserved cars on our noon train to a special English-style Mother's Day tea at our Alna Center Station. The tea will feature locally-sourced cakes, scones, and sandwiches, plus tea and coffee. Moms will receive a special Springtime gift to bring home along with special treats when they board the train at Sheepscot. We're looking forward to making this a special day for the whole family and moms in particular.

Capacity is limited to 40, so get your tickets soon! Advance-purchase tickets are required, so that we can adequately prepare for the number of guests we will be hosting. Tickets are available at

Please arrive by 11:45AM to ensure a relaxed boarding experience. Tickets for the Mother's Day Tea are all-inclusive. They include tea service at Alna Center (accessed on the noon train), along with access to the other train at 10:30 and the Museum. After tea, ride the northbound train to Top of Mountain and return to Sheepscot at 2:15. All trains leave from Sheepscot Station at 97 Cross Road in Alna.

Ticket Prices are as follows:
$20.00 for adults
$15.00 for children 4-12
free for children birth-3

This event is weather dependent and, in the event of foul weather, an announcement will be made and emailed regarding the cancellation of the event. The full ticket price will be refunded.

Tickets are non-transferable (except by a Railway representative) and refundable up until May 9th.

Work and Events / 2019 Easter Express
« on: April 10, 2019, 07:33:34 PM »
Hi All,

With Easter Eggspress coming up on the 20th, it is time to put posters out. Bill Reidy has out together a beautiful poster for us which Jason has been kind enough to print. Tomorrow copies will be available by the sign in log at the Percival house. If you could assist in putting them up at local businesses, it would be appreciated.

Thanks very much,

Volunteers / WW&F Offering Workshops for 2019 Season Car Hosts
« on: March 14, 2019, 09:09:07 PM »
The WW&F is seeking volunteers to serve as car hosts on our trains this season. The Museum will be offering a series of workshops to train car hosts at the Museum’s 97 Cross Road campus in Alna on March 23, March 30 and April 6. Classes will begin each day at 9AM and will generally end by 2PM.

   The car host’s job is to engage and interact with visitors, sharing interesting information about the railway and surrounding region and answer visitor’s questions. The workshops will provide you with all the materials and resources you need to be a successful car host. No previous experience is necessary, but a desire to interact with our visitors and help offer them a meaningful, personal experience will be helpful. Becoming a car host is also a great introduction to other volunteer positions available on the railway. Volunteer who are already active with the Museum are also welcome to attend the sessions as they will go over WW&F history and public interaction techniques.

   To participate in workshops either call the Museum at 207-882-4193 with your name and contact information or send an email with the same to visitor interaction coordinator Steve Piwowarski at

Work and Events / Steam & Sleighs Recap
« on: February 18, 2019, 09:25:00 PM »
Hi all,

With January and February's Steam & Sleighs events now in the rearview, I wanted to provide some info regarding the events. In three days (January 19, February 16 & 17) we carried right around 500 passengers (give or take a few). This past Sunday was our busiest day with just over 200 riders.

It was a wonderful time and we got to interact with lots of new, first time visitors, which always puts a smile on my face, along with returning visitors as well. I was serving as conductor on Sunday and got to see one of my students (who was as surprised to see me as I was to see them!) Despite some minor hiccups each day, passengers had consistently nice things to say, and had a great time.

Here's what some had to say (from Facebook):

"We had a great time at the Railway today and on the Sleigh Ride"

"Today’s adventure..ride on a steam train, sleigh ride turkey tracks, and our conductor who punched hearts in my ticket. Great time... and beautiful weather!"

"Who wants to go to the 19th century."

"Fantastic day at Steam and Sleigh! Highly recommend this adventure and hope you do it again next year!!"

Our volunteers did an amazing job crewing the events and hosting our visitors, but also before and after, putting lots of time into making sure the parking lot was cleared and sanded, station platforms were shoveled off, feeding crews, and keeping the line open in the midst of the constant freeze/thaw cycles which ensured that there were always flangeways to clear and ice to pick out around switches. Thank you!

500 riders is 1/10 of our total ridership from last year. Here we are in February and we are already off to a great start for the year. More importantly, we've made new friends and introduced many more to this special place and they've learned a bit more about it. The questions and comments from our passengers were fantastic. Looking forward to a great year.

Hi All,

James Patten has volunteered to represent the Railway at the Whitefield Lions Train Show in Augusta on Saturday February 16th. Thank you James!

The show is at the Augusta Armory at 179 Western Avenue in Augusta and runs from 10AM until 3:30PM.

Are there 1-2 more volunteers who would be able to join James at the show to represent the WW&F? I've heard it is typically a good, fairly well attended show, with good sales for the WW&F.

Let us know if you can be there by responding in this thread- That way James can plan his coffee consumption on whether he is able to leave the table or not. :)


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