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Topics - Stephen Piwowarski

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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, 03:07:52 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, 10:05:38 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, 03:25:55 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, 11:48:56 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, 06:23:36 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, 08:33:34 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, 10:09:07 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, 10:25:00 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. :)


Work and Events / September 29th Fall Festival and Evening Train
« on: October 02, 2018, 11:13:31 AM »
Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to compliment everyone on a really wonderful Fall Festival and Evening Train this year. Everybody pulled together and made some really nice magic happen for our visitors. I thought it would be nice to share some of the comments on the day from Facebook here to highlight how much people appreciate what we are doing. I don't have any photos, but I'm sure someone does, and maybe they could post them here. Both events were incredibly well attended, with the day totaling over 350 riders. Thanks to all who made it happen.

Here are the comments:
"We went to the fall festival today and it was fantastic! My son loved the ride, the conductor and all the friendly staff. What a gem! If you haven’t been go!"
-Samantha De Garmo

"Great experience for the whole family"
-Leah Isaacson

"Tonight we had an amazing time with amazing people. Thank you for making your moonlight event so special to our family. ??"
-Cheryl Partridge

"We were so impressed with our recent visit to your museum for the sunset train ride with general store history presentation. Can’t wait to return with grandkids next year. Volunteer staff so pleasant and knowledgeable even the youngest members."
-Brian-Candice Carrier

"Can we set another date..." -Sherry Beck-Poland

And set another date we shall- we are looking at doing an additional night train with narrow gauge theory as the focus of the talk. More information to follow in another post.

Other Narrow Gauge / Budapest Children's Railway
« on: August 03, 2018, 08:05:26 AM »
Attached below is an interesting article on the Children's Railway in Budapest. It is interesting to note that all of the positions on the railway, save the engineers are filled by children under age 18, and some as young as 10.

There were many children's railways across the former USSR and Soviet Satellite states, most of them 600-750mm gauge. They were meant to prepare children for work on the state railways but, perhaps more importantly, to teach teamwork, problem solving, and life skills.

Museum Discussion / 2018 Operating Schedule
« on: July 08, 2018, 05:25:15 PM »
Visitor count today was 56 with 6 on pass, so 50 paying passengers. When combined with yesterday that makes for over 200 for the weekend- a good weekend. Amazing Ice Cream Social- the games were great and people were having fun.


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