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Topics - Gordon Cook

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Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Event Suggestion
« on: March 24, 2024, 11:30:39 AM »
I know this may violate the rules, but I couldn't resist;

I'm not sure how enthusiastic I would be about coal infused gin, though.

Museum Discussion / September/October Newsletter
« on: October 26, 2022, 12:32:13 PM »
I finally finished reading the latest newsletter and I wanted to congratulate and thank Bill, Jason, and everyone who contributed for an excellent and thorough job of illustrating the planning and construction of the Mountain Extension.

Pulling all the details and history into a beautifully illustrated and written document really shows what a well planned and executed project it was, as well as a truly significant contribution to the rebuilding of Maine's history by the museum's volunteers and donors.

I would suggest that a link to this article be added to both the Facebook page and the museum's website to reach a wider audience.

Museum Discussion / WW&F on
« on: September 30, 2022, 09:20:11 AM »
The WW&F is on's list of best train rides in New England.
(I think we know who "Ed. L. from Brunswick" might be.)

Museum Discussion / New Injector for #9
« on: August 04, 2021, 02:04:06 PM »
The museum has purchased a new boiler water injector for the fireman's side of #9. It will replace the injector that has been on the engine since its return to service and has often been a source of trouble. Recently it suffered a complete failure of a major component. One of our many talented members quickly machined a new part so we were able to return the engine to service without any disruption to scheduled operations.

As many of you know, new locomotive injectors of a size suitable for our small engines have not been manufactured in many years. We have had to rely on old injectors which are not in the best condition. Also, it is difficult to test and troubleshoot problems with them.

Because of the critical role that the injectors have in ensuring a safe and reliable operation, it was decided to make this investment when we were alerted to the availability of a new injector that will provide reliable operation for years to come.

The new injector has been manufactured by Anthony Duarte of Eccentric Engineer. He manufactures injectors and other components for the Live Steam hobby and recently produced a full size replica of a Number 4 Nathan Simplex injector which should be ideal for our engine.
As finances permit, we plan on purchasing more of these for #9 engineer's side, #10, and #11.
As you can see, these are truly works of the machinist's art. The first picture gives a good idea of the complexity of these devices and the level of skill and knowledge required to successfully reproduce them. It also shows why it is not easy to figure out what might be wrong with one.

(this image borrowed from EE's Facebook page)

Our injector fresh from the oven:

The check valve:

General Discussion / Cat on a hot train roof
« on: March 08, 2021, 01:15:06 PM »
I guess I needed a chuckle today because I got a laugh out of this....

What I want to know is how did he/she get up there?

General Discussion / Spiked Rails Puts Train In Drink
« on: March 09, 2020, 08:00:56 PM »
How can a tender wheel get a flat? It's neither powered nor braked....

Waiting, waiting......

Uhhh, nail?   ::)

Work and Events / Work Weekends and volunteer labor
« on: October 23, 2019, 09:47:12 AM »
The Mountain Extension thread has diverged into a discussion of track extension and next projects because the track laying is coming to an end for the foreseeable future.
This is touching on a bigger subject, hence I'm starting a new thread.
I think the reason that track laying has become synonymous with the work weekend is that it has been the focus for almost all of the museum's existence, and that the jobs involved can be done by most anyone. Basically we all become day laborers for a weekend, no skills required!
Building track is fun for volunteers because there is sense of doing it the old way, being useful, getting a workout, camaraderie, and tangible progress to celebrate.
In recent WW's, with the necessary automation of the rail and tie laying process, the number of hands required for that has shrunk, and the remaining tasks tend towards those jobs that require relevant skills or plain old heavy duty brawn like spiking.
This means that some folks may not be busy and feeling like they contributed. This problem will get worse as we finish up the mountain extension track by 2021.
I'm thinking that the board is aware of this and would welcome useful ideas on how to keep the work weekends busy, fun, and productive.
If you were at FWW what did you see and what would you suggest?

Museum Discussion / ROW Vegetation control
« on: April 11, 2019, 03:43:04 PM »
Relevant to a topic brought up a few years ago on ROW maintenance:
I especially like the donkeys; maybe they could also be rented out for trail use?
Does the goat output result in more goat input, i.e. a feedback loop?   ::)
No editorial comment intended, just FYI and amusement.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Whistle Parity
« on: April 01, 2018, 10:26:45 AM »
Alna, ME:
April 1, 2018
Steam crews on the WW&F Ry. are concerned that they are falling behind in the whistle race in Alna.
On Saturday, March 31, it became apparent that WW&F's #9 whistle is no match for the much louder and multi-toned whistle on the Maine Narrow Gauge's ex-B&SR #7, which was in steam for the day. #7's crew could be seen with silly grins on  their faces as their bigger equipment overwhelmed #9's authentic but smaller hooter.
Rumors are that the leadership of the WW&F is considering the return of Bernie Perch's CNJ #113 whistle replica to regain tooting domination in the Sheepscot Valley. This would require the rapid return to action of #10 so that it would be available solely to carry and power the larger whistle at full volume.
Observers in the area remain skeptical that this will happen soon, since WW&F CMO Jason Lamontagne prefers historically accurate solutions. He is quoted as being confident that adding two more replica Portland Co. whistles to #9 will close the hooter gap without resorting to more modern appliances. "Size does matter," he explained, 'but it's not the only thing."

General Discussion / Spanish Yeti
« on: March 27, 2018, 01:24:31 PM »
In the train museum in Madrid, Spain:

I'm not sure what the spare tire was going to do for you...

General Discussion / American Precision Museum
« on: October 25, 2017, 01:49:27 PM »
We visited the American Precision Museum in Windsor, VT last weekend. It is located in a mid 1800s water powered factory building and has a collection of early machine tools mostly involved with how industry transitioned from hand made and custom fitted parts to precisely machined and interchangeable parts. This area of Vermont became a hotbed of innovation in the mid-19th century in inventing new and clever machine tools, originally for the firearms industry, but spinning off into all areas of manufacturing. The museum is staffed and run by volunteers.
There is also a collection of miniature machine tools made by one individual that all work and will have you wondering how he did it.
For anyone who is interested, it is a small but worthwhile museum to visit. You can also experience the covered bridge which spans the Connecticut river there between VT and NH. Yeah, it's a big one!
This coming weekend is the last weekend they will be open this year (no heat) and will be hosting a large maker and model engineering show.

Museum Discussion / 2016--Quite a year at the WW&F
« on: December 26, 2016, 02:39:03 PM »
So, in this last week of 2016, how about reminiscing a bit about the accomplishments and events at Sheepscot this year?

I'll start off with the latest event, which may not have been a record setter but certainly for me personally was an experience I'll keep with me for a long time: Victorian Christmas in a Maine snow storm, running #9 with a brace of three 2' gauge coaches trailing behind, full of happy folks.
All day, #9 barking, fighting, all the way to Alna Center Station, AKA the North Pole. Wes keeping her hot. Kids scraping through the frost on the windows to see out of the coaches. Drivers slipping and spinning. Train crew making everything work. Smell of pine wreath baking on the smokebox. Santa and Mrs. Santa, toughing it out in the cold to make the kid's smile. The handsome pair of horses (and human!) seemingly oblivious to the snow and cold as they took a wagon full of hardy Mainers around at AC . All our fabulous volunteers making sure everyone is warm, safe and happy.
Thanks, everyone. Looking forward to 2017.

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