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Messages - Richard "Steam" Symmes

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31
General Discussion / 60th anniversary of the B&M wreck at Swampscott, Mass.
« on: February 28, 2016, 05:58:29 PM »
Today marks the 60th anniversary of the crash of two commuter trains in a blinding snow storm at Swampscott, Mass., which killed 13 and injured hundreds more.  We created a 30 minute documentary commemorating the event. It is being broadcast on BevCam, a community access station in Beverly, and it also is available as a YouTube video online.
   Richard

32
Per Gen. Mgr. Paul Hallett of the Conway Scenic, the "deal" is off.  No "Thomasland North" for now.

33
Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
« on: December 20, 2015, 06:25:31 PM »
You mean that "smelly" green contraption?  Only the color fit in with the atmosphere of the event!
   Richard

34
Work and Events / Re: Victorian Christmas 2015
« on: December 20, 2015, 05:20:30 PM »
Nice video Hansel, but I wish you'd gotten some of the "folks" enjoying the event.  Especially up at Alna Center, with Santa, etc.  This clip was fine for the railfans, but a little human interest would have told the WHOLE story.  Perhaps next year?
   Richard

35
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 15, 2015, 06:23:58 PM »
Quote from: Joe Fox on December 15, 2015, 01:39:53 PM
Quote
If memory serves correctly Moody wasn't a big fan of the WW&F or the B&SR.

Let's not split hairs.  You know Moody would enjoy seeing any of the 2-footers partially rebuilt and the #9 running again!

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 14, 2015, 11:27:22 PM »
If we're going to do the KC, then we need to recruit some local geezers to portray GAR veterans living at Togus.  Load up one of the coaches with some of them!   Get some old blue jackets and campaign caps and let 'em have at it.
   Richard

PS: Wouldn't the late Linwood Moody love seeing the WW&F and particularly #9 come to life again?

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 14, 2015, 10:08:09 PM »
Sure, why not?  Use real coal or just spray a load of ballast stone with black water paint. 
   Richard

38
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 13, 2015, 06:41:23 PM »
Hopefully sometime next year they'll have an "SR&RL Day" with the #9 spun around to become #6, and vinyl letters SR&RL on the tank.  Sort of like what was done a few years ago with #10 becoming "Pleasure Island & Western" #5 for a day.   Could even make the #9 "Sandy River" #5 which was its original road name / number before the 1908 merger.
   Richard

39
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 12, 2015, 07:39:01 PM »
The ultimate "barn find".  Usually we associate such with old cars, but here's the jackpot!  Imagine the odds of it surviving the WWII scrap drives or just having the shed collapse on top of it later on, exposing it to the elements.  Now let's go find the always elusive sunken locomotives in the many New England lakes that are rumored to exist!
   The only one we know for sure exists is the B&M 3666 in the Piscataqua River at Portsmouth. Now who has lots of money and a crane?
 Richard

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 11, 2015, 10:57:29 PM »
Sure, John, go ahead and print it. As I say, I'll never forget that night!  Her name still is in the Guest Register at the Walker Collection!
   Richard

41
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 11, 2015, 10:55:44 PM »
With regard to an earlier post, I believe there WAS a short piece of track under the locomotive in the shed at Alice's farm. I even remember seeing a  photo which seemed to show about 20 feet of really poor track extending out from the door of the shed.  Can anyone confirm that?
   Richard

42
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 11, 2015, 10:47:31 PM »
Years ago, while I was the Curator of the Walker Transportation Collection at the Beverly Historical Society, we met regularly every Wednesday evening in a "workshop" environment. Anyone was welcome to come and do research or volunteer at those sessions.  An elderly woman used to come to some of those sessions. She was sort of an odd person but was greatly interested in trains.  One evening we heard footsteps overhead (the collection was housed in the basement in a totally renovated area) and then they were coming down the stairs.  As God is my witness, it was our friend, and she had with her none other than Alice Ramsdell. I could barely believe it.  She spent over two hours with us that evening, looking at photos of the SR&RL #6, and regaling us with stories of her father's plans for it.  I'd heard the stories of her allowing certain trusted folks to "work on" the engine, and "bar" it out for photos, etc. YANKEE Magazine did a story on her about that period of time. 
   One of our Walker volunteers, Russell Munroe, had been down to her farm at an earlier time and took pictures. He told us that the house and all the property was like a time capsule.  She butchered her own animals and all the other farm chores by herself.  What a remarkable person. After the visit that evening, we never saw her again, but I'll never forget that night as long as I live.  I'm sure she would be thrilled to see what finally has become of "her engine".  (It was rumored she once threatened Nelson Blount with a gun when he tried to bargain the engine away from her -- anyone know if that's true?)
   Richard

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Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 05, 2015, 06:03:32 PM »
Come on, this is CGI, right?   Looks pretty real.
   Richard

44
Volunteers / Re: A few stories ...
« on: December 21, 2014, 09:10:37 PM »
We just happened to be in the gift shop as those cookies arrived. They were still warm from the oven! Needless to say, they went very fast.

Richard

45
Work and Events / Re: 2014 Victorian Christmas
« on: December 21, 2014, 09:01:39 PM »
AMEN to all of this. When our party arrived from Massachusetts at about 11:30 and turned into Cross Road, we could not believe the number of cars lining the street. All the way down the hill and up the next, and out of sight.  We were lucky and got waved into a space in the parking lot which just had been vacated.  Upon getting out of the car, we saw the line of waiting passengers stretching the entire length of the station platform, down the ramp, and along the roadside almost to the Percival house. Never before have we seen that many people at any of the past events! We had to wait for 3 or 4 trains to come and go before seriously considering getting in the line.  Despite the size of the crowd, everyone was patient and there was no shoving or cutting in as the train arrived for the next run.  The platform is pretty narrow, and people were trying to enter the gift shop as well as wait for the train, so it made for some crowding at arrival and departure time. Refreshments were waiting inside, so the interior was usually packed with people, elbow to elbow.  I think it probably was at peak capacity. Many volunteers behind the counter kept track of sales, refilled snack trays, etc.  It was "organized bedlam", but again, there were no incidents or lost tempers from what we could see. Everyone was in a holiday spirit. A few drinks were spilled by kids getting bumped trying to negoitate the tight space, but no other problems. At Alna Center, the same spirit of Christmas prevailed. Kids could make clothespin ornaments in the station, see Santa, or ride the "wagon" sleigh ride.  The weather was perfect.  All in all: A+.

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