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Topics - Stephen Piwowarski

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1
Hello All!

While not nearly as proactive as last year (November 11th!), the sign-up for the Amherst Railroad Society's Railroad Hobby Show at the 'Big E' in West Springfield, MA is now live!

The show is being held on Saturday January 27 and Sunday January 28. 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, but if you need more specific hours or can only give part of a day, we are beggars not choosers, so we'll take whatever you can give.

Sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C084CAFAF2DA3F9CF8-47049366-railroad

Some of you have already reached out to me (thank you!) and I'll attempt to plug you into logical locations.

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

Best,
Steve

2
Hello all,

In preparation for the Victorian Christmas this year we’d like to collect unwanted non-electric, non-tree ornament decorations for use in decorating our trains, the station at Sheepscot and our pavilion and station at Alna Center.

To take pressure off of the railroad for storing and sorting these items, please reach out to me directly so that they can be dropped off at my house for sorting an organizing, preferably prior to November 11th

Thanks very much,
Steve Piwowarski

3
Volunteers / 2024 Narrow Gauge Convention - Pittsburgh
« on: September 27, 2023, 07:44:19 PM »
Hello All,

I am working on arranging for us to have a table at the 2024 Narrow Gauge Convention in Pittsburgh, PA. Is there anyone planning on attending who would be willing to set up a table for the WW&F and man it at certain times?

If you would enjoy helping out with thus, please let me know either by email: stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org or by forum message.

Thank you!

4
Hi All,

This year, someone special will be returning to Alna Center for Christmas! We're eagerly anticipating returning to an event that is more in keeping with our Victorian Christmas Trains of years past.

Saturday November 18th Sunday November 19th we'll be holding a work party at the Railway for the purposes of getting the railway decorated for Victorian Christmas. We'll gather beginning at Noon at Sheepscot to begin decorating process, ride the train up to Alna Center to decorate there and follow up with a potluck supper back at Sheepscot when we finish up.

Please join us if you can, we'd love your help!

Best,
Steve


5
Volunteers / Remote Volunteering Opportunity
« on: April 08, 2023, 05:37:22 AM »
Hello All,

We have a volunteering opportunity open for anyone who might be interested. There are two places online- the Maine Office of Tourism and the Maine Tourism Association which both operate have events calendars/listings for activities going on in Maine throughout the year.

Creating and updating these listings is fairly straightforward. You basically access the backend of each website through a password protected portal, after which you enter the event information.

It takes a little time and patience, but once they are built out, you are all set.

Helping with this would require basic computer literacy and the ability to work with images. I would provide all of the descriptions, photos and information; you'd only need to take care of the data entry part.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in helping with, please reach out to me at stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org.

Thank you!
Steve

6
Hello all,

For several years now, Jason Lamontagne and I have been working, in the background, on an exhibit on narrow gauge theory. This exhibit will be housed in the car barn extension. In the immediate past, this location was used as a staging area for construction materials for the enginehouse. With that project moving towards completion, the enginehouse will soon be able to provide its own weather-tight, secure storage of construction materials, so we plan to utilize the carbarn extension for the narrow gauge theory exihibt and other exhibits.

While the content of the exhibit is essentially ready to go, we need help with the layout and graphic design of these elements- neither of us has the time to move this project forward on the desired timeline, so your help would be much appreciated!

We are looking for someone with a graphic design and/or exhibit design background who would be willing to help us bring this idea to fruition. Before reaching outside of the organization, we thought we'd start here, since this part of the project can be accomplished remotely.

If you would like to help, please contact me at stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org and I will get back to you with more complete details.

Many thanks,
Steve Piwowarski


7
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:https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C094DAEAA22A7FAC16-2023

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

Best,
Steve

8
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.

Best,
Steve

9
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 stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org
-or-
if you have a large number of photos you'd like to submit, email me at the same address (stephen.piwowarski@wwfry.org) and I will send you a google drive link where you can add them directly.

Thanks very much,
Steve Piwowarski

10
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.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bfewk708uG0

11
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

Steve

https://vimeo.com/471954518?fbclid=IwAR096eujmrotz2aekWe7IEZIG8-umBYqYxiq5hbyWd3Q_JRQdkZxcQhTtHg

12
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.

13
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:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wiscasset-waterville-farmington-music-on-the-railway-season-pass-tickets-90315671605

14
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.

Steve

15
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!

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