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Messages - Philip Marshall

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General Discussion / Re: Swiss lake steamer operations
« on: May 09, 2023, 08:15:02 PM »
What a great video, thanks for sharing it.

I'm reminded of this classic Fox Movietone film footage from 1930, filmed on a steam ferryboat in New York (engine room sequence begins around 5:20):

-Philip Marshall

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: Historic Photos
« on: March 09, 2023, 12:31:11 PM »
"The Lightning Freight taking a rest after 15 minutes"?

This is just a hunch, but where on the railroad was 15 minutes north of Wiscasset? Maybe along the Sheepscot River between Wiscasset and Sheepscot, south of the first 218 crossing?

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: Half an idea
« on: March 03, 2023, 07:54:14 PM »
Here is some more information on the Boynton Bicycle railroad line on Long Island (including drawings of proposed freight cars), from Art Huneke's LIRR archive:

To be clear, there were two different Boynton Bicycle railroads. The Coney Island line of 1890 was the original and used steam. This was followed by the electrified East Patchogue-Hagerman-Bellport line described above, built in 1894.

General Discussion / Re: Unfinished Railroads
« on: September 22, 2022, 12:09:27 AM »
Thank you, Russ. This is an impressive compilation. I will admit I was confused at first by the distinction you make between proposed "paper" railroads with no actual construction, and "unfinished" railroads that were surveyed and graded (so leaving an archaeological record) but never saw a train, but now I think it's a useful concept.

Your Maine list should of course include the FS&K in addition to the W&Q north of Albion.

In your New York list, I was especially interested to see the LIDAR image of the Suffolk Traction Co. grade north and west of College Road in Selden. I grew up in the area and never knew that was there! The Suffolk Traction Co. was an interesting operation in that they never bothered with overhead trolley wire but instead used battery storage cars. The context for the story of the steam crane/wrecker using the unfinished street trackage in Port Jefferson is supposed to have been that the crane was delivered by rail for use in the Bayles shipyard during WWI and this was the only way to move it the last mile (literally) between the LIRR yard and the waterfront, but this may just be local legend. It was wartime after all, so there were no photographs!

With regard to the Hicksville & Cold Spring Branch RR, I've also hiked the section of grade in Stillwell Woods mentioned in the discussion thread, though it had been unclear to me if it was really the H&CSB (circa 1854) or from the much later (circa 1910) LIRR Port Jefferson branch relocation and associated gravel mining which the LIRR called the "Cold Spring Cutoff" and that produced the fill material used for the Jamaica grade crossing elimination project. I'm now quite certain it is indeed the H&CSB. One nit I will pick however is that the junction at Hicksville was with the original LIRR Greenport main line, not the Montauk line.

We have a couple of those in the basement, but our house was built in the 1700s so we have an excuse. :) They're located directly under the refrigerator and bathtub. (The kitchen and bathroom are on either side of a shared wall.)

Two Footers outside of the US / Re: Two-footers traveling home
« on: April 12, 2022, 06:59:51 PM »
The two locomotves have been sold to the Beamish Open Air Museum at Durham, UK. They are the oldest and largest restoration village in the UK; and have both a standard gauge railroad and a 24-inch quarry railroad. Over the April 9-10, 2022 weekend they held their annual Steam Festival; with steam cars, steam traction engines a steam crane and of course steam locos running over their two railroads. The #12 Glyder looks very nice!   

A nice video of the 2022 Beamish Steam Gala has already been posted on their Youtube channel. The rail portion of the program begins around 3:19.

General Discussion / Re: Private owner 2 footer
« on: December 04, 2021, 01:51:53 AM »
I don't know anything, but I've been watching the same video ( While Keith implies the engine is somehow connected to the Maine Two Footers, that obviously can't be correct even if the owner bought the running gear in Maine. He shows several photos submitted by the owner. I see plate frames which to my mind mean European construction, and the slanted tops of the valve chests plus five bolts on the cylinder heads look specifically like an Orenstein & Koppel design.

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: Rockport Lime Company
« on: September 18, 2021, 05:39:50 PM »
The original owner of the engine in Rockport was an obscure construction company in New York City with the colorful name of Queens Subway Apartment & Loft Building Corp., which in a weirdly backward way is now remembered less for its actual business than for its  surviving locomotives. (There is another one reported to be in Alabama.) However, it does merit a page on Philip Goldstein's website on the industrial and terminal railroads of NYC:

A formal archaeological dig would be a great thing to do. (Is there any risk of the property being redeveloped in the future? It's prime waterfront land after all.)

When the SR&RL was being scrapped, various small items of railroad property without scrap value were reportedly dumped in the Phillips turntable pit before it was filled in, and I can imagine something similar happened in Wiscasset.

There could be some really interesting artifacts buried there!

Yes, that's what I was thinking. Donald Ball argues that Mansfield most likely did not visit the Ffestiniog Railway as has often been claimed, though Matthias Forney and General Palmer (of the D&RG) certainly did make the trip.

Thank you, Bill for digging up Parker's report as well. This is great stuff.

What an excellent article, and from the very beginning of the narrow gauge era in the US! Thank you so much for posting it, Bill.

It's worth noting that when the author refers to "Messrs. Baird & Co., of Philadelphia, celebrated locomotive builders" he means the Baldwin Locomotive Works.

I wonder, has anyone located George Parker's report to the Massachusetts legislature that the article quotes? It is mentioned briefly by George Hilton in American Narrow Gauge Railroads (which notes Parker's early containerized freight idea), but I haven't seen it cited elsewhere - not even in Donald Ball's book on the Billerica & Bedford, which is surprising since how could George Mansfield not have been influenced by it?

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: WW&F speeder?
« on: July 05, 2021, 08:32:36 PM »
It looks like it may have been based on one of the handcars built by Portland Co. for the W&Q, which had wheels that projected above the deck and were housed in semicircular fenders, a somewhat unusual design.

For what it's worth, the Oxford English Dictionary traces "trig" (meaning to wedge in place or make secure) at least as far back as the 16th century and speculates that it may ultimately be derived from Old Norse. "Sprag" is more recent, dating only from the 19th century, and appears to have originally referred to a prop timber in a mine.

(Didn't we already have a discussion about the etymology of "trig" a few years ago? I have a feeling of déjà vu here...)

...finally it was road that was choosen by Washington maybe to stand out from the Queen English like the  spelling of a few words.

American English vocabulary and usage has evolved organically rather than by government edict (unlike French), and in some cases we preserve older terms for things that the British no longer use. "Railroad" (sometimes "rail road", two words, in some early company charters) is such a case, and was used as early as the 18th century in England to refer to some early tramways. In time the British settled on "railway" while their American cousins continued to use the older "railroad", and it gradually came to be seen as distinctly American.

To finish with, is a bell cow a byword for leader ?

A more common expression in English is bellwether, which is an old-fashioned term for a ram (male sheep) that's been castrated and made to wear a bell, but it usually refers to leading or indicative trends in society or politics.

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