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Messages - Philip Marshall

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Other Narrow Gauge / Re: Rockport Lime Company
« on: September 18, 2021, 06:39:50 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, 09:32:36 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.

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: May 22, 2021, 06:09:59 PM »
I recall hearing someone say the WW&F has the throttle arm from No. 7. Is this correct?

I can also recommend Red for Danger. It's a classic work of British railway history and deserves to be better known in the US.

Volunteers / Re: April 2021 Work Reports
« on: April 10, 2021, 10:38:10 PM »
Fred wanted to get the turntable girders stored on the right of way across the street from the railroad up out of the mud. Thursday morning we used the loader to pick up one end of the girders at a time and pull the girders up onto higher ground.

I'm glad to see the turntable girders receiving some attention.

Work and Events / Re: Engine House - Official Work Thread
« on: March 15, 2021, 11:47:23 AM »
I remember there was discussion at one point of having a blacksmith shop either inside or attached to the roundhouse. Is this still part of the plan, or will the forge remain outdoors?

It looks fine on my MacBook Pro laptop using either Firefox or Safari (I tried both).

US Two Footers / Re: C&NW 2 foot gauge
« on: February 21, 2021, 06:51:35 PM »
Exactly, it's supposed to have worked at a C&NW-owned tie treatment plant in Riverton, WY.

Museum Discussion / Re: "Top of (the) Mountain" to ya!
« on: January 26, 2021, 01:10:07 AM »
Which is more historically correct? Linwood Moody used the definite article and called it Top of the Mountain (with "the mountain" being the grade to the north), but what other sources are there? The name never appeared on the original railroad's timetable because it was never a station (until now), and Moody isn't always reliable, but I would be inclined to follow his usage nonetheless.

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