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Messages - john d Stone

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Work and Events / Re: Engine House - Official Work Thread
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:38:07 PM »
Amazing progress!

Volunteers / Re: October 2021 Work Reports
« on: October 13, 2021, 11:02:57 PM »
I don't know if I'm putting this in the right category, but I just wanted to express my thanks to those who organized and participated in the mini-work weekend last Saturday. As always, I am amazed at the progress made during the intervals between my visits. With a two year gap this time, the difference was absolutely staggering! It was so nice to see and work alongside the good folks who make things happen. It's very rewarding to feel like I've at least participated a little bit in this wonderful venture and I eagerly look forward to my next visit.

Thanks again!

John Stone

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: September 10, 2021, 11:03:34 PM »
Quite the spectacular line! I've never tried the sweet-talk and beer method to get a cab ride, though I think it would work on me!
Cass also features some frightening grades on the line to Bald Knob. I think they may have a stretch of 11% too. Diana and I went out there one year and took the ride to the top. We were dressed for warm temperatures. It was not warm at the top! During the layover, we huddled up next to the firebox of the Shay. Two Shays had shoved us up there and one had already departed down the mountain, running lite. The engineer took pity on us and invited us to ride down the mountain in the cab. It was quite an interesting ride! I don't believe they turned up retainers, but brakemen would snug up the handbrakes on certain stretches. At one point, there was a rather heated exchange between the engineer and the relatively new fireman about water level. The engineer was not too happy that fireboy hadn't gotten the water a little higher in the glass before they tipped over onto a real steep stretch. I guess the water in the front of the boiler was barely covering the tubes!

Volunteers / Re: August 2021 Work Reports
« on: August 13, 2021, 10:04:14 AM »
And I will third Wayne!

Museum Discussion / Re: Maps of the WW&F Museum
« on: July 23, 2021, 09:33:43 AM »
Really cool map! If you scroll back a bit, Wiscasset looks nice and close!

We've hosted four exchange students over the years. The first was a girl from a small town in the north of Germany, just west of the former east-west border. She had taken English since grade school but actually had a very limited grasp of the language. I'd taken two years of German in high school, most of which I slept through. My wife's Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry was only good for a few phrases, mostly dealing with odd types of food. But after a couple of weeks of American TV she was able to speak and understand quite well. I asked her how similar German was to Austrian. She said "It is close. They can understand us but we can not understand them." Same response for Dutch!
The following year we had another German girl and a girl from Taiwan living with us, both with decent English skills. When the Taiwanese girls parents came to visit, she would speak to them in Mandarin and immediately switch to English to talk to us. My brain ain't wired like that!

In the world of railroading, I grew up around Pennsylvania Road and PRSL people in South Jersey. My railroad career has been out of Richmond Virginia on the Southern and then RF&P/CSX. Hand signals were pretty much the same as I'd experienced growing up though a few terms were different and track hand signals seem to be kind of a local language. When I started visiting the WW&F, "trig" was a term I had to get used to. I had been exposed to car counts by hand when the RF&P hired a former Rock Island brakeman, but that was not our normal practice. We just waved 'em back or ahead to start the move and resumed signaling as we closed in on the joint, decreasing the speed of the hand signal and then steadying up with the lantern or hand held high prior to waving down for the stop.

I came across this safety video from the Great Northern and found out that hand signals were not necessarily the same, even on a basic level, from coast to coast!

Work and Events / Re: Coach 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: June 20, 2021, 10:23:17 AM »

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: June 06, 2021, 09:49:31 PM »
The track is really looking good!

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: May 19, 2021, 10:44:01 AM »
Looks like an extremely productive session. It's great to have such a talented team at work on this project. Thanks for the detailed report and photos. The excitement builds!

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 51 (The Brookville) - Official Work Thread
« on: January 01, 2021, 03:25:39 PM »
Here's a SWW photo of 51 by the water tower. Didn't take on water, as I recall. Not sure which year, but it rained a lot.

Happy New Year!

Work and Events / Re: Coach 9 - Official Work Thread
« on: December 15, 2020, 01:54:44 PM »
Absolutely beautiful!

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: ‘The Steam’ short film
« on: November 06, 2020, 12:12:34 AM »
A very well made film, even with the questionable coupling practice! The greatest lesson to be taken away from it is the importance of welcoming volunteers to participate in this fascinating history. I think the WW&F does a wonderful job of this. That's what first attracted me and that's what keeps me coming back!

Sounds like a really great event! Well done!

Volunteers / Re: July 2020 Work Reports
« on: July 20, 2020, 04:08:55 PM »
Wow! You guys are really making tremendous headway with the ballasting (and anything else you touch)! Thank you all for your dedication and hard labor!

General Discussion / Re: Corona virus and railroading
« on: May 24, 2020, 09:05:20 PM »
CSX has been running a lot of monster trains down our way also. A Q301 had almost 16,000 tons of mixed freight on the Philadelphia Subdivision a couple of days ago. A seperated air hose put the train in emergancy in undulating territory and the distributed power unit was a bit slow getting the message. The resulting heavy run-in was enough to completely destroy the drafr gear on the ends of two trash container cars. Too much train!

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