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Messages - John Scott

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Museum Discussion / Re: ROW owned by WWF Ry museum
« on: February 02, 2018, 08:07:48 PM »
Excellent information, thank you. It is a straightforward procedure to find and download copies of the relevant tax maps, on line.

Volunteers / Re: December 2017 Work Planning
« on: December 29, 2017, 06:31:39 AM »
From my standpoint, here enjoying a wonderful Australian Summer, I can only express admiration and appreciation, given the dedication and skill of the strong men from Down East.

John Scott

Work and Events / Re: Coupler Capers in Mt. Union
« on: December 15, 2017, 10:39:09 PM »
Absolute treasure! Well done.

Work and Events / Re: Coupler Capers in Mt. Union
« on: November 18, 2017, 04:57:14 AM »
I am happy for the WW&F but somewhat sad for the EBT.

Ira, do you know of a drawing or photograph?

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: Meanwhile, in Japan.....
« on: November 04, 2017, 05:41:25 AM »
Very interesting but, to me, it illustrates the wonderful value of preservation with integrity, as practiced at the WW&F.

From Melbourne, in Spring, I have been enjoying the Fall colours in the background of various photographs, including those from the FWW. Now I am intrigued to note that "Autumn" is within the accepted terminology, after all!

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: July 14, 2017, 08:01:57 PM »
I really appreciate seeing Mike's roadbed shots. Those vacant embankments are so enticing.

Volunteers / Re: May 2017 Work Planning
« on: May 11, 2017, 06:30:17 AM »
Evolved railways are the most interesting kind!

Work and Events / Re: Boiler plate flanging machine
« on: April 21, 2017, 08:17:26 PM »
Impressive skills are on display, here.

Museum Discussion / Re: WW&F Receives Railway Heritage Grant
« on: April 07, 2017, 08:10:35 PM »
Even though I am a well-away member, I would like to participate in the detailed design of the Eames Automatic Vacuum brake system. That should not be too difficult in this electronic age. I am very happy to know of the success in obtaining the heritage grant that will make possible such an interesting project.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Re: Spun Out Of Controll
« on: March 29, 2017, 06:41:45 PM »
Yes, and it is becoming a thread.

I am sure that we would all agree that it would have been a wonderful thing for the WW&F had it been provided with the extended catchment area that the construction of the FS&K would have afforded. Unfortunately, though, the more “advanced” technology of the rubber tire on a water-proofed road surface would still have won in the end.

I say unfortunately because I am an admirer of elegant simplicity – and I know that I am far from being the only one, here. It would be interesting to analyse the relative benefits of the simple system of the two foot gauge railway as against the automotive mode in terms of energy consumption and environmental impact. I suspect that most of us would consider that we have a good idea of the answer, already! Overriding all such logical analysis is the ultimate truth that humans will pay whatever they need to pay for convenience.

Re-building a mostly forgotten railway in a remote region is not exactly convenient. The people of the WW&F who are doing just that are to be honoured for their ability to understand the past, to see into the future and to correctly discern ultimate value.

Most narrow gauge operations were built that way to conserve capital. Therefore, their business cases must have been marginal, from the start.

The relative utility of a narrow gauge railway is very great, when compared with the unsealed country roads they replaced. Railways began as all-weather roads that could provide reliable and speedy transportation services. On those early roads, in bad weather, horses would become bogged up to their haunches and carts up to their axles.

Railway track spreads wheel loads from the rails through the ties, through the ballast, or compacted subgrade, at least, and then through to the natural soft subgrade. By that stage, the wheel loads have been sufficiently well dispersed for the soft subgrade to support them.

Two foot gage provides all of the advantges mentioned, above.

It does need to be recognised, however, that broader railway gauges generally do represent increased utility. More important than gauge, however, for the maximisation of railway utility, is axle load. That is relatively independent of track gauge. It depends, to a great extent, on the bulk density of the commodities carried. Passengers have a very low bulk density and because of that, passenger services never pay when there are alternative modes.

The heritage-correct achievements of the carbuilders of Sheepscot are to be highly applauded. I am not sure that there would be anything to compare being done elsewhere in this modern world of ours.

From my experience, the idea of constructing look-alike steel framed cars should be approached with very great caution. There is no softness in steel. Rather like the difference between track laid on concrete ties, rather than wooden ties.

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