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Messages - Alex Harvilchuck

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Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: September 25, 2017, 02:43:11 PM »
Next, we arrived at a pinch point, as Jason calls it. This is a location of a slide that happened after the railroad shut down, but before it was logged in the 50's 60's. The roadbed slid into the brook. We want to do minimal work here but due to the location, we need to have a larger permit. It will be scrutinized more by the DEP, and we will have a lot more prep in the permit application itself.

Is this the pinch point? It looks more like the May description than the photo at 2400'

9.  The washout just north of the 2100 FT marker.

Just trying to reconcile the two narratives.

US Two Footers / Re: Jones & Laughlin 58 Restoration
« on: September 24, 2017, 07:42:36 PM »
Nice photos form the open house. I can't wait to see the boiler installed on that pocket-sized brute! Looks like the Brookville is getting a lot of love and respect too!

Other Narrow Gauge / SP NG 18 at Laws, CA
« on: September 24, 2017, 07:38:45 PM »
Some mighty fine work done bringing it back to life and some mighty fine photography is starting to show up online from the event on Saturday.

The last thing I'd do is try to "improve" operations of a successful organization from afar by critical advice aimed at its methods, especially when I have never shared their actual work and cared not about WW&F's  work history/methods.   

I seem to remember quite a few posts on how to pour concrete slabs better.

Thanks Stewart for the information on the derrick and the prior attempt with laying ties out with the pickup! I had seen the old plans for the Portland Company Hopper Car, I completely agree about priorities consider the scarcity of trucks.

I just worry about someone throwing their back out or injuring themselves and suing the Museum. Look at the whole thing with the hot coffee cup and a McDonalds Drive-Thru. All it takes is one negative judgement against the Museum and it is all over.

You'll have to come and see that for yourself.

I'd bring my heavy equipment and spoil everyone's "fun".  ;D

Although shoveling ballast may seem like tedious work, and can be at times, the sense of accomplishment once a section of track has been ballasted, lifted, and aligned completely by manual labor more than compensates for it. You also get an appreciation for the way things were done when the original railroad was built.

IMHO, Spreading ballast/crushed gravel is prime for mechanization, the lifting and aligning should be done by hand. I've flat & round hand-shoveled enough bluestone crusher run or anthracite coal or concrete over the years that any sense of "fun" is long past. As an engineer I appreciate it enough - that's why I bought myself a 60hp 4WD diesel bucket loader with a backhoe. Makes short work of the drudgery.

No, but he tells one heck of a moose story.

Does that make him the "Fearless Leader"?

And that is what makes it so enjoyable. Plus during the idle time, you get a chance to chat with folks that you may only see once or twice a year. You don't really think of it as work. Rebuilding what once was, in a way similar to how they would have done, for just about the same pay.

Since we have been talking about shop cats, does the supervisor at FWW/SWW have a period-correct cat o' nine tails? ;)

It doesn't mean full automation, but I was thinking of things along the lines of ....
  • Laying out the ties before the 3-day work window with a smaller crew so the larger crew can get going immediately laying, aligning and spiking rail.
  • Use an A-Frame Derrick with a roller to move/position the rail sections in place off of the work car - this is how they took the rails up on the Rio Grande Southern with a Goose and a trailer car. The derrick would be good for maintenance
  • A hydraulic dump car for spreading ballast on newly spiked track to work in tandem with the tamper.
I can see the "fun" part being laying the rail and spiking it down, but hand shoveling ballast off a flat car? Sounds like a sore back to me. It's just like tamping and the reason why Big Joe exists. It means more time can be spent on the art of spiking and aligning new rail instead of the drudgery of shoveling rock.

Volunteers / Re: September 2017 work planning
« on: September 20, 2017, 07:31:46 AM »
* Measuring: For our 5-year plan submission to the Town's planning board, I need to walk the line to get an accurate location of culverts (the old location log is based off of W&Q measurements and is somewhat inaccurate).  A helper would be most appreciated.  Someone to walk with the measuring wheel, and someone with a clipboard to locate the culverts and write things down.  We don't need to start measuring from the end of track, since I have measurements for crossings, switch locations, etc.  Just need to find the culvert and measure from the last known location.

FYI, the 5 year plan is also extremely important for seeking Grants and Sponsorships. It shows that the Museum has a plan and is working toward that plan. The 2005 and 2012 versions demonstrate a 10+ year track record of progress against plans (pun intended). Thus the Museum is a good investment for their donated funds.

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: The end of the WW&F
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:35:02 PM »
I FOUND IT!  Quoting Harry himself ... WW&F Newsletter, September 1997 issue, Page 5.

The track from Albion to Head Tide had been taken up in the fall of 1934 to satisfy a lien placed on the main line rails by Sherwin Williams Paint Company to secure payment for paint.

I had mentioned that I had read everything  ;)

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Re: The end of the WW&F
« on: September 18, 2017, 03:05:17 PM »
No liens on this in Kennebec County between the railroad and Sherwin-Williams or even Frank Winter and his associates / associations, not any real liens to speak of involving the railroad.

I believe I have seen it referred to as a court judgement concerning a Portland paint company, so when I can get to it I will pop into the courts in Cumberland county and Lincoln and Kennebec as well to see what can be pulled up.

Thanks for looking Paul & Wayne. I'm trying to do some due diligence on something I have been working on for Ed and the Bridge Campaign. It doesn't need a ton of research, I'll just drop the reference to the company name.

I agree with Mike, I saw it somewhere. The problem is finding it again and making sure it is a reliable source.

The current plan is to hold off on mainline track laying till next spring or fall, depending on how filling goes this year. The hope is to lay 1,000' at a time again like we used to do. If we can build 1,000' of track in 3 work weekends we will be almost to 218, and across Trout Brook. We have 7 work weekends between now and the estimated timeline for being over the brook if everything goes well. All of this will depend on money, and a few other matters, but that is the anticpated timeline.

Any thoughts on simple innovations to help speed the track building process?


Volunteers / Re: September 2017 work planning
« on: September 17, 2017, 06:54:19 AM »
Today Jonathan St.Mary qualified as a steam locomotive engineer and Alan Downey started fireman training. Jason's photo.

They don't look dirty or sweaty enough to have been tending to a coal-fired, steam-engine boiler running bituminous. Anthracite is a different story ... I have fond memories learning how to fire such boilers with my grandfather and later for a local museum. Too bad I'm 8 hours away, I'd volunteer for the fireman training. Kudos to them all! ;D

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