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Topics - James Patten

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Volunteers / Work planning topics
« on: July 01, 2009, 06:29:29 PM »
I've been doing the work planning topics for a couple of months now.  Do people find it at all helpful?  Has it made a difference on when people decide to come?

Volunteers / July 2009 work planning
« on: July 01, 2009, 07:13:10 AM »
Anticipated work for weekend of July 4 (which will probably include the 3rd):

Steam! This weekend starts up the summer steam program, which is intended to be every weekend for July and August.

Parade: We have put the AA truck in the Wiscasset parade.  We need people at the Museum early to put one of the handcars on the back of the truck.  And we'll need people with parade experience to ride in the parade on the handcar and give The Handwave.

Car shop: There might actually be sun this weekend!  A good opportunity to bring out the paint brushes.

The Fourth of July weekend is typically light on volunteers, so if you can come we'd love to have you.

Boothbay Railway Village / Maine Two Footer Mini-convention
« on: June 19, 2009, 11:59:03 AM »
FYI, there's a train show/mini convention this Friday night/Saturday day at Boothbay Railway Village, in the Town Hall as well as some other buildings.  Admission tonight (until 6 I think) is free, tomorrow you can get in by buying admission to the village.

The WW&F will be conducting a shop tour at 4 on Saturday afternoon.  I believe a BRV shop tour will be in the morning.

UK (Welsh, British) Two Footers / Volunteer hours on the Ffestiniog
« on: June 14, 2009, 05:38:21 PM »
The latest Ffestiniog Railway Magazine has a run-down of 2008.  One of the sections is on "Permanent Way" or our "Right-of-Way".  The magazine says they ended up with a tally of "876 volunteer days" for the year, down from 1027 from the year before.

Questions for John Dobson:
Are these 8-hour days, or 24-hour days?  876 8-hour days are 7006 hours; or 21,024 24-hour days.  I'm guessing 8-hour days.

Also, is that ONLY for the P-way volunteers?  If only P-way, how many volunteer hours for the entire railway?

General Discussion / I-295 Travel alert
« on: June 12, 2009, 09:31:24 AM »
Starting next week, I-295 south-bound travelers between Topsham and Gardiner will need to divert to Rt 201.  I-295 north-bound will be diverted to the south-bound lane of 295.  The 295 north-bound lane is being closed for intensive rebuilding, much like they did last summer for the other lane.

This very likely won't affect many of you, as most will turn off at Brunswick to head to the WW&F.  If you come south on the interstate to get to the railroad, you're probably turning off at Augusta.  However it's good for people to know so that if decide to take an alternate route (for example, via Richmond to avoid Wiscasset traffic) you can plan accordingly.

For updates see the Maine DOT website:

Our own Mike Fox will be participating in this project (he works for Pike Industries, who is doing the work).

This message brought to you by a friendly government worker and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

Volunteers / June 2009 Work planning
« on: June 03, 2009, 07:10:28 AM »
Anticipated work for June 6 & 7, 2009:

Track work: Dana's taking a crew out early Saturday morning, first to work on Cockeye Curve, then to work on the new crossing near the end of track for the people with the horse stable (Rosewood Farms or Wildwood Farms are the name, I think).

Car shop: Two pieces left to do of the crane rail.  These have to be lifted into place.  Also shelving, painting, finishing of the battens on the machine shop are left.  Once the shelving is up then everything on the east shelves upstairs can be moved to the west shelves, and after that (or during that) move they can be categorized, sorted, and stored or disposed.

Rules Committee: The rules committee will be meeting (afternoon maybe?) hopefully to wrap up the changes to the rulebook.

Volunteers / Track Work Weekdays
« on: May 26, 2009, 06:01:53 PM »
Last year we had a few Fridays where we did track work.  Dana and I were talking about doing the same thing this year.  We should identify days we'll be available to do track work on the weekdays, so that people can plan ahead.

While I have Friday July 3rd and Monday July 6th off, I'm on standby for work so a noisy place like a track work site isn't for me.

I'll be off Friday Aug 7 and Sept 4.  I'll be planning on doing track work those days.  Aug 7 is the day before the Picnic.  Sept 4 is the day before the Labor Day Weekend.

Moderator Announcements / Yes the Forum was down
« on: May 07, 2009, 02:46:35 PM »
As many of you may have noticed, the forum was down today.  I checked our host, and the server we are on was indeed down.

Our host is Total Choice Hosting Solutions.  From their website you can connect to server uptime reports.  The link for that is  Our server name is Yavin (TCH has an affinity for Star Wars names for their servers).

They also have a forum where they post updates regarding outages.  From the forum for Yavin:

We experienced an extended outage on Yavin today due to a hard crash of the server around 9 AM EST. This crash resulted in file system errors, which were further complicated by a kernel panic while attempting to repair the file system. All repairs have been completed and the server has been up and operational for close to an hour now. We will continue to monitor the server closely and update should any further issues occur.

The forum location is

I have to say that the reliability and communications are so much better here than they were on our old forum, and indeed on our old web site host.

Volunteers / May 2009 work planning
« on: April 29, 2009, 07:11:28 AM »
Anticipated work for Saturday, May 2.

Annual Meeting: The annual meeting starts at 2 and is at the Alna Meeting House (the big yellow building by the cemetary that you can see from the train north of Alna Center).  Voting on directors and reports for the past year.  All members welcome.  If you joined as a member at the work weekend you can exercise your right to vote.

Ballast: There's a small pile of ballast left at Sheepscot that I'm sure Zack would love to get rid of.  Looks like enough for a flatcar load.  If it hasn't already been done, the inside of the car shop where the track was raised needs ballast.  Otherwise I've got places for it in the yard.

Jayne's Way Xing: More shoveling of gravel from the culverts is needed here.  If there's enough people around that want to help we can start removing "dirty" ballast from near the crossing and replace it with clean.

Preble's: Whatever is left to do on Preble's will probably be done.

Windows: Hopefully the proper sized windows will be in and will be installed in the east wall of the car shop.

Painting: Around the windows still needs paint, although I hear the weather will probably not be ideal for it.

Maine Narrow Gauge RR Co. & Museum / Two Articles on MNGRR
« on: April 23, 2009, 02:53:01 PM »
There's two articles on Maine Narrow Gauge Museum in the April 14 edition of Portland Daily Sun.

One is about Phin Sprague and tracks to Hadlock Field; the other is about the railroad possibly returning to the town of Bridgton.

Volunteers / Volunteer(s) needed to man table for National Train Day
« on: April 09, 2009, 10:23:27 AM »
Saturday May 9 is being celebrated as National Train Day here in Maine.

There will be two locations in Maine, at the Auburn Mall and at Bangor's Airport Mall, where space has been set aside for museums and other rail-related organizations to set up informational tables on that day.

I'm hoping I can get someone to man a table for us at least at the Auburn Mall, although both would be nice.  It's a good opportunity to promote the WW&F before the start of the summer tourist season.  There'll be publicity surrounding it from local media.

If anyone is interested, please let me know ASAP. 

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / SR&RL web site update
« on: April 03, 2009, 07:41:37 PM »
I was just out on the SR&RL's website and found the website's been recently updated with project updates for the three cars they leased from MNGRR and for Monson #3.

They show a "B&H Boxcar 54" which is now an excursion #54.  I'm guessing if it was a boxcar, Edaville stripped it to the floor and built a new body once upon a time.  It does seem short enough to have been a boxcar at one time, maybe.  Any comments on this?

Volunteers / April 2009 work planning
« on: April 02, 2009, 10:11:27 AM »
I realize we don't have a volunteer coordinator, but I'm going to try to start figuring out what at least some of us will be doing on a given Saturday.  Use this thread for all work in April 09, but try not to post more than a week ahead.

This coming weekend, 4/4, I am thinking the following things will be worked on:
#10 Prep Jason will be doing prep work on #10 to get it ready for April 11.
Ballot stuffing Starting at 10 I am hoping to get as many directors (and others interested) together in the Percival house to stuff envelopes with ballots, paperwork, etc for mailing for the election in May.
Car shop upstairs I will be finishing re-arranging Halloween stuff in the main part of the old part of the upstairs, and cleaning up around the wall.  Then Bill and Ken will be putting up shelving.
I think the forecast calls for some rain in the AM but clearing.  I am sure there is someone planning some outdoor work but I don't know what.

General Discussion / OK Winter, I Surrender
« on: February 25, 2009, 07:04:44 PM »
OK Winter, I've had enough playing.  Let's go home now.

Between 3 days of no power and the massive snow banks around here, I'm ready for spring.

Museum Discussion / DVD Review: Edaville Railroad and the Maine Two Footers
« on: February 17, 2009, 01:37:29 PM »
At the Whitefield Lion's Club train & dollhouse show in Augusta this past weekend, I picked up a DVD I had not seen before - because it just came out this year.

"The Edaville Railroad and the Maine Two Footers" is put out by Blackstone River Productions.  It's a 2 DVD set.  DVD 1 covers MNGRR, the WW&F, and Boothbay Railway Village.  DVD 2 covers Edaville.

So far I've only watched the first DVD.  All 3 were visited last year.  At MNG, they filmed from inside #4 and on the rear platform of the train as it backs up to the end of the line.  At the WW&F they filmed from #10 on the backing move and rear and side on the return trip.  "Bullet Bob" and Josh were engineer/fireman.  At Boothbay they film from the sides as the train goes around the loop.

The filmography is not outstanding and their spelling is atrocious.  It looks like they used a regular hand-held video camera and no tripod.  Then again, maybe I'm used to seeing Steve H.'s excellent filming and have been spoiled by his work.  I'm rather disappointed that they left out the SR&RL Museum.

However, for someone "from away" who doesn't get to Maine that often and wants something to remember it by, or for someone who likes to collect train videos, this would be an acceptable purchase.  I think it'll end up being something that the Museum store will carry.

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