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Topics - Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Volunteers / Happy New Year - 2012
« on: December 30, 2011, 07:21:39 AM »
Cindy and I want to wish all our WW&F friends a happy and healthy 2012.  This year seemed to go by pretty fast but much was accomplished at Sheepscot.  Engine 9, car 65 and track construction are at the top of the list.  2012 promises to be another good year for the museum.  With #9 coming back together, the completion of car 65 and more track work on the roundhouse spur it will be an exciting year.  We hope to see many of you in the Spring.

Happy New Year!

Cindy & Stewart

p.s. don't forget to put 2012 on the next 10 or so checks in your checkbook.  I always do that to keep from writing the wrong year when I write checks in January.

Museum Discussion / Maine Two-Foot publications
« on: August 17, 2011, 07:00:24 AM »
Publisher Gary Kohler has combined two magazines, Maine Two Foot Quatrerly and Light Iron Digest into one new larger magazine.  The new magazine is published as Maine Two-Foot Digest.  The 36 page Summer issue includes a detailed article on the WW&F's elusive derrick car #10 written by Chris McChesney, Gary Kohler and Els Gray.  The car was used early in the 20th century and was listed in the ICC Valuation Report of 1916.  Parts of the car show up in a few photos but there are no known views of the entire car.  The article takes all the known information and photos and explains how the car operated with two spool hoists that ran off of steam from the locomotive.  The highlight of the article is the center spread with scale (1/4 inch = 1 foot) plans of the car.  Photographs of other derrick cars of the same type from that era such as the D&RGW's car OP that had the same style "A" frame help illustrate the car.

The new magazine sells for $9.99 and is available in the gift shop.


Work and Events / Annual Picnic August 13 & 14, 2011
« on: August 02, 2011, 09:26:49 PM »
The notice for the Annual Picnic is in the July / August issue of the newsletter.  As usual there will be interesting museum exhibits as well as some new things brought in for the weekend.  Great food plus the addition of live music this year will make for a good time.

Here's a bit more on the mixed train Saturday evening.  The train will take everyone to AC for some great photo ops.  Included in the scene will be a meet with the Model T railcar.  A special attraction will be included in the scene that has never been done at the Museum.  The extra equipment will highlight a service that the orginal WW&F provided for many years.


Work and Events / Spring 2011 Work Weekend 4/29 - 5/1
« on: March 07, 2011, 08:43:54 AM »
The Spring Work Weekend is next month and the following list shows some of the projects that volunteers can help with.

Building Maint -
The east side of the shop building needs to be painted with a top coat of yellow.  This is to cover the primer coat on the northern half of the wall.  If there's time (and paint) we will paint the west wall of the shop addition.

Engine #9 -
Work will continue putting the forward and rear frames together.  The rear frame is to be assembled first.

Track construction -
The House Track will be built south from the upper yard switch on the new grade.  The switch points need to be finished and the throw rod and stand installed.  Ties, rail and stone will be put on the grade and the track tamped and leveled.

For the new members who may attend, the Work Weekend is a time of progress for the museum.  Come for good fellowship, great food and a chance to make new friends while making some lasting improvements to the railroad.  I will be involved with the paint crew (weather permitting).  Jason will instruct the folks who want to work on #9 (Jason will add more info as the time gets closer).  Our Track Chief is Dana Wigwam Deering.  He will be in charge of the crew.  Dana will add more info when he gets a chance - but building the spur is a rare chance to build track southward.   The spur is important because it will serve the (to be built) turntable, roundhouse and car storage building.  This is a major step forward for the WW&F.

Lunch and supper are provided by the museum.  Meal times are a good time to catch up with friends you haven't seen for a while.  We talk about things like music, movies and the Civil War.  Of course there's two things we never discuss ...  steam vs diesel and the color of narrow gauge freight cars!

We hope to see everyone at Sheepscot on the weekend of April 29th - May 1st.

General Discussion / Sometimes a problem leads to something good ...
« on: December 13, 2010, 09:06:59 AM »
In 1826 the assistant pastor of St. Nicholas Church, Joseph Mohr was troubled.  On Christmas Eve morning he went to his church in Obendorf, Austria to make preparations for the service that night.  When he tested the organ he found that mice had eaten through the bellows and the organ wouldn't play.  He was supposed to have tested the organ earlier in the week but didn't. Now there was no time to get a repair man to the church located high in the Austrian Alps... there would be no music at the Christmas Eve service.  

Mohr went into the church office and sat at the desk thinking of what he could do.  He decided to write a poem celebrating the glory of the birth of Christ.  He wrote six stanzas then took the poem to his friend, musician Franz Gruber who lived near the church.  He told Gruber what had happened and asked him if he could set the words to music.  They worked on their new song all afternoon.  That night when it was time for music Mohr and Gruber stood at the front of the sanctuary.  Gruber began playing his guitar and they sang their new song.  The congregation sat in stunned silence.  Most had never heard anything so beautiful.  When Mohr and Gruber finished, some in the congregation had tears in their eyes.  Mohr and Gruber little dreamed at the time that their melody would become one of the greatest Christmas carols ever written.  

Their new composition was entitled:  "Silent Night, Holy Night"    

Museum Discussion / 20 years ago at Sheepscot
« on: September 10, 2010, 08:23:13 AM »
In 1990 the Sheepscot Valley Railroaders (the museum's former name) had 39 charter members and 36 annual members.  Charter and Life memberships were $100 and the Annual membership was $10.  Donations were requested as follows: Buy a tie, $5 and a length of rail for $75

Projects listed in the newsletter were: 

1. Prepare timbers and erect the train shed.  Framing will be 7"X9" switch ties and Richard Verney's log loader will do the lifting.
2. Close in the train shed.
3. Lay track in the train shed.
4. Move the flatcar parts inside the train shed.  (Harry Percival brought the parts back to Maine in June of 1988)
5. Assemble flat car #118.
6. Start clearing the right of way.
7. Dig stumps out of the roadbed.
8. Gravel the roadbed.
9. Lay track.

Work days will be the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month.
The listed income through the end of March was $1,962.25 And expenses were $578.70  The treasury balance was $2,410.18

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Phillips Old Home Days
« on: August 22, 2010, 07:43:36 AM »
Cindy and I went to Phillips yesterday for Old Home Days.  What a great event. The town of Phillips has held Old Home Days in mid-August for decades.  The event includes street vendors of local crafts, food, music, kids bike races, a parade and much more.  The Phillips Historical Society Museum was open and we spent over an hour touring the facility.  The Railroad Room is a must see with many rare and interesting artifacts from The Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, PHillips & Rangeley and SR&RL lines.  We then went over to Sandy River Park to ride the noon SR&RL train from the Sanders Station.  The consist was the open car (a sister to the 103) and caboose 556.  The weather was perfect so the open car was full.  Gasoline/mechanical engine 4 pulled our train.  I like the locomotive, it's 40 years old and was the first narrow gauge engine built in Maine to revive the Two Footers on their original grade.    The trip took us down to the end of track near the bridge abutment where the P&R crossed the Sandy River.  Our Conductor took us to the side of the river and showed us photos of the covered railroad bridge.  He then answered a question I've had for years... when was the bridge removed.  It turns out that the bridge lasted until October of 1939.  It was dismantled and the timbers used in local buildings.  In fact some of the timbers survive today.  They have been in the structures about as long as they were part of the bridge.   

We then boarded the train and rode up to the round house for a guided tour.  I saw Noah McAdam and he showed me the Frame of the Model A railcar that he's building.  He had just installed a new engine and transmission on motor mounts that he fabricated.  He told me that Leon Weeks had just been there looking at it, he came in on the 11:00 train.  Cindy and I then walked through the roundhouse and saw the progress on the restoration of coach 5.  What a beautiful car.  It will look great when it's done.  Someday the SR&RL boys will be able to have both Laconia cars  on the same train -  WOW  The next stop was by the turntable where coach 21 was getting a new coat of Tuscan red paint.  The coach is being leased from MNGRR and has been undergoing repairs for a couple of years.

Leaving Phillips we stopped at an Antiques shop and ran into Jerry DeVos, we were both looking for railroad stuff.  What a good day!   

Volunteers / A few stories ...
« on: July 23, 2010, 08:58:59 PM »
Story #1

Working at the railroad is a great experience, especially during the week when visitors show up and there's more time for one on one conversation.  Just this week I have met a number of interesting people.  

There was a fellow from Toronto who's father grew up near the WW&F in N. Whitefield.  He told me he was using Google Earth to look at what was left of the grade.  He panned South and was shocked to find track.  He was so curious that he searched out the museum on his next trip to Maine.  He was very happy to see engine 10 and took a bunch of pictures.  Later that same day there was a visitor from Florida who wanted to see our shop.  He had heard from a friend that we have some nice machines.  I could tell that he knew about shop work and I asked him what he does.  He told me that he has a foundry that makes replica cannons from the Revolutionary War era.  He was on his way to Fort Ticonderoga to meet with the curator.  He took photos of most of our shop machines and was very happy to have seen the place.  Another day brought more visitors, including a retired school teacher from Arizona.  He asked me if the museum was the place where engine 9 was kept.  I said yes and gave him a tour showing him all the parts of the locomotive.  He was very happy to hear that she will steam again.  He said that he had seen the engine once before (in CT) and that it didn't look like it would ever run again.  I asked him when that was, he replied that it was in 1950.

Good times...

Museum Discussion / New Victorian Christmas DVD
« on: April 29, 2010, 07:07:27 AM »
All,  I picked up a copy of the new Victorian Christmas DVD in the gift shop last weekend.  It was filmed December 19th, 2009 by the Great Falls Model Railroad Club and is about 1 hour in length.  Three cameras were used.  There are scenes shot from the cab, coach and line side.  The sleigh ride and bonfire are featured as well.  Volunteers are named in caption as they are seen doing various jobs.  The narration is good and is used sparingly.  For some reason it's in two parts.  After about 30 minutes the credits roll and you think the video is over, then the intro starts over and leads into the second half of the program.  When I figured out what was happening, I fast forwarded through the second intro to watch the rest of the show.  It's a nice production and highlights the WW&F in Winter operations.  The video sells for $19.95 plus tax.


The WW&F Railway Museum's Board of Directors has announced that locomotive #9 will be repainted in original 1891 livery.  The engine will be painted in the colors it had at the time it was delivered new to the Sandy River RR.  New research has revealed that the historic locomotive was painted with three colors at the time.  The rebuilt locomotive will roll out of the Sheepscot Shops with a gloss black cab, domes and tender, graphited smoke box and a dark green (Russia Iron) boiler jacket.  The engine will be renumbered back to it's original number 5 and the tender will be lettered S. R. R. R.  The officers from the SR&RL RR in Phillips have endorsed the idea and have added that they will consider donating funds to the WW&F to have the Trout Brook bridge rebuilt as a covered bridge to resemble the original P&R bridge in Phillips.  Officers from both Museum's agree that the rebuilt #5 will look wicked good steaming out of the the new bridge.    

US Two Footers / American - Welsh two footer
« on: March 02, 2010, 09:26:06 AM »
There's a fairly new two foot gauge railroad operating in Silverhill, Alabama.  The owners have gone all out to re-create a victorian era railway like the ones in Wales.  Their web site is  Click on the [Railways] and [Two Foot Gauge] buttons for views of their new steam locomotive and shop. 

Work and Events / Spring 2010 Work Weekend
« on: February 27, 2010, 10:28:50 AM »
Here is some information about projects for the Spring Work Party.  Track work is at the top of the list and I know Dana will post his plans as the date gets closer.   Other projects for April 23rd - 25th include painting the exterior of the shop building, (weather permitting) and carpentry.  For the carpentry part, the museum has recently gotten wood sheathing to complete the Sheepscot freight house ceiling and the interior walls of Alna Center station.  Zack has been working in the freight house and may have the part over the gift shop done, we can finish the job.  Both buildings will be in use that weekend but I think we can work as to not be in each others way.  If we get the sheathing done in AC station the inside can be painted.  Once the paint drys the heat shields can be installed and stove hooked up.  Josh R. will be installing 1910 era post and tube electrical wiring once the interior walls are complete.  

As usual, there will be lots of stuff happening so get you hall pass and come on up to Sheepscot in April.

Looking forward to seeing everyone.


General Discussion / Historic Scene recreated
« on: February 10, 2010, 08:22:01 PM »
Here's a scene that was photographed at the Nevada Northern.  Hard to tell what year it is...

There's something great about scenes with wooden box cars and old trucks, makes you think of possible photo ops at Sheepscot and AC this year.

General Discussion / Big E Show
« on: January 07, 2010, 08:48:52 AM »
The Amherst Railway Society's annual train show will be held at the Eastern States Exhibition Center in Springfield, MA on Saturday, January 30th and Sunday, the 31st.  Dealer set up is on Friday the 29th.  The Big E show attracts over 20,000 people each year and is one of the largest model train shows in the US. 

I have not heard but I would think that the WW&F will once again have a table for the traveling gift shop.  Are any Forum members planning to attend?  It's always a good time.  The table is in what the regulars call the "narrow gage corner"  The SR&RL table is right next to ours and other two foot folks are in the same row.


General Discussion / A Backward Glance - 1932
« on: December 16, 2009, 09:19:28 AM »
Here's a time Capsule from 1932 with local and national events...

It was the last full year of operation for the original WW&F.

One of the worst years of the Great Depression.

An election year where New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for president of the United States.

Amelia Earhart was the first woman to make a solo trans-atlantic flight.

George Gershwin and Benny Goodman were at the top of the popular music charts.
Ford Motor Company introduced it's new V8 engine.

Babe Ruth appeared to call where he would hit his home run during a ball game.

The WW&F was running two trains a day, numbers 8 and 11.

Frank Winter purchased the four masted schooners Luther Little and Hesper.

A 40 foot wash out was repaired in Whitefield.

Negotiations began for the purchase of the Kennebec Central and it's two Portland built forney locomotives by the WW&F.

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