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Topics - Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Museum Discussion / Future Visitor Center and Museum Exhibits
« on: November 23, 2009, 09:29:29 AM »
Last Saturday, Cindy and I went to Remembrance Day at Gettysburg National Military Park.  There were many events with thousands of re-enactors in Union and Confederate uniforms.  Watching the parades with their brass bands and military maneuvers is a moving experience.  Walking the battlefield and hearing Taps played by a lone bugler up on Little Round Top at sunset was just amazing.  

Our first stop was the new (opened last year) visitor center and museum.  Driving in from the Baltimore Pike you see what appears to be a large stone farm house with a tall red barn behind it.  The structure is the new visitor center which was designed to blend in with 19th Century buildings.  The Museum features some of the best Civil War artifacts in the US.  One exhibit has items that are numbered with no further identification.  Visitors examine the piece and guess it's use.  There are numbered panels next to the display that correspond with the item.  Lifting the panel reveals a description of the item and what it was used for.  Of all the displays in the museum, this one had the most children around it.  

The new facilities made me think of Sheepscot and how visitors view the museum when arriving - today and in the future.  Our current buildings have the look of late 19th - early 20th Century structures.  Someday, if we can build a Visitor Center at Sheepscot or Head Tide it should match the classic New England railroad style that makes Sheepscot a time machine.  A potato warehouse would work.  Of course construction depends on getting more land.  We already have a nice museum and when we have more room, adding interpretive exhibits would be a plus.  They don't have to be fancy,  one could be a few numbered items on a table with a little book of descriptions.  I think the kids and adults would both enjoy it.  Another exhibit could show how a steam locomotive works by visitors  moving a lever that starts the motion of valve gear on a model locomotive.  Still, another one could show and explain the types of hand signals used by the train crew and how they are unique to the WW&F.  Of course the parking lot and rest room facility has to be built first.  Looking past those improvements ... when the parking lot is done, visitors will walk East to get to the railroad.  As they pass the rest rooms the roundhouse and blacksmith shop will come into view.  Another thing we can do is to add descriptive signs on each railroad building to help visitors understand what they are seeing once these structures are in place.    

The WW&F is nothing close to the size and scope of Gettysburg but we can take a few of their ideas and use them to make Sheepscot an even better place to visit.  Does anyone else have exhibit ideas or thoughts for a visitor center? Yes, it's a ways down the track but it's nice to dream...

Bridgton & Saco River Railway / On line industries
« on: February 27, 2009, 04:12:46 PM »
Does anyone know of a Creamery along the Harrison Branch or in Harrison that shipped on the B&SR.  If there was one did they use the Harrrison station's team track. 

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / SR&RL Books and Photos
« on: January 30, 2009, 12:48:37 PM »
I picked up the newest SR&RL book from our table at the Big E show.  It's entitled A Chronological History of the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad Part 1 1878-1900 by Gary Kohler.  The book is a listing of events that occurred on each of the SR&RL's predecessor railroads.  Each section shows events and photos for the Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, Phillips & Rangeley and Kingfield & Dead River.  Some of the photographs have never been published before.  Historic paper items are included such as track charts, trestle component plans, stock certificates and railroad passes.  Two of the 1888 passes were issued to Mr. Caswell of the B&SR.  I've enjoyed the book - it's a reference book that's an interesting read.   

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / WW&F Railcars
« on: January 09, 2009, 04:21:39 PM »
To answer a couple of emails - here's some information on the 3 motorized rail cars the WW&F rostered. 

The largest was a 1917 Model T Ford 3 door touring car that Manley Glidden converted to a track inspection car in 1919.  It was unique in two-foot railcars because it had it's own turntable.  The equipment allowed the operator to turn the car anywhere there was enough side clearence.  The car had a convertible top which was replaced at some point in it's life.  In 1930 the car was damaged in a derailment and was rebuilt with a closed body.  The closed body was a rare center door type.  The center door (2 door) type was designed by Ford to market automobiles to people who were used to the centered door on a carriage.  The closed car body was used until the end of operations and allowed for operating later into cold weather season.  There was no heater but the crew would put a lit lantern under the windshield to keep ice from forming on the glass.   If the car sat out in bitter cold weather the water was drained from the engine and radiator.  The next time the car was to be used, a pan of hot water was put on the stove to pour into the cars radiator.  At times the engine oil was also drained into a pan and warmed on the stove to pour into the engine block the next day.

The second car was called "the foolish four" because it ran very fast.  It was powered by a front fly-wheeled 2 cylinder marine engine and had a drive belt to the rear axle.  The car had a two section wind shield.

The third car was the size of a hand car and was powered by a McCormick-Deering one cylinder flywheel engine.  There is a good photo of it at North Whitefield, see page 103 of Vol IV Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley.  The car was driven by a flat belt off of the engine's cam.  The belt's tension was controlled by a lever that moved an idler pulley which tightened the belt so it would grab the cam on the axle.  The car did not get turned because the hit-and-miss engine would run in either direction.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Prose/Lyrics
« on: December 08, 2008, 11:45:25 AM »
You know you're a WW&F fan when you change song lyrics to match the railroad.

For example;

Climb to Top of the Mountain
Ford Carlton stream
Follow the old right of way,
until you find your dream ...

A dream that will need all the work you can give,
every weekend of your life for as long as you live.

Museum Discussion / WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« on: November 23, 2008, 09:32:11 AM »
One idea the WW&F can take from the East Broad Top is how the EBT is re-opening part of their original mainline for special operations.  (Note: The EBT has over 30 miles of mainline still in place but much of it has not seen a train since 1956 and is very over grown).  Over the last couple of years they have cleared and repaired about a mile of track going South from the Rockhill Furnace yard.  Two original flywheel engine rail cars have been restored and the railroad offers rides on this trackage with the rail cars.  The rides are very popular and separate tickets are sold for the trips.

The discussion arose on the old Forum of what to do when the WW&F track reaches Rt 218 in Head Tide.  I suggested that if we didn't install a grade crossing we could start building track on the other side of the road.  We could build northward up along the river and into the famous deep cut next to the Head Tide Church.  This trackage could be used to offer railcar rides in the Model T or on a (yet to be built) flywheel engine track car.  We could even offer handcar rides along this scenic portion.  The tickets would be sold in the Head Tide station.  I know all of this would happen years from now but the EBT's operation shows that it may be a viable option.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / You know you're a WW&F fan when ...
« on: November 22, 2008, 07:54:41 AM »
We're on this forum because we like the Maine two foot railroads, the WW&F in particular.  I was at a railroad meet in Pennsylvania last week and saw people wearing hats, jackets, etc from a number of Maryland & Pennsylvaina Railroads.  This got me thinking of how we two-foot fans identify ourselves.  Yes, we go to the railroad and have the same railfan things - shirts, hats, etc.  For some of us it goes further, narrow gauge is a way of life ...

One example:

You know you're a WW&F fan when -  Your computer password is "Taconet"

Anybody else have one??

Bridgton & Saco River Railway / B&SR Books and photos
« on: October 20, 2008, 11:08:08 AM »
I recently purchased Peter Barney's "Bridgton & Saco River, A Pictoral Journey" from the WW&F Museum gift shop.  There are some photos I have seen before, new images, track maps and structure plans.  One interesting photo on page 54 shows delivery and team track operations on the fuel delivery spur.  This is the track that went right behind the bleachers down to the fuel dealer's storage tanks.  The photo shows tank car 22 and box car 54 tied down on the spur.  An old Ford Model TT (ton truck) is backed up to the box car.   I look forward to when our B&SR tank is restored and on a new flat car so we can photograph freight train and team track scenes like this on the WW&F.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / SR&RL Annual Meeting
« on: September 26, 2008, 08:21:25 AM »
For the folks who are also members of the SR&RL RR  -

President Eric Hinkley has announced the annual dinner meeting of the SR&RL RR.  It will be held on October 4th, 2008 at the Community House on Main Street in Phillips, ME.  Dinner starts at 6:00pm and the meeting follows at 7:00pm.  The agenda will include reports from the officers and plans for 2009.  Proposals are:

Repairs to Monson Engine #3,  Restoration of cars from Maine Narrow Gauge,  construction of a new car barn (steel or other type),  right of way fund and a proposal from JerryDeVos regarding the epemeral collection.

All Members and a spouse or friend are welcome.

Work and Events / Track Work
« on: July 29, 2008, 01:41:03 PM »
All,  Fred called me to ask about crew size during the week before the picnic.  He will be fixing lunch for us those days.  I know a number of you are planning to be at Sheepscot on Weds, 8/6 through  Friday, 8/8.  Friday is the track work day and if you  plan to attend, please notify Fred so he will have enough chow.  James can provide his number and email.


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