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Topics - Bill Reidy

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General Discussion / Congratulations, Joe Gilbert!
« on: June 18, 2020, 06:45:04 PM »
I just learned that Joe graduated high school this spring and will be attending Olin College in Needham, MA.

The last time I saw Joe, he was helping John McNamara with the magneto phone line on the Mountain Extension this past Fall Work Weekend.

Congratulations, Joe!

Museum Discussion / 30 years ago today (June 9th, 1990)...
« on: June 09, 2020, 07:04:51 AM »
...was the barn raising for shop bay 1.  Photo from the Museum Archives.

General Discussion / Congratulations to Chesterfield Associates
« on: March 06, 2020, 07:49:59 PM »
Chesterfield Associates played a key role in our Trout Brook bridge.

"Westport Island firm on track toward million-dollar bridge rehab in Newcastle, Thomaston
"Chesterfield Associates plans to add jobs

"Later this month, Chesterfield Associates President E. Davies Allan expects the Westport Island firm to start a $1.4 million state job. Allan said it will pay more than any job the firm he started in 1968 has done for Maine...

"As of Thursday, March 5, the contract with Maine Department of Transportation to strengthen supports at railroad bridges at Nichols River in Newcastle and George’s River in Thomaston was not a done deal. MDOT spokesman Paul Merrill said in email responses to questions from Wiscasset Newspaper, the department still needed the firm’s proof of bonds and insurance. “This is routine. I don’t see anything that makes me think the department won’t award the bid. The bid amount is in line with our expectations for the cost of the work,” Merrill wrote. A lone, $1,414,761.50 contract would encompass the work at both sites, he said.

"Merrill said the project drew five bids, opened Feb. 26. Asked why Chesterfield Associates’ bid was picked, Merrill said: “We go with the lowest bidder who is capable of doing the work.”...

"The firm worked with Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum in Alna in 2018 to move a 30-ton bridge to Trout Brook."

Note the photo with the article:

General Discussion / Ship's Chow Hall is now The Hot Spot Diner
« on: February 22, 2020, 07:10:57 AM »
In the Lincoln County News this week:

Wiscasset Restaurant Reinvented as Hot Spot Diner

"The new proprietors of the former Ship’s Chow Hall, on Route 1 in Wiscasset, are reinventing the restaurant as The Hot Spot Diner, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

"Tarah Diffin and Lenny Santos, both of Dresden, are leasing the space from the building’s new owner, Jim Duffy, of New Jersey.

"Diffin and Santos had been working at Ship’s Chow Hall for the last three years. Duffy “wanted us to stay here if he were to purchase it,” Santos said..."

The full article can be found at

Museum Discussion / Complimentary mention in the Wiscasset Newspaper
« on: February 14, 2020, 07:19:56 PM »
This week Wiscasset Newspaper Assistant Editor Susan Johns included an appreciative mention of our Museum:

A welcome, a wow and a weekend full of whistles

...All weekend long last weekend, wherever I was in Alna, north or south, I could hear the whistles of a Wiscasset, Alna  and Waterville Railway Museum train, even that bitter cold Saturday morning. At Ames True Value Supply in Wiscasset, I ran into museum spokesman Steve Piwowarski and asked him about it. The museum was running special “photo” trips all weekend, at higher prices than other rides the nonprofit offers, he explained.

Wasn’t it cold in the cars? He said the museum has that covered, with a stove onboard. He added in an email, “In the extreme cold we use a lower viscosity oil for some lubrication because it lubricates better at low temperatures. Switches get cleared with stiff-bristled brooms and the diesel locomotive is equipped with a plow to removed large quantities of snow from the line (usually over 6 inches).”

All these steps help add nostalgic train sounds to a small Midcoast town without traffic lights or drive-throughs, and with a museum that has an international following. Pretty neat to hear and appreciate train sounds, any time of year...

On my way up to serve on train crew for the Grand Reunion yesterday (Sunday), I stopped at the Maine Visitor Information Center on the turnpike in Kittery in the wee hours and found the new Maine 2020 visitor's guide.

As you see from the cover, the annual features "97 Reasons to Love One of the Greatest Places on Earth."

We're one of the 97 places listed.  We're No. 84 on page 134—first in the "Maine's Midcoast & Islands" section.

Don't know if any of our volunteers played a role in this, but it's nice to see us highlighted this Maine bicentennial year.  Hope it leads to a spike in visitors.

The full guide can be viewed at

The Wiscasset Newspaper kindly mentions us in a couple of 2019-in-review articles:

The first is titled "2019’s stories that moved and mattered" and remembers our Fall Work Weekend and No. 9's first trip over Trout Brook since the 1930s:

The second item--a commentary--starts with:

"The annual deep dive into Wiscasset Newspaper’s online files for this week’s year in review revealed a theme fit for a New Year’s message: People worked together around our towns in new and potentially lasting ways..."

Followed shortly by my favorite line:

"That was also so with Westport Island History Committee’s “My Island Home” exhibit at Maine Historical Society and, on a massive scale, Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum’s progress, including the milestone at Trout Brook."

Happy New Year, friends.

Museum Discussion / WACC Business After Hours event September 19th
« on: September 20, 2019, 01:34:57 PM »
Today's Wiscasset Newspaper has a nice article on the Wiscasset Area Chamber of Commerce's Business After Hours events at our Museum September 19th.

Volunteers / Annual Picnic -- volunteer photos
« on: August 08, 2019, 07:08:16 PM »
To help mark our 30th anniversary, Stewart has suggested we take a series of photos celebrating our volunteers on the Sheepscot turntable late Saturday morning.  Current thinking is at least four photos:

-- Volunteers with 10,000 or more hours;
-- 20+ years volunteers;
-- 10+ years volunteers; and
-- All volunteers present Saturday.

Gathering time would be 11.45 at the turntable, which hopefully is between trains!

Museum Discussion / Happy 30th Anniversary!
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:58:00 AM »
30 years ago today -- August 8th, 1989 -- the Maine Secretary of State approved the application to establish the non-profit Sheepscot Valley Railroaders.  The SVR was later renamed the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum, during the 2003 Annual Meeting.

After spending the day at our railway today, I headed over to Bartlett, NH.  Michelle and I are on vacation this coming week.

I picked up a copy of today's Conway Daily Sun and was very pleasantly surprised to see the lead article was about Conway Scenic Railroad's steam locomotive #7470's return to service, under the leadership of Brian Fanslau and Maine Machine & Locomotive Works.  Fair use excerpts from the article:

"CONWAY — Railfans were delighted to see the return over Father’s Day Weekend of the steam-powered No. 7470 engine to the high rails of the Conway Scenic Railroad...

"Today, it will be leading the Conway Scenic’s first excursion to the Mt. Washington Regional Airport during an inaugural “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” event.

"“She will lead the train to the airport in Whitefield, which the Conway Scenic has been to only once, in 2011,” said Susan Logan, marketing director for the railroad...

"Fanslau, who oversaw the restoration with his team of mechanical engineers Jason LaMontagne, Joe Card of South Carver, Mass.’s Edaville Railroad and Hannah Miller of Whitefield, Maine, will be serving as one of the firemen on today’s excursion..."

The full article can be found here:

Just ran across this recent article in the Forecaster.

"Frank Winter was a lumber baron who owned sawmills and lumber interests in Palermo. According to the book “The Maine Two-Footers” by Linwood Moody, his grand schemes were brought to a halt by the great Depression and his death in 1936.

"The wreckage of his business was left to rot. The most famous relics were the two schooners, Hesper and Luther Little, which Winter bought to haul lumber south and return with coal. These were abandoned next to the pier in Wiscasset, where they became one of Maine’s most cherished reminders of the past.

"Less well known is little narrow gauge Engine No. 8, which derailed south of Whitefield..."

I happened to catch a TV news report this morning (WCSH, I think) that Maine Narrow Gauge is starting their 7 days a week schedule for the 2019 season.  Wesley Heinz was interviewed.  It was a good story on MNG.  Wish I could find a link to the story online.

Museum Discussion / Source for a conductor's hat?
« on: January 02, 2019, 07:06:22 PM »
Since none of the conductor hats at the museum fit my fat head, I'm looking to purchase a new hat and conductor's hat badge to donate to the museum and have available when I conduct.  Does anyone know good source(s) for a hat and badge?


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