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Topics - Bill Reidy

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Work and Events / Fall Work Weekend 2018
« on: September 15, 2018, 10:29:08 PM »
It's getting time to note plans, preparations and progress for the 2018 Fall Work Weekend.

Fred Morse has led volunteers the past many weeks so that 1,000 ties were ready by the end of today (Saturday, September 15th).  Don't believe his claims we overwork him -- we had trouble keeping up with him today cutting and stacking the last bunch of ties!  Here's a photo of the tie piles at Sheepscot -- there's many more staged at Top of the Mountain.  Cut tie ends at Sheepscot were treated by Mark Cheetham later in the day.

Roadmaster Joe Fox and fellow volunteers have sorted and stacked 100 sticks of 60-pound rail.  Here's a small sample of the rail stacked, with layers sorted by 5 east and 5 west running rails, ready for transport to the Mountain Extension.

Today (Saturday, September 15th), Joe led a group of volunteers to dig through our inventory of rail joint bars and identify 235 that fit our rail and are judged good.  The bars were stacked on pallets.

Plenty of track bolts and spikes are stored at Sheepscot, so all track material is now at hand to build new track down the Mountain.  Thanks to Mike Fox and assistants, the right-of-way is ready for the goal of 1,400 feet of new track Columbus Day weekend.  We know that amount of new track is possible -- in 2001 we completed the push from Sheepscot Mills over the new Humason Brook trestle, and in 2003 from Trask's Crossing to Alna Center.  While some of us may have gotten older, we're fortunate to have younger members and friends join us since then.

All we need now is good weather Columbus Day weekend Friday - Monday, October 5th through 8th, and a strong volunteer turnout.  Work weekend volunteer turnout has never been a problem.  Can we set a new work weekend record of 100 volunteers on site Saturday?

I see Steve Piwowarski has written a great article in the Wiscasset Newspaper promoting Saturday's Ice Cream Social and evening Concert with Rough Sawn.

The photo used for the article really caught my eye.  I see many elements, besides many guests having a good time last year:
-- Mark Cheetham showing excellent form on the Sheepscot station switch;
-- J.B. Smith looking very conductorly on the platform; and
-- My daughter Janine and her friend Theresa from Germany on the platform, being photobombed by a President Who Shall Not Be Named.

Boothbay Railway Village / Wiscasset Newspaper photo story about BRV
« on: August 22, 2018, 11:23:48 PM »
The August 16th Wiscasset Newspaper has a nice photo story about Boothbay Railway Village:

"Alna selectmen may seek a grant to build an all-season recreational trail between the town office and the WW&F narrow gauge railroad line..."

All I want to know is who's the back seat driver sitting next to Fire Chief Mike Trask?

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / WW&F acquires historic locomotive
« on: April 01, 2018, 07:02:16 AM »
WW&F Railway Museum Acquires Historic Locomotive
“It’s perfect for our Mountain Extension,” says CMO Jason Lamontagne

Like a proud new father, WW&F Railway Museum President David Buczkowski stands in front of “Peppersass.”  The museum has acquired the historic locomotive for its Mountain Extension.  WW&F Railway Museum photo.

   The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum announced today it has acquired the Mount Washington Cog Railway’s locomotive No. 1, Peppersass.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
   For the past year, the museum has been working out engineering requirements for its “Mountain Extension,” extending from Top of Mountain down to Route 218 near Head Tide village in Alna, Maine, a distance of about ¾ mile.  With the extension’s steep grade, museum engineers were concerned with the slippery conditions that might be encountered on the completed railway, particularly during the harsh Maine winters that typically extend from September through June.
   “Then Peppersass became available,” said Jason Lamontagne, the museum’s Chief Mechanical Officer, “and it became apparent that a cog railway is the solution.”
   “Peppersass is perfect for our Mountain Extension,” he added.
   The museum and its contractor, ROW MOW Manufacturing, Inc., are now working out plans to rebuild the historic locomotive.
   Mike Fox, President of ROW MOW, estimated his shop can have the locomotive regauged to two feet in about a day.  Renovation of the gearing will take another day.
   One point of contention for the locomotive’s rehabilitation has been the rack system.  As constructed, Peppersass was designed to use the Marsh system, developed by Mount Washington Cog Railway founder Sylvester Marsh in the 1860s.  Fox would like to see the rebuilt Peppersass converted to the more modern Abt system, developed by Swiss engineer Carl Roman Abt in the early 1880s.  Fox believes he can machine the 3,800 feet of Abt rack rail needed for the extension in about one day.
   “The more complicated Marsh (rack rail) would take at least twice as long,” he said.
   Lamontagne is not a fan of the Abt system, however, noting the historic roots of the Marsh’s system in nearby New Hampshire.
   “Old is good,” said Lamontagne.
   Now the museum is looking to fund a new boiler for the locomotive.
   When he first learned of fellow directors’ interest in the locomotive, museum Treasurer James Patten’s initial reaction was “Now what is this going to cost?”  After learning more about the project, Patten has become a fan of the effort, to the point he is now spearheading fundraising efforts.
   “Two years ago, our museum launched the ‘21 Campaign’ to fund new boilers for our existing steam locomotive #10 and planned locomotive #11 (‘10+11=21’),” he said.  The successful campaign has brought in nearly $95,000 in funds for the two locomotives.
   When restored to operation, Peppersass will be assigned the number 12, in keeping with the original railway and museum’s tradition.
   “So we have decided to rebrand the ’21 Campaign’ the ’33 Campaign©’ (‘10+11+12=33®’), Patten said.
   The WW&F Railway Museum will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its founding in 2019.  To celebrate the museum’s heritage of accomplishments by its can-do corps of volunteers, once number 12 is put into operation the directors plan to rename the locomotive “Fred.”

General Discussion / The Conway Scenic Railroad has been sold
« on: January 31, 2018, 06:23:45 PM »
From the Conway Daily Sun:

CONWAY — Dot and Russ Seybold announced Tuesday afternoon the sale of the Conway Scenic Railroad to Profile Mountain Holdings Corp, led by President David Swirk.

The sale closed Tuesday, and Profile Mountain Holdings will take over operations immediately in anticipation of the season's opening in April.

The iconic railroad and tourist attraction, complete with its historic 1874 train station, has enjoyed 44 continuous years of operation...

I wish the new owner the same success the previous have had!

A very nice article in today's Boston Globe about Edaville's Brenda Johnson:

"CARVER — She was a local kid, just 14 years old and still too young to drive, but she found her way to the local landmark — where a narrow-gauge train famously puffed its way around acres of vast cranberry bogs — and filled out an application.

"The next day, the phone rang. There was an opening for a popcorn girl. In 1974, the job paid $1.60 an hour, which sounded like a fortune to young Brenda Johnson.

"“I’ll take it,’’ she said.

"It was her ticket to a life on the railroad, a job that has propelled Johnson to the top job at Edaville Family Theme Park — a career whose twin mileposts have been enduring nostalgic pleasure and chronic financial peril..."

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 / Where was Cummings?
« on: December 06, 2017, 09:00:11 PM »
Does the conductor punch the  tickets on the train during the journey ?
Yes, we do, using real railway ticket punches. The ticket stock is a reproduction of the original WW&F Railway ticket stock, which not only adds to the authenticity, but also provides a souvenir.
-John M

Which raises a question I've been meaning to ask.  Where was Cummings?  I've noticed it listed on the tickets when punching on conductor duty.  I know it was located between Wiscasset and Sheepscot, but where exactly? 

I assume it's been discussed in one or more of the many WW&F books written over the years, but I don't remember reading about it. 

Sorry for the thread hijack!

Volunteers / Northeast storm October 2017
« on: October 30, 2017, 04:19:39 PM »
A pretty wild storm passed over New England and New York the past 24 hours -- haven't heard the wind howl like that in quite a while.  If the results around here just southwest of Boston are any indication, I assume there's a good amount of tree damage up in Maine.  Hope you all have power or will have it restored soon.

I can imagine Fred and crew will be busy with chain saws this weekend.  Good thing the regular season ended this past Saturday.

Interesting recent article from the Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel:

Windmill tower rises at Windsor Fairgrounds
The 1910 tower, from the Weeks Mills Waterworks, will be part of the Windsor Historical Society exhibits at the fair.

"...In the meantime, however, Windsor Fair goers and others can see a part of the 1910 water works that once supplied water to a dozen homes in the village of Weeks Mills. The Windsor Fair runs Aug. 27-Sept. 4 this year...

"“It came on the WW&F (Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington) Railway,” Bassett said, giving the colloquial translation as “Weak, Wobbly and Frail,” and noting that it was a narrow gauge railway...."

Note the photo of the saw mill building under construction.

Steve P.:  See the mention about printing at the fair.  A check of the fair's website finds a newspaper advertising inset at .  Page 3 notes the museum has an 1888 printing press used for demonstration purposes.

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / The Fred thread
« on: August 01, 2017, 05:05:24 PM »
What do these three photos have in common?   ???

Fred with Kielbasa Dave April 28th (Spring Work Weekend):

Fred with Linda Zollers July 22nd:

Fred with Zack Wyllie July 29th:

Work and Events / Ice Cream Social news article
« on: July 10, 2017, 04:44:23 PM »
Gail Ciampa found the following on the Wiscasset Newspaper website last night:

WW&F Railway Museum holds ice cream social

Unfortunately someone (a president who shall go unnamed) photobombed my daughter and her friend.

"As my husband and I got our kids ready to visit Edaville USA last December, I have to admit, I wasn’t enthusiastic. The last time we’d ventured to the Carver-based attraction, six years before, had been a disappointment. We’d paid a hefty sum for a train ride that hobbled precariously along the tracks past a poorly maintained holiday light display that hadn’t been refreshed in decades...

"...Delli Priscolli had a vision to repair the aging park and revive Edaville into a burgeoning modern destination — an ambitious undertaking that has taken years to achieve. On my visit I was astonished to see the transformation of the park. I was struck at once by its cleanliness; the whole place seemed to shine. While before I had felt Edaville was unkempt and withering it has become polished and updated, with a trove of engaging employees eager to help the scores of visitors who walk through the entrance..."

"...Edaville’s revival is refreshing. The park’s heritage is being preserved while being infused with new life, poised to endure for generations. As we left, I felt encouraged and hopeful, just the sentiments we strive to embrace as the holiday season approaches."

Link to the article.

From the Conway Daily Sun:

"CONWAY — A prospective buyer of the Conway Scenic Railroad has confirmed that he's entered into an agreement to buy the popular tourist attraction from Russ Seybold.

"'The railroad has not been sold yet, but it is under agreement,' Jon Mark Delli Priscoli of Marion, Mass., told The Conway Daily Sun Thursday.

"Delli Priscoli, 59, is the operating partner of the Edaville Railroad in Carver, Mass. In addition, he operates two other railroads: the Grafton Upton RR, a freight hauler in Massachusetts, and the Seaview Railroad of Davisville, R.I."

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