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Topics - Gordon Cook

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Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Maine Attractions
« on: April 07, 2015, 11:18:13 AM »
This picture was taken in a museum in Rome devoted to Italian emmigration. This postcard was supposed to show how prosperous
it was in the USA so that poor Italians would make the journey. Basically this was propaganda from the folks selling boat tickets.

Museum Discussion / WW&F RY on Google
« on: July 29, 2014, 10:17:34 AM »
I just saw that the museum is now marked on Google maps.,+Waterville+and+Farmington+Railway+Museum/@44.05284,-69.5995746,13z/data=!4m5!1m2!2m1!1slodging+damariscotta+maine!3m1!1s0x0:0x99e60ff947391b9f

It would be great if we had a few more pictures and reviews. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / Steam punk Sci Fi
« on: June 16, 2014, 01:38:41 PM »
For the steam/sci fi fans out there, check out the coal fired/steam driven space ships in "Mutant Chronicles", a low budget offering I found late one night on Amazon streaming video. A very curious combination of zombies, stereotypical action film heroes and heroines, mysticism, and Ron Perlman as the spiritual leader saving humankind in the 22nd century.
A teaser: the space ships were hand bombers!

Massachusetts' Two Footers / Edaville Christmas 2013
« on: December 30, 2013, 11:21:10 AM »
A short report on my experience at Edaville this season.
We were there on Saturday night, Dec. 27, and it was very crowded, the line for the train was extending back past the amusement park rides. They had 2 trains operating; #21 with the Polar Express and the diesel train for the less fortunate. Both went out full from 4:30 till 8. My understanding is that the PE takes a different route than the PODT (Plain Old Diesel Train), heading for the North Pole and Santa. There was no sign of #11.
We got on the 4:45 PODT and that took about 20 minutes at estimated 5 MPH to go around the loop.  I believe there was 5-6 Edaville cars, two open cars, a genuine coach (?) and a caboose on the train. Many lights, definitely old school. No computer controlled Youtube worthy displays here! We passed an area of lots of dirt moved around just before we got back to the north end of the parking lot, with signs explaining there will be go karts and bumper boats in there. Also what looked like it may be an enginehouse taking shape.
In general the park was tidy and clean, reasonably well taken care of, with enough stuff to keep the under 12 crowd happy for a couple of hours. The former greenhouse now holds a cranberry exhibit and kids play area on the second floor, with a tinplate model train (vintage AF and Lionel), restrooms, and more play space on the first floor. Tacky and useless gift shop, too.
Of interest on the second floor were some nice old tractors and a video playing with a lot of B&H footage of fan trips in the early 40's, as well as an explanation and footage of the beginnings of Edaville. #7, Rangely, and W&Q #3 could be seen rolling around the bogs.
Edaville is unfortunately not a must see destination for two footer railfans anymore, but still hanging in there as a kiddy park.

Museum Discussion / WW&F Mention on WBUR Boston Website
« on: May 11, 2012, 10:37:26 AM »
Thanks to Liz Canella who also volunteers for WBUR in Boston, there is now a link to the museum on the station's "Community of Volunteer Groups and Businesses" web page:

Scroll to the bottom for our link and blurb.

Museum Discussion / Thompson Caps Repro
« on: April 21, 2012, 12:41:10 PM »
For those who might be interested I direct your attention to the following link:

General Discussion / VERY large model railroad in Germany
« on: December 01, 2011, 09:18:05 PM »
Just in case you haven't seen this yet, this link will take you the Minatur Wunderland Hamburg and hopefully provide the modeller in you with some inspiration:

Work and Events / Victorian Christmas 2011
« on: November 13, 2011, 10:31:11 AM »
As most of you know, our annual Victorian Christmas day is coming up on Dec. 17th. Santa's helpers are preparing a new and more natural setting for Santa this year, as he has complained in the past that the station at Alna Center is too warm for his northern blood.

Make sure that you save the date!

Museum Discussion / Weather Report?
« on: February 02, 2011, 12:10:14 PM »
How's the weathah up theah? How many feet on the ground? (noo, not human feet, depth of snow)
I thought they were saying it would be global WARMING....  ;D
Here in Central Massachusetts it's beginning to look like the top of Mount Washington. I think that I'm going to build a snow shed from my front door to my garage.  >:(
Trying to drive is a nightmare with all the snow piles, you need a mirror on your hood because by the time you poke your hood out so you can see, you're halfway out in the road. I may even buy snow tires for the first time ever. Even my cats are getting cabin fever, and they don't even go outdoors!
From the radar it looks like Alna is getting dumped on, too, and I bet clearing the line will be pretty interesting in mid-March unless we get a major thaw. We may want to start early on that task if we want to run that March train?
Sure wish we had #9 in service, that extra weight and TE would be handy to have this spring.

Museum Discussion / Gus Pratt DVD's in Classic Trains
« on: January 25, 2011, 10:07:26 AM »
A note to everyone that the Winter issue of Classic Trains has a brief review and picture of the museum's Gus Pratt DVDs in their "Ready Track" book and DVD review section. The magazine's reviewer especially liked the 'expertly added sound effects'.
They have the mailing address, phone number, and URL for the museum, so hopefully we'll see some sales out of this.

One thing I noticed is that it would be difficult for anyone that isn't already interested in the 2 footers to know what the DVD's are about, because the headline is "Teenager Gus Pratt..." and the small picture of the DVD jackets doesn't show the title clearly. I went by the page several times before I noticed the review. In general I believe we should make sure that readers, especially those of us with older eyes, can see at least part of the title or headline easily on any ad or merchandise we create. In this case it wasn't anything we have control over, but when we have the opportunity we should always have this in mind when creating ads or artwork.

General Discussion / British Preservation
« on: October 22, 2010, 09:40:43 AM »
Just in case you didn't catch this on RYPN, this is a professional video of UK Railway preservation, the first in a series. Subjects include the Welsh Highland and several other narrow gauge lines, including one built and run by a husband and wife team!
 I found it inspiring and very well done.

General Discussion / Baldwin Archives on line
« on: August 17, 2010, 04:19:26 PM »
From RYPN, the archives of the BLW at DeGolyer Library  are  now available for your viewing pleasure.
Caution, very large .pdf files, so if you're not on cable they'll take a looooong time.
They do have the WW&F and Sandy River engines spec sheets.,32

Museum Discussion / Injectors, Part Deux
« on: August 03, 2010, 04:42:25 PM »
I have been trying to rebuild a 6 1/2 Metropolitan injector to use on #10, especially since the 5 1/2 on the fireman's side has been fussy, to say the least, ever since the rebuild in 2004, and maybe before then.
Lately, it's fussiness has become pure ornery-ness, and I finally felt compelled to take it apart and risk not being able to get it to work without a back up.
So Monday, the 2nd, I took it almost all apart and discovered a few things.
The most significant was a dent in the exit end of the lifting steam nozzle. I think this comes from sticking something up into the water inlet to hold the injector while trying to  unscrew things. This dent would disrupt the flow of steam into the combining cone and probably caused the poor lifting capability of the injector.
The next problem appeared to be that the sealing surfaces in the main steam valve assembly were worn, and needed to be resurfaced. They were leaking all the time. This, combined with the fact that the globe valve in the steam line to the injector leaks, would keep steam flowing through the injector and get it too hot when not in use. Otherwise the injectors' main steam valve assembly was in good shape, although it did seem to have a little extra play in it.
Lastly, the tubes had a lot of scale build up, especially the main forcing/combining tube at it's throat.
We couldn't get the main tube out, so I took the chance that it wasn't too worn and just cleaned it up as best I could.
I lapped the seats and valves. There was one small sector of the large diameter valve seat that lets steam into the lifting nozzle that seemed to either be worn or have some casting defects. That was cleaned up as well and they are now in good shape.
The check valve was OK, as was the overflow valve.
After all the cones and nozzles were cleaned, it was reassembled. Since Roger Whitney had so nicely fired up and kept #10 hot most of the day, we put it back in and we were relieved to have it work almost flawlessly at 75# and a half full, warm tender tank. The one little trick that it still has is to start lifting in a mode where there is an oscillation. My suspicion is that the extra play in the main valve assembly might allow it to jump back and forth between a state where the lifting steam valve is fully open to one where it is partially closed. A little handle wiggle appears to kick it into the desired state, fortunately.
It was pretty exciting to have it fill the boiler from a 1/2 glass and 75# on the gauge to full glass at less than 40#.
Hopefully this will give me some more time to figure out the spare injector's issues as well as make the fireman's job a little less thrilling. It also gives some insight into the tolerances required in the cones and nozzles for proper operation, and the comments and thoughts from Keith and others have given me enough information to become more proficient at understanding and fixing these things.
They may be about as close to magic as we can get!

Whimsical Weirdness and Foolery / What's Next
« on: May 11, 2009, 08:31:48 AM »
OK, so we now have "The Ladder", and "The Ramp",
What's next, "The Chute" ??

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