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Messages - Gordon Cook

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Volunteers / Re: May 2022 Work Reports
« on: May 21, 2022, 09:43:08 AM »
I'm not sure if it was mentioned  elsewhere, but in case you missed it, as it was explained to me the center pivot of the TBS turntable has to not only provide a pivot, but also support some of the weight on the bridge structure. So it is a 3 point suspension, if you will, with the ring rail supporting the outer ends.
The screw feature is to allow adjustment so that the appropriate amount of weight is supported, as well as compensate for wear in service. Hence the need for it to be adjustable. I am guessing the green stuff is grease to lubricate it and keep it from rusting up and seizing again.
As seen in previous threads, the original screw was impossible to move, so that Alan had to bore that out and make a new screw.

My apologies if I confused anyone. We are referring to a Digital Read Out, or an addition to the milling machine that electronically measures and reports the exact position of the table in a digital format. This enables accuracy and efficiency that is just not possible with the dials on the leadscrews of the table and knee and compensates for backlash and wear automatically.
Replacing the old one sounds like it will actually result in a better setup. From my very limited experience so far, the new ones are very useful, intuitive, easy to install, and not that expensive.
Thanks to Ron for setting this up and to Jonathan and Brendan for moving it. Not a trivial task.

No DRO??

Volunteers / Re: April 2022 Work Reports
« on: April 30, 2022, 09:47:14 AM »
A few comments on the start of construction of No. 11, our new, Maine built locomotive. After two years of active design, planning, and buying parts, Ric Sisson, Jason Lamontagne, Wayne Laepple, and Gordon Cook gathered at Sheepscot to begin putting her together.

On Tuesday, April 26th, the components for the rear frame that supports the cab and tanks were brought from storage and placed in the space in Bay 2 that was cleared out previously. This space will be the erecting hall for the locomotive.

Ric started by arranging the parts in their final locations and test assembled them to determine that the parts and their dimensions were correct. Many components such as the front to back sills were fabricated by a water jet process that cut them to size and added most of the necessary holes. The bolster for the rear truck consists of 5 iron castings that had been machined. These fit across the frame between the front to back sills. There is another casting that anchors the bracing of the frame forward of the rear truck. Gordon machined this casting to size on Tuesday to fit in its place in the frame.
Careful measurements ensured that the parts were located accurately.

Once all was checked out, we started match drilling holes in the center bolster casting (the one with the round pivot for the truck). Match drilling means that the holes in the sills which were cut by the very accurate waterjet process were used to locate the holes in the castings and mating components. By Thursday the bolster and forward frame brace casting had been drilled and assembled to the two center sills. Drilling started on the intermediate bolster castings on either side of the center casting. In the first picture Ric and Wayne are setting the location of one of the intermediate bolsters.
As you can see in in the second picture, these holes were finished on Friday and this subassembly was bolted up and is now is resting in its final location. That along with the side sills have been placed on leveling jacks to continue assembly. The jacks will allow an accurate adjustment of the position of the frame so that it is square and level.

In the coming months assembly will continue. We schedule No. 11 work sessions at the beginning of the month, so anyone who would like to help is welcome.

Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Station - Official Work Thread
« on: April 25, 2022, 09:07:10 AM »
Great news!
Thank you to Mass Bay RRE. The generosity of our donors and members is truly a key to the success of the WW&F.

Volunteers / Re: April 2022 Work Reports
« on: April 12, 2022, 02:32:41 PM »
In the previous photo of Alan moving a casting up to the big lathe, please note that this is the center bolster casting for No. 11's rear truck. The outside surfaces were machined a couple of weeks prior, and the round part (away from the camera) that fits into the truck center plate to form the rear truck pivot will be turned on the lathe.
The intermediate and  outer bolster castings have also been machined. They are now ready to be fit up to the sills that run from front to back and have the holes drilled and bolts fitted to tie them together. Our next No. 11 work session on April 26th thru the 27th will see that process starting.

In this picture you can see from left to right the 2 intermediate bolsters, the center bolster, and the 2 outer bolsters.
To prepare to start the assembly of the rear frame, the railcar was moved from bay 2 to the car barn, where it will await the parts needed to get it back into service.
That space will be used to stage and assemble the rear frame of No. 11.
Six house jacks have been purchased that will be used to support the pieces during assembly and allow them to be leveled accurately.

In addition, the picture of Nicole at the Hercules horizontal mill shows not only Nicole machining the coach truck journal pedestals, but also behind her is the new tool chest that Alan acquired for the museum. It has been moved into a space on the south wall. This will allow us to organize and store the numerous accessories for the milling machines.

Museum Discussion / Re: Steam and Sleighs makes The Bangor Daily News
« on: February 11, 2022, 06:12:51 PM »
I was thinking that I should offer a description running the Snow and Steam trains from the perspective of 9's engine crew. I think it typifies winter railroading in Maine at the turn of the 19th century.

The temperature was in the single digits when we started at about 7 AM. The weather the night before had left a coating of ice and sleet and then snow. Fortunately the snow wasn't too deep but enough to require another plowing of the line as it was several inches over the rail in many places.

7 and 9 were hauled out and the fires started. Planning ahead, firewood had been brought inside the shop a couple of days before to thaw and dry out.
Consequently,  Dan made quick work of lighting the fire and after a while steam was raised. Also thankfully, Bryce had oiled around before 9 was brought outside.  Mike brought over a scoop of coal and we filled up the tender bunker. It was cold enough that I was grateful to be in the cab and wished I had added another layer of clothing. I imagined it must be pretty chilly out on the plow train.

Once we were ready to go, we had to go up to the north yard to pick up our train. With the grade and snow, I anticipated a fair amount of slipping to climb up to the barn, but with the track crew doing such a great job of clearing the rails it wasn't bad.

Water was taken on the way in and we spotted the train at the station.

After getting the go ahead, we pulled out. The train was very stiff from the cold and the solid bearings and it took a unusually heavy throttle to keep moving. Once past the yard limit, the first challenge was the crossing at Jane's Way, where there was still enough snow and ice to cause 9 to loose her feet for a bit. After that it was clear that the snow was still covering the rails and traction was going to be poor. With a loud bark 9 would dig in, slip a little, then dig in, slip a little and this was the pattern all the way. At times the drivers were spinning faster than we were going, but not in an uncontrolled way.

We tried to gain some speed for Cockeye Curve, but with more steam about all that would happen was more slipping. On the first curve she settled into a steady pace and was able to hold that up to the next crossing at MLM. Dan was shoveling furiously all this time, and the gauge stayed at about 110 pounds despite the load.

Once again we tried to make a run for the grade after Hummason Brook, but again the poor traction and cold bearings kept us at a moderate slog, but she dug in and we made it to Alna Center, where we were going to stop  but then thankfully we didn't and were able to crest the grade. At that point I realized that we were at full throttle all the way up to Alna Center. I actually had to use steam to keep up the pace down the Ladder and all the way to Top of the Mountain.

Again snow on the rails stopped us short of the platform, so I had to back down with sanders going and then was able to make it up to put the car steps on the platform. The horse drawn sleigh was waiting, as was the plow train with 52.

Dan did a great job of firing, keeping the pressure above 100 despite having to use full throttle for much of the trip. Snow was packed in around all the running gear.

The trip back was interesting also, starting up the grade southbound out of TOM it felt like a brake was on. After stopping and inspection, we backed up a bit and tried again. Either it was just the drag or whichever brake was sticking unstuck, and we made our way back to Alna Center. Again, a lot of throttle was needed.

We took the siding and waited for the northbound train with No. 7. In the distance, we could see her just south of Trask's Crossing, and seemed to not be moving. After a bit much steam and smoke was seen and it became clear she was making her way towards us.

After 7's train passed, No 52 and the morning's plow train, which was waiting in the siding ahead of us, departed for Sheepscot and we waited another 10 minutes and proceeded south. It was still necessary to use steam all the way back, which I don't remember ever needing to do before.

When we reached Sheepscot we pulled into the station. I looked in the coal bunker and realized it was half gone!

The second trip was much more normal, with the snow off the rails and the bearings warmed up. When we got to TOM the second time, I asked Dan if he would have liked to do this 5 or 6 days a week, as they did in the 'good' old days. All I got was a look.

Personally I am very grateful for all the effort put in by the many volunteers that make this all possible. It is an amazing amount of work that goes into all the preparations. Doing it in winter is both exciting and daunting.


General Discussion / Re: Whither coal?
« on: January 08, 2022, 09:40:55 AM »
Some more information on this subject. I'm surprised that there isn't more support for keeping at least one or two mines open, given the size of the heritage train business in the UK.

General Discussion / Re: Conway Scenic 7470
« on: January 04, 2022, 07:17:53 PM »
My speculation was wrong, it was a lead-acid car battery as Bill says.

General Discussion / Re: Conway Scenic 7470
« on: January 03, 2022, 05:25:50 PM »
It would be interesting to know what the cause was. If it was indeed the radio batteries, then my speculation would be that they were Lithium Ion, and those can cause a very hot fire. This is a problem with EVs and I believe Chevrolet Bolts were just recalled because several had battery fires.
Alkaline, NiCad or NiMH (nickel metal hydride) aren't usually associated with combustion unless it is caused by something else powered by them.
Something to think about.

Massachusetts' Two Footers / Re: Whithin Machine Works
« on: October 19, 2021, 04:24:50 PM »
Some 2 foot trackwork remaining at Whitin Machine Works in Whitinsville, MA

Museum Discussion / Re: Movie about #9: "The Nine Lives of #9"
« on: October 02, 2021, 09:38:17 AM »
I too was a little confused about the dam construction in 1965 because I think that is the year my high school sweetheart and I visited Alice. She thought we were there to get married because she was a JP. No shotguns were necessary, however.  :D

Later in the movie it became apparent that she reached an agreement to stay on the property until her death and the part of the farm where the house, buildings, and engine shed were not part of the reservoir.

I also loved that the story really was about people and their passions and how we are bound together and inspired by our history.

2 Thumbs Up!!

Work and Events / Re: Mountain Extension - Official Work Thread
« on: September 27, 2021, 05:15:54 PM »
It's safe to say that there will be increased railfan and photographer activity in that area, especially on weekends and during special events. We see some of that at the grade crossings now. There may be dangerous situations created because of parked cars and pedestrians.
I would assume that we've discussed this with the appropriate authorities and have an understanding of any concerns.

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