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Messages - Steve Klare

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Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Re: SR&RL #9 and #21 photos?
« on: October 26, 2010, 08:51:35 PM »
If you find a copy of H. T. Crittenden's The Maine Scenic Route there is an appendix with scale drawings of many of the SR&RL engines and cars. #9 and #21 are in there in their most modern form.

It's a really good book too. It's much more historically based than Maine Two Footers, which is good in a different way.

Mine arrived when I was in High School and I read the whole thing in one day, because it was so interesting..


In the same building is the Phillips Public Library, with a pretty decent collection of Maine Two Foot books. I used to go to Phillips every summer for Old Home Days and while I was there I read a chapter or two of "Ride the Sandy River". I think it took about five years to finish the book.

I have my own copy now. (It's not as much an adventure this way.)

Massachusetts' Two Footers / Re: edaville rr back in steam???
« on: May 08, 2010, 04:31:20 PM »
No, Monson #3 is currently at Boothbay for some serious boiler work. When she is done she'll be headed for Phillips. They have her on a 15 year lease and are paying for the repair.

It says in the Masachusetts Two-Footers section they may be bringing in an engine from a line in New York State.

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
« on: April 30, 2010, 08:07:37 PM »
I know the Bure Valley. I friend of mine (passed on a few years now) lived in North Walsham and sent me some pictures taken at the Bure Valley including that half sized SR&RL 24 which was there on a visit.

Quite an eye opener for an SR&RL fan!

Other Narrow Gauge / Re: Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
« on: April 29, 2010, 12:20:47 PM »
Thanks, Dave!

Have you ever been there?

Somewhere in England there is a 15" gauge SR&RL #24 which has been a guest on the RH&D. If she's scale proportioned to gauge she's a big engine among all the standard gauge proportioned stuff.

I guess she can't go quite everywhere. The RH&D has a couple of low bridges. :o

Other Narrow Gauge / Romney Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
« on: April 29, 2010, 10:40:22 AM »
The RH&D is a unique line in England's south. It is 15 inch gauge and powered by what are basically miniatures of standard gauge express engines. There are a number of lines in the world that fit this description, but what is special here is it is licensed by the British Ministry of Transport as a public railway, so it is not considered a "ride" or a "model", it is a railroad. It is often called the narrowest narrow gauge railway in the world (with some qualifiers....).

This line was built by two British race car drivers in 1927, and it is built for speed. It has almost 14 miles of right of way, most of it double tracked.

The engines stand roughly shoulder height on a full grown man. Many of the steam engines are classic British designs, but others look very American.  All are coal fired, and the driver has to shovel for himself. Most of the engines on the line fall into two classes: Pacifics and Mountains. The  4-8-2s are the only ones ever to operate in Great Britain. The 0-4-0 that was used to build the line was found in a junkyard in the 1970s and restored. Even on this line she’s considered tiny so she gets out only on lighter days and special occasions.

The cars are mostly double trucked and single seat wide with side doors. Trainsets are usually in matching colors and often operate around ten cars long.

Of course there is a lot of tourist and railfan traffic, but the line has a contract to bring children to school and there is also some local commuter traffic. These are usually pulled by one of their diesel mechanicals. There has been some limited freight service, mostly from quarrying. The line was taken over by the Military during WW2 and used to carry pipe for a fuel pipeline built under the Channel following D-day. There was also a small armored train carrying an anti-aircraft gun which locals swear took down an enemy plane at least once.  

I have never been to England and only seen this line in films. When I go there I will be sure to go see it for myself!

I am absolutely going to order one of these!

Up until now I've just had the VHS, which I understand is missing a lot of footage from the original film.

If only Steve would record the sound of a 16mm projector on SAP: it would satisfy me both as an SR&RL fan and a film freak!

This is a model railroader's fantasy!

I love dual gauge, and have always regretted the idea that the only patch of it on the two footers was the two little segments down in Bridgton Junction.

I wonder how the severe Standard to 2 Foot Gauge centerline offset would have effected dual gauge operations within the same train. It probably would have been best left in the yards at low speeds.

(The idea of a standard gauge engine shoving on a wood frame SR&RL boxcar seems like a recipe for firewood!)

Back in dual gauge days on the Rio Grande, narrow gauge passenger trains handled most passenger operations between Alimosa and Antonito because they were more fuel efficient. I wonder if on a dual gauged SR&RL passengers still would have broken gauge at Farmington

Once the MEC took over the SR&RL, would the standard gauge segment to Strong stayed SR&RL or consolidated into the MEC?

Dual gauge North to Strong?....nah! Dual gauge South to Livermore Falls!

If the re-gauged line was part of the Sandy River it may have caused the collapse even earlier. The two foot gauge line from Strong to Farmington was never over capacity, so basically all this would have meant was more operating expenses and money borrowed to do the gauge shift.

If the standard gauge became part of the MEC, it may have outlasted the SR&RL and caused the Farmington branch to come up even sooner.

Probably the best solution was what really happened: two foot gauge with heavier rail and bigger engines (#23 in particular...)

UK (Welsh, British) Two Footers / Re: Baldwin 4-6-2 in service
« on: January 13, 2010, 11:20:47 PM »
The neat thing about this little Pacific is she's actually an old friend of Maine Two Foot Fans. If you happen to have a Pre-Jones edition of Maine Two Footers and look in the back under "Two Footers from other parts of the World", her Baldwin builder's photo is there.

When I saw these pictures in the mid 70s as a teenager I wouldn't ever have guessed this engine would still be around then, never mind today.

She's a pretty substantial little engine, actually quite a bit bigger than SR&RL #23. I have a feeling she would have been way more engine than our own two footers could ever find useful.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
« on: November 11, 2009, 09:33:36 PM »
You're right, Andy would have been way too young at that time. I don't think I've ever seen a picture of him during the operating years anyway.

I guess being that even a teenager in the last days of SR&RL operations would be in his 90s now there are few or maybe no more Sandy River Men out there anymore.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Re: SR&RL Books and Photos
« on: November 10, 2009, 11:11:33 PM »
Hi Dana,

Andy Aldrich was Dana Aldrich's son. He worked for the SR&RL as a brakeman during the last decade of operations.

Does the photo have a date?

If I remember right, Vol. II of Two Feet Between the Rails is dedicated to Andy. Be was a major resource for Robert Jones when he was researching and a lot of his reminiscences are in the back of the book.

Our local railroad museum has a former LIRR G5s 4-6-0 (PRR Design, right down to the Keystone) down in Strasburg for restoration. When she returns to Long Island for operation she will be fired with heating oil: fine for operation but really missing it where atmospherics are concerned.

In a place as true to historic practice as WW&F powering a steam locomotive with oil would be second only to stuffing in a huge electric motor and sitting down in Sheepscot with an immense power pack.

(Besides, I just like the smell of a coal fire!)

Bridgton & Saco River Railway / Re: B&SR Handcars
« on: May 29, 2009, 10:03:37 PM »
Did any two footers other than the Franklin County roads use the chain-drive rotary design for handcars?

Back in the 1980s and 1990s I used the rotary car at SR&RL as often as they'd let me (I never refused to run an errand to the other end when that was how I got there.). It could get going wickedly fast with a good sized guy on each crank and I'd choose it over any amusement park ride I've ever been on!

-shame that back in historical years they mangled more than a few guys between those flailing cranks and often unguarded chain on that big sprocket.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad / Pony Plows on the SR&RL
« on: May 17, 2009, 12:36:20 PM »
I was watching the Moody/Martin film of the SR&RL the other day and during the winter sequence I noticed that every engine except #24 had a pony plow. This included #17 (old, pilot truckless Forney),  9 and 10 (technically passenger engines designed for speed, not tractive force) and #18 (lighter, older prairie).

Of all the engines to be out in the drifts with a bare pilot, there was #24: bigger, heavier, newer, more powerful: on the surface of it the best plow horse of the bunch.

-it just doesn't make sense!

Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen #23 with a pony plow either.

It makes me wonder if there was something about the SR&RL pony plow design that just didn't hold up to the tractive abilities of the biggest engines and once they crumpled a couple they gave up and kept the big guys reserved for shoving a wedge plow instead.

-any thoughts?

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