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Messages - Wayne Laepple

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Museum Discussion / Re: Track availability
« on: November 21, 2008, 05:10:32 PM »
There's an elephant and a gorilla in the room when it comes to lifting track. The elephant is having enough people near the takeup location. If one has to drive a couple of hours (or more) before even starting work, it really cuts down on productivity.

The gorilla is finding an individual to do all the necessary legwork and organization that must be done ahead of time and afterward. He is the guy who has to arrange with the track owner for the sale or donation, figure out how and where to stage everything, recruit volunteers willing to work on the project, make sure the necessary tools and equipment are on hand each day, arrange for trucks to transport the rail, deal with permits, insurance, and so on. Afterward, he has to figure out where the scarp goes, how to dispose of the ties, and so on.

Finally, our budget is so constrained that we cannot presently afford to buy hy-rail trucks, Bobcats and other equipment, license them, insure them and keep them running for the occasions when a takeup opportunity might come our way.

In the end, a decision must be made by management whether it's cost-effective to expend scarce resources on a takeup in the face of all the other things that must be done. To my way of thinking, to do divert resources from Sheepscot for track material we cannot immediately use (60-pound rail and switch material) would not be responsible.

Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: November 20, 2008, 09:08:50 PM »
The steam dome is generally formed over a die and them riveted to the boiler shell. The top of the steam dome (the dome cap) is bolted down. It's necessary to give access to the throttle valve inside. The sand dome is a rolled tube fitted to a base that will sit atop the boiler. The top of this base is usually an inverted V to provide gravity feed to the sand tubes. The rounded top is a formed piece. Fancy fluted domes sometimes seen on old-time locomotives are a series of rings fitted over the tube.

Museum Discussion / Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« on: November 17, 2008, 05:49:35 PM »
Stewart's thought of building a spot tamper from factory parts merits consideration, especially if we could persuade the other Maine two-footers to participate in the project. Perhaps we could get plans for one from the Australian division of Plasser, and working in concert with the American division, make it happen. A production machine with shoulder jacks, movable heads, laser leveling, etc., is probably beyond our capabilities. Another thought is to look for a used two-foot machine in Australia and negotiate a reduced rate for shipping to the US.

What a project like this needs is someone to take the lead and see it through to completion.

Museum Discussion / Re: 2ft Tampers [was Australian Two Foot]
« on: November 14, 2008, 07:16:58 PM »
Okay, so a mechanical tamper would be great. But let's be realistic. We have a major project on our hands right now with the restoration of no. 9. We need restrooms and a parking lot and a roundhouse and...  Rebuilding a full-size standard gauge tamper for use on our railroad would be a major project and it wouldn't be cheap or easy. And the reality is, for every hour of service working, expect an hour or better of down time repairing and fixing things.

If we are really serious about a tamper, there is a small spot tamper in central Massachusetts that could rather easily be regauged to 24 inches. Someone has to take the initiative to approach the current owner and negotiate a price (or even a donation) and get ti to Maine. Anyone who wants to tackle this, let me know, and I'll provide additional information. Another option would be a Geismar "Minima," a very basic spot tamping machine, which may be available through federal surplus.

Unless someone hits the Powerball lottery, buying a new two-foot gauge tamper from Plasser would bust our budget for the next 5 years.

Museum Discussion / Re: Australian Two Foot
« on: November 13, 2008, 10:49:33 PM »
If we got a two-foot gauge tamper, how would you guys maintain your manly physiques? The jitterbugs are better than a gym! We'd have to cut back on the Vitamin Y, you know....and no more kielbasa for you, Dave.

General Discussion / not quite as far off topic....
« on: October 31, 2008, 06:27:47 PM »
A friend sent this:

Maybe we could stage a similar event on the WW&F. It would be a great way to involve the community.
(One wonders what some of these folks were smoking?) If nothing else, it's good for a laugh.

Work and Events / Re: Car shop extension
« on: October 31, 2008, 06:16:57 PM »
My thinking was to put whatever cars can most easily withstand being outdoors in the new shop for the winter. Thinking about this a bit more, perhaps the tracks could be raised and connected sometime soon. Then, after the Victorian Christmas trains run, the two cars could be shifted into the new shop and then everything closed up for the duration. I'm guessing the big lathe won't be moved into the new shop area until the building is closed in, so there will be less space available in Bay 1 for a while. But maybe the compressor car, handcar and fire car could be manhandled across the floor of the new shop to Bay 1 before the rest of the place is filled with cars.

Work and Events / Re: Car shop extension
« on: October 30, 2008, 07:48:38 PM »
Seems to me, if the objective is to get cars under roof, it wouldn't be terribly difficult to jack up tracks 2 and 3 to meet the new floor and use blocking to hold them in position. Uncover the doorways long enough to move two cars in under the roof, then seal the building up again and wait for spring to arrive. By my count, we have five cars (3, 8, 302, 320, 103) that need to be sheltered, along with the locomotives. Am I missing something?

Work and Events / Re: Car shop extension
« on: October 29, 2008, 08:33:09 PM »
I got two blue question marks.

Museum Discussion / Re: WW&F on Channel 6 on 10/16 @ 7 PM
« on: October 29, 2008, 07:07:38 PM »
You should hear me when I launch into my Pennsylvania Dutch accent. All I know about New England accents I learned from my old "Bert and I" albums. Brian does have a nice Boston accent, though.

Museum Discussion / Re: Car Barn
« on: October 26, 2008, 06:05:03 PM »
I know we've been over this ground before, but just in the last few weeks, while doing research for a story I'm writing about tourism, the subject of restrooms at tourist attractions was one of the important themes.

Three different tour bus operators emphasized the need for clean, modern restrooms at each attraction they visit. Several attractions here in central Pennsylvania were mentioned as examples of the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to restrooms. I also spoke to a bus driver who said the senior citizens who make up well over three quarters of his passengers on such trips are very critical of substandard restroom facilities and complain loudly to the tour operators. 

Museum Discussion / Re: Car Barn
« on: October 25, 2008, 06:51:18 PM »
I started out calling it a "car house," but somewhere along the way it became car barn. As for lighting, many of the commercially available buildings can be fitted with translucent panels on the sides, just below the roof line. We could put such panels on the east side of the building, where they wouldn't be noticed by the public. This would be an alternative to panels on the roof or skylights.

Museum Discussion / Re: Car Barn
« on: October 24, 2008, 03:03:29 PM »
I would think the car barn would be something like 100 feet long and 20 feet wide.'s going to be some time before we need it, isn't it? The now-underway extension of the shop will provide covered storage for everything except the two flatcars, I believe. So until we get to the point where we are going to perform major restoration projects or build new cars, do we really need a car house? There's nothing wrong with planning its eventual location, of course, but I think the roundhouse should come first so that we can shelter all the locomotives comfortably.

Museum Discussion / Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« on: October 19, 2008, 04:15:46 PM »
Yesterday, I had the good fortune to visit the Foster Brook & State Line Railroad in Bradford, Pa. Its owner, Doug Kuntz, has a lovely 12-ton, 24-inch gauge Lima Shay of 1920 vintage. He showed me a brand new steam brake valve he just had made for it, using as a pattern the steam brake valve from one of the Shays at Cass. I sent a photo of the valve to Stephen. Perhaps he can post it, since I am clueless.

The big problem with fitting our locomotives with air brakes, as I see it, is the air compressor would use a substantial amount of steam, and, with our tiny boilers, well, you can see the potential problem.

By the way, I don't think the necessity for air brakes if you cross a public thoroughfare goes back to the original Railway Safety Appliance Act. Until 1967, a narrow-gauge mining line crossed two public roads in Wanamie, Pa., with only the lokies (also Vulcans) equipped with steam brakes, just like no. 10. These were  the last survivors of the hundreds of anthracite haulage lines that crossed many a street or road in northeastern Pennsylvania, and there were quite a few logging railroads in Pennsylvania that did the same thing without benefit of train air.

Finally, not to dispute James, but I believe no. 10 probably had a steam jam brake when built. Even in the flat cane fields of Louisiana, there is sometimes a need to stop at a specific location. 

Work and Events / Re: Fall Work Weekend '08 - photos
« on: October 14, 2008, 08:40:03 PM »
Well, I had a great time. Maybe by the end of the week I'll be able to stand up straight without pain. ;-) It was wonderful to be in Maine for a few days. I'm just sorry it's 534 miles from my house!

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