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Messages - Wayne Laepple

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1786
General Discussion / Re: How's this for turntables?!
« on: September 15, 2008, 08:54:33 PM »
Turntables such as those mentioned by Bill were/are common in locomotive and car shops, where they are used to move trucks from one track to another where an overhead crane is not present. There is one in front of the wheel lathe in the East Broad Top's shop at Rockhill Furnace, Pa., for example. In previous times, such turntables, usually narrow gauge, were often used in lieu of switches in foundries, breweries, brickyards, planing mills, etc., where four-wheel pushcars were used to move materials around. There are several of these turntables in the old DL&W freighthouse in Scranton, Pa., now used as offices by Steamtown NHS. They look like oversize manhole covers with flangeways at 90 degrees from each other.

1787
Work and Events / Re: Ties
« on: September 12, 2008, 08:38:23 PM »
To my way of thinking, cedar ties would be a very bad idea unless they are mixed in with other, harder ties. What is necessary is the hardest, most rot and insect-resistant wood available. While cedar may be rot and insect-resistant, it's almost as soft as pine, and we do not want to be plugging and respiking ties every few years. We need oak and mixed hardwoods, perhaps with a few yellow pine or cedar ties thrown in here and there -- but not on the curves.

1788
General Discussion / Re: 2317 derailment at Steamtown
« on: September 12, 2008, 03:32:03 PM »
I agree with Keith. As derailments go, this one isn't too serious. And since they are right near a switch, they should be able to pull the engine back, and with a few strategically-placed wedges and blocks, it should pop right back on. Poor ol' 2317 seems to spend almost as much time on the ties as on the rail these days! What was it an old D&H guy who worked for me used to say? Oh yeah -- "Keep 'em on the shiny side."

1789
Work and Events / Re: Moving Rail and Ties
« on: September 11, 2008, 08:10:16 PM »
Sounds like you need an infusion of Vitamin Y, Dave. Shall I bring some along in four weeks?

1790
General Discussion / Re: WW&F volunteer sighting...
« on: September 10, 2008, 12:47:35 PM »
For the record, that's me and my wife on the left. Don Fenstermacher and I started going on steam trips in 1961, when we were both in junior high school. We're still at it 47 years later! It was a great day, in spite of the rains from Hurricane Hanna.

Cheers -- Wayne

1791
Work and Events / Re: Trout Brook Station - Official Work Thread
« on: September 03, 2008, 08:49:10 PM »
If my memory serves me correctly, it's about 6,600 feet from the current end of track to Route 218. From Top of the Mountain to Route 218 is about 4,400 feet. The Trout Brook bridge location is about 500 feet from Route 218. Crossing the brook from the right-of-way is a bit difficult except when the stream is quite low. It's a beautiful walk down the mountain, though. It will be the scenic highlight of our line when the track reaches that area.

1792
Museum Discussion / Re: 1910 Days/Old Steamshovels
« on: August 27, 2008, 02:01:17 PM »
This has been a great thread. I've really enjoyed reading it and seeing the variety of ideas presented.

However, before we can go forward with the idea of a 1910 day/days event, we have to complete the parking lot and restrooms at Sheepscot. We must be prepared to accommodate many more visitors than any of us expects. We should also have an operating plan that is as straightforward and simple as possible.

Stewart's comments earlier today are right on the money with regard to planning, mapping, safety, etc. All of these things, along with a host of other issues, will contribute to the success of the event and whether visitors, exhibitors and vendors want to be involved a second time.

An event like this could grow to become a major source of income for the museum, as well as a way to get our name and our mission out there.

1793
Museum Discussion / Re: A few pictures from Annual Picnic 2008...
« on: August 13, 2008, 09:33:24 PM »
The folks at the Doe River Gorge operation in Tennessee have developed a half-day curriculum for school groups that includes the train ride, several scenes at which the train stops while the significance of the scene is explained to the kids, and off-train activities including a brief Operation Lifesaver presentation. The program is arranged so that while one group is riding, another group can attend the off-train program and then the groups swap places. DRG has developed study guides for various grade levels that go to teachers prior to their visit so the kids have some idea of what they will experience. I believe they even furnish a bag snack or possibly lunch, too. Everything is included in a single price for groups. There's no reason why we couldn't develop a similar program about the WW&F and the two-footers. DRG has several weekdays each spring and fall set aside for school charter operations, and they promote those dates to regional schools. 

1794
Museum Discussion / Re: A few pictures from Annual Picnic 2008...
« on: August 13, 2008, 06:28:20 PM »
Steve and Matt's photos of the "scenes" are excellent. They illustrate the potential of the museum to educate the public about the two-footers and the part they played in everyday life in Maine a century ago. Think Williamsburg. If we could figure out a way to stage these scenes place on a regular basis, we could certainly sell ourselves as more than just a train ride in the woods.

I think there is great potential to develop a relevant educational activity on our railroad that could attract school groups, for example. Teacher guides could be prepared to facilitate advance preparation by teachers, as well as short lectures or discussions to be delivered by volunteers or docents during the visit.

1795
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: August 12, 2008, 04:28:15 PM »
Hi all --

I have been corrected about my previous post by Bernie Perch. Two of the feet on the base will remain as is, while the others will be trimmed to match them. The feet will then serve to stand the base off no. 11's boiler. This serves two purposes. One is to lift the bell off the boiler and reduce the area of potential corrosion between the base and the boiler, and it will also lift the bell's base up to the depth of the lagging. The fore and aft feet were made longer on purpose, as I mentioned before, so the bell stands solidly on a floor or stand.

I learn something new every day.

Cheers -- Wayne

1796
Work and Events / Re: WW&F No. 11 - Official Work Thread
« on: August 11, 2008, 05:28:30 PM »
Some folks may have noticed the four "feet" on the bell bracket casting. Bernie decided to add these so that the bell will be able to stand on a floor or shelf, and when it's time to mount this bell on no. 11's new boiler, the feet will be cut off. The actual base of the bracket is curved to match the radius of the boiler.

When Bernie and I went to Fairmount Foundry in Hamburg, Pa., the plant manager and shop foreman both expressed admiration for the craftsmanship and beauty of the patterns. They were quite amazed that Bernie, as an amateur, had done such a fine job. Those of you who saw the patterns for the spoked pilot wheel for no. 11 know what I'm talking about. Wait until you see the driver center pattern!

All of the above is to remind us how fortunate we are that Bernie Perch is willing and able to manufacture patterns for us. Thanks, Bernie.

1797
Museum Discussion / Re: Engine Air Compressor Lubricators
« on: August 10, 2008, 09:36:40 PM »
Steam brakes were quite common on smaller steam industrial locomotives. Using steam for the brakes meant one less system to maintain, since you didn't need air or vacuum to operate the brakes. Some of the earlier logging locomotives had three brake systems: steam for the engine, air (independent for the engine) and automatic air for the train. At least one of the remaining "original" Shays at Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia still has all three. Steam cranes and shovels operating on rails also were often fitted with steam brakes for the same reason. In fact, the steam brake valve on the little Shay in Bradford, Pa., came off a steam crane.

1798
Museum Discussion / Re: WEATHER
« on: August 08, 2008, 03:41:46 PM »
During the 18 years I spent as a professional railroader, I never heard of a train being struck by lightning. However, the rail is a different story. I've had many a late-night call to go out and shut down crossing signals that had been the victims of electricity from above. I've seen insulated joints and lightning arrestors fried by lightning bolts, not to mention relays and even a service entrance or two. I'm thinking the reason one is generally safe while in the engine cab or otherwise on board is that there is no ground (earth), but if you were a trainman and were climbing on or off at the instant of the lightning strike, it could be a different story. If we were switching when a lightning storm came up, we generally hunkered down in the cab until the excitement abated.

1799
General Discussion / WW&F in Railpace
« on: August 06, 2008, 05:36:23 PM »
Just picked up the August issue of Railpace magazine. Page 39 features a nice photo of no. 10 and train at Alna Center, although the caption says the train is at a "siding a mile north of Alna." Has there been some stealth track construction? ;)


1800
General Discussion / Re: Not narrow gauge, but way cool...
« on: August 02, 2008, 09:24:44 AM »
There were very few, if any, stoker-equipped steam locomotives in Great Britain. Even their most modern engines eschewed appliances such as feedwater heaters that we take for granted over here. British engines look big, but compared to ours, they were really pretty modest machines. The 9-F class of 2-10-0's the largest in the country, weighed about the same as a modest-sized 2-8-0 here.

I remember in the 1960's when "The Flying Scotsman" toured the USA, someone pointed out that the locomotive and its entire train weighed less than Southern 4501! 

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