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That's an interesting blue "flag" in the photo.

Yes, the blue barrel with the Men at Work sign keeps the snow from getting Down Under the derail it is placed over.

 ;D Do I see a Kookaburra sitting atop the reefer?

In any case, I've read in several locations that the last time the majority of the Maine potato harvest went anywhere by rail was 1969. That was the year that the majority of the potato harvest wound up gettling lost in Selkirk Yark, near Albany, NY by the barely functional Penn Central. The crop froze, and spoiled. That was the last time many Maine growers shipped by rail, and apparently many farms closed because they couldn't recover from the hit of loosing the entire years crop.
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Moderator Announcements / Re: NEWSLETTERS!!!
« Last post by Ed Lecuyer on January 17, 2022, 05:51:25 PM »
The January/February 2022 issue of the WW&F Newsletter is now posted in the Newsletters section of the forum. It will be emailed (and mailed) to members shortly.
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Thanks Graham.  Fred's poem first appeared on page 7 of the January/February 2002 WW&F Newsletter.
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The WW&F January/February 2022 Newsletter currently being distributed, in the "Our Museum, Years Ago... 20 year" section has a mention of a Fred Morse  poem “The Saga of Engine Number Nine.” I could not find that poem anywhere in the Forum, but did eventually find it in what seems an obscure :o (forgotten?) area of main website.   Soooo, I decided to reprint it inside the Forum, (where the Forum "search" has at least a hope of locating the poem.) ;D

The original, perhaps obscure location is here: https://wwfry.org/projects/9rebuild.html.bak






The Saga of Engine Number Nine
a poem by Fred Morse


I'm engine Number Nine
of Maine's Two-Footer fame.
I reside at Sheepscot Station
in the town of Alna, Maine.

I'd like to tell my story
from beginning to the end,
and I hope with all your kindness
I'll be able to run again.

I was born in Portland, Maine
in "1891",
‘twas the shores of Casco Bay,
where my life begun.

I was christened Number Five
and sent upon my way;
to the Sandy River Railroad,
that was to be my stay.

I ran the rails from Farmington to Phillips,
almost everyday,
keeping people happy
all along the way.

In "1908", that was the date,
that I really thought was swell,
I had more track to travel on,
and my number changed as well.

From Number Five to Number Six
when my company did combine,
The Sandy River Railroad
and the Phillips and Rangeley line.

For many years I traveled these rails
with passengers galore,
I carried the mail and freight,
and also much much more.

I blew my whistle and rang my bell
as I'd pass through the towns,
and people waved and cheered me on,
as I would make my rounds.

Alas! In "1925"
my life would change again,
I went to the Kennebec Central line,
as it was known back then.

They made me Number Four,
as it seemed the thing to do,
and I started work all over again
with a brand new crew.

I pulled many loads of coal
from the shores of Randolph, Maine,
to our nation's "soldier's home",
Togus was its name.

Passengers, as well as freight,
were also pulled by me.
I worked real hard until "‘29",
then rested till "‘33".

My life was then to change again,
it seemed that it was so,
I was always kept a running
and always on the go.

I was sent to the Sheepscot Valley
to the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington line.
The railroad to the coast it was,
and I felt that it was fine.

I became engine Number Nine,
away with Number Four,
and that's the number I have
now, and forevermore.

My work on the Two-Foot railroad
ended mighty quick,
for part of my poor old frame
got really very sick.

And then in early June,
the 15th to be sure,
number Eight went off the track
and the railroad closed its door.

I thought my days were numbered,
as well they might have been,
if it hadn't been for a railfan,
who had spotted me right then.

I was taken to Connecticut
and put inside a barn,
and there I sat for many years
upon the Ramsdell farm.

After all those years of slumber
my luck has changed again,
I've returned to Sheepscot Station,
I remembered, way back when.

Each summer Saturday morning,
I'm pushed outside the door,
and there I set watching Number Ten,
go by me with a roar.

I'd love to be upon those tracks
heading for Alna Center,
but "alas" there's work to do
before that phase I'll enter.

I'm told that a brand new boiler
will get me on my way,
so now we have to have some funds
to really make my day.

Being engine Number Nine
with all those years of rest,
I've come up with a plan,
I really think is best.

Both old and young should have a chance
to help me to succeed,
a small donation of nine dollars each,
would help me in my need.

So keep those coins aflowing
right into Sheepscot, Maine,
and before you'll even know it,
I'll again be the head of a train.

Your names shall all be entered in a log,
on the station desk,
and I hope to have ten thousand names
to help me in my quest.

That log I'll carry with me,
when I am on my way,
T'will travel to Alna Center
because You've made my Day!


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General Discussion / Re: Maine potatoes moving by rail for 1st time in 40 years
« Last post by Ed Lecuyer on January 17, 2022, 09:50:51 AM »
That's an interesting blue "flag" in the photo.

Yes, the blue barrel with the Men at Work sign keeps the snow from getting Down Under the derail it is placed over.
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General Discussion / Re: Maine potatoes moving by rail for 1st time in 40 years
« Last post by Jeff Schumaker on January 17, 2022, 09:44:46 AM »
That's an interesting blue "flag" in the photo.

Jeff S.
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Volunteers / Re: January 2022 Work Report
« Last post by Stephen Lennox on January 16, 2022, 06:31:21 PM »
Anticipated work for Tuesday and Wednesday 18-19 January 2022

*  Switch out Loco’s #9 and #10 from Bay #1 to Bay #2.
*  Vacuum brakes design/build to continue  (pending)
*  Passenger truck rebuild to continue  (pending)
*  Line check, crossing clean out and or salting  (unknown which day)
*  Air compressor to be relocated in Bay #1  (pending)

Note:  At this time the RR has a mask mandate requiring masks to be worn inside buildings and enclosed spaces.
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General Discussion / Maine potatoes moving by rail for 1st time in 40 years
« Last post by Graham Buxton on January 16, 2022, 12:05:26 PM »
The WW&F has a revived connection to potatoes, at a minimum, we have potato sack races, a (fairly new) potato processing shed, and there might be another potato related building in the future, so this story seems quite appropriate ...

Quote
VAN BUREN, Maine — When Don Flannery of the Maine Potato Board suggested last fall that moving potatoes by rail would be ideal in the face of a trucking bottleneck, he didn’t know what a gem of an idea it was.


But LaJoie Growers of Van Buren knew, and this week Maine potatoes have left Aroostook County on rail cars, bound for big markets, for the first time in more than 40 years.


The 2021 harvest made history for its size — a roughly 20 percent greater yield than normal, thanks to near-perfect growing conditions. But that led to a few problems along the way: What to do with all the extra spuds, and how to get them to market in the middle of a trucking shortage.
and later in that article:
Quote

Photo credit: For the first time in more than four decades, a rail car parked outside a potato storage facility in Van Buren is filled and ready to move. The Maine Department of Transportation helped facilitate the process. Credit: Courtesy of Maine Department of Transportation


“The Maine Northern Railroad and Union Pacific Railway arranged for refrigerated rail cars to be sent to Van Buren,” the department said via Twitter. “Thirty-three refrigerated rail cars are now loaded with spuds and bound for Washington state.”


https://bangordailynews.com/2022/01/15/news/aroostook/maines-potato-crop-is-so-big-railroads-are-being-used-for-1st-time-in-40-years-to-transport-it-joam40zk0w/
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Volunteers / Re: January 2022 Work Report
« Last post by ALAIN DELASSUS on January 16, 2022, 10:56:18 AM »
Most of the Tramway de Pithiviers à Toury main tracks were laid at the back side of the road and  when the grass has been newly mowed you can still spot the place of the cross ties here and there like on your picture but then again the tracks were only removed in 1964. I was really astonnished when I first discovered that.
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General Discussion / Re: Whither coal?
« Last post by John Kokas on January 15, 2022, 09:07:27 PM »
With a little simple chemistry used vegetable oil can be converted into Biodiesel relatively cheaply.  The best part is that diesel engines running on biodiesel have much better lubrication and there is no need for extra DEF fluids or injection systems.  I ran my last truck with about a 10-15% biodiesel blend for many years.  The 5.9 L Cummins engine had over 400K miles on it when I sold it and the only thing I ever had to replace on the engine was the starter.  That truck is still in use with no engine rebuild according to the new owner.
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