Author Topic: Cole's Land Transportation Museum  (Read 4479 times)

James Patten

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Cole's Land Transportation Museum
« on: June 02, 2010, 05:37:48 PM »
I had opportunity today to visit Cole's Land Transportation Museum, for the first time ever.  It's in Bangor, for those that don't know.

The museum has, of course, a large variety of highway equipment.  But they also have some railroad equipment at the back of the museum: a BAR locomotive, boxcar, MEC caboose, and some stations.  But what really impressed me was that they had the tools from the Waterville MEC blacksmith shops.  It claims to be all the tools.

They also have many photo montages of various different subject matters.  They have one whole panel on the SR&RL, one on the Maine Central, and I think two each on the Bangor & Aroostook and Canadian Pacific.  Plus they have pictures from the narrow gauges interspersed.

I say it's well worth a visit.

Cliff Olson

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Re: Cole's Land Transportation Museum
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 06:14:04 PM »
I have been to Cole's many times and have left WW&F flyers there in the past.  The B&A engine is a rare BL-2 (production run of 59, eight of which were owned by the B&A).  Because of weight restrictions, BL-2's #51 and 56 were the only B&A diesels allowed to operate over the Bunker Brook trestle, north of Monson Jct. on the Greenville Branch.  Cole's also has a wonderful collection of B&A photos, donated by long-time B&A engineer Wayne Duplisea.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 09:40:45 AM by Cliff Olson »

Dave Buczkowski

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Re: Cole's Land Transportation Museum
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 08:09:04 PM »
I went many years ago with the family. I especially liked the Cole's trucks from over the years and the Maine-built snow plows. We walked around with a docent who had a lot to add to the tour.
Dave

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Cole's Land Transportation Museum
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 08:32:39 PM »
They are fine folks at Cole's. About 18 years ago, a shortline here in Pennsylvania for which I was working at the time had a BL-2, BAR no. 54, in summer excursion service. While doing the annual inspection, we discovered the front coupler shank had a serious crack which rendered the unit out of service. We also learned that it was an odd size, several inches longer than the standard couplers readily available. I phoned around to other BL-2 owners and finally landed at Cole's. I asked whether they would consider a swap, since their unit is not operable, without engine or main generator. They instantly agreed, and a couple of days later two of us head north with a truckload of tools. They were extremely friendly and helpful, and we made the switch in less than 8 hours. We installed the "new" coupler a couple of days later, and as far as I know, it's still giving good service.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2010, 05:43:33 AM by Wayne Laepple »

James Patten

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Re: Cole's Land Transportation Museum
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2010, 06:53:48 AM »
Some of those snowplows are impressive looking beasts, with giant frames all around them.  Made me wonder how the driver got into the cab.

When we've got our indoor blacksmith shop going, maybe Cole's will let us look at their collection of blacksmithing tools to see if we're missing anything.

Ken Fleming

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Re: Cole's Land Transportation Museum
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 07:06:52 AM »
James,

When you find out what you need in blacksmith tools, let me know.  I live in an area with lots of blacksmiths (Amish and Team Mennonites) and one of them is a big rail fan.  I hope to bring him up to Alna to advise on blacksmithing.  I also see a lot of blacksmith tools at our local auction.