Author Topic: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road  (Read 17502 times)

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« on: November 23, 2008, 09:32:11 AM »
One idea the WW&F can take from the East Broad Top is how the EBT is re-opening part of their original mainline for special operations.  (Note: The EBT has over 30 miles of mainline still in place but much of it has not seen a train since 1956 and is very over grown).  Over the last couple of years they have cleared and repaired about a mile of track going South from the Rockhill Furnace yard.  Two original flywheel engine rail cars have been restored and the railroad offers rides on this trackage with the rail cars.  The rides are very popular and separate tickets are sold for the trips.

The discussion arose on the old Forum of what to do when the WW&F track reaches Rt 218 in Head Tide.  I suggested that if we didn't install a grade crossing we could start building track on the other side of the road.  We could build northward up along the river and into the famous deep cut next to the Head Tide Church.  This trackage could be used to offer railcar rides in the Model T or on a (yet to be built) flywheel engine track car.  We could even offer handcar rides along this scenic portion.  The tickets would be sold in the Head Tide station.  I know all of this would happen years from now but the EBT's operation shows that it may be a viable option.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 12:54:56 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Stephen Hussar

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2008, 10:03:56 AM »
Stewart, I still like your idea of building a couple hundred feet of track going south, on the other side of Cross Rd. That would be a terrific place to give handcar rides in the near term, especially during Annual Picnic (or Founder's Day, or 1910 Days, etc.)

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2008, 11:25:28 AM »
Thanks Steve,  Once we get the parking lot built the grade won't be needed for parking spaces. I figured 210 ft of the smaller 30 or 40 lb rail would be good, it could always be upgraded if we build the crossing.  Getting the handcar over there would be easy and as you said, that would be a very popular ride.   We're going to have 2 handcars soon and we need safe places for visitors to ride them.   The disconnected track is safer than in the yard, especially during events like the picnic. 

Ken Fleming

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2008, 12:41:11 PM »
Laying (disconnected) track in either or both directions would be good idea.  Handcar, model T car and/or fly wheel engined cars could add to the "ride" and ridership.  Finding a few hundred feet of very-light rail shouldn't be too difficult.  But finding time, people and money maybe a little more troubling.  BTW, how far could we go in either direction before crossing a public road, private land or some physical obstruction that would require major work and/or money? Gee, a railway with North, South and Middle Operating Divisions, interesting thought.

Ira Schreiber

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2008, 03:29:32 PM »
We have the necessary light weight rail to go south of Cross Road. The ROW is under water about 1,300'  south from Cross Road.
The ROW north of Highway 218 is about 1200'(my guess) before it reaches Head Tide Road.
My take is that time and ties will be the limiting factor.
Any extension north will take 60# rail, which we do not have.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2008, 08:52:01 PM by Ira Schreiber »

Dave Buczkowski

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2008, 11:55:30 PM »
Ira;
It's more like 1300 feet till you get to the beaver pond. It's only under water during severe storms like the October work weekend a few years ago.
Dave

Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 11:31:51 AM »
Does anyone know if the grade is a little 'low' on the south side of Cross Road?  from pictures I have seen before it apears to get down to a good foot or two below the actual road.  Perhaps if the museam prepared the earthworks for a future (many years later) crossing there, then then Roadbed may be able to be raised enough above flood level to keep the ties rail and, most importantly, balast from being washed away in any severe storms.  if we prepare it for service as a mainline now then we avoid the larger (inflaton afected) expense later.  We all know that over time out-of-house costs increase.

I am all for this idea, as wea already have a decent portion of the track on hand, and a good portion the ROW mostly cleared.  This seems like a viable way to increase ridership and revenue with a proportionaly small investment.  Once the parking lot is done of course....

Ken, going 'south' using the scale and KMZ file of the WW&F on google maps there apears to be around 2000ft untll the ROW hits Verney Mill Road near discouragement Pond and the 'north' using the same map and file about 3000ft untill head tide road.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 10:23:34 AM by Vincent LeRow »
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Ed Lecuyer

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WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2008, 11:43:40 AM »
[Mod note, I'm splitting this topic since we've long since veered off of the EBT.]

It is my understanding that the grade on the Sheepscot station side of the ROW was raised by Harry when the line was rebuilt - specifically to address flooding issues. I would presume that the same exercise would have to be done on the South side of Cross Road, just to bring it up to grade.

It is interesting to note that Harry's original plan called for the railroad to only go as far as so that the train could not be seen from the end of track on *either side* of the station. In essence, we're only going one way. Of course, if we cross Cross road we'd fall into FRA jurisdiction which is mainly why the southern expansion never occurred.

Then again, over two miles of track to the north is an amazing accomplishment.
Ed Lecuyer
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James Patten

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2008, 11:58:39 AM »
Any changes to the grade (at least changes involving earthmoving) would probably require DEP (Dept. of Environmental Protection) involvement.  No point in doing that until we are serious in our intent to extend south.

Vincent "Lightning" LeRow

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2008, 12:21:58 PM »
Quote
Of course, if we cross Cross road we'd fall into FRA jurisdiction which is mainly why the southern expansion never occurred.

Ed,

I believe the idea was to build disconected track for a handcar and avoid both the expense and FRA paperwork of an actual grade crossing
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 12:26:36 PM by Vincent LeRow »
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2008, 12:53:28 PM »
Harry told me that the Cross Road was widened and paved in the 1950's.  The improvements brought the road's furface up about 20 inches.  Ed is correct that the railroad grade was brought up to match the roads level on the north side of the road.   Harry did this to allow for a crossing to be built.  Yes, Harry had a dream of being on the platform at Sheepscot and seeing the train come from out of view from the south, cross the road and disappear to the north.  Of course we never built the crossing so we don't have the south part, but we REALLY got the going north part.  

The grade south of the road has had some minor repair over the last 10 -12 years.  Wheel ruts and a small wash out have been fixed.  James is right about the DEP permits for filling but I think if a section of track is installed, the stone and ties would probably get the rail up enough to keep it safely above flood level.    We wouldn't start right at the road.  There's the set back, like the north side and we could keep an additional 20 - 30 feet open for a truck to back in if needed.   The only other thing to consider is how we get the mower past the track.  The grade looks nice because the riding mower can be run all the way down to the foot bridge.  

I hope the Board will consider the installation of the disconnected track once the parking lot is finished.  It may help the museum (with future expansion) if we start using the south grade for railroad operations. 
« Last Edit: November 24, 2008, 01:19:22 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Bill Sample

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2008, 01:19:48 PM »
Some of you old timers might remember that "someone" painted two stripes that were two feet apart across Cross Road, perfectly lined up with the right of way.  I noticed this on my first-ever visit to Sheepscot.  I seem to remember asking Harry about the stripes a year or two later and my answer was a grin.

Stephen Hussar

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2008, 02:42:22 PM »
Some of you old timers might remember that "someone" painted two stripes that were two feet apart across Cross Road, perfectly lined up with the right of way.
I never saw that, but what a great idea. And it could function as a crosswalk for people on their way over to ride the handcar...

Ira Schreiber

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2008, 03:50:16 PM »
Early this summer, we drug some rails north that were stored south of Cross Road to be used for the shop extension. This would have been a rail crossing of Cross Road.

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: WW&F Track Expansion: Across from 218 and/or Cross Road
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2008, 05:44:22 PM »
Well we also have to cut down trees if we move south because the roadbed on the other side of the road behind the station is covered with trees! :)
« Last Edit: November 25, 2008, 08:10:20 AM by Matthew Gustafson »
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