Author Topic: What car should we build next?  (Read 2654 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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What car should we build next?
« on: December 18, 2008, 11:16:52 PM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
What car should we build next? has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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James Patten wrote:
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Wayne asked me to set up this poll: What car should be considered next for construction?

Dave Crow replied:
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James and Wayne,

I have to admit that I'm partial to building a replica of the "Taconnet" but I think that a hopper car for ballast would be very handy as well.

I must say that future car construction needs to take place under another roof.  Our collection of equipment needs protection from the weather.  In addition, if a coach/combine is built, the need for more woodworking equipment than is presently on site will become obvious.  The machine shop is a great place to repair a steam or diesel locomotive, but a shop such as the Sandy River guys built will be necessary as more and more woodwork takes place.

Just my two cents' worth after working on 103 last weekend.

Dave Crow

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hi everyone,

It will be great to have new hopper or we build it. It will reduce work time and get it done quicker with few volunter.   Also we need more tampers.

Joe Fox replied:
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I like the idea of a hopper, however, I voted for a combine, because when #9 is able to run under steam again, all trains are going to be full to capacity.

petecosmob replied:
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I almost wish I'd read other peoples comments before voting,...almost.

What you got was my honest and unswayed vote.

I WOULD like to SEE annother boxcar added, just for better looking photo freight possibilities.

I think it's something that should happen eventually, but maybe not ythe "NEXT project" but it could be usefull as a tool car.

I agree, after reading other's comments, that a TACONET might be the next best step for passenger equipment, after all, passengers ARE the rr's main purpose.

Flatcar? Well, there are two already. Would annother flat have really sped anything up last weekend? (I wasn't there, so I don't know, that'a why I ask.)

Hopper car? Well,...how big, and would it have made much difference last weekend?

Again, I've been "out of the loop" down here in CT, so I don't have the info you folks up there have. (That IS why I love this forum!)

Anyway, ... I still vote for annothewr box, because:

a) You could put a lot of tools in it, (last spring I remember caboose space used for this,)

b) it COULD in fact transport people! Put a railing or two across the door, maybe a portable bench or two.

c) Longer photo freights!

that's my $0.02 worth.
Cosmo

Mike Fox replied:
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A hopper car for ballast service would be great. The longer the line gets, the more ballast we will need to put out. being able to dump it rather than shovel will help speed things along and keep things progressing while more volunteers can focus on other things. And the other flats can still be used as they have been when needed.
Mike

Ira Schreiber replied:
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The Portland Company had plans, I believe, for a 2' hopper car.

This would satisfy certain purists for authentic rolling stock.

The flat cars are very labor intensive.

Last week-ends track laying session brought up several short comings of the pre-plannning.

Rail should be cropped and pre-drilled. We had months to do this.

We should make progress over the winter in cropping and drilling for next year's rail blitz.

An additional track laying session of two days and 8-12 people should be scheduled to lay the remainder of the 210' not completed for the 2006 project. The rail is ready and the ties are there.

Please take these as  suggestions, NOT criticisms.

Ira, my back is NOT sore,Schreiber

P.S.
Thanks to all the great people I have met this summer. It was of the very best experiences that I have had and I owe it all to the WW&F family.

See you next year.

Ira

ETSRRCo replied:
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I say the combined. It would add so much to the WW&F. In the last years of the railroad the mail contract was the only thing really keeping the railroad going as was with a lot of short lines in that era. With the combined you could show people what an RPO car looked like and could even do demonstrations with it. The hopper would be nice though. You could just make a scaled down version of and EBT hopper.

-Eric

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hi,
I like combine, too.  But I would like to have hopper first. Last Spring I was watching Maine Eastern RR pouring crust rocks onto about 500 feet track from hopper. It took two crews to do it in about 15 minutes. It was easy and quick. It took four days and about 20 volunteers to pour it onto about 50- 100 feet  track from flat car. 

Dave

Joe Fox replied:
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I am glad to see that people would like to have a combine or a box car sometime in the future. I think shoveling the ballast off the flat cars is helpfull because you can regulate how much ballast you put down in a certain spot. With a hopper, it would be a lot more difficult. I think a combine would be really nice to have, put some hand brakes on it, and that could be used the same way as the caboose basically because of the side doors on it.

Joe

Glenn Christensen replied:
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Hi Joe,

I have a Sumpter Valley video that shows how one regulates the discharge of materials out of a hopper car.

There are usually chains on the corners of the hopper car doors and on the side of the car is a metal plate with a slot just wide enough to accept a chain link slid in sideways.  People on either side of the car simply decide how may links to open the doors.  Once the door is properly rigged the breaker bar (or on earlier cars the ratchet on the crank is released at the material flows out.  Depending on the material needed, only one door can be opened at a time.  A tie is laid on the rails infront of the rear truck to level off the ballast to rail height and the train pulls forward.
Best Regards,
Glenn

Joe Fox replied:
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I didn't know that. Thanks for the info Glenn. Do you think you could email me the video? Any video that deals with railroad I love to watch. I think that is an interesting process, and if it is that easy, then we could deffinently use one.
Joe

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hi Glenn,
Thanks Glenn for explain Joe about this. I guess he did not understand what did I say on my  last message. It was not hard to use hopper. It was easier than shoveling ballast from flat bed and save alot of time. 
Dave

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Hi Joe,
I have a Sumpter Valley video that shows how one regulates the discharge of materials out of a hopper car.
There are usually chains on the corners of the hopper car doors and on the side of the car is a metal plate with a slot just wide enough to accept a chain link slid in sideways.  People on either side of the car simply decide how may links to open the doors.  Once the door is properly rigged the breaker bar (or on earlier cars the ratchet on the crank is released at the material flows out.  Depending on the material needed, only one door can be opened at a time.  A tie is laid on the rails infront of the rear truck to level off the ballast to rail height and the train pulls forward.
Best Regards,
Glenn

Allan Fisher replied:
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Others have said it - we need car storage  -  not new cars - all of the cars suggested are nice to have - but not needed in the short term.

We don't need a hopper car because the fun of a work weekend is everyone joining in to unload the flat cars.

We are not trying to build track faster - we want track to be built allowing as many volunteers to participate as possible - the fun is in the doing - and that is part of the charm of the WW&F.

We are building railroad as fast as our present fundraising allows.

If we wanted to go after a large Ice Tea grant from the government, we could build railroad faster, but there goes the whole idea of volunteer spirit at the WW&F.

We need sewage fields, toilets , parking lots, car storage buildings, and enlarged carpenter & steam shops First!

Let's continue to proceed prudently according to the approved long range plan and leave "nice to have" for later.

James Patten replied:
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Building a Portland Company designed hopper was something we were going to do a while back, but there was some resistance to the idea so we went to building another flatcar.

I think part of the problem was that once the doors were opened to let the stone out, there was no way to close them back up to move to another location.

Joe Fox replied:
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I agree with Allan, and the new car does crowd the yard more. However, after we get the toilets and things built, then we should try and find a spot to store the cars. Such as, maybe the siding at top of the mountain when that gets built? Just have the two flat cars sit up there or something like that. What do you think of that idea James?

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hi Allen,

I agree with you that we need restroom,  parking lot,  carpenter shop, etc first. So it will be comfortable for both volunteers and customers.

Dave

fjknight replied:
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Before reading any messages I voted for the hopper car since it seems that it would be very useful in track building. Unloading flat cars by hand while not especially difficult is not what I consider a fun task. I'm sure the workers would get plenty of enjoyment from watching the hopper dump stone on the track.
Frank Knight

James Patten replied:
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Discussion of car storage locations should be a new topic (which I will start because I have thoughts about this).

Wayne Laepple replied:
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OK, folks. I guess the fun has gone on long enough. I proposed this poll to James solely for my own amusement. It was not sanctioned by anyone in authority at the WW&F and as far as I am concerned carries absolutely no weight with the board of directors. I just wondered what people thought.

As for dumping ballast from a hopper car, having dumped several hundred carloads during my railroading career, I can say that it's way less work than shovelling from a flatcar. I can also attest that it's much faster. As for controlling the flow, I learned that by using a pair of comalongs, one on each side of the car, it is possible to "customize" the flow rate from a trickle to a full-bore flow, and if necessary, close up the doors to move to another location.

However, as Allan Fisher has so aptly pointed out, there are a number of other issues that take precedence over building another car of whatever configuration anyone desires. More covered storage, lavatory facilities, and additional parking are just a few.

Wayne Laepple replied:
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One advantage of a hopper car is that a much smaller crew can efficiently distribute ballast, and using the customize feature, can even dress off track.

Dana Deering replied:
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Hey Ira,

How can you say it is not a criticism to talk about "the short comings of the pre planning" for the work weekend?  Since I am the one who is responsible for the pre planning I do take offense at that comment.  Easy for you to say what should have been done.  Just try and get the rail cropping and drilling done when it is near impossible to get enough guys in the summer to take care or routine maintenance.  Armchair generals are always to be had in abundance, Monday morning quaterbacks, too.  I do not appreciate it.  If you want to volunteer to plan and run next Fall's weekend just let me know.

Dana

James Patten replied:
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This is your moderator warning everybody to keep the discussion civil.

Mike Fox replied:
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Wayne, I guess some of us knew what was going on and didn't get all excited about the idea. Just a thought for the future. And a way to find out why you thought that way if you so desired. It is just a poll like you said and does not mean that is what should be done. We all know car storage and the like should have priority but that was NOT what the poll was about.
Mike

ETSRRCo replied:
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Dana you did a great job. It is railroad. NOTHING goes smoothly in railroading. I worked on your crew once and it was a pleasure that I plan to repeat with my next visit. Do not let these kids of comments get to you. You do the best you can which is more then some people do. The railroad would not be the same without you.
-Eric

Joe Fox replied:
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Yes, Dana does make for a good road foreman, and also supervisor. I have worked under Dana's command on track work for almost 2 years, and hopefully it will stay that way.

Dave Olszewski replied:
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Hey,
It was good to work with Dana on Track Weekend and on Saturday before Track Weekend. He helped to build new track and with prepared for track weekend. I will love to work with him  again. It is good to have WW&F Railway there. It is better than nothing and no museum.
Dave

Stewart Rhine replied:
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A new hopper car would be good but how often would it see service.  Sure, it would roll on the track weekends but what about the rest of the year.   A hopper is going to hold about 7 tons of stone / gravel.  Would a 4 man track crew take it out during the Summer?  Generally track weekends are the times when large amounts of stone are spread.  The rest of the year is more about track maint. and unless there's a wash out, a hopper would be over kill.

I think a tool car would serve better.  Any sized track crew could take the tool/box car out and have most of what they need.  As we all know, much time is spent loading and unloading tools and equipment between the section house and a flat car.  Tools and equipment are moved 4 times for each job.  This number would be cut in half with a tool car.

Stewart

Wayne Laepple replied:
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When I proposed this survey to James, I suggested a replica of caboose 301 with the idea that side windows and end platforms would make it much easier to load and unload tools, and interior side benches like those in our 320 would offer storage space as well as seating for the crew, perhaps just in one end of the car. The same would be true of a replica of one of the WW&F's 302-303-304 Portland boxcars, each of which had end doors and various configurations of windows.

The down side of a tool car, except during the big spring and fall track weekends, is the necessity of a locomotive to move the car to the work site.  A solution might be to use the tool car as the main storage location for track tools, with a smaller collection of tools to be kept in the tool house for routine maintenance tasks.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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All, I was cleaning out a few boxes and I found my copy of the Portland Company plans for a WW&F hopper.  It is an interesting car - basically a modified flat car with spread needle beams, built up sides and hopper slopes.  There is a mechanism to open the hopper chutes but I can't tell if it can be opened partially to regulate product flow.

The same file box had copies of the 1918 era ICC Valuation of the entire WW&F.  There are schedules/surveys of track construction (cuts/fills), bridges and trestles, culverts, structures (yard and lineside), tools (including shop machines) locomotives, freight and passenger rolling stock and snow plows and flangers.  I will make a copy to put in the cabinet at Sheepscot.  I have also copied my 1911 rule book and will put those pages in too.

Stewart

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Stewart, if you scan them and then email them to me, I will upload them to my host and then post links to the various plans. I won't post the images/documents here, just links to them. (they would be too large for folks with dial-up connections) Let me know.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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I agree that a hopper car (HC) has limited use but...

Keeping it full of stone allows us to attack any immediate track repiars without waiting for the loader and an operator. Spot ballasting now becomes more practical.

Although it is not like the air compressor car, it really is as far as utilization.

Less people unloading stone by hand means more production elsewhere. There is historical precedence for it, just look at the Portland Co. plans. BTW, can you post the plans for it?

Thanks,
Ira

Dana Deering replied:
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When we operate in the winter I always wish that we had a flanger.  The Albion Historical Society has been trying to restore the flanger that was left at Albion when the WW&F was abandoned (202 was it?).  I wish we could do a joint venture kind of restoration with them, restore the flanger, haul it to Sheepscot for the winter, and then send it back in the spring so they could display it up there.  Trucking it would not be that difficult and once we get rails laid to Albion it won't matter.

Dana

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Dana,

Another good idea. Who needs to talk to whom to get this rolling?(No pun intended)

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Well, you know, it wouldn't be all that difficult to design an air-operated flanger blade for the plow on the front of no. 52.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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1901 plans for a WW&F Hopper Car can be found here:

http://www.setbb.com/wwfmuseum/viewtopic.php?t=81&mforum=wwfmuseum

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Do I understand that the hopper bottoms are parallel to the rails on the Portland hopper? That might make it difficult to spread the ballast while the car is moving. On standard hopper cars, you open one pair of doors at a time, and using chains or comalongs, you regulate the stone flow as the car is pulled slowly ahead. A tie on the rails ahead of the rear truck strikes the ballast off the rail and smooths the humps. I don't think that would work too well with this type of car.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Hey, they designed that car 105 years ago!!! I would hope we would have learned a few things in that span of time 

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Dana,  I like your idea of working with the Albion group to finish the flanger.  Both groups would benefit from such an arrangement.   Once the car is done it could be shared as you said, Summer in Albion and Winter at Sheepscot.  You may remember that we looked into acquiring it 5-6 years ago but some of the members didn't want it leaving Albion for good.  If we propose a shared use they may go for the plan.  I know they want it finished as the wooden deck is getting weathered.  From what I can see, no work has been done on the car in a number of years.  Hey, I already have door hardware for the car.

Stewart

James Patten replied:
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Some history regarding the flanger.

Carl offered it to us a few years back, because he wanted to get the money he put into it back.  Albion Historical Society heard about it and bought it from him.  Whether any strings are attached or not I don't know.

Dave Buczkowski replied:
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Maybe we could raise the issue with Carl tomorrow while at Albion. We can also get a visual update on his progress with the flanger since last year. I agree with Dana and Stewart that doing the flanger next is a good idea from a historical, preservation and practical standpoint.

Dave

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Check out this car. Prototype style, just not WW&F.

Ira

:D New ballast wagon ordered

The WHRCL is purchasing a third ballast wagon this Autumn. Following the FR's interest in Romanian narrow gauge carriages, the new wagon will be constructed in Romania, using refurbished components and bogies. One difference from the ex-SAR wagons is that it will feature both centre and side discharge unlike the existing pair, Nos.4021/2, which only feature side discharge. A WHRCL inspection is being made this week and if the work is found satisfactory, delivery will follow within weeks. The wagon may be known as No.4023. Having a third wagon will mean that ballasting can be achieved more quickly as fewer unproductive returns to the loading site will be necessary.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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and here it is.......

third ballast wagon arrived in Autumn 2006. No. 4023 was built new in Romania by S.C. Atelierele Centrale S.A. of Criscior, using a range of remanufactured components, including the bogies. It is based on a four-wheeled standard gauge design for Austrian Federal Railways. Unlike the SAR wagons it discharges ballast along the centre line of the track as well as at the sides; in addition to this function, having a third wagon will also reduce the number of return trips the ballast train needs to make to reloading points. WHR Construction Ltd's Ian Hartill visited the manufacturer to inspect the wagon in the second week of October 2006; it was found to be most satisfactory, and delivery to Dinas took place on October 27th 2006. Sorry, I can't seem to attach photos.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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The Gaithersburg (MD) Railroadiana Show was Saturday and Sunday.  There were a number of two foot paper items for sale including a WW&F pay roll ledger from March, 1927 and freight way bills from the SR&RL, SRRR, P&R and F&M.  These all went home in my truck.  I also  purchased a wall mounted oil lamp that came from a B&M flanger.  It's rusty but all parts are there.  I plan to restore it over the Winter just in case the WW&F flanger gets finished in the next year or two.

I also got another narrow gauge brake wheel.  This one is similar to the D&RG one I brought up about 5 years ago.  The new one is more complete and has a 3' staff, and pawl.

Stewart

BM1455 replied:
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I think that a box car would be a good next car that would be quite usefull.  First of all, it would give us an opportunity to make a replica of a car that was actually used on this railroad instead of another "what if" car or another modern maintainence mobile.  We could do one of the types of cars that did not survive and thus bring back a part of the railroad that would be otherwise lost.  (We are a museum) A box car that could be used as a tool car has been my suggestion for a number of years.  One half of the car could have a built in air compressor that is big enough to run four tampers.  It will eliminate the need to rent one every time we have a work weekend and it will alwasy be under cover and can be kept anywhere on the railroad that is out of the way.  It would also serve to quiet down the noise fromt he tamping crews as the compressor would be located inside the car.  Many of the WW&F cars had smoke jacks for a stove so that could serve as an exhast vent.  All of the air hoses and tampers could be stored in the car which eliminates storage issues and the track tools could also be stored there as well.  Loading and unloading tools would be drasticly reduced and it may free up a lot of needed space in the sheds that we already have.  The tools would simply roll up to the area where they are needed.  This is a car we actualy have a use for today wether it be a full blown work weekend or for just a regular mainanence crew.

EL.

petecosmob replied:
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I think BM1455 has a great idea here concept wise. Why not build a dedicated compressor/tools car-boxcar?

One idea might be to have some sort of steel mesh or grate deck under the compressor part for ventilation. It would be nearly invisible from most normal viewing, bug would provide for air intake and help to prevent exhaust gasses building up inside the car- of course leaving the doors open would do that too, but at least a small portion of metal grating beneath the compressor would assist in circulating the air around the copmpressor itself.

Just my hair-brained idea, thought I'd share.

Cosmo

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Cosmo,  If you look back at page 2 of this thread you will see that the tool car idea started about a month ago.  You have a good idea to include the compressor in one end of the car.  The air intake and stack would work well.  Our existing air car is nice but it likes to pick switches since one wheel set is wide gauge.  It must be fixed but if the tool car were built everything could be transferred over to that.  The thing about a tool car is that everything is unloaded/loaded one time per job.  Right now we move tools from the setion house to the flat car and then unload at the job site.  The process is reversed at the end of the day which has everything being moved 4 times.  Sheepscot section house would have more room with the tool car in service.

Another box car would look good in our photo freights and could be moved up line to Hall's (when he have the siding), AC or TOM if things get crowded at Sheepscot yard.  I voted for a tool car because I think it would be the most beneficial car to add.

petecosmob replied:
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Yes, I understand the idea of a tool car is not a new one, but the idea of incorporating the compressor is worthy of serious concideration.

If you look back, MY original vote was for annother boxcar, just because more boxcars would look good, AND it's use as a tool car.

Depending on just how big this operation gets, and how many tools it eventually requires, perhaps concideration should begin now toward eventually building more than one boxcar, as tool/support cars for major tracklaying work. I'm sure #9 could handle all tjhe freight cars the RR could build and then some!

Not to say that the next 2 or 3 cars should be boxes, but perhaps the next car be a box, and maybe 2 or 3 cars down the line build a box.

We DO need to think in terms of YEARS ahead, so that's my vote on that.

Eitherway, I trust that whatever is built next will be something usefull, be it freight or passenger, box, flat, or hopper, coach or combine.

Cosmo

Mike Fox replied:
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Keep in mind one thing if you want a compressor inside a boxcar. Air compressors get hot. Venting will be necessary. Grates on the bottom are a good idea to start but the end of the car the compressor is on it might be smart to put a door in for air circulation. Didn't potato cars have doors in the ends as well as the sides?

Well after 10 minutes of page turning, Boxcars 80-82 had the end doors. They were originally W&Q 28 foot flats converted to a boxcars. Photos on page 35 of Narrow Gauge in the Sheepscot Valley Vol. IV.

Mike

Wayne Laepple replied:
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The other problem with putting a big air compressor in the tool car is that a locomotive is necessary to move it, and when we are tamping, we are moving fairly often. That ties up a locomotive. Since in general we only operate multiple tampers a couple of times a year, I'm not certain that's the bext use of our resources.

On the other hand, a boxcar/tool car is a fine idea, particularly if it's set up with end doors and a few windows, as some of the original WW&F boxcars were. All the necessary tools could be delivered to the work site, and then the tool car could be returned to the yard or the nearest siding.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Cosmo,  Sorry I didn't see your post from 10/15 when you first mentioned a new boxcar.  I scrolled through the pages but missed it.  My bad.  As to building other new cars, a combine would be good for wheelchair access.  It would also look good with coach 3 behind engine 9.  It is a car we should plan on building in the next few years.  We probably wouldn't start a large project like that until we have the wood shop.  The most expensive part of a new car is the trucks.  We currently have an extra set of freight trucks which are under the 126.  These will be available once the J&S trucks are repaired and put under coach 8.  Coach 8's trucks will go under the 126.    The spare trucks could then go under a new tool car.

Steve Zuppa replied:
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I'm with Wayne. We have a perfectly servicable compressor car right now that Gary Recave built for us. It can be moved by hand when we're tamping and if there is a problem with one axle(which there is. I myself put it on the ground) then we fix the damn thing. We can rebuild a steam locomotive. You think we can't regauge an axle? We don't need to be wasting resources duplicating things we already have.

BM1455 replied:
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Hi Steve,

You are correct about the tampers except that the current car only has a compressor that can handle two tampers.  On work weekends or for larger maintanece projects we need four tampers.  The idea is to build a car to show people more about what the original railroad was like but to help justify it by making it useful.  A rolling toolshed and a comressor that can actualy hande everything we will need a compressor to handle is an improvement.  All the tamping equipment will have a good home out of the way of other things in the sectionhouse, and the brookvile should be able to move this car I would think.

Eric Larsen.

James Patten replied:
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I wonder if CMP still has the twin to the compressor that we now use.  Will have to ask Leon next time I see him.  The second compressor would eliminate the need for the large rented compressor.

The Brookville has moved 309 in the past out on the line and it can move any boxcar we build, even with tools and compressors in it.  It can move a heavy flat of stone or gravel, which probably weighs around 10 tons, so it should be able to move a partially full boxcar.

Wayne Laepple replied:
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It's not a question of our ability to build a tool car and install a large-capacity air compressor in it, it's whether doing so is the best use of our resources. The usual small track crew really doesn't need the ability to operate four jitterbugs at once, nor does it need every tool in the section house. And of course no. 51 can move a boxcar, but during our intensive track construction weekends (aka Spring and Fall track Meets), no. 51 is usually moving rail and ties around. To my way of thinking, it's much more efficient for a semi-annual effort to rent a compressor. If we were going hammer and tongs on track construction every weekend, perhaps my mindset would be different.

BM1455 replied:
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Hi Wayne,

You are correct about the concept that we could just continue to rent a compressor but thre has been discussion about getting a more powerful one in the past anyway.  This could have other uses besides tamping and it would be mobile.  We always seem to go through some sort of frantic drill in order to get the rented compressor there and set up, or out of there in time so we can get it back to the rental place in time before they close for the day, (so we don't get billed) ect.  Often that meens quitting early on the last day of the work weekend, which in some cases means we do not get all we had hoped for done.  There has also been discussion of increasing the number of work weekends in the future so we can better tackle more of the maintainence or track building projects.

The other thing is that we are only going to build new cars based on "need" then we don't even need to have this topic on the forum.  At our present state the museum probably has more than enough cars for practical operation.   However, as for mentioned, we are a museum and building some replicas are a great way to show the puvlic what the real railroad was like.  Hopper car is even less needed than a box car/ compreeor car as it only serves one use and only on one or two weekend a year when we do heavy work with a lot of stone.  We can already do this with the two flatcars.

Caboose is almost completely un-needed though I would love to see a 301 replica some day.

Another flat car would probably be overkill and extra coaches are definately un-needed at this time.

The boxcar not only increases our tamping capacity but also helps to solves some storage issues, which are ever increasing at the museum.  Also as others have noted, the idea that it also is a rolling tool shed makes things much more conventient as well.  We mentioned that the car could be stored anywhere on the line so it gets all this stuff out of the already congested yard if we disire ti to do so.

One final note/ oppinion.  We seem to be getting into a sindrom of making all kinds of non-prototypical, single purpose rolling stock. (which is one reason why we have storage issues)  In many cases these are the results of surprise gifts which one the one hand we don't want to refuse, but on the other hand, if we had thought the issue through more ahead of time we may have been able to combine both the historical integrety of our mission with funtionality.

Eric Larsen.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Why not try to get one of these and re-gauge the hi-rail set?


Stewart Rhine replied:
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About our existing air car - for those who don't know, Gary Recave designed and built it in his home shop.  He used wheelsets that had been sitting up at the section house for a while.  (James may know where they came from) Gary did a great job on the car but didn't know that one of the axles was a bit too long.  As Steve Z. said, the South axle should be repaired or replaced and the car will track fine.  It makes sense to keep the car intact as it is easier to move than a larger car.

Whether we have another compressor to put in a tool car or not, I think we should still build the tool car in the next few years.  It will come in handy and it can always be modified to house another air unit.  Food for thought; as James noted - If the twin to our compressor unit is still available we could buy it.  Both units would take the same filters and parts for easier maint.

Mike Fox replied:
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Steve,

You can definately tell that was used by a railroad. Looks like it has a hard life. Maybe we could find one we could dent ourselves??? Wonder what a good used one or new would cost. Then we can modify it.

Mike

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Agreed, this one's seen better days  Just for the heck of it I checked ebay and they have a few IR-185's (the 250 is probably overkill) listed right now.

http://cgi.ebay.com/DIESEL-COMPRESSOR-INGERSOLL-RAND-1989-P185WJD-185-CFM_W0QQitemZ320053695280QQihZ011QQcategoryZ41491QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Well, if we want a larger-capacity air compressor of our own, I would think if we spoke with the folks at Kennbec Rentals, they would sell us one of theirs after they've depreciated it. Rental operations usually cycle equipment after 4 or 5 years of use and buy new. I'm sure we could pick one up at a used-equipment dealer as an alternative. We might even find one on the state/federal surplus list.

And if having it available for duty anywhere on the railroad is an issue, it can remain on its highway tires. When needed out on the railroad, our handy loader or shop crane can hoist it onto one of the flatcars, and it can be lifted back onto terra firma when we're done with it.

While it's fun to think about adding two-foot gauge hy-rail gear to an air compressor, it probably isn't practical. I think it would be very teetery. (Is that a word?) Besides which, hy-rail gear requires maintenance and regular adjustment.

Steve Zuppa replied:
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While reading this latest post, I happened tp look up at the revolving ads at the top of the page. The one that caught my eye was:Air Compressors For Less. Coincidence?
Steve

petecosmob replied:
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Nope Steve, not at all. Those adds will always tie into the subject matter of the post, in or out of context.
Cosmo


By the way, Steve, ....nice hat!

BM1455 replied:
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Hi folks.

One of the reasons we made another flatcar was to increase or stone and gravel hauling capacity on work weekend.  Puting the compressor back on the flat car puts us rite back to one flat car for stone and gravel.

Eric Larsen.

James Patten replied:
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I think Wayne meant one of the small 4-wheel flats, which the big compressors happen to fit very nicely.

Mike Fox replied:
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Wayne,

Good Idea about checking the rental equipment dealers. One I've dealt with a lot is Nations Rent. They have had a recent name change to Sunbelt Rentals. If someone is looking for one, they should try there too.

Mike

medry replied:
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This may be naive, but would there be a boxcar available from Portland for lease/restoration? Similar to the coach 103 deal. It wouldn't be 100% WWF authentic and they probably wouldn't let you cut vent holes in it but it could be a faster way to get a tool car and beef up the photo freights, at least until construction could start on a WWF reproduction.

Shack replied:
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All yous guys who voted for a boxcar have the right idea. Anything with a roofwalk is ok by me! A nice high place so I can CATCH YOU

Joe Fox replied:
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Shack,

No body would mess up as bad as you let that BO mess you up, and ride your train all the way to Portland. Have you seen him since then? Ha Ha Ha.

Joe

petecosmob replied:
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".....twoooo miinuuutes Shaaaaak!"

"That's right Shack, It's the Big Bad Bo!"
LOL!!
Cosmo

James Patten replied:
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Aside from the fact that these "Shack" references are completely over my head, this thread is going WAAAAYY off topic.  Please let's continue to talk about building new cars.

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Awww, James, you're no fun. Now that the genie's out of the bottle, how do you get it back in?

"Shack," by the way, is a railroad slang term for brakeman. In this context, it was the name of a character in the movie "Emporer of the North," played by Ernest Borgnine. Only he was a bull in the movie, not a shack!

Joe Fox replied:
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Ok James,

Back to the regular discussion. I was looking at the plans for Coach 6 the other day, and I thought it might be cool to build a car like that, only because of the mail desk in it, and the seats in the other half. I thought, that maybe if we built something like that, it could be used for the crews on the Track Laying Weekend, or for a track work day, where there is a track crew up at Alna Center, or in the near future, Top of the Mountain, and they could go to the car, eat lunch, and go back to work, without needing to go all the way back to Sheepscot. Then when crews don't want or don't need to use the car, it could be used on passener trains. Just an idea.

Joe

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Back to the topic, the poll showed a hopper car and the Portland plans have been shown.

Is any one besides me interested in constructing the ballast hopper car?

As I mentioned, it can be left loaded and pulled out whenever we need some ballast without having to get the front end loader and operator and tying up a flat car. Think about it.

Ira

P.S. Hedda was a Hopper but she carried no ballast.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Joe,  There has been discussion of building the Baggage/RPO car to give visitors an idea of the U. S. Mail operations that kept the WW&F in operation in the 1930's.  One possible advantage is having the RPO Historical Society help with funds and staffing.  They could have a mail clerk in the car and produce a special cancellation.  I have seen this done on other railroads.  The RPO HS people have a clerk in a restored RPO car.  The car is on the train and passengers can purchase a post card with the railroad's cancellation (stamp) with the date and RPO/Train number.

The question goes back to the number of passengers carried with the planned car.  An RPO would be cool to have but the seating space is more restricted.  A combine is probably the next car to build or buy for the wheelchair access and additional seats.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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I agree with Stewart on the need for an ADA accessible car and the combine or RPO both make sense, but I still want to see a hopper car built  too.

The issue of suitable trucks cames up. Where do we get them or do we build our own arch bars with commercial journal box castings?

Passenger trucks?

Wayne Laepple replied:
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As far as building a replica of no. 6 "Taconnet," the car does have rather limited seating. It features double setas on one side of the aisle and single on the other. I think it will seat 12 in the passenger compartment. We could put drop-down benches in the baggage section, a feature often used in such cars, and seat another 8 or 10. The selling point of the combine is its accessibility for wheelchair-users as well as the possibility of having a working RPO on occasion.

The proper trucks could be manufactured in-house if the pedestal castings and journal boxes are made elsewhere and the side-frame equalizers are forged elsewhere. Everything else is angles and flats. I would think MNG and Phillips might be interested in castings and forgings, which would bring the price down since there would be some quantity.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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What about the patterns used for the Edaville reproduction Jackson & Sharp trucks. I believe we have a sample in the shop.

Someone must have the patterns and there is no sense in doing it all over again.

Joe Fox replied:
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Well, the Combine Car #6, also had a mail section, and this is what the desk was for.

Joe

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Okay, folks, you wanted something to talk about. How about we discuss a small four-wheel hopper for use by the regular track gang for spot ballast work? A car with a single hopper, fitted with doors that can be manually opened to fill in the gauge, on the shoulders, or both, able to be pulled by no. 51. Track contractors have such cars, and a shrunken version would be quite useful on our narrow gauge.

Since there doesn't seem to be much interest in constructing a full-size WW&F hopper car, maybe a small car such as described above would be more acceptable. I envision such a car with a box about 5-1/2 feet wide and 8 feet long, with sides about 4 feet high. If someone could come up with wheels and bearings from a tamper or ballast regulator, capable of carrying the weight of the load, I'm sure a car could be fabricated in Sheepscot shop.

NOTE: This car would NOT be used during the spring and fall track weekends, when ballast would be distributed using traditional WW&F methods. Its use would be restricted to track maintenance only!

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Why not just modify the tip car with side opening doors?

All ready for the weight of stone, etc.

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Well, I think there would be some resistance to modifying the Ramsdell tip car.

I was thinking of a somewhat larger car, capable of carrying a couple of yards of ballast and placing it with some precision through gates. It would be very useful to the track crew in doing spot surfacing and dressing off track.

Stewart Rhine replied:
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Wayne, The car you suggest would work well on our line.  An all steel car with that door configuration would be durable and easy to use.  It would be a good size for a track maint crew to roll out to a low spot or small wash out.

Stephen Hussar replied:
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Such a car would have been perfect last summer when Steve was building retaining walls (on the east side) just north of phantom crossing. I'm not sure how many 5 gal. buckets of stone we brought up there to backfill, but it was quite a few.


_________________

*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Josh Botting replied:
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Suh a car is easy to design.  In a past life I designed a couple of hoppers, same thing, just on wheels.  We may want to make it small enough that it can be manually moved by a couple of us while loaded.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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I have a lead on several 10' steel mover cars that are 24"gauge.

A hopper body can be easily added and they are heavy duty enough to carry the load.

Wayne Laepple replied:
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Yes, a steel mover car would do the trick, as long as the wheelbase isn't too extreme to go through a no. 8 turnout. Between now and April, I will try to come up with a photo of a "full-size" contractor ballast car and some dimensions, so we can try to determine the optimum design for our purposes. Do the cars you're eyeing up have solid bearings or rollers, Ira?

Ira Schreiber replied:
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The cars came from a mine in South dakota.

I believe they are roller bearing but I know for sure they have Alemite grease fittings, not Zerks.

BM1455 replied:
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Before someone just goes and buys one of these for us please make sure the board of directors really wants another car like this.  One of our problems at the museum is that sometimes these gifts end up derailing other projects already afoot or projects already in planning stages.

We just made another flatcar this year (126) primarily because everyone said we needed another car to haul stone with.....less than one year after we finish the car we already have folks trying to have us get/ build another car to cary stone with?  If we need a small amount of stone for a project, we can put a small amount of stone on one of the flat cars.  (We still would have to haul any car up to the work area with an engine and thus block the mainline while the track work was being done.  That is the main issue we have with small work partys.)  I don't see what benefit a small hopper car would get us that we don't already have the capability for now. (Two flatcars and a tip car)

It would seem that with all of these single use-imagination driven car ideas that we are getting off track.  I see one of the original missions of the museum, reproducing origanl equipment, quickly slipping into the fantacy railroad/ trainset world instead.

Eric.

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Eric, et. al.,

These cars would be DONATED to the WW&F. MOW cars are very handy and do not, in my opinion, deter from the historical nature of the WW&F.

I have discussed these cars before and they would be very handy for moving track materials and could provide the chassis for other non-revenue cars.

BM1455 replied:
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Ira,

I understand this but we are getting over run in our yard with cars like this that are "donated" and we have no more room for.  It is an ongoing dicussion at our board meetings.  Please make sure the entire board has a say on this first.

Please call me if you wish so we can discuss it a little.  I don't want to drag out old laundry on this list but there are numerous reasons I am bringing this up.

Thanks.
Eric.
(207) 633-7901 eveniong till 11PM EST.

John McNamara replied:
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I think Eric has a good point. We already have a problem that the team track is stuffed with special purpose cars. It has long been my belief that museums should be completely fenced and equipped with strong locks - not to keep people from taking stuff out, but to prevent them from bringing stiff in

Ira Schreiber replied:
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John & Eric,
Generally I agree on the "stuff" issue.

These cars would be construction vehicles and should be left at the end of track area. There is no reason to keep them at Sheepscot.

The two disconnects would be used for rail movements and the four longer cars can be used for rail and ties.

In addition these would free up the flat cars and due to their low design, make handling of ties and rail much easier and safer.

As soon as someone tell me how to upload pictures to this site, I will send the photos that I have taken.

Jason M Lamontagne replied:
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Ira, all,
I'm afraid that I have to agree with Eric- not to definitely say we don't want these cars or some other items you've offered in the past, but definitely that these donations need to be approved by the board.  This is a mechanism to control the way our museum grows and manages its infrastructure and resources- without that control, we indeed risk become everyone's personal model railroad.

All last summer we had Bay 2 plugged up with these little special purpose cars- we finally gave our wooden caboose a higher priority for inside storage and kicked the little cars outside- volunteer Jonathon St Mary made very nice fitted canvas covers for them and they live outside just fine, except that they now plug up track 7.

Now I realize that we don't want to store the stone flats inside, but the concept is the same.  If there is an overwhelming need for such a ballast car, then it's probably worth a compromise.  If not, I don't believe its worth continually plugging up the yard with them and distracting us from our mission- which is focused on original and original style equipment.

I'm very curious as to Dana's opinion, along with others who work the summer track crew frequently, as to the usefullness of these cars VS what we have and new equipment which is based historically on our RR.

I also feel that if we insist upon a hopper car, we be focused on the historic one that was designed for our railroad early last century.  We've already been through that debate though- and ended up building a flatcar.

Just my thoughts;

Jason

Steam replied:
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It is a very short trip from being a museum to becoming a "salvage yard" of miscellaneous equipment.  Seashore Trolley Museum still suffers from that malady. Well meaning folks want to save everything, or collect things which are "off-mission"...simply because they are available.  Not only do they hamper operation by cluttering up the yard, they often are unsightly to the public...lending the whole place a "junkyard" atmosphere.  I'm happy that this problem is being recognized before Sheepscot is overrun with "toys".

Richard W. Symmes

James Patten replied:
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While a D&RGW-style side-dump gon certainly has some appeal, I think we need to be careful about what we acquire.  We do need to avoid turning Sheepscot into a junkyard, as Richard pointed out.  Anything we acquire should fit in with our mission statement - two foot railroads from the WW&F, and other of Maine's two footers.

The debate to build a Portland Company-designed hopper was a long and protracted one.  I still believe there is a need for one, but perceived flaws in the design still need to worked out.

The slate mines on the Monson RR probably had many different designs for their slate cars.  I'm sure one of these could fit our needs nicely, and be historic to boot (whether steel or wood).

MikeW replied:
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Here's a thought: perhaps certain MOW cars could be built, co-owned and shared between the different 2' operations.  That way each railroad gets the benefit, but there isn't unnecessary duplication.  For example, both MNG and SR&RL could greatly benefit by the availability of a ballast hopper car, as could WW&F.  Perhaps this should be a topic of the 2' Gauge Summit Meeting to be held soon?

Ira Schreiber replied:
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Thank you all for your input.

I certainly agree with the "junkyard" mentality as mentioned, just look at the Seashore trolley museum.

That said, I think that an excellent idea has arisen. Use cars jointly among the various museums.

If you read my proposal CAREFULLY, you will see I said to store the cars at end of track, where they are needed.

In addition, this frees up both flat cars for more useful (to them) work.

I have worked  on many railroads, large and small, and there are always non-revenue cars is use.

Remember, if we want to be a Colonial Williamsburg, we sould use Mules, Horses and Oxen.

We don't have a labor force of young immigrants to work on our railroad and many of us have some "wiskers", so be mindful of that before you reject any "modern" work aids.

Bruce Wilson replied:
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Quote
It has long been my belief that museums should be completely fenced and equipped with strong locks - not to keep people from taking stuff out, but to prevent them from bringing stiff in /i]

Well said John. I am in complete agreement...

Mike Fox replied:
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Just a thought here,

If the track crew needed ballast to work in a certain area, couldn't the yellow work flat be equipped with side boards. I believe we have done so in the past, though I have not seen it. Or a full load could be put on one of the flat cars and distributed in advance where needed. Enough ballast can be put out in one load to keep a small track crew busy for a few weekends. I think we just need to use what we have and let the ones doing the work decide how they would like to do it and use what equipment we already have available.

Mike

Joe Fox replied:
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From my experience in track work, which has been a good part of my time at the museum, I think that a hopper car will not speed up the process any, in fact it might make things harder. Because if you have ballast that you want to put in a certain spot all you have to do is just put as many shovel fulls as needed, but with a hopper you can't regulate it down to the shovel fulls. I believe that is why the two foot gauge railroads never used hopper cars for ballast use. In my personal oppinion, a tamper car would be of more help than a hopper car. Just my opinion and experience from doing track work.
_________________

“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-

Joe

Joe Fox replied:
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Wayne, do forgive me. I thought I read all the posts and it sounded as if this discussion was back to a full sized hopper car. A four wheeled car would work extremely well for many things.
________________
“We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives.”
-Steve Lee-
Joe

Wayne Laepple replied:
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No problemo, Joe. I think I have located a hopper from a tip car, and if the Board has any interest, I believe I can acquire it cheap and modify it for spot ballast work. I'm trying to figure out a way to mount it to a frame that could be bolted to one of the small 4-wheel cars when needed, but could also  easily be removed to permit the car to be used for other purposes.

mikechoochoo replied:
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The cars came from a mine in South dakota.

I believe they are roller bearing but I know for sure they have Alemite grease fittings, not Zerks.

Are these still in the midwest or in the east?

Ira Schreiber replied:
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The cars are currently in Goehner, Nebraska, but the owner may(if I twist his arm hard enough) deliver them to Maine.
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum