Author Topic: The lost engine  (Read 1103 times)

James Temple

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The lost engine
« on: August 15, 2021, 05:11:57 AM »
"I am guessing that if we started a rumor that something was buried there, like WW&F No. 2, the digging would take care of itself.  ;) "
--Gordon Cook

The rumor spread across social media like wildfire: There was a buried locomotive on the grounds of the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Musem -- the mortal remains of engine #2, it claimed. What was more, the area's unique geochemistry meant the machine was perfectly preserved, needing no more than a little oil to be put back in service. And as if that wasn't enough, there was a quirk in Maine salvage law that stated whoever touched a shovel to it first was entitled to the whole thing, private property rights be damned.

It gained many shares, likes, and upvotes before the WW&F Museum arrived with a bucket of cold water. The fate of #2 was long-established fact, they said, having been scrapped in the '30s. The soil would not have preserved it in any case, and the part about Maine salvage law was utter bunk. The rumors, however, only surged -- what, they demanded, was the museum hiding?

The situation exploded when it was leaked that the museum planned to dig foundations for a heretofore-unannounced new car shop -- right where the rumors claimed the engine was buried. A mighty howl went up from foamers across the country. This, they knew, must certainly be a devious effort to deprive them of an engine of their very own, and all the denials and protestations of museum representatives only served to further confirm their conclusions.

As the day of excavation approached, foamers descended upon Sheepscot from all over, bearing picks and shovels and demands. Soon the mood was tense, with an immense mob crowding and jostling in the parking lot. The museum president desperately counseled common sense as he backed closer and closer to the site, until at last his nerve failed him and he fled with a cry of "it's all yours!"

What followed was the most fervent, industrious digging party since the uncovering of the pyramids at Giza. Within an hour, the mob had cleared a vast area to several feet deep, pausing occasionally to shake their fists at museum folk and warn them not to interfere. The museum folk were suitably cowed, and did their best to conceal their obvious terror by lounging on the porch of the Percival house, sipping cool drinks.

By late afternoon, the diggers had well run out of steam, and slumped against the walls of the great pit they had created. It had become agonizingly obvious that there was no lost engine to be found, and about the best they could hope for was that the museum folks would refrain from making them fill the pit back in. Magnanimously, this was the case, and in a further gesture of generosity, cool drinks were liberally distributed all around before the diggers slouched off to their cars.

As the last of them departed, he glanced over his shoulder at the gaping maw in the earth, and with some asperity remarked to the president that the museum could probably cancel the excavator rental. The president, leaning casually against a porch rail with a drink in his hand, replied: "What do you mean, cancel? We never hired one."

The digger stared at the president in silence for some time, then drove off into the sunset.

Bill Baskerville

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2021, 03:50:01 PM »
"I am guessing that if we started a rumor that something was buried there, like WW&F No. 2, the digging would take care of itself.  ;) "
--Gordon Cook

... The museum president desperately counseled common sense as he backed closer and closer to the site, until at last his nerve failed him and he fled with a cry of "it's all yours!"

What followed was the most fervent, industrious digging party since the uncovering of the pyramids at Giza. Within an hour, the mob had cleared a vast area to several feet deep, pausing occasionally to shake their fists at museum folk and warn them not to interfere. ...
  James,  Having been there on that day in May, I can attest to the brave actions of our "Pres" and the furor and passion exhibited by those rapscallions who wished to abscond with good ole #2.

By the way, don't let the Facebooker's post the real location where the BOD has creatively located the potato house archive building or they will return to dig up that area before we are ready to undertake that project.  Or was it in the NW swamp where the future shop building is to be located?  Or was it down by 218 where #2 derailed and was buried in one of the Moose Trout Brook floods.  I think that site was where the new turntable is to be located.  Perhaps someone can probe around to identify the location.
~ B2 ~ Wascally Wabbit & Gofer ~

Pete "Cosmo" Barrington

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2021, 11:09:00 PM »
Sounds like y'all need the help of a ferroequinarchaologist! 8)

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2021, 08:24:32 AM »
Nice story James thank you for taking the time to write  and share it. Maybe such a story could become real because foamers are desperate people to get a rusty piece of iron even to steal it.

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2021, 08:07:17 AM »
When a fiction becomes the reality

Graham Buxton

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2021, 08:33:14 AM »
I think Alain was intending above to link this Youtube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8pLzhjJY1s
Quote
A relic of New Zealand's rail past has emerged from the mud 93 years after being dumped in a Southland River.
Graham

ALAIN DELASSUS

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2021, 08:54:51 AM »
Thank you Graham for the link.That goes to show that you can still discover locomotives down under. No pun intended.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 09:15:27 AM by ALAIN DELASSUS »

John Kokas

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2021, 09:27:23 AM »
Actually, there is more than one engine in the Southland River.  The excavation revealed an additional engine or possibly two, but the excavation effort was deemed too costly. 
Moxie Bootlegger

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Re: The lost engine
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2021, 12:27:06 PM »
Yes John I think so and I wonder what's the use of exhuming them and to display their rusty remains in a park or in the middle of a traffic circle. They were good  and faithful servants of the railway so may them rest in peace.