Author Topic: Maine Narrow Gauge First Track Laying Weekend  (Read 4059 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Maine Narrow Gauge First Track Laying Weekend
« on: January 21, 2009, 11:40:32 PM »
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Maine Narrow Gauge First Track Laying Weekend has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Joe Fox wrote:
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Hi Everybody,

I beleive Portland is hosting their first track laying weekend the same weekend as our Halloween trains. The track that was ripped up because of construction, is where the track laying will take place I beleive.

Joe

James Patten replied:
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I would say that MNG is taking a page from our book.  I've seen the announcements, looks like they have a bold plan.

Is anyone planning on attending their track laying?

I'm hoping anybody from the WW&F that goes on Saturday returns in time for Halloween trains, because we'll need everybody that we have.

Joe Fox replied:
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Hi James,

Could I have some night brakemen training during the halloween runs? Brad I think is also wanting the same thing. Allen was telling me and Brad that he thought it would be a good idea for the recently qualified brakemen, to be night brakemen. Talk to you later.

Joe

James Patten replied:
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Absolutely, no problem with giving you night training.  If you stick around during the work weekend you'll probably get some training.  Additionally I think we'll have a dry run of Halloween the weekend before.

Joe Fox replied:
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Hi James,

I should be around late enough the Saturday of Track Laying weekend. If you do a dry run of the halloween trains, a week before, please let me know, and I will try and be down there that weekend also. Talk to you later.

Joe

mwmoulison replied:
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Hi guys,

I'm Mike Moulison, I'm a member of the WW&F, an engineer and fireman for the MNGRR, and I'm employed by the Conway Scenic on track gang and train crew.

The MNG is in fact planning a track weekend.  It will be October 21 and 22, starting at 9AM.  Monson #4 and our Plymouth #11 will be the motive power.  We are replacing the ties on a section of tract along East End beach.  There is a wash out problem here and the tracks have little or no ballast, they sit in the mud.

We could sure use a hand, though we do not want to take away from WW&F's volunteer base.  We are all in this together for the preservation of Maine's two-foot gauge railroading history.

sincerely,

Mike Moulison
MNGRR Volunteer

Joe Fox replied:
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Hi Mike,

You are right, we are all in this together to help each other out, and make sure that the equipment can be preserved as long as possible. I would be down that weekend, however, I am going to be at the W, W, & F that weekend helping with our Halloween Trains. Sorry.

Joe

James Patten replied:
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I saw a 30-second piece on the track work weekend on the news tonight.  Perhaps Mike Moulison or someone from MNGRR can let us know what transpired?

mwmoulison replied:
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Hi guys,

For our first attempt at this, I think things went pretty well.  About 20 volunteers showed up both days and we managed to change out 84 ties, plus tamp and add ballast.

We were slowed by our spiking effort.  We are going to try to get more tools, and maybe even some mechanical spikers for the spring.

We also are dealing with a roadbed that needed to be picked up and graded.  These ties for the most part sit partially buried in the ground, not an ideal situation.

With time and some luck we'd like to do the entire roadbed.

I have always wanted to integrate support between the various 2 foot gauge museums.  We are not competing with one another as now one group could take on the job of preserving all the existing historic equipment.  Perhaps in the future we can swap some crew on these weekends, MNG volunteers coming to WW&F twice a year, and vice versa.    I'd also like to see the SR&RL in on this.

All and all things went well, but I am always looking for suggestions on track work strategy, and also in ways of improving dealings between museums.  The more places steam is running the better!

thanks for your interest guys, my e-mail is on AOL as captmike331 if you ever want to get in touch.

yours,

-Mike Moulison
MNGRR Volunteer

petecosmob replied:
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Hey Mike,
being as you are THE Insider for MNGRR, I was wondering if you could clear up some things from a discussion on annother forum.
1) Rumor has it that the OceanGateway project has some sort of planned retail development that might block MNGRR's return to India Street. Is this true? I was under the impression that thwere waqsa some agreement for the project to accomodate the MNGRR and possibly to return the tracks to the original condition/location.
2) Has there been any progress with the push to extend to Hadlock Field? Last I heard the Bayside development was potentially barring access to the ROW from that end, and an alternate rout was being discussed.
Any clarificaton would be much appreciated as I live too far away to check on things myself.
Thanks,
Cosmo

mwmoulison replied:
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First, I am a very involved volunteer at MNGRR specializing in steam crew and track work.  I express my opinions to the exec. and members of the board but have no real authority or hand in the decision making process.  This is what I know.

1)  Monday tracks are being pulled up right to PYS.  Then new tracks are being put down on a new alignment closer to the water.  Tracks can only be re-laid on a permanent basis to Hancock St. which is about 400 ft.  short of India St.  This has to do with the fact that a developer has not yet been selected for this part of the Ocean Gateway project.  Hopefully one is picked that has us in the plans.  Temporary tracks will be laid to get us back to India for this season's Santafest.  This is all I know at this point.  After Sanatafest our temporary tracks will again be torn up back to Hancock St., only time will tell as far as getting back to Franklin St. with permanent tracks.

2)  Hadlock has completely taken a backseat to getting our tracks restored to Franklin St.  Again time will tell and I have zero say in making this a reality (or preventing it).  I would rather see the railroad spend its money restoring equipment/locomotive's 3,7, and 8/and the tracks it already has before it considers trying to expand.  The ramifications of fully falling under the FRA is also an issue that would come with tracks to Hadlock. (brakes on all cars/air compressors on 3 and 4/paid staff/etc.)

Anything can happen with the right amount of financial support and the voices of pro-MNG people.  I only hope the historical integrity of the equipment in our care, and its limitations are truly considered by those in power before any action is taken.

I hope this has been helpful.

yours,

-Mike Moulison

petecosmob replied:
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Mike,
That was informative and more than helpfull, thank you!
So, there IS hope for both restoring tracks to India, and swaying whoever develops the plot to accomodate MNGR. That is better news than some doomsayers on other forums would havme belive, but then I try to go to the "horses mouth" for this type of info whenever I can.
Serious question: would some sort of editorial and/or letter writing campaign be helpful at this point? Since the developer/plans are not 100% finalized, is there a chance they could be talked into putting at least a latform for MNGRR trains at india street (even a simple raised sidewalk,) or even some sort of passenger shelter? It may seem a bit much to ask when even simply accessing India Street at all is in queston, but it seems now's the time to ask, before anything permenant goes in.
Thanks again,
Cosmo

mwmoulison replied:
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Cosmo,

Voicing your support for the Narrow Gauge as someone with no personal gain (other than enjoying the trains) in this dealing would be a big help.  Please visit the MNG homepage (if you don't already) now and then over the next few months, as I have taken over the web site and am working on keeping it more up to date than my predecessors did.  I'll keep updates on restoring service to Franklin St. on the homepage as this goes on.

Simple answer: yes it would be most helpful to voce your support.

yours,

-Mike Moulison

petecosmob replied:
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Ok, Mike,
I'll see what I can start doing soon. Hopefully those I do write to will be open and receptive to someone outside thier voting district!
Thanks again,
Cosmo
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum