Category Archives: General Museum News

News, events, and other tidbits about the WW&F Railway Museum

Build 11 – November Update

Fitted bolts was the name of the game for the work session held Nov. 2-3. Gordon Cook made the bolts, and he and Rick Sisson were able to install five bolts in the frame. These special bolts are necessary to protect cast-iron components from potential damage during the riveting process.

On Tuesday, Gordon and Jason took the cylinder half-saddle castings to Mountain Machine Works in Auburn, Me. This firm has the capabilities to machine the mating surfaces between the two castings, plane the valve faces and bore the cylinders. In addition, the large rear frame casting will be taken to Mountain Machine for final machining. We expect these pieces to return to Sheepscot early in 2023.

Over the next several months, the pedestal binders and cross frame braces will be made. When the parts are returned from Mountain Machine, the three major frame components and the cylinders will be united into a single unit to support the rest of the locomotive.

 

Gordon cook carefully hammers a fitted bolt home. At the left side of the photo, two completed fitted bolts are circled. Photo by Rick Sisson.

On the fundraising front, we are just $2846 short of the overall goal for the year of $70,000. We’re grateful for your continued interest and support.

We’ll start a new round of fundraising for No. 11 on January 11, 2023 with a goal of $50,000. To all the folks who have contributed to the Build 11 Project over these past years, we thank you. Thank you for sticking with us as we strive to make this happen. We’ve raised three-quarters of the final goal of $350,000, and at every work session, No. 11 becomes more of a reality.

Build 11 – October (Video) Update

We have some great progress to report this month. During the September and October work sessions, the team, along with some additional volunteers, essentially completed riveting the rear frame extension together. The big Hanna riveter was used for about 85 percent of the work, while hand riveting finished the job. More than 70 rivets have been installed. In locations where it was impossible to drive the rivets properly, fitted bolts will be installed.

Here’s a video showing the Hanna riveter at work, with Rick Sisson operating the Hanna and Jeff Schumaker assisting.

We are pleased to report that the 2022 Build 11 Project fundraising has reached the 85% mark. We’re less than $11,000 from our goal of $70,000. Have you made your contribution at Build11.org yet?

Build 11 September Update: Ready to rivet.

The Build 11 work sessions that occurred on Aug. 23-24 continued the prep work for riveting No. 11’s rear frame. A  few test rivets were heated and installed in test plates to determine the correct lengths, and Gordon is working on a fixture to allow precision cutting of rivets as required. The big electric compressor was wired in to provide air to power the Hanna riveter. We’re just about ready. One more work session on Sept. 20-22 should do it.

Want to come and help? Sign up at www.wwfry.org/volunteer

All the silver bolts and nuts seen here will be replaced by rivets.

Harold looks over the Hanna riveter positioned to drive a rivet in the frame.

On the fundraising front, the magic number is $13,333! (“Three, it’s a magic number.” Thanks, Schoolhouse Rock!) That’s what we need to reach our stated 2022 goal of $70,000. That’s right – our current 2022 total stands at exactly $56,6667, or just over 80% of this year’s goal. Can we make it by the end of the year in three months?

You can donate via our FundRazr page: build11.org, by credit card directly to the museum through the museum store, or by check. Let’s do it!

Build Locomotive 11 – August 2022 Update

Riveting News!

We did it!
Thanks to your support, on July 11th 2022, we achieved the $25,000 mark in our 2022 Build 11 project fund-raising, releasing an additional $25,000 in matching funds from the Candelaria Fund. As of today, we have $52,378 toward our $70,000 goal. We need $17,622 by the end of the year. Can we make it? It’s up to you!

Over three days at the beginning of August, the Build 11 team made great progress. With the help of four new volunteers joining three regulars, we were able to match-ream nearly all of the holes in the rear frame of No. 11. The process involved removing each bolt one by one, reaming the previously match-drilled holes to size, inserting a sleeve to maintain the alignment and finally replacing the bolts. We did not expect to complete the work, but with the help of the new volunteers, we did it.

That left us time to explore our big Hanna riveter. You may recall the machine was overhauled over a year ago and was successfully tested by riveting the smokebox ring for locomotive No. 10. We experimented with altering its orientation from vertical to horizontal, figuring out how to perform that operation safely. Remaining work includes changes to air piping to more efficiently receive the air to squeeze the rivets and redirecting the air exhaust away from the operation.

Next month, we’ll continue preparations for riveting during the October Fall Work Weekend. The September work session is planned for Sept. 20-22 and may include additional work on the Hanna riveter, making test coupons for test riveting, and the actual testing of the rivet furnace. Work generally begins around 9 a.m., and new volunteers are encouraged to come by.

Want to join the crew? Sign up at www.wwfry.org/volunteer

So now we need rivets. We’ll eventually need a lot more — maybe a thousand of them — but right now we need 146 in several sizes. Your donation of $11 will buy four. If 37 of the folks who read this each send us $11, we’re there!

We recently took delivery of 10 new bronze replica builder’s plates, which we are offering upon request as a premium to folks who contribute $1,100 or more in a single donation to the Build 11 project. We also have 3-D printed miniature builder’s plates, in return for a $110 donation to the project. Build 11 challenge coins – with the infamous typo now corrected – are available in the WW&F Gift Shop for $11.
Learn more and contribute at www.build11.org

See the WW&F on TV!! (And get your tickets NOW before they’re gone!)

We have some fantastic news to share.

The nation’s longest-running, locally-produced magazine show, Chronicle (ABC Channel 5 Boston), visited the WW&F and SeaLyon Farm for a train ride and lavender picking! The segment airs on Monday, July 18th at 7:30pm.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow, or catch it later on their web site: https://www.wcvb.com/chronicle

Get your tickets now – before the word gets out!

We suspect this segment will generate a flood of interest in our little railroad nestled in the backwoods of Midcoast Maine. So, we are letting our loyal followers know that tickets for our most popular summer, fall, and winter trains are now on sale.

Don’t be left at the station without a ticket! We anticipate many – if not all – of these events selling out. (And we can not easily add additional seats, dates, or times; we remain an all-volunteer operation.)

Make your reservations today for any of the following upcoming train rides and special events:

Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Trains
July 23rd: Last chance for 2022!

Music on the Railway Concert Series
July 30th: Pete Kilpatrick
Aug 20th: Elise & Ethan
Sept 3rd: Rough Sawn
Oct 1st: Jud Caswell

Annual Picnic – The Mountain is OPEN!
Aug 13th: First chance for everyone to ride to the new Trout Brook station

Ice Cream Express
Aug 20th: Take the train for some delicious ice cream.

Ride the Rails to Hike the Trails
Aug 20th, Sept 3rd, & Oct 1st: Explore Trout Brook Preserve with Midcoast Conservancy

The Great War Remembered: WWI Re-enactment Weekend
Aug 27th & 28th: Take the train and inspect the encampment.

Maine Wild Blueberry Express
Sept 3rd: Fresh Blueberry Crisp and informational lecture by Fields Fields Wild Blueberries.

Pumpkin Pickin’ Trains to SeaLyon Farm
Sept 24th and Oct 1st, 8th, 15th, & 22nd: A fantastic fall family outing!

Steam and Sleighs to SeaLyon Farm
Feb 4th, 11th, & 18th 2023: A top Winter train ride and sleigh ride around scenic SeaLyon Farm!

Get your tickets today!

What About Christmastime Trains to SeaLyon Farm?

We are purposely not putting tickets on sale in advance for this event – yet. Instead, we’ll email our friends and followers first, so that it is fair to everyone. If you are reading this message, you will get an email as soon as those tickets become available.

Build Locomotive 11 – July 2022 Update

During the most recent work session for No. 11 (July 5-7), Gordon Cook, Harold Downey and Jason Lamontagne concentrated on making preparations for riveting the various components. Gordon was making tack sleeves to accompany the tack bolts. The sleeves fit in the reamed holes so that standard bolts can be used to hold the components firmly in position for riveting. Harold, in the meantime, began the task of disassembling the various components from the outside of the frame toward the center sills.

It’s expected this work will conclude in August, after which riveting will begin. The majority of the riveting will take place in September. (Want to help? See http://www.wwfry.org/volunteer for Build 11 work dates!)

Elsewhere in the shop, Alan Downey has been machining the large rear frame casting, using our H&K mill. Machining is a necessary process to properly fit the casting to the rear frame; then, the casting will be riveted to the rear frame.

On the fund-raising front, we have received a little more than $24,333 which leaves us just $677 shy of the $25,000 we need to raise to release the $25,000 in matching dollars from the Candelaria Fund. With those funds in hand, we’ll still need to secure another $20,000 in contributions to reach our $70,000 goal by the end of 2022.

Have you made your donation yet? Learn more and contribute at www.build11.org

Build Locomotive 11 – June 2022 Update

Monthly work sessions have continued to be productive, with more progress on No. 11’s rear frame. Everything has been drilled and bolted together, and the large rear frame extension castings that will enclose No. 11’s firebox has arrived. It needs some machining before it can be attached to the rear frame, but it’s shown fitted to the rear frame in these photos:

There was much excitement at Sheepscot on May 17, when just as the diesel locomotive was unloaded, a second truck pulled in bearing the two new cylinder half-saddle castings for No. 11.  A few days later, however, a detailed inspection of the castings revealed several flaws which rendered the castings unacceptable for use.

The foundry was contacted, and following some discussion, they agreed to manufacture two new castings and ship them to us, at no cost to the Build 11 Project or the WW&F. This process will take a couple of months, as minor modifications to the patterns are necessary and new cores for the patterns must be made.

While we were all disappointed at this turn of events, the final outcome will be satisfactory. More importantly, the long delay in receiving the cylinder half-saddle castings does not materially delay the assembly work now underway on the rear frame.

Our fund-raising for No. 11 is making slow progress toward the $70,000 goal. Right now, we are focused on reaching the $25,000 mark in contributions. That will unleash a $25,000 matching grant from the Candelaria Fund, immediately moving our fund-raising total to $50,000, or 51% of our goal. Please consider making your dollar for dollar donation count right now!

Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Trains

If this train is sold out, please consider joining us for similar train-to-farm adventures this Fall and Winter, such as the Pumpkin Pickin’ Train to SeaLyon Farm and Steam and Sleighs to SeaLyon FarmTo be notified when Lavender Pickin’ Trains return in 2023, please click here to sign up for our email list.


Fresh Lavender, Farmstand Food, a Fantastic Family Outing

Saturdays: July 2nd, 9th, 16th, & 23rd.
Board your train at Sheepscot station for a steam-powered ride through the wild pine forests, farmlands and hamlets of the Sheepscot Valley to Top of Mountain where you’ll hop a short wagon ride to complete your journey to Alna’s famous lavender farm.

At SeaLyon Farm, pick your own lavender during the setting sun; peruse a plethora of lavender-themed goods; dine on farm fresh meats and other goodies from Grandpa’s Kitchen; enjoy some Maine-made beer, wine, mead, and cider from Maine Tasting Center; take a horse-drawn wagon ride around the farm; and partake in other fun activities.

Afterwards, we’ll all return back to Sheepscot station where you’ll want to explore our railyard, examine our displays, and peruse our gift shop. The entire experience takes just under 3 hours.

Ticket price ($25 per person for adults, senior, youth and group/caboose rates available) includes all transportation (historic steam train and tractor wagon ride) as well as parking at Sheepscot. Dinner, refreshments, lavender stalks, horse wagon rides, and other farm products are sold separately by SeaLyon Farm and their partners. Note that due to the nature of this event, wheelchairs can not be accommodated.

In addition to lavender picking, activities and vendors at SeaLyon farm will include:

  • The Farm Store will be selling jams, salsas, lavender products, kettle popcorn, baked goods, the best whoopie pies in Maine and other tasty treats, crochet items, and handmade jewelry.
  • Grandpa’s Kitchen with locally-sourced meats (sausages, bacon, etc.), with vegetarian options available – however, please request in advance!
  • Maine Tasting Center will be offering a selection of Maine-made wine, beer, mead, and cider.
  • Round Top Ice Cream has created a Lavender ice cream flavor – using lavender harvested from SeaLyon Farm – which will be on sale.
  • Horse Drawn Wagon Rides for a tour of the Farm!
  • Outdoor games of cornhole, checkers, and tic-tac-toe.
  • A porta potty and hand washing station.
  • And, did we mention lavender picking!

There will be an approximately 90 minute layover to pick lavender, enjoy the farm, and get a bite to eat before the narrow gauge train returns you to Sheepscot station.

Unfortunately, pets can not be accommodated during this special event.

The special Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Train to SeaLyon Farm train departs Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) promptly at 2:00pm, 4:00pm and 6:00pm.

We look forward to seeing you on the narrow gauge!

 


OMG BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!!!! I cannot say enough nice things about how amazing this experience was. If you are in the area you NEED to go here. It is fun for all ages. Family with kids? Kids will LOVE the train and the farm activities! Picky teenagers? The lavender fields and esthetic lily beautiful train ride is perfect for your Instagram feed. Adults who are looking for something to do? The BOMB food and incredible history lesson is something you don’t want to miss. 10/10 would recommend!!!
-Carol S. (via Yelp)


Caboose Adventure

Ride the Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Train to SeaLyon Farm in your very own caboose “cabubble”!

Bring your family (or small group) for unique ride on the narrow gauge railroad! Your group (of up to 15 people) gets exclusive access to the “little red caboose” on the WW&F railway during the trip to and from the farmstand activities near Top of Mountain station.

And yes, you can ride “up top” in the cupola (although adults will need to watch their heads!)

The Caboose Adventure is $250 (which includes group admission to the farm and being seated completely separately from other passengers during the train ride.)

NOTE: Caboose Adventurers must return on their scheduled departure from Top of Mountain station and can not enjoy an extended layover at the farm. (Otherwise the caboose will be forfeited and your group seated with the other passengers.)


Sunset Special

The 6pm departure of the Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Train to SeaLyon Farm is timed so that your return from the farm will occur during sunset.


About SeaLyon Farm

SeaLyon Farm is situated is beautifully situated amongst the rolling woods and fields of Alna just south of Head Tide and adjacent to the WW&F’s Top of Mountain station. The WW&F Railway partners with SeaLyon Farm throughout the year on a variety of excursions including Steam & Sleighs, Eastertime Eggspress, Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Trains, Pumpkin Pickin’ Trains, and Christmastime Trains.

About Grandpa’s Kitchen

Grandpa’s Specialty Smoked Meats are done the old fashioned way. Some products are handcrafted over 3 weeks from start to finish – including their famous hand-stuffed sausages. Meats are smoked anywhere from 2-14 hours. Grandpa’s meats are shipped all over the world from their facility in Belfast, Maine.

While menu items for this event are subject to change, choices typically include smoked chicken, steak dogs, and homemade stuffed sausages. And bacon; real bacon. Vegetarian options should be requested in advance.

About Maine Tasting Center

Explore Maine’s iconic food and drink industries, producers and the associations that represent them at Maine Tasting Center. Their welcoming campus in Wiscasset is your one-stop-shop for learning about – and sampling! – the most delicious food and drink products Maine has to offer. Visitors are encouraged to sign up for a class in the Learning Center, visit the Tasting Room for beer, wine, cocktails and small plates, or drop in for a special event.

About Round Top Ice Cream

Round Top Ice Cream locally made in Damariscotta Maine since 1924 enjoys partnering with other Maine businesses to create new flavors. Owner Stephanie Poland is using the lavender from SeaLyon Farm, LLC to make lavender ice cream for the Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Train to SeaLyon Farm. Round Top creates over 60 flavors of homemade ice cream in its Damariscotta location and has been family owned for 40 years.


About the Weather and Cancellations

The Lavender Pickin’ Dinnertime Train to SeaLyon Farm will run rain or shine (please dress accordingly.) If extreme weather is predicted, all passengers will be notified via email or phone, and given the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

Passes, Vouchers and Discounts

We will be pleased to honor passes and vouchers for the base portion of the fare of this special event. Please first purchase your tickets (at full price) to reserve your seats, then email info@wwfry.org to receive a refund equal to the value of a Lifetime WW&F Pass, an Annual Pass, a Victorian Christmas 2019 Voucher, or similar pass.

Book online now!

Build 11 – May 2022 Update

We have great news to report!

First of all, during the WW&F’s Spring Work Weekend, several members of the Build 11 Project, as well as other volunteers, began assembling the rear frame extension of No. 11 in Bay 2 of the Sheepscot shop. Over the course of three intense days, components were moved from storage, identified, and laid out on the shop floor. Then the pieces were clamped together and drilled in sequences.
Multiple holes were drilled through water-jet cut holes in the steel sills and into several cast iron brackets. Then temporary bolts were inserted and tightened. Once that had been accomplished, the next step saw the entire framework lifted onto six screw jacks, which allowed the workers to carefully level the frame fore and aft and side to side. The final step will be to permanently mate the various components with either fitted bolts or hot rivets.

Many volunteers and visitors passed through the shop during the weekend and admired the work going on. This work marked the first tangible evidence that building a new locomotive at Sheepscot was becoming a reality. The Build 11 crew was pleased as well, and then more great news broke on May 2, when we received word from Dakota Foundry that the long-awaited cylinder half saddles and the main rear frame casting were both complete and would be shipped shortly.

We received a nice note from WW&F member Bill Sample, who made a generous donation to the Build 11 Project. Bill said, “What really made me go through with the donation was reading Rick Sisson’s posting on the “Build 11” project.  Seeing Rick’s post encouraged me to participate and dedicate the contribution to all you “Build 11” participants who are not only building the new locomotive but are also making a major accomplishment in heritage railway history. We here “in the Colonies” can also build new full sized locomotives!”

Our 2022 fundraising is off and running, but four months into it, we’ve only reached about 15% of our goal of $70,000. We need your help, in any amount, if we are going to continue to Build 11. Be like Bill Sample — support the Build 11 Project. Buy a “typo edition” Challenge Coin for $11, donate $110 and receive a 3-D printed replica of WW&F No. 7’s builder’s plate, or go for broke, and for a donation of $1,100, you’ll receive a full size cast bronze replica of the builder’s plate. Remember each donation will be matched by the Candelaria Fund!

Learn more and contribute at www.build11.org.

Music on the Railway: 2022 Concert Series on the WW&F

Take the Narrow Gauge Music Express!

Board your train at Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) for a steam-powered ride through the wild pine forests, farmlands and hamlets of the Sheepscot Valley to Alna Center where music and fun awaits.

We’ve invited four of the regions best-loved entertainers for evenings filled with stories and song. Pack a picnic dinner, if you so wish. After the music concludes and as the sunlight fades, the train will return you back to Sheepscot.

Ticket price includes the steam train ride, concert admission (general seating on benches, or bring your own chair) as well as parking at Sheepscot. Note that passengers requiring extra assistance may have difficulty navigating the platforms and stairs at Alna Center. Small, well-behaved dogs are allowed at the discretion of the Conductor.

Trains for Music on the Railway depart Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) promptly at 5pm and return by 7:30pm.

Music on the Railway concerts are held rain or shine under the WW&F’s unique pavilion nestled in the trees at Alna Center.

We look forward to seeing you on the narrow gauge!

July 30th: Pete Kilpatrick

Pete Kilpatrick

Maine based singer-songwriter Pete Kilpatrick has released nine independent albums and performs both solo and with his band around the country. His acoustic based style is a blend of folk and alternative rock. Pete’s most recent record Songs From The Green Room was written and recorded from home during the global shutdown in March and April of 2020. His music has been featured on over 15 network television shows, including The OfficeParks and RecreationNew Girl and Community. He has shared the stage with various artists including Dave Matthews Band, Guster, Ray Lamontagne and David Gray.

August 20th: Elsie Gawler & Ethan TischlerElsie & Ethan

Elsie Gawler and Ethan Stokes Tischler deliver original and traditional songs and tunes that come straight from the heart. These New England based songsters, on fiddle, guitar, vocals, cello, and banjo, bring together their unique musical backgrounds to create a rich original sound that is alive with their love for the music they make together. Elsie and Ethan have each shared their music and spirits with audiences across New England and beyond while maintaining a deeply rooted connection to the thriving Vermont and Maine based folk music communities from which they’ve emerged.

Sept. 3rd: Rough SawnRough Sawn

Rough Sawn is a collective group of farmers and carpenters from around the state that get together to play original Americana music as well as classic covers. Rough Sawn are Fan Favorites of the WW&FRy. Definitely not one to be missed!

Oct 1st: Jud CaswellJud Caswell

Maine singer/songwriter Jud Caswell has got a keen eye for detail, a head full of far-away, and a heart full of home. In 2006 he burst on the national scene, winning the legendary Kerrville New Folk competition. His songs have been taught at Berklee, recorded by Judy Collins, and named “#4 Song of the Decade” by New York’s WFUV. Jud left the road to raise a family where his own roots go deep. He draws inspiration from the land like Mary Oliver, pushing gently into the specific until it unfolds into the universal. He paints his landscapes like Wyeth, with a reverence for humble beauty. And with a voice fresh as water over granite and soft as a pine needle bed, he wields his instruments with the matter-of fact deftness of an old woodsman with an axe.

 

 


The Wicked Tater (food truck)

On Sept 3rd (Rough Sawn) and Oct 1st (Jud Caswell) food will be available from “The Wicked Tater”
Serving up tasty, crispy handmade gourmet loaded tater tot’s, The Wicked Tater is more than just a place to grab lunch – it is a place to try out new dishes created with from local fresh ingredients.


Maine Tasting Center

On Sept 3rd (Rough Sawn) and Oct 1st (Jud Caswell) adult beverages will be available from “Maine Tasting Center”
A selection of beers and ciders will be available courtesy of Maine Tasting Center who engages visitors with the flavors of Maine through tastings, classes, exhibits and more.


Caboose Adventure

Ride to the Music on the Railway concert in your very own caboose “cabubble”!

Bring your family (or small group) for unique ride on the narrow gauge railroad! Your group (of up to 15 people) gets exclusive access to the “little red caboose” on the WW&F railway during the trip to and from the concert at Alna Center.

And yes, you can ride “up top” in the cupola (although adults will need to watch their heads!)

Cost is $225 (which includes admission to the concert and being seated completely separately from other passengers during the train ride.)


About the Weather and Cancellations

The Music on the Railway Concert Series will run rain or shine – and held under our spacious outdoor event pavilion (please dress accordingly.) If extreme weather is predicted, all passengers will be notified via email or phone, and given the option to reschedule or receive a full refund.

Passes, Vouchers and Discounts

We will be pleased to honor passes and vouchers for the base portion of the fare of this special event. Please first purchase your tickets (at full price) to reserve your seats, then email info@wwfry.org to receive a refund equal to the value of a Lifetime WW&F Pass, an Annual Pass, a Victorian Christmas 2019 Voucher, or similar pass.