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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.

SOLD OUT: Christmas Trains to SeaLyon Farm

Ride the Steam Train to the Holiday Festival!

Make an unforgettable Christmastime Memory on the Railway!


All 2022 Christmastime Trains to SeaLyon Farm are SOLD OUT!!!

Please email info@wwfry.org if you would like to be notified in the event that tickets become available due to cancellations.

About The Experience

Board your Christmas Fair Train at Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) for a 20-minute steam-powered ride through the wild pine forests, farmlands and hamlets of the Sheepscot Valley to Top of Mountain where you’ll transfer to a tractor-drawn hay ride to SeaLyon Farm.

At SeaLyon Farm, food and fun awaits as yuletide joy fills the air. All youngsters will be treated to a visit with St. Nicholas himself, Santa Claus. Or, explore the farm while enjoying a nice, relaxed, family-friendly Christmas Fête – filled with the best local products. The entire experience takes just under 3 hours.

NEW FOR 2022: a LIMITED number of locally-grown, Maine Christmas Trees will be available for purchase and transportation BY TRAIN back to your vehicle. (Trees will be un-wrapped and please bring your own tie-downs, etc.)

Ticket price includes the historic steam train, hayride/admission to the SeaLyon Farm Christmas Festival, activities and games at the farm, a visit with Santa, as well as parking at Sheepscot. All food, additional refreshments, horse-drawn wagon rides, Christmas Trees, 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.

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

The Christmas Train to SeaLyon Farm departs Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) promptly at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm. Please anticipate traffic conditions on Route 1 in Wiscasset.

We look forward to seeing you on the narrow gauge!

Buy Tickets

About SeaLyon Farm

SeaLyon Farm 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. For this special event, the train will meet tractor-drawn wagons to transport all passengers to the farm.

In addition to the tractor-drawn hayride, activities and vendors at SeaLyon farm may include:

  • Visit with Santa Claus. Bring your list, and be sure to be “nice!”
  • A Farm Store selling jams, salsas, lavender products, baked goods, the best whoopie pies in Maine and other tasty treats.
  • A Christmas Tree stand selling a limited number of Maine-grown Christmas Trees.
  • An olde-fashion Christmas Festival filled with the best gifts sure to make the season bright.
  • Tasty food from The Wicked Tater and other select, local vendors.
  • A selection of locally-produced adult beverages (beer and cider) from Maine Tasting Center.
  • Artisan chocolate, hand mixed spices, and medicinal rubs from Sugar & Spice Farm.
  • Tours of the farm on a horse-drawn wagon ride with Mike and Ace. (Subject to availability.)
  • An impressive bonfire to keep warm and make s’mores over, along with cornhole, checkers, and tic-tac-toe boards.
  • Visits with the SeaLyon Farm goats: PumpkinLavender, and Honey.

After your visit to the fair, take a walk down to the pond, stroll back to the railway station, or take the hayride back to the railway. There will be a 70 minute stopover to enjoy the farm and all activities before the narrow gauge train returns you to Sheepscot station.

About 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.

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.


Caboose Adventure!

Rent the WW&F caboose on your Christmastime Train for the exclusive use of your whole family (or small group) of up to 15 people. Cost is $300. (And yes, you may ride in the cupola, if you so wish.)

Ticketing, etc.

Please note, we regret that it is impossible to accommodate everyone who would like to join us for this event. However, please feel free to check this ticketing web site from time-to-time as cancellations do sometimes occur. Please do not overwhelm our volunteers with requests for tickets, etc. We can not accept phone calls for ticket requests.

In a similar vein, if your plans change, please email info@wwfry.org so that your purchase can be refunded and your tickets released for someone else to enjoy.

A portion of the ticket price is used to sponsor attendance by those in our community who would otherwise be unable to attend a Christmastime train. Thank you for helping us spread hope and joy this season.

Tickets will not be available for purchase at Sheepscot Station on the day of the event.

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?

Sheepscot Stargazing Special on Oct 22nd!

Explore the night sky at a Central Maine Astronomical Society star party!

Additional date added due to demand!

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

We’ve invited the Central Maine Astronomical Society to set up their telescopes in the unspoiled and light-free field at Alna Center. Due to its rural location, Alna’s skies don’t suffer from the light pollution found in Augusta or other cities in Maine. Passengers will be able to gaze upon the same spectacular nighttime sights as travelers have for centuries.

Some objects that we should be able to see include: Rings of Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, globular star clusters like the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, galaxies such as Andromeda Galaxy, and various other Messier objects like the Ring Nebula.

Ticket price includes the diesel train ride, a red flashlight, and admission to the Central Maine Astronomical Society star party. This event is not recommended for those with mobility issues, and pets are not permitted.

The Sheepscot Stargazing Special departs Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) promptly at 6pm and returns by 8:15pm.

We look forward to seeing you on the narrow gauge!

Book online now!

Star Party Protocol

Passengers on the Sheepscot Stargazing Special are asked to only use red flashlights (no white lights or cell phones), take no flash photography, ask before touching a telescope, wear warm clothing, and please leave all pets at home. Red flashlights will be provided to passengers, but please turn them off while riding the train (red always indicates a “stop” signal on a railroad!) Bring your questions to ask the astronomers from the *Central Maine Astronomical Society*, who will be happy to describe what you will see and some of the science behind it.

About the Central Maine Astronomical Society

The Central Maine Astronomical Society, based in Whitefield, is an amateur astronomy club serving the Central and Midcoast regions of Maine. Through monthly public star parties, they work to educate the public on astronomy and preserving dark skies. CMAS also maintains a library of books and telescopes that are available for loan.

About the Weather and Cancellations

If extremely poor stargazing conditions or inclement weather are predicted, participants will be notified (via email) and provided with a full refund. The decision to cancel will be made in conjunction with the Central Maine Astronomical Society approximately 36 hours prior to departure.

Passes, Vouchers and Discounts

We will be pleased to honor passes and vouchers to be redeemed as the fare on the Sheepscot Stargazing Special. Please email info@wwfry.org to reserve a spot on the train using a Lifetime Pass, an Annual Pass, a Victorian Christmas 2019 Voucher, or similar pass.

Autumn in Alna: A Pumpkin Pickin’ Paradise!

Join us this fall for unforgettable fun on the Sheepscot Narrow Gauge!

We’ve scheduled these great outdoor experiences this autumn for you and your family to enjoy.

 

Pumpkin Pickin’ Trains to SeaLyon Farm

SORRY, THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!
This is the premiere event in the Sheepscot Valley! Take the train, and a short hayride to SeaLyon Farm where you can pick your own pumpkin, grab a bite to eat, ride horse-drawn wagon, and partake in all the fun festivities.  Get your tickets soon, we expect these trains to sell out well in advance. Please note that pumpkins, food, farm stand goods, horse drawn wagons, etc., are all priced separately by SeaLyon Farm and their vendors.

Dates: Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, & 22.
Departure Times: 11am; 12, 1, 2, & 3pm.
Duration: 2.5 hours.

And yes, our popular Caboose Adventure (as heard on Maine Public Radio) is available for these dates.

Book your Pumpkin Pickin’ Train tickets.

 


Sheepscot Valley Steam Train

Looking for a unique autumn adventure? Ride the Sheepscot Valley Steam Train to Trout Brook station (over the newly-opened “mountain extension”) and return. While the Sheepscot Valley Steam Trains will be running concurrently with the Pumpkin Pickin’ trains, passage on the Sheepscot Valley Steam Train does not include access to SeaLyon Farm via the hayride, etc.

Dates: Sept. 24; Oct. 1, 8, 15, & 22nd.
Departure Times: 11am; 1 & 3pm.
Duration: 1.5 hours.

Book a Sheepscot Valley Steam Train.

 


 

Music on the Railway

Take the train to an outdoor concert by Maine’s folk music superstar: Jud Caswell for an evening of stories and song.

Date: Oct. 1st.
Departure Time: 5pm.
Duration: 2.5 hours.

Reserve a seat for Music on the Railway.

 


All aboard for Autumn in Alna!

We look forward to seeing you this fall on the Sheepscot Narrow Gauge!

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!

Sheepscot Stargazing Special on Sept 24th!

NOTE:
This event was so popular, we are doing it again on Saturday, October 22nd at 6pm!


Explore the night sky at a Central Maine Astronomical Society star party!

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

We’ve invited the Central Maine Astronomical Society to set up their telescopes in the unspoiled and light-free field at Alna Center. Due to its rural location, Alna’s skies don’t suffer from the light pollution found in Augusta or other cities in Maine. Passengers will be able to gaze upon the same spectacular nighttime sights as travelers have for centuries.

Some objects that we should be able to see include: Rings of Saturn, Jupiter and its moons, globular star clusters like the Great Globular Cluster in Hercules, galaxies such as Andromeda Galaxy, and various other Messier objects like the Ring Nebula.

Ticket price includes the diesel train ride, a red flashlight, and admission to the Central Maine Astronomical Society star party. This event is not recommended for those with mobility issues, and pets are not permitted.

The Sheepscot Stargazing Special departs Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) promptly at 7pm and returns by 9:30pm.

We look forward to seeing you on the narrow gauge!

Book online now!

Star Party Protocol

Passengers on the Sheepscot Stargazing Special are asked to only use red flashlights (no white lights or cell phones), take no flash photography, ask before touching a telescope, wear warm clothing, and please leave all pets at home. Red flashlights will be provided to passengers, but please turn them off while riding the train (red always indicates a “stop” signal on a railroad!) Bring your questions to ask the astronomers from the *Central Maine Astronomical Society*, who will be happy to describe what you will see and some of the science behind it.

About the Central Maine Astronomical Society

The Central Maine Astronomical Society, based in Whitefield, is an amateur astronomy club serving the Central and Midcoast regions of Maine. Through monthly public star parties, they work to educate the public on astronomy and preserving dark skies. CMAS also maintains a library of books and telescopes that are available for loan.

About the Weather and Cancellations

If extremely poor stargazing conditions or inclement weather are predicted, participants will be rescheduled for a Sheepscot Stargazing Special on October 22nd, or provided with a full refund. The decision to cancel will be made in conjunction with the Central Maine Astronomical Society approximately 48 hours prior to departure. All ticketholders notified via email.

Passes, Vouchers and Discounts

We will be pleased to honor passes and vouchers to be redeemed as the fare on the Sheepscot Stargazing Special. Please email info@wwfry.org to reserve a spot on the train using a Lifetime Pass, an Annual Pass, a Victorian Christmas 2019 Voucher, or similar pass.

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