Category Archives: General Museum News

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

Raffle for LGB Train Set!

Win a complete “G-Scale” model of WW&F 9, Coaches 3 & 8, and Boxcar 309!

LGB has donated this train set from their 2022 catalog, showcasing our railroad! Here’s your opportunity to own the complete set – including the special LGB Club edition of Boxcar 309 – while supporting the museum.

The retail value of this set is nearly $1500.

Tickets ($10 each, 3 for $25) are on sale now on our online giftshop, visiting the WW&F railway museum, and will be available at our table at the Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show at the “Big E” in W. Springfield, Mass January 28 & 29, 2023.

Buy your electronic raffle tickets for the drawing to be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023 during Spring Work Weekend. Be sure to include contact information in the “Notes” section of your order so we will be able to contact you if you win.

Proceeds from this raffle will benefit the museum Archive Building Fund.

Thank you and good luck!

 

Build 11 – January Update

Today, we are launching the 2023 “Some Assembly Required” campaign to fund the construction of locomotive 11.

Build 11: Some Assembly Required

WW&F #7 was damaged in an engine house fire and never repaired. It was scrapped in 1937. The Build 11 project is to replicate this lost locomotive for use on today’s restored WW&F Railway.

The first 2023 work session on No. 11 started Tuesday, with Rick and Gordon working to ream out the last few holes in the rear frame for fitted bolts. This after Gordon designed a system to hold a ream in proper alignment using a lathe tailstock. The rear frame extension casting is back from the machine shop, ready to be positioned for bolting to the front and rear frames. Today, Rick and Gordon began setting up the front frame for eventual marriage to the rear frame while Jason was busy making the binders that will support the pedestals for the main drivers.

Rick Sisson and Gordon Cook ream out one of the final holes in No. 11's rear frame.Rick Sisson and Gordon Cook ream out one of the final holes in No. 11’s rear frame.

Gordon designed this reamer arrangement to fit in the small space and hold the reamer steady.Gordon designed this reamer arrangement to fit in the small space and hold the reamer steady.

Today, Rick and Gordon began setting up the front frame for eventual bolting to the rear frame.Today, Rick and Gordon began setting up the front frame for eventual bolting to the rear frame.

In other news, the 2022 Build 11 Project fundraising finished up with an amazing $84,279, more than 20 percent over the goal. Thank you to everyone who contributed. We’re opening the 2023 Build 11 Project fundraiser today with a goal of $50,000. We’ve already got a few dollars in the pot from folks who contributed to 2022 but not quite in time for the end of the campaign.

Thanks for your continued interest and support. Learn more at www.build11.org

Build 11 – December (VIDEO) Update

Build 11 – News Video!

We’ll let the video speak for our progress over the last few months, but we want to offer a huge Thank You to all you good folks who have contributed to and followed the Build 11 Project in 2022.

As of Dec. 9th, the $70,000 goal for 2022 was been met and exceeded. The 2022 total currently stands at $82,771. We’ll have a final accounting for you next month, when we’ll also introduce the 2023 fund raiser.

In the meantime, we wish all of you the Joys of the Season, and Hope in the New Year!

www.build11.org

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!