Category Archives: General Museum News

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

Build 11 – November VIDEO Update

We have a real treat for our friends this month. Gordon Cook, one of the members of the Build 11 Project engineering team, has been experimenting with his 3-D animation program, and he’s got a fascinating program describing an important component of No. 11.
This is an example of the kind of work the engineering team has been involved with for nearly two years. We expect to begin the first phase of the assembly process, building the main frame for No. 11 soon after the turn of the year.
The 2021 fundraising for No. 11 has surpassed $76,000 and funds are still coming in. Every dollar helps, so if you have a few extras we could certainly use them.

WW&F and Midcoast Conservancy to Celebrate Unique Partnership and Trail Opening!

Join Us for a Fun Fall Hike

On Saturday, October 30, 2021 the WW&F Railway Museum and Midcoast Conservancy will be celebrating their unique partnership with a special run of their popular Ride the Rails to Hike the Trails.

The 11am train departure from Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road, Alna, Maine) will include a special trip “down the mountain” to Trout Brook Bridge, where a Grand Opening ceremony will take place for the relocated trails through Midcoast Conservancy’s scenic Trout Brook Preserve.

For many years, visitors to Trout Brook Preserve have been able to hike along the WW&F Railway’s right of way. With trains returning to this corridor in 2022, a new “lollypop” loop trail has been built, allowing safe, continued access to the preserve that does not interfere with the railway’s operations.

Following the brief ceremony, visitors will enjoy a guided hike through the preserve, and will return on a later train to Sheepscot.

Get Tickets to Ride the Rails and Hike the Trails!


Build 11 – October Update

Build 11 – September Update

This is really great news!

Dakota Foundry reports they have completed all the patterns and cores for the cylinder half-saddle castings for No. 11, and they sent some photos. They will be preparing the molds and are planning to pour the pieces soon. We can expect the completed castings, each of which will weigh about 1500 pounds, sometime around the end of the year.

This photo shows the completed pattern for one half of the mold. As you can see, it is a large piece. The tape measure at the bottom shows that it is about 32 inches wide.

This photo shows several of the cores and core boxes, which create cavities inside the mold during the pour.

This image is of the cope, or top half, of the two part pattern used to make the casting. On the right side, the curve is where the casting will be mated to the smokebox of No. 11. At the center left is the valve portion of the casting, and on the extreme left is where the frame of the locomotive will be bolted to the half-saddle. The bottom half of the mold (not shown) is known as the drag.

In other news concerning Dakota Foundry, the drive wheel center patterns, as well as the cranks (created by Bernie Perch) and the rear frame extension (by Alan Downey) castings, were crated by Harold and Alan Downey and were picked up by the trucking company on Thursday morning. Those pieces will be ductile iron rather than grey iron.

Several members of the No. 11 Project engineering committee were in Sheepscot over the past several days, during which they continued the work of forming parts for locomotive fireboxes. Jason, Rick, Gordon (pictured) and Wayne were involved in the process, using the flanging machine to form the rear firebox and the door wrapper sheets. In addition, a method was developed to form the throat sheet using the flanger.

Donations for No. 11 continue to come in, and donations contributed during 2021 stand now at $66,642. There is still time for you to contribute if you have not done so, however. The fund raising doesn’t officially end until Dec. 31, 2021. Donate at

Finally, on Saturday evening, as No. 9 was rolling into the engine house for the first time, the two names were drawn for the raffle winners from among those who purchased raffle tickets to support our fundraising for No. 11. Grand prize winner is Bill Baskerville, and Peter Kuntz is the runner-up. Congratulations to both, and thanks to everyone who purchased tickets. The raffle raised over $1000 to help us make progress on No. 11.

You’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad – Open Volunteer Work Sessions

Join the WW&F Railway’s volunteers on an “open” work session.

We have the following work sessions planned for select Saturdays this Fall.

Please join us for one or all of them!
Volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome and needed.

Sept. 18:
Caboose painting day!
Help us prepare caboose 554 for it’s Fall Adventures.

Sept. 25:
Box Car 67 painting day!
Help paint historic B&SR Boxcar 67.

Oct. 9:
Lay Track! RR Spiking Party at Trout Brook.
Also will be laying out ties for the new Engine house.

Oct. 30:
Lay Track! (Part II) RR Spiking Party at Trout Brook.
Also will be laying out ties for the new Engine house.

Nov. 13:
Lay Track! (Part III) RR Spiking Party for Sheepscot Engine house.

Nov. 20:
Lay Track! (Part IV) RR Spiking Party for Sheepscot Engine house.
Finish any remaining tasks.

What to Expect

  • Volunteer shifts begin around 8:30AM at 97 Cross Road, Alna, Maine
  • Wear heeled, fully enclosed above the ankle boots (safety boots are preferable)
  • Wear full legged pants (no shorts, etc.)
  • Tools will be supplied, but feel free to bring ones that you are comfortable working with.
  • Tics and bugs are included at no extra charge. Appropriate repellant (and sunscreen) is recommended.
  • Volunteers will ride the train (or carpool) to the work site, depending on the work being done.
  • Lunch will be available for a modest donation – or pack your own.
  • Work will conclude by 3PM.
  • Younger volunteers are welcome under appropriate adult supervision.


Please email us at

Sign Up Here!

Build 11 – September Update

Flanging and more!

On August 31 and September 1-3, several members of the No. 11 Project group worked at Sheepscot flanging boiler components for both No. 10 and No. 11. Straight flanging was done on the backhead and the throat sheet for No. 11 and the throat sheet for No. 10.
Here, Wayne Laepple (center) and Jason Lamontagne (left) are positioning the first sheet for bending in the flanger.

Fortunately, these bends were all straight bends so no heating of the sheets was necessary. Gordon Cook (far right) and Rick Sisson (not pictured) devised a stop that allowed us to make the bends at the correct angles. For the first try, a sheet of MDF plyboard was tried. It worked fine for the initial bends, but as we progressed, the force of the flanging operation caused fasteners to elongate the holes in the pltboard. Sections of steel bar stock were successfully substituted and the work continued.

The first attempt to use steel bar as a stop, seen here, was unsuccessful. A second try, bolting the bar directly to the sheet, worked much better.

The next work session will include additional flanging of No. 11’s throat sheet, the more difficult to execute curves. This operation will require heating the sheet to make it pliable. At this time, we expect to do that in early October.

While it may seem like we did not accomplish much at this session, a good deal of time was necessary to lay out the bends to follow the contours of the sheets. The actual forming operations took less than a third of the entire time we worked.

Here, the toggle of the flanger is just beginning to bend the steel for the initial bend.

In other news, the arrival of the “shop annex,” a 12 x 24 foot structure that has been positioned adjacent to the shop, was followed by the installation of a rack for storage of lengths of flat, angle and round steel stock, steel shelving, and bolt bins. Materials from several locations in the shop have been consolidated into this structure, which will also house various tools and equipment not frequently used that occupied valuable floor space in the shop. Thanks to Brendan Barry, the storage spaces have been set up and lighting has been installed.

Finally, we are pleased to announce that the fund raising for No. 11 continues to move forward. As of today, the total donations raised in 2021 amount to nearly $59,500. At this time, we need just $979 to fully access the $25,000 matching challenge donation received during the spring.

Put us “over the top” for 2021 at

Build 11 – August Update


Arguably more exciting than watching the Olympics, the WW&F “FundRazr” goal of $50,000 in 2021 for building locomotive no. 11 has been achieved this week! Thank you to all who have contributed; your generosity will ensure that the project does not pause in 2022 due to a lack of financial resources.

That said, we’re not quite out of the woods yet! We still need to raise $3500 to complete the $50,000 challenge set forth by one of our most generous donors. Lean more and donate at:

Of course, any funds raised above and beyond our 2021 goal will make the 2022-2025 campaigns all the easier.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news, you know that the national economy is roaring ahead, but at the same time is plagued with a shortage of willing workers. This problem has led to a delay in the manufacture and delivery of crucial components from Dakota Foundry for No. 11. That being the case, we are temporarily shifting our focus from No. 11’s frame to No. 10’s boiler.  In the coming weeks, we plan to flange the last few pieces for No. 10’s firebox, make some modifications to the front and rear tube sheets, and then take all those parts to Maine Locomotive & Machine. ML&M will move ahead with manufacturing the new boiler, welding the components as we provide them. The shell is already at their shop.

Meanwhile, Gordon Cook is designing a fixture and jigs for the flanging machine. It will be used to form the large radius curved sections of the top of the door sheet and the rear tube sheet. The idea is to hold these large sheets in the proper position to achieve the best results. They are difficult to maneuver in the flanging machine, and the pivot will ensure that they will have the correct radius.

And our own shop crew is now actively seeking machinists who would like to volunteer their talents towards the Build 11 project. In short, we are ready to machine a plethora of castings and parts – and could use some help. If you are a qualified machinist in the Midcoast Maine area, please email us at to learn how you can help Build 11.

It is also planned to modify our home-built Beatty-style flanging machine to serve as a brake, adding another layer of versatility to this most useful tool. With that, we will be able to manufacture various parts for coach No. 9’s trucks. While we have a number of parts already on hand made for us by Cattail Foundry, we need a few more components before we can begin to machine and then assemble the trucks.  As for Coach No. 9 itself, the exterior is essentially complete, so Eric and Ron and Lou will soon turn their attention to the interior of the car.

And to the delight of our hard-working steam crews, a brand spanking new Nathan “Simplex” No. 4 boiler injector, made by Eccentric Engineer of Orange, California, has been purchased and is being installed to replace a troublesome “legacy” injector on locomotive No. 9. Some minor modifications of the piping will be necessary, as will making a bracket to hold the device. If this injector proves successful on locomotive No. 9, additional injectors will be ordered for locomotive No. 11.

Learn more, get involved, and contribute at


The railway will not be open for public train rides this weekend (July 31st – August 1st) due to private events on both days. We look forward to seeing everyone at our Annual Picnic on August 7th when there will be 3 locomotives in steam for the event.

Yes, we’ll be “back” with THREE locomotives in steam (and a special evening double-header) on Saturday 8/7 for the 2021 Annual Picnic – 3 Locos in Steam – One Summertime Steamtacular!!!

Thank you.

Build 11 – July Update

Over several days in June, various members of the No. 11 engineering group worked at Sheepscot. They installed new cranes in bay 1 and bay 3 of the shop. In addition, during another work session they completed all the components for the rear frame extension of No. 11 that required bending. Several of those items were machined and found to be within 0.01 of perfect.

Gordon Cook has produced an image of the Phase 1 work on No. 11, the assembly of the main frames of the locomotive. As work progresses on the actual assembly, we will update this image.

We received the welcome news that pattern work for the locomotive’s cylinder half-saddles is proceeding at Dakota Foundry. They have sent us several photos.

Thanks to a couple of eagle-eyed members, we have been able to acquire an appropriate steam gauge and a genuine Eames Vacuum Brake gauge though on-line auction. Several WW&F members contributed funds to allow the purchase of authentic items needed for No. 11.

Our 2021 fund raising for No. 11 is proceeding amazingly well. As of July 11, we have received $39,677.00, including $12,820.00 in matching funds from our anonymous donor. This brings us to 51% of the $50,000 Challenge (which concludes on October 31st) and to 80% of our overall goal for 2021!

Meanwhile, we’ve sent out more 20 of the full-size builder’s plate replicas, as well as 10 of the 3-D printed version. Our raffle for one of the bronze plates has raised more than $350 – and there are plenty of tickets available. The drawing takes place on Saturday, October 9 during the Fall Work Weekend.

Learn more, and contribute at