Category Archives: General Museum News

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

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

Build 11 – June Update

$4445 Raised towards the $50,000 challenge!

During the week of May 11, some great progress was made by the Build 11 Project team. The entire team was at Sheepscot at various times during the week, and a significant number of components for the rear frame of the locomotive were created.

Over three intensive days, we were able to manufacture more than 20 items. We used propane torches to heat steel ships and then formed them on the shop flanging machine. Most of the parts were in pairs; and in several cases, there were right-hand and left-hand pieces. That required the repositioning of stops on the machine to assure that the work piece did not move once the bending process began.

Some pieces needed bends at both ends or to be bent into an elongated “U” shape. Some of the shapes were made from larger and heavier steel — some one inch thick and seven inches wide — we used two propane torches for heating, one above and one below. These large pieces were a challenge to handle, due not only to their weight but also because after the initial heat and bend, the other end likewise needed to be heated and formed.

When we had completed all we could, we stacked all the parts on a pallet and moved it to storage in the No. 11 container. In addition to the actual making of these components, we reorganized and consolidated items stored in the No. 11 Project container, moving recently-delivered items into covered storage. Most of these items arrived by motor freight from Aquacut, a water-jet cutting operation in Syracuse, NY.

Since the announcement of the $50,000 challenge 30 days ago, you have raised $2222 in new donations! This includes $222 in raffle ticket sales for the replica locomotive #7 builder’s plate.

With the match from the generous anonymous donor, the challenge now stands at $4445!

We have 5 months left to raise the remaining $22,777 to take full advantage of the match. Please keep the Build 11 project “on track” and donate at

Just for fun, here’s a photo of the Build 11 team, including, seated, Wayne Laepple and Alan Downey, and Rick Sisson, Gordon Cook,  Jason Lamontagne and Harold Downey.

In other news, the Build 11 Team is planning to hold monthly two or three-day work sessions to advance the project. However, the first priority is to complete the final flanging projects for No. 10’s boiler. That includes completing the flue sheets and forming the throat sheet. Then those parts will be taken to Maine Locomotive & Machine Works to be included in the new welded boiler for the engine.

“Pie and Runby” is Cancelled

Due to a variety of circumstances beyond our control, we regret to announce that Pie and Runby on 5/29/2021 has been cancelled.

Ticket holders will be notified via email with refund and rescheduling options.

All other trains/events scheduled for 5/29/2021 will proceed as planned.

Build 11 – May Update: Challenge Accepted

Building Steam: $50,000 Challenge Accepted!

Friends —We are thrilled to announce a 100% match of all donations up to a total of $25,000 between now and October 31, 2021.  Made possible by a generous anonymous donor, this unprecedented opportunity will allow us to not only reach our 2021 fundraising goal of $50,000 for the Build 11 Project, but to exceed it. Then it’s full steam ahead to the construction of No.11!

That’s right — for each dollar donated by our members and friends, this wonderful person will add a dollar to his donation, effectively doubling your donation!

We’ll keep you updated each month on the progress towards the $50,000 challenge.

To take advantage of this 1:1 match, visit to donate electronically or send a check with “Build 11” in the memo line to the WW&F Railway Museum. P.O. Box 242, Alna, ME 04535.

Meanwhile this week, the No. 11 engineering team is at Sheepscot in person. They are working in the shop to fabricate approximately 30 components for the rear frame extension of No. 11. They are using the flanging machine as a brake, to form angles on these parts. These items are heavy gauge steel and will require heating prior to bending. In addition, the team will also form several components for the new Jackson & Sharp-pattern trucks for Coach No. 9.
Videographer Steve Hussar has planned to be on hand on Wednesday to record this activity on video, which should be up for viewing. Still photos will be posted here as well as on the WW&F discussion site:

This drawing shows No. 11’s rear frame. This week the angled pieces in the corners of the rear frame are being formed, including the four long pieces that form an “X” in the center.

No 7 Builder's Plate Remake

We  have also started a raffle, with the prize being one of the bronze replica builder’s plates. These replica plates are offered to donors who send us $1,100 or more in one check. For members and friends who can’t afford that amount, this is an opportunity to own a plate. Tickets are available online at or in person at the Sheepscot gift shop. Tickets are $11 for one or two for $20. The drawing will take place on the Saturday of the Fall Work Weekend, Oct. 9th.