Category Archives: Build 11

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!

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

Build 11 – April 2022 Update

A special Build 11 update from one of our volunteers…

Hi everyone. I’m Rick Sisson, a member of the WW&F Ry Museum for more than 20 years. I love volunteering there, but because I live more than 200 miles away, and because of Covid era restrictions, I’m not able to get to Maine as often as I’d like. As a member of the Build 11 engineering team, I’m able to contribute to that project by working from home, or “remote working”. I develop designs and drawings on my computer using CAD programs that are shared with and reviewed by the Build 11 team. I can collaborate with the entire team using Zoom meetings.
We’ve partitioned the Build 11 construction efforts into 5 phases. The first of these constitutes the forward frame which incorporates two cylinder saddle castings. These are large, complex components weighing about 1600 pounds each. We expect to receive the raw castings this summer which we will send to a local shop to get them machined to our specifications. This operation is complex, requiring specialized machine tools and will take a fair amount of shop time to complete.
Accordingly, this will consume a significant portion of this years Build 11 budget. Your contributions to the Build 11 campaign will ensure that we will be able complete phase 1 of the Build 11 project. And let’s not forget, the first $25,000 contributed this year will be matched by the Candelaria Fund. This matching grant will accelerate Build 11 progress. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributes. You’re all part of the Build 11 team!
Learn more and contribute at

Build 11 – March 2022 Update

Gordon Cook has been spending several days each month at the museum, most recently running the horizontal mill. He’s been finishing work on two rear frame bolster castings. These and three additional castings form the support for the rear truck under the tank and are an important component of the rear frame of No. 11.

These pieces need to be faced on five sides so the entire assembly is square and tight with the strength to support the weight of the water tank and coal. In addition, they must resist twisting and bending forces as the locomotive rolls around curves and on uneven track

Harold Downey has been at work in Texas, making patterns for a number of components for No. 11. Photos show the front spring equalizer pedestal and core box, the lead truck oil cellar and core box and the lead truck journal box and core boxes. This is all rather tedious work, and Harold has continued to do this, along with a number of engineering drawings for No. 11. He’s also working on patterns for several small parts for coach No. 9.

Gordon and his friend Dave Roche made a “solid model” of the main drivers, with the cranks and the valve gear, to prove the angles needed for the key ways in the axles. Gordon explained that this was necessary to make certain everything was correct prior to manufacturing the axles, especially the cutting of the key ways.

Friends, we’re well into the 2022 fund raising effort for No. 11, and we’re grateful for all the donations to the project. About 35 individuals, some being one-time donors, while others are regular monthly or bi-monthly donors, have contributed about $3,700. However, we need to receive at least $982 every week for the remainder of the year if we intend to reach our $70,000 goal for 2022. Don’t forget, we have a standing offer of $25,000 in matching funds that is only activated when we achieve $25,000 in individual donations. If you are able to do so, please help us Build 11.

Can you help make this dream a reality?

Remember, we have two great premiums for donors. For $1,100 or more, you can get your own full-size bronze replica of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin builder’s plate. For just $110, you can receive a high-quality 3-D plastic casting of No. 7’s plate, and in the WW&F’s gift shop, we’ve got the No. 11 Challenge coin for only $11.

Contribute at

Build 11 – February Update

Build 11 – February VIDEO update.
Here’s the dramatic video of the pour of the first cylinder half-saddle casting for No. 11. This took place on January 5, 2022, at Dakota Foundry (aka Anderson Industries LLC) in Webster, South Dakota.
During the second clip, you’ll hear the man pouring announce that 1800 pound of molten iron was poured. Notice the gasses igniting at various places around the flask during the pour. Also note the man aiming a device at the pour. It’s a pyrometer to measure the temperature of the hot iron.
This is tangible proof that the Build 11 Project is real. Your donations to and the WW&F Railway are making No. 11 a reality!
#build11 #rebuildingmainehistory

Build 11 – January Update

An end and a beginning.
At an early December work session, the Build 11 team formed the throat sheet for No. 10, the last piece of the new boiler. Following heat treatment and a preliminary fit up, the boiler components will be prepared and welded by Maine Locomotive & Machine Works. By mid-2022, the completed boiler will be placed on No. 10’s frame, offering the possibility that No. 10 may return to active service this year.
And the best news of all, on January 5, the folks at Dakota Foundry poured the first cylinder half-saddle for No. 11. The 1800-pound casting is a major component of the locomotive, and the other half, as well as other major parts of the locomotive chassis, will be poured in subsequent days. Dakota Foundry has been major partner in our effort, overseeing and producing these complex castings, a point of pride for them.
On February 2 and 3, the build 11 team is planning the first of what we intend to be regular work days devoted to making and finishing parts for No. 11. We are looking for some more folks who would like to be involved in this project, and we invite anyone interested to sign up to join us.

Learn more and sign up at:

As soon as shop space is available, in April or May, we will begin assembling No. 11’s rear frame extension. In the meantime, however, the team will be working on the main frame sections, making the pedestal binders which hold the drive wheels in position, machining a number of castings and forgings that then will be attached to the main frames, and readying other parts for assembly of the frame.

Learn more and contribute at

Build 11 – December Update

On Nov. 30 and December 1, a four-man crew including Jason Lamontagne, Gordon Cook, Rick Sisson and new volunteer Eric Snyder completed flanging the throat sheet for No. 10. This work included forming the knuckle by hand, using wooden mallets to form the final curve over a die. The flanging machine was used to hold the workpiece in position on the template during this operation.

That work completed the flanging of components for No. 10’s new boiler. They will be sent out for normalization by heat treatment, and when the parts are returned, the crew will begin to fit-up and test assemble the parts before sending them to Maine Locomotive & Machine for welding. This should mean that No. 10’s boiler will be completed other than installation of the flues. Sometime in late winter or early spring the boiler will be reunited with No. 10’s frame, and we may then see No 10 returned to service sometime in 2022!

After the parts for No. 10’s boiler are sent to ML&M, the next step will be to make the throat sheet for No. 11’s boiler. That’s the last component for the boiler, so all those parts can also be normalized.

The latest word from Dakota Foundry is that a subcontractor making the cores for No. 11’s cylinder half-saddle castings is backed up, and they now expect to cast them in January. They will cast our other components — drive wheel centers, cranks and rear frame extension at the same time. They will go to another shop for heat treatment to produce ductile iron.

We can sympathize with Dakota, as our shop is backed up with projects, too, and there is currently no space available for us to begin assembling No. 11’s frame at this time. Next spring….

As we raise funds to build WW&F No. 11, we previously had two levels of fund-raising, the full-size brass builder’s plate for $1100, and the 3D printed mini builder’s plate for $110. Now we’ve got something for everyone! For just $11, you can have the Build 11 Challenge Coin. Challenge coins started in the military, with each outfit making their own coins. The lore around these coins is that if you challenge someone with your coin, and they have theirs on hand, you have to pay the penalty — buy a round of drinks or do push-ups. Otherwise, they pay.

Due to a mix-up in the manufacturing process, the first 100 coins have a spelling error, never to be reproduced. These coins will make great stocking-stuffers! If you want one, you can buy one from the WW&F Museum Gift Shop for $11. Once they’re gone, they’re gone, and the new ones will be correct.

In other news, the 2021 fund-raising effort for the Build 11 Project is winding down. It will conclude on Dec. 31. Right now, the total on hand is $89,118, which is 178% of our $50,000 goal. To all of you who have supported this project in 2021, thank you, thank you. We’ll be announcing the 2022 version of the Build 11 Project on January 11, 2022.

Finally, may we wish everyone who follows this project a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2022!

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.

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.

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