Category Archives: Build 11

Build 11 – April Update

Positive things continue to happen for No. 11.

The No. 11 engineering team has devoted considerable time in the last month to the lead truck of No. 11, verifying plans and drawings in advance of making the necessary patterns to cast several key components.  The wheels for the lead truck were cast several years ago and are already completed.

Last week, a substantial number of custom-cut steel components were delivered to Sheepscot. All are stored in the container until needed. They join a stash of stock steel parts received last month.

Shop Annex for storage of steel stock.

In late June, we expect delivery of a 12 X 24-foot shed, to be placed next to the shop. Inside, racks will be positioned to store the steel stock currently in the container. In addition, several storage bin systems now located at several places in the shop will be consolidated. These will bring nuts and bolts, rivets, pipe fittings and so forth in a central location. We will also move rarely used items out from underfoot and out of various corners of the shop into this space. We’re calling it “the shop annex.” The structure will be placed in an area recently prepared with a gravel base, and is skid mounted so it can be moved elsewhere around Sheepscot as necessary.

During May, the engineering team plans to meet in person at Sheepscot for several days of intensive work, making about 30 components for the rear frame extension for No. 11. This is in preparation for beginning the assembly phase of the rear frame later this year. This work involves heating the parts, and using our flanging machine, making precise bends. If time allows, the team will also form several parts for the new trucks for No. 11.

Builders Plate Reproductions

Our fund-raising for 2021 for No. 11 is nearing the 20% mark, although we still have some distance to go to reach the $50,000 goal. Here’s an idea — if you received a stimulus check, perhaps you could see your way to donate some of that money to No. 11. You’ll certainly stimulate the fund raising if you do!

Keep in mind that if you can donate $110 or more, you are eligible to received a 5-inch diameter 3-D printed version of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin builder’s plate, and if by chance you can afford $1100 or more in one donation, we will be thrilled to send you a full-size brass replica of No. 7’s Baldwin plate. (We still have a couple of the first run of the brass plates, and we can easily secure more, so step right up.)

Finally, be sure to check on Saturday, April 24, for a special announcement concerning No. 11.

Build 11 – March Progress Report!

The purchase order for the cylinder half-saddle castings, the largest and most expensive parts of No. 11, was forwarded to Dakota Foundry of Webster, South Dakota, on Feb. 24, and the folks at Dakota have already started work. They provided the solidification models for us within a week, and their pattern maker has begun the task of producing the multiple complex patterns and core boxes necessary to manufacture the two identical casting. When completed, in three months or so, they will be shipped to Maine for final machining.

Lodge and Shipley lathe

In other news, the large Lodge and Shipley lathe was delivered and positioned in the shop on March 3. The Cincinnati-Bickford radial drill press, which had been moved into the shop in late February has been wire brushed and cleaned, and it has received its first coat of machinery gray paint.

Several other machines were slightly repositioned to increase the available work spaces. The next step is setting up the smaller Monarch lathe.

The container dedicated to storing parts for No. 11 is temporarily housing the 20 new wheels recently received from McKees Rocks Forgings in Pennsylvania. Looks like a third container will soon be needed!

train wheels

We have received an order we placed for steel stock to be used as needed for No. 11, which is also stored in the container. Another order, from a different vendor, should arrive soon. This order includes a number of pre-cut pieces for specific uses on No. 11. And the water-jet cut steel should be shipped from New York soon as well.

Finally, our 2021 FundRazr, at last count, had brought in over $6,200. Again, we emphasize that we need to keep the funds flowing if we are going to move this project forward. A number of WW&F members and friends have committed to monthly donations or $11 or $22, and that keep the funds moving, but our target of $50,000 this year is a steep climb.

Can you help us?
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And remember the two premiums we have.
The full-size bronze replica of WW&F No. 7’s builder’s plate for a donation of $1100 or more, and a 5-inch 3-D printed replica of the plate for a donation of $110 or more.

Builders Plate Reproductions


Build 11 – February Update

It’s been a quiet month since our last report, but things are happening to move the project along. In the first month of the 2021 FundRazr for No. 11, we are just shy of $3,000. So now we need a little more than $47,000 to reach our goal. We aren’t shy — we’re asking for donations! If we are to make this happen, we need donations large and small.

Pictured here are two 3-D renderings of the frame components of No. 11, provided by Dave Roche.3D Model - Frame and Running Gear


Just the other day, the first 10 replica builder’s plates were packaged up and mailed out to the folks who have contributed $1,100 or more. We still have six more plates on hand, and of course we can always get more made. If you’d like to have one, send us your donation of $1,100 (or more) in one check or online contribution and we’ll get one out to you.No 7 Builder's Plate Remake


WW&F member Russ Nelson has come up with another premium idea. He is offering a 5-inch diameter plastic resin replica of WW&F No. 7’s builder’s plate produced on his 3-D printer to the next 110 people who contribute $110 to the build 11 Project. Select this “perk” at and Russ will make one for you and send it to you.

No 7 Mini Builder's Plate Plastic

In other news, the radial drill press and the new to us Lodge & Shipley lathe are scheduled to be positioned in the shop this week. We have to wait a bit to use either machine until our electrician can come by to wire them in to the shop’s electrical system. The three-phase generator has finally had its new water pump installed, so it’s ready to go.

The engineering team has been reviewing the final quote for the patterns for the cylinder half-saddles, and as long as everything adds up, a purchase order is to be issued in the next few days. We are also ordering steel from two vendors. From one, we will receive various shapes and sections cut to order, while the other vendor will provide stock in standard profiles and lengths for us to cut to fit as needed. This steel purchase provides all the stock material necessary to complete the first three phases of the Build 11 project!

Finally, the main frames for No. 11 have been placed in the cradle to give us more floor space in the container. (shown here.)

Main Frames in Storage

Build 11 – January Update

The 2020 fund-raising campaign has wound down. The goal of $17,000 was reached and surpassed by nearly $8,000. To all who donated, a hearty thank you.

Starting today, we’re opening another fund-raising effort. For the year 2021, we’re hoping to raise $50,000. That sounds scary, and it is a lot, but we remain confident that our friends and members will support the ultimate goal, the construction of a new locomotive!

Several members and friends have committed to monthly donations of either $11 or $22. That may not sound like much, but it all adds up. We hope some others will join in that sort of effort.

We will also continue to offer the reproduction Baldwin builder’s plate of WW&F No. 7 for one-time contributions of $1,100 or more. More “perks” are still being planned.

Donate at:

In other No. 11 news, the hydraulic power unit for the flanger has been relocated outside the shop to reduce the noise and exhaust fumes.

Gordon Cook built a “doghouse” to protect the unit from the elements. The hydraulic hoses have been fed through two holes in the wall of the shop. Flanging work is expected to get started sometime this month, first completing the last few components for No. 10 and then going right into parts for No. 11.

A start has been made moving various parts of No. 10 and No. 11 into the container, where they will be stored until needed for assembly of the locomotives. This helps clear out needed work space in the shop.

The two main frame sections are among the parts moved, and Gordon Cook has built cradles to stand up the main frame sections. Other parts will be stored on pallets, and a pallet jack has been acquired to move the pallets about in the container.

Meanwhile, at Preservation Pattern, the rear frame extension is receiving tie bars at the top to make the entire piece a continuous “loop” to retain its shape through casting and heat treatment, after which the tie bars will be cut off. Some minor modifications were necessary to the rear bolster patterns due to design changes in the original Baldwin design to improve the locomotive’s lateral stability.

The water-jet parts completed in Syracuse, NY will be shipped to Sheepscot soon. Most of those will also go into the container. In addition, we plan to order steel stock from two vendors shortly. One vendor will custom cut stock to length, while the second vendor provides full-length stock for use in a variety of applications on the locomotive.

Finally, we expect delivery of the new to us large lathe later this week. It may be dropped off at Ken Boudin’s Machinery Service Co. for a couple of weeks of storage until everything is ready to install it in the shop.

Build 11 – December Update

BUILD 11 Update!

There is some great news about the Build No. 11 Project this month. First and foremost, our FundRazr has reached and surpassed its goal of $17,000, thanks many donations from members and friends far and near. Nevertheless, if you want to contribute, you still have about three weeks to do so. We’ll be announcing a new FundRazr campaign for 2021 on January 11.

The quotations for casting the cylinder half-saddles, driver centers, cranks and various other parts were received, and the team is evaluating them. The expectation is that an award will be announced by the end of 2020.

In other good news, Mountain Machine Works of Auburn, Maine will be machining 10 new axles for the WW&F Railway Museum, including the axles for the rear truck under No. 11. The others are for coach No. 9, a-building now in the Sheepscot shop, and B&SR boxcar No. 56, also in the shop. The really great news is that Mountain Machine is doing this work at half the usual cost, as a donation to our museum. This donation has been described as “a tremendous time savings” for the museum since we don’t have to manufacture the axles ourselves.

The new pattern for the WW&F No. 7 builder’s plate replicas was completed recently and delivered to the foundry on Dec. 7. The first 10 plates will be cast and sent to those who donated $1,100 to the Build 11 Project soon. If you want one of these beautiful bronze plates, just donate a lump sum of $1,100 (or more) to the project.

The engineering team continues to make purchases of materials, which will be stored in a designated container (which arrived at Sheepscot last week) until needed. Actual progress on Phase I of the construction of No. 11 will of necessity be slowed until the restrictions on travel imposed by COVID-19 are lifted sometime next year, we hope.

Here is a 3-D rendering of one of the drivers for No. 11, which is among components that will be cast in the new year.
Here is a 3-D rendering of one of the drivers for No. 11, which is among components that will be cast in the new year.
The pattern, made by Preservation Pattern of Lewiston, Maine, for the Baldwin builder's plate replicas was delivered to Cattail Foundry on Dec. 7.
The pattern, made by Preservation Pattern of Lewiston, Maine, for the Baldwin builder’s plate replicas was delivered to Cattail Foundry on Dec. 7.
This container will be used to store components manufactured for No. 11 until they are needed in the shop for finishing and assembly. It will be painted next year to match the first container.
This container will be used to store components manufactured for No. 11 until they are needed in the shop for finishing and assembly. It will be painted next year to match the first container.

Donations for the project and more information can be found at

Build 11 – November Update

No 11 Assembly 2D Side

Progress on No. 11 continues, with fund raising for this year getting close to the goal. As of Nov. 9, it’s less than $1,000 from that $17,000 goal. Thanks to all the great folks who have contributed. We’re currently working on plans for a new fund raising project, to debut in January 2021, to help move the Build 11 Project forward for another year.

We can also report that we have received two competitive quotations for the major castings, and we expect to receive others as the Dec. 1 deadline approaches. The award will be made on that date, and as soon as all the documents are accepted and approved by both parties, that work will move forward.

Through no fault of our own, several patterns for No. 11, including the driver centers and cranks, were seriously damaged by water. As a result, they must be dried out and repaired before they can be used. Several of the core boxes are beyond repair, so new ones must be made. Since we won’t need these components right away, however, there is time to do what must be done.

As part of the Build 11 Project, several improvements to the shop are underway. The 20-inch Prentice lathe was recently sold and moved out, the the big New Haven lathe will soon follow it out the door. A 30-inch lathe has been acquired to handle the work formerly done by the two lathes, thereby gaining much-needed floor space in the shop. The new radial drill press is almost ready for use, and several machines are being relocated.

As the winter weather comes on, work in the heated shop will pick up. Flanging of the final components for No. 10’s boiler will be accomplished by the end of the year, and then work to flange boiler components for No. 11 can begin. If there are no major holdups, the flanging work for both boilers should be completed by spring.

Build 11 – October (VIDEO) Update

Fund-raising for this year has reached over 93 percent! This is fantastic news, with more than two months left to reach our $17,000 goal. Thanks to all who have donated thus far. There is still time to donate, either to our own site, or with a donation through the site, or with a check to the museum in the good ol’ U.S. mail. We’re glad to have it any way you care to donate.

The Request for Quotations for large castings went out on Oct. 1 to nine potential bidders, and we have already received confirmations and questions from about half of them. Foundries with the experience and ability to produce such complex castings as the cylinder half-saddles are relatively rare these days, so we reached out to operations in Maine, Texas, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and elsewhere to meet our needs.

In other news, a large sheet of one-inch steel plate has been water-jet cut by Aquacut of Syracuse, NY, into numerous smaller pieces for No. 11. (See video.) This is the same firm that cut the plate from which new boilers for No. 10 and No. 11 were made. The one-inch pieces have been placed on a pallet for shipping to Sheepscot. Next for Aquacut are 7/8 and 3/4-inch plate to make additional components.

Before the snow flies, we hope to have a container on hand in which to safely store components for No. 11 until needed. Once the COVID-19 restrictions have eased, we hope to get a serious start on the first phase of the Build 11 Project, that of assembling the main and rear frame components. Harold Downey arrived from Texas the other day with another load of patterns for both No. 11 and coach No. 9. Both projects are moving forward.

Build Locomotive 11: August Update

WW&F locomotive #7
WW&F locomotive #7

This report on No. 11 includes some fabulous news, as well as updates on actual progress that moves the project forward.

First of all, we have received two substantial donations for No. 11. An anonymous member has donated $50,000 to the project, which really provides us a kick start! In addition, the Bluewater Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, located in Royal Oak, Michigan, heard about the project and donated $10,000. This chapter, which is going out of business, has sold off its collection of passenger equipment and is donating the proceeds of that sale to what it considers worthy causes. Many, many thanks to both donors.

In addition to these wonderful donations, this FundRazr crowd-funding has reached about 45% of the $17,000 goal we set for ourselves. Just in July, three people each donated $1,100 or more, entitling each of them to a replica of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin builder’s plate. The pattern for the plates has been made and delivered to Cattail Foundry, which is producing 10 plates for us — we’re quite optimistic that others will want one. Thanks to everyone who is supporting us through FundRazr.

The engineering group has developed a timetable for the manufacture of No. 11. Over a five year period, it is hoped that No. 11 will go from paper and electronic images to the actual live, steaming, operating locomotive. Phase 1 — building the main frame from from front to back, including the cylinders and rear frame castings. Phase 2 — adding the running gear including pilot and rear trucks, drivers, etc. Phase 3 — finish all foundation work including driving gear, valves and brakes. Phase 4 — boiler and tank installed on frame. And finally, Phase 5 — completion and testing of the new locomotive.

Frames for locomotive #11
Frames for locomotive #11

On Aug. 3, the frames and other parts made by Precision Grinding Inc. in Alabama were delivered to Sheepscot and are temporarily stored in Bay 1

This month, quotations for water-jet production of parts, plus a request for quotations for production of the cylinder half-saddle sections, will go out. The cylinders are cast in two identical sections which are then machined and bolted together, thus the “half-saddle” nomenclature. In addition the drive wheel centers and the eccentric cranks will be cast.

3D Model of #11's Cylinder Casting
3D Model of #11’s Cylinder Casting

Last but not least, No. 10 was recently moved from shop track 2 over to track 1, not only to provide shop space for coach No. 9’s construction, but also so No. 10’s boiler construction and other necessary work can continue. During the move, a rolling inspection of No. 10’s running gear was performed, revealing no problems.

Locomotive 10 on the move
Locomotive 10 on the move

Build Locomotive 11: July Update

So how do we get from “wouldn’t it be cool” to the actual locomotive? An engineering team, led by Jason Lamontagne, joined by Rick Sisson, Harold Downey, Eric Shade, Gordon Cook and Alan Downey, is using modern methods to take the locomotive piece- by-piece from a series of sketches to computer-assisted designs and finally to the shop to become a real piece of iron or steel.

BLW Builder's Photo WW&F 7

WW&F No. 7 was scrapped in 1937. Fortunately for the team, Baldwin Locomotive Works had developed a very methodical and logical approach to locomotive construction. Virtually every piece and part that went into a Baldwin locomotive was of a standardized design. Baldwin engineers relied on the company’s Manual of Standard Practices, which defined the dimensions and materials for every component, for guidance. By following those specifications, these components could be made, no matter the gauge or size of the locomotive.

BLW Standards

Our WW&F team is following those same standards as they design and draw the many components, which, once assembled, will become WW&F No. 11. The team meets weekly on Zoom to discuss progress and challenges. Each member of the team has been assigned a series of related components, which will become sub-assemblies of the locomotive. Rick Sisson manages a spreadsheet to track completion of drawings and patterns, while Eric Shade carefully checks each drawing against the standards.

Monkeys at Work

The process begins with an old-fashioned sketch on paper, with the necessary dimensions indicated, sometimes with an arrow pointing to a particular place or a circle indicating an area for special attention. Following the sketch, several two-dimensional computer drawing are made, including all dimensions for rivet or bolt holes, angles, fillets or any other modifications.

BLW Valve Drawing

The exciting part comes next, as the two-dimensional drawings are converted to a 3-D images using one of several Computer Assisted Design programs. A 3-D image offers the design team the opportunity to “see” what the finished object will look like. The image can be manipulated on the screen to allow viewing from any angle, it can be enlarged to show detail, and in very complex designs, such as the cylinders, it’s even possible to see interior details. Various smaller parts can be “stacked” on the screen to show the final product. In fact, a 3-D image can be “printed” to make a foundry pattern.

3-D rendering of crossheads, guides and main rods

The first parts manufactured in 2020 for No. 11 should be at Sheepscot soon. These are the two main frame rails and two pallets of smaller parts. All were made using CAD prints produced by the engineering team and sent to Precision Grinding, Inc. of Bessemer, Alabama. Parts were produced by computer-controlled plasma-cutting, a polishing process known as Blanchard grinding and final machining.

Polished Main Frame Member

The fund-raising for No. 11 continues apace. The first on-line campaign on FundRazr kicked off on June 11 and raised its first $1,000 in less than two days. In addition to the on-line contributions, funds were mailed directly to the WW&F post office box. Our goal by the end of 2020 is $17,000, which will set up the budget for the first year of the project of $50,000. Have you donated yet?

Don’t forget the special gift for anyone who donates $1100 or more in a single check. We will give each of those generous individuals a full size bronze replica of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin builder’s plate, produced at Cattail Foundry in Gordonville, Pa.

Replica Builder's Plate

Learn more and donate at: