Category Archives: Build 11

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

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:, 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

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

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 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

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!