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Thank You, HeritageRail Alliance!

The preservation and reuse of the historic Boston & Maine Railroad’s Moose Brook Bridge as our new Trout Brook Bridge has been recognized by the HeritageRail Alliance’s Significant Achievement — Structures Award.  Stewart Rhine photo.

Our Museum has received national recognition from the HeritageRail Alliance in the form of its Significant Achievement — Structures Award during the HRA’s Fall Conference held in Santa Fe, N.M. November 7th through 10th.

HeritageRail is a national alliance of tourist, scenic, historic and excursion railroads, as well as railway and trolley museums. HeritageRail Alliance is moving railroad preservation into the 21st Century by developing and supporting the best practices and brightest minds in conservation, operation, exhibition and interpretation.

The Significant Achievement Award — Structures Award recognized the rescue, reconstruction, moving and placement of a former Boston & Maine Railroad boxed pony truss covered bridge on the main line of the WW&F. The bridge arrived at our Museum’s Sheepscot station parking lot in pieces on October 4, 2017, and in the span of only 11 months was reconstructed and then moved by highway about four miles and placed over Trout Brook.

You can read more about our Trout Brook Bridge project in our September 12th post.

Thanks to the preservation efforts of three generations of the Ramsdell/King family, our Museum was able to restore historic locomotive No. 9 to service December 5th, 2015.  The family was recognized by the HeritageRail Alliance through its Friend of Railway Preservation Award.  Dale King (right) spoke at No. 9’s dedication during our Annual Picnic August 13, 2016, sharing his family’s lengthy devotion to No. 9.  Past Museum President Steve Zuppa looks on.  Kevin Madore photo.

While at the Fall Conference, our Railway Superintendent and Chief Mechanical Officer Jason M. Lamontagne also accepted, on behalf of the family, the HRA’s Friend of Railway Preservation Award recognizing the three generations of stewardship by the Ramsdell and King families of West Thompson, Conn. of WW&F locomotive No. 9, a two-foot gauge 0-4-4T built in 1891. Frank Ramsdell and his friend William Monypenny rescued No. 9 from the scrappers in 1937. Following Ramsdell’s death in 1954, His daughter Alice continued to protect No. 9.

Alice died in 1994, and her nephew Dale King became the caretaker of the long-held family dream to return No. 9 to steam. In 1995, he came to an agreement with our Museum for a long-term lease that saw the locomotive moved back to Maine, where a 10-year overhaul began. This included a new boiler and the rebuilding of the running gear and cab. On December 5th, 2015, No. 9 steamed over the two miles of the WW&F Railway, marking its first travel over the line since 1933. King was present for No. 9’s formal dedication on August 13, 2016, when he spoke of his family’s lengthy devotion to No. 9.

Congratulations to the Ramsdell/King family for this well-deserved recognition, and to Dale King for permitting us to restore #9 and return her to service!

More information on these two awards can be found on the Trains magazine News Wire in an article written by Wayne Laepple.

Victorian Christmas December 15th!

Help us celebrate the holidays at the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway December 15th! Take our trains from Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road, Alna) where you can enjoy hot chocolate, cider, snacks and exhibits before boarding the train. At Alna Center Station warm yourself around the bonfire and enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh or wagon ride before visiting with our special visitors from the North Pole! Join your fellow passengers in carol singing on the train!

Please reserve your free tickets at http://wwfrytickets.simpletix.com

UPDATE: We apologize, but all advance tickets for Victorian Christmas have now been reserved.

Victorian Christmas will be held Saturday, December 15th unless unsafe weather conditions require rescheduling the event for the following Saturday, December 22nd. If the event is rescheduled, announcements will be made via social media and news outlets. Ticket reservations for the 15th will be honored for the same time on December 22nd.

Parts of Victorian Christmas are outdoors and unheated. Please dress accordingly.

Please check in at our ticket office in Sheepscot 30 minutes before your train’s departure time. Our ticket agents will have your reserved tickets ready for you. The ticket office is located midway between the parking area and the train station and will be denoted by signage. Check-in is required, as our ticket office will provide a hard copy ticket needed to board the train.  Tickets not claimed 30 minutes before train time may be given to walk-up guests,

Victorian Christmas is our opportunity to thank our Sheepscot Valley community for your generous support throughout the year. Thank you, and we wish you a joyous holiday season!

Our Fall Work Weekend October 5th through 8th!

Since 1997, scores of volunteers from across the country and overseas have traveled to our Museum in late April and over the Columbus Day weekend to work on many projects. This fall, we have the following projects planned:

• Construction of 1200 to 1400 feet of main line track down the Mountain!
• Clearing land in Sheepscot for our parking lot expansion.
• Constructing a deck on the front of the Percival House
• Burying conduit from the Sheepscot shop building to the Percival House.
• and other projects are likely as well!

Of course, visitors are welcome to just watch & see how our Sheepscot valley railroad is maintained and grows!

Work will start at 7 a.m. and end around 5 p.m. each day (or a bit earlier Monday). Delicious lunches (all four days) and dinners (Friday – Sunday) will be provided by our Museum.

Steam-powered passenger trains will be operating Saturday and Sunday. This will be one of the last opportunities to see our steam trains this year. Steam will be operating for our Victorian Christmas celebration December 15th.

If you can’t join us in person, you can follow weekend progress in our Mountain Extension and Fall Work Weekend 2018 forum threads.

The weather forecast so far looks great for Columbus Day weekend. We hope you can come help build and maintain our Museum!

Fall Festival and a Moonlight Extra Train September 29th!

Enjoy a day of games, fun, and happenings at our annual Fall Festival!

Board our train at Sheepscot Station at 97 Cross Rd, Alna, and travel up the line to Alna Center station, location of the festival. There will be face painting, a pumpkin patch, hay rides in the back of a Model AA truck, games and fun for the whole family!

Once again we welcome the Bluegrass Music Association of Maine to the festival, for a bluegrass pickin’ party! Enjoy some old fashioned music!

Trains depart from Sheepscot regularly at 10:30 AM, 10:55, 12 noon, 12:25 PM, 1:30, 1:55, and 3:00 (the last regular train); however depending on how busy it gets we may run trains more frequently than that. Purchase your ticket at Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road) ($8 for adults, $7 for seniors 60+, $5 for kids 4-12, kids 3 and under free) and board the train. Spend as much time as you like at the festival. Bluegrass pickers (with instruments) ride free.

Please join us for our Moonlight Extra Train! 9/21/18:  Sorry — our evening train is now sold out!  We hope to offer a similar train in October.  Please watch wwfry.org for updates.

There will be a 6 PM evening train to Alna Center, where visitors will be entertained by a bonfire, locally-produced foods and a talk by Taryn Hammer Marcus, of the Sheepscot General Store and Farm on the significance and history of General Stores in the Sheepscot Valley. The train will return to Sheepscot by 8:00. Please bring your camp chairs! Ticketing for this evening train is separate from the day’s events. Advance tickets for the evening train only are available at wwfrytickets.simpletix.com.  Sorry — our September 29th Moonlight Extra Train is now sold out!

We hope to see you September 29th!

A Major Milestone for Our Trout Brook Bridge Project!

The historic B&M Moose Brook Bridge now spans Trout Brook near Head Tide village.  The bridge will soon be lowered and secured onto its pilings, and remaining work on two short approach spans will then follow.  Brendan Barry photo.

On Saturday, September 8th, our Museum completed a major milestone in our Trout Brook Bridge project with the move of the historic Boston & Maine Railroad Moose Brook Bridge from our Sheepscot parking lot to its final destination spanning Trout Brook near Head Tide village!

Chesterfield Associates handled the move, with assistance from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and our volunteers.   A detailed story on the move is featured in the Wiscasset Newspaper.

The bridge, originally constructed in 1918 over Moose Brook near Gorham, New Hampshire on the Berlin Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad, is a historically-significant example of a Howe Boxed Pony Truss bridge, one of only six surviving examples of such a design in North America. While the WW&F never had such a design, a bridge of this type was a familiar sight in Head Tide village — Head Tide Road crossed the Sheepscot River over a Howe Boxed Pony Truss bridge well into the 1940s, within sight of the WW&F right-of-way.

After an arsonist set fire to the Moose Brook bridge in 2004, the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges (NSPCB) saved the remains of the bridge by taking possession of it with the hope of rebuilding. Dr. Dario Gasparini of Case Western Reserve University saw a research opportunity in the charred timbers and cracked castings. First, the structure was documented by the National Covered Bridges Recording Project, a documentation program of the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), which is administered by a division of the National Park Service. Later, the remaining iron parts were shipped to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where Dr. Gasparini, his students, and Tim Andrews of Barns and Bridges of New England completely rebuilt the trusses according to the HAER plans using all new wooden components.

The ensuing tests yielded valuable data on bridge design and load ratings, and provided a framework for the preservation of the remaining examples of this design. At this point, the NSPCB, led by President Bill Caswell, secured a grant from the National Park Service for the re-assembly of the bridge trusses. The next step was to find a suitable home for the historic span, and a number of locations were explored. The original location was no longer in use for railroad purposes, and plans for a static display nearby had stalled. With the assistance of our bridge engineer Wayne Duffett, who has been of substantial assistance in other WW&F projects, talks began about 18 months ago between the NSPCB and the WW&F regarding use of the Moose Brook trusses for a bridge over Trout Brook. They offered to donate the trusses, including the reassembly funds from its NPS grant to the WW&F, so the bridge could once again be put back into active service on a rail line.

The repurposed bridge will now serve as a key piece of our Mountain Extension – a ¾-mile northward extension of our 2.6-mile active railway from Top of the Mountain to Route 218 just north of Trout Brook. Over Columbus Day weekend (October 5th through 8th), our volunteers will build 1400 feet of new track. A similar push over Columbus Day weekend in 2019 will bring our rails to the bridge. In 2020, our Museum will build the remaining track north from the bridge to Route 218, and in 2021, we plan to open the completed extension to the public.

The restoration and reuse of the historic Moose Brook Bridge is the culmination of work by many organizations and individuals. We thank everyone who has supported this effort, including:

Bill Caswell/National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges
Christopher Marston/National Park Service, Historic American Engineering Record
Midcoast Conservancy
Tim Andrews/Barns and Bridges of New England
Lansing Community College
Dr. Dario Gasparini/Case Western Reserve University
Tom E. Dailey Foundation
John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust
Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts
2018 W. Russell Rylko Memorial Award/Mystic Valley Railway Society
Wayne Duffett/TEC Associates
E. Davies Allan/Chesterfield Associates
Jeff Verney/Jeffrey Verney Excavation of Alna
Town of Alna
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department
Contributors to our Narrow Bridge Ahead! Campaign
And our Members, Sheepscot Valley Neighbors, Friends and Benefactors!

Thank You All!

Our Final 2018 Summer Concert September 8th Features GoldenOak!

Our final 2018 Summer Concert the evening of Saturday, September 8th will feature GoldenOak. GoldenOak is an Indie Soul-Folk band fronted by sibling duo Zak and Lena Kendall. Originally from the Sandy River Valley of Western Maine and now based in Portland, they began to write music and perform in 2014. GoldenOak released their first album, Pleasant St., in 2016 — an album they co-wrote with cellist Seth Wegner. The full length album painted a landscape of the duo’s childhood and their experiences growing up and leaving home. The original album with beautiful instrumentation and voice solidified the band as ambassadors of the Maine Folk Scene and earned them praise such as a nomination as “one of Portland’s most important upcoming bands” by Dispatch Magazine. Over the last two years, they shared the stage with many notable artists such as Lady Lamb, The Dustbowl Revival, The Ghost of Paul Revere, and The Mallett Brothers Band. In October 2017, GoldenOak released Foxgloves, a 6 track EP that builds on Zak and Lena’s folk roots with a remarkable orchestral approach and earthy sound. The band kicked off their Foxgloves release tour with a sold out show at Portland’s One Longfellow Square, and in December, Foxgloves was voted “EP of the Year” by the Portland Music Awards. Zak and Lena record and often tour with fellow musicians and band mates, Seth Wegner (cello), Max Eddington (piano), and Jackson Cromwell (percussion). Find out more at GoldenOakband.com.

Our concert will be held under a big tent at Alna Center station, rain or shine.  The concert train will leave Sheepscot station promptly at 5 P.M. and return at 7:30 P.M. Parking, round-trip train fare, and concert admission are included in the price of the ticket: $15 for adults/$8.00 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and younger are free.

Sales are limited to 100 tickets; advance sale tickets are available at wwfrytickets.simpletix.com.

We hope you can join us Saturday evening, September 8th!

Our August Ice Cream Social is this Saturday, August 25th!

The weekend weather forecast looks good for our August Ice Cream Social!

We will be holding our August Ice Cream Social this coming Saturday, August 25th. Take any train from our Museum grounds at Sheepscot between noon and 3 p.m. and receive an ice cream when you arrive at Alna Center! Bring a blanket and a picnic basket, enjoy kite flying and old-fashioned lawn games while at Alna Center — everyone is welcome to spend as much time as they would like before taking a later train to either see the rest of our line or to return to Sheepscot. Our last return train to Sheepscot will depart Alna Center at 3.37 p.m.

Regular fare applies on all trains.

If weather does not cooperate this Saturday, our August Ice Cream Social will be held the next day — Sunday, August 26th.

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Don’t Forget Our Evening Concert with Rough Sawn Saturday Evening!

A reminder that on August 25th our Summer Concert Series will feature Rough Sawn. This local string band is composed of farmers and carpenters—true salt of the earth people. They are renowned for their excellent covers of classic country, bluegrass, folk and Western swing as well as timeless originals. Their four-part harmonies are not something you’re going to want to miss.

The concert train will leave Sheepscot station promptly at 5 P.M. and return at 7:30 P.M. Parking, round-trip train fare, and concert admission are included in the price of the ticket: $15 for adults/$8.00 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and younger are free.

Sales are limited to 100 tickets; advance sale tickets are available at wwfrytickets.simpletix.com.

We hope you can join us Saturday evening, August 25th!

 

Our 2018 Summer Concert Series Features Rough Sawn August 25th!

On August 25th our Summer Concert Series will feature Rough Sawn. This local string band is composed of farmers and carpenters—true salt of the earth people. They are renowned for their excellent covers of classic country, bluegrass, folk and Western swing as well as timeless originals. Their four-part harmonies are not something you’re going to want to miss.

The concert train will leave Sheepscot station promptly at 5 P.M. and return at 7:30 P.M. Parking, round-trip train fare, and concert admission are included in the price of the ticket: $15 for adults/$8.00 for children ages 4-12. Children 3 and younger are free.

Sales are limited to 100 tickets; advance sale tickets are available at wwfrytickets.simpletix.com.

We hope you can join us Saturday evening, August 25th!

Our Annual Picnic & Yard Sale and a WW1 Living History Weekend August 11 & 12!

Our Museum celebrates summer with steam and diesel train rides, Model T rail car rides, hand car rides, antique machinery, a yard sale, food, and a World War 1 Living History Weekend on Saturday & Sunday, August 11th and 12th!

Model T rail car rides will follow behind our regularly scheduled steam trains (subject to rail car availability). Try your hand at a hand car ride in Sheepscot yard!

Our friends at 103rd Regiment Living History will present a World War 1 Living History Weekend both days at Alna Center. The 103rd Regiment Living History is a group of WW1 living historians who set up educational displays and encampments in New England, depicting the common Doughboy. The original WW&F Railway operated during the WW1 era.

Shop our Yard Sale both days. Yard Sale proceeds benefit the WW&F Railway Museum Archives!

Picnic Food will be on sale both days from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Trains will depart Sheepscot Station from 10.30 a.m. to late afternoon Saturday and 10.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.