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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

Winter 2021 Trains Announced

We are pleased to announce that tickets are now on sale for two fantastic (and “safe”) events for winter, 2021!

Steam and Sleighs to SeaLyon Farm marries our steam train with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the farms and fields of scenic Alna, Maine.

Or have a Winter Caboose Adventure with exclusive access to the “little red caboose” at the end of the steam train.

All trains will be primarily sold in groups of 8-10 people – so that everyone can enjoy themselves and not be seated in close proximity with others on the train, sleigh, etc. (Each group receives their own sleigh ride.)

We look forward to seeing you aboard a steamy winter adventure on the Sheepscot narrow gauge!

This Saturday 11/21/2020: Sandy River Surprise! – A One-Time Only Recreation of a SR&RL Train!

Ride and Photograph “SR&RL #6” pulling two “red” coaches (2 & 4) from the Phillips & Rangeley RR

Duration & Times
1 hour; 11am & 1pm departures.
a 3pm departure may be added if demand warrants

About The Experience
In collaboration with Maine Narrow Gauge RR Co & Museum and Maine Locomotive & Machine Works, we are pleased to announce a special “surprise” one-day-only train featuring an all Sandy River consist. WW&F locomotive #9 will be backdated to its appearance as Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes locomotive #6. Phillips and Rangeley combine 2 and coach 4 – recently restored to their “red” livery will be on the train.

This consist has not been together since 1924, and will not be possible again (soon.)

The trip will run from Sheepscot station (97 Cross Road, Alna) to Top of the Mountain and return. Runbys are planned at Alna Center for photographers who wish to ride the train.

Fundraiser for the Narrow Gauge Collection
This event will serve as a fundraiser for the Narrow Gauge Railway Collection – now on display at the WW&F’s campus. Specifically, money raised is earmarked for signage and displays to be built in the Car Barn Exhibit Hall.

All ticket sales ($25 each) will be MATCHED by Maine Narrow Gauge RR Co & Museum to provide an outstanding display area that illustrates the big story of Maine’s unique little trains.

Book online now!

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.

We Regret to Announce our 2020 Fall Work Weekend is Cancelled



Dear Members and Friends of the WW&F:

Every Work Weekend at the WW&F is like a family reunion to all of us. Folks come from near and far, to celebrate, laugh, reminisce, dine, and hang out together – all while accomplishing the various work that needs to be done on our beloved railroad. Like any great family gathering, we are comfortable and open with each other – while working (sweating) and playing in close proximity. It is a joyous occasion that we all look forward to.

Our bi-annual Work Weekends are not unlike a wedding that occurred in Millinocket just a few weeks ago – a celebratory gathering of family and friends who all came to an isolated Maine resort to share a joyous occasion. As you may have heard, this has since turned to sorrow, as seven people have now died from the Coronavirus spread amongst those who gathered that day.

In light of that incident, it is with deep regret that the WW&F Board of Directors decided that in the best interest of all of us, the Fall 2020 Work Weekend is cancelled.

Various options were considered, including “socially distant” crews working on isolated tasks – much like what occurs now amongst the handful of volunteers that congregate on regular workdays. However, with the date of the Fall Work Weekend fast approaching, coupled with limited travel and lodging options, it was determined that such a plan would be impossible to develop and execute in the coming weeks. Moreover, public train service is scheduled on Saturday of the Work Weekend – and the possibility of foreign work crews intermingling with passengers (who are limited in number and must adhere to our COVID-19 safety policy) produces too high of a risk that our joyous event could also turn tragic.

For Spring 2021 – should precautions still be necessary – advance sign ups for specific dates and crews may be required. All participants will be required to adhere to any state-issued mandates regarding mask use, travel restrictions, lodging, quarantining, and the like. It is also probable that lodging in the attic of the Percival House, on-site camping, etc., will be tightly regulated. Meal preparation and distribution (arguably one of the highlights of the weekend) will have to be rethought. Finally, there will be no public train service during the Spring 2021 Work Weekend.

Until the Millinocket spreader event occured, it had been our intent to hold the Fall Work Weekend in some way, shape, or form. We apologize for the last minute notice; our intent is to joyously welcome all of us back to Sheepscot in 2021.

On a similar note, the WW&F Board of Directors have also cancelled the 2020 Victorian Christmas; look for revamped Christmas-themed trains and gatherings in 2021. Likewise, the WW&F has opted out of participating in the January 2021 Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in West Springfield, Mass. While we are saddened that we will not be able to see our friends at these events, we look forward to the day that we can gather together once more.


David J. Buczkowski, President
On behalf of the WW&F Board of Directors and leadership team.

Build Locomotive 11: September Update

Some good new to start out this month’s No. 11 progress report. Our on-line on FundRazr has reached 76% of its goal for 2020, and we still have nearly four months to go. Eight individuals so far will be receiving bronze replicas of WW&F No. 7’s Baldwin Locomotive Works builder’s plates. In addition to funds flowing through the on-line site, donations are coming into the mailbox at the Alna post office. We are grateful for every dollar we receive. Thank you. Thank you.

The engineering team continues to meet weekly via Zoom. Recently, the team has been concentrating on the production of drawings for the tender. So far, Harold Downey has produced about 60 drawings of various details necessary for the water tank and coal space for No. 11.

In addition to the tender, a great deal of attention has been focused on the final details of the Request for Quotations packet that will be in the mail sometime in the next few days. The team has selected seven potential manufacturers of the cylinder half-saddles (shown below), driver wheel centers and other major cast components.

3D Model of #11's Cylinder Casting

Harold Downey sent several photos of patterns he’s been making in his workshop at home in Austin, Texas. Among the photos is one that illustrates the complexity of not only pattern making, but also the complexity of castings parts.

This photo shows the parts necessary to cast the trailing truck journal boxes for No. 11. To start with, in pattern making, the maker must be able to visualize the part as a negative, similar to a photographic negative. He must see what’s around the part, rather than the completed part. To make the journal box, five separate pattern parts are necessary.

Here are two photos of another part that Harold has patterned, that of the rear truck swing link hanger.

Swing Link Hanger

The first photo shows the hanger as it would look as a completed casting, while the inset illustrates how the casting will be made using two parts of the same piece. Notice the two small holes in the left-hand piece, into which the two pegs are inserted to properly align the sections.

Now imagine how complicated making the patterns for the steam cylinder half-saddles will be. There are several interior passages for live and exhaust steam that must curve inside the casting to deliver the steam to the valve and allow the exhaust steam to exit. There are also several “lightening” areas to reduce the overall weight of this large part. It’s estimated each half-saddle will weigh about 1,500 pounds.

Riveting #10's Smokebox

In other news, our bull riveter is back together. It was tested last weekend, and on Saturday, Alan Downey, along with Gerry and Carlos Steinke, plan to rivet the front ring to the new smokebox for No. 10. Carlos and Jerry completely overhauled the riveter during the spring, and this machine will have major role in the construction of No. 11, as well as in the manufacture of boilers for No. 10 and No. 11.