Category Archives: General Museum News

News, events, and other tidbits about the WW&F Railway Museum

A Busy March!

Museum volunteers cut trees and burned slash in February along our Mountain Extension between our current end of track and Trout Brook Bridge in advance of right-of-way preparation this spring and summer. This work will continue during the first few Saturdays in March, weather permitting.

While we are not running any public trains in March, we are keeping busy! Our Museum volunteers continue working on several Museum winter projects this month, including tree clearing on our Mountain Extension, shop building insulation & interior wall sheathing, shop coal stove installation, and work on Bridgton & Saco River Railroad flatcar #34.

Mountain Extension right-of-way tree clearing between our current end of track and Trout Brook Bridge, a distance of about 1200 feet, is expected to be completed about mid-month. Our volunteers will be working on Saturdays to finish this work, which will allow us to complete right-of-way repairs this spring and summer, in preparation for track construction Columbus Day weekend.

Meanwhile, back at our Sheepscot campus, shop building improvements continue with the installation of insulation, wall sheathing, and a second coal stove to heat bays 1, 2 and 3. Completion of this work will allow year-round work on equipment restoration and maintenance in our shops.

While our shop improvements are underway, work continues in bay 2 on the restoration of Bridgton & Saco River Railroad flatcar #34. We expect B&SR #34 will join our fleet of flatcars shuttling ballast between Alna Center and our Mountain Extension during our Spring Work Weekend Friday – Sunday, April 26th – 28th!

Please visit us! Stop by Saturdays in March to see ongoing work on our projects and talk with our volunteers. You can also follow our March progress on our forum’s March 2019 Work Reports thread.

Think Spring!

Thank You, John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust!

Today The John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust announced that our Museum is the recipient of an $8,000 grant to be used towards the completion of our Mountain Extension. This is the third (and largest) formal award the Trust has bestowed on the WW&F towards our continued expansion of mainline trackage over the last five years.

John Emery was a long-time Chicago resident who was an avid rail enthusiast and loved to ride trains around the world. He wanted to help preserve rail equipment and infrastructure that will allow future generations to share his experiences during what he considered the “Golden Age” of railway travel, from 1920 to 1960.

For 2019, the Trust has awarded 29 grants totaling $500,000. This amount doubles the amount that was given last year. The John Emery Rail Heritage Trust is the largest trust in the US that makes 100% of its awards solely for railroad restoration purposes. The list of 2019 recipients can be found here.

We are grateful for this grant and appreciate all the work the Trust does to help fund the preservation of our rail heritage.

Thank you!

Steam & Sleighs February 16th & 17th!

Photo courtesy of Matthew Malkiewicz.
Copyright Matthew Malkiewicz/Lost Tracks of Time.

Experience an unforgettable day at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway during our second and final “Steam and Sleighs” event for this winter!

Ride the Railway’s steam-powered Sheepscot Valley Winter Service trains and enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh (or wagon) ride, backcountry cross country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, and more at our station stops along your journey.

Trains will leave from Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road in Alna) and make stops at Alna Center and Top of Mountain Stations.

At Alna Center, detrain for horse-drawn sleigh rides and cross country skiing along with hot beverages prepared on the station’s potbelly stove. Outside, warm your hands around the bonfire and participate in a variety of demonstrations. In addition to the heated station, a portable toilet will be stationed here.

At Top of Mountain detrain for snowshoeing, backcountry X/C, hiking and to explore the work the railway is undertaking on our Mountain Extension, a .75 mile extension of the railway to a new station adjacent to Midcoast Conservancy’s Trout Brook Preserve.  For your convenience, a heated caboose and attendant will be on hand to help direct you. There are no additional facilities at this remote location.

Trains leave Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road in Alna) at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, and 1:30 p.m. An additional 3:00 p.m. train from Sheepscot will pick up hikers, skiers and snowshoers. Visitors are welcome for a train ride only at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are valid for round trip passage to and from Sheepscot Station all day and include access to all of the day’s activities. You may return on any train you wish to or break your journey at any station and resume it on a later train. Steam and Sleighs will be held Snow or Shine. In the event of inclement and hazardous weather, the event will be canceled and tickets will be refunded. Come dressed prepared for the weather. If you care to engage in outdoor activities, please bring your own skis, snowshoes, or outdoor gear.

Please arrive 15 minutes in advance of your train’s departure time to ensure a relaxed and pleasant experience.

Advance tickets can be purchased on line here.  To reserve your spot and avoid unnecessary waiting advance tickets are encouraged, but not required. Tickets will also be available the day of the event at Sheepscot.

We hope to see you on the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge!

A Busy February!

Museum volunteers have been cutting trees and burning slash along our Mountain Extension Saturdays, as seen in this January 19th view. This work will continue on Saturdays in February, weather permitting. The tree clearing will allow us to make right-of-way repairs this summer, in preparation to lay track northward to Trout Brook Bridge and beyond Columbus Day weekend this fall.

Our busy winter continues entering February, as work continues on several Museum projects and events!

On Saturdays this winter, we gather to clear trees and brush on our Mountain Extension right-of-way. This work will allow us to make right-of-way repairs this summer, in advance of track building come Columbus Day weekend. It’s about 1200 feet from current end of track to Trout Brook Bridge. Last Columbus Day weekend, we laid 1420 feet of track. With the right-of-way prepared, we plan to lay track to Trout Brook Bridge and beyond this coming Columbus Day weekend!

Meanwhile, our Sheepscot shops remain busy. Coal stoves and insulation are being installed so our shop crew can work productively throughout the winter in bays 1, 2 and 3. Work is well underway on the Bridgton & Saco River flatcar in bay 2. Once shop preparations are completed, work will resume on locomotive #10’s boiler.

Saturdays and Wednesdays are typically our busiest days, with volunteers working on both indoor and outdoor projects, weather permitting. Details on our February work sessions can be found here. Everyone is welcome to stop by, either to watch or to chip in!

Our public Sheepscot Valley Winter Service resumes Saturday & Sunday, February 16th & 17th with Steam and Sleighs. Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh (or wagon) ride, backcountry cross country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, and more at our station stops along your journey. More details, including ticket information, can be found here.

And we will have a sales table at the Whitefield Lions Club Model Railroad & Dollhouse Show at the Augusta Armory, 179 Western Avenue, in Augusta February 16th. If in the area, please stop by and say “Hi!”

Thank You, Leigh Webb and the Mass Bay RRE!


WW&F Railway Museum president Dave Buczkowski (holding a microphone) stands with Mass Bay RRE president David Brown, following the announcement that the WW&F is the recipient of the 2019 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award. The $10,000 award will be used for the purchase of track materials and labor for our Mountain Extension.

Today the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts announced our Museum is the recipient of the 2019 H. Albert Webb Memorial Railroad Preservation Award to support the purchase of track materials and labor for our Mountain Extension project!

The announcement was made at the Amherst Railway Society’s Railroad Hobby Show January 26th at the Big E in West Springfield, MA.  The $10,000 grant will greatly aid our push to extend the railway across Trout Brook to Route 218!

The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum is ecstatic with the interest that the Mountain Extension has received from the entire heritage railway community, and we thank the Mass Bay RRE, and Leigh Webb in particular, for their support of this project. The continued restoration of the WW&F Railway would not be possible without the enthusiasm and excitement among railroad preservationists. We appreciate the long-time support from the Mass Bay RRE which directly fuels the motivation, interest and progress of our volunteers.

Thank You!

Maine Narrow Gauge and the WW&F Announce an Unprecedented Collaboration!

The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum of Alna, Maine, in collaboration with the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum of Portland, would like to announce an unprecedented exhibition:  the Narrow Gauge Railway Collection.

The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Core Collection, highlighted by the only historic two-foot gauge parlor car ever built in the United States, the Rangeley, will be displayed at an enhanced exhibition facility on the Sheepscot campus of the WW&F Railway Museum.  The exhibit will also include other select artifacts from Maine’s unique two-foot gauge railroad systems.  These special pieces will be arriving at Sheepscot Station throughout 2019 for public viewing and operation on the WW&F Railway.

Further information can be seen on each museum’s webpage: www.mainenarrowgauge.org and wwfry.org.  Inquiries can be directed to info@wwfry.org.

Supplementary Information:

  • The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad “Core Collection” is defined as: Parlor Car Rangeley and combination car 14 (both from the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad), and coach 16 Mount Pleasant and caboose 32 (both from the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad).
  • “Other select artifacts” include Locomotive 8, plow 2, & tank car 14, all from the B&SR RR.
  • The “enhanced exhibition facility on the Sheepscot Campus” includes enhancements to existing structures to provide additional exhibition and display space and better visitor facilities.
  • Displays will be prepared and presented to the public within the exhibition space.
  • Maine Locomotive & Machine Works of Alna has been an active supporter and partner in this venture; they will provide storage for some other pieces of the MNG collection, assist with transportation services, and play a part in maintenance and restoration of certain pieces.
  • Look forward to jointly-produced events which highlight the partnership and utilize this equipment for unique operational opportunities on the WW&F Railway.

The Rangeley, the only 24″ gauge parlor car in the United States.  Photo courtesy of the MNG Archive.

Ornate interior detailing of the Rangeley, the only 24″ gauge parlor car in the United States.  Photo courtesy of the MNG Archive.

 

WW&F at the West Springfield, MA, Railroad Hobby Show Jan. 26 & 27!

Our Museum will be participating in the upcoming Railroad Hobby Show January 26th and 27th. The show, sponsored by the Amherst Railway Society, is held at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, Massachusetts. Please see www.railroadhobbyshow.com for more information about the show.

This event is one of the largest railroad hobby shows in the United States. Proceeds from the show are used by the Amherst Railway Society to promote interest in railroads, including donations to rail museums, historical societies, restoration projects and scholarship funds. Over the years, the ARS has generously donated to restoration efforts by our Museum.

Our sales table will be in the Young Building, section 78, near the “Heroes and Legends” cafe — in the area popularly known as “narrow gauge corner.” Many items available in our gift shop will be available at the show!

We hope to see you in West Springfield January 26th & 27th!

Jan 20 – “Steam and Sleighs” is Cancelled; Other Dates Available.

Due to the impending storm predicted for the evening of Saturday, Jan 19 through Sunday, Jan 20th, the WW&F Railway Museum regrets to announce that Sunday’s “Steam and Sleighs” event has been cancelled.

Guests who have reserved tickets for Jan 20th will be contacted directly to reschedule or receive a refund.

Tickets remain available for Saturday, January 19th (which will not be affected by the storm) and Saturday/Sunday February 16/17.

Steam & Sleighs January 19th & 20th!

Photo courtesy of Matthew Malkiewicz.
Copyright Matthew Malkiewicz/Lost Tracks of Time.

Experience an unforgettable day at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway during “Steam and Sleighs.”

Ride the Railway’s steam-powered Sheepscot Valley Winter Service trains and enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh (or wagon) ride, backcountry cross country skiing, snowshoeing, winter hiking, and more at our station stops along your journey.

Trains will leave from Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road in Alna) and make stops at Alna Center and Top of Mountain Stations.

At Alna Center, detrain for horse-drawn sleigh rides and cross country skiing along with hot beverages prepared on the station’s potbelly stove. Outside, warm your hands around the bonfire and participate in a variety of demonstrations. In addition to the heated station, a portable toilet will be stationed here.

At Top of Mountain detrain for snowshoeing, backcountry X/C, hiking and to explore the work the railway is undertaking on our Mountain Extension, a .75 mile extension of the railway to a new station adjacent to Midcoast Conservancy’s Trout Brook Preserve.  For your convenience, a heated caboose and attendant will be on hand to help direct you. There are no additional facilities at this remote location.

Trains leave Sheepscot Station (97 Cross Road in Alna) at 10:30 a.m., 12 noon, and 1:30 p.m. An additional 3:00 p.m. train from Sheepscot will pick up hikers, skiers and snowshoers. Visitors are welcome for a train ride only at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are valid for round trip passage to and from Sheepscot Station all day and include access to all of the day’s activities. You may return on any train you wish to or break your journey at any station and resume it on a later train. Steam and Sleighs will be held Snow or Shine. In the event of inclement and hazardous weather, the event will be canceled and tickets will be refunded. Come dressed prepared for the weather. If you care to engage in outdoor activities, please bring your own skis, snowshoes, or outdoor gear.

Please arrive 15 minutes in advance of your train’s departure time to ensure a relaxed and pleasant experience.

Advance tickets are required, which can be purchased on line here.

We hope to see you on the Sheepscot Valley Narrow Gauge!