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Museum Milestones 2013

a group of people standing next to a train

Locomotive 9: The year began with work on driving gear and re-wheeling the engine.  The wheels were put back on in February but it was decided to leave it on blocks for ease of access to inside frame parts.  As the year progressed, nearly everything dealing with the business end of steam received attention: cylinders, crossheads, etc.

It became apparent that one set of wheels were from another locomotive with slightly different dimensions in the distance of the driving pins to the center of the wheel.  In order to correct it a quartering machine was built which would put the centerline of the pins square with the other set of wheels.  The machine was finished in the fall and several days were spent on the quartering process.

Meanwhile the engine was lowered to the track and moved into Bay 2 (where there’s an overhead crane) for additional work, then at the end of December it was moved to the heated machine shop.  Work began to make a boiler jacket: cast iron sheets were ordered from the UK, which we hope we’ll be able to re-create a “Russia Iron” finish. Templates were done out of plastic sheets.

In short – we’re getting closer to the end of restoration!!

Restrooms: The year began with an enclosed building.  Gas heaters were installed, then electrical, plumbing, sheetrock and tiles.  The last bit included hooking up the plumbing to our new leach field, which had been installed several years ago.  The restrooms were first used by the public in mid-June.

Percival House: A new basement floor was poured in early August, in order to prepare it for use by volunteers.  After sealing, it was ready for use during the Annual Picnic for a yard sale, which benefited #9.

Garage: In order to store our fleet of rubber tired vehicles (see below), a new 3-bay garage was started in September, and substantially constructed during the Fall work weekend.  By Christmas roll-up doors had been installed and the garage housed the Model A truck plus tractor and excavator.

Track work: No new track was laid this year, but preparations were made to lay track in 2014 in the North Yard.

New Equipment: This year we received a used John Deere tractor from one of our long-time volunteers.  This tractor has a scoop on the front end and has hitches in the back for various other equipment.  It found many uses during the year.

The Museum has been on the lookout for many years for a used excavator, with hopes that it could be used on some lighter excavation work.  A Kubota was found at auction and purchased, and delivered during the summer. The machine ran, but needed some TLC.

A used Hudson Brothers highway trailer was also purchased.  The idea for this was being able to get the Creamery car from Wiscasset, as well as using it to haul other things around as needed.  It needed wheel and brake work, plus it received upgrades to the superstructure so that would hold railroad vehicles better.  Rail was added to the deck.

Lastly, the Museum took possession of several antique machines: two riveters and a rolling machine.

Creamery Car: The car was removed from downtown Wiscasset in December, using the new trailer.

Grounds: Our contractor started working on the parking lot in the Fall, eventually creating an acre lot.  This lot was used during the Victorian Christmas for the first time by the public.  The lot still will need considerable gravel delivered, but when frozen or dry it’s very useful.

Crews spent July and August cutting brush along the right of way.

Property: The Museum purchased a parcel of property beyond the current end of track – not the next parcel, but the third parcel beyond.  This parcel is the site of a major washout of the right-of-way several years ago, and will require some extensive repair.  This leaves one parcel of property left before a northward expansion can occur.