Doubling the hill. WW&F Locomotive #10 runs around a cut of freight cars on the siding at "Top of the Mountain", just south of Head Tide on a warm August afternoon. In the cab, Engineer Gordon Cook and Fireman Joe Fox keep eagle eyes on the track and the switch up ahead, while up on the catwalk of Boxcar 309, Brakeman Bill Baskerville has his train tied down until #10 pins on. This scene is not unlike those switching operations that occurred on a regular basis at this location 100 years ago. In the days of the original WW&F, Top of the Mountain....or just TOM, was the summit of a very steep grade, coming south out of Head Tide. Freight trains of any length would not be able to make the grade with just one locomotive, and unfortunately, the WW&F really never had surplus power to provide helper engines. In these circumstances, the crews would utilize a procedures known as "doubling the hill", cutting the train into two sections, and separately hauling those sections to the Top of the Mountain, depositing those sections on a siding at this location, provided specifically for that purpose. Once all of the cars were safely on the siding, the locomotive crew would pin onto the front, and the train would resume its journey south toward Wiscasset.
In 2015, Top of the Mountain is the northern end of the modern-day WW&F Museum's trackage. All of the museum's regular trains turn at this location. Instead of replicating the conventional siding that existed here historically, the museum crews have instead installed a full passing track with switches at both ends, to allow locomotives to move from one end of the train to the other, as you see #10 doing in this photo.