RailPictures.Net Photo: None Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Track Crew at Alna, Maine by Kevin Madore
 
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» Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington (more..)
» Track Crew (more..)
» Davis Grade (more..)
» Alna, Maine, USA (more..)
» April 21, 2018
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» None (more..)
» None (more..)
» Kevin Madore (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
Scrapping the WW&F. It's 1936 and the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway has been out of business for 3 long years. Salvage crews are finally in the process of lifting the rails that once stretched all the way from Albion down to Wiscasset on the seacoast. Under the steely eye of the Crew Boss watching behind them, salvage workers use wrenches and hammers to break loose the rusty bolts holding the joint bars on these rails. Simultaneously, crew members with claw bars remove the spikes from what remains of the rotted ties. Shortly, the crew will lift this next pair of rails onto a waiting flat car, and move south. It's a sad end to a very unique piece of Maine's transportation history.

OK, so some little details in this photo....along with my 2018 watermark, give away the fact that this image was created in 2018 and is a re-creation of a historic event. So, what's really going on here? Most museums and tourist railroads are not going to lift large sections of track purely for the purpose of creating "phraud-o-graphs" for photography enthusiasts. In fact, the WW&F did decide to lift a 300 ft. section of track in early 2018, but for the purposes of rebuilding the roadbed. The museum had been having issues for years with drainage and settling in this stretch and they decided that a permanent fix was needed. But, before they could bring in the bulldozers and backhoes, they needed to get the track up....and thus was born an opportunity for a historic re-creation. The museum elected to time the track removal to coincide with a photo event they were holding, one week before their annual Spring Work Weekend (SWW). The track would be lifted during the photo event, the roadbed rebuilt during the ensuing week, and then the track re-laid the following weekend, when the museum would have a large crew of folks who just enjoy putting down track. In order to re-create the scrapping of the original line, members donned period clothing, and a team of draft horses was brought in from a local stable. The horses were hitched to Flat Car 118, which appears in historic photos of the actual operation. The horse-drawn flat car was used in 1936, because by then, the railroad had no operable power left. The crew seen here is significantly larger than the crew that did the original job, and that's because the original line was built with 30 lb rail. The rail used by the present day museum weighs 50 lbs per yard. In addition, spike removal was pretty easy back in 1936, because the ROW had been poorly maintained, and many ties were rotted or non-existant. The 25 year-old track seen here has been much better maintained, so it was pretty difficult work taking it out.....and a job that most WW&F Volunteers are definitely not used to. Rest-assured, this stretch will be back in operation in just days.

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Slim-Gauge Field of Dreams

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A look at Maine's Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum
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