Special Freight Move. Engineman Roger Whitney and Brakeman Bryce Weeks bring their special freight move through the yard area at Alna Center, Maine, en route to Sheepscot Station, about 2.5 miles to the south. On the flat car this day are the historic boiler of WW&F Locomotive #9 and a stationary steam engine, which is destined to become a working exhibit on the WW&F in the future.
The power on the train pictured here is Monson Railroad Locomotive #3, a 2-foot gauge, 0-4-4T Forney type, built by the Vulcan Iron Works in 1912. It is one of two surviving locomotives from Maine's 6-mile Monson Railroad, which existed in the first half of the 20th century, primarily for the purpose of hauling slate from a quarry to a connection with a main-line standard gauge railroad. The Monson was a spartan operation, with mostly flat cars, a few box cars and one little combine for carrying passengers. They ran only during the daytime and none of their locomotives had lights. The line had no turning facilities and seldom wasted time preparing proper-looking trains. They regularly ran with cars front and rear-coupled on the locomotive. They ran link and pin couplers for their entire existence, right up until the end in 1943.
The last two Monson Locomotives, #3 and #4 were very lucky to survive. They were on a flat car in a used equipment yard in Rochester, NY, when they were spotted by Ellis Atwood, who was building a 2-foot gauge railroad around his cranberry bogs in South Carver, MA. Eventually, Mr. Atwood's working railroad became a tourist attraction called "Edaville Railroad", which had a 50 year run in popularity. When that line closed down in 1993, the entire Atwood Collection was acquired by the newly-formed Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum. Today, that organization is headquartered in Portland, Maine, but also works in collaboration with the WW&F Museum in Alna. As a result, #3 and other pieces of the MNGRR collection often visit the WW&F campus, making re-creations of several Maine Narrow Gauge Railroads possible, such as this Lerro Photography event in January of 2021.