WW&F Roundhouse Reborn! Just before sunset on Saturday, October 9th, 2021, Maine's Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum celebrated a milestone that has been years in planning. In 1931, a fire destroyed the original WW&F Roundhouse in Wiscasset, Maine, severely damaging most of the line's remaining locomotives and nearly finished off the financially troubled line, which lasted only two more years. Since the WW&F Museum was established in 1989, one of the long-term plans has always been to construct a replica of the original, 3-stall roundhouse as part of the museum campus. In 2020, the Museum Board decided that with most of its more pressing projects completed, it was time to build a dedicated house for the locomotives. Construction began in the summer of 2021 with the excavation of the site adjacent to the turntable and the pouring of the concrete foundation and flooring. Floor tracks have been put in place in 2 of the 3 stalls and the erection of exterior walls has begun.
At a work session on Saturday, October 9th, the turntable leads were constructed, making the new structure part of the railroad. At the end of the day's operations, it was decided that with this milestone, it would be appropriate to bring a live steam engine to the floor, to "christen" it with a little grease and oil. In this image you see WW&F Locomotive #9, the last surviving steam engine from the original railway, backing off the museum's queen-post turntable and onto the roundhouse floor for the first time, with veteran Enginemen Roger Whitney and Rick Sisson in the cab. What you can't see in this image is the large crowd of people watching this from the hillside and recording it with cell phones and cameras. So far as we can tell, this is the first time that #9 has actually been in a roundhouse since her days with Maine's Kennebec Central Railroad. By the time the 9-spot arrived in Wiscasset, the original roundhouse was already gone. If all goes well, this new structure will be completed in a few months, and WW&F crews will finally have a dedicated facility where they can work on and steam up their locomotives.