Build 11 - 2020 Vision - Help Rebuild Maine History!
$2,302 raised
14% of $17k goal
38 contributors
180 Days left

Build 11: Why Build a New Steam Locomotive?

The Mission of the WW&F Railway Museum, is to restore and reconstruct the operation and equipment of the original railroad as completely as possible. To that end, our organization has begun reconstruction of WW&F Ry steam locomotive Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Ry No. 7.

WW&F Locomotive No. 7 as built in 1907. WW&F No.7 (Baldwin Const. No 31692) was a 28-ton 2-4-4T Forney built in 1907 for the WW&F Railway. In 1931, the locomotive was damaged in a roundhouse fire and was scrapped in 1937.  In keeping with the tradition of giving new motive power the next available consecutive number, the reconstructed No. 7 will become WW&F Ry No.11.

 

Build 11: Why Reconstruct Locomotive No. 7?

As a Baldwin Locomotive Works product (together with No. 9 representing the Portland Company) the museum will be preserving the range of motive power preferred by the original railway and other Maine two foot gauge railroads. 

The Baldwin Locomotive Works was a widely recognized and popular builder.  This will serve to promote involvement in the project by individuals interested in steam locomotion and the construction of new steam locomotives generally.  Moreover, the size of this locomotive (compared with a standard gauge locomotive) makes the project achievable and economical.

Larger locomotives (like No. 7) are needed to traverse the WW&F's soon-to-be-reopened "mountain extension" with its 4% winding grade. As a 28-ton locomotive, No. 7 will not only handle this grade with ease, it will represent the heavier class of locomotives used by the railway (yet is not so large as to tax the track structure.) 

 

Build 11: Why Number 11?

The locomotive as finished will be given the road number 11 for a number of reasons:

  • To recognize the enormous effort that must be made to fulfill this project 
  • To recognize that while we are trying to emulate the Baldwin Locomotive Works we are in fact not that company  
  • To carry on with our organization’s tradition of giving new numbers to reconstructed equipment
  • To carry on the original railway’s tradition of assigning consecutive road numbers to locomotives regardless of locomotives currently or formerly on the roster.

 

Build 11: Rebuilding Maine History

Just looking like the original isn’t good enough. Part of the museum’s mission is to present, in context, the technology available at the time of the original construction -- a philosophy crucial to maintaining the spirit of the original machine. Components will be produced through methods as practical to the original, to maintain the same level of craftsmanship and skill required for the original.

 

Respect shall be given to the fact that a steam locomotive is a direct result of the technology and production methods available at the time of original construction. The final product shall be more than an operating facsimile of the original machine, and shall not necessarily be created as easily as possible using modern technology.  Instead, the machine shall, as much as practical, represent the industrial age which the Baldwin Locomotive Works worked from in 1907, when the original locomotive was constructed.

Yet there are practical limits to this historical tribute. Several recognized and documented exceptions to the historical tribute discussed above must be made for practical reasons. Specifically, these exceptions are made to

  • Bring the construction cost in line with the capabilities of our organization.
  • Make the finished product more practical, and therefore economical, to maintain and operate.

Care will be given to each component concerning its design and production method; decisions will be made as consistently as possible with maintaining historical integrity while not exceeding our practical limitations.

A major benefit to this project will be the opportunity to document the various methods used to produce the locomotive.  This will serve as an educational study of historical industrial methods as well modern methods being used in place of them for practical reasons.

 

Build 11: Raising Money and Building Interest

At the end of 2019, the WW&F Railway Museum successfully completed its ”21 Campaign” to raise funds for new boilers for No. 10 and No. 11, actually exceeding the goal by about 7%. Now we’re ready to embark on the next major campaign, to raise funds to actually build WW&F No. 11. 

The anticipated completion of the Mountain Extension in the next year or so points to the need for No. 11, a locomotive a bit larger than No. 9, to provide adequate power for our trains on the new track, which includes a grade that tops out at 4%. An engineering team has been preparing drawings and 3-D renderings of the many components for the new locomotive, and recently the main frames and a number of other components have been fabricated off site. It is expected that construction of No. 11 will take 4-5 years, depending on the museum’s ability to raise funds and the availability of volunteer labor.

We need your support! The estimated cost of building No. 11 is $250,000. Although we  do have a good head start on the necessary funds, we need additional dollars to complete  the locomotive.

 

Build 11: $17,000 for 2020 Vision

The goal of this campaign is to provide funds to keep the momentum going in 2021. Through the support of our friends and followers (and the success of the aforementioned “21 Campaign”) we have enough funds on hand to not only simultaneously complete the boilers for #10 and #11 during the coming months, we can take advantage of ordering components together, timed now when the costs are at all time lows. 

We currently estimate that $50,000 each year will be required to purchase materials and keep construction on track. The 2020 Vision of $17,000 will complete the funds needed to move forward with the project throughout 2021 -- ensuring that the project does not fall idle due to the lack of resources. Conversely, in 2021, we will be fundraising for 2022’s anticipated expenditures.

 

Build 11: How Can I Help?

Here's an easy way to contribute... set aside $11 each month for No. 11. Or maybe $11 every two weeks ($22/mo.) This provides steady income earmarked for the project, while larger donations are sought. (Recurring donations such as theses can be set up via PayPal or by using your bank's online bill paying service.)

Of course, any amount is needed and deeply appreciated. We’re making a limited number of replica builders plates of locomotive 7, available to donors of $1100. We have donations to the original Build 11 campaign started several years ago, amounting to nearly $23,000, and we continue efforts to attract foundation and corporate donations as well.

 

Build 11: Volunteers Needed

The WW&F Railway is an entirely volunteer-driven organization with no formal paid staff. Contractors are employed only when necessary to bring specific skills to particular projects. So, if this project interests you, please contact us to get involved. Depending on the task, work can be done at our Alna, Maine facility, or plenty of work is being done in home shops around the US -- notably in Pennsylvania and Texas!

Volunteer woodworker, Bernie Perch poses with his hand-crafted patterns for No. 11's driving wheels.

Build 11: Making it Happen

The Build 11 project has been a “back burner” project at the WW&F Railway for over a decade. But quietly, a small group of volunteers have been working through all of the design work, and completing certain patterns and parts. Now with funds in hand, and the “Mountain Extension” nearly complete (with its steep and winding grades) it is time to build a locomotive best suited for the railroad. Now is the time to Build 11. Thank you for helping make that happen.

 

 

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$1,100 USD + shipping
Builder's Plate: The 31692 Group.
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Sometime's called the locomotive's "birth certificate", one-time donors of $1100 will join the "31692 Group" and receive their very own copy of #7's original builder's plate.
(Limit of one plate per donor, please - and only a handful of these plates will be made.)
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