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Build 11: Why Reconstruct Locomotive No. 7?
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 is in the process of reconstructing Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Ry steam locomotive No. 7.
WW&F No. 7 (Baldwin construction 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. It was never repaired 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.
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 of Philadelphia, Pa. is widely recognized as the largest steam locomotive manufacturer in the world. Locomotives of all sizes and types were economically produced by Baldwin through the use of standard components and procedures. This project will 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 "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: Forging Ahead in 2022
The first cylinder half-saddle casting was poured at Dakota Foundry in Webster, South Dakota, on January 5, 2022. Dakota Foundry has been an important partner in the progress of building No. 11, and these massive casting, each weighing about 1,500 pounds, are major components of No. 11. Dakota is also casting drive wheel centers, cranks and the rear frame extension for No. 11. We expect all these parts to be shipped to Maine in 2022.
Also in 2022, assembly of No. 11’s frame will begin, starting by making various parts for the main frame, such as the pedestal binders, and the rear frame extension. It will likely share a track with No. 10 - which is also in the shop getting a new boiler. Doing both projects together will save time and resources.
Look for announcements of monthly work parties for machining and initial assembly of No. 11. If you have any experience or interest in machine shop work or just want to be useful, you too can help.
Build 11: $70,000 to Forge Ahead in 2022
The 2021 campaign goal was $50,000, which was exceeded by about 96%, winding up at over $97,700, including a $25,000 matching grant from an anonymous friend. Our 2022 goal is $70,000, funds needed to keep the momentum going in 2022 and beyond. And, we are pleased to announce that the first $25,000 raised in 2022 will be matched by the Candelaria Fund!
Through the support of friends and followers (and the success of previous campaigns) we have been able to order critical components, including the main frames, the cylinder half-saddles, drive wheel centers and a variety of smaller parts. In 2022, we’ll concentrate on assembling the frame of No. 11.
Build 11: How Can I Help?
When this project was in the formative stages (way back in 2007) we estimated the total cost would be around $250,000. However, costs have steadily increased, pushing up the price of everything we need for the the locomotive. In addition, due to the limits of shop space and time, plus the need for more volunteer machinists, we have decided to farm out some of the larger machining projects to area machine shops. This decision was not taken lightly, but it is necessary to insure the completion of No. 11 within our timeline. Thus, we have increased our estimate to $350,000; so we need your help more than ever.
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 welcomed. (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 encouraged and deeply appreciated. We’re making a limited number of replica builders plates of WW&F No. 7, available to donors of $1100 or more. We also have a 3-D printed, smaller replica plate for $110 donations. We are going into 2021 with a good cushion from our previous efforts, and we continue to seek foundation and corporate donations as well.
Build 11: What about No. 10?
Locomotive #10 is being rebuilt alongside #11, in order to save resources and consolidate efforts.
In December 2021, we completed forming the new boiler components for WW&F No. 10. The first part of fitting up and heat treatment will be next. Once we know everything goes together as intended, Maine Locomotive & Machine Works will weld the components together. We expect to complete this during the first half of 2022, and when shop space becomes available, it will be reunited with No. 10’s frame. With luck, No. 10 will be back in steam in 2022!
Build 11: Why Number 11?
When 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.
Since early 2019, a team of WW&F Railway Museum members with engineering backgrounds has been producing drawings in the same manner as Baldwin did but using modern technology to do so. Hand drawings are reproduced on computers in two dimensions, and, as necessary in three dimensions, so that patterns can be made to produce castings.
The six members of the engineering group have been meeting regularly by Zoom (since several are located outside Maine) to discuss progress as well as problems that arise. To date, the team has produced several hundred drawings and images, and a number of primary components have been produced, with additional parts in production.
A steam locomotive is a direct result of the technology and production methods available at the time of original construction. The final product will be more than an operating facsimile of the original machine, although not necessarily created as easily as possible using modern technology. Instead, the locomotive will, as much as practical, represent the industrial age in which the Baldwin plant operated in 1907.
Yet there are practical limits to this historical tribute. Several recognized and documented exceptions 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 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 Making Progress
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 percent. In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the initial fund-raising for No. 11’s construction raised nearly $24,000, surpassing the $17,000 goal by nearly 45 percent, and the 2021 campaign, as mentioned above, exceeded its goal by a whopping 97%. Now we’re forging ahead into next campaign challenge, to raise funds to continue building WW&F No. 11 throughout 2022 and beyond.
The anticipated completion of the Mountain Extension in mid-2022 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%. 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.
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. Two members of the engineering team have committed themselves to regular work days at the museum, and the team is committed to at least one multi-day work session each month. There are ample opportunities for others to assist, as well as additional work sessions when a larger group of helpers will be needed. 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, although plenty of work is being done in home shops around the US -- notably in Pennsylvania and Texas!
Build 11: We're Making it Happen... Together!
The Build 11 project is no longer on the “back burner.” Now we’re moving ahead, and it’s time to Build 11 together! With funds in hand, and the “Mountain Extension” nearly complete (with its steep and winding grades), let’s keep forging ahead, building a locomotive best suited for the railroad.
Thank you for helping make that happen.
HighlightsSee all activity256
- 5 claimed
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.)
- 15 claimed
- 95 remaining
This miniature recreation of #7's builder's plate is available to one-time donors of $110 or more. Each is "cast" using a 3D printer in bronze-colored plastic using the same digital model the full-size plates were created from. (Limit of one plate per donor, please - and only a 110 of these miniature plates will be made.)
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