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 Post subject: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:58 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am
Posts: 16
The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington (WW&F) Railway Museum is starting a 12 week series across their social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). In the series we will explore the high and low points in the history of and the technology behind the people and things involved in the "Narrow Bridge Ahead!" Campaign.

Please Like and Retweet to your friends and associates...

Our story starts in the mid-19th century New England … Episode 1: Mr. Howe and his Truss Bridges

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The Campaign is asking for $50,000 in donations by 31 December 2017 for site preparation and erection of "Moose Brook" bridge to carry the Museum's reconstruction of the two foot, narrow gauge WW&F Railway across Trout Brook in Alna, Maine. The bridge, originally constructed near Gorham, New Hampshire (NH) in 1918 on the Berlin Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad, is a historically-significant example of a Howe Boxed Pony Truss bridge, one of only five surviving examples of such a design. This reconstruction effort is being performed in conjunction with the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges with funding provided by the National Park Service, Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) program.


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Bath, Me
The bridge parts arrived at Sheepscot last week. Assembly of the bridge is scheduled to begin this week in the museum's parking lot. The bridge should be completely assembled by the end of December. The bridge will be moved by road to the bridge site when the bridge abutments are complete and we're ready to install the bridge.

Trucks arriving and being unloaded at Sheepscot.

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A couple drawings of the bridge as installed on the Boston and Maine RR.

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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:02 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8392
Location: Baltimore, MD
Wanna borrow my IKEA wrenches? <:-D


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:06 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3745
Location: Maine
No, there's a Harbor Freight in Portland.

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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:48 am 

Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:22 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Northwest Indiana
Wow, that's better than an Erector set!
LOL
Good luck with this project.

Steve A W



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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:34 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2004 2:50 pm
Posts: 2124
Location: Northern Illinois
It's a real shame that all that truss work gets covered... which brings to mind the thought, how about a couple large Lexan (clear poly-carbonate) windows in the sheathing? located on the track side they would be visible to passengers on the train, if kept near mid-span, they should be all but invisible to photographers taking shots of the train on the bridge. Seems to me there is an opportunity for a "teaching moment" here.

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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Manchester, NH
We've considered something to that effect. Perhaps a sliding door panel that can be opened to reveal the trusses. Nothing firm has been decided.

We will be putting up a kiosk that explains the bridge, its significance, history, etc. We have discussed including a model as part of that display. We hope to work with the local nature conservancy who has hiking trails adjacent to our property in allowing public access to the site even when trains aren't running. (Of course, the bridge itself will be off-limits.)

Meanwhile, we made the local paper:
http://www.wiscassetnewspaper.com/artic ... orth/92989

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-Ed Lecuyer
Volunteer, WW&F Railway Museum, Alna ME.
Please help the WW&F construct a Narrow Bridge Ahead!


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 12:56 am
Posts: 341
Location: Northern California
Why is a B and M style bridge being built rather than replacing the WWF bridge in kind?


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:06 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Manchester, NH
Good question.

The original WW&F had a history of adaptive reuse of standard gauge bridges that were cast aside. The Whitefield Iron bridge, for example, was originally a standard gauge bridge from the Maine Central. So it is completely within the spirit of the museum to continue that tradition.

Moreover, this particular bridge was free, came with some funding for its assembly, and needed a home. This will save the museum considerable time and resources.

And finally, while the historic WW&F did not have any boxed pony bridges on its line, there was a boxed pony road bridge on Head Tide road in Alna - within sight of the WW&F's ROW:

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Road Bridge at Head Tide; Courtesy Town of Alna Archives.

So it is very appropriate that this bridge be included on the restored WW&F.

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Moose Brook Bridge awaiting assembly in Alna, Maine; Oct. 7, 2017; Stephen Hussar photo.

Since the above photo was taken, assembly of the trusses has begun in our parking lot. We have been amazed at how quickly and efficiently a bridge of this design can be erected.

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-Ed Lecuyer
Volunteer, WW&F Railway Museum, Alna ME.
Please help the WW&F construct a Narrow Bridge Ahead!


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:28 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:34 am
Posts: 16
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Wanna borrow my IKEA wrenches? <:-D


It's a 5" wrench needed to assemble ....


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:01 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:50 am
Posts: 72
Can a person with experience erecting covered bridges come and help? Is there a place to stay if that person needs shelter?


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Manchester, NH
Sure!! (he says with some trepidation.)
We have a bunkhouse for volunteers (small donation requested.) There's a $70/night AirBnB family also about 3 miles from the museum.

That said, please give us a call at 207-882-4193 during "normal" hours and check with "Jason" before booking a trip. I'm not exactly sure what the bridge assembly schedule is (or what qualifications/skills may be needed.)

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-Ed Lecuyer
Volunteer, WW&F Railway Museum, Alna ME.
Please help the WW&F construct a Narrow Bridge Ahead!


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8392
Location: Baltimore, MD
Uh-oh.

Not that I think you really NEED any such help, but I happen to have sitting here on my shelf a spare copy of the Federal Highway Administration's Covered Bridge Manial (2005), for which I was a contributing consultant and draft reviewer.

Here's your own copy for download: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/r ... /04098.pdf

Even though it's a highway administration manual, much of the information overlaps in this instance as well. Read and read again before commencing assembly.

If I can make one recommendation from forty years (yes, literally) in covered bridge study/work, it's this, and I found myself flummoxed that I had to explain this to--nay, beat it into the heads of--the FHWA folks:
The biggest enemy of wooden covered bridges in the 21st Century is not wood rot, or flooding, but arson. Big, wooden structures in remote areas deemed to be both publicly owned (whether true or not) and obsolete attract "firebugs." Take whatever measures are deemed practical and feasible to "fireproof," to the best of your ability, the structure and substructure before erection. (At least two arsoned covered bridges were rebuilt in kind with tropical bongossi, or red ironwood, a wood considered literally fireproof in normal burning conditions.)

As an aside, a close second for covered bridge enemy is overheight trucks smashing into the rafters. Thankfully that's not a problem in your case.........

And if you would be so kind as to hold off assembly until my wife and I can come back up there to help--preferably hitching a ride with someone else again--we'd be much obliged, as Jenny REALLY REALLY wants to go back up there again for another trip............ and she doesn't even eat lobstah rolls, so......


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:28 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 12:53 pm
Posts: 164
Location: Manchester, NH
Just to be clear on the matter.

The bridge donation included the services of Tim Andrews of Barns and Bridges of New England to assemble the bridge. Tim's contract was funded by the National Park Service, in cooperation with the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. He is on-site doing the work, and our volunteers are allowed to assist - under his direction and discretion. (Thus, the statement "with trepidation" above, and the REQUIREMENT that you call us before booking a trip.) Tim is an expert on the subject and was instrumental in saving the bridge's remains and working with Case Western Reserve University on its reconstruction. The NPS grant funding Tim's contract expires on December 31, 2017 - thus the need to act quickly and assemble the bridge in our parking lot before moving it to its final location.

As far as fire protection, we considered adding a roof to the bridge (one of the other Maine two-footers had a covered bridge with a roof) but decided against that mostly due to the fire issue. I am not sure if any additional fire retardant materials/coating will be employed - but I do know that it has all been carefully considered by Tim as well as our (volunteer) engineering staff - which includes a full-time railroad bridge engineer/inspector.

That said, what we do need are donations to fund the project. While we will be employing volunteer labor as much as possible, we do need money to pay for materials as well as those services beyond our capabilities. (Current estimates for the final costs being well north of $100,000.) If you can throw a few bucks into https://fundrazr.com/NarrowBridgeAhead (which is only one of our fundraising efforts on the project) and/or help us spread the word about the project, that would be most helpful.

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-Ed Lecuyer
Volunteer, WW&F Railway Museum, Alna ME.
Please help the WW&F construct a Narrow Bridge Ahead!


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 Post subject: Re: A Bridge Story with the WW&F
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 102
Location: Bath, Me
The top and bottom chords of the trusses layed out and leveled on cribbing to begin assembly work on the trusses.

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