• Maine Narrow Gauge Museum Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

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  by Cosmo
 
It may be they don’t have or feel they have much choice, especially if the city plans to “condo the waterfront” as stated.
Question is, assuming that was the case when they first made plans, is it still the case now given the current housing market?
(I have no idea what the market is in Portland myself, just saying it’s likely to have changed)
I do know the land/row in Gray was donated to them and they as much as own it now as they are likely to own any,
That’s tough to beat.
  by MEC407
 
The redevelopment of the Portland Company complex, where MNGRR is located, is moving ahead as planned. And the real estate market in the Greater Portland area is hot right now. Even small modest homes in South Portland are going under contract within a day of being listed, and some are selling for higher than the original asking price. That should give you an idea of how desirable the area is.

While a free or inexpensive right-of-way would be enticing to any heritage railroad, the location of that right-of-way is a huge factor in the success or failure of any such operation. MNGRR has been pretty successful up to this point because of their location — a walkable, attractive, dense neighborhood positioned in the most tourist-friendly part of Maine's largest city.

It is not at all clear to me whether or not MNGRR can survive — even with the possibility of lower expenses associated with being in Gray — after they lose all that foot traffic. I hope I'm wrong. But I also know that they're losing volunteers, and they're having trouble maintaining their "daily driver" locomotives (#1 has been out of service for a long time and will continue to be out of service for a long time; as a result of #1's absence, #11 is being worked to death and has broken down several times this year due to age and deferred maintenance, causing MNGRR to cancel trains and leaving customers out of luck). These are not sustainable ways to run a railroad.
  by flyingfox10
 
It is hard to maintain something until it breaks. And pressing an engine into active duty that only saw select service once in awhile would definately make things appear overtime that would have otherwise possibly lasted the lifetime of the engine otherwise.
  by kilroy
 
Maybe they should contract NJ Transit, home of the "run it 'til it don't run no mo" school of railroad maintenance. :P

Maybe they van teach them a few tricks.
  by BandA
 
If the back cove bridge was repaired including rail, the MNGRR could locate in industrial area near the B&M plant and continue to run excursions on the waterfront?

The article about the rail-trail proposal concludes by saying there isn't enough time to rewrite the proposal to include rail. And it starts by quoting somebody that just found out about the proposal. Typical.
  by flyingfox10
 
The current bridge would cost a lot to repair, and vandals continue to attempt to burn it down.
  by jbvb
 
A friend pointed me at this TV news segment: http://www.wmtw.com/article/narrow-gaug ... e/13151779" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Looking around, I found this MNGRR blog entry: https://www.mainenarrowgauge.org/weeken ... eral-cars/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Summary: The October 29/30 storm blew roof sheathing off MNGRR's coach #19 and combine #12. They're scrambling to get #12 fixed in time for Polar Express. #19 may wind up stored under cover in Phillips until it can be repaired.
  by flyingfox10
 
Hopefully they can get both cars repaired quickly.

Anyone know any official progress reports on #1's work?
  by MEC407
 
I've been hearing some unsettling reports out of MNGRR. Almost all of the paid staff resigned last week. Not good...
  by Mikejf
 
I find that hard to believe. I think they were up to 4, counting the Operations Manager and Executive Director. If true, perhaps they can make it up with volunteer effort and save some money for the move
  by eriemike
 
Big news! Bridgton & Saco River #7 has returned to Portland and ran last weekend during their Annual Meeting. It has been 15 years since #7 was in steam. She looks awesome. A lot of effort over the past 10 years by a number of dedicated volunteers got #7 completed. To celebrate the return of #7, the MNGRR will have SteamFest on Satuarday, May 19th where both #7 and Monson #3 will be under steam. This will be the first time since 2003 that both engines have run together.

Also, Diesel #1 will be back in service within the month. No 1 has completely rebuilt traction motors, turned wheels, a freshened up prime mover and other upgrades. They are just putting everything back together. Combine #12, that had roof damage back in October due to a wind storm will also be back in service within the month. A new roof has been completed and the body stiffened with additional car lines.

The MNGRR will remain on the ROW in Portland, which is owned by the Maine DOT, until 2024 and the ROW lease could be extended beyond that date. The development of the property that the Museum building is on is still ongoing, but at a much slower pace than planned. The MNGRR now officially owns 29 acres in Gray and the capital campaign to build the buildings and ROW has begun.

A lot of positive things are going on at MNGRR.
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  by flyingfox10
 
Is that cab painted blue, or is it a reflection?
  by eriemike
 
That is a reflection of a blue tarp. #7 is that shiny.
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