• Edaville 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 steveh
 
Bill is 100% correct. I shot the attached photo in the vicinity of "Ballpark Station." Sad but true.

Image
  by caduceus
 
steveh wrote:Bill is 100% correct. I shot the attached photo in the vicinity of "Ballpark Station." Sad but true.
I saw that image when I was googling earlier today - I can see where the ROW curved into and back out what is now a residential area, which I take it was Mt. Urann.

When did they cut out that loop?
  by Reader#108
 
So Bill, now that we are uncertain about the future of Edaville.....can the same be said for your Railroad as well? There seem to be some rumblings about a move out of the Casco Bay spot? Would the museum try to acquire things from Edaville if it is closed, such as a fully operational steam locomotive? Thanks for the info on the Mt. route too...
  by bpiche84
 
Reader#108 wrote:So Bill, now that we are uncertain about the future of Edaville.....can the same be said for your Railroad as well? There seem to be some rumblings about a move out of the Casco Bay spot? Would the museum try to acquire things from Edaville if it is closed, such as a fully operational steam locomotive?
I can't speak to the museum's intentions as I am neither a board member nor am I in any position of power within the organization other than my annual votes.

What I can personally say is that with all that has been going on the last few years, more equipment is probably the last thing on the minds of the board of directors. We need to take care of what we have before we can go and get more. With the loss of half of our yard area last summer, we don't really have room for any more equipment, either.

The official statement is that the MNG isn't going anywhere. That is very much the case with the railroad itself. We may be tennants with Phin with regards to the museum and the yard area, but the right of way is owned and leased to us by the state of Maine. Even if the museum portion were to be moved out, the railroad and the train ride would remain. In fact, we're in better shape now than any time in the last 5 years (steam power excluded). We've begun to take proactive steps instead of reactive steps with regards to both our equipment and our right of way. We have a small, but skilled track gang that is learning well on the job from some top notch people, we've kept our trains clean and running with minimal facilities and all volunteer labor, and have started work (and hope to finish this weekend) on replacing the burned down section of our "engine house".

As is known by some outside of the orgainization, several towns all across Maine were contacted with regards to the possibility of opening a satellite location in their town, a place where we can setup either our shop facilities and/or store/run some equipment. A request for proposals was sent out, and several communities have replied with their interest. I am not allowed to say who has replied and who hasn't, though. There are no negotiations going on with any particular town at this time as far as I am aware, we are merely in the proposal stages.

On the subject of the Anne Elizabeth: Since Edaville isn't under FRA jurisdiction, but MNG is, I'd be afraid of what kind of skeletons would come out of her closet during a full tear-down of the boiler. Even if the MNG were to pick her up, she'd probably need a full checkup by the FRA and a conversion to Coal (I think going through that trouble would be easier than training crew to fire oil and to store fuel oil for the locomotive).

Plus, if the MNG is going to spend that kind of money, we're going to put it into the historical locomotives (#8 still needs to have the same work done that #7 is currently going through) or into cars/track/facilities. I think that, unless a benefactor with ties to one of the 2-foot museums comes out of the wood work, that the AE will disappear back into some "collector's" garage.
Last edited by bpiche84 on Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by frrc
 
Interesting, some Edaville items have shown up on Craigslist recently including some narrow gauge coaches, a steam locomotive and more. Strange ad it says "email's will be automatically deleted", and when I called the phone number listed on the ad, a voice said "This conversation is being recorded...".

Weird..
  by steamer69
 
Guess they don't need to try too hard to sell yet, but the fact that the equipment is even there does not send me any warm fuzzies. Anyone heard anything about anyone coming forward to save the equipment?
  by bpiche84
 
frrc wrote:Interesting, some Edaville items have shown up on Craigslist recently including some narrow gauge coaches, a steam locomotive and more. Strange ad it says "email's will be automatically deleted", and when I called the phone number listed on the ad, a voice said "This conversation is being recorded...".

Weird..
That's been up in one form or another for over a year. That stuff is from the Beaver Brook Transportation museum. That was one of the places that a lot of Edaville memorabilia ended up. The equipment up there is in NO way related to the potential sale of Edaville.
Last edited by bpiche84 on Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by dtouellet
 
I'm not a big fan of the MNG railroad. I think the collection would be better at the other narrow gauge railroads operating in the state. Portland is not the best place for a working railroad museum in my opinion. I've been to the other narrow gauge railroads in the state and I prefer them all to the one in Portland. There is really no good historical reason to be located in Portland. I am aware that a few locomotives were built at the Portland Company, but a narrow gauge railroad never operated there.
  by ThinkNarrow
 
dtouellet wrote:I'm not a big fan of the MNG railroad. I think the collection would be better at the other narrow gauge railroads operating in the state. Portland is not the best place for a working railroad museum in my opinion. I've been to the other narrow gauge railroads in the state and I prefer them all to the one in Portland. There is really no good historical reason to be located in Portland. I am aware that a few locomotives were built at the Portland Company, but a narrow gauge railroad never operated there.
As you may know, the history of the equipment at Edaville is quite convoluted. After the Maine narrow gauge railroads were abandoned, much of their equipment was saved from the scrapper by a man who had the money to purchase it and property to store and operate it. That man was Ellis D. Atwood, and the property was (or became) Edaville. Roughly 50 years later, the equipment was again in danger, this time from being scattered all over the country. Again, the equipment was saved by a man who had the money to purchase it (although he had to borrow a lot) and the property to store and operate it. That man was Phineas Sprague, and the property was (or became) MNG.

To the extent that the founding goal of MNG was to save a large portion of the Edaville equipment from nationwide dispersal and return it to Maine, MNG has been successful. However, the burden of repaying their initial loan has always been a problem for them. This burden, combined with their existence on land that they do not own, has prevented them from building the necessary storage buildings and machine shop facilities to care for their collection.

As you point out, their location is far from ideal. It has the advantage of convenient tourist access but the disadvantages of limited space, land that is valuable (also a problem for Edaville), vandalism, and a not particularly cooperative city government. The other narrow gauge museums are in the opposite situation, having more land but fewer visitors.

-John
  by CVRA7
 
I agree 100% with Think Narrow's post. Seeing Edaville disappear must be a little like what the 2-foot fans went through as the 5 Maine 2-footers folded - but as John said, Ellis and Phineas ensured the survival of a good variety of equipment, as did the Ramsdell family in Connecticut.
The "old five" Maine 2-footers were the Monson, Bridgton & Harrison, Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes, the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington and the Kennebec Central. By 1944 they were just memories and from then until 1964 most of the preservation effort took place in Massachusetts at Edaville. Then in 1964 2-foot railroading in Maine began to emerge from hibernation, first at the Boothbay Railway Village. That year marked the second coming of the Maine 2-footers, this era being as historical preservation. Each of the "old five" have seen some activity: the Monson station was brought back from a certain death by a 2-footer historian, an effort called "The Return of the Rails" has returned some of the Bridgton & Harrison equipment home to Bridgton and has stirred some hope of even more preservation efforts at that location, the Sandy River & Rangely Lakes has a steadily improving operation at Phillips, the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington has a world class resurrection underway at Sheepscot, and even the Kennebec Central has a town-sposored "narrow-gauge trail" over a good portion of its long-abandoned right of way.
Guess here in 2010 we have the "old five" re-emerging as the "new five plus two" (Boothbay and MNG).
As a 40 year plus observer, I find the preservation era happenings quite an interesting story in itself.
  by 3rdrail
 
Historically, as far as this equipment and park is concerned, someone usually steps up to the plate at the last minute. With the rarity of equipment and the long standing (with a brief intermission) tradition of Edaville that New England kids have grown up with, I wouldn't be surprised if history repeats itself. Not to be complacent because that can have a not so happy ending, but should the worst appear to about to happen, I'll be hoping.
  by steamer69
 
I'm over the bickering between the staunch Edaville supporters and the staunch Maine supporters. It's still part of our history, and regardless of who saved it, at least it was saved. I am one of the few who has been lucky enough to ride the "full" main line at Edaville and visit the railroads in Maine.
To the "Maine" corner griping about Edaville.....if it wasn't for an old Combat Vet who just happened to love trains.....you would have very few, if any. Not everyone at Edaville has it out for you.
To the "Edaville" corner....your stuff was kept together in a collection where you can still go to see it, all in one place (for the most part). Wasn't the best thing that could happen, but then again neither was tearing out your main line, or facing having the railroad sold off piece by piece....or scrapped. Someone is getting their $10,000,000.00 one way or another. Would really stink to have that money come from scrapping out the rest of the railroad. The Maine guys didn't "take" your equipment....they saved it.
How about ways to galvanize the community to save an icon of American history and a Veterans dream....I would much rather read about that than who from the Edaville fans "hates" MNG and visa verse.....Just sayin....cause when the rails are torn up, the rest of the equipment is sold or scrapped, and the houses are built....there's no putting them back.
  by frrc
 
bpiche84 wrote:
frrc wrote:Interesting, some Edaville items have shown up on Craigslist recently including some narrow gauge coaches, a steam locomotive and more. Strange ad it says "email's will be automatically deleted", and when I called the phone number listed on the ad, a voice said "This conversation is being recorded...".

Weird..
That's been up in one form or another for over a year. That stuff is from the Beaver Brook Transportation museum. That was one of the places that a lot of Edaville memorabilia ended up. The equipment up there is in NO way related to the potential sale of Edaville.

Thanks for correcting things. I had a dealing with the Beaver Brook people a few years ago, the term scoundrel comes to mind...
  by Otto Vondrak
 
steamer69 wrote:I'm over the bickering between the staunch Edaville supporters and the staunch Maine supporters....
How about ways to galvanize the community to save an icon of American history and a Veterans dream....I would much rather read about that than who from the Edaville fans "hates" MNG and visa verse.....Just sayin....cause when the rails are torn up, the rest of the equipment is sold or scrapped, and the houses are built....there's no putting them back.
Well said. The time for bickering is over. Either band together to try to save what you want, or walk away.

-otto-
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