Portland Products – SR#1 locomotive

Editors note, 30 -11-2014: this new post needs additional work, but is presented here for the sake of the new pictures and to promote further discussion and information. Please bear with us while changes are being considered and carried out. Updated 15(2)-01-2015.

MC03PPSR1 MC02PPSR1 MC04PPSR1 And the red Portland Products box……….. MC01PPSR1

Brief prototype locomotive notes

The prototype locomotive was built by Hinkley in 1877 as their works #1251 for the Billerica & Bedford Railroad “Ariel” as a strict cab forward Forney design, and also served as;-

Sandy River #1 Dawn (1879 – 1890) rebuilt as a conventional boiler first locomotive.

Rebuilt in 1882 with longer wheelbase, larger cab and water tank.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #1 (1908 – 1912).

For more information about the prototype locomotive, click here.

 

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“…with a little Yankee Ingenuity…” or Portland Products Parts

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“with a little Yankee Ingenuity” is how Bob Werner introduced his Portland Products Parts in his first edition catalog published some time before 1984 from his Court Street, Plymouth, MA, premises.

Bob was a trained machinist before becoming a hobby shop proprietor, and made available a number of specialised detail parts for modelling the Maine Two Footers in various materials including injection moulded plastic, white metal, brass and nickel silver. Bob sold his parts in bulk to other manufacturers and importers, as well as individual retail sales to modellers.

An idea of the breadth of his range of parts can be gained by the following pages taken from his catalog;-
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Click here to visit the posting showing made-up models of the Bridgton Tank Cars.

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Above; a selection of Portland Products brass and nickel silver parts for the small Hinkley and Portland locomotives.

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Above; a Portland Products photo-milling for WW&FR locomotive #3.

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Above; a selection of Portland Products brass and nickel silver parts for SR&RL locomotive #9.

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Above; some loose parts from Portland Products for the SR&RL locomotive  #9; wheels, profile milled brass frames and investment cast keepers.

Portland Products Coastal Engineering price list              Revision Date 10-01-2014

This price list was originally published in the mid 1990’s, and was a collaborative effort to re-introduce the Portland Products parts to the market legitimately in association with Bob Werner. For unknown reasons, the venture broke down before many/any? parts were produced. It is published here for historical purposes for interested viewers and enthusiasts only.

The section of page 6 dealing with “O scale built-ups and kits” and in particular the assembled locomotives #1450 to #1457, may be of particular interest to MaineOn2 modellers, as it may solve the mystery surrounding which loco’s were made as production items, and which were made as pilot models only.

Click here to visit the posting about the Portland Products made up small Forney locomotive.

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Bridgton Tank Cars

26-08-2016: this topic has been substantially revised and re-organised with additional pictures and content. We have also removed errors and information previously posted which could not be corroborated from original and contemporary sources. No further changes are planned for the moment.

Note that the models and the “classic history” date from the 1970’s and 1980’s, and they should be judged accordingly.

It should not be surprising if more recent research shows up discrepancies.

16-01-2016: Rick Uskert has revealed a previously unknown contemporary reliable eyewitness statement of the colour of the first Bridgton oil tank in 1908 here and a different official number here. Terry Smith found a reference that building work on the oil tank farm in Bridgton started in 1901, which may infer that the first tank car appeared earlier than previously suggested.

Until further notice, any references to the prototypes should be considered as subject to confirmation. However for simplicity and consistency with the models produced the text below refers to the “classic” history of these cars.

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The Bridgton line was the only Maine Two Footer to actually run tank cars.

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The picture above shows models of the larger #14/#21 tank on the left coupled to the smaller #22 tank on the right.

The “classically understood” story is that there were two tanks, of different sizes, ages and construction. The first tank was larger, being five feet in diameter and was constructed from sheets rolled to a ring and then joined end to end. It has prominent circumferential rows of rivets and short staggered longitudinal seams (also riveted). The ends of this tank were dished (convex). This tank was mounted on 30 foot flat cars, initially on 21 from its arrival around 1903-5 until 1921, and from then on flat car 14.

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The un-mounted tank #14/21 lying around in the Portland Yard.

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Showing the circumferential and axial rows of rivets.

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Showing the dished/convex end.

The “classically understood” story continues;- in the early 1920’s, the Bridgton line acquired an extra tank to cope with increasing fuel shipments. This smaller tank was four feet six inches in diameter, consisting of plates rolled across their length and joined longitudinally, thereby having no circumferential rows of rivets except where the tank ends were joined. The ends of this tank were flat. It was mounted on 28 foot flat car #22. Both prototype tanks survived the scrapping of the Bridgton line and were transferred to Edaville and then Portland.

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The smaller #22 tank was used at Edaville for weed control and featured in the freight trains run on the “Rail Fan Fayre” days. Note the flat end.

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This picture taken at Portland shows some of the piping added for weed control and the longitudinal rows of rivets.

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Close up of the dome and ladder at Portland.

The “classically understood” story said this about the paint colours;- Bridgton Tank Cars were Flat;- car box red with natural wood decking and white lettering, Tank;- at first painted black with white lettering, and white ends with black lettering. Later the tanks were off-white to gray with black lettering. By the end of the railroad the tanks had no lettering.

B&SR tank car color.

25-08-2016: this section has been updated.

Walter Orloff wrote;- In the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette Sept/Oct 1979 edition Peter Barney did an article on Painting Two-Foot Gauge Cars. One interesting point Barney says B&H tank Cars were “Tank” Flat car box red with natural wood decking. Tank “At first painted black with white lettering, and white ends with black lettering. Later tanks were off-white to gray with black lettering. By the end of the railroad the tanks had no lettering.”

Then in 2003 Gary Kohler posted to the On2 Yahoo! group;-

The B&SR tank cars were never painted black!  The earliest known photo (1905) clearly shows gray or silver tank on a standard flat car (the B&SR used Princes Brown (Red Oxide my guess)).  All later photos, including about a half a dozen color images clearly show silver/gray tanks with the SOCONY in black.  The Moody photo in question(*) that has caused everyone to jump on the “black” band wagon was taken in shadow and appears black due to all the rust! Color photos taken the same year show silver/gray tanks.  

This particular statement has led to a number of threads over the years on the Maine On2 Yahoo! group seeking confirmation or corroborative evidence to no avail. It is suggested that any interested parties review the threads starting with messages #14341, #14311 & #9626 and draw their own conclusions.

(*) Editor’s note: this is believed to be the picture reproduced in Jones, Two Feet to the Lakes as the top picture on page 231. Note that the picture at the bottom of page 118 is believed to have been taken at the same time.

When the latest question “what colours should I paint my tankcar?” was last posed to the Yahoo! group in 2015, the most informed reply was written by Bob Schlechter and is copied here;- 

“Bob Schlechter on Bridgton Tank Car Colours

I studied the potential colors of the B&SR RR tank cars #21 and 22. In later years they were likely repainted silver/aluminum or black (Edaville) at some date. Early photos in their prime (B&SR/B&HR) is not silver but likely the Standard Oil light warm gray.

See photo bottom of page 234 in Jones’ “Two Feet to the Lakes”. Those tank cars are not silver or black and lettering isn’t black either but likely Standard Oil’s blue.”

The latest research this year (2016) has shown that;-

1/. the Bridgton Line frequently re-painted its rolling stock (one suggestion is annually) and that the line was also partial to buying “end of season” bargains with additional tinting colours. Discovering such practises may help to explain the differences observed in the various hues of grey captured by the contemporary black and white photography.

2/. Rick Uskert discovered a reliable eye witness statement that the oil tank was painted red in 1908. See Rick Uskert’s “Simply Red.” Click here to view on another page.

3/. Rick Uskert also discovered that the B&SR recorded the tank car number as #22 for the period from 1914 to 1918, whereas the “classical story” would suggest that the number should be #21. See Rick Uskert’s “Equipment Register.” Click here to view on another page.

This topic and the debates that it generated caused Bill Kerr to comment a few years ago “It is as with most things, publish, and new information will come to light contradicting your research. The listing is not meant as negative reflection on the great work Peter, Gary and others have done for the Maine Two Footers. 

 

07-08-2016: Note this table is still a work in progress – suggestions for updates and changes welcomed!

B&SR Tank Car Models
14/21

Large tank

SRE Epoxy model, cast by Bill Clouser using the “Custom Cast” process. One piece tank and dome plus separate cradle with brass details (relief valve, handrails, ladder, bridle etc). Flatcar available separately. Introduced 1972. Model reviewed by MRC June 1974, with corrected photographs July 1974.
LeeTown Sold as an assembled brass tank, complete with all fittings attached. Reputedly produced to the same diameter as the small tank. Introduced 1971
Portland Products Photoetched brass wrapper (PP part # 707) plus all fittings to complete tank. Illustrated in catalogue as rolled round.
SRCS Limited Run #14 All brass construction tank, dome and tank parts from Portland Products, with standard SRCS 30 foot B&SR flat car. Limited edition kit (50 units) introduced 1981.
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Small Tank

LeeTown Sold as an assembled brass tank, complete with all fittings attached. Introduced 1971
Portland Products Photoetched brass wrapper (PP part # 706) plus all fittings to complete tank. Illustrated in catalogue as rolled round. Also appears to have been supplied as a completely assembled tank with a flat car kit
SRCS Limited Run #22 All brass construction tank, dome and tank parts from Portland Products, with standard SRCS 28 foot B&SR flat car. Limited edition kit (50 units) introduced 1981.

 

Bridgton On2 Tank Car models offered commercially (added 05-08-2015, pictures added 13-08-2015, updated 07 thru 25-08-2016)

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A Sandy River Car Shops kit for tankcar #22 showing the rolled tank car body and instructions and the SRE model of tankcar #14/#21.

SRCS Tank Cars #14 & #22

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SRCS offered models of both B&SR tank cars as limited run kits (50 units each). The kits were first advertised in the July/August 1981 edition of the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette.

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Several views showing the typical SRCS flat car pile of sticks with fittings in a poly bag plus the Portland Products rolled tank etchings, dome and an end.

SRE Tank Car #14/#21 

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SRE advert from the November 1972 edition of Finelines magazine showing the variations available for the large tank (car).

The tank was an epoxy resin casting produced by Bill Clouser using his “Customcast” process, and included the dome, with a separate casting for the cradle. Details such as the filler cap, relief valve, handrail supports, ladder were investment cast brass. Handrails, bridle and grab irons were brass wire. As shown in the advert above, the tank was available separately or with a cast 30 foot flat car body. The model was introduced around 1972/73 and was reviewed in Model Railroad Craftsman June 1974 edition with corrected photographs in the July 1974 edition.

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Parts of the tank only kit, taken from the instruction sheet.

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The SRE model of tankcar #14/#21.

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Picture of a finished model in the SRE instructions – note the colour scheme.

 

LeeTown Model Service Tanks

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LeeTown Model Service announced their Bridgton Tank models (note completed tanks only) with this advert in the September 1971 edition of Finelines magazine. Component parts had been advertised during the preceding year as they became available.

Note that the phrase “a new process etched tank” in the above advert is believed to refer to the basic tank body being a brass tube that was etched in the round. It is also believed that LeeTown used the same sized brass tube for both the smaller #22 tank and the larger #14 tank, resulting in the #14 tank appearing undersized.

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This model of B&SR/B&HR tank #22 was acquired second-hand from Wes Ewell via Bob Werner of The Hobby Barn. Wes has stated that he received this model as part payment for drawings and catalog illustrations that he did for Lee Snover of LeeTown around 1970. Given that date, the flat car that the tank is mounted on would have been scratch built.

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This model of B&SR/B&HR tank #21/#14 consists of a Leetown etched “in the round” brass tube tank, (obtained as raw etched brass tube from Bob Werner of the Hobbybarn) which was expanded to the correct diameter and finished off with Portland Products tank ends, dome, safety valve, necklace, ladder and handrail supports. It was mounted on a flat car built from an SRCS 30 foot B&SR flatcar kit with a scratch built cradle and straps.

Click here to visit the Portland Products parts posting. The tank car parts are shown on the 9th page down.

 

 

Written by Terry Smith 5-July-2013, updated 09-April-2015 with model sections, 3-11-2015, 7-08-2016, 15-08-2016,18-08-2016, 22-08-2016 and 22-11-2016.

 

Portland Products – the second domestic manufacturer

 

 Updated 15-01-2015 and 08-07-2015.

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This fabulous model of a small Maine Two Foot Forney style loco resulted from a collaboration between Bob Werner, proprietor of the Hobby Barn and Portland Products and Peter Barney, then proprietor of SRCS (Sandy River Car Shops). Machined parts were produced by Steve Earle and most of the 41 units produced for sale were assembled by noted Two Foot modeller Mark Hall. It is believed that Bob Werner may have assembled the final three units offered for sale. The F&M #1 was intended to be the first in a line of small Forney’s produced domestically within the USA, continuing with models of Monson #1 & #2 and Bridgton #1 & #2, if there were sufficient orders. Peter Barney advertised the model availability in his SRCS Newsletters in the 1986 to 1989 timeframe, and referred to the collaboration as “The Forney Co.”. Some models were sold in white SRCS boxes, labelled “The Forney Co.” and incorrectly describing the model as “F&M #2/#3”. Bob Werner sold some models in red boxes labelled “Portland Products, a division of The Hobby Barn, and correctly describing the model as F&M #1”.

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The production quantity is stated in the SRCS Newsletters as being 25 pieces, and the original retail price was $425. According to Mark Hall, he built 38 locomotives and added a builders serial number inscribed into the underside of the rear deck in an area covered by the rear truck. Bob Werner is believed to have assembled the final three units offered for sale, and one of these units does not have such a serial number

The model had a similar specification to the earlier Putnam & Stowe  engines, but had a better build quality. The Sagami can motor was fitted with a small lead flywheel which combined with a properly engineered gearbox gives good running performance. Current owners of this locomotive rated it very highly in the Owners Survey.

The rear truck has a novel mounting consisting of a pillar on the engine frame with a vertical spring locating in a cross slot in the truck bolster. This mounting allows the rear truck to slide sideways by .093” each side of centre under friction damping from the spring and allows upwards displacement of the whole truck against the spring pressure. 

Information from the Brass Guide

Editors note, 28-12-2014: total production sold is 41 units, according to Mark Hall.

The Brass guide lists additional versions (road names and numbers) and suggests that some four batches each of 50 were produced. These are reproduced below for reference only.

Road

Number Quantity Brass Guide Number

F&M

Loco 0-4-4T

#1

F&M

Loco 0-4-4T

#2/3

(50)

37814
 

SR&RL

Loco 0-4-4T

#1

(50)

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SR&RL

Loco 0-4-4T

#2

(50)

35668

SR&RL

Loco 0-4-4T

#3

(50)

35669

 

Sadly, the collaboration did not continue with their original intended line of small Forneys, but instead produced an unpowered pilot model of the much larger SR&RL #9 (2-4-4RT), which was on display in the Hobby Barn for some years. This model never went into batch production and was overtaken by the imported offerings from The Car Works.

Update 4-January-2014: The Editors have uncovered a posting to the MaineOn2 Yahoo! group written by Ray Christopher in December 2010 which gives some more information, and is reproduced here in it’s original form;- Several models of Hinkley Forneys have been available. Peter Barney of Sandy River Car Shops released an On2 model of F&M #1 in its later configuration. A photo appears in MTFM #8, January 1987.  The article states the model was released by The Forney Company. I have one of these models and the box is labelled Sandy River Car Shops. The model was built by Bob Werner. The July 1988 issue of MTFM #16 has an article about a second model of F&M #1 released by Portland Products. The article states this is the same model as the SRCS release with some improvements. The December 1989 issue of MTFM #23 has an article about Portland Products release of Hinkleys SR#1 and P&R #4. This model of P&R #4 has the correct cab roof for the P&R period. The article also has pictures of Bob’s F&M #1 and the pilot model for SR&RL #9. I have never seen any of these models. If anyone has one please post some pictures. A few other observations. There appears to be two sizes of Hinkley sand domes. SR #1, SR#2, Monson #1 and Monson #2 all had domes shorter than the steam dome. F&M #1, B&SR #1 and B&SR #2 all had domes the same height as the steam dome providing more sand capacity. This is an easy change at the factory as both sizes use the same top and bottom castings. The P&S models have the same size tanks as the Portland locomotives but these are not the original tanks. The larger tanks came after rebuilds that extended the frames and added the larger tanks. The originals were adequate for the B&B but probably inadequate for the longer runs of the growing Franklin County roads. The same sized cabs makes sense. The locomotives increased in size but the people operating them did not. No need to change what already is adequate. Finally, don’t forget the great article in MTFM #13 by Charlie Siebenthal with drawings showing the evolution of SR #1 and SR #2. Ray Christopher.  

Update 08-07-2015: Peter Watson’s photograph’s of all four pilot models on his home layout are also shown in the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette, January/February 1990 edition.

Update 26 January 2014: page six of the Coastal Engineering price list may give a clue to what happened to the proposed range of locomotives. Most probably the pilot models were built, but then insufficient orders/reservations were received (25 required for the photo-etchings, 50 for castings) to allow the models to be produced economically. Click here to visit the Portland Products Parts and Coastal Engineering Price list posting.  

This post was written by Terry Smith with additional information provided by Walter Orloff in 2013 and updated in 2015 with information provided by Mark Hall and Chris Walker. 

Portland Products – F&M locomotive #1

Updated 15(2)-01-2015.

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The model as purchased on a display shelf.

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The model as purchased.

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Underview showing the rear truck arrangement and extra pickups added by the owner.

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The red Portland Products box………

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An interior view showing the plain sheet representing the firebox/backhead which partially obscures the motor.

 

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A view showing the drive arrangements, lead flywheel and gearbox. The diode network is an addition giving a constant 1.4 volt supply to the headlight bulb. The sockets allow the headlamp leads to be separated from the chassis when required.

Brief prototype locomotive notes

The prototype locomotive was built by Hinkley in 1884 as their works #1664 as Franklin & Megantic #1 V.B. Mead (1884 – 1905), and also served as;-

Franklin & Megantic #2(2nd) (1905 -1908)

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #2 (1908 – 1912).

 

For more information about the prototype locomotive, click here.

 

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