Maine On2 layouts – Ric Collin’s Phillips and Rangeley, circa 1914 – 1918

The editors gratefully acknowledge a number of informative postings by Chuck Collins to the MaineOn2 Yahoo group which have been edited and incorporated into this posting;-

Here is a little more On2 history. My brother Ric and I first started modeling the Maine two footers in 1961 after reading Allan Hanson’s article “The Sandy River Goes HOn2” in the April 1961 issue of Model  Railroad Craftsman. We began modeling in HOn2. In 1970 we switched to On2 so we could get more detail in our models.

These pictures were taken on Ric Collins’ now defunct SR&RL On2 railroad. Ric’s railroad depicted the SR&RL circa 1914-1918 and modeled the line from Phillips, Maine to Rangeley, Maine. The pictures were taken in the early 1990’s before Ric had to dismantle the railroad because of a move. It was never rebuilt.

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. My name is Chuck Collins and I was the one that ran Narrow Gauge Specialties. I am still in this world for now but not sure for how long. My brother Ric Collins is also still living. Neither of us model in On2 anymore. We are both involved in small scale live steam trains.

rcsrrl02b

SR&RL #9 at Madrid.

Wes Ewell, a noted Maine Two Foot fan, wrote in 2008;- “I had a chance to visit Ric’s layout before he moved and it was quite a treat to see.  He ran a long curving mainline through hilly scenery between Phillips and Rangeley.  Ric’s wife Alice built most of the buildings.”

Now let’s resume that trip and enjoy the scenery.

rcsrrl03b

SR&RL #9 on Sluice hill.

rcsrrl01b

SR&RL #10 at Madrid.

rcsrrl04b

SR&RL #10 crossing Main Street.

rcsrrl05b

SR&RL #19 on the bridge.

rcsrrl06b

SR&RL #19 and log train crossing the highway.

rcsrrl07b

SR&RL #19 and log train coming down Sluice hill.

rcsrrl10b

SR&RL #20 and train going up Sluice hill.

This picture featured as the Maine On2 Yahoo! group home page heading picture early in 2008. Chuck Collins wrote “It shows my SR&RL #20 on her way up Sluice Hill. The locomotive is a Custom Brass Import which I reworked with a new micro-motor and gearbox, detailed and painted.”

rcsrrl11b

SR&RL #22 passing the Phillips engine house.

Wes Ewell wrote “Ric’s layout was most impressive. When you lifted the roof off his Phillips engine house you found a full stable of On2 locomotives, most of them scratch built using Ric’s own etchings. I had long admired the etchings that he and his brother produced back in the 1970s, so was delighted and honored when he pointed out a Portland Forney sitting in front of his Rangeley engine house that he had built from my etchings.”

rcsrrl09b

SR&RL #24 at Phillips.

This picture featured as the Maine On2 Yahoo! group home page heading picture in mid  2008. Chuck Collins wrote “It shows SR&RL #24 after her recent arrival from Baldwin Locomotive Works, sitting in front of the depot at Phillips. The locomotive is a Custom Brass Import which was detailed and painted by my brother, Ric Collins”.

rcsrrl08b

SR&RL #24 and train going up Sluice hill.

Ric’s layout was the venue for an annual get together of West Coast Maine Two Foot fans and the last of these in 1995 was captured on home video which was posted to YouTube a couple of years ago at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDdEFAlhRng

Charlie Siebenthal wrote “I had the privilege of attending many of Ric’s annual 2-foot meets. Great layout and a rare chance to rub elbows with so many 2-footers. Bob Schlechter took up the host duties for a couple of years after Ric’s move. Last I heard Ric was into live steam garden railroading and golf.”

Here is a little digression from Maine On2 ………………….to show there is life afterwards!…………..

In the heading paragraphs, supplied by Chuck Collins, he wrote that we (he and his brother Ric) are now both involved in small scale live steam trains. Here are some pictures of Ric’s 16mm scale Mount Greta & Murieta garden line;-

rcmtg03

rcmtg01

rcmtg02

rcmtg04

The line features in a number of YouTube videos such as the Mt Greta steamup 2016 which can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ug_rZp2Wwkc

Ric’s brother, Chuck, has more eclectic tastes in his 16mm scale modelling, choosing to follow South African (and other) Two Foot gauge prototypes with his Avontuur Light Railway shown here in this YouTube video;- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VnUZs4n_r0

 

 

Custom Brass – SR&RL Boxcar #67 kit.

boxcarx1200ad01

Custom Brass announced their wooden craftsman style boxcar kit with their advertisement in the September/October 1975 edition of the NG&SL Gazette.

 

ebcbboxcarkit01

 

ebcbboxcarkit02

The Custom Brass SR&RL #67 Boxcar kit was typical of what was called “a craftsman style kit”, meaning that compared to today’s (2016) kits, significant cutting, trimming and use of tools to fit details was expected.

The picture above shows the construction style well. The wooden pieces in the upper right are a milled floor (with integral side, intermediate and centre sills), the shaped sub-roof piece and two end blocks. These formed the basic body to which scribed side and end sheathing was applied, followed by plain sheeting for the roof and then strip-wood for fascia’s, ladders and roof walks.

The Custom Brass kit features a bag of black plastic details for the airbrake cylinders, other brake gear and NBW’s, and a bag of brass details for the stirrup steps, queen posts and brake wheel.

Trevor Marshall’s second S&PCRR boxcar, built from the NJ/CB kit

tpmcbbox01

In June 2007 Trevor Marshall posted the following message to the On2 Yahoo! group;-

S&PCRR doubles its boxcar fleet

Hi List:

Yes, it’s true. Until today, my On2 railroad had ONE boxcar – a Sandy River Car Shops kit built by a friend and acquired when he sold off his On2 equipment. I’ve just been too busy building flat cars for the slate quarry.

However, I decided to do something different – one can only build so many flat cars in a row, after all – so a while ago I started work on an NJ International wooden kit (acquired from another friend who was selling off his On2 equipment… hmm: I see a pattern!). The kit was for SR&RL boxcars 67-76, which were 28-foot cars. I modeled it as Somerset & Piscataquis Counties #68.

This was an interesting experience.

The kit included all the basics, but was missing information like how to route brake rods and pipes, and many details like the dozens of NBWs used on grab irons, etc. Plus, of course, a tin roof made of individual panels of thick embossing tin.

I’ve posted a few photos in the TPM-Projects folder in the photos section of the web site. Editors’ note the pictures are shown below.

It’s “finished”, although I’m waiting for some air hoses to add to the ends. The S&PCRR now has TWO boxcars!

Happy modeling…
– Trevor

tpmcbbox02

xx

tpmcbbox03

xx

tpmcbbox04

Originally posted 19-08-2016, updated 20-08-2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Library of Congress – Vintage Aerial views

The US Library of Congress has an internet accessible gallery of vintage aerial views of towns, primarily from across the USA. The gallery can be searched by a number of different terms, but perhaps the most useful is by state or location at ;- https://www.loc.gov/collections/panoramic-maps/index/location/

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Be aware that a number of download styles are available, including full size versions exceeding 100MB as downloads.

 

As an aid to the Maine Two Foot enthusiast to determine whether they wish to visit the LOC site to download their own copies, we show the following reduced copy views. Clicking on these pictures will show a larger version in your browser.

Bridgton, Maine, 1888.

Bridgton 1888 03

This view shows the original Bridgton & Saco River railroad entering the town just below the ponds at the middle left. Note that the inset picture at the lower left is a coloured rendition of the black & white photograph published in many standard texts about the B&SR, including Jones’ Two Feet to the Lakes on page 36.

The pictorial view is notable for showing many of the Mills of Bridgton. Inspection of the full sized copy on the LOC site (at https://www.loc.gov/item/83694327/ ) allows the feint numbering of the mills to be read.

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Monson, Maine, 1889.  

Monson 1889 03

This view is noteworthy for showing the tracks of the Monson railroad entering town, and then going to the individual slate mines beyond the station area.

The full size copy is available from https://www.loc.gov/item/73694689/

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Kingfield, Maine, 1895.

Kingfield 1895 03

This view shows the original Franklin & Megantic railroad entering Kingfield as a spur while the mainline bypasses the town in the background.

The full size copy is available from https://www.loc.gov/item/2002621454/

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Wiscasset, Maine, 1878. 

This view predates the building of the Wiscasset & Quebec two foot line, but does show the standard gauge line, town and wharves.

Wiscasset 1878 03

The full size copy is available from https://www.loc.gov/item/2002621455/

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Gardiner, Maine, 1878.

This view predates the building of the Kennebec Central two foot line, but does show the standard gauge line on the opposite bank, the town and wharves. It also shows just how neatly the Kennebec Central was threaded through the existing landscape.

Gardiner 1878 03

The full size copy is available from https://www.loc.gov/item/2002621455/

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

Laconia, New Hampshire, 1883.

Although not served by a two foot line, the interest in this view is the Laconia Car Company shown in the middle of town. This company built a number of items of rolling stock for the Maine Two Footers either directly or in a previous incarnation as The Ranlet Car Company.

Laconia 1883 03

The full size copy is available from https://www.loc.gov/item/2002621455/

Click here to go to the Library of Congress page for this view in another browser window.

 

Dwight Smith’s 1940 visit to Bridgton

In August 1940 Dwight Smith persuaded his Uncle Joe to make a small detour off their planned family holiday return route to visit Bridgton to explore what remained of the Bridgton and Harrison railroad. Whilst there both Dwight and his Uncle, Joseph Wilson, took a few pictures. In November 2015, Trains Magazine used one of these pictures in an editorial about how people found out about Al Kalmbach’s plans to start Trains Magazine.

Via Rick Uskert and Paul Hallett, we made contact with Dwight, and are delighted to be able to publish all four of the pictures taken that day for all Maine Two Foot railroad fans to view and enjoy;-

dwbh01

Dwight took this picture himself on a “cheap 126 sized plastic camera”.

dwbh02

This is the picture that was published in the November 2015 edition of Trains. That’s a young Dwight in the doorway. Picture taken by Joseph Wilson.

Wes Ewell has already spotted that one set of brake shoes are truck hung and the other are body hung.

 

dwbh03

A beautiful picture of one of the so called “Chevy” Rail Buses, taken by Joseph Wilson. The date of the visit confirms that this bus was still in existence in August 1940.

For the interested;- in 1936 and 1937 Albert G Hale took some movie film of a rail bus ride on the Bridgton line and these vehicles were introduced by a caption saying that they were “Chevy Franklins”. Current research suggests that the other rail buses used on the Bridgton were indeed “Chevy Franklins” consisting of a Chevy radiator, Chevy heavy auto/light truck chassis with a Chevy motor combined with a Franklin body.

In the picture above, the radiator has the typical Chevy badge, and the visible characteristics of the upper chassis are believed to match those of the long wheelbase heavy auto/light truck chassis used by Chevrolet in the late 1920’s. The vehicle body has more characteristics in common with the mid 1920’s to 1930’s Dodge Brothers Sedan’s however.

dwbh04

A beautiful shot taken by Joseph Wilson showing the young Dwight perched on the front of the lines largest Baldwin, loco #8 and some interior details of the loco shed.

We thank Dwight Smith for his generosity in sharing these pictures freely, and to Rick Uskert and Paul Hallett for their help with the communications.

Note that Dwight Smith is a former President and Owner of the Conway Scenic Railroad of North Conway NH, and has written an article in the Trains January 2016 edition about the restoration of the Pullman car “Gertrude Emma” on that line.

Paul Hallett is the Operations Manager of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

Click here to view the Conway Scenic Railroad in another page.

Rick Uskert has an interesting blog about modelling the B&SR in 1907 at http://www.bsrrr.com/. Click here to view on another page.

Trains Magazine: click here to view the Trains page of the Kalmbach website on another page.

 

 

 

Track Schematics – the Wiscasset line

This series of track schematics were produced by Trevor Marshall in 2007 as part of his mid-term re-design for his On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layout, and were originally published on the groups Fotopic site. Trevor drew them up to enhance his understanding of the operations of the smaller Maine Two Footers and to demonstrate the relative simplicity of their facilities. They are not to scale and where the track work changed over time, they generally represent the largest variant. Note that the original intent of these track schematics was as model railroad LDE’s (Layout Design Elements) rather than as historically or prototypically correct representations.

Click here to view Trevor Marshall’s On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layouts on another page.

The Wiscasset line operated from 1895 until 1933 between the Maine towns of Wiscasset, Albion, and Winslow, but was abandoned in 1936.

The line began operating to Weeks Mills on February 20, 1895, as the Wiscasset and Quebec Railroad. The line was reorganized in 1901 as the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway, and completed a branch line from Weeks Mills to the Kennebec River at Winslow intending but failing to connect with the Sandy River Railroad at Farmington. This branch line operated from 1902 to 1916 before it was abandoned.

WWF-01-WiscassetLowerc

The Lower Yard was around milepost minus 1

WWF-02-WiscassetCrossingc

This station was milepost 0.0.

WWF-03-WiscassettUpperc

The Upper Yard was around milepost 1

WWF-04-Sheepscotc

Milepost 4.8

WWF-05-TopMountainc

Top of the Mountain was around milepost 6.

WWF-06-HeadTidec

Milepost 9.1

WWF-07-HeadTidePitc

Head Tide Pit was around milepost 10.5

WWF-08-Whitefieldc

Milepost 13.3

WWF-09-NorthWhitefieldc

Milepost 17.4

WWF-10-CoopersMillsc

Milepost 20.4

WWF-11-Maxcysc

Milepost 20.4

WWF-12-Windsorc

Milepost 23.0

WWF-13-WeeksMillsc

Weeks Mills was at Milepost 28.2

WWF-14-Newellsc

Milepost 31.0

WWF-15-Palermoc

Milepost 32.9

WWF-16-Chinac

Milepost 38.0

WWF-17-Albionc

Milepost 43.5

The branch line to Winslow was built in 1901 as an ill fated attempt to connect with the Sandy River Railroad at Farmington, but only reached the Kennebec River at Winslow. The branch operated from 1902 until 1916 before it was abandoned.

WWF-18-SouthChinac

Milepost 31.5

WWF-19-EastVassalboroc

Milepost 36.5

WWF-20-NorthVassalboroc

Milepost 39.1

WWF-21-Winslowc

Milepost 42.7

 

Track Schematics – the Bridgton line

This series of track schematics were produced by Trevor Marshall in 2007 as part of his mid-term re-design for his On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layout, and were originally published on the groups Fotopic site. Trevor drew them up to enhance his understanding of the operations of the smaller Maine Two Footers and to demonstrate the relative simplicity of their facilities. They are not to scale and where the track work changed over time, they generally represent the largest variant. Note that the original intent of these track schematics was as model railroad LDE’s (Layout Design Elements) rather than as historically or prototypically correct representations.

Click here to view Trevor Marshall’s On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layouts on another page.

The line was built as the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad in 1882 from Bridgton Junction to Bridgton (town) a distance of nearly 16 miles, and the first paying train ran in January 1883. In 1898 the line was extended from Bridgton to Harrison, a distance of 5 miles or so.

In 1930 after some financial troubles the line was formally transferred to a group of local parties, and was renamed The Bridgton & Harrison railroad. It is ironic that the first train operating under this regime then derailed on its return from Harrison, which caused the Harrison extension to be abandoned.

The line was finally scrapped in 1941 with the majority of the rolling stock being acquired by a wealthy railfan and cranberry grower, Ellis D Atwood, for use on his cranberry bogs in South Carver, Massachusetts.

BSR-01-BridgtonJctc

Milepost 0.0

BSR-02-Scribnersc

Milepost 0.8

BSR-03-Mullensc

Milepost 2.7

BSR-04-GravelPitc

Milepost 5.3

BSR-05-WestSebagoc

Milepost 7.3

BSR-06-TankHouseSidingc

Milepost 7.6

BSR-07-PerleysMillsc

Milepost 9.0

BSR-08-IngallsRoadc

Milepost 10.5

BSR-09-Kennittsc

Milepost 11.3, note alternative spellings of “Kennetts” and “Kennet’s” used by the Maine Central.

BSR-10-SouthBridgtonc

Milepost 12.1

BSR-11-SandyCreekc

Milepost 13.6

BSR-12-Bridgtonc

Milepost 15.9. In 1898 the line was extended from Bridgton to Harrison, a distance of 5 miles or so. The extension was abandoned in 1930. Location of one of the very few 2 foot diamond crossings.

BSR-13-FarmersMarketc

Milepost 16.0, also known as “Farmers Exchange”.

BSR-14-ForestMillsc

Milepost 16.4  Update 08-Jan-2016: for a newly uncovered siding to serve Forest Mills directly see http://www.bsrrr.com/2015/12/31/forest-mills-service/

 

BSR-15-NorthBridgtonc

Milepost 19.5

BSR-16-Harrisonc

Milepost 20.8, the end.

 

Track Schematics – The Kennebec Central

This series of track schematics were produced by Trevor Marshall in 2007 as part of his mid-term re-design for his On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layout, and were originally published on the groups Fotopic site. Trevor drew them up to enhance his understanding of the operations of the smaller Maine Two Footers and to demonstrate the relative simplicity of their facilities. They are not to scale and where the track work changed over time, they generally represent the largest variant. Note that the original intent of these track schematics was as model railroad LDE’s (Layout Design Elements) rather than as historically or prototypically correct representations.

Click here to view Trevor Marshall’s On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layouts on another page.

 

KCRR-01-Randolphc

The Kennebec Central was another simple line, running the five miles from a terminus on the riverside at Randolph (above) to the National Soldier’s Home at Togus (below).

KCRR-02-Togusc