The Great Little Trains of Maine

In late July of 2021, my friend Dan Cupper called me and said "Let's go to Maine."  I had wanted to visit the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington for a few years now, after a few friends have gone and come back as devoted (not to say rabid) fans of the two-foot-gauge line.  Once upon a time, Maine had five two-foot railroads of various lengths, all built in the last quarter of the 19th century and all abandoned by the middle of World War II; a surprising amount of equipment survived, and the original Edaville Railroad in Massachusetts kept the legend alive for more than forty years.  Since shortly before the turn of the 21st century, two non-profit groups have repatriated much of the rolling stock from Edaville and elsewhere, and the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum and the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum bring the heyday of the two-footers back to life -- the W. W. & F. on a small portion of the original right-of-way, amazingly enough.

At almost exactly 500 miles from my home in Bloomsburg, Pa., the W. W. & F. did not make for an easy weekend trip -- but with Dan and me sharing the driving, we went up on a Friday, came back on a Sunday, and had one of the best Saturdays ever at a place that felt like a combination of "Field of Dreams" and "Brigadoon" -- the wonderfulness founded on the wonderful people whom we met, a remarkable collection of volunteers of all ages who share the vision of reanimating a railroad, complete with stations and shops and turntables, that had for all practical purposes vanished before any of their births.  Amazing.

WW&F turntable, Sheepscot
WW&F engineer Dana Deering preparing No 9, Sheepscot
WW&F engineer Dana Deering, Sheepscot
WW&F engineer Dana Deering, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski and son John aboard train
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski and son John aboard train, Top of Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski's son John aboard train, Top of Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski and son John aboard train, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski and son John, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski and son John, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski and son John, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski, Top of the Mountain
WW&F conductor Stephen Piwowarski, Top of the Mountain
Young WW&F passenger, Top of the Mountain
B&SR No 7 backing northwards on WW&F between Sheepscot and Alna Center
WW&F engineer Bill Piche northbound aboard No 7
Dan Cupper riding WW&F northbound behind No 7
WW&F brakeman Bill Reidy southbound
WW&F brakeman Bill Reidy southbound approaching Sheepscot
WW&F enginemen Dan Malkowski and Dana Deering, Sheepscot
WW&F brakeman Brian Whitney on northbound, Alna Center
WW&F fireman Roger Whitney, Alna Center
Northbound WW&F train leaving Alna Center seen from southbound train
Runby with No 9 on WW&F special, Top of the Mountain
WW&F engineer Bill Piche approaching Alna Center southbound
Ethan Brodie and Tristan Wise on the WW&F, Alna Center
Phillip and Scott Sidusky aboard leading coach northbound to Top of the Mountain
Phillip and Scott Sidusky aboard leading coach northbound to Top of the Mountain
Phillip and Scott Sidusky aboard leading coach northbound at Top of the Mountain
Phillip Sidusky at Top of the  Mountain
Phillip Sidusky at Top of the Mountain
WW&F fireman Bryce Weeks and engineer Bill Piche, Alna Center
WW&F fireman Bryce Weeks, Alna Center
WW&F engineer Jason Lamontagne, Alna Center

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