ALNA, Maine — Shipments of equipment from the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum have arrived at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum’s Sheepscot campus, over the past two weeks, moved by truck from Portland and unloaded via a recently built ramp track.
First to arrive were Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad “Rangeley,” the only 2-foot gauge parlor car ever built, and Sandy River coach No. 19. Both made the 60-mile trip on July 17, with Bridgton & Saco River coach No. 16 “Mount Pleasant” and Sandy River combine No. 14 following on July 18.
Monson Railroad No. 4, a Vulcan 0-4-4RT, and Bridgton & Saco River caboose No. 32 made the trip from Portland on July 24. B&SR tank car No. 14 arrived from display in Gray on July 25. Still to come are B&SR No. 8, a Baldwin 2-4-4RT that will be displayed near the WW&F’s turntable, B&SR snowplow No. 2, and a Sandy River Model T track inspection car.
While much of the rolling stock comprises the Core Collection of Maine Narrow Gauge equipment, several pieces will be moved on their own wheels from the WW&F’s Sheepscot campus to Maine Locomotive & Machine Works about a mile north of the museum site for restoration, including SR&RL coach No. 19 and Monson No. 4.
The movement of this equipment recognizes the depth of the collaboration between the two museums announced early this year. The WW&F will provide display and storage of several of Maine Narrow Gauge’s most historic cars in a new addition to its carbarn, currently under construction, while the narrow gauge railroad and museum will retain ownership. In addition to the equipment displays, a number of exhibits developed by MNG will be moved to the enlarged space.
With the arrival of these cars at Sheepscot, rolling stock that has not been in the same place in 95 years is reunited. WW&F steam locomotive No. 9 was originally a Sandy River locomotive, and three of the cars moved to the museum trace their ancestry to that fabled railroad. The opportunity to recreate a typical Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad passenger train is now a reality.