News & Reviews News Wire Maine’s Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington prepares to open new trackage

Maine’s Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington prepares to open new trackage

By Wayne Laepple | August 2, 2022

Special trains to mark opening of Mountain Extension on Aug. 6; public runs begin Aug. 13

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2-foot-gauge tank locomotive on turntable
Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington No. 9, an 1891 Portland Co. 0-4-4, rides the newly installed turntable at Trout Brook Station. The first service on the new extension to Trout Brook Station is set for Aug. 6. (C.S. Rhine, WW&F Railway)

ALNA, Maine — Volunteers have been working nearly non-stop for several weeks, finishing a number of last-minute details leading up to the Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, opening of the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum’s Mountain Extension and Trout Brook Station.

Two special trains will make the first official runs over the three-quarter-mile extension of the 2-foot-gauge railroad. The track drops downgrade from Top the Mountain, the long-time end of track, following the topography of the mountain through numerous curves. At the foot of the mountain, the line will cross Trout Brook on a wooden Howe pony truss covered bridge before arriving at Trout Brook Station, the current end of track, 3.5 miles from Sheepscot.

The first train, scheduled to leave Sheepscot at 1:00 p.m., will carry members of the Massachusetts Bay Division of the Railroad Enthusiasts, who have supported the extension of the railway financially. The group rode a fan trip across the Trout Brook bridge several years ago, when it was on a Boston & Maine branch line in New Hampshire.

The second train is for invited guests and members of the WW&F Railway Museum. A ceremony at Top of the Mountain, including remarks by several guests, will conclude with the removal of the red flag that marks the end of operation track.

Work on the extension has been under way for several years. Volunteers, helped at times by contractors, cleared trees and regraded the right-of-way, which has been abandoned since 1933. They installed a number of new culverts, repaired others, and rebuilt a fill that had slipped downhill over the years, then laid track and ballast. A new passing track was constructed at Trout Brook Station, and a turntable, on long-term loan from the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum, was placed at the north end of the new siding.

Trout Brook Station marks the northern extent of the railway for the time being. It is surround by the 125-acre Trout Brook Preserve of the Midcoast Conservancy, and the new station building will serve a dual purpose for the railroad and the preserve. The railroad and the conservancy cooperate to bring visitors to the preserve to hike several scenic trails.

The Mountain Extension will formally open on Aug. 13, with trains scheduled on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 14, a special photo train will offer multiple opportunities to photograph the train on the Mountain Extension.

6 thoughts on “Maine’s Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington prepares to open new trackage

  1. I had the opportunity to ride the WW&F back in 2016 (my only trip to date to Maine) and was truly impressed. I continue to be impressed.

  2. Over forty years ago I rode that 1982 fan trip. And, just this past weekend on 7/30/2022 I rode my bicycle on what is now known as the Presidential Range Rail Trail. It is the portion of the B & M line from Hazens (Whitefield, NH) to Gorham, New Hampshire. Great memories from that trip.

  3. Actually it’s the Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts (better known as Mass Bay RRE) who will be aboard the first trip over the Trout Brook Bridge. The last fan trip, and perhaps the last revenue passenger train, over what was then the Moose Brook bridge in Gorham, NH was on May 16, 1982. That Mass Bay RRE excursion was a two-day trip with MBTA commuter rail equipment that ran from North Station to Berlin, NH via Fitchburg, Greenfield, WRJ, Wells River & Littleton. Those were the days!

  4. The turntable appears ideal. The turntable having the bearing rail on the outside circumfrence. As well no center pivot with all the problems of balance. the design with no turntable pit is ideal . Of course that not possible for round houses.

    1. The turntable was originally installed on the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad before being moved to Edaville and ultimately Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum.

      The center pivot does bear some of the weight, which will require adjustment as the table settles after use.

  5. The folks at W. W & F, along with those at the East Broad Top, seem to have found the secret for maintaining volunteer involvement along with effective fund raising. Both operations are remarkable and appear, to me, worthy of whatever donations we can muster as individuals.

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