Steaming through the woods in Maine.

My better half and yours truly spent a few days in Maine last week. Since Brad had to attend a meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, it seemed to make good sense to just drive north for a couple hours and make a short vacation of it. A lot of our friends seem to vacation in Maine and always wax poetic about that state's natural beauty in general and then more specifically about the abundance and tastiness of a certain ocean living crustacean: lobster.

Since it is a roughly ten hour drive, I wanted to fly up and just rent a car once there.  But in the end it was decided to drive up. That way we could break in our newly purchased toy and also save a small fortune on a rental car. 

"The Beast", our new toy. A 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Unbeknownst to me until this trip, the State of Maine has a significant number of operating museum railroad lines. A good number of these preservation railways are narrow gauge: usually running on a 24 inch wide track. Most of these rail lines had been used for hauling forestry products, as well as agricultural goods, and, at one point in time, Maine had quite a significant network of narrow gauge lines. There were even plans to connect Maine with the Canadian province of Quebec's narrow gauge system. 

One of these preserved railroads is the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway in Alna, Maine. It has a fascinating history. Much too long to describe on this blog, so please click on this link to get the whole story on the WW&F Ry. 

On the day we visited the steam motive power was a dimunitive 0-4-4 locomotive, built by the Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1904. Also running was a little rail car, built by one of the railroad's volunteers with parts sourced from an old Model T Ford. 

Following are a few photographic impressions and a short video of the railway.

Number 10 waiting at the station

Vulcan Iron Works built 0-4-4Passenger coach interiorA 0-4-0 diesel locomotiveThe rail car and the proud builder (Photo from the WW&F Ry web site)Waiting for the rail car to cross 

All photos by Brad Wing/Ralf Meier unless otherwise noted.