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Two Foot Gauge
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 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2014 09:54 am
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Kent K
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My interest in the two foot gauge railroads in Maine started with reading "The Maine Two Footers" by Linwood Moody. Mr. Moody briefly review the history of each of the five lines which ran in Maine. There is also information on the short-lived predecessor railroad in Massachusetts. The book also has brief references to other North American two foot gauge railroads in Mexico and in the Rocky Mountain regions near the Denver & Rio Grande Western three foot line.

Published in 1959, this is still a worthwhile reference incorporating photos and some maps of each of the Maine lines.

The other standard introduction is to the Sandy River And Rangeley Lakes Railroad written by H. Temple Crittenden titled "Maine Scenic Route". This work covers the largest of the Maine two foot gauge lines and in addition to photos and maps, also includes some plans for rolling stock and locomotives.

If your interest is in the Maine two foot railroads, both of these books are contenders for space on the reference shelf.



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 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2014 12:43 pm
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Thayer
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I just read Moody's book a couple of months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't comment on the second as I don't have a copy, but it sounds like a winner as well.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 25th, 2014 04:11 pm
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Herb Kephart
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Both books are worth having, along with the three ''Two Foot to----"

Herb



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 Posted: Sat Nov 29th, 2014 05:53 am
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Kent K
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Herb,

I wasn't going to discourage people by reviewing my entire library. I have most, but not all of the books on the Sandy River. I have some that are on the Bridgeton And Harrison, and a couple on the Wisscaset And Quebec. These introductory books are much more likely to be of interest to someone not familiar with the roads in question. They also are usually not as expensive as the multi-volume more specialized works. There is of course the issue of the LRHS written mostly by Crittenden in which the various two foot gauge lines are discussed.

One line which seems not to have much written about is the Mount Gretna Narrow Gauge with it unique 4-4-0 which look almost like miniatures of the engines which met at Promontory, Utah for that classic connection of the inter-continental railway. But the Mount Gretna was heavily influenced by being a more tourist oriented operation. The Maine lines served mostly the rural areas in Maine much as other shortline railroads did in the rest of the country. They were the equivalent of Greyhound buses combined with UPS and FedEx when they existed back between the two world wars prior to the 1929 great depression.

Modern roads, the trucking industry, and widespread ownership of private automobiles was their death toll. The economics of the depression also took its share.

I am glad that others have found this of interest and if anyone has questions about these lines, I will attempt to answer them. Several historical volumes are available as well as photo books and drawings for those who want to model these unique rail road lines. They were serious railroads which did every thing the standard gauge lines did.




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 Posted: Sat Nov 29th, 2014 07:40 pm
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W C Greene
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Howdy, the Mt Gretna NG was the subject of a 2 part article in the NG&SL Gazette a few years back and there was a couple of photos and short bio in Shaw's "Little Railways of the World".

My interest is two foot gauge and I have most of the "Maine" books...but I model the Silver City, Pinos Altos, & Mogollon, one of the two Western US two footers. Duane Ericson's book about the SCPA&M is the subject of another thread here in the book section on Freerails. We are fortunate that the two "gurus" of Western two footers (Gilpin Tram & Silver City) post on this site. These two fellows( Duane and Keith Pashina) have the answers I need as I embark on my new layout.
Kent, are you modeling "extra narrow gauge"? Please send some photos if you can, we are interested in anything you have.

Woodie



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 Posted: Sat Nov 29th, 2014 08:06 pm
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Kent K
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Woodie,

I don't have much at this point.  I am on a limited budget since I am retired. I am just reentering the world of building models. I will attempt to take photos as I get things moving, but so far my budget has gone for things like the books and for tools. No point in having building supplies with no way to use them. There are still a few more toys that I want to explore including some of the computer controlled types of things. I am a retired computer design engineer and was working with them before IBM came out with the original IBM PC.

I am interested in all of the two footer around the world, but I have a special fondness for the junction at Strong, Maine. I do wish I could find more information on Forster's Toothpick Mill there. I have some photos of it and have downloaded older maps and such from the USGS and other places. I haven't really found any basic information about that particular building however. Plans for most of the rail related structures have appeared in the various hobby magazines and both the creamery and the corn packing plant have basic information available. The toothpick mill was serviced by the SR&RL and was very close to depot area in Strong.

As I build and have something to show, I will certainly put up what I can for others to comment on. I would hope for an honest evaluation so that I try to improve my skill level.

The humorous part of it is that the friend who suggested that I read about the Maine prototypes did so because I was interested in the Gilpin trackage and locos in the Central City and Blackhawk area off of the normal three foot Colorado lines. When I read about the Maine roads, I became fascinated and while I was in college did some HOn30 modeling for a while. Upon graduation, work took up so much time that I essentially quit doing models at all. I did manage to spend some time at the Edaville when I was in the Boston area for some classes.

Thanks for your interest.



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Kent K
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 Posted: Sun Nov 30th, 2014 04:34 pm
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W C Greene
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Howdy Kent...I do understand about being retired and on a limited budget. Back a few years when I had a job, I built On30 for fun and a bit of profit. Then at some point, I learned that I could take those On30 Bachmann Shays and Porters and build slightly larger cabs and have exactly what I wanted...two foot gauge locos! Yep, using available and less expensive 1:35 scale military figures (carved up and civillian-ified) and other supplies, a nice two footer could be had. Guess what? Military figures, etc. are a whole lot cheaper than stuff made for "model railroad" use!
Since you like Maine 2 footers, consider "upscaling" a Bachmann Forney, building rolling stock from scratch (Bm On30 trucks are pretty much right on for 1:35n2), and having fun building that toothpick mill and Strong station.
Yes, I am advocating changing scales, but most HO and On30 items can be used and a lot of fun can be had building things that few others have!
Just my two cents worth, everybody here knows that I don't say very much...yeah, right.

Woodie



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 Posted: Sat Dec 6th, 2014 02:45 pm
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Kent K
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Woodie,

I have looked at the various options for models. I live in a high rise loft complex in the heart of downtown Kansas City, MO. That coupled with my eyesight getting a little worse each time I turn around, have left me with a limited number of options. The eyes sort of preclude doing HOn30 anymore; the loft says On2 and larger is simply too big. So I am using HOn3 mechanisms and track standards and building in Sn2. The fact that there isn't an awfully lot available commercially for this oddball combination has made things more interesting. Almost everything is being built from little bitty pieces of wood and plastic. I even modify the regular Tichy HO arch bar truck kits to narrow them for HOn3 wheels. It is slow going, but I am enjoying it. That's the most important part. I have seen examples of your work here on this site and I'm impressed by it.

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.



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