Maine 2-foot gauge museum launches campaign for new boilers

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ALNA, Maine – Fresh from the successful restoration of its 1891 Portland Forney No. 9, the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum has launched an audacious campaign to finance not one but two new boilers. The 21 Campaign is designed to raise funds for a new boiler for Forney No. 10 as well as one for No. 11, a reconstruction of the original WW&F No. 7, which was scrapped in 1937.

The goal is to raise $130,000 to have two new boilers constructed sequentially as funds come in. The museum has contracted with the nearby Boothbay Railway Village, which is a code-certified boiler shop, to construct the boilers. The museum will lend Boothbay its two riveting machines, and through a cooperative partnership, museum volunteers will participate in parts of the project.

No. 10, a 1904 Vulcan Iron Works product, has been the museum's workhorse since its arrival at the museum in 1999. Its small size, just 12 tons, is ideal for the museum's operations. A recent ultrasonic inspection of the boiler revealed multiple defects dating from its manufacture in 1959, necessitating immediate replacement before the engine can again be steamed.

Initial donations will be directed to a new boiler for No. 10. Once it returns to service, all efforts will turn to building a boiler for No. 11, one of the largest and most expensive components of the engine. No. 11 is a replica of rear tank Forney 2-4-4 No. 7, one of two engines Baldwin built for the WW&F in 1907. The Build 11 Project has been underway informally for several years. Numerous drawings and patterns have been produced, and the pony truck wheelset and several small components have been manufactured.

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