I’m back from the 36th National Narrow Gauge Convention up in Augusta, Maine, and I had a blast — although I still managed to run out of time and not see everything — for instance, I completely ran out of time to see the models in the contest room. But I did get to meet, after all these decades, Bob Hayden and Dave Frary (who inspired my interest in Maine narrow gauge when I was a kid) and Bob Brown, who publishes the best magazine for narrow gauge modelers, The Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette. I also helped out Kevin at his tables, and helped showed off the DelTang dead rail gear.
Other highlights of the convention were a visit to the WW&F Railway Museum — my third visit, and Kevin’s first. We road behind newly restored WW&F Forney #9, and poked around the new car shop and turntable pit, and once again wandered through the old shop and the museum store. The WW&F has got to be one of the best run and organized museum railroads anywhere. If your in downeast Maine, be sure to visit.
We also visited the Boothbay Railway Village, which features some really neat little Henschel tank engines pulling a variety of cars, and a couple of neat railcars, including a restored SR&RL rail bus. They’ve also got a fantastic collection of antique cars and outboard boat motors, along with numerous displays explaining the history of railroading in Maine. It was my first visit to Boothbay, and I found it well worth the price of admission.
I took in a number of clinics during the convention, all of which were very informative and generally well presented, and learned a lot about the industries along the 2-foot lines, about coastal shipping in and out of the Maine seaports, and gained some more insights into background painting.
Of course, being in Maine, we ate some great seafood (and some not-so-great pizza) and did some fun sight-seeing. In no particular order, here’s a slideshow of those pictures. Cheers!