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Woburn Municipal Waterworks Museum, Boston, Massachusetts, US

Discussion in 'Everything Else Heritage' started by 7143, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. 7143

    7143 New Member

    Feb 16, 2015
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    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I’ve just returned from some three weeks travelling by train throughout the US, a trip ending in Boston. Part of this was so that I could visit the Boston Waterworks Museum.

    There are three large pumping engines there, a Holly-Gaskill engine of 1887, Leavitt engine of 1894 and Worthington-Snow engine of 1922. The engine house is completely intact but it was a great shame that the management of the museum appear to have little vision or interest in developing the place other that as a quaint wedding and function venue and place for historic interpretation, with minimal no interest in attempting to make any of the engines actually run.

    While I was there, someone turned up with a poster advertising another waterworks a few miles to the north of Boston which was being steamed during the subsequent two days. As I had free time and working steam engines in the US are exceptionally rare, I took the opportunity to visit the place.

    This is Woburn water pumping station, a facility currently in use but in a separate building housing a Corliss compound pumping engine built in 1908 by the Platt Ironworks, Ohio. It turned out that a very small and young team had, with the support of the waterworks company, worked on bringing the engine back to working condition. My visit was opportune as it had only been steamed for the first time the previous week, on 18th October. The previous time it had run was in December 1932 (the year before work was even begun on the first Stanier Pacific!). A couple of key members of their team (Alexander Karnes and Phil Christopher) were familiar with many of the engines in UK and it was only through their knowledge, tenacity and determination that the engine was brought back to life. A great little site, good looking engine and a small team who deserve to succeed.

    This site is littered with threads covering locomotives, railways, other heritage, galas, special trains, etc. and it’s only when we compare our lot with that of other countries that we can truly appreciate the wealth of heritage opportunities that exist here.

    Links as below and a couple of photos attached:

    Woburn Waterworks: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Museum/Woburn-Municipal-Waterworks-Museum-705366909818848/

    Boston Waterworks Museum: https://waterworksmuseum.org

    18-10-26 Woburn Waterworks 2.JPG 18-10-26 Woburn Waterworks 1.JPG
    Bluenosejohn likes this.

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