DEAR SUN SPOTS: Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad, an authentic two-foot narrow gauge steam railroad in Phillips, is actively recruiting volunteers to help with various tasks. Although the organization has a number of engineers, firemen, conductors and brakemen to run the trains, they are not always available to come every weekend because of distance and other considerations. We often manage with just a small handful of people to keep the trains in good shape and operating, sometimes having to change the schedule because we don’t have enough qualified volunteers to run the trains or steam engine.

To find out how you can help, visit the SR&RLRR website at and click on Volunteers. We would love it if you could donate your time for an afternoon, a day or even a few summer weekends next year. Please contact us at 639-2228 or come by anytime the trains are running, talk with a member on site, and a place will be found for you on our volunteer roster. —  SR&RLRR

ANSWER: SR&RLRR is at 128 Bridge St. in Phillips. I’m sure there are many railroad enthusiasts in western Maine and beyond who would love to share their expertise with those who want to learn more and experience the glory days of the railroad. Fun events include Western Reenactment Day, Civil War Re-enactment Day and the Model Rail & Hobby Fair.

Make volunteering an intergenerational event by including other family members to join you. Passing this knowledge on to our young sons and daughters, as well as our grandchildren, will keep this country’s locomotive history alive.

Although SR&RLRR will be closing soon for the season, it’s good to look ahead and let them know you are interested in taking part in the events they have in store for next summer. In the spring, there are also several ways to help get everything ready.

Beyond the running of the trains, there are other critical tasks as well such as equipment maintenance; facilities repair and upkeep; a gift shop to run and tickets to sell; upgrading of museum displays and descriptive signs on buildings and sites; painting, repair and restoration of rolling stock; and helping to recruit even more volunteers. Without the support of the community it remains difficult to continue all that SR&RLRR has to offer and assure that the rich and varied history of the railroad will continue to thrive.

FMI: Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes RR, P.O. Box B, Phillips, ME 04966; or [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Auburn Esplanade at 20 Great Falls Plaza in Auburn is having its annual Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is open to the public and outside crafters are welcome to participate. Tables are limited, and the cost is $15 per table. For anyone interested, please contact Dot at 740-0126 for details. Tables will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline to reserve a table is Friday, Oct. 27. — Laura, no town

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photo courtesy of Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad

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