• Beecher Falls Branch Pulpwood Traffic

  • Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.
Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

Moderator: MEC407

  by BM50
I'm trying to get a better understanding of how the St. Regis Paper Co. pulpwood
was routed to the mill at Carthage NY prior to 1960.

The Mt. Division book states that these carloads, primarily during the winter
months, were picked up along the line and delivered to the B&M at Coos Jct.
where the empties would be picked up and taken back up the branch.

Dwight Smith, who was in the B&M Traffic Dept. for many years, states the B&M
did not handle these cars from the MEC. I've read some accounts stating they
were dropped at North Stratford for GT/CV routing. However, I've seen other
photos of MEC trains with pulpwood loads south of Groveton which would not
indicate N. Stratford as the interchange point.

If they weren't routed to the B&M or GT, that only leaves the option of a
load/empties exchange at Quebec Jct. with RY-2/YR-1 to and from St. Johnsbury
and the StJ&LC.

Does anyone have any more information they could provide?

Duane Goodman
  by S1f3432
Hmmm....My tenure working on the Mountain Subdivision started a year after the Beecher Falls branch was
abandoned so I never witnessed this traffic- knowing it went to New York I had assumed a MEC-St.Johnsbury-
CP-Montreal-NYC/PC routing, but then you know what assumptions get you. Looking through books on area
railroads there is a photo in "Maine Central in Color Vol1" on page 119 showing 568 departing No. Stratford
eastbound on the GT with pulpwood in tow- so it's not being left there for the GT to forward west. The books
in my collecton offer no evidence that the StJ&LC handled this traffic. And Dwight said the B&M didn't move
it either. The trainmen I knew up there have departed the scene. I don't know what advantage a StJ&LC-CV-CN
move would have over a more direct GT-CN move other than the StJ might be cheaper. Another thought on a
routing involving CN- by the 1970's CN frowned on crosswise loading of 4 foot pulpwood on pulpracks as it had
a tendency to unload itself at speed. CN used cars with side stakes with the wood loaded lenthwise so I
wonder if they would be willing to move MEC's cars. In the 1980's CN/GT did move this traffic for a while with
the cars being loaded at East Brighton, Vt. on GT using CN cars.