Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

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

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Re: Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

Post by bml1149 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 12:27 pm

Regarding the use of Alco S-1's and 3's. By this point in time most of the 44 tonners were used up, or sold off by then. Also the writing was on the wall regarding the Eastport branch.
Leverett Fernald

Simon Dunkley
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Re: Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

Post by Simon Dunkley » Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:41 pm

bml1149 wrote:Simon,
From what I have seen, our ties are all spaced about the same, about 21 inches apart. On crossings we have rebuilt we narrowed them up to 18 inch spacing.
Thanks again.
Making life difficult for himself...

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Re: Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

Post by S1f3432 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:15 pm

A Maine Central diesel locomotive roster published by Edwin B. Robertson in 1978 lists the 14 as retired 12/77, with the 16 being the
last GE 44 Ton on the roster. I think it was retained as the Waterville Shop switcher for a while, also being occasionally loaned to
Dragon Cement when their unit was down for maintenance. The Eastport Branch was abandoned in the fall of 1978, which explains
the use of the S-1 at the end.
The 1978 roster dispositions are: 11, 13 and 17 sold 4-74 to Ind. Ry. Equip. Corp., 12 sold 11-75 to Streigel Supply and Equipment,
15 to Conway Scenic 12-74. Further search on the net indicates 14 was sold to Merrilees 7-78 as IREX 14, 16 was sold 2-86 to Aroostook
Valler RR as their 14.

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Re: Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

Post by GP40MC1118 » Wed Nov 09, 2016 10:07 pm

Further dispositions:
11- 11/74 to International Minerals & Chemicals (Esterhazy, Saskatchewan, Canada)
12- Sold to Sydney Steel (Nova Scotia, Canada)
13- 8/74 to Spruce Falls Pulp & Paper (Ontario, Canada). Scrapped 1976. Shown in The Short Line
Magazine #27 as owned by AA Merrilees. Used in abandonment of the mill and wrecked during that
14- AA Merrilees IREX 14. Resold to International Minerals & Chemicals 46017(Cut Arm,
Saskatchewan, Ca.)
15- Locomotive Fifteen Group/Conway Scenic. Sold 6/11 to Deep South Pioneer Museum/Omega
Heritage Association (Omega, Saskatchewan, Canada) as Southern Praire 15
16- 2/86 to AVRR. Sold 8/97 to Dr.Marvin Kendall (p-E.Barnet, Vt) for his Passumpsic River RR
17- Sold 2/74 in International Minerals & Chemicals 46011 (Cut Arm, Saskatchewan, Canada)

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Re: Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

Post by Cowford » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:38 pm

A little further info on 16. I don't know about assignments before or after, but 16 was the shop switcher at Bangor Engine House in 1980-81. And curiously, the Eastport Branch was still in MEC's October, 1979 "employes" timetable. (MEC used a curious variant of employees.)

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Re: Track on the Calais and Eastport branches

Post by sandyriverman » Sat Jul 15, 2017 8:44 pm

Simon Dunkley wrote:Hi,

Please be gentle with this newcomer to the forum!

I am UK based and work in S scale (a glutton for punishment!) and after years of off and on interest, have decided to actually model the MEC downeast, and stop dreaming about it.

The terminus at Calais is serving as primary inspiration (modified for my available space) along with elements of the Eastport branch, but there are some details I would like to know more about - there may be quite a long list over the forthcoming weeks, months and years...

Does anyone know weight of rail was in use during the 1970s, and the spacing of the ties? Track is an important part of a model to me, just as important as the rest, and I want to get things as right (not necessarily perfect) as possible.

Any help will be gratefully appreciated, and all information rapidly absorbed.


Hi Simon, I have not been on for maybe a couple of years,but the last couple of nights, before going to bed, I have visited the blog and have searched on Maine Central Railroad topics. I am a life long Maine boy and model railroader and my dad got me into the MEC at a very young age.

I have long been interested in the Eastport branch but never saw much about it. For some reason not a lot of material is out there on Eastport railroading.A few months back I was google searching the MEC Eastport branch one night and tumbled onto this lovely blog, quite by accident.

The blog writers name is Ben Brown. I believe he was a doctor earlier in his life and lived in MA. I think he said his wife's family was from the Eastport area or nearby. They used to travel back there summers for visits. He later moved to S Carolina to be near his daughter. He was pretty much a lifelong model railroader but after moving to S Carolina he decided to model the MEC Eastport branch, including Calais and Ayers Jct, in 48 Proto scale!

His blog is here:" onclick=";return false;

Ben was a meticulous researcher and accumulated more materials, maps and photos and other info on Eastport rail operations, than I have seen in all the other places I visited in my lifetime. Like you he thought the track to be a great part of the scenery! He gives absolutely fascinating details on the tracks at different locations and how they were built. His research is remarkable. His blog is solid full of photographs of the line, track diagrams for Ayers, Eastport and Calais as well as many photographs which reveal a lot of things that might otherwise be almost impossible to determine.

Sadly Ben Brown passed away in July 2015 but somebody is still keeping the blog visible on the net, thankfully. I wish the materials could be published in a book or on CD or similar!

Visit the blog and enjoy what you will read, and the remarkable details he included in his writing. Start with the archives back in 2013 and watch it evolve, and the research always finding new things to talk about! I was so moved by what he did that I spent a month or so of my own time finding quite a few more photos. I grew up in Ellsworth which was a major terminal on the Calais Branch and admired that railroad for a long long time, so it's always been special to me. I lived in Washington County in the first decade of this century and became acquainted with a retired gent who lived in a camp on Pleasant River Lake. Used to eat meals with he and his wife often. All I knew was his name was Harvey. Harvey told me one night that he and his brother shared the engineer duties on #14 and #16 for some years. There is a photo of one of the 44 tonners being turned at Eastport in Ron Robertson's book of MEC photos. The man turning her that day was Harvey's brother!

I would be happy to share what photos I have accumulated, on the Eastport and Calais branch, if anyone is interested.

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