• Penobscot and Union River Railroad

  • 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 trainsinmaine
There have been various discussions in Railroad.Net forums over the years on the subject of unfinished and never-built railroads. One such was the proposed extension of what is now the MEC's Bucksport Branch beyond Bucksport through Orland, part of Penobscot, and Surry to a terminus in Ellsworth. Documentation about this line is scarce indeed, but apparently it was chartered around 1880. It's been said on Facebook's Maine Central and Portland Terminal site that at least part of the railroad --- which was to have been known as the Penobscot and Union River Railroad --- was built and operated, but I've seen no evidence to support that assertion. What I have seen is an old Hancock County atlas, published in 1881, that depicts where the line was to have gone. (In addition to the railroad's main line, there was to have been a several-mile-long spur to the docks in Blue Hill.)

Someone has recently posted a photo of the approximate, if not exact, spot where the line was to have crossed a narrows on Toddy Pond enroute to Surry. Curiously, at that spot there is what appears to be a part of a derelict causeway that may --- emphasis on the word may --- have been intended to carry the railroad across the water. If that's so, it's a clear indication that some of this railroad was actually constructed, which leads me to wonder where there are extant sections of graded roadbed out in the puckerbrush that have long been forgotten.

I went to see this spot today, and while I couldn't get a clear look at the whole thing (private property), I did see some of it, and it does indeed appear that whatever this is, it is man-made. Here's the photo:
https://www.google.com/maps/@44.5441609 ... a=!3m1!1e3

What think you? I just took another look at the old atlas. This causeway, or whatever it is, is right on target. It's located off Surry Road, about a half-mile south of Route 1.
  by shepaug
Any chance of a scan of that map ? I like to collect all railroad history and when on a map somehow it seems more legit. (my thoughts)

Like Lee,MA. to Winsted,Ct. area. Hit a few maps.
  by trainsinmaine
Regrettably, shepaug, I don't have the knowledge to take scans and send them, and I'm not sure it would be possible for me to do it in this case anyway --- the atlas is a very large book. I have friends who might be able to do it, however. I'll see what I can arrange.