• Surviving Maine Central Passenger Equipment

  • 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 Dick H
Here's a thought. Assuming (always dangerous to assume) that the AAPRCO
convention does take place in Portland in September (at last report, not all
agreements with the various railroads involved in the routing from Chicago
were finalized), maybe Mr. Fink #2 will give the private car owners a tour
of the #333 Lone Tree, either at Waterville or maybe even move it to Portland.
One of the group might have his checkbook in hand....
  by gokeefe

That would be quite impressive indeed if it happened. Even a move of the car from Waterville to Portland would/should attract some interest from the enthusiast community.
  by Dick H
On second thought, disregard my "checkbook" comment,
as I would hate to see this car leave Northern New Englnd.
As long as it is owned by PAR, there is still the chance that
it might end up on the Conway Scenic, Maine Eastern or
the Downeast Scenic. The Naugy or the Valley in CT would
also be interested under the right circumstances.
  by gokeefe
Comment disregarded!

Indeed I think PAR has done everyone quite the favor by a) keeping #333 indoors all these years and b) not selling it to the highest bidder (of which I would imagine there may have been a few).

Everything I have ever read about the car makes me think its quite the gem on the inside.
  by gokeefe
Here is an updated roster based on the original post:

MEC #16, Diner - Lounge, Arundel, Hancock Port Commission, Gulfport, MS, Stored - Out of Service

MEC #155, Coach, McNeil Point, Downeast Scenic Railroad, Ellsworth, ME, Restored - Operating.

MEC #252, Coach (MEC #2011, Instruction Car, ex-MEC #209), Conway Scenic Railroad, North Conway, NH, Stored - Static. Also of note, per reliable sources this car is not on its original trucks. They were switched out and placed under CSRX Gertrude Emma.

MEC #333, Business Observation, Lone Tree, Pan Am Railways, Waterville, ME, Stored (Indoors) - Static. (Lone Tree has been the subject of an ongoing thread for some time on railroad.net here)

MEC #322, Power Car Combine, Pan Am Railways, Waterville, ME, Stored (Outdoors) - Static.

MEC #390, Coach (AMTK #5444, PC #4044, PRR #4044), Pan Am Railways(?), Waterville, ME, Out of Service - Unknown. (Further research appears to indicate this car did not ever belong to the MEC during their passenger service era, MEC #390 (exxx-PRR 4044) was built for and saw service on the PRR train Southwind).

MEC #391, Chair - Cafe - Foodservice (Buffet?) (MEC #391, AMTK #3951, PC(?) #3211, NYC #3211, NYC #3011), City Point Central Railroad, Belfast, ME, Preserved - Static(?). (This coach also never operated on the MEC during their passenger service era, according to Bruce Cooper (as posted on NE Rail Photo) its heritage is AMTK #3951, NYC #3211, NYC #3011). Part of a 153 car order for 64 seat coaches by the NYC in 1948 to Pullman Standard (Plan #7484, Lot #2169, some others indicate Lot #6721).

MEC #409, Railway Post Office, Conway Scenic Railroad, North Conway, NH, Stored - Static. (Used as tool car by CSRX, interior condition unknown, wood exterior)

ADDED MEC #411, Railway Post Office (ex-PC, exx-NH W331 (MoW) exxx-NH, exxxx-MEC #352), Railroad Museum of New England, Stored - Under Restoration (steel exterior)

MEC #501, Combine, Cooperville & Marne Railway Company, Marne, MI, Stored - Static. (Interior photos show this car to be largely intact and in excellent shape). This car was also at one time in service on the "Otter Valley Railroad Tourist Train" in Proctor, Vermont. Other information seems to indicate it was part of the Steamtown Inc. collection at one time (supposedly on loan from MEC, not owned by Steamtown). It was also at one time in the collection of the 470 RR Club as well.

MEC #540, Lumber King, Baggage Coach, (MP #761, MP #562, Grill Coach), Kennekuk County Park, Danville, IL, Preserved - Static. (scroll to bottom of page on Danville, IL link).

MEC #573, EMD GP7 with steam generator for passenger service; known around the railroad as Mr. Miller's Engine; later became DH 573, then ST 27; now preserved and in service as CSRX 573.

MEC #901, MoW Coach (BAR #230), Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum, Shelburne, MA, Stored - Static is not discussed in this post due to the fact that is was never in passenger service (public or private (business)).
  by gokeefe
Perhaps more importantly, here is what I am working on for leads:

MEC(?) #170(?), Coach, Mountainview: Last known location, North Conway, NH in 1979. Unknown if numbering ("170") and lettering ("Maine Central") are historically accurate for this car. Further complicating things is the fact that this car in this configuration has never previously been documented elsewhere. Also, at that time "Maine Central" lettering was not necessarily 'historical' as the MEC was still in operation. Therefore this car may have actually still been in MEC ownership and operation at the time. This sighting coincides roughly with a number of known trips up the Mountain Division by the MEC business train (#333, #322, and #390 and/or others). Another aspect of this find is the extremely unusual practice of naming the car (possibly in MoW service at that) which is one factor potentially indicating private ownership.

MEC #241, Coach, Webhannet: This car has a very unsual listing as "Ferrocarril del Pacifico #1958" (a Nacionales de Mexico predecessor) with an accompanying photo. I am requesting information regarding the reference for this car from the Passenger Car Photo Index webmaster. A check of the master rosters at the Pullman project gives no indication of Webhannet operating on FCP. In general information about Missouri Pacific's disposition of the ex-Maine Central Pullman Standard cars is very thin. I am also requesting information from the Missouri Pacific Historical Society regarding these cars.

Other than the above two leads I have no other active lines of research right now. Here are some of the cars which I was able to trace briefly but came up as dead ends (for now...):

MEC #15 Merrymeeting: no further information after Amtrak ownership. Assumed disposed during Heritage fleet sales in 1978.

MEC #541 Forest Queen: no further information after Missouri Pacific ownership.

There was one Missouri Pacific stainless steel coach, photographed intact in 1988 on a siding in Bracken, TX. This photo is listed at the bottom of a roster on the Screaming Eagles website. The car is potentially of MEC heritage. If it is some of the streamlining is missing next to the vestibule trap. Otherwise the car would appear to be a possible candidate for an ex-MEC coach. Absent a discovery of intact coaches in Mexico my instinct is that the above two are among the two most likely survivors of MEC's Pullman Standard streamliners. Another foreign dead end was something I worked on initially and without any luck was for MEC #180-189 which had a note regarding "ex-RDG 1946, sold to Korea in 1957" on Mr. VanBokkelen's roster.

The Passenger Car Photo Index also has the following:

MEC #413, Railway Post Office, however it is in terrible condition. It is indexed on the fallen flags site under Penn Central which would match the history of its better preserved cousin (MEC #411, RPO) at the RMNE/NAUG. The year given for the photo is 1982. Location is not clear at all.

I continue to see improvements in the amount of information available about this subject. In a marked contrast to the usual trends prior to the advent of the Internet the quality of data is actually improving over time as opposed to degrading due to loss and deterioration of documents, archives, photographs and memories. The durability of information posted on the Internet is quite remarkable and I enjoy the challenge that finding these relatively "rare" pieces of equipment presents. In general Maine Central passenger rolling stock is extremely difficult to track due in part to the railroad's early termination of all passenger service and the small size of their passenger fleet. Any discussion, additional information and further research is greatly appreciated. At least for the moment I believe there are still several intact ex-MEC cars "out there" waiting to be found.
  by gokeefe
Searching a little more carefully through the Passenger Car Photo Index yields the following:

MEC #245, Coach, Abenaki, ex-MP #486, exx-MP #775 as NdeM #4481. The photograph date is 1982 which along with Webhannet makes Abenaki a very late survivor. Furthermore, Abenaki is a step ahead as the NdeM roster number is known, whereas Webhannet's fate with the NdeM post-merger is unknown.

The impetus for this search came from this listing on ebay of a photo of MP #487 which I believe to be MEC #256 Kineo. The Lightweight Car Roster on the Pullman project site shows the renumbering as MP 481-488, ex-770-777, ex MEC 240-247. Assuming linear transposition of numbers that would make MP #487 -> MEC #256 Kineo.
  by gokeefe
Sometimes when conducting research instead of going forwards you go backwards:

Such was the case with this discovery of a complete roster of the Reading Company "PBn" class cars to include those that were sold to Maine Central in 1946. This roster was written by a John W. Hall with a copyright date of 2009. This very late acquisition of heavyweight cars was apparently needed by MEC to supplement their service until the arrival of the Pullman Standard lightweight streamliners in late 1947. Even more interesting is a never-before-seen reference to the European & North American Railway which at this point in time had been leased since 1882 a mere two years after its 1880 reorganization in the wake of the default of the original E&NA system on their bonds. The E&NA cars were bought at roughly the same time and for the same price as the the Maine Central cars it is my impression that these were in fact sold to the E&NA which Maine Central leased. Furthermore, the "AFE#" referenced is the same for both the MEC and E&NA cars.

These cars are described in Mr. Van Bokkelen's roster as "arch roof coach - 84 seat" with a notation of "ex-RDG 1946, sold to Korea circa 1957". The cars numbers on the MEC were MEC #180- MEC #189. Very interestingly we can conclude by deduction what the E&NA cars were numbered. These were numbered MEC #180 and MEC #181. Both of these numbers of missing from the Hall Roster and both of the E&NA cars have lower numbered RDG units (#1240 & #1242) than MEC #182 - MEC #189 which were #1245, #1246, #1247, #1250, #1251, #1253, #1257, #1258 and which became MEC's in serial order.

And here we come to an interesting footnote:

In his Newcomen Society Address of 1979, E. Spencer Miller, former President of the Maine Central Railroad and Chairman of the Board of Directors at that time discussed in some detail the ultimate disposition of the E&NA corporation and the necessary maneuvers to obtain the requisite financing to purchase the line outright and to end the lease.
To make a long story short, the line was constructed from St. John to Bangor and then became insolvent. Canadian Pacific picked up the segment St. John to the international bridge across the St. Croix River at Vanceboro and in 1882 Maine Central leased the approximately 118 miles of road and 163 miles of track from the latter point to the lower level waterfront area in Bangor for a term of 999 years and at an annual rental of $125,000 being $5 per share on the 25,000 shares of stock. Canadian Pacific acquired running rights over the line between Vanceboro and Mattawamkeag by agreement with Maine Central.
After discussing the lease's requirement for equipment maintenance and provision of all payments for taxes (a provision which grew complicated in the 20th century) Mr. Miller then describes the process of navigating the personalities involved which was quite complicated indeed.
The personalities were against us, too. At the time of refunding in 1934 President French with counsel had approached Charles Stetson, Esq., formerly of Bangor and then Chairman of Merchants National Bank in Boston. Mr. Stetson's response as reported to me was: "Father drew that lease never to be broken." Once again I went to our good friend Albert Armitage of Coffin & Burr. We agreed that the keys were Mr. Henry Wheelright of Columbia Securities in Bangor, and George Eaton, Esq., the latter, President of E&NA. I was not acquainted with the former but "Armi" knew him well since both were in the securities business. We then prepared a plan with the maximum attraction for E&NA shareholders.
More information about the meeting with Mr. Wheelright follows in the MEC #333 Lone Tree thread in this post.

I found the entire process of learning about this acquisition to be quite fascinating in particular the realization that at such a late date in "the game" Maine Central found it necessary to acquire additional passenger cars. Miller actual pays the very barest reference to the reason behind this acqusition in his address when he says in reference to 1944:
Passenger revenue increased to the highest level since 1924, creating "grand illusion"
Then in reference to 1947 and 1948 we have the final setup to the greatest acquisition of passenger rolling stock for Maine Central ever:
The years 1947 and 1948 produced satisfactory operating results with earnings in the low seven figures in each year. In the former year the "grand illusion" of a passenger traffic future induced management to invest upwards of a million dollars in eight of the finest streamline coach in revenue service anywhere plus two deluxe diners. This equipment was matched by the B&M and all of it dedicated to the three high-speed round-trips between Bangor and Boston. Passenger revenue continued to fall with a decline from 1948 to 1949 of 15.5% for passenger revenue and 23.2% in passenger miles.
  by gokeefe
A 1979 consist posted in the Yahoo "MEXLIST" Group reports the following:
#7 El Fronterizo
3-27-79 Mexico DF
NdeM 9207 GP38-2
NdeM 9216 GP38-2
NdeM 74455 boxcars
L&N 110245
NdeM 110179
NdeM 69474
NdeM 69261
NdeM 78645
NdeM 90593
FCP 16899
NdeM 100519
UP 110190
NdeM 2524 RPO
NdeM 1545 baggage
NdeM 4773 HS coach
NdeM 4743 HS
NdeM 4735 HS
NdeM 4473
NdeM 4481
SCD Playa Chachalcas (diner)
SCD Monte McKinley
SCD Luxemburgo
At least from this list we can confirm backwards the probable presence of ex-MEC #245 Abenaki and also get an idea of where it was running.
  by jbvb
In the late 1940s I suspect there was at least pressure, if not an outright regulatory requirement to replace wood-bodied passenger-carrying cars. This makes me curious about what they replaced, and where the wood cars had been used.

I am not a real connoisseur of MEC photos, but the only place I've seen their ex-RDG cars on-line is on the Rockland branch. Since in the same era the PT bought a GP-7 primarily to equalize locomotive miles with the B&M, it is possible that some of these cars also spent their first few years hauling commuters out of North Station. But I haven't actually seen "Maine Central" in a photo of a commuter train. Perhaps I will, now that it's on my mind.
  by gokeefe
One minor note, DSRX #155, Union River at Downeast Scenic was formerly, CSRX #155 Mount Surprise as documented in this photo showing transportation of the coach to DSRX underway. I had forgotten about the old name. The operating assumption thus far has been that "#155" was the MEC roster number but this could prove to be wrong. Thus far no reason to believe otherwise.

Regardless, "MEC #155" remains the only MEC coach restored to service. Excluding heavily modified instruction car MEC #2001 at CSRX the coach in Ellsworth is in a class by itself. 136 years of independence (1847-1983) and 113 years of passenger service (1847-1960) and this coach is the lone survivor of a fleet that probably numbered close to 150 coach cars over the entire course of MEC's passenger service history. Statistics like that are why I think it is so important to locate any known surviving equipment of this railroad. There is a very significant cultural patrimony that will be lost forever if these cars are allowed to disappear.
  by jmlaboda
Although unlikely it at least seems possible that some of the former MEC cars would have been operated together at some point between 1967 and 1970 before the L&N assumed control of their portion of the C&EI.
Happened on this thread this evening and wanted to correct the false notion about the possibility of some of the Maine Central PS corrugated cars being reunited on MoPac. The fact of the matter is it just could not happen!!!

MEC 15 Merrymeeting, which became C&EI 603 Merry Journey, and MEC 16 Arundel, which became C&EI 604 Merry Meeting, were sold to C&EI in 1951, and were in turn sold to the L&N in 1959, nine years prior to the C&EI's merger into MoPac, so the cars could not have possibly ran on MoPac with any of the other cars. What is more, the cars themselves were rebuilt by L&N to lunch counter - diner - lounge cars, forever sealing some of the windows previously on the cars on one side. The alterations can be seen in this shot of MEC 16 as AMTK 8381...
http://rrpicturearchives.net/showPictur ... id=3713820
  by gokeefe
Thanks Jerry! I posted that some time ago and had forgotten at the time about some of the "in-between" mergers that took place.

I remain interested to see if we end up finding some of the coaches among anything that's left in Mexico. My trails (from photos on your site) went cold there and I haven't had any time to do research since.
  by jbvb
I was compiling this information for my web site (with George's permission) and looked up #155: Downeast Scenic says it was built for the MEC by Laconia in 1910:

http://www.downeastscenicrail.org/ride/ ... r-coaches/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But I haven't found any Laconia-bult wood coaches when putting together my MEC passenger roster.

http://www.faracresfarm.com/jbvb/rr/mecrr/mec_pass.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Can anyone clarify?
  by gokeefe
jbvb wrote:I was compiling this information for my web site (with George's permission) and looked up #155: Downeast Scenic says it was built for the MEC by Laconia in 1910:

http://www.downeastscenicrail.org/ride/ ... r-coaches/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But I haven't found any Laconia-bult wood coaches when putting together my MEC passenger roster.

http://www.faracresfarm.com/jbvb/rr/mecrr/mec_pass.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Can anyone clarify?
I think the car simply predates available sources of information that you compiled your original roster from. At least in my experience doing research on this topic Maine Central's equipment roster and associated numbers are essentially unknown for all of the 19th and very early 20th century. That makes McNeil Point all that more interesting now only as a survivor but as an exceptionally early example as well.
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