• The Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division

  • 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

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  by conductorchris
 
The increase in weight from 50 tons per car to 77 and 100 tons tore up a lot of track around that time.
The old cinder ballast or gravel and dirt just did not hold up to the increased pounding.
Plus railroads put a lot of investment into track during world war two because there were incentives not to make too much profits. That burst of investment was about worn out by the early seventies.
Christopher
  by S1f3432
 
Watching 85 lb joints pump up and down 6 inches or more under 100 ton triple hoppers of corn was an
early educational experience while I was doing my rounds. As part of highway grade crossing signal
rehabs the RR started installing 4-bolt fiberglass insulated rail joints which almost immediately started
to splinter, so they went to the 6-bolt version which were little better as the cross-section was the same.
My stupervisor wanted me to harass the section crews about keeping the joints tamped but considering
the "Colebook gravel" being used ( high clay content- turned to muck when wet ) it was an impossible
task. They had their hands full keeping up with broken rails and I had to work with those guys and wasn't
about to tell them how to do their jobs. I ended up salvaging the old steel insulated joints so I'd have
something to replace the fiberglass with when it broke.
  by gokeefe
 
I didn't realize they had a stone problem. The gravel was coming from Colebrook (NH)?

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by S1f3432
 
At the time there wasn't any stone, just "gravel" from the pit in Colebrook, NH, remnants of cinders
from steam days and in the area between Hiram and Fryeburg a lot of sand. When the government
money for track rehab became available as part of a five year program in the mid seventies MEC got
money from each of the three states it served. The money from NH and VT was used for ties and
ballast on the mountain. The money from ME largely to the Back Road so the Maine portion of the
Mountain Sub remained the poorest condition of the line. Eventually some stone was spread around
here and there as window dressing- it wasn't very deep and was mostly screened stone with doesn't
stay in place as well as crushed stone does.
  by danbour
 
S1f3432 wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 7:44 pm Well... The Beecher Falls branch extended northward from Quebec Junction to Lime Ridge, Quebec at one time. MEC cancelled the Hereford RR lease in 1925 and stopped all operations north of Beecher Falls. CP and QC picked up portions and operated smaller pieces into the 1960's. The piece between
Lancaster and North Stratford was abandoned in 1948 with MEC using trackage rights over B&M and GT.
MEC finally pulled the plug on the branch in 1977 with the final run on Feb 17.

As for logging and shortlines, east to west there were:
Bridgton and Saco River at Hiram, ME
East Branch RR and Rocky Branch RR at Glen, NH
Bartlett and Albany RR at Bartlett, NH
Sawyers River RR at Sawyers River, NH
Saco River RR at Carrigain, NH
Moose River Lumber Co. at North Concord, VT
Kilkenny Lumber Co at Lancaster, NH
Connecticut River Lumber Co at Terrills Cut ( north of Beecher Falls )

Most of these logging operations expired before the Great Depression- some prior to WW1.
Greg S. I am a new member from northern NH, a friend of mine and i are researching what we were told was the existence of a private logging railroad in Pittsburg NH set up by George Van dyke and his Connecticut River Lumber company off the former Hereford Railroad somewhere along the .67 or so miles that the mostly in Quebec railroad traveled into NH. We believe this logging RR ran along the western most edge of pittsburg NH since this area is far from the Connecticut river and would have been difficult to haul the logs to mills further south. we think Terrills cut was in the section of track in NH. Do you have any maps or further information about this and how did you come to hear or know about this information. We really appreciate your help. Danbour
  by S1f3432
 
Hi, Danbour. What little information I have on the Connecticut River Lumber Company is from the book
"Maine Central R.R. Mountain Division" by Ron Johnson. A rough map on page 308 shows the line branching
off the Hereford R.R. to the north east at Terrills Cut. On page 45 there is a description of Terrills Cut similar
to yours. The text notes the line operated from 1890 to 1895 beginning at the north end of the Hereford R.R.
New Hampshire trackage running northward on the U.S. side of Halls Stream six miles or so to the NW
corner of Pittsburg Township. I also have a copy of " Logging Railroads of the White Mountains" by
C. Francis Belcher which tells of George Van Dyke's involvement with the Little River R.R. at Twin Mountain,
N.H. but doesn't mention his other operations. Hope this helps.
  by S1f3432
 
Just out of curiosity I just went to the USGS historical maps collection for a look-see. The oldest quad was
from 1927 so RR was long gone. Looks like Hall Stream Road might be on the old grade or close to it.
  by danbour
 
S1f3432 wrote: Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:53 pm Hi, Danbour. What little information I have on the Connecticut River Lumber Company is from the book
"Maine Central R.R. Mountain Division" by Ron Johnson. A rough map on page 308 shows the line branching
off the Hereford R.R. to the north east at Terrills Cut. On page 45 there is a description of Terrills Cut similar
to yours. The text notes the line operated from 1890 to 1895 beginning at the north end of the Hereford R.R.
New Hampshire trackage running northward on the U.S. side of Halls Stream six miles or so to the NW
corner of Pittsburg Township. I also have a copy of " Logging Railroads of the White Mountains" by
C. Francis Belcher which tells of George Van Dyke's involvement with the Little River R.R. at Twin Mountain,
N.H. but doesn't mention his other operations. Hope this helps.

Thanks Greg S. i have ordered that book and expect it here shortly and will review those pages. I really appreciate your help and input. dan
  by danbour
 
S1f3432 wrote: Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:32 pm Just out of curiosity I just went to the USGS historical maps collection for a look-see. The oldest quad was
from 1927 so RR was long gone. Looks like Hall Stream Road might be on the old grade or close to it.
i did download that USGS historical map from 1925 yesterday and the good news is that the map DOES indeed show the Maine Central RR incursion into NH for about .67 miles north of the Quebec Town of Paqueteville which is exactly where we believed it was located. we have various bits and pieces of information about the various "stops" of the RR on this former Hereford RR. by the way i have an old document which is a collection of Annual reports made to the the Maine Central Railroad which retails some work done and time schedules/stops for the old Hereford branch (mountain division in the case of Maine Central) if interested i can get a dropbox link together. some is not relevant to Hereford RR. dan
  by ABP4014
 
Another book to look for is " Logging Railroads of New Hampshire's North Country" by Bill Gove. while this book doesn't specifically mention this railroad by name. would give you a good flavor for the practices of the time.
  by danbour
 
danbour wrote: Tue Mar 02, 2021 11:00 am
S1f3432 wrote: Mon Mar 01, 2021 6:53 pm Hi, Danbour. What little information I have on the Connecticut River Lumber Company is from the book
"Maine Central R.R. Mountain Division" by Ron Johnson. A rough map on page 308 shows the line branching
off the Hereford R.R. to the north east at Terrills Cut. On page 45 there is a description of Terrills Cut similar
to yours. The text notes the line operated from 1890 to 1895 beginning at the north end of the Hereford R.R.
New Hampshire trackage running northward on the U.S. side of Halls Stream six miles or so to the NW
corner of Pittsburg Township. I also have a copy of " Logging Railroads of the White Mountains" by
C. Francis Belcher which tells of George Van Dyke's involvement with the Little River R.R. at Twin Mountain,
N.H. but doesn't mention his other operations. Hope this helps.

Thanks Greg S. i have ordered that book and expect it here shortly and will review those pages. I really appreciate your help and input. dan
Greg: one final question. do you know if Ron Johnson who edited that book is still around to speak with? i did get his book and would love to ask him some questions. Specifically, looking for more detailed information about the 6 or so miles of track from Terrils cut build by George vanDyke by the Connecticut lumber company. Thanks, dan
  by S1f3432
 
I knew Ron back in the 1970's and 80's thru his membership in the 470 Railroad Club and activities at the
Conway Scenic- he owned one of the the GT cabooses there and may still. After college he got married
and started a family and my understanding is he is/was a professional music teacher. He was an excellent,
prolific and widely published railfan photographer and author but in the 90's dropped out of view in the
railfan world. Someone at the 470 RR Club or Conway Scenic may still be in touch with him.
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