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

Moderator: MEC407

  by Simon Dunkley
Thanks: that's terrific, and I have just ordered a copy of the book!
  by Simon Dunkley
Chapter 3 of the Mountain Division Study (http://maine.gov/mdot/ofbs/docs/Mountai ... rt_001.pdf) contains startling revelations about the quality of MEC track, from which I can draw interesting conclusions about rail weights, tie spacing and turnout sizes. Very useful material - has been referenced a few times in the Mountain Division thread, too.
  by jbvb
Per Scott Whitney's MEC Track Charts on CD, 'The Falls' to Calais was all 85 lb. except for a stretch of 80 lb. in Dennysville. This rail appears to have been relaid from elsewhere in the 1920s. He doesn't include charts for Bangor - Bucksport or the Eastport Branch.
  by Simon Dunkley
Thanks. That's really useful.
I have those diagrams, via DropBox, and I obviously need to spend more time with them!
  by Simon Dunkley
I have managed to get a reasonable collection of photos of Calais, and quite a lot of other information, but there is one area where I have, so far, drawn a blank.

Does anyone know of pictures of track 9, which was the spur coming off the main, to the east of the depot building, or failing that, what (if any) traffic was handled?

Thanks for all the help so far.
  by b&m 1566
Mikejf wrote:Eastport branch had 60# rail for the most part if I recall correctly. The light rail and light bridges made the branch restricted to the MEC 44 Tonners. I have seen several photos. Do you have any MEC books for reference?
I could've sworn I've seen pictures of an EMD SW9(?) working the branch. I remember the caption saying, it was one of the last trains on the branch.
  by Mikejf
Maybe. I think I know the picture you are refering to. Taken at Ayers Jct..
  by Simon Dunkley
I came across these interesting B&M turnout diagrams, kindly made available by Earl : http://bostonandmainerailroad.redmansef ... rBills.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As they date from the period when the MEC was owned by the B&M, did they share practices on this sort of thing?

Does anyone know of anything similar available on line for the MEC?

I ask out of curiosity as much as anything.
  by bml1149
These standards are what the Calais Branch is built to, and I believe that is true for the entire MEC. We have a book of these standards for maintaining the Downeast Scenic. In reference to an earlier posting, the rail from Washington Junction to Brewer is all 85 pound rail with the exception of some 79-1/2 pound found in some of the curves west of The Falls. There is also some 80 pound rail in many of our yard tracks.
Leverett Fernald
Downeast Scenic Railroad
  by Simon Dunkley
Thank you, Leverett.

I suspected as such, but it is great to have it confirmed.

Can I also ask about tie spacing on plain track? Two questions, what was it, and did they close up the spacing at joints, as happened on a lot of roads into the 20th century?
  by bml1149
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.
  by TomNelligan
Regarding weight restrictions on the Eastport branch... there is some confusing information in the last MEC employee timetable that included Eastport, the one dated May 14, 1978. The table of engine and car weight restrictions there allows only the Alco S-1 and S-3 switchers on the branch, with a speed restriction of 8 mph, and a maximum car weight of 169,000 pounds. This is confusing because of course the MEC's 44-Tonners were commonly run out to Eastport in later years and they weighed -- let's see, doing some quick math here -- roughly 88,000 pounds, and 44Ts 14 and 16 were still on the roster in 1978 (although I don't know if they were still active by then).
  by Mikejf
That would explain the picture I posted above. Though the weight for an S1 or an S3 comes in at 199,000. Slightly higher than the restriction. Guessing they went with low fuel in the tanks