• Montreal - Portland passenger service, past and future

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

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  by gokeefe
 
Noel,

Thanks for the post! If you remember (or can identify from the video) the type of rolling stock I think that would be neat to know. I'm kind of curious whether or not some of these cars still exist. I'm also a little curious what the car is on the end of the train in the video. It appears to have a somewhat different roofline from the other cars.
  by S1f3432
 
Gokeefe-I may be able to help with the consists. Prior to the discontinuance of the mail contract the most predictable
cars on 16/17 were ACF mail/baggage combines 7810-7812 built in 1929. Similar cars were used on the CV and a model
has been produced by Bethlehem Car Works. CCF 1954 1st class E-M coaches 5437-5654 and National Steel six-wheel
truck baggage cars in the 9000 series were most common but other cars did appear. A buffet-parlor car was used west
of Island Pond- the "Ainslie" being a frequent visitor. The beach trains used the same equipment altho being summer and
a period of heavy traffic equipment otherwise held for spare might also be used- note the heavy weight baggage car in
the video. The beach train also included the buffet-parlor to Portland, and the "Ainslie" was used in this service. I think it
appears several times in the video- at 3:10 in the video in particular altho the lettering is hard to read. A photo of CCF
coach 5574 at Portland is in the George Melvin Trackside GTNEL book.
  by gokeefe
 
S1f3432 wrote:Gokeefe-I may be able to help with the consists. Prior to the discontinuance of the mail contract the most predictable
cars on 16/17 were ACF mail/baggage combines 7810-7812 built in 1929. Similar cars were used on the CV and a model
has been produced by Bethlehem Car Works. CCF 1954 1st class E-M coaches 5437-5654 and National Steel six-wheel
truck baggage cars in the 9000 series were most common but other cars did appear. A buffet-parlor car was used west
of Island Pond- the "Ainslie" being a frequent visitor. The beach trains used the same equipment altho being summer and
a period of heavy traffic equipment otherwise held for spare might also be used- note the heavy weight baggage car in
the video. The beach train also included the buffet-parlor to Portland, and the "Ainslie" was used in this service. I think it
appears several times in the video- at 3:10 in the video in particular altho the lettering is hard to read. A photo of CCF
coach 5574 at Portland is in the George Melvin Trackside GTNEL book.

S1f3432,

Excellent post. Thanks so much for being willing to share your information!

I'm trying to see if I can find a good photo of the parlor car, AINSLIE. So far nothing yet. Would you happen to know the car number? I'm curious to find out whether or not it still exists. Given that it survived so late into the 60s the chances seem pretty good.
  by NS VIA FAN
 
Here's a diagram of Ainslie from a old CN equipment guide.

Image

The film would probably have been shot in summer '61 or '62 as CN's new image, introduced in Jan 1961 appears on the Steam Generator Car behind the RS-18s. After that you probably would have seen a lot of the passengers equipment in that image too.
  by S1f3432
 
The best photo of Ainslie I've seen is on page 38 of "Grand Trunk Heritage", by Philip Hastings, 2nd printing 1987 by
Carstens Publications, ISBN 0-921871-01-0 and I believe this is still available. The car is shown with it's original
clerestory roof before it received air conditioning. I thought there might be a pic on the Sullboat site but apparently
not. The following info is from "Canadian National Railway Passenger Equipment 1867-1992" by Lepkey and West 1995,
Bytown Railway Society ISBN 0-921871-01-0: Ainslie was one of 4 cars (863/Ainslie, 864/Lakelse, 865/Lillooet, 866/Patricia)
originally class PC-73H (parlor car,73 feet long), later classed DB-73H (buffet car), retired and sold to scrapper Mandak
Metal Processing, Selkirk, Manitoba 5-1970. There is no notation of builder or date.
  by Noel Weaver
 
I know the power was a pair of FPA-4's. We did not have a parlor car the day I rode it, which I had a chance to check, it was in August, 1962, my chart does not show the exact date but I think I have my ticket stub here someplace. We had 4 or 5 CN LW coaches which provided for a very comfortable ride. I will have to dig the timetable out to verify but I think in 1962 the schedule was an overnight trip from Montreal to Portland (in coaches) Friday night and a midday departure from Portland back to Montreal.
Noel Weaver
  by S1f3432
 
Correct on several points. An article in CN Lines Vol.16 No.2 Issue 59 on CN/GT summer service going back to the 1930's
Maine Coast Special states the the first two years of the beach train (1962/1963) was an overnight trip with a reprinted
flyer showing a Friday night departure from Montreal at 11:00 PM, arriving in Portland at 7:20 AM. The return trip left
Portland at 2:25 PM Saturday arriving back at Montreal at 10:55 PM. The same article has a photo of a modernized (in 1958)
Ainslie at the rear on the train at the Portland station in 1963. I believe this issue of CN Lines is available from CNRHA- a
link for back issues is Blair Smith at [email protected]. The Trackside GTNEL book by George Melvin has several photos of
the beach train with FPA4's and a caption sates they were the normal power for the first season and I can remember seeing
them as a kid. I've seen photos of the train with single CV passenger service GP9's, while they still had servicable steam
generators and hence no trailing steam generator car. CN 3100 series RS18's were the norm the last three years the train
ran and were considered passenger units by CN with high speed gearing and thru steam train lines- albeit no steam gens.
I rode the next-to-last run which had a single 3100. A friend of mine rode the very last trip, also with a single 3100, and
the train was lucky enough to hit a pickup truck at a crossing in Oxford, resulting in the rest of the trip being made with
the traction motors on the from truck cut out. Bacon's grade from west Paris to Bryant Pond was a tough go!
  by NS VIA FAN
 
Here's the CN Timetables for Summer 1963 showing the overnight schedule to Portland........ and the last year of operation......Summer 1967.


Image

Image
  by artman
 
From New Hampshire Business Review:

' A retired transportation coordinator for low-budget Hollywood productions says he will be able to raise over $40 million to start passenger rail service from Portland, Maine, to Montreal, with a stop in Berlin, N.H.

“We’ve accomplished more in three months than most rail companies have accomplished in three years,” said David Schwanke, president of Golden Eagle Railway Corp., a newly formed company based in Maine.

Schwanke said he is currently in negotiations with Genesee & Wyoming Railroad, a company traded on the New York Stock Exchange with more than $875 million in revenues last year and over $5 billion in assets, which owns the St. Lawrence and Atlantic line that would be used for he rail service.

The intention is to connect the new rail service with Amtrak’s Downeaster, which runs from Boston to Portland. The east-west line would cross into the Granite State near Bethel, Maine, stop in Berlin, and perhaps Groveton and North Stratford, and then, after cutting a corner of Vermont, head into Canada and connect with the Canadian National Line in Quebec.

The rail cars will be higher-end than Amtrak and without what Schwanke called the “Amtrak mentality.” '

http://www.nhbr.com/July-12-2013/Maine- ... es-Berlin/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Rbts Stn
 
Where on Railroad.net can we place bets on things like this actually happening?
  by artman
 
Rbts Stn wrote:Where on Railroad.net can we place bets on things like this actually happening?
hahaha! I agree!
  by TomNelligan
 
My guess is that the gentleman with money to burn has been reading certain posts on this forum that explain what a large and lucrative market there is for rail travel between Portland and Montreal :-)

A seasonal cruise-type train selling scenery and amenities at luxury prices, maybe. Regular commercial passenger service, no way.
  by MEC407
 
FatNoah wrote:Also, here's the website:
http://goldeneaglerailwaycorporation.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Wow. That web site is not at all confidence-inspiring, and does little to address my fears that this is just another pie-in-the-sky proposal similar to what we saw a few years ago with the so-called "New England Railroad" or whatever it was called. (Does anyone else remember what I'm talking about? There was one man behind it; I believe he was from the midcoast area. The web site was fairly elaborate, but it seemed to be nothing more than this one man's fantasy. He would frequently show up at public meetings and tout his grand plans.)

Edit: I found the original thread on the proposed "New England Railroad." http://railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=33897
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