• 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 b&m 1566
 
I was just looking at old topo maps of Fryeburg and notice a railroad spur that started where Fryeburg's station use to be. The spur went south maybe 1/2 mile to a mile, ending at the eastern slop of Starks Mt. Looking at google maps, there's a road called Quarry Road, so I assume this spur was for a quarry operation? Does anyone have anymore information about this spur and or the quarry, dates of operation, etc.?
  by gokeefe
 
I can't think of any really ...

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  by Cosmo
 
There were a few,
mostly logging railroads, one which left the mainline at Bartlett and another that came off from Sawyer River.
  by S1f3432
 
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.
  by S1f3432
 
If Life ever returns to normal and regional model railroad and railroadiana shows reappear, copies
of the softcover book "Logging Railroads of the White Mountains" by C. Francis Belcher ( 1980, The
Appalachian Mountain Club ) is a good read and used copies are to be found at reasonable prices.
The rampant clearcut logging, slash and horrendous forest fires lead to the formation of what is now
the White Mountain National Forest. Stay safe, everyone.
  by NHV 669
 
S1f3432, you've got me thinking:

Wasn't there one at Zealand, between current Twin Mt. and Bretton Woods, or was that off the also long-gone BC&M prior to where it met the Mountain Division?
  by gokeefe
 
Which ones were short lines and did they have any customers aside from logging?

Good point with regards to the Beecher Falls Branch. That of course was "the big one" when it comes to branch lines of the Mountain Division.

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  by jbvb
 
The 2' gauge common carrier B&SR hauled general freight to/from Bridgton and other on-line locations, though it all had to be transloaded at the junction with the MEC.

AFAIK all the rest mentioned by S1f3432 were standard gauge logging roads which didn't operate as common carriers. There was a bit of a town up where the Sawyers River operation had its sawmill, so that probably got general freight inbound. I expect supplies went up to the logging camps in season, but most would have originated no farther away than St. Johnsbury and would have been billed to the logging company at the junction point with the MEC. Most, if not all inbound freight probably got transloaded rather than risk MEC boxcars in the land of shaky track, sharp curves, steep grades and iffy brakes. Certainly, I've never seen photos of main line equipment up in the woods, though in some cases log trains were allowed to run on the B&M and/or MEC to reach a mill in town.
  by S1f3432
 
NHV669- you're probably thinking of the Profile and Franconia Notch Railroad which operated
three foot gauge lines from Bethlehem and Profile House to Bethlehem Jct on the Concord RR.
After the Concord RR and The Boston, Concord and Montreal merged to become the Concord
and Montreal RR about 1890, an agreement was reached to lay seven miles of third rail between
Bethlehem Jct and Zealand Transfer where the C&M and MEC converged for their parallel 2.5
mile run to Fabyans. This allowed an across-the-platform transfer between P&FN and MEC
trains. After the C&M was leased to the B&M in 1895 the P&FN was standard gauged and the
third rail removed. The Profile line closed in 1921 and the Bethlehem line closed in 1925.

On a different note regarding the Moose River Lumber Co., whose line actually connected with
the MEC Victory Branch, which ran 5.4 miles north from Concord, VT.
.
.
  by b&m 1566
 
The Profile was later converted to standard gauge.
  by arthur d.
 
NHV669; Are you thinking of The Zealand Valley Railroad? Operated 1884-1897 Left the B,C&M (which by that time had been leased by the B&L) at Twin Mountain proceeding south along the Zealand river. Belcher, C.F., Logging Railroads of the White Mountains. c. 1980, AMC.
  by NHV 669
 
Arthur,

That sounds like the one, I'll have to pick up that book when going to the library becomes a thing again. Pretty sure I only remember it from reading someone's personal copy a while ago.

I'm familiar with all the long gone lines cutting in and out of town here, but those are a bit more obvious as to their locations.
  by arthur d.
 
NHV669. There's another book on the NH logging railroads, only been out a few years. I can't remember the book or authors name, but he is local to the area. I do remember I was staying at the Mountainview Grand with some friends when the bookstore in Littleton, I think it was Bondcliff books, just down the street from the worlds longest candy counter, was hosting a book signing. Of course, majority rule said I wasn't getting near the place. That shop will probably still have it.
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