W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

The Original W&Q and WW&F: 1894-1933 => Original Railway => Topic started by: Glenn Byron on June 07, 2011, 12:41:16 AM

Title: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Glenn Byron on June 07, 2011, 12:41:16 AM
A field trip this beautiful Monday morning with two other true FS&K enthusiasts resulted in locating the actual Eastern end location of the 1000' trestle over Bridge, Main Streets and onto the high bank on the High Street side in Farmington.  Seems when you get in the neighborhood, the local folks can still tell you a bunch.  Will need to return in the fall with special equipment to plot the Western end more specifically.  Actual landforms are still right there to observe, even with all the construction over the 110 year period.  One of our group went into the office of the prominent Farmington person where the actual blueprints hang proudly on the wall, and sketched landowners and other pertinent information.  This allowed the three of us to follow the roadbed right on location across High Street, around the Franklin County Fairgrounds, thru the current Farmington Town Garage, (Yes,nearby the roadbed is visable) along a steep valley wall and across the big fill previously discussed toward the Cascade Brook crossing. ( Which we didn't get to today).  A major discovery of a, previously unseen by me, deep cut behind the power station still shows a 100+' wide at the top, 16' at bottom, probably 40' deep and more than 200 yards long trench that one can only imagine how a train could manage in a heavy snow year.  Shovelers would have had to terrace several levels to get the snow cleared.  Farmington Chronicle, March 2, 1898: "One feature has been demonstrated during the record breaking snow storms of the past month, and that is, along the whole route from here (Farmington) to New Sharon, there is only one place where the locality of the track affords a very bad drifting of snow and the proper means can easily be taken to prevent that."  Now, we looked closely at this cut, and you can also.  There is no way to get this cleared "EASILY".  An eye opening day in Farmington along the FS&K.
Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Mike Fox on June 09, 2011, 12:26:54 AM
Any pics Glenn? Every time I am through the area, I don't have time to stop. Always on the clock with the GPS locator telling HQ my location.
Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Glenn Byron on June 10, 2011, 02:15:47 AM
I have three of the trench, but I'm not happy with them as I was standing on a fill the power line had put in to cross .  Somehow the trench doesn't show very well.  If anyone is in the Farmington neighborhood on Route 2 beside Good Times Unlimited, the RV Dealer, the main power line has a substation with a good road to it.  Just walk past the substation to the top of the second hill, a 5 minute walk.  The huge trench is very visible and you can see what a problem snow removal would have been.  The posts here last winter making Alna Station ready for a charter run early, told of the frustrations as snow piled upon snow.  There was no place to put it.  Well they never had to face the problem, but those mule and oxen teams along with many strong backs sure did to make it.  Our visit was an eye opener and a tick catcher.  Most had visitors chowing down when we got home.
Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Mike Fox on June 13, 2011, 12:39:02 AM
Glenn, about how far is this from the big fill that used to be in Farmington? This could be where the fill came from. And I like to look at this type of find from another perspective. There was no heavy equipment back then, so this was all done by hand. Picks, shovels, wheelbarrows and dump carts. Oh, and dynamite. Worked great on removing stubborn stumps and loosening hard pan.
Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Glenn Byron on June 14, 2011, 03:15:48 PM
Mike,  I've asked another member to consider your question and hope he will post his answer as he is more familiar.  Your perspective on the situation is perfect.  There was no construction train, there was no huge equipment. Just farmers with their teams after haying was done.  Lots of strong backs manually working each problem by whatever method Oxen, Mules, Horses, Laborers AND dynamite could provide.  This one trench must have been a massive undertaking.  Please post the pictures even though they are not the best.  I encourage any FS&K enthusiast to personally visit this site.  Reading these posts can't begin to paint the picture, but for members far away it may be the only way you have. When large railroads built right of way, the situation was much different.  Farmington Chronicle, Sept. 1,1898    "Work on the Franklin Somerset & Kennebec railway is progressing well.  Two hundred and twelve men are now at work between this village (Farmington) and the Falls.  It is hoped the road bed will be in order and rails laid from this station in time for the county fair.  The long trestle is, however, no small task to complete."  Now, That was some serious wishing!!!
Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Mike Fox on June 23, 2011, 11:45:46 PM
Ok. Finally got some pictures. Having trouble with my original photo host (village Photos) so I am trying a new one out. Hopefully it works out.


Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Russ Nelson on October 12, 2017, 05:06:45 AM
The trench is easily visible on Google Maps:

Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Dana Deering on May 04, 2018, 09:53:11 AM
Hey Everyone,

   The FS&K has always been right up there on my two footer favorites list.  I was at Sheepscot over the Spring Work Weekend and had an all too brief chance to look at some of the FS&K related material that the museum recently acquired.  In the short time I got to read some of it I realized what a treasure trove of info we now have and combined with the what other guys on this discussion have discovered, it all points to a very fascinating story still waiting to be told, that never has been completely told.  I hope this discussion continues and jells into some kind of (book?) project to put it together and get the story out.
     I'll bet that somewhere in that New Sharon/Farmington Falls area there are more FS&K construction photos waiting to see the light of day, too.  Please, let's keep this going!


Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Stephen Piwowarski on May 05, 2018, 04:14:13 AM
It is fascinating isn't it? Equally fascinating to me was the Atwood proposed Maine Midland Railroad Co. It was intended to leave the FS&K at Farmington Falls and continue to Livermore Falls with a roughly 'J' shaped route.

Here are the articles of incorporation on pages 211-215:
https://books.google.com/books?id=9D44AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA213&lpg=PA213&dq=maine+midland+railroad+company&source=bl&ots=yTrKVTPPxw&sig=lRKm8AqGVklkXP1vs9MY_eDIUZA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwicstPE2O3aAhXExlkKHVvtAdYQ6AEIgAEwBw#v=onepage&q=maine%20midland%20railroad%20company&f=false (https://books.google.com/books?id=9D44AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA213&lpg=PA213&dq=maine+midland+railroad+company&source=bl&ots=yTrKVTPPxw&sig=lRKm8AqGVklkXP1vs9MY_eDIUZA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwicstPE2O3aAhXExlkKHVvtAdYQ6AEIgAEwBw#v=onepage&q=maine%20midland%20railroad%20company&f=false)
Title: Re: New FS&K Roadbed Locations Discovered Today
Post by: Dana Deering on May 07, 2018, 02:46:58 PM
That's funny.  I was reading about the Maine Midland while eating breakfast this morning.  It seems Atwood was determined, for a time, to connect Farmington Falls with either a standard gauge connection or a port.  He had stared a pulp mill there and perhaps that was his goal, to connect his business enterprises to the outside world via rail, who knows?  When the Farmington connection failed he moved to the Waterville and Wiscasset and tried to work from the other direction.  What I found interesting was that some rail was laid "at various points" between Farmington and New Sharon, which was later taken up by a Franklin Construction Co crew and taken somewhere.  The sources I've read aren't sure just where.  It would be interesting to see if any spikes could be found on the old FS&K ROW to verify where some rail was actually laid.  There are many questions still unanswered and I am hoping that the newly found documents will provide some answers.