Author Topic: FS&K 2009 *PICS*  (Read 25368 times)

Bill Fortier

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2010, 03:52:41 AM »
Here's a map of the UME;F campus to help folks relate to the last two photos in the parking lot. (There are several; it's the one on the right, near the pond and park. The north-facing view is of the Roberts Learning Center (the building labeled 10a on the map).

A thousand-foot long trestle seems rather long to extend over just one street. Would bridging Front Street as well have been the reason? Here's a Google Maps link for reference.

Glenn Byron

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010, 09:02:55 PM »
Thanks for the UMF map.  It sure helps to see where the FS&K was trying to go. I've only seen the Farmington Chronicle reference to the 1000 foot trestle, so that's why I've used the number.  If you start where that bank I showed in the parking lot picture, it would take a lot of trestle to get over Main St.  The high bank had to be navigated anyway, so I suppose the trestle would gradually slope downward. No reference I have seen yet mentions bridging Front Street and though I haven't measured it, I'm quite sure the 1000 foot trestle would fall far short. Another look at those great Blueprints should show us exactly how this went. Nancy Porter (Farmington Historical Society Curator) just sent me a Chronicle clip not seen by me previously that gives us a peek at how close the FS&K really came to linking up with the SR&RL. How's that for a tease?  Building #8 on the UMF map is the Mantor Library, and inside lurks the answers to most FS&K questions.  We need more help with healthy eyes inside that building scanning those old microfilms to get this story out in the open.  More Later,  Glenn
« Last Edit: January 27, 2010, 09:29:18 PM by Glenn Byron »

Mike Fox

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2010, 01:48:21 AM »
I always thought the trestle approached from the right side of the map, where is says freshman parking. Going somewhere between the baseball field and the Tennis court. Cumbies is at the intersection of Front St. and Route 4, and I thought this is where it was supposed to go through.
Mike
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2010, 12:50:58 PM »
Mike,  I think you are right.  Zack, Marcel and I have walked around there a number of times and there is a grade running behind the Cumberland Farms and Giffords store.  It starts where the health center drive goes off the road that goes up to the freight house.  The grade runs south about 300 feet along the hillside and then disappears when it gets to the corner by the Cumberland Farm store.  If you follow the grade going north it leads right towards the former Maine Central freight shed.  I have always figured that this is the FS&K grade.  I hope Glenns research will confirm that.  It's great that so much new information has come out about this "almost but not quited" railroad.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 01:05:57 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Eric Larsen

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2010, 03:03:40 PM »
Some thought on the FS&K.

In reading what Dana said regarding the efforts of Atwood and the FS&K it focuses my attention on an alternative perspective that I’ve been kicking around in my head for a while.   This is not a “definite” truth in my mind, but instead a plausible theory based on common practices of the time that many rail fans do not consider.
As much as I hate to think of it this way, I’m not convinced that the FS&K was ever anything more than a scheme to shake down the Maine Central.  These schemes were quite common in New England during the railroad building boom from 1870- 1890 except most of them were done in southern New England, and they were done about ten years earlier than this particular course of events.  (So Attwood and the FS&K may have been too late to the game to succeed)    The idea was to propose a railroad that created a threat to an already established line and to get them to buy out the backers of the proposed “threat” in order to make it go away.  This worked well if the established line was wealthy, and had some small amount of competition to worry about.  Usually the people being paid off were the big investors from other places while the local investors were all taken for a ride after being whipped into a frenzy of railroad fever by the schemers.  So unlike the local investors that got sucked into these things, the people behind these scheme could not care less if the line ever was built.  They just wanted to blackmail the dominant local railroad into a buy-out, and then they would walk away with a bunch of cash in their pockets, preferably with as little up-front investment as possible.
I agree that Attwood was a smart guy.  I also think that the FS&K and the creation of the proposed 2 foot gauge system may have just been a scheme to threaten MCRR and get them to pay off the backers of the FS&K to make the “problem” go away.    As two foot enthusiasts, we tend to look at this whole thing as a fond “what if”, and as a serious effort.  We never stop to think that this was possibly just a big shake down.
Look at this scenario.  The original plan was to get the Maine Central’s attention by creating a two foot gauge through-rout that made their lines irrelevant by diverting much of the Franklin county traffic away from the standard gauge.  In those days the 2 foot gauge would have been a great prize for a Canadian Pacific, or some other large railroad to take over once it was completed.  This would be very much in the minds of the Maine Central’s management.   At first the plan succeeded in getting their attention but the plan was soon out flanked. (Legally)   Then,  Atwood began to build the line but not all the way.  He did not heavily invest in railroad equipment like locomotives or a bunch of cars.  He did just enough to keep the pressure on the Maine Central.   He was able to overcome some of the legal issues regarding the connection in Farmington but the Maine Central  kept the pressure on him too and made the project more difficult and  costly.  Attwood had to up the ante.  Many people forget that as the FS&K evolved, it took on several increasingly desperate phases.  The first and most well known plan was to simply connect the WW&F with the SR&RL, which was  the only plan that made any real sense.   As the scheme began to unravel,  Attwood and his investors began to look elsewhere to keep the appearance of the threat up.  They looked first at connections with the line from Rumford, and later at connections with the Somerset through the proposed Maine Midland RR instead of the WW&F connection.  All of these could appear like increasingly desperate attempts to get the MCRR to bite on a buy-out, and as an attempt to re-route the Franklin county traffic to any line but the MCRR.  None of these other plans made any sense as an operational railroad with the exception of the original plan of connecting the narrow gauge lines.  Eventually, all came to an end as nothing made any sense anymore and the financial backers in Philadelphia(?) and Attwood decided to move on to better prospects.  Who knows, perhaps they were in fact paid off in some way.  The financial backers for this project have never really been that clear to me though it appears that there were some big shots involved possibly from Phiadelphia?
Has anyone done any real research on who these backers were and what other things they had invested in?

James Patten

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2010, 01:10:26 AM »
To add to Eric said, I recall in one of Ellis Walker's Musings a discussion about the reason the Maine Central bought the SR&RL and B&SR was to prevent a link up of all the railroads from happening.  Of course the MEC didn't buy the railroads until about the teens as I recall, a good 15 or so years later.

Eric Larsen

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #21 on: January 29, 2010, 01:25:10 AM »
But the Maine Cenrtal did buy out the Somersett and the Portland and Rumford falls lines by the early 1900's. (Shortly after the buiding of the lines to New Sharon)  Both of those two lines were in play with the later versions of the Attwood plan.  By buying those two roads out, the FS&K to Rumford and the Maine Midland RR to Noridgwak schemes were both all done as they had no place to connect with MCRR compeditors.

Eric Larsen

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #22 on: January 29, 2010, 06:08:49 AM »
Does anyone knew when the rails from Farmington to New Sharon were removed?  (Year)

Glenn Byron

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2010, 06:20:18 PM »
Hi, Great to see so many others getting into the frey. How about moving some of this to a new thread not buried on a page 2 where so few find it?  I can't urge you all enough to see those Blueprints first hand.  Glenn

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2010, 06:39:37 PM »
Eric,  If you are asking about the MCRR, I remember reading somewhere that the line into Farmington was removed in the early 1980's.  It was after the branch and yard trackage was removed that the station was moved towards the river and enlarged.

Mike Fox

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2010, 07:31:52 PM »
More from Glenn Today.


"Hi All,  There has been quite a lot of discussion lately about the trestle shown in this photo.  This particular copy was included in a booklet titled " Maine Sesquicentennial, 1820-1970, Franklin County Edition".  It is also included in many other sources including the one I frequently refer to, "The Falls: Where Farmington Began In 1776" by Ben and Natalie Butler on page 18.  The copy included with this email is mislabeled as Sandy River, Waterville-Wiscasset R. R. Bridge, Farmington, Never Used, (Courtesy, Ben Butler).  The same photo is labeled in the Butler book as; Trestle Built On Intervale Road For The "Railroad That Never Ran" Built in Farmington in 1890's. Building shown was the "Little Blue" School dormitory, now the parking area for the Learning Center, UMF.  Exactly what we see here is hard to determine as we are looking at only a small portion of what we are told was a 1000' structure overall.  Hopefully some other views of this will surface.  We can, however, learn from what we have here.  First, the location.  I think those pictures Mike Fox placed on the Discussion Forum that I took at UMF Learning Center are just about right in locating this trestle and the dirt mound shown is about right to form the approach.  Second, Estimating Height and Width.  If the clearance is about 12' as shown, then about 60' of the trestle is all that appears in this picture, and the width of the span between the uprights is about 24'.  I don't think that is Main Street below as it appears untraveled, looks like it goes to the right of the building.  In all other pictures of Little Blue I've seen, Main Street would be to the left of the building, meaning that the Main Street crossing would be to the left of this picture and on another portion of the trestle. I also think the major artery into downtown Farmington would be much wider than shown.  Anyway, we have this shot so far, and a place to begin more discussion from.  Glenn  Byron"
Mike
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Mike Fox

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2010, 12:16:19 AM »
Photo Courtesy of Allan Socea
Mike
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Eric Larsen

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2010, 04:12:40 AM »
It is also interesting to note the tellegraph poles in some of these pictures that look like they follow the FS&K ROW.  The SR&RL had them on thier line but the WW&F did not.  If this had ever been built to a connestion in Waterville, I would bet that the WW&F would have gotten tellegraph too.  Another interesting "what if" - Perhaps John McNamara should ask for some "stimulus money" for this project.   ;D

John McNamara

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2010, 04:56:31 AM »
It is also interesting to note the tellegraph poles in some of these pictures that look like they follow the FS&K ROW.  The SR&RL had them on thier line but the WW&F did not.  If this had ever been built to a connestion in Waterville, I would bet that the WW&F would have gotten tellegraph too.  Another interesting "what if" - Perhaps John McNamara should ask for some "stimulus money" for this project.   ;D
Eric,

Thanks for the thought, but I'm getting too old (and/or lazy) to climb poles.

-John

Cliff Olson

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Re: FS&K 2009 *PICS*
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2010, 01:52:12 PM »
Great photos.  At first glance, the bracing (or whatever) on the left of the smaller photo looked like a modern-day international cross-buck!