Author Topic: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!  (Read 3211 times)

Ira Schreiber

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #15 on: March 13, 2017, 04:23:08 PM »
Worked fine for me. Thanks.

Bill Sample

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2017, 06:10:19 PM »
Worked fine at home for me - thanks for sharing your info on this, Paul!

Paul Levesque

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2017, 08:33:31 PM »
Yes, oh yes, this shows the line as surveyed from Weeks Mills to Winslow AND, the river crossing, and the planned route through Watervile to connect with the FS&K!!!

I will let you know when google maps is updated, until then, please post your theories on where the railroad would go to connect with the FS&K at the intersection of Messalonskee Avenue and Western Avenue in Waterville to the known end of track in Winslow at about 20 Winslow Road in Winslow, about 200' south of the Route 201 / Lithgow Street intersection.

You can make your own map in google maps (My Maps) or write a brief description here.

Until then...

P. Levesque
Fairfield, ME

James Patten

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 08:41:23 PM »
The Messalonskee stream joins the Kennebec river at the Elementary School/Thomas College properties, which is too far south of the Winslow station.  I don't know exactly where the Winslow station was, but I always envisioned the WW&F/FS&K generally following what is now the "new" road and bridge from Kennedy Memorial Drive to the other side of the Kennebec.  That means they would have needed to cross the Messalonskee, which isn't a very large stream between KMD and Western Ave.

Mike Fox

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2017, 01:21:47 AM »
So, finally got a chance to look and analyze the map. How sure are you on the proposed location? The reason I ask is I have noticed a line on google maps that goes in almost the same direction, headed for Tyler Corner. Couls this have been the grade? Or was there an electric line that went through to Tyler Corner? No line mentioned in my abandon Railways books..
Mike
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Paul Levesque

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2017, 01:47:40 AM »
James,  The grade crosses the Carter Memorial Drive, off Dunbar Road is a long driveway pretty much dead on the ROW (44.527234, -69.635843).  The station is at 44.532687, -69.636946, the larger bridge pier is at 44.533224, -69.637777, and the pier closest to the river is at 44.533436, -69.638005.  Copy and paste those in to google maps to get a rough idea.  A look at the 2 foot contours and it makes a lot more sense.

Mike, I am assuming you are referring to the Tyler Corner in Oakland at the sharp dogleg on Route 137 at East Pond Road?  I will get more out in time but that is actually an old road to Ten Lots, a section of Fairfield / Oakland, that is marked on the plans as "The Road to Waterville".  A few of the older maps show a road through here as well and it is referenced in the Maine Railroad Commissioners report, the year passes me right now, of grade crossings from New Sharon to Waterville.

I have some more work to do to get this through Waterville.  The sketch of the topography Messalonskee and Kennebec rivers make sense, some of the streets are a little wonky and i suspect some names were swapped and dead ends made.  There are also no measurements until you reach the Winslow side of the river.  Also of interest is that station marker (distance measurement) 00+00 (0 feet) is at the Waterville Station on Western Ave and not measured from Weeks Mills.  There are a few other neat things on this map too that are different from the famous 100'+ map the state has.  (Also found another original copy and a black and white copy of that one of the W&Q)!!!

P. Levesque
Fairfield, ME

Philip Marshall

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2017, 05:11:53 AM »
it is referenced in the Maine Railroad Commissioners report, the year passes me right now, of grade crossings from New Sharon to Waterville.

The proposed FS&K grade crossings are listed in the Maine Railroad Commissioners' Report for 1900, pages 198-200. It looks like the old road Mike is asking about is crossing No. 15, described as "The highway leading from Smithfield to Waterville by the Ten Lots at a point about 1000 feet westerly of the Somerset Railway crossing" (which I take to mean the FS&K was going to cross the road 1000 feet west of where the Somerset Ry crossed the same road, which looks about right from Paul's map).

(FYI -- and this had escaped my attention until recently -- There is also a list of all the W&Q grade crossings between Wiscasset and Burnham in the Railroad Commissioners' Report for 1894, pages 41-43, submitted by none other than Fred Fogg!)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 05:13:57 AM by Philip Marshall »

James Patten

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2017, 11:13:39 AM »
Paul, your coordinates have really helped, I didn't realize how far north it really was.  Looks like Bizier Street might have been a part of the ROW.

I'm guessing the line would have wanted to avoid the cemetary, so they would have been aiming north of that.  There's a pretty good sized bluff that the cemetary sits on, so the line would have needed to gain a fair amount of height.  They would have needed to cross Silver St/the Messalonskee somewhere around the Notre Dame church/Wilson Park.

Mike Fox

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2017, 04:35:21 PM »
Makes sense Paul. I could find no reference to it.
Mike
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Paul Levesque

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2017, 09:35:21 PM »
Philip:  Thanks, I was far too tired last night to look, but when I get a chance I will find the links to the Google Books pages or my .pdfs if I can find them, to reference the Commissioners reports.  There are a few for Maine online, and there are two that describe the FS&K, one from Farmington to New Sharon, and another covering the portion from New Sharon to Waterville.

Everything I have found is from long forgotten portions of the public record, and lets just say that the storage methods being employed leave much to be desired, so I am starting to float the idea of digitizing and preserving records with one entity, and hope to get going on the other two next month, at least to develop a plan.  The key tip that I had wanted to chase down that lead to this was the constant mention in the standard Maine Narrow Gauge books of your choice, and the commissioners reports, was something along the lines of "as filed with the county commissioners" or in the deeds "along the line of stakes as filed with the county commissioners".  So I thought, well, let's go find these elusive county commissioners.  So...that's where some of these are to be found, but...one simply does not walk in to an office an view the records, no, one must dress like Indiana Jones and explore every back room of county government until one fines a room looking a little like this...



with no search catalog.

James:  Yes, in a way.  That entire development was farm land at the time of the railroad and I THINK, but again will have to check, it was subdivided in the 1940's, and I will post more details later, but there is a slight 'ravine' between Bizier Street and Route 201 / Augusta Road and the ROW would have crossed 201 on a curve.  If you were walking on the track railroad north as you cross the ravine into the Winslow yard to your left there would be an embankment, about 6'-10' that the curve would follow across the road and straighten out as it came upon the first of the three granite bridge abutments.

Mike:  Google "UNH Historic Maps" find the one that covers Oakland / Smithfield / Fairfield for the 1890's, makes it a lot easier to follow the old descriptions from the reports.
P. Levesque
Fairfield, ME

Mike Fox

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2017, 10:51:35 PM »
Thanks Paul and I will. Keep up the excellent work.
Mike
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Philip Marshall

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2017, 11:45:41 PM »
Yes, thank you Paul. This is such a fascinating topic.

While looking for the list of FS&K grade crossings in Farmington, I came across the Railroad Commissioners' decision on the FS&K-SRRR connection in Farmington in the Report for 1901, pages 129-147. (FYI: The same volume has a list of Waterville & Wiscasset RR grade crossings in the towns of Winslow, Vassalboro, and China on pages 149-152, and a petition to allow the condemnation of land for the Winslow station on pages 159-160.)

The Farmington decision is a fascinating read, and what amazes me is how close the Commissioners came to actually giving permission for the connection. Basically, they agreed with the FS&K that it had a legal right to connect with the SRRR in Farmington, but the plan the FS&K submitted seemed to be based on the misunderstanding that the south end of the Farmington yard was the legal terminus of the SRRR. However, if the FS&K could just find a way to reach the SRRR north of the Farmington yard, it was free to do so.

Incredibly, the Commissioners noted that if it had been the SRRR petitioning for a connection with the FS&K on the same alignment, and not the FS&K petitioning to connect with the SRRR, they would have actually approved it, because the SRRR was an existing tenant on MEC property! They also suggested a possible compromise arrangement (entirely voluntary) that would have involved the MEC erecting a new freight house south of and in line with the passenger station to open up a clear ROW down one side of the yard, but the MEC doesn't appear to have been interested in cooperating. It all came so close to happening!

Jason M Lamontagne

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2017, 12:16:07 AM »
Paul,  your work is fascinating and beyond appreciated.  That you had that simple epiphany as to where to find this is genius.  Of course they're there.

Did you happen to get my pm?

Phillip,

I noted that same thing about the commissioner's decision - that they essentially invited the Sandy River to apply for the same thing the FS&K did: right to take land through MEC station grounds.  The commissioners said they were compelled to rule against the FS&K as there was a law on the books (still is:  Maine Statutes, Title 23, Part 7, Chapter 607, squiggly symbol 6017) prohibiting a railroad corporation taking by eminent domain the station grounds of another.  The commissioners studied at length whether the affected area of the MEC owned lot was being used for "station purposes" and concluded that it was.  It was true. 

BUT- they then said if the Sandy River applied for the same thing, their decision would be different, because the tracks already existed.  This proved there was room for them.  The Sandy River never applied. 

The old WW&F forum has an FS&K snippet relating a newspaper article from (I think) 1899.  In it, the FS&K had just physically cut in a switch to the Sandy River track south of the MEC yard to a short lived lumber. I'll.  He newspaper reports it was done with SRRR superintendent Beal's blessing.  The next day, several SRRR and MEC officials, including Beal, inpsected the work, after which the SRRR removed some of that track so as to physically sever the FS&K and SRRR. 

Guy Rioux's first book lightly mentions the Farmington connection after the WW&F took over from the FS&K.  He gave one telling snippet- a letter from the MEC counsel to a SR official (maybe clerk?  Don't remember now) asking to speak with him at his earliest convenience about 'this proposed Wiscasset and Franklin connection.'

I'm sorry to say it, but I think the failed connection was probably more so a Sandy River Railroad snub than anything.  It's probably still fair to blame the MEC, but they acted through the SR, not the railroad commissioners.  It seems that since the Maxcy takeover, the SRRR and MEC lines started getting blurred right away, with late 1880's discussions of standard gauging to Stong.  That possibility alone would have discouraged the FS&K connection.

Ok that was long, sorry...

See ya
Jason

Paul Levesque

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #28 on: March 25, 2017, 05:47:02 PM »
A few nodes of interests:
All elevations are approximate and measured above sea level unless noted.

MEC @ Winslow overhead crossing: 55'
WW&F Ry Station Grounds @ Winslow: 84'
W&W Ry Station Grounds @ Waterville (Western Ave): 120'
Top of tallest existing bridge abutment @ Winslow: 73'
Height of Winslow abutment: ~19.5'
Required clearance above MEC @ Winslow: 21'
Required space between bridge piers: 85'


P. Levesque
Fairfield, ME

Philip Marshall

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Re: FS&K Ry - A little teaser!
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2017, 06:35:33 PM »
As further evidence of how close it came to being built, I came across a railroad map published in 1901 that shows the FS&K.

Produced by the New England Railway Publishing Co. in Boston, a firm best known for their pocket-sized "Baby Pathfinder Railway Guide", the ABC Pathfinder Railway Guide Map shows the entire US railroad system on two big poster-sized sheets, each roughly 29 x 44 inches, one for the eastern US and one for the western US. It's apparently well known among collectors of old maps, but I hadn't heard of it until I saw a copy of the eastern US map listed for sale recently (and since sold) by an antiquarian map dealer in New York:

http://www.geographicus.com/P/AntiqueMap/EasternUnitedStates-railwaypublishing-1901

Zooming in on Maine, you can see there is a dotted line between Waterville and Farmington -- the FS&K! Wiscasset to Albion is labelled as the WW&F rather than the W&Q, but the Winslow branch is another dotted line, apparently still unfinished. The level of detail is amazing, with even tiny flag stops like Chelsea on the KCRR included. (See attachment.)