Author Topic: The W&Q's Burnham Junction B&ML crossing  (Read 2113 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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The W&Q's Burnham Junction B&ML crossing
« on: April 06, 2009, 02:13:23 AM »
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The W&Q's Burnham Junction B&ML crossing has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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James Patten wrote:
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For those of you that have wondered where the W&Q was to have crossed the Maine Central's Belfast Branch (now the B&ML), I have a link to Google Earth, below.

Basically, what looks like a road approaching the railroad at an angle is the W&Q's former roadbed going north from Albion.  You can follow the roadbed back south, and it goes through some seriously desolate areas.  This was pointed out to me one time when I took the train ride out of Unity.
http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=burnham,+maine&ie=UTF8&t=h&om=1&z=16&ll=44.684171,-69.422607&spn=0.011366,0.026951&iwloc=A

Glenn Christensen replied:
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Hi James,

I agree.  I have looked at all the satellite photo sources and it is possible to follow the location of the route almost all the way back to Albion.  I lose it between the crossings of Mill Stream and Fifteenmile Stream, but I suspect the line followed the west bank of the first and the south bank of the latter.

Best Regards,
Glenn

ChuckGage replied:
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Hello, all!
Thanks, James, for alerting me to this forum!

As you know, I have been searching for the answer as to if, and where, the WW&F line extended beyond the crossing pointed out by James in the sat-photos.

I seem to recall (and I may be in error) the line extended beyond the B&ML line to eventually cross what is the "Troy Road" which is the main east-west vehicle road including the two vehicle bridges.  As we know, Maine Central would not grant crossing rights but I could see how the builders at the time would have had a hiccup in the line, kept on building and then waited for the paperwork to get done.  It never happened, apparently.

As a child, I seem to recall when traveling from the west to the east (toward Troy) that I crossed the main vehicle bridge and then crossed a set of tracks that appeared abandoned.  Never once did I see a train on those tracks.  As a kid, I was curious as to where these tracks went.

I have written to an older gentleman in Burnham who apparently worked the rails back then and who has lived in Burnham most of his life.  If I get an answer, I will be sure to post it.

In looking at the satellite photos, it seems unlikely the current roadway north of the crossing was the train line as the angle is too sharp.  However, following the projected line from the crossing northward, one can see an almost natural line that follows up through to Troy Road (or am I seeing things?).

Does anyone recall the WW&F line crossing the Troy Road?

Thanks,
Chuck Gage

James Patten replied:
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Chuck,

I agree - if you follow the line across the B&ML tracks, you can see what looks like a section of graded right of way at the south end of the farm fields, looking like it's curving a little to the north.

If you continue up the river a little ways, there's a section along the west side of the river that looks like a railroad grade, but this could be a road built for field access - or it could be a road built on abandoned RR grade.

Of course the plan was to connect with the railroad line to Harmony (the Sebasticook and Moosehead, maybe?) and regauge it, then continue north to Monson.  The WW&F would have had to cross the MEC again wherever the line to Harmony connected to the MEC, one wonders if the MEC would also have put up a fight there.

Allan Fisher replied:
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Had contact with a landowner that wants to get rid of the railroad easement on his property. His property is alongside the river and about halfway between Burnham Jct. and Pittsfield.

Allan Socea stopped by the museum today and told Zack & I that the railroad was graded for at least 6 or seven miles north of Burnham Jct and is easily visible today except where farmers have plowed it under in their fields.

Reuben Bailey replied:
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Does anyone know what the angle of the proposed crossing was?  It appears to be a very shallow angle on the sat pictures.

The line to Harmony left the MEC in Pittsfield, headed through Palmyra, then Hartland, along Great Moose Lake/Moose Pond, and into Harmony.  The roadbed is easily visible on Google Earth.
Ed Lecuyer
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