Author Topic: Seboomook Lake & St, John RailRoad, S.L.&S.J RR  (Read 3531 times)

Ed Lecuyer

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Seboomook Lake & St, John RailRoad, S.L.&S.J RR
« on: June 17, 2009, 02:16:13 AM »
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Josh Botting wrote:
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I was just reading an old article on the S.L.&S.J RR, the RR to nowhere.   The article states that narrow gauge tracks were laid on standard gauge ties.  The narrow gauge was used to clear the ROW and to build the main line.  There is even a picture which claims to be the narrow gauge engine, which seems to have a flat car.

Does anyone else have any info on this RR.

Also, does anyone know if it would have been a common or rare practice to use a narrow gauge train to build the standard gauge lines in this state?

thanks

BM1455 replied:
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I beleive that this line was built with the grand idea of being part of the W&Q consept.  The W&Q was to go from Wiscasset to Pitsfield, the SL&StJ was to go from Pitsfield to Monson Jct, and the Monson or some other 2-footer was to continue on the Canada.....or that is what the original agitators were hoping for.  It obviously never happened.
I do not know about the NG part of the story but I would guess that that construction method is not a common way to build a RR.  Perhaps if it is true, the idea of the W&Q connection is what really caused the line to be built as a 2-footer.  The standard ties could have been in anticipation of being widened once the through line became a viable reality.  Such was a common train of thought when these 2 foot lines were constructed.
Eric.

BM1455 replied:
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Josh-
Disregard my last post....I was thinking of a different road.   Oops.  I was thinking of the S&MRR as the one that was possibly to link up with the W&Q.  I do not know of the other one that you spoke of but I was thinking that it may be Canadian?  I beleive that they had a number of 3-1/2 foot gague lines in the area.
Eric.

Mike Fox replied:
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When most of the railroads were built in Maine, there was no Standard gauge. there was atleast 3 or 4 different gauges. Maybe they built it one gauge and changed it when another railroad took over. When the Maine Central was formed, there was 2 different gauges between all the roads they bought. This could be the case here.
Mike

BM1455 replied:
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Found this online- maybe it is about the same line?

Carry Pond & Carry Brook Railroad - 2' - logging - closed - (ME) 2' Log 1914 1916 3 miles {X} source   Douglas Clark http://www.ngrrlines.com/id1.html

Location: From Carry Pond at Seboomook Lake to the Outlet of Carry Brook at Moosehead Lake, Maine with approximately 14 miles of mainline.  Equipment:  One 0-4-0ST locomotive, a dozen flat cars and a number of log bunks built by Portland Co.  Owners:  Boyd-Harvey Lumber Company.  Built 1911 and 1912.  Operated 5 years by Boyd-Harvey and 2 years by the U.S.R.A. (ostensibly for tie productions), in 1917, 1918.  Purpose:  To transport logs and cedar ties cut at the Penobscot watershed over to Moosehead Lake.  Sawmill located at woods end of sluiceway in which cedar logs were cut into RR ties and shipped out over sluiceway and ties traveled ¾ mile from Carry Brook to Moosehead Lake via the sluiceway which the cars emptied in to.  Dismantled 1918-1919 by John E. Lamb of Rockwood, Maine.  Personnel taken out by steam boat “Moosehead” of the Coburn Steamboat Company.  Mill and railroad equipment was removed via the scow hauled by the steam boat “Violet” and unloaded at Maine Central Railroad’s Kineo Station.  The engine was stored at Kineo for three years and then to places unknown.  Six flat cars were dropped at Greenville Jct. from the Lamb Scow and shipped over the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad to the Monson Railroad.  No info on disposition of other equipment. source Short & Narrow Rails (The Narrow Gauge & Short Line Historical Society)  Vol. I, Issue 3 dated Jan. 7, 1976  Bob Schlechter,  L.B. Walker stated info was contained in P.U.C. reports of 1918 and not in the annual commissioners reports.  Note there were corrections published in a later issue.  Posted by Chris Coyle on M2FQ Yahoo list 12/2004


The following information I quote from Alfred Geer Hempstead’s 1975 book “The Penobscot Boom and the Development of the West Branch of the Penobscot River for Log Driving.”  This is a great book for anyone interested in Maine logging history and it contains a fair amount of information on Maine logging railroads although this is the only 2-foot gauge line.  I do note some date discrepancies with the earlier information I posted from Bill Jensen’s newsletter.


“In 1914, a narrow gauge railroad was built from Carry Pond to the mouth of Carry Brook for the purpose of hauling railroad ties cut on the Penobscot Watershed into Moosehead Lake.  This was built and operated for two years by the Boyd Harvey Company.  In the fall of 1916, John E. Lamb, of Rockwood, took up the steel rails and moved them, together with the locomotive, cars, and all other equipment, to Kineo Station.  Mr. Lamb loaded this equipment on the scows and by means of his steamboat, the “Violet”, towed it down the lake.”


“In concluding this story of attempts to convey logs from the Penobscot River to Kennebec waters, mention should be made of the standard gauge railroad track laid in 1921 by the Great Northern Paper Company from Seboomook Wharf to Carry Pond.  This was used to transport the rolling stock of the Seboomook Lake and St. John Railroad from Moosehead Lake to Carry Pond enroute its own railroad.”  source - Chris Coyle M2FQ Yahoo list 2004/12/25

BM1455 replied:
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All this has suddenly got me thinking about other Maine two footers that were never built.  We all know of the FS&K but there was atleast one other that I know of.  The S&A RR (Skowegan and Athens) was a proposed line that Mansfield himself was working on, but he gave up on the idea and focussed on the other Franklin countly lines.  I remember seeing a stock certificate from this line and also maybe from another line with a similar name.  Anyone know more about these lines?
I also remember looking through an old New Hampshire Railroad comisioners book form the 1800's and finding the mention of a "Mansfield style two foot gague railroad" that was to be built between Greenfield, NH and Hillsboro, NH.  I wish I could remeber more about it but that was over 30 years ago.  That line would be a freelance modelers dream as it could incorporate two foot forneys and B&M 2-6-0's, along with Hillsboro's long covered RR bridge!  A great "what if" railroad.  Anyone know any more about this line?
Eric.

Mike Fox replied:
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Josh,
I actually found the story you were referring to. Very interesting. Must have done that because of weight and the ability to get things going quicker. I know when they built through CraWford Notch in New Hampshire they had tracks for their dumpcarts so they could haul the rock and dump it in the fill areas. No small locomotives but this provided a smoother surface than the rocks would have to a horse cart.
Mike

Mike Fox replied:
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Eric,
To bad that site didn't list the gauge. I recognize most of them but don't remember the gauges without having to look them up.
Mike

Mike Fox replied:
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I kept browsing and came across this little bit on neat info.

For Maine
http://www.loggingrailroads.com/me.htm

For the U.S. list
http://www.loggingrailroads.com/

Josh Botting replied:
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From my readings on the RR, it was always intended to be a standard gauge RR.  All of the pictures, except the one, are of standard gauge track.  The RR had a Climax loco.  Of course it never fullfilled its purpose of moving pulp from the St. John watershed to the Penobscot watershed.
There were actually 2 lines, I have the article with maps, at home.  But one went from the N end of Moosehead to a dock on I believe Carry pond.  And the other was the actual line.  The first existed only to get the equipment from a scow in the lake, to a scow in the pond.

Anyway, it is an interesting concept, as to why they would have needed STD gauge track, the RR was fairly short, 16.3 mi, and with low grade.  You would think, ideal for a narrow gauge?

James Patten replied:
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Probably because they could pick up used SG engines and equipment cheaper than narrow gauge.

MikeW replied:
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I notice that the listing of Maine logging railroads has the Ray Lumber Co included (that's my name listed as the source of info).  I have been working on a history of this over the past 20+ years.  You can see it online at
http://personalpages.tds.net/~lpwhite/Raytown.html.  If anyone out there has additional info, I'd like to hear from you.

Josh Botting replied:
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Actually James,

It says that they purchased a new Baldwin to work the line in the article, however it was never delivered to the line.
Ed Lecuyer
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