W.W.&F. Discussion Forum

General Topics => General Discussion => Topic started by: Allan Fisher on October 17, 2008, 01:27:36 PM

Title: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Allan Fisher on October 17, 2008, 01:27:36 PM
We had a visit from a friend up Machias way, and he says that there is a long industrial track running off the Calais Branch running from Rt 1 to Machiasport that might be 55 to 65 pound rail

Is there someone that could go up and have a look-see, take some pictures and measure the rail.

Supposedly this rail is not part of the scrapping of the Calais Branch.
Title: Re: Sources for 60 pound rail
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on October 17, 2008, 03:23:48 PM
I work with digital topo maps that often have clues about forgotten branch lines. While I have never been to Machias in my life, I did find a couple of interesting things on the maps.

(Note: I have traced over the rail lines - or trails - with a red dotted line so to highlight the route.)


Map 1: Downtown Machais:
(http://www.spongeawareness.com/maps/RAIL01.JPG)
There was a branch that left the main line, curved southwest, crossed route 1 and ran parallel with it. The topo indicates a siding where I have noted on the map. There was also a shorter branch to the north. A historical topo from 1918 shows multiple tracks crossing Route 1 to a small yard/industry. Unfortunately, current aerial photo seems to reveal a good deal of construction in the area that may have obliterated these branches. Regardless, it might be worth a look.


Map 2: Whitneyville Industrial Track:
(http://www.spongeawareness.com/maps/RAIL02.JPG)
West of Machais is Whitneyville which was also served by a spur. Again, it's probably gone, but worth a look.


Where it gets interesting is maps 3 and 4. Neither actually show an official railroad grade. However, given their shape and the surrounding topographic features for fills and cuts, they very well could be. (They also could be trolley lines, which are often omitted from topo maps.) I checked our historic map collection and there is no indication on either of these lines that they were or were not railroad related. The first is my best guess to a branch from a point near Machais towards Machaisport.


Map 3: Machaisport Branch?
(http://www.spongeawareness.com/maps/RAIL03.JPG)
Unfortunately, as annotated on the map, this trail does not actually connect to Machaisport. Instead, it starts and stops, seemingly, in the middle of nowhere. Does anyone know if a railroad (or trolley line) ever used this alignment just south of Machias?


Map 4: Jonesboro Branch?
(http://www.spongeawareness.com/maps/RAIL04.JPG)
Finally, this line has the look of a spur, especially how it curves away from the Calias branch. However, it also turns into a dirt road (which is shown on the historic topo maps.)


I don't know if any of these help any would be rail-hunters.
Title: Re: Sources for 60 pound rail
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on October 17, 2008, 07:00:18 PM
Ooh, this gets real interesting.

According to:
http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Maine-Central-Railroad-Company-Company-History.html (http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Maine-Central-Railroad-Company-Company-History.html)

Quote
[...]One of the most important of these companies, the Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad Company, had constructed an eight-mile rail line to ship lumber from the burgeoning mills in Whitneyville to the shipping facilities at Machiasport. Like many other small railroad lines, the Whitneyville and Machiasport would soon become part of the Maine Central Railroad.
[...]
The Maine Central Railroad leased and would operate 163 miles of railroad track from Vanceboro to Bangor, Maine. Although the track of the Whitneyville and Machiasport was sold during the 1890s because of the decline of the lumber business in the state of Maine, additional acquisitions and leases of rail lines led to a continued expansion of Maine Central Railroad operations.


While I find it unlikely that rail on a line abandoned in 1890 would be still on the ground, the route I indicate in Map 3 would easily be part of an 8 mile line from Whitneyville to Machiasport. (Continue NW from where the trail ends and you bump straight into Whitneyville. Follow the natural grade from the other end and it leads into Machaisport. Total distance: 8 miles.)

More info on the Whitneyville and Machiasport:
http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/wmme.Html (http://www.catskillarchive.com/rrextra/wmme.Html)
This indicates that the line was scrapped in 1907.

Worth a look? Maybe...
Title: Re: Sources for 60 pound rail
Post by: Stephen Hussar on October 17, 2008, 07:31:48 PM
Great work Ed, thanks for that posting!

Over in New Hampshire, remants of the East Branch & Lincoln RR can still be found in the now dense woods of the White Mountain National Forest. Check out the harp switchstand below! No reason this couldn't happen in Maine too...like the Eagle Lake & West Branch. Did somebody say field trip?!

(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-8/342468/32bc.jpg)
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2003-8/342468/1b46.jpg)
Photographer unknown.

 
Title: Re: Sources for 60 pound rail
Post by: Mike Fox on October 17, 2008, 07:48:43 PM
I wish Machias was a little closer. I would love to go. I'll keep it in mind for a future free day.
Title: Re: Sources for 60 pound rail
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on October 17, 2008, 08:25:07 PM
It looks like the claim of rail in the ground can be substantiated!!!

According to a poster at:
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=36615 (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=36615)

He reports:
Quote
If you go southwest of Machias on Route 1 and turn left on Roque Bluffs Road, there's a track into the woods on the left just past the junction. I thought that this was the route of the [Whitneyville and Machiasport] railroad, but I could be wrong.

Well, some more Google-ing and I came up with a map of the railroad:
http://oldrailhistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=258&Itemid=293 (http://oldrailhistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=258&Itemid=293)

Which lines up perfectly with the topo map I offered earlier. Here is the full route:
(http://www.spongeawareness.com/maps/RAIL05.JPG)


So, it looks like a legitimate lead. However, who knows what sort of shape that rail would be in. It might not even be rail, because it appears that the W&M was laid with Strap Iron rail!

Incidentally, the Lion, the locomotive enshrined at the Maine State Museum, ran on this road.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Josh Botting on October 20, 2008, 06:41:02 PM
Allan,

I believe possibly the same man dropped off a book Washington County RR's on Sunday.

It has been over 15 years since I have been that far down east.  I should go.






Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on October 20, 2008, 07:47:30 PM
Would be a good trip to go on with a metal detector and a shovel. Dig some test holes. But I suspect that if the rail has been buried for that long, the rail would be so rusty, it might be prone to failure if we try to use it. The web or Base would be the first to fail. Still might be good to verify this. Then go from there.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on November 18, 2008, 08:52:12 PM
I have been doing a little reading lately. I have come to the conclusion that what rail is being spoke of here is not from the Machiasport Railroad. That railroad was built with strap rail 5/8 of an inch thick by 2 1/2 inches wide, laid on 3 inch joists. When the railroad ceased operations, all Iron including the rail was sold to a scrap dealer in Portland. So the Industrial spur theory is probably more accurate. Still worth researching more.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Josh Botting on November 19, 2008, 12:31:20 AM
Does anyone know if this is the same RR which the Lion came from?

jkb
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on November 19, 2008, 08:23:45 AM
Does anyone know if this is the same RR which the Lion came from?

Yes it is.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on November 19, 2008, 06:50:20 PM
Talk about rough track. Don't back up!!  You can clearly see the strap rail they used. Definately not 60 lb stuff.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on November 19, 2008, 07:15:57 PM
I think I read somewhere that they may have replaced some of the strap rail with traditional rails. Maybe the scrapper lifted the strap rail but (for some unknown reason) left some of the newer rail on the ground.

Interesting to speculate. I'm very curious if there is any truth to the rumor that there may be rail there - regardless of type or usability by the WW&F.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Josh Botting on November 22, 2008, 10:48:49 AM
The Lion  resides in the Maine State Museum, and was formerly located in Crosby Labs, at UMAINE.

http://www.maine.gov/museum/exhibits/mainebounty.html

see link to picture at the bottom of the page:

Title: Re: Lion restoration?
Post by: Matthew Gustafson on November 23, 2008, 10:39:54 PM
Maine's bicentennial arrives in 2020. That gives Jason a little over 11 years to restore the Lion to operation  ;)

(http://windowsonmaine.library.umaine.edu/objects/1-18.jpg)
What is that engine? Plus if thats a 2 footer then thats the bigest one ive ever seen! :o :o :o :o :o
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on November 23, 2008, 10:48:11 PM
Hi Matt,

The Lion is one of the oldest steam locomotives that still exists in America, and it can be found at the Maine State Museum in Augusta.

It's straying a bit off-focus, since the start of the thread is that there may be rails in-place along the Lion's former route. Rails that (possibly) the museum could salvage for use or trade.

All this can be found on the earlier pages of this thread, which you may want to investigate.

Thanks,

-Ed
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on December 15, 2008, 09:53:52 AM
Looking through my book Washington County RR, The Sunrise Route, I found pictures of when they were building (or rebuilding) this line in the 1890's. They looked to be using 60lb rail. So hopefully this is what they built that branch with.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Stephen Hussar on December 15, 2008, 10:05:21 AM
As an aside, a couple of weeks ago John Robertson took a tape to the state museum and measured the gauge...and it turns out to be 57 inches on the nose.  If the Lion were to be restored for the bicentennial, she could probably run on any standard gauge line in Maine.

The Smithsonian actually did this with the orginal John Bull in the 1980's, so it's not unprecedented.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on December 15, 2008, 06:37:35 PM
I might have found something. The only way to know will be go there and measure. Long drive but could prove to be worth it. Looks like some rail is left from Ayer Junction toward Eastport. This was light rail that kept the 44 tonners over that way until the line was abandoned in the late 70's.
  Also looking around Machias and Maciasport as well as Whitneyville found nothing on Google maps. The did not get off Route 1 with the camera car. Real neat to do a street view of the map. Great for reference.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on December 29, 2008, 08:09:46 PM
Mark this off the to do list. Courtney and I made the 587.1 mile round trip today. Actually we went all the way to Eastport with hopes of finding something. Nothing. Anything I put a tape onto was 5 1/4 inches. 85# rail. Too large. I found no rail in Machiasport though there was a siding of 85# left in Machias.  I'll post a few pictures of our findings later.
 
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on December 29, 2008, 08:18:34 PM
Thanks for investigating. I hope Courtney had her Nintendo DS well-charged.

Earlier in the thread, there was a report of rail off of "Roque Bluffs Road". Did you check there, too?
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on December 29, 2008, 08:32:11 PM
The one road I didn't go down. I was on the other side of Rte. 1 on the back roads. I never even saw where it crossed Rt. 1. I know the area now. Anyone want to head right over, I can tell you where to go. I did spot the grade on the other end with the remnants of some trestle work there. Just old Pilings actually.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on December 29, 2008, 08:50:33 PM
With the help of Google maps with the street view, I may have located the ROW on that road. Courtney is Not looking forward to that kind of travelling again. So if I went, it would be by myself. If we don't get any snow, maybe I'll head down next week for another peek.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on January 04, 2009, 12:52:34 PM
Finally got those pictures uploaded onto NERAIL. Go here to view them.
http://photos.nerail.org/show/?order=byrail&page=1&key=Maine%20Central (http://photos.nerail.org/show/?order=byrail&page=1&key=Maine%20Central)
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 05, 2009, 09:42:55 AM
Hi Mike,

Did you check the branch to Eastport? Someone posted some track charts on NERail and it looks like that had mostly 60# rail. If there is anything the scrappers forgot, (sidings, etc.) it might be of use.

See:
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2009010409505731698.jpg (http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2009010409505731698.jpg)
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2009010409534831850.jpg (http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2009010409534831850.jpg)
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on January 05, 2009, 11:46:23 AM
Yes. The only thing left of the Eastport branch is a runaround track at Ayer Junction that is 85# rail. I did find some rotting ties where it crosses Route 1. On the other side was a paved bike/pedestrian path to the Indian Tribal territory. Beyond there it was all dirt. Now, if you would like to see where I have to go now, go to google maps, Go to 48 Roque Bluffs Road in Machias. Click on the street view. On the West side of the road, there is a house with a "For Sale" sign on the front lawn. This is actually about #50 Roque Bluffs Road. If you look at the lawn just to the north of the sign, you will see what looks like rail in the lawn. It appears the clothesline crosses the tracks. Turning around, there is a bunch of trees. This is where I think the rail must be that was mentioned before.
Mike
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 05, 2009, 12:20:39 PM
I don't see the rail in the lawn using the Google Maps Street View at 48 Roque Bluffs Road.

However, check out: 175 Washington St, Eastport, ME - no rail visible, but there is a boxcar.

My topo maps show a number sidings and one large yard between Ayers junction and Eastport including two spurs that crossed route 190 in Quoddy. Street View doesn't show anything, but the only way to know for sure is to check.

Let me know if you want the topo maps showing the sidings, spurs, etc.

-Ed
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on January 05, 2009, 06:28:18 PM
I am sure all other sidings have been removed from The Calais Branch. Kind of surprised they left enough rail in Machias for the boxcar to sit on.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Eric Bolton on January 06, 2009, 02:28:11 AM
Sad pictures. Used to stay up that way. Always wished i had a motor car when I was up there. To late now.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on January 06, 2009, 06:13:09 PM
Well, you can still go West from Harrington right now. I did notice the Jointbars have been removed from the Route 182 crossing in Chesterville.

Now as for this supposed rail in Machias, I went again today and still found nothing. I went very slowly (I think I made the locals suspicious, especially when I kept stopping) up and down Roque Bluffs Road. No rail visible, no grade visible. Where it looked like something on one side, you turn to look at the other side and are looking at a hill. I am not sure there ever was anything there. My instincts were telling me the grade was closer to the river. I do know where it ended though. Looks a lot like some pilings we are very familiar with in Wiscasset. Taken in Machiasport near the river.
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-11/1225939/WhitneyvilleMachiasport.jpg)
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-11/1225939/WhitneyvilleMachiasport1.jpg)
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-11/1225939/WhitneyvilleMachiasport2.jpg)

The only other thing I found looked like this. Columbia, Maine Station area.
(http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2006-11/1225939/85RailatColumbia.jpg)
85# Rail set aside for someone. Not much wear on the head. Excellent looking rail, but too big for us. Too bad.

Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ed Lecuyer on January 07, 2009, 10:16:45 AM
Thanks Mike.

I guess we can officially close the thought that there may be rail available up that way. Thanks for doing such an exhaustive search.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on January 07, 2009, 03:38:58 PM
Hopefully the next time someone sees something, they can whip out a tape measure and check it for us.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Allan Fisher on January 08, 2009, 01:48:04 AM
I am not ready to give up on this yet - I have the phone number of the original informant - and will get it to Mike as soon as I can find it.

He was positive there was a lot of light rail - and he said it was not strap rail.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Ira Schreiber on January 08, 2009, 04:55:27 PM
Allan and all.
As a "mainline" railroader, 85# IS light rail. It all depends on what your standard is. On the former PRR, there was 155# rail, so 133# was light.
And don't forget that light rail also refers to electric traction... Many definitions and few with consensus.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on January 08, 2009, 06:25:19 PM
Yes Allan, I would be more than glad to contact him. I have been there enough now that I am very familiar with the area so even a vague description can lead me in the right direction. If there is something there, I'd like to find it. Even if I have to bring a shovel to throw the snow out of the way.
 
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Kevin Alley on April 19, 2011, 01:41:54 PM
Hello.  I am bringing this thread back to life becuase I work here at the University of Maine at Machias.  I just happened to be talking to a faculty member that knows a little bit about this.  As I started googling machias old topography maps I came across this forum. The Lion use to sit up here on campus I believe till around 1986 sometime.  The buddy I know his son use to play on it when it was up in the barn here. I heard all the rails and spikes were taken up by a guy in the Portland area. the faculty member is going to take me out back of the school to show me where the track ran.  I am taking my metal detector with me to see if I can find anything.  In the next few months during some free time I am going out there to explore.  He said he had walked from behind the college towards where it crossed the road on the Kennebec road.  We are going to walk the route from behind campus towards east machias.  He also told me he use to have it flagged off but that was 20 years ago and it is quite grown up.  I will take pictures along the way if I find anything and of places where the track ran.  Hope this sparks some interest because it has me.   ;D
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on April 19, 2011, 09:06:31 PM
You can still see the pilings I took pictures of down by the river. I forget the name of the road but if you turn right out of the campus and take the road on the right before the bridge, it will take you all the way to the pilings. Keep an eye out, they pop up quick.
  Enjoy. I traveled 5 hours to get there (one way) and wish I would have stayed longer than 2 or 3 hours.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 19, 2011, 11:26:38 PM
I did notice the Jointbars have been removed from the Route 182 crossing in Chesterville.
Wait a sec...
"Chesterville"?  ???
The Chesterville I know of iss down near Jay and Livermore Falls!
Does this mean there's TWO "Chestervilles" in Maine?
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on April 20, 2011, 09:03:32 PM
Yes, and two Eagle Lakes also.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Pete "Cosmo" Barrington on April 21, 2011, 01:24:15 AM
Oh, ok...
gawsh, Maine is a strange place!  ;)
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Bill Reidy on April 21, 2011, 10:15:44 PM
gawsh, Maine is a strange place!  ;)

Oh, not so strange.  I grew up next to the site of (originally) Agawam station, later East Wareham, then Onset Junction/Onset, in East Wareham, MA.  Not to be confused with any railroad stations in the town of Agawam, MA!
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Dave Buczkowski on April 21, 2011, 11:26:18 PM
The only train tracks in Agawam, MA are roller coaster tracks...
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Kevin Alley on April 02, 2012, 08:19:09 PM
I found the railroad today.  I walked about 300 yards along the railbed where it ran.  I took my metal detector out there and found all kind of strap metal.  There is so much metal still in the ground it was making my detector go crazy.  I am going to continue searching the area this spring as the frost is not all the way out of the ground.  If anybody ever wanted to swing through Machias I would show them where it was and find some railroad strap for them.  You will need to wear boots as the path is very muddy and must be able to hike about 3/4 of a mile to it.  But I am excited to finally find it and find strap.  It was neat to stand there and think that thing ran so long ago right where I was standing.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on April 02, 2012, 09:50:39 PM
Where was the section you found? I could not find it in Machias because of all the changes in town but instead found the end out near Machiasport. And the short section in Whitneyville. I just took an educated guess as to where the rest ran.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Kevin Alley on April 02, 2012, 11:53:02 PM
If you look at the map of Machias and the University, I left from the southeast end of the parking lot, where I work, and headed out about 1/2 mile or so.  The rail there would be closer to the east machias side of halfway between whitneyville and east machias. I wish I knew how to highlight a section on a map and attach it.  I plan on in a week or so to go back out with my camera and take a few photos.  I used flashearth.com  There is an old skidder trail to the east side of the campus all the way down to a beaver brook.  The railroad ran exactly east and west just above the beaver pond.  I started working my way west towards whitneyville until it got too dark.  My metal detector had tons of sign underground.  I found a bunch of strap and a few large nail like stakes.  I hope to come up with something interesting my next few trips back out there.
Title: Re: Sources for 60 pound rail
Post by: Kevin Alley on April 02, 2012, 11:56:14 PM
It looks like the claim of rail in the ground can be substantiated!!!

According to a poster at:
http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=36615 (http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=126&t=36615)

He reports:
Quote
If you go southwest of Machias on Route 1 and turn left on Roque Bluffs Road, there's a track into the woods on the left just past the junction. I thought that this was the route of the [Whitneyville and Machiasport] railroad, but I could be wrong.

Well, some more Google-ing and I came up with a map of the railroad:
http://oldrailhistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=258&Itemid=293 (http://oldrailhistory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=258&Itemid=293)

Which lines up perfectly with the topo map I offered earlier. Here is the full route:
(http://www.spongeawareness.com/maps/RAIL05.JPG)


if i use this map from earlier, it would be just above the H and I in the machias word along the yellow line.  thats where I was.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Arttu Manninen on April 03, 2012, 03:01:16 AM
I really hope you will find some rails that can be reused. Not far away from where I live there is an abandoned siding with 33kg/metre rails, a mile long, only used by commuting rabbits and the odd neighbourhood cat. Sad thing we are on the wrong side of the planet.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Joe Fox on April 03, 2012, 07:35:29 AM
99% of the time when railroads were torn up, they didn't worry about the spikes, because they are only worth about $.15 in today's dollar amount, so they just get left were they sit. Wonder how deep the rail is, and why it would have been burried and not scrapped.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Kevin Alley on April 03, 2012, 06:51:19 PM
the pieces i was finding were only like 6 inches to 2 feet long.  I am assuming when they did the removal, pieces that broke apart they just left behind.  They are scattered all over the place underground ranging from a few inches to over a foot below dirt.  I am sure there are longer ones still below but this is what I was finding for the hour I searched. I am going out this weekend.  I will take pics.  I only found a few of the spikes.  The most so far is the strap.  I will keep you posted.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Mike Fox on April 03, 2012, 08:11:31 PM
All the reading I have done says all they ever ran on was strap rail. The rail was only as good as the timbers it supported. I bet the straps you are finding are from broken straps that were replaced.
Title: Re: Whitneyville and Machiasport Railroad: Old rail still in the ground?!!
Post by: Kevin Alley on April 03, 2012, 08:39:55 PM
All the reading I have done says all they ever ran on was strap rail. The rail was only as good as the timbers it supported. I bet the straps you are finding are from broken straps that were replaced.


thats a possibility but its just weird because it is all over the railbed and not just off to the sides.  Who really knows how they operated back then but it is still neat in finding it. :)