Author Topic: MNG Relocation Feelers  (Read 24540 times)

Zak LaRoza

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2010, 05:09:36 PM »
I think they should have the museum in Bridgton, and re-open the B&SR, as there is so much surviving equipment from that line.

Greg Fox

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2010, 02:44:47 PM »
New here to the group and this is my first topic I am responding to. I am curious why Monson is a possible site for relocation. Is it, and was it up in "no mans land" when the two footer was there? I can see the nostalgia of it, but is it practical? Location, location, location is always key, and I would suspect more visitors to the Portland area than Monson. Devout rail fans will come, but not the general public which is what the museum really wants, right? Just a thought. I like most here in Vermont visit "Downeast" Maine, not "east overshoe" Hopefully I don't offend anyone in Monson.
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John McNamara

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #17 on: October 25, 2010, 03:15:50 PM »
Location, location, location is always key, and I would suspect more visitors to the Portland area than Monson. Devout rail fans will come, but not the general public which is what the museum really wants, right?

Welcome to the WWF Forum, Greg! I think that you have identified, in a nutshell, the basic conundrum facing railroad museums. Good locations, where tourists come, are usually highly developed, and the land is expensive. Permitting difficulties and NIMBYs are also abundant. In the boondocks, land is cheap, and your neighbors are generally happy to see you. However, as you point out, visitors to the boondocks are few. I'm afraid that the difficulties encountered by the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad are a prime example of the consequences associated with a remote location.

I think that Bridgton, or some location in the immediate Portland area, would be their best choice.

Mike Fox

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2011, 10:27:41 PM »
Looks like they have finally chosen a location to further discuss and explore the options.

Bridgton News Story
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John McNamara

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2011, 11:04:24 PM »
I've heard that Gray has a stretch of ex-interurban right-of-way that might be available. Certainly the opportunity to run trains over a two or three mile right-of-way would be a major plus, and I think that was part of their stated requirements. Bridgton doesn't really have that. Also, Gray is on a major highway (Maine Turnpike) only about 15 miles from their current location. In terms of tourist access and economy of moving from their present location, that's a big benefit. On the down side, Gray has no narrow gauge significance and can hardly be called a tourist mecca (although that might make town officials more hungry).  All-in-all, I think they have made the best of a tough situation.

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Matthew Gustafson

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2011, 03:52:20 PM »
I think they should have the museum in Bridgton, and re-open the B&SR, as there is so much surviving equipment from that line.
I agree, Bridgton is already restoring a protion of ROW on the grounds, so why cant they move there. Plus Bridgton is also away from the Salty Air that Portland Maine has that if they move to Bridgton, the museums eqiupment wont suffer that bad from the elements.  ???
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John McNamara

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2011, 11:43:50 AM »
Bridgton is already restoring a protion of ROW on the grounds, so why cant they move there.
The flanger and tank car presently exhibited in Bridgton are on a short exhibition track built strictly for that purpose. This track is in the parking lot in front of the Bridgton Chamber of Commerce building. The real ROW is down behind that building, and to the best of my knowledge, has not been restored.  Worse yet, a new supermarket has been built nearby that affacts the ROW. I think there is only about 1/2 mile available between the proposed museum site and the supermarket location. The lack of "running room" is a major drawback to the Brigton site.

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Ed Deere

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2011, 09:37:35 PM »

My two cents would like to see the line return to Bridgton (just because many of the pieces came from there).  However the MNGM needs to do what is right for them to survive. I maybe wrong on this but I believe or thought the Hannaford store was set back far enough intentionally so that the right of way was not compromised. Also at one time, I thought discussions included traveling to a recreation area a couple of miles away in the short term. Then continuing on later with more track toward Sandy Creek.
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John Kokas

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2011, 07:41:14 AM »
I don't know the Bridgton area hardly at all, but if I was Hannaford (looking at this from a marketing perspective), I would try to figure out a way that I could encompass the line and a station on the property to bring folks from town in and also have a unique attraction that would bring people from the surrounding area and vacationers to my store.    Just Say'in
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Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2011, 07:03:59 PM »
Bridgton certainly gets my vote over any of the other sites. It gets an "A+" for its authenticity, and an "A" for being a popular tourist location both in summer and winter.  Community enthusiasm, from what I can see, rates only a "C".  As for Gray, which apparently wants to situate the narrow gauge on the old Portland & Lewiston Interurban Ry right of way, that's the only positive feature of that location. I give that a "D+". No, it really should be Bridgton.  It should have been in the first place back in the 1990s.  Seeing the two foot trains chuffing along the Portland waterfront under the high rise apartments and past the sewage treatment plant has always made my skin crawl.  I realize that "any port in a storm" is a good one, but there has to be a better place.  Seeing Bridgton lose out now is like seeing Edaville turn into "Wallyworld" a few years ago. 

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John McNamara

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2011, 08:26:29 PM »
A complication involving Bridgton is that the proposed site involves a school building and grounds that are the property of the local school district rather than the town. Exactly how the school district and the town are separate entities is a mystery to me (especially at tax time), but evidently some left-hand to right-hand transfer is required to formalize the town taking possession of the property, and this has not yet been done.

Richard "Steam" Symmes

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2011, 09:54:18 PM »
John, you and I both know that if there was a will to do it, it would be a done deal, just like that.  See my note about Community Enthusiasm rating above. From what I've read and heard, the local "powers that be" are only luke warm, if that, about having the railroad back in town.  Back in the 1960s, a promoter was trying to get a section of the SR&RL rebuilt between Kingfield and Carrabasset. He wanted to run it in conjunction with the winter ski industry up there. Had a plan to lease equipment from Edaville.  The locals all gave it lip service, but when it came time to put up some matching funds, and they passed the hat, the hat came back empty.  So the promoter packed up and set up a 3 foot gauge tourist line between Central City and Blackhawk, Colorado. Had no trouble finding support out there.  I rode the line in the 70s, and there was a big 3x5 blowup of SR&RL #6 hanging in the ticket office. I asked about it, and got the whole story that I've briefly related here.  So this local reluctance is nothing new.

Richard Symmes

John McNamara

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2011, 10:42:11 PM »
Indeed, reading the Bridgton News account of the recent meeting, it appears that the powers-that-be said, "If you (MNG) supply all of the money and all of the labor, we'll think about it." Hardly boundless enthusiasm. It often seems as if a lot of towns dislike tourists because they clog the stores, sidewalks, and streets. Tourist money would be acceptable if they would only just mail it to the town rather than actually showing up. ;)

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Wayne Laepple

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 07:36:24 AM »
I have been told that the MNG people feel they were severely abused by the Bridgton people and have no interest in returning for more of the same. On the other hand, officials in Gray have bent over backwards to be helpful, and while Portland says it is still interested, the city has made no effort to encourage MNG to stay put.

Matthew Gustafson

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Re: MNG Relocation Feelers
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2011, 10:18:12 PM »
So does this mean the MNG will be moving sometime in the near future?
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