Author Topic: “….a nice eight miles an hour”  (Read 3097 times)

Roger Whitney

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“….a nice eight miles an hour”
« on: November 03, 2011, 12:44:22 PM »

        Opposite page 39 in the Moody book, he stated that the train was going “a nice 8 miles an hour”.   That was nearing the end of scheduled operations when he visited the Monson.
   But how fast did the Monson trains run before then?  Lets look at some timetables and do some figuring!
   June 4, 1906…..the timetable showed five trains a day.  Using the scheduled times and doing the math, this was about 18 miles per hour.  This is an average, as the flag stop at Days Crossing had to be figured in.  Even though the stop at Day’s couldn’t have been long, it took time to brake, stop and start again.  So probably Stanley Stevens, was doing better than 18 miles an hour.

June 4, 1906
Lv.   Monson       550      900     1200  355   625   
Arr.   Monson Junction   610   920   1220   415   645
Lv.   Monson Junction    618   947   1228   432   712
Arr.   Monson      638   1007   1248   452   712   
      18 miles an hour 

        The June 4 timetable had 61.6 scheduled miles per day running. And then there were unscheduled freights between the advertised.  Train crews had to be pretty busy.
   But times changed by 1925.  Only two trains were left on the schedule and they averaged about 10.5 miles an hour.   But there’s an anomaly here.  Most trains on this schedule took 35 minutes to reach the junction but the first train of the day took 55 minutes!!  What took so long?  Was there a lot of switching at the Portland-Monson siding just south of town?

May 1925  Timetable         
Lv.    Monson      835   320       
Arr.   Monson Junction   930   355
Lv    Monson Junction   1000   408
Arr.   Monson      1035   443
            10 miles an hour

   The September 1935 timetable shows two trains, but taking 30 minutes to go the 6.16 miles, a little faster than in 1925.   

Sept 30, 1935 Timetable
Lv.   Monson      825   240     
Arr.   Monson Junction    855   310
Lv.    Monson Junction   930   322
Arr.   Monson      1000   355
            12.32 miles an hour
   So it looks like the Monson never burned up the rails with fast running, like the SR&RL did on the Rangeley run, but they racked up some serious mileage. Maybe that’s why Moody said the 30 pound rails were in great shape as far as wear was concerned when they scrapped the Monson. Back in 1906, they ran 19,280 scheduled miles a year. Not bad for a six mile railroad!