Author Topic: Monson Railroad Feels The Competetion  (Read 3203 times)

Roger Whitney

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Monson Railroad Feels The Competetion
« on: December 08, 2011, 05:46:25 PM »

        November 5, 1912- Supt.Morrill writes to Mr. Geo Houghton PTM  of the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad concerning the number of automobiles in Monson. 
   Morrill states “There are five automobiles owned here and one of these is used for public conveyance.”  Rather terse comment.  Notice he emphasizes the public conveyance part. He goes on to say that he estimates that the Monson Railroad loses “something like 25 fares each week that the railroad would otherwise get if it were not for the automobile.”
   To drive it home a little deeper Mr. Morrill reminds the B&A that “your line would lose the same amount”.
   Henry Ford’s invasion of Monson happened soon after 1908.  By 1912 there were five autos in Monson. So how much loss to the railroad is that in dollars and cents?   According to Bob Jones, the price of a ticket in 1906 was 50 cents, an “unusual high rate” for Maine narrow gauge railroads.  A little math shows that, assuming the ticket cost the same in 1912, the Monson was losing $12.50 each week, really quite a sum for those days. 
         My grandfather probably contributed to this state of affairs as he ran a garage in Monson repairing cars for a short time.  I have documents that auto parts were shipped over the railroad to his business, so he may have made up the difference after all!