Author Topic: Bridgton Junction  (Read 3942 times)

Ed Lecuyer

  • Administrator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,591
    • View Profile
    • wwfry.org
Bridgton Junction
« on: December 13, 2008, 12:56:35 AM »
MODERATORS NOTE:
Bridgton Junction has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
Some formatting may have been removed or modified from the original postings that appear quoted in this topic.
Information contained within this post may be superseded by more recent postings and conversations.

Mike Fox wrote:
Quote
In case anyone is interested, someone has recently cut off where the Junction yard used to be. It is now possible to see the yard layout better. I am waiting for the leaves to drop before returning again before snowfall to get some pictures. Please contact me if you need directions to the yard area or any other part of the railroad you would like to see for yourself.

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Hey Mike,

Let me know the date you plan to go there.  I'd like to join you.  I've seen the Junction Yard a couple of times in the bushes but it would be nice to see it with a clearer picture of just how things were laid out.

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
I'll try. Might be a last minute thing or something. One never knows.
Mike

Glenn Christensen replied:
Quote
Hi Guys,

I'm in Georgia - too far away to join you I'm afraid - but I have visited the Jct site (in fact the whole B&SR) many times.  The last time I was there (10+years ago), the oil transfer pipe was still there as were the remains of the coal shed, railbus #2, and the ornamental posts from the Jct depot - still painted red.  You can also see where the mainline fill was bulldozed away by Mr.Atwood's movers to make loading the B&SR rolling stock easier.

While you're there, be sure to visit the Hancock Brook stonemasonary arch.  Just about a mile up the old grade, just north of the site of Scribners mill.

Be sure to bring a metal detector!

As an old B&SR fan, I'd love to hear what you find!

Best Regards,
Glenn

Stephen Hussar replied:
Quote
Dana, which one of these lines did you take your mtn bike on? I'd love to bring mine before it snows! 

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Glenn, last time I was there over this summer I found an old post of where the coal shed used to be. I had to look at photos to find the right angle of what it was to figure it out. I must have missed the railbus.  I bet I thought it was an old abandoned car. I'll look harder at it next time. Will keep you posted. As for the stone arch, still holding. Still looks as great as ever. They don't build them like that anymore.
Mike

Glenn Christensen replied:
Quote
Thanks Mike!

It would be great to hear what you find.

Best Regards,
Glenn

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Steve,

I have biked from our camp at Hancock Pond all the way to Sandy Creek northward and from Hancock Pond all the way south to the crossing at the East Hiram Road "Buttermilk Falls".  I could have gone farther south but time didn't permit.  There is one place going south where part of the roadbed has been filled with debris but you can easily get around it to reach the Hancock Brook Arch, which is well worth seeing.
I had no idea that railbus 2 still languished at the Jucntion.  Can't wait to go back and explore sans underbrush.
Anybody know if there are drawings of the West Sebago Station somewhere?  When I was a kid and we first bought our camp lot on Hancock Pond what was left of it (three sides and part of the roof) were still standing at the spot where it had been moved to, on the corner of Hancock Pond and Swamp Roads right next to the old ROW.  Wish I had taken some photos!  The station was first located at the other end of Hancock Pond a few hundred feet south of the water tank.  There was a siding there, too where logs, apples, and other freight was loaded.  After the RR quit my great uncle bought the lot there and built a home on the shore.  He had a large section of the roadbed taken out but you can still see where the station sat and a portion of the siding.  The station was on the easterly sid of the tracks just before the railroad entered a neat little cut that is still there.
I have spent countless hours exploring the B&SR and now take my nieces and nephew on what we call "spike walks".

Dana

Stephen Hussar replied:
Quote
Thanks, Dana. I'm going to try to make it up there sometime in the next couple of months.

Stewart Rhine replied:
Quote
Hey Mike,  I was in the Jct yard 3 or 4 years ago.  It was over grown but we found the foundation for the engine house with the water pipes intact.  We also went up to Bridgton to look at the surviving coal trestle that is on the Harrison Branch.  It is not far from the area of the Bridgton Yard and can be found in the woods alongside the Harrison Branch.  The trestle bents are on concrete footers and use iron brace plates so parts of the trestle are intact.

Stewart

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Hi Stewart. Yes we found all that also. And Joe and I only live 15 minutes from Bridgton. We saw the trestle this summer. I never knew it existed until one of the books I have had a photo in it. Then the search was on. Amazing any of it is still standing.
Mike

Glenn Christensen replied:
Quote
Hi Dana,

I don't know of any plans of the West Sebago station, but if memory serves me, it looked very similar to the SR&RL's Powder Storage Shed in Kingfield.  It at least had the people door/ freight door trackside layout of the B&SR depot.  The SR&RL building was 10'4" X 20'4" and a drawing of it can be found in Gary Kohler's Two Foot Cyclopedia on Kingfield.  One big difference between the two was that the B&SR stucture had clapboards  and the SR&RL building was shingled.

The late Bob Outland gave me a copy of a B&SR property sheet that I believe lists the size of the B&SR building.  I don't know where it is at the moment, but please contact me off list if you need these for modeling purposes and I'll try to dig it out.

I recall the remains of a small shed type building just north of the site of the current Swamp Road crossing in West Sebago.  It was just a short distance north of where Swamp Road crosses today at what could have been an earlier alignment of it.  The "shed" was about 12"  high at the time and the remains may have rotted away by now.  I do remember wondering at the time if it could have been what was left of the resited West Sebago depot.

I also understand that the original Hancock Tank building still survives in the vicinity of Joe Bennett's cottage on Hancock Pond.  It was moved uphill (east) from the right-of-way to a spot up closer to Hancock Pond Rd and adapted to another purpose.

Best Regards,
Glenn

PS - the last I knew, the South Bridgton depot sign was mounted on a house on the hill in South Bridgton at the northwest corner of Rt 107 and Ingalls Road/Fosterville Road.  Is it still there?  My recollection is that the South Bridgton station and the West Sebago depot were very similar in design.

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Hi Glenn,

Thanks for the info about the West Sebago Station.  The remains you saw at Swamp Road were indeed all that was left of it.  You can still go there and clear the pine needles away and find the base of the building.  The next time I am at camp I intend to take some measurements.
When I was younger I was told that the Hancock Pond Tank was dismantled and used to build a camp somewhere near Joe Bennet's cottage.  The camp was pointed out to me and is just south of JB's.  Who knows?  People get their info mixed up and it could have been moved somewhere else.  When I was a kid there was a store in part of the Bennet camp and we would walk down and buy penny candy.  The flag holder that was used to flag trains to stop there was still attached to the porch but is gone now.  My mother's uncle used to have the Railroad Crossing sign from the Hancock Pond Road crossing hung over his garage door but it has since been donated to the Sebago Historical Society.
My grandmother was quite a fan of the B&SR and I have some of the photos she took.  She was friends with Ernest Ward, a one time brakeman for the B&SR who wrote "My First Sixty Years in Harrison, Maine".  I got to meet him back in the 60's and it was interesting to talk with him even though I was only about 10 years old!
Another question:  Apparently the B&SR owned a derrick car.  Are there any photos or drawings of it in existence?

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Dana, I remember seeing a picture of that someplace. It was in the background of a photo I think. Or I might be thinking of another RR altogethjer. I'll have to look. I have got atleast 7 books on the B&H so it will take time to find it, if I can.

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Glenn,

The last time I went through South Bridgton the sign was gone.  I know that a while back it was stolen and later recovered so maybe the owner doesn't want to risk losing it again.

Mike,

I have seen the photos of the West Sebago station in the Bridgton Books.  I need to get some measurements.  What is interesting is the station only had one window, and I can remember that from when it was still standing.  In one of the photos you mention the building seems to be in a spot different from the original location.  The track map that the Bridgton Historical Society has shows it in the original location on the southerly end of the Hancock Pond section along with the siding.  This was immeditaley before the railroad entered a cut (which is still there) as it swung down to the shore of the pond.  The photo I mention doesn't show the cut and I wonder if the station was moved northward to serve Camp Wabanki and then moved north again after the railroad was abandoned.  Who knows?

Dana

Glenn Christensen replied:
Quote
Hi Dana,

Based on the available video and phoyographic evidence I believe that the West Sebago station was indeed moved.  The best evidence for this is the Sunday River productions video, which shows the postmaster in West Sebago waiting at the depot, mailbag in hand, when the northbound railbus was pulling in.  The location does not look like the original West Sebago location, but rather the northeast corner of the Swamp Road crossing.

As to when the move might have happened, I would guess the 30s.  The reason for the move.  Probably for the convenience of the postmaster, since the mail was by that time probably the biggest reason for the station's continued existence.  The old station was also sited in a "non-level" location.  Transferring any kind of freight at Swamp Road would have been much easier.  The Hancock Pond road crossing was on the upgrade from the pondside and probably too near the camps for it to be a practical alternative.  Swamp Road might have been closer to the end of the postmaster's local delivery area as well.

Best Regards,
Glenn

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Hi Glenn,

I have never seen that video.  Now you've piqued my curiosity.  I have a nice photo of one of my grandmother's friends balancing on the rails on the upgrade to the Hancock Pond Road crossing.  You can see the crossing sign in the background, and it shows just how the railroad left the shore of the pond and veered off.  (My grandmother is the one who first got me hooked on the B&SR and fed my 2 footer addiction.)
I'm still wondering if the West Sebago Station was moved twice.  There is a photo in Two Feet to the Lakes that shows what is supposed to be the West Sebago Station and it is not near the cut nor is the Swamp Road anywhere to be seen.

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Dana, We have a copy of that video here. I'll get Joe to make you a copy and we'll give it to you Saturday the 7th.
Mike

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
To all,

If any of you fellows are interested in a caravan tour of the Bridgton line, please let us know here. I would love to follow along with someone who knows the layout.

Bruce

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Hi Everyone,

I got home last night after a very busy and very successful Fall Work Weekend and, not having gotten my fill of two footers (it's been over 40 years now and I don't think I'll ever get enough), I sat down and watched the Sunday River video that Mike and Joe Copied for me (Thank You!).  The footage is great but the narration is chock full of errors.  I saw the brief clip of the postmaster waiting for the Bus at what they claim is West Sebago Station but I think that is an error.  I think that is the South Bridgton Station due to its location on the East side of the track and to the fact that it has two doors on the track sid and the West Sebago Station only had one. Also, the road location would make sense for South Bridgton because the South Bridgton (Ingalls) Station weas on that corner of the intersection of Ingall's Road and the B&SR. They must have been picking up the South Bridgton mail.
I would be willing to act as a guide for at least part of a B&SR tour.  I am very familiar with the track from the East Hiram Road, just north of the Hancock Brook Arch, to Sandy Creek.  Perhaps others could fill in the gaps.  I think we could have a great time.
Here's a question:  I have explored around Deep Cut a couple of times looking for evidence of Cold Spring.  This was a spring that came up right in the roadbed during construction and was piped off to the side.  It became a regular unofficial stop for many trains.  I have not been able to find it.  I would think that the piping might still survive and I always thought it would border on a Two Foot spiritual experience to get a drink from it.Dana

Glenn Christensen replied:
Quote
Hi Dana,

The late Bob Outland showed me the actual location of Cold Spring on a trip to B&SR country some years ago.  It is actually located between Perleys Mills (mp 8.99) and Ingalls Rd (mp 10.44) stations on the east side of the roadbed, just beyond the point where the ROW straightens out for the run north to Ingalls.  As I recall,  Deep Cut is just south of the last Willett Brook crossing below Sandy Creek and well north of the site of the "official South Bridgton" (mp 12.07) station.

Best Regards,
Glenn

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
Have any of you guys, besides Dana, riden down most of the old B. & S R rr bed? Me and my dad have. It is a shame that nobody has started or tried starting a two foot gauge railroad recreating the B&SR because of how scenic it is. However, teenagers and adults now a days could care less about railroads. But they should remember that it is the railroad that made our country so strong, and made towns become as big as they are now.

Joe

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Hey Everyone,

Here's another question.  I have a photo of my great-great grandfather, Loren Merrifield, when he was a Section Foreman for the B&SR.  It was taken in front of Joe Bennett's cottage on Hancock Pond, which is where the Lakeside Section House was located for Section 2, which was his Section.  The photo shows him on a four wheeled pump car.  There is a later photo of this same pump car with different wheels on it found in Two Feet to the Lakes.  Anyone know what happened to it?  Or what happened to other B&SR handcars?  Did they go to Edaville?  The scrap heap?  Velocipedes are nice but a four wheeled rig would be easier to balance, I think.  Just more food for thought.  Oh, the Lakeside Section House appears in the Maine Two Footers film taken around 1937 but it was in sad shape.  By 1940-1 it had been removed or torn down.  According to the track maps that the Bridgton Historical Society has there was also a Section House at Gravel Pit, where there was also a long siding.  I wonder where the other section houses were located?

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Dana, One video or picture I forget which, shows the handcar that someone had lettered B&SR, WW&F, SRRL, KC and Monson outside of one of the buildings at Edaville. I thought it was something made up at a latter time but in someones railfan video of the '37 -'40 era, there is that car headed top speed south out of Bridgton yard. And they were cooking.  Lettered like it was in Edaville. Maybe it is at Maine Narrow guage now. It must still be around. Maybe the description will get someone thinking and let us know the wherabouts of that one.
Mike

James Patten replied:
Quote
That handcar was rescued by Lawrence "Brownie" Brown from the mudflats in Wiscasset and rebuilt.  It now is at Boothbay Railway Museum.  For the last few years we had borrowed it for the Annual Picnic.  Well now we have our own so we don't need to!

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
See, I knew I had seen that someplace. Thanks James

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
I'm trying to learn more about both the origins of the former Lawrence Brown handcar and the two foot narrow gage railroad that Mr. Brown had constructed at his home in Gardiner, Maine.

Years ago with others from the W.W. & F. Ry. Museum, I visited "Brownie" at his home in Belgrade Lakes. He told our group that the marine railway he had constructed from his property into the lake was built with rail salvaged from the Wiscasset trestle.

I'm curious if the marine railway was laid with the same rail used in his earlier operation at Gardiner, later transplanted to the Belgrade Lake property.

I have one photo of his track in Gardiner after a snow storm had been cleared from the tracks. I believe there are other photos of his railroad and just purchased another on eBay that also shows Gardiner and the handcar.

I think that within my Bridgton photo collection (of railfan excursion trips), that the same handcar is evident and being used by fans within the Bridgton yard.

After reading Dana's question about where the Bridgton handcars went, I too am now wondering.

ekmissal replied:
Quote
Hi,
I just found this photo of B&H engine #8 on ebay, item #180045383525. I thought someone might be interested in it.
Erik

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
I will have to take a quick look at that. Do you know where the photo wsa taken?

Joe

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
Ok, the photo was taken in Brigton Junction, in fron of the coal shed. The caption says that it was taken in 1941, and that is very possible. You can also see the platform, with the pole barn type roof, or what ever the technical name for it is. Talk to you later.

Joe

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Hi all,

I am reasonably sure that the ebay phot was taken at the time the B&H was abandoned or shortly thereafter.  Number 8 was moved to that spot in front of the coal shed and sat there for quite a while.  There are post abandonment photos taken from other angles that show her sitting there.  There is one photo in Ernest Ward's My First Sixty Years in Harrison, Maine that shows her sitting there surrounded by a lot of freight cars in various stages of deterioration.  I am not sure when she was moved from that spot.  I don't think she was moved into the engine house but I'm not sure.  The most striking thing to me is the condition of her paint.  I think she was repainted shortly before the B&H quit.  I have seen photos taken of her in the winter of 1941 (Feb, I think) and she didn't look as good as she does in the photo.  I had the good fortune to ride in her cab when she first came back to Portland.  She is a bit of a coal hog but I remember how smoothly she rode!

Dana

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
The only thing good about the 7 & 8 are their size and power. They can pull a decent sized train, without much problem, but as you said Dana, they can be great coal hogs.

Joe

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Joe,

7 is a lot easier on coal than 8 and 8 is tricky to fire.  In order to get her to steam right, at least this is what I was told when I was riding at Portland, you have to build a thick bank in the rear of the firebox and make it thinner as you reach the tube sheet.  I don't know if 8 has a petticoat pipe that is adjustable but that may have something to do with it.  I do know that Everett Brown of the B&H never liked 8 because she was not economical to run.  Why the Maine Central bought such a heavy locomotive for the B&SR in 1924, when the handwriting was already on the wall, is a mystery to me.  Too bad they hadn't bought SR&RL #9. She was a good steamer and would have suited the Bridgton's traffic demands.  Makes me sick just to think of anyone putting the torch to those beautiful Baldwins...

Dana

James Patten replied:
Quote
Somebody told me story about #8 at Edaville - could have Bruce or Jason, I don't know which.  Anyway it was during the Christmas lights season, which is when #7 and #8 usually ran.  #7 broke down somewhere out on the line with a full train.  #8 was behind it, also with a full train.  They coupled #8 up to the back of 7's train (with it's own train still behind it), opened the throttle, and eventually #8 moved the entire train along and returned to the station.

It would be a better story if I could remember the number of cars.  I think it was in the 20s.

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
James,

Probably 9 passenger cars (including caboose) per train, much more than that and the consist became too long to fit the Edaville station platform.

The locomotive would need to spot on the water tank and not have too much of the train down grade of the station, and still out beyond the home signal guarding the approach.

At times in Edaville's operations a gas-mechanical lokie would be kept on the facing point switch (snack bar siding) and assigned the duty to give the heavy Christmas trains a push out of the station. When conditions warranted, one of the G.E. diesels would be assigned this duty and sometimes the pusher unit would go beyond the outbound yard limit, shoving for all its worth.

The longest train I ever had was 9 cars and that was the maximum that G.E. diesel no. 2 could handle up Cranberry Valley grade, through Ball Park curve and up Mount Urann. I had a full tonnage train one day and was ordered to push another full tonnage train in from MP-3 to Edaville station. Ahead of my engine was boxcar No. 13 with a generator set inside. What a feeling to know that all the stresses of movement were passing through that cars framing as we pushed the cripple in.

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
That is interesting. The only bad thing is though, the longer your train with those locomotives, you seem to just about tripple your coal usage, from what I have been told.

Joe

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
No doubt Joe... the more work to be done, the more coal to be consumned.

For a brief period in the 1980's, Edaville was in a rather unique position with regards to coal. Affiliate (Bay Colony Railroad) brought in standard gage hopper cars of coal to a dealer having a siding in Hanson, MA. The coal was offloaded and then trucked the final (short) haul to Edaville.

The cost of coal was certainly noticed at Edaville, but that is what the crowds came for...coal smoke, steam and the Christmas display.

Interestingly, Linwood Moody wrote a cost comparison on coal burning steam locomotives and diesel-oil fueled, diesel-electric locomotives. He wrote this comparison while employed as a station agent on the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad at Brooks, Maine.

Moody cites the efficiency of the G.E. 70 tonners, although he laments the demise of the venerable steamers.

I'll bet he'd have fun today comparing the differences between the Edaville G.E. 23 ton diesel-electric and the oil-fired Hudswell-Clarke steam locomotive now in use at Edaville.

I've been assigned to both machines, they are two distinctly different locomotives...

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
I was watching a tape on the Maine Central Mountain division, I know this has nothing to do with this topic, and it took 3 2-8-2 mikado's to pull a 50 car freight train up to Crawford notch, and it took about 5-8 deisle's to pull a 50 car freight train up Crawford Notch. One thing good about steam, is you have more horsepower, however, this isn't all ways the case.

Joe

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
Joe,

There is a spot near the top of a long grade, just east of Hiram where an east-bound freight came to a stop. A four axle diesel must've sat spinning its wheels with too heavy a train for the grade. You can see where the wheels have ground right into the rail head and left "craters".

I walked the whole area there a few months ago looking for where the Bridgton Junction was. I was way (east) of the junction location.

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Bruce,
Is that below the power plant or in that area. Or near the swamp. East of Hiram would be towards Portland and was wondering where they are. Might be something worth looking at.
Mike

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
That sounds interesting Bruce. I wonder how many spot were like that on the Mountain Division from Bartlette, up to Crawfords.

Joe

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
Mike and Joe,

The wheelspin "craters" I found in my search for the Bridgton Junction. I remember parking along the highway at a scenic overlook by the power plant. I went down the steep embankment and hiked all along the right of way. Somewhere near the top of the grade are the wheel spin marks.

I'll be going back out there again at some point and will endeavor to get better directions for you. I found these fairly easy, and for me (not being able to find the junction) they must have been easy to spot...

I've hiked much of the Crawford Notch trackage back in the 1980's, and never saw rail with slippage marks on the head like this. These are from a diesel and maybe during the period of the employee strike just before Springfield Terminal. An east bound to Portland just couldn't pull the hill and slowly ground her wheels.

Joe Fox replied:
Quote
Ok. Thanks for the info Bruce. Talk to you later.

Joe

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Thanks Bruce.
I might go get a shot of them before snow flies. I once saw a rail about 2 feet long in a Model Railroad shop in Georgia that had a wheel mark in the head. Worn almost through the head. Came from a yard, possibly Macon, Georgia, where some hot head engineer thought he could pull everything he could couple to. And Just sat there and ground away. Then I think they got rid of him. That is the story, or as close as I can remember, that I got from the shop owner. Have never seen one since.
Mike

James Patten replied:
Quote
I'll point out a couple of spots at the WW&F where I've spun my wheels on the 52.  Only in winter when trying to plow.

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
I won't tell Dana
Mike

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
James,
Do they look like this. This is fairly significant I think. I suppose I should put a little info. Bruce told me about these. They are about 1 mile south of the Junction. By the Hydro plant. Looks like someone had trouble trying to climb a little grade. I imagine there must have been a 10mph restriction at the time and done after the line closed in 1983. Not much has traveled over them.



Mike

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
I'll title this one "DANA WAS HERE"

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Here are a few more of Bridgton Junction. The top one is one of the supports for the coalshed. Still amazingly sound. Another shot of this can be seen in my earlier picture with the coal on a stump. Above the coal and to the left.


This is the turntable pit with the mainline in the background. Both pics.




More to come.
Mike

Steve Zuppa replied:
Quote
Mike,
Really nice photos.Dana and I walked a lot of the ROW in November about 5-6 years ago, armed with "Busted and Still Running".We, too, were amazed at just how much is still around.
Merry Christmas.
Steve
_________________
"Keep to the code!"
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Here are a couple more photos. In the first photo, I'm standing approximately on the switch to the turntable/enginehouse looking at the turntable. It can't be seen but it is just through those trees.



In this second photo, I'm standing where I think the yard started. In the back of the little pines to the right were the remains of the coalshed. This is where #8 sat until it was moved to Edaville. The turntable pit is to my right. Looking south/south west. And you can see how the recent cutting has opened this up a bit.
Mike


Stephen Hussar replied:
Quote
Very cool. Great pictures, Mike! Has there ever been any effort to rebuild any of this? Seems like a natural.
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Not yet. I believe it is all in private hands now and a lot of the right of way is either camp roads or recreation trails.
Mike

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
Mike,

I visited the Junction today and am grateful for the photos you have posted. They help explain the remains and provide orientation.

What can you tell me about the automobile parts in the yard (old railbus?) and the row of cut granite blocks that appear to have been moved from an abutment and piled alongside the grade.

Thanks,
Bruce

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Bruce,
My reference has been Two Feet to the lakes. I have other books to refer to but that seems to have the most overall information. In that book, page 208 has a photo that was taken after abandonment. the Maine Central was rebuilding their bridge over the Saco River (see page 206). I think the stones came from there. I took pictures of them while I was there. Also the same photo on page 206 shows a good shot of the coalshed. At the base of the wall you can see the posts that held the wall up.
As far as the metal parts, they might be the remains of railbus #2. Glenn Christensen is the one that pointed those to me. Where the parts are, according to old hand drawn maps, there was once a turntable there for the MEC. I have yet to see a picture of that anywhere so I don't know how true it is.
And did you notice the remains of the old telephone poles up where the station used to sit? I have compared their location with photos in the book and have real rough idea where the station was.
Mike

Bruce Wilson replied:
Quote
Mike,
I have been pouring over my Bridgton books, photos, etc. Unfortunately I don't have this material with me and I didn't have a chance to grab the photos before going to the Junction yesterday. Your photos and information has been real helpful in the meantime.

I like your theory on where the granite blocks came from and I'll look for coal shed photos when I get a chance to pull my books out.

I didn't see a frame under the remains of the automobile, nothing that would indicate rail usage. I do recall reading that a railbus still existed on the site. I wonder why it was left behind? Some of the parts are quite sound. One of the doors shows collision damage. Maybe the hulk was shoved by an excavator or log loader to move it and damaged in the process many years ago.

Perhaps one of the old-time narrow gage guys might have written something about the old car in an article, such as "Narrow Gauge Junction" that Richard Andrews wrote (back in the 50's) for Railroad Model Craftsman magazine. Sure will be interesting to try to find more on this.

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Bruce,
I also was wondering about the absence of a frame. Could have been a parts source for the other railbus. It sure would be interesting to find that out.
Mike

Glenn Christensen replied:
Quote
Hi Guys,

To the best of my knowledge, the "old car" is indeed the remains of old railbus #2.  About 30 years ago I visited it when it was still pretty identifiable.  The doors were steel clad, but wood framed.  I still have one of the old hinges.  One of the doors was later rescued by a local resident and presented to the Bridgton Historical Society.  I assumed at the time and still believe that the undercarriage was removed and cut up by the scrappers.  The rest left in situ because it was just sheet metal over a wood frame and not worth the trouble to recover.

I know Bob Outland showed me the remains of the pipe that was used at the Junction to offload the contents of standard gauge tankcars.  It actually ran under one of the dual gauge sidings, which was set at a higher elevation than an adjacent track.  At this point, the bottom of the standard gauge tank was higher than the fill line on the narrow gauge car.  Drain pipes roughly the diameter of a fire hose, could be found in the bottom center of tank cars in those days.  The last I saw, the n.g. tanks still have them.  The n.g. tank cars were positioned on the lower track alongside.  The valves were opened and gravity did the rest.

Oh, to clear up one issue.  The standard gauge turntable was shown in a map that appeared in "Busted and Still Running".  That is the only place I've ever seen it.  I was never able to find any signs of it on the ground at the site, so my belief is the table was never actually built.

I recall on a trip to the Junction many years ago, the turned awning roof supports from the depot were still at the site.  These can be seen in photos showing the narrow gauge side of the station.  The original bright red paint was still in evidence at that time.

Best Regards,
Glenn

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
So Mike,

You found my pile of coal, I see.  Linda and I went to Hiram in October and climbed Mount Cutler.  When we came down we decided to hike the MEC south to Bridgton Junction and we poked around a bit in the yard.  I found the remains of the railbus, the turntable pit, engine house foundation, etc.  The little bit of clearing that was done there did help with perspective.  The granite slabs that Bruce mentions were left over from the MEC's bridge replacement project that took place rith around the time the B&SR was abandoned.  Steve Z. and I went in there once and you could see that those blocks have sat right in the same place since the day they dropped them there.  We need to organize a filed trip so we can pool our tidbits of knowledge.  I think it would be a lot of fun.
I have never seen any evidence of a standard gauge turntable at the junction.  There are remains of one at Sebago Lake Station.  Unfortunately the Portland Water District has fenced off much of that area so you can't get in to poke around.
I would suspect that the wheel burns in the rail were caused by a very low speed restriction on that section (the line was very bad in the Baldwin area) and a heavy train, maybe one of those ballast trains, who knows.

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Good news. NE Rail has Put the Bridgton & Saco River on their site. I'm adding photos as quick as I can. I would love to see others.
Mike

Stephen Hussar replied:
Quote
Quote
We need to organize a field trip so we can pool our tidbits of knowledge.  I think it would be a lot of fun. Dana
Me too! Is there any room in the schedule for an annual "field trip" day, or could it be scheduled the day after spring work weekend?
_________________
*                *                    *                   *
"Give me enough Swedes and whiskey and I'll build a railroad to Hell."
- James J. Hill

Bill Sample replied:
Quote
Thanks for posting all those photos, Mike.  I've done some informal exploring of the line but never got to hoof it around the Junction.  If a field trip is ever planned it would be worth a drive from Connecticut for me as I'm sure I could learn a lot from "the local experts."  Judging from the photos I imagine any exploration would have to be done during the non-foliage season.
Although the B&SR/B&H easily gave us the greatest amount of preserved equipment from the "Maine Five," it sure lost out as far as remaining physical plant goes.  Are there any intact buildings outside of a shed? Only the Kennebec Central seems to have faired worse.
Another thing I have thought about was how there was a push by Edgar Mead and a few others to keep the line going as a tourist railroad right at the end in 1940-41.  Had the town of Bridgton supported this maybe it could have happened - then the B&H could have become the world's first "preserved railway"- a title now rightfully claimed by the Talyllyn in Wales.  And had that happened, what would the Maine 2 Foot preservation scene be like today?

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
The only "structure" I have found is the remains of the coal trestle in Bridgton. And that is fading too. Be sure to go to http://photos.nerail.org/show/?byrail:1:Bridgton_&_Saco_River
to see more photos. As of this moment, I still have a dozen or so more pics to put on but haven't got them ready yet. Maybe by the weekend. And that is all south end pictures. I haven't been north of Barker pond with my camera yet.
Mike

James Patten replied:
Quote
I do wonder at times if the B&H had made it to WWII if the USRA would have forced the B&H to stay open, just in case or for shipping of goods.  Once the war ended it might have been at just the right time for the tourists to start coming in and making it really popular.

Wayne Laepple replied:
Quote
There was no USRA during World War II, James. The USRA was formed after the US entered World War I to force the railroads to cooperate with the government, though its efforts are recognized for the most part to have been a failure.

The federal government actually hastened the abandonment of some railroads during World War II when rail and equipment was needed for other locations. Here in Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna & New York RR lost out on a stay of execution because the government wanted its rail for use at an arsenal under construction nearby. And let's not forget the military's confiscation of locomotives from the Denver & Rio Grande narrow gauge (K-27 2-8-2's) and Colorado & Southern for use on the White Pass & Yukon.

Whether the gas and tire shortages would have helped the B&SR is questionable. Don't forget what happened to the Monson in the middle of the war.

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Bill and All,

My grandfather told me that one of his friends lived (and still lives) in the old Harrison Station.  The Harrison Branch is the only section of the B&SR that I haven't explored much but if we take our field trip we'll have to check out this rumor.  If it's true then it would be the only station left standing that I know of.  North Bridgton station was torn down a few years ago, I think.  Twin Lakes disappeared back in the 80's as did what was left of the West Sebago Station.
If you check out Mike's thread about the Hancock Pond Tank you will see pictures of the tank house converted into a camp.  We are also beginning to wonder about another structure that was north of the water tank that may have had some railroad use at one time.
But you are right, not much survived, which is a shame.  Thankfully the roadbed is still largely intact.

Dana

Mike Fox replied:
Quote
Dana,
Finally found a reference to the derrick car. It was small and only cost $185 in 1890-91. I don't know how accurate the info is in TFTTL because it says in the same paragraph the there is an arch at the head of Barker Pond. And one thing I was wondering, you mentioned Back Nippin in another thread. Doesn't a snowmobile trail go that way. I think I remember a sign down there.
Mike

Dana Deering replied:
Quote
Mike,

Yes, there is a snowmobile trail that goes through Back Nippin'.  It follows the old Back Nippin' Road and comes out on Route 107 at one end and at the B&SR roadbed at "Chessey's" on the other.

Dana
Ed Lecuyer
Moderator, WW&F Forum