The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) > Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad

Farmington Yard Today


Steve Klare:
So what is Farmington Yard like today?

When I was 20 years old, I went up to Franklin County for the first time and I did some exploring: I went to all of the major towns on SR&RL and found all of the yards and stations I could.

Farmington was great: being that the Maine Central was still there it was very easy to still imagine it as the SR&RL junction. Access was very good: I walked up into the old transfer yard and the raised grades needed for the SR&RL's  lower floor heights were still obvious.  I found a line of really shredded looking old ties off in the weeds. I kept a small piece: it smelled of cedar. I whittled it down to On2 size, brought it home and made a tie in my own SR&RL.

My timing turned out to be very good: the next summer when I went back, the Maine Central was gone.

A couple of years later a Spring flood took down the Maine Central's steel bridge over the Sandy River.

I became very involved in the museum line for several years, but usually bypassed Farmington and headed direct to Phillips.

Since then they've built a movie theater (Narrow Gauge Cinemas) on the former yard. I think they moved the station house too.

It's nice of them to honor the SR&RL this way, but  have the changes obliterated it as a historic site?

Is access as good as it once was?

Mike Fox:
Hi Steve.
Station has been moved back away from the road at some point, not sure when. See the first picture below from Google Maps.

The second photo is looking toward the wye and grade to where the bridge was.

Steve Klare:

They really DID pave paradise and put up a parking lot!

I'm glad I got up the Franklin County when I did: there was more to see there then than a few years later.  For example, I got to see Kingfield station still in place before it was torn down.

It's still good to stand in these places: it helps you to orient yourself when you are looking at old photos and film footage.  I went to Bridgton Junction about 5 years ago and found not much but mosquitoes and "No Trespassing" signs.  I have Sunday River's "Bridgton and Harrison" and there's a scene with a train passing the camera with a steel bridge in back. After I went there all of a sudden I realized the train was coming north out of the junction yard and the bridge in back was where the Maine Central crossed the Saco River. (I'd been looking at this footage for maybe 30 years at this point!)


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