Author Topic: Mystery Siding  (Read 13737 times)

Dana Deering

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Mystery Siding
« on: April 21, 2009, 06:19:22 AM »
Hey Guys,

     I recently bought Peter Barney's B&SR pictorial book and I came across something interesting in the section with the track maps, on page 103.  Take a look at the map showing the Hancock Pond Tank siding.  You'll see the passing siding but move your eyes northward.  The map shows a second sidng there, before the track reaches the road crossing, and a fairly long one, too.  I've never seen any photographic evidence of this siding and having hiked along the ROW on the shore of the pond I never noticed any physical evidence of the siding but I guess it's time to go back and take another look.  Even though some camps have been built along that section the ROW is still fairly evident.
     I wonder, if there was a siding there, what it was used for?  There was a siding just a short distance south at the original West Sebago Station site and that would have made a good location for loading most freight items.  I wonder if it was used for log loading since it was down hill from the road and would have made good use of gravity.  It is a new revelation for me, just when you think there is nothing new to ponder!

Mike Fox

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 07:10:11 PM »
Interesting indeed. I like the fact the mileage is listed below the siding as well as the length. Some even list when the siding was removed. Though the gravel pit siding was changed from time to time and should be more like 5.2. A nine car siding towards the road at Hancock pond should be fairly evident because they would have had to excavate there.
Mike
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Allan Fisher

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 07:53:29 PM »
I gave a copy of all the B&SR Real Estate Valuation Sheets to the Archives last fall - check them to show whether the siding is shown and if their was any extra property owned by the RR in that location.
Allan Fisher

Dana Deering

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2009, 06:35:25 AM »
I guess I'll have to take a look at those records this weekend, Allan.  I have seen the track maps at the Bridgton Historical Society which were made around 1915, I think, and don't recall seeing a siding at that location.  I looked at a photo of the Hancock Pond Tank, from the early years, that was taken facing north and you can see the target for the south switch of the passing siding and maybe the one for the north switch.  You can also see where the track begins to curve away from the shore of the pond toward the crossing but the copy of the photo is not sharp enough to see much detail in the distance.  I was hoping I could perhaps see a third switch target but the quality of the copy is poor.  Luckily the Sebago Historical Society has the original and two of my relatives are on the SHS Board, and the photo is from my mother's uncle's collection of BSR material that was donated to the SHS.  I'll be making a trip to their museum in the near future!

Dana Deering

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2009, 06:11:12 AM »
     I went up to our camp on Hancock Pond yesterday, 5/10, and on the way I took a quick look at the area where this siding is shown on the map.  There is a camp on the ROW near the spot but it looks like there is an area that was wide enough for a siding.  I didn't actually walk down to get a closer look but I will later on this spring.  I haven't seen the maps in the archives either, but it looks like a siding could have fit there. 

Mike Fox

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2009, 08:38:15 PM »
I'm still guessing from our conversation Dana that if there was one there, it did not leave the main at the angle shown. I like you theory on the log loading possibilities.
Mike
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Dana Deering

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2009, 08:32:58 AM »
Mike,

     I need to take a closer look.  It could be that the area was excavated when the camp was put in.  (This camp uses the old ROW from the crossing down to the water as a driveway!).  If it is railroad related then the siding would not have gone off at the angle shown on the map.  It would have been quite close to parallel with the mainline much like the passing siding at the water tank.  At least it gives us something new to explore.

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2009, 10:25:57 AM »
Yeah Dana, like we need a good reason to explore the ROW.  He, he.
Duncan

Dana Deering

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2009, 06:19:38 AM »
You mean it's not purely an academicexercise? ;)

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009, 03:55:12 PM »
Nope, and I'll bet it involves real exercise and quite a few willing exercisers.  This time, though, perhaps it should also require at least a few "Return To The Rails" tee shirts on some of the exercisers? 
Duncan

Mike Fox

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2009, 07:31:26 PM »
I'll be wearing mine on the next trip, if I can remember it.
Mike
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Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2009, 08:53:22 AM »
I wore mine on the trip to the spring work weekend.  Nice graphics.  Received quite a few looks at various stops but no one seemed to know what it meant.
Duncan

Dana Deering

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2009, 12:49:12 PM »
OK, I was able to look at the maps we have in the archives and they are copies of the same track maps we used on the last field trip.  There was no siding between the passing siding and the Hancock Pond Road crossing.  I hiked down to the spot on Sunday and confirmed that conclusion from all the evidence left on the ground.  Mystery solved.

Now if we could just find Cold Spring...

Duncan Mackiewicz

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 04:50:07 PM »
Dana,
Do we really need an excuse like that to keep walking the ROW....?
Duncan

Mike Fox

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Re: Mystery Siding
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2009, 08:33:18 PM »
I think we were in the right area Dana. Between the Beaver Dam (or Dam Beavers) and the big cut. I almost think that pipe that was in that area has something to do with it. The water seemed to come from no where on the East side and flow through the pipe to the West side. But definately worth closer inspection.
Mike
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