Rumford Branch

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Maine Central Railroad Rangeley branch, Livermore Falls branch, Farmington branch and Lewiston branch in 1917.

The Maine Central Railroad Rumford Branch is a railroad line in Maine now operated as part of the Pan Am Railways system. The Rumford Branch leaves the mainline at Leeds Junction and continues northwest up the Androscoggin River valley, passing through Livermore Falls and terminating at Rumford. The branch comprises the remaining trackage of three earlier branches:

Traffic over the Rangeley branch decreased after adjacent timberlands had been harvested. Summer passenger trains between Oquossoc and Kennebago were replaced in 1933 by a railbus built in the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad shops.[2] The Rangeley branch north of Rumford was abandoned and dismantled following damage in the 1936 flood. The southern end of the Farmington branch from Leeds Junction to Crowley Junction on the Lewiston lower branch was dismantled in 1938. The southern end of the Rangeley branch from Rumford Junction to Canton was dismantled in 1952. The last passenger train to Farmington was in 1957.[3]

Route mileposts[edit]

History[edit]

The Androscoggin Railroad was chartered in 1848 to build a Portland gauge railroad to Farmington, Maine from Leeds Junction on the Portland gauge Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad. The railway was completed to Livermore Falls in 1852, and to Farmington in 1859. The railway was then extended south from Leeds Junction to Brunswick to connect with the standard gauge Kennebec and Portland Railroad in 1861. Conversion of the Androscoggin Railroad to standard gauge that year initiated a series of court battles ultimately eliminating Maine's Portland gauge rail network. Maine Central leased the Androscoggin Railroad in 1871, and converted its own line to standard gauge in 1873. The southern end of the Androscoggin Railroad adjacent to the Androscoggin River from Brunswick to Crowley Junction became the Lewiston branch of the Maine Central, while the remainder of the line to Farmington became the Farmington branch.[3]

Farmington Branch[edit]

Lewiston Branch[edit]

The Buckfield Branch Railroad was chartered in 1847 to build a Portland gauge railroad to Buckfield from Mechanic Falls on the Grand Trunk Railway. The railway was completed to Buckfield in 1849 and reorganized as the Portland and Oxford Central Railroad in 1857. The railway was extended to Canton in 1870 and reorganized as the Rumford Falls and Buckfield Railroad in 1874. The railway went into receivership in 1878 and was converted to standard gauge. The railway was reorganized by Hugh J. Chisholm in 1890 as the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway. The Portland and Rumford Falls Railway was extended north to Rumford Falls in 1892 and south to connect with the Maine Central Railroad at Rumford Junction near Auburn in 1893. A branch line was completed from Canton to Chisholm in 1897 and extended to a connection with the former Androscoggin Railroad at Livermore Falls in 1899. The Portland and Rumford Falls Railway chartered a subsidiary Rumford Falls and Rangeley Lakes Railroad in 1894 to access aboriginal forests north of Rumford. The Rumford Falls and Rangeley lakes reached Oquossoc in 1902. Maine Central leased the entire line from Rumford Junction to Oquossoc in 1907, and extended it to Kennebago. This line became known as the Rangeley branch when formally merged into the Maine Central in 1914. The branch from Canton to Livermore Falls was designated the Livermore Falls branch.[3]

Rangeley Branch[edit]

Livermore Falls Branch[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Maine Central Railroad (1917). Hand-Book of Officers, Agents, Stations and Sidings. Edwin B. Robertson. pp. 9–11. 
  2. ^ Jones, Robert C. (1980). Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume II - The Mature Years). Sundance Books. p. 298. ISBN 0-913582-18-2. 
  3. ^ a b c Johnson, Ron (1985). The Best of Maine Railroads. Portland Litho. pp. 25–26,41, 53, 55,76–77&111–112. 
  4. ^ a b United States Department of Transportation (1974). Rail Service in the Midwest and Northeast Region. United States Government Printing Office.