Franklin and Megantic Railway

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Franklin and Megantic Railway
Locale Maine
Dates of operation 1884–1908
Track gauge 2 ft (610 mm)
Length 14.5 mi (23.3 km)
Headquarters Strong
Map of the Franklin and Megantic Railway circa 1906.

The Franklin and Megantic Railway (F&M) (original name "Franklin and Megantic Railroad") was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge railway in northern Maine that branches off from the Sandy River Railroad (SRR) at Strong and served sawmills in Salem township and in the town of Kingfield.

History[edit]

The F&M was constructed in 1884 to reach aboriginal spruce forests on the south slope of Mount Abraham.[1] The 1.8-mile (2.9 km) Mount Abram branch was constructed to Soule's sawmill in 1886.[2] In 1894, the F&M formed the 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge Kingfield and Dead River Railroad (K&DR) to extend rails up the Carrabassett River from Kingfield to Carrabassett. At that time, the F&M owned 2 locomotives, 7 box cars, 21 flat cars, 40-foot (12.19 m) combination car #1 built by the Laconia Car Company in 1885, and 20-foot (6.1 m) baggage car #2 (renumbered #4 in 1903) built by the Portland Company in 1887.[3][4]

The company was renamed to "Franklin and Megantic Railway" in 1897 due to financial problems. The owners of the Sandy River Railroad purchased controlling interest in the F&M in 1898.[5] In 1899 the line was extended to a large sawmill in Crockertown (later called Bigelow), as close to the Canadian town of Megantic as it would reach. Twenty new flat cars were purchased from the Portland Company in 1900.[6][7] Four of the new flat cars and one F&M box car were destroyed when the sawmill burned in 1903.[8] F&M received two 40-foot (12.19 m) long passenger cars from American Car and Foundry Company in 1903. Coach #2 and combination #3 were built in a joint order with an identical coach (SR #8) for the Sandy River Railroad.[9]

In 1906 a temporary trestle was constructed over the Carrabassett River to the Hammond Field log yard where timber from the west side of the river was loaded for transport to the Bigelow sawmill.[10] Log trains shuttled back and forth to the sawmill until the trestle washed out in November 1907. Logging service was rough on equipment, and 22 F&M flat cars were scrapped the following year.[11] A crude passenger shelter was constructed adjacent to the main line for woodsmen involved in the logging. Rapid transformation of the landscape during this brief period of activity evoked memories of a local American Civil War veteran who named the shelter Shiloh Number Two.[12]

F&M locomotives were renumbered in 1905 to avoid confusion with Sandy River locomotives frequently working on the F&M.[13] The F&M was merged into the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad (SR&RLRR or SR&RL) in 1908.[14] The Maine Central Railroad took control of the SR&RL in 1911.[15]

Franklin and Megantic Railroad (Main Line)
Line length: 48
Track gauge: 2 ft (610 mm)
48,5 Bigelow[16]
47,0 Hinds[17]
40,5 Huston Brook[17]
38.8 Carrabassett[18]
37,3 Spring Farm[18]
34,5 Hammond Field[19]
Carrabassett River[20]
30,9 Sanfords[19]
30,1 Reed Brook[21]
28,5 Ledge Brook[21]
25,1 Kingfield Pit[22]
24,4 Huse[22]
23,9 Kingfield, Maine[23]
20,0 Graffams[24]
16,8 Stevens[24]
16,3 Mount Abram Junction[25]
13,7 Salem Pit[25]
12,8 Salem[26]
9,9 Summit[26]
7,7 Hillside[27]
1,6 Starbirds[27]
0,0 Strong, Maine[28]

F&M combination #1 became SR&RL #11[29]

F&M coach #2 became SR&RL #21[29]

F&M combination #3 became SR&RL #14[29]

F&M baggage #4 became SR&RL #6[29] (but was scrapped and replaced by a new baggage-RPO #6 in 1912)[30]

Fifteen of the 28-foot (8.5 m) flat cars built in 1900 were renumbered for SR&RL; but the remaining F&M freight cars were scrapped by 1911[31]

Geography[edit]

Milepost 0: Strong - Connection with the Sandy River Railroad.[28]

Milepost 1.0: Starbird's sawmill.[27]

Milepost 6.2: Summit - Passing siding and covered water tank at the high point between Strong and Kingfield.[26]

Milepost 8.0: Salem - Agent's station and sawmill. The original covered station burned in 1899 and was replaced with a new building in 1901.[26][32][33]

Milepost 10.2: Mount Abram Junction - Branch line to Soule's sawmill.[25]

Milepost 14.9: Kingfield - Covered agent's station, 3-stall enginehouse, and hardwood turning mills.[23][33]

Milepost 19.2: Bridge over Carrabassett River. (on K&DR extension)[20]

Milepost 21.5: Hammond Field. One-half mile branch line to a log loading yard. (on K&DR extension)[19]

Milepost 24.1: Carrabassett - Agent's station with stage connections to Stratton and Eustis until railroad extended to Bigelow. (on K&DR extension)[18]

Milepost 30.2: Bigelow - Agent's station and sawmill (on K&DR extension)[16][34]

Locomotives[edit]

Number Name Builder Type Date Works number Notes
1[35] B.V. Meade[35] Hinkley Locomotive Works[35] 0-4-4 Forney locomotive[35] 1884[35] 1664[35] Renumbered #2 in June 1905 and became SR&RL #3 in 1908[35][36]
2[35] S.W. Sargent[35] Baldwin Locomotive Works[35] 0-4-4 Forney locomotive[35] 1886[35] 8304[35] Renumbered #3 in June 1905 and became SR&RL #4 in 1908[35][37]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing Company 1976 p.47-50
  2. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.56
  3. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.64-65
  4. ^ Railroad Commissioners' Report State of Maine 1895 p.78
  5. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.66
  6. ^ Railroad Commissioners' Report State of Maine 1900 p.85
  7. ^ Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.230
  8. ^ Railroad Commissioners' Report State of Maine 1903 p.64
  9. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.112
  10. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.116
  11. ^ Railroad Commissioners' Report State of Maine 1908 p.135
  12. ^ Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.326
  13. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 pp.114-115
  14. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.121
  15. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.142
  16. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.390
  17. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.389
  18. ^ a b c Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.388
  19. ^ a b c Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.387
  20. ^ a b Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.65
  21. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.386
  22. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.385
  23. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.384
  24. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.383
  25. ^ a b c Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.382
  26. ^ a b c d Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.381
  27. ^ a b c Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.380
  28. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.362
  29. ^ a b c d Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.136
  30. ^ Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume II - The Mature Years) Sundance Books 1980 p.355
  31. ^ Railroad Commissioners' Report State of Maine 1911 p.241
  32. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.98
  33. ^ a b Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years) Sundance Books 1979 p.259
  34. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 p.113 & fig.46
  35. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Jones, Robert C. Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume II - The Mature Years) Sundance Books 1980 p.350
  36. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 pp.114-115 & fig.39
  37. ^ Crittenden, H. Temple The Maine Scenic Route McClain Printing 1976 pp.114-115 & fig.40

References[edit]

  • MacDonald, Robert L. (2003). Maine Narrow Gauge Railroads. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-1179-X. 
  • Moody, Linwood W. (1959). The Maine Two-footers. Howell-North. 
  • Crittenden, H. Temple (1976). The Maine Scenic Route. McClain Printing. 
  • Cornwall, L. Peter and Farrell, Jack W. (1973). Ride the Sandy River. Pacific Fast Mail. 
  • Jones, Robert C. (1979). Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume 1 - The Early Years). Sundance Books. 
  • Jones, Robert C. (1980). Two Feet Between the Rails (Volume II - The Mature Years). Sundance Books. 
  • Railroad Commissioners' Report. State of Maine. 1895, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, and 1911.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

External links[edit]