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Nostalgia & History > A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision


Date: 07/21/19 03:30
A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: GPutz

The conductor of the e/b Maine Central train from St. Johnsbury, Vermont, to Portland, Maine, cleared the ball signal for his train, Whitefield, New Hampshire, 9/19/82.  There’s more from the chase at:

https://gjptrains.wordpress.com/category/home/

Gerry




Date: 07/21/19 05:45
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: 3rdswitch

Great shot.
JB



Date: 07/21/19 06:05
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: aehouse

Despite geography, St. Johnsbury to Portland was westbound on the MEC, as the trains came off the Mountain Subdivision and entered the mainline just east of Portland.  This is train YR-1, a westbound designation.

Art House



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/19 06:06 by aehouse.



Date: 07/21/19 10:25
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: RS11

aehouse Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Despite geography, St. Johnsbury to Portland was
> westbound on the MEC, as the trains came off the
> Mountain Subdivision and entered the mainline just
> east of Portland.  This is train YR-1, a
> westbound designation.
>
> Art House

I may be wrong but the "1" designates an eastbound and a "2" designates a westbound.  For example, BC-1 (Bangor to Calais) is an eastbound train.  BV-1 (Bangor to Vanceboro) is an eastbound train.  RB-1 (Rigby to Bangor is an eastbound train.  CB-2 (Calais to Bangor) is a westbound train.  VB-2 (Vanceboro to Bangor) is a westbound train.  BR-4 (Bangor to Rigby) is a westbound train.  YR-1 is an eastbound....pretty sure of it.  I never worked the mountain.  I did work out of what they called the Eastern Subdivision in Bangor, Maine back in 1972 and back then YR-1 was an eastbound.    



Date: 07/21/19 10:40
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: RS11

Great shot.  Went to your link and checked out the chase you did that day.  Railroading was sure different back then.  Thanks for posting.



Date: 07/21/19 11:50
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: Kemacprr

Would love to see a today picture of the same location. ---  Ken 



Date: 07/21/19 17:01
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: GPutz

Thanks for the compliments.  That location is visible on Google Earth, beside US-3.  Gerry
================================
Kemacprr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
Would love to see a today picture of the same location. ---  Ken 



Date: 07/21/19 18:53
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: 4489

Does anyone have a copy of the rules governing the different positions of this signal.

I used to have them but they appear to have disappeared in my files.

Thanks.,



Date: 07/21/19 18:58
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: DavidP

Kemacprr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Would love to see a today picture of the same
> location. ---  Ken 

Here you go!  Not quite today, but September 1st 2018.  While the ball signal - the last in regular use in the US - has been preserved, unfortunately both lines have been out of service for some time now.  The line from lower left to upper right is the former Maine Central Mountain division, while the one from lower right to upper left is the former B&M line from Wells River, VT to Berlin, NH.  Both lines saw daily through freights into the mid-1980s, but the rapid decline of New England's paper industry and resulting consolidation of carriers put an end to this bit of living history.

As a bonus, here's a 2016 shot of the lead unit unit in Gerry's picture enjoying it's second career powering the Comway Scenic Raiload's notch train at Crawford Station on the former MEC. 

Dave






Date: 07/21/19 19:47
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: Kemacprr

Thanks for the now picture. At least the rails and the signal are still there and haven't turned into another trail. --- Ken 



Date: 07/22/19 07:44
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: aehouse

RS11 Wrote:

> I may be wrong but the "1" designates an eastbound
> and a "2" designates a westbound.  For example,
> BC-1 (Bangor to Calais) is an eastbound train. 
> BV-1 (Bangor to Vanceboro) is an eastbound
> train.  RB-1 (Rigby to Bangor is an eastbound
> train.  CB-2 (Calais to Bangor) is a westbound
> train.  VB-2 (Vanceboro to Bangor) is a westbound
> train.  BR-4 (Bangor to Rigby) is a westbound
> train.  YR-1 is an eastbound....pretty sure of
> it.  I never worked the mountain.  I did work
> out of what they called the Eastern Subdivision in
> Bangor, Maine back in 1972 and back then YR-1 was
> an eastbound.    

I stand corrected, and thanks.  I checked an MEC ETT and, indeed, St. Johnsbury to Portland was considered eastbound.  I was confused by MEC's use of even numbers for westbound and odd numbers for eastbound trains, opposite the standard practice on almost all other US railroads.

Art House



Date: 07/22/19 09:39
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: DavidP

Kemacprr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for the now picture. At least the rails and
> the signal are still there and haven't turned into
> another trail. --- Ken 

It may not be too long before the rails leading up to the diamond become a trail, as the former B&M line represents a private right-of-way gap in the Cross New Hampshire recreation trail.  When the B&M pulled out and the state acquired the trackage, the section from Waumbeck Junction west to Littleton remained in service with a short line operator.  However, there is no longer business west of Hazens, where the MEC and B&M ran parallel to each other west to Whitefield.  Currently the eastern side of the recreation trail - also know as the Presidential Range Rail Trail - follows a couple of miles of the former MEC Beecher's Falls branch to Waumbeck Jct, then picks up the B&M Berlin line to Gorham.  As a railfan, I wish there was still an active railroad in place, but as that's not the case I find the trail to be a great successor.  Here are a couple of pictures from when I rode the trail last September, including one of the B&M's iconic boxed pony truss bridges in the town of Randolph, NH.

Dave






Date: 07/22/19 09:52
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: Lackawanna484

The CP + B&M Alouette day train operated over this crossing on its way to Wells River and Montreal



Date: 07/22/19 11:10
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: DavidP

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The CP + B&M Alouette day train operated over this
> crossing on its way to Wells River and Montreal

Not this crossing. The Alouette used the old Concord and Montreal line via Plymouth, NH, up until the line was abandoned in 1954.  It crossed from NH to VT at Woodsville, which was also the western end of the B&M Berlin branch.  The last passenger train to use the Whitefield crossing was the B&M’s Berlin - Wells River, VT RDC, which quit in 1964.

Dave



Date: 07/22/19 11:52
Re: A Chase of the MEC's Mountain Subdivision
Author: Lackawanna484

DavidP Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The CP + B&M Alouette day train operated over
> this
> > crossing on its way to Wells River and Montreal
>
> Not this crossing. The Alouette used the old
> Concord and Montreal line via Plymouth, NH, up
> until the line was abandoned in 1954.  It crossed
> from NH to VT at Woodsville, which was also the
> western end of the B&M Berlin branch.  The last
> passenger train to use the Whitefield crossing was
> the B&M’s Berlin - Wells River, VT RDC, which
> quit in 1964.
>
> Dave

Thank you.



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