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Thread: The Old Somerset Railroad

  1. #11
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    Jul 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by fins2right View Post
    . . .
    It would be neat to see some of these old railways be converted over to trails like the old Newport to Hartland section. I was in Bowdoinham today caching and the section of rail from Brunswick to Augusta would be perfect. With no factories or mills, it's a complete pipe dream to think that trains will someday run on these tracks. In fact, the plan to rebuild the tracks from Westbrook to Fryeburg is, quite frankly, insane. (that's the old Mountain Division rail of the Maine Central Railroad) The cost just to replace the road crossings would be in the millions to bring them up to modern standards. Fortunately,the economy is in great shape and we have the money for these things.....
    My not so secret hope is that some day the powers that be will buy up the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad line and turn it into a multi use rail trail . . . it would certainly get more use than it is getting today.

    Unfortunately, whenever you suggest such a thing invariably there will be the folks who come out of the wood work to decry such an idea as short sighted as they seem to think rail transportation is the wave of the future . . . which may be so in some metropolitan areas or places where a lot of freight needs to be moved cheaply . . . but Waldo County, Maine is one of those places where this will not happen. Using some of these old railroad lines as multi use trails would have many more benefits to many more people vs. just having a railroad preservation society run the railroad as a hobby in the summer.
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  2. #12
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    Jun 2004
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    Solon, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by fins2right View Post
    Another thing we have in common Haffy, we've both been layed off by the Railroad. I was wondering if the Madison Branch was part of the old Somerset Railroad. From Oakland to Madison it's still in daily use. (Unless the mill closes, then it's kaput). Engineer friends of mine tell me it's the worst section of rail in New England with a 5 mph speed limit. It wasn't unusual to see a train go past me in Norridgewock and watch the engine sink down and scrape the rail (for those of you who have not worked the RR. That's really bad) Guildford had plans to start and rebuild the tracks, but that's on hold pending the sale of the Madison Mill.
    I believe they've upgraded the tracks between Madison and North Anson and they ran a few trains to the Cousineau mill. They had plans to fabricate huge wooden trusses and haul them by rail. Not sure what is goign on at that mill now.

    And Guilford also planned to replace the tracks from North Anson to Embden (across the Kennebec from Solon) to haul ballast rock from their quarry there. They haven't done the tracks, but are trucking stone to the Mattingly concrete plant in North Anson where it's crushed before being hauled by truck to wherever.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Oakland, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake View Post
    My not so secret hope is that some day the powers that be will buy up the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad line and turn it into a multi use rail trail . . . it would certainly get more use than it is getting today.

    Unfortunately, whenever you suggest such a thing invariably there will be the folks who come out of the wood work to decry such an idea as short sighted as they seem to think rail transportation is the wave of the future . . . which may be so in some metropolitan areas or places where a lot of freight needs to be moved cheaply . . . but Waldo County, Maine is one of those places where this will not happen. Using some of these old railroad lines as multi use trails would have many more benefits to many more people vs. just having a railroad preservation society run the railroad as a hobby in the summer.
    Agreed! I just read that the last of the assets of the B&ML were just sold and the unity shop closed. Wouldn't that make a great recreational trail?
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  4. #14
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    Jul 2005
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    Unity, Maine
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    Quote Originally Posted by fins2right View Post
    Agreed! I just read that the last of the assets of the B&ML were just sold and the unity shop closed. Wouldn't that make a great recreational trail?
    Absolutely . . . Burnham to Belfast . . . however 1) there is a Preservation Society based out of Brooks that is detrmined to try to keep the railroad alive and I believe they have some money behind them and 2) there are always folks out there who even now are truly convinced that railroads will make a come back.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

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