Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

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Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby trainsinmaine » Fri May 21, 2010 3:36 pm

I drove by the B&ML depot and headquarters in Unity early this afternoon (5/21). There were quite a few pieces of equipment around, the lawn was freshly mowed, and everything looked nicely spiffed up . . . but no one was around. Does anyone know what's happening with the line? I also noticed that the none of the road crossings between Unity and Brooks have crossbucks that read "EXEMPT" --- so someone must be optimistic.
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake: What's the Latest?

Postby calaisbranch » Fri May 21, 2010 7:34 pm

Probably has to do with the Brooks Preservation opening for thier first season run on the 29th. Ever checked out their site?

http://brookspreservation.org/index.htm

From there, scroll the list at left and find the planned schedules TBA.
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby dtouellet » Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:17 pm

I have gone down to ride the B&ML many times over the years, from the first year of excursion rides to last July 4th at Brooks. I always enjoyed driving up the coast to hop on the train at Unity, Belfast, and Brooks. Of those locations the best ride was from Belfast.

I've got some great photos of my daughters standing by the "Swedish Meatball". I really don't understand why some are so negative about this loco. Some type of steamer was or is better than none at all. I was with a group of school kids on a field trip to Unity and I can tell you that a operating steam loco was something they had never seen. I hope it finds a good home. Scraping it and the Swedish cars would be a true waste .

As for the future I hope the Brooks group can make a go of running the railroad. I think the only way for the group to succeed is if the train is run from Belfast. Brooks and Unity are too far out of the way. Just not enough traffic and things to see and do.

Finally I've got to say that some of the former B&ML equipment (GE 54, caboose, and open air car) have found a very good home on the Downeast Scenic Railroad further down the coast in Ellsworth. They are being well cared for. If all goes as planned they'll be carrying passengers next month. There is a great group of men and women who have worked really hard over the past several years to make this happen.
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby gokeefe » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:57 am

In another attempt to understand the heritage of "MEC" #391 at City Point Central Railroad Museum on the B&ML I belatedly realized that CPCRM and the Brooks Preservation Society were two completely different operations with BPS having the majority of B&ML's old equipment and CPCRM having "MEC" 391 and the station. Recently City Point's website has gone offline for reasons unknown to me.

Does anyone have further information on these two groups (if they are in fact separate) and what if anything is going on with the City Point Museum?

Thanks.
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby thebigham » Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:51 am

Just found this:

http://railfan.com/rf_railnews.php

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
December 21st, 2010

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Announces the Purchase of the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad Steam Locomotive # 1149 and Passenger Coaches

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) in coordination with Rail Events Inc. has closed on the acquisition and purchase of Steam Locomotive # 1149 and a Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC-1) and nine (9) passenger coaches from the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad Preservation Society in Unity, Maine. Locomotive #1149 is a Swedish locomotive built in 1913 and exported to the United States in 1994. It is a coal burning locomotive with a 4-6-0 wheel configuration and a 5000 gallon coal tender. The locomotive was rebuilt and retubed in 1998 in compliance with Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) standards. The locomotive and passenger coaches have a Swiss coupling system and will operate together as a train set. The RDC “Budd car” is capable of seating up to 84 passengers and is equipped with operator controls on each end. It has two 275hp diesel engines, and #6 air brakes with D-22 brake valves. The RDC may be coupled to additional passenger coaches and is ideal for photo special excursions operating from Dillsboro to Andrews.

Currently, the locomotive and coaches have been winterized and will remain in storage for the winter and will begin their journey to Bryson City, NC in late spring 2011...
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby gokeefe » Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:10 pm

So ends the long saga of the Maine Meatball.

Although I'm a little sad to see the RDC go (especially if it has B&M heritage) I'll be glad to see further funds and restoration efforts directed at trains that have historic ties to New England and Maine in particular.
Last edited by gokeefe on Thu Jan 13, 2011 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby ThinkNarrow » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:18 pm

thebigham wrote:Just found this:
The RDC may be coupled to additional passenger coaches and is ideal for photo special excursions operating from Dillsboro to Andrews

I had always heard that this was a "no-no".
-John
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Jan 12, 2011 8:00 pm

RDC-9’s were able to pull coaches but not RDC-1’s. Using the RDC-1 one with other coaches is similar to what Conway Scenic does with their RDC. They use it as a coach car only, when extra seats are needed.
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby Watchman318 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 10:10 am

gokeefe wrote:Although I'm a little sad to see the RDC go (especially if it has B&M heritage) I'll be glad to see further funds and restoration efforts directed at trains that have historic ties to New England and Maine in particular.
Dang. I'll bet that was the only operable RDC in Maine, wasn't it?
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby ThinkNarrow » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:00 pm

b&m 1566 wrote:RDC-9’s were able to pull coaches but not RDC-1’s.

According to page 101 of "Budd Car - The RDC Story" by Chuck Crouse, "the RDC-9 was a single-engine unit with blind ends, to be operated sandwiched between regular RDCs....The single engine provided electricity and hot water for the unit, as well as some tractive effort, since Budd recommended strongly against using RDC's to pull trailers." This suggests that neither RDC-1s nor RDC-9's were suitable for pulling coaches, and RDC-9s even less so than RDC-1's as 9s had only one engine. Evidently, the 9s were designed as half-powered trailers for use with 1s.
-John
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby thebigham » Thu Jan 13, 2011 4:53 pm

Where's the website that had the B&ML equipment listed for sale?
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby bml1149 » Thu Jan 13, 2011 8:46 pm

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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby thebigham » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:01 pm

^Thanks!

This page has the pdf file of all the equipment and prices:

http://www.railmerchants.net/locomotives/swedish.html
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby Ridgefielder » Sun Jan 16, 2011 8:51 pm

ThinkNarrow wrote:
b&m 1566 wrote:RDC-9’s were able to pull coaches but not RDC-1’s.

According to page 101 of "Budd Car - The RDC Story" by Chuck Crouse, "the RDC-9 was a single-engine unit with blind ends, to be operated sandwiched between regular RDCs....The single engine provided electricity and hot water for the unit, as well as some tractive effort, since Budd recommended strongly against using RDC's to pull trailers." This suggests that neither RDC-1s nor RDC-9's were suitable for pulling coaches, and RDC-9s even less so than RDC-1's as 9s had only one engine. Evidently, the 9s were designed as half-powered trailers for use with 1s.
-John

Not recommended, but the NYNH&H did it for a while anyway...
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Re: Official Belfast & Moosehead Lake Thread - 2010

Postby gokeefe » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:19 am

Just for the record the B&ML RDC #6126 is listed as built 1955 ex Cape Codd nee Canadian Pacific.

They do have a Maine Central coach (#15, pretty sure this is B&ML numbering) built in 1944 (looks like a heavyweight style).
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