Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby FLRailFan1 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 6:00 pm

GE45tonner wrote:Really want to check out this railroad when I'm in the area. Love the motive power.


Is the B&ML offically abandoned??
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby Reader#108 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:07 pm

Negative, the Brooks Preservation Society runs on the ROW
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:24 pm

The railroad as a company is gone, the line is owned by the state. BPS leases the line from the state and operates weekend excursions using the BML name and some of the original equipment that is left.
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby Watchman318 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:45 pm

thebigham wrote:The portion of the B&ML grade from Pierce Street (at the Footbridge) in Belfast to the turn out at the City Point Central Railroad Museum (MP 2.5) is now closed and will soon be railbanked and torn up to be converted to a pedestrian and bike rail trail.
I used to think "railbanking" was preserving a right-of-way so that it might once again be used for railroad traffic. Even the term "rail trail" suggests that some day it might allow railroad operations again, probably together with an adjacent foot/bike path. Now those terms seem to mean using "the iron" someplace else, and converting the r-o-w to a totally different use that will probably keep the route from ever again being used as a railroad. "Not nobody, not no how."

Remember Scatman Crothers as the porter Ralston in Silver Streak, and his great line about hippies? I use it a lot when I read stories about rail lines being ripped up, but I substitute "yuppies" for "hippies."
Maybe I'm just grumpier than usual today. ;-)
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby shadyjay » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:53 pm

Watchman318 wrote:I used to think "railbanking" was preserving a right-of-way so that it might once again be used for railroad traffic. Even the term "rail trail" suggests that some day it might allow railroad operations again, probably together with an adjacent foot/bike path. Now those terms seem to mean using "the iron" someplace else, and converting the r-o-w to a totally different use that will probably keep the route from ever again being used as a railroad. "Not nobody, not no how."


I was always under the impression that "railbanked" meant the rails were still in place but the track was abandoned, and "landbanked" meant the rails were removed and the line converted to a trail, either paved, cinder, etc.
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Belfast & Moosehead Lake abandoned out of Belfast

Postby trainsinmaine » Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:49 am

The Bangor Daily News reported several weeks ago that the last remaining two miles of the B&ML, from the Route 1 bridge over the Passagassawaukeag westward, would soon be removed so as to be re-fashioned as a rail trail. The work has been done.
The track was still there three weeks ago today when I headed to Massachusetts; now it's gone. I investigated while traveling through the area on Thursday. The rails have been pulled along the river, over the Passy trestle and up to the City Point Rail Museum and yard. IIRC there are no plans to take the rail trail any farther than that. Unless that section of the line was in really good shape --- which I don't think it was --- it looks like they have poured and graded new ballast on the roadbed.

I'll provide photos when I can figure out how to do so.
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby eustis22 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:28 am

How far towards Burnham Jct does the BPS run?
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belfast moosehead lake thread

Postby conductorvern » Sun May 31, 2015 10:11 am

ok for starters my name is Vernon I worked 45 years on the bar I retired in 96 and am 80 my daughters husband's relatives owned the main portion of the public stocks the railroad had. And now I am sadden with the crossing in Burnham being removed for no reason, the steam loco gone, the yard in unity ripped up, the Belfast yard being removed, and finally the dreaded rail trail.
long live the Bangor and Aroostook!
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Re: belfast moosehead lake thread

Postby Cosmo » Sun May 31, 2015 2:27 pm

conductorvern wrote:ok for starters my name is Vernon I worked 45 years on the bar I retired in 96 and am 80 my daughters husband's relatives owned the main portion of the public stocks the railroad had. And now I am sadden with the crossing in Burnham being removed for no reason, the steam loco gone, the yard in unity ripped up, the Belfast yard being removed, and finally the dreaded rail trail.

I did not know so much had been torn up around Burnham and Unity. :(
Can anyone else confirm? Pictures?
"It belongs in a MUSEUM!"
-Indiana Jones
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Re: belfast moosehead lake thread

Postby Watchman318 » Sun May 31, 2015 2:47 pm

conductorvern wrote:I am sadden with the crossing in Burnham being removed for no reason, the steam loco gone, the yard in unity ripped up, the Belfast yard being removed, and finally the dreaded rail trail.
Greetings, Vernon.
What crossing got removed? Looking at Google Maps, the satellite view seems to show no track over South Main St./Rt. 100 on the north/east (?) leg of the wye, although a street view shows it intact there and at the Canaan Rd. end. Was that the one? It looks like at one time there were two tracks that crossed So. Main St. there.
What is/was that big plant at the corner of Canaan Rd. and North Main St.? It looks like they were a rail customer at one time. There's a note on the satellite view about Pride Mfg., but it seems to be on a different corner of the street intersection.

"Progress" is one thing, but sometimes "change" isn't so good. :(
And in my opinion, rail-trails are for YUPpies with too much free time on their hands, but maybe I'm just grumpy. There, I feel better. :wink:
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Re: belfast moosehead lake thread

Postby Watchman318 » Sun May 31, 2015 3:10 pm

Cosmo wrote:I did not know so much had been torn up around Burnham and Unity. :(
Can anyone else confirm? Pictures?
That's the first I've heard of it, too. The most recent satellite imagery is 08/2013 (Street View 08/2011), and shows the tracks around the Unity depot pretty much full of cars. Apparently there's no turntable, just the filled-in pit, but that could have been gone for awhile.
Bummer.
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby Mikejf » Sun May 31, 2015 6:11 pm

Turntable and Pit were still there in 2012 when I last stopped. Pride MFG was across the tracks from the car shop, if I remember correctly. Turntable was sold to the group that bought the locomotive, if I am recalling the facts correctly
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby trainsinmaine » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:04 am

I haven't been through Burnham since early this year, but I can tell you that back then, the B&ML still crossed Route 100 (though
one leg of the wye may have been paved over --- I don't recall). I drove through Unity in April and everything in the yard was still intact, albeit looking kind of forlorn. The whole railroad, as far as I'm aware, is still there all the way from Burnham to City Point in Belfast where a good deal of equipment is stored at the yard. I don't know what plans, if any, the B&ML has for operations between there and points west this summer and fall.

It is sad to see that the rails no longer run all the way down to Belfast Harbor.
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Re: Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (BML) Discussion

Postby bml1149 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:52 pm

Good afternoon,
One of the wye crossings in Burnham have indeed been taken out. I can't remember exactly, but it has been about 3 years ago that happened. For those that don't know, Maine DOT owns the track and right of way from Burnham to Waldo. It was decided that the crossings needed to be rebuilt in Burnham, but DOT was only willing to rebuild one of them to maintain the connection to PAR and felt there was no need for the "Bangor" leg to be rebuilt at this time.
The large building near the tracks was the Burnham Chair Factory, now owned by Pride manufacturing did at one time ship by rail.
The steam locomotive was sold to a new railroad museum in Union Tennesee along with the turntable, 2 coaches and a motorcar. Those left the property about 2 years ago. They did not take the pit, however.
The yard in Belfast began getting dismantled around 1999 and torn out altogether in 2005. Prock marine has built several buildings on the site of the yard and enginehouse area, but the freighthouse and cinderblock enginehouse still remain.
I used to work on the steam engine and also worked some in Belfast and it is sad to see what was lost.
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