The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby arthur d. » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:01 pm

Leo Sullivan wrote:Here is an old picture of Salmon Falls Station. LS


Not to diminish your contribution,this is a fantastic photo, but these are different lines. The lower track is the old Portsmouth, Great Falls and Conway RR. nee Great Falls and S. Berwick RR. It connected to the Eastern RR. at Jewett, and was in fact later absorbed by the Eastern which subsequently was taken over by the B&M. The upper track is the B&M western division. The train is west bound, just crossing into Rollinsford NH from S. Berwick Me.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:23 am

Moving on to Highpine. This is where the Eastern crossed under Rt. 109 in Wells. I took this in 2005. The view is looking south towards N. Berwick. Wells depot would have been on my right. This bridge was a replacement for an earlier bridge and was, in turn, replaced about 10 years later.

The vintage postcard shows Rt. 109 and the bridge looking towards Sanford about 1910. Also shown is Wells depot, perched on an embankment overlooking the tracks.

Last shot, same view in 2016, showing the modern replacement bridge. Wells depot is long gone. The house on the right is the same in both photos.

By the way, for those that don't know, you can click on each photo to enlarge.
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109 bridge.jpg
wells depot.jpg
wells today.JPG
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby MEC407 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:42 am

I'm especially appreciative of these photos. My family attended what was originally known as the First Baptist Church of Wells Depot, later renamed the Highpine Baptist Church, located not far from that bridge.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:05 pm

Thanks MEC407. "Highpine" was another name for the Wells depot. Where did the name come from?
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby MEC407 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:58 pm

Wells has several historic "villages" (read: geographically-large neighborhoods): Wells Corner, Wells Branch, Wells Beach, Merriland Ridge, Moody, Kennebunk (before it became a separate town in 1820), Ogunquit (before it became a separate town in 1980), Highpine, and several others. I'll have to search for my Wells history books to give you an answer for when and how the name Highpine was chosen, but I suspect it was related to the especially tall pine trees in that area of town. :-)
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:14 pm

Moving on to the Branch Brook crossing on the Wells/Kennebunk border. This is the Branch Brook "bridge". First off, this must be one of the deepest "valleys" the P.S.P/Eastern had to fill in order to get to Portland. It must be 60-70 feet from the bottom of the forest to the top of the ROW where the tracks were. Tons of earth had to be dumped to build up this dirt causeway. I don't know if it was horse, cart, man and shovel or if they had a steam shovel of some kind.

Anyway, I had to find a place to try to get to the bottom and it turns it out there was a "trail" right near the bridge. Or tunnel. Not sure what to call it. The trail was pretty steep and strewn with leaves which meant I had to grab on to several trees with one hand to slow my descent and avoid sliding to the bottom. The other hand held my camera. Going up was no picnic either.

The second shot is at the far end of the "beach". What I find amazing is that the "hill" you see before you, which stretches as far as the eye can see in either direction, and, again, is 60-70 feet high, is entirely man-made. It didn't exist prior to 1840. The arch/tunnel/bridge was probably around 1842.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:16 pm

...
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:36 pm

An old crossing in Kennebunk. It's filled in now but there was a bridge over the Eastern here at one time. The rusty guardrail looks decades old. The remains of a wooden guardrail behind it even older.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:16 am

The Mousam River viaduct, just south of the West Kennebunk station. My camera has a good zoom lens so I can get pretty close. Otherwise I'd have to rent a boat to get
these close-ups! Another steep drop from the ROW to the river. Lots of fill was needed.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:19 am

And a few shots of the ROW on top, looking south and north.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:39 am

And just down the line, the West Kennebunk station, no longer standing, at the junction of Alfred Road (Main St. in those days) and Warrens Way. The depot sign is just barely visible in the upper right-hand corner.

The 1872 map also shows the Mousam River crossing a quarter of a mile south of the station.
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west kenn.jpg
kennebunk 1872.png
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby trainsinmaine » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:58 pm

In the second of the two photos taken atop the Mousam Viaduct, is that a milepost in the shade of the right foreground?
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby Manalishi » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:24 pm

Yes, I believe it is a milepost although whatever number was once inscribed upon it has long since worn away.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Wells

Postby arthur d. » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:00 pm

Taking an educated wild guess, I'd say MP 85. ( W. Kennebunk station was at MP 85.18)
I believe on the Eastern the numbers were painted on. All the MP's I've seen on the Eastern look like that, but the later concrete section and bridge markers have the numbers cast into them.
Again, thank you for taking the time to document this ROW.
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Re: The Eastern Railroad - South Berwick to Kennebunk

Postby Manalishi » Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:05 pm

Hi Arthur, I walked the Eastern as a kid in the 1970s. There was a milepost near the North Hampton airfield that I recall had a white painted tip and, in black paint, 'B' or 'P' 48. I looked at that same milepost recently and there's not a trace of white or black paint to be seen. And I doubt you'd find any milepost along the Eastern with paint intact or a legible number. There have been too many New England winters. Who knows the last time the mileposts along the Eastern got a fresh coat of paint.

By the way, that's about it from me until this spring when I can pick up again on the east side of 95 in Kennebunk.

Chris
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