Kennebunk/Wells abandoned branch

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Kennebunk/Wells abandoned branch

Postby Manalishi » Sun Jun 28, 2015 7:48 pm

Hi All -
I must have an eye for these things but while antiquing today, off of Route 9 in Wells/Kennebunk I noticed what seemed to be a jeep trail that crossed Rt. 9 near the Mousam River. I stopped and took a look and thought that it looked like it might have been a railroad or trolley line at one time. When I got home and looked at an online topo map, indeed it was an old railroad grade that came off the B&M main line, traveled south along the bank of the Mousam River and ended at the Kennebunk River in Kennebunkport.

Anyone know anything about this branch line? When was it built? When was it abandoned? Tracks torn up? It's still shown on the 1944 Kennebunk topo.

Chris
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Re: Kennebunk/Wells abandoned branch

Postby NorthWest » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:11 pm

It appears to be the Atlantic Shore Line's mainline, with the branch to Sanford splitting off at the Kennebunk depot. Originally built as Sanford & Cape Porpoise Railway's main line for the purpose of hauling coal to the mills at Sanford in 1898, and abandoned 1927(?).
More info:
http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1029&context=books_pubs
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Re: Kennebunk/Wells abandoned branch

Postby The EGE » Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:16 pm

Capture.PNG


The Kennebunk & Kennebunkport Railroad, built in 1883 and immediately leased by the B&M when opened. Service six days a week (no Sundays); six trains a day in winter and as many as 26 a day during the summers of 1908 to 1916. Decline began in 1917; bought by the B&M in 1919, service ended after the summer of 1926.

Stations were Kennebunk (junction with the B&M mainline), Parsons (at Western Ave), Kennebunk Beach (at Sea), Grove (at Boothby), and Kennebunkport. Only Kennebunk remains.

The Atlantic Shore Line passed through the area nearby, but on a different routing. It ran more to the north on a Kennebunk - Kennebunk Landing - Town House Corners - Bickford Island line, with a branch along North Road from Town House to Kennebunkport.
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Re: Kennebunk/Wells abandoned branch

Postby Manalishi » Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:25 pm

Wow, that was fast! Thanks guys. With the name of the branch (Kennebunk & Kennebunkport Railroad) I was able to Google it and find out more info. Seems like most of it is still intact,at least the part that follows the Mousam. If you look south towards the ocean as you travel east on Rt. 9 approaching the Mousam, you can see in the distance a wooden bridge that crosses a tributary of the Mousam. Apparently the State turned part of it into a permanent walking trail through the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge. Looks like a hike is in order although I'm less interested in wildlife than in railroad relics and abandoned train stations.

Chris
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