Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

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Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby BostonUrbEx » Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:32 am

Did the Western Route and Eastern Route always operate on an East/West basis for direction of movement?

Or were they North/South until the B&M began acquiring lines out west, eventually achieving a mainline to Albany, and thus creating an East/West through-route from Albany to Portland? At that point, converting the mainline to East/West would have made sense.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby MEC407 » Sun Aug 16, 2015 7:48 am

Very excellent question. I'm moving this to the B&M/MEC forum since the topic predates Guilford by many decades. On a personal note I'd also be interested to know the story behind Maine Central's use of east/west on their mainlines.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:54 am

Historically -- 1960s timeframe -- the B&M used a combination of northward/southward and eastward/westward timetable directions. Commuter lines additionally had inward and ourward designations. The Eastern route, Fitchburg Division, Central Mass, and Worcester-Lowell Junction were timetable designated as E/W lines, and the Western route, New Hampshire Division, and Conn River were designated as N/S lines.

The Maine Central universally designated everything as eastward or westward. The Mountain Sub was WB headed towards St. Johnsbury and EB headed to Portland. Everything else was designated eastward heading away from Portland and westward heading back.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby jaymac » Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:43 am

To go even deeper into history, ETTs of the pre-Hannauer, Hannauer, and French eras give compass ID secondary status and sometimes even parenthesize it. The primary identifications are inward or outward with Boston (naturally), Worcester, Springfield, and WRJ for north-and/or-east-of-WRJ being the reference points for various lines.
Some of the compass IDs seem a little puzzling to a mere mortal civilian, but probably reflect the same adaptability that had produced variable-distance MPs, especially on the West End. Just one example would be the listing for the Keene Branch on p. 57 of TT No. 23, effective April 25, 1937. By that time, the branch had been cut off at Elmwood which is more west of Nashua than north as had been the branch in its entirety, but outward trains from Nashua are identified as northward and inward trains as southward. Even though Keene Branch mileages are shown beginning at Nashua Union Station, it might have been a nod to Boston.
As an even more off to the side aside, for those who haven't taken advantage of the B&MRRHS shedding redundant archives inventory at various train shows, I'd recommend it.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:50 pm

TomNelligan wrote:The Maine Central universally designated everything as eastward or westward. The Mountain Sub was WB headed towards St. Johnsbury and EB headed to Portland. Everything else was designated eastward heading away from Portland and westward heading back.


Huh, so going towards Lewiston on the Lewiston was timetable "east" despite typically heading northwest by the compass?
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby TomNelligan » Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:50 pm

BostonUrbEx wrote:Huh, so going towards Lewiston on the Lewiston was timetable "east" despite typically heading northwest by the compass?


Correct. Brunswick-Lewiston Lower was eastward by timetable direction.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:45 pm

I have a 1951, or there about employee timetable. The direction column list Inbound, and Outbound directions (from Boston). The Conn River was inbound towards Springfield. I'll look when I get home to see which direction was which on the Lowell Branch, and Stony Brook.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby jbvb » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:12 pm

ETT #63, Oct. 28, 1956 gives both Western and Eastern routes as "Inward Trains (Westward)", the NH Division as "Inward Trains (Southward)" and the Fitchburg as "Inward Trains (Eastward)". So does ETT #70, Apr. 26, 1959. ETT #78, Apr. 30, 1961 is the first I have that uses the "Eastward (Outward)" format.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:32 am

The title of this thread is Freight Main. That is a Guilford invention. I don't know what directions were originally used. Now Guilford uses east and west. D&H uses north and south. Mechanicville is a confusing place to get talked by a signal. A movement from B&M, to D&H is from the westward FML, to the southward FML. The moves from the Colonie sub are a 180 degree change in direction. A train out of Albany goes from the northward Colonie Main, to the southward Freight Main.

Now I own a Albany to Montreal run. Our directional designation changes to south between Mechanicville, and Crescent. So the CP 7310 North becomes CP 7310 South for a few miles, and resumes North designation after entering the Canadian Connector.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby S1f3432 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 9:45 pm

Not mentioned so far is that the "Eastern Route" was comprised of the former Eastern Railroad, while the "Western
Route was the later-built B&M line via Dover which was located to the west of the Eastern once west of North Berwick.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Oct 03, 2016 7:42 am

Who's on first? :P

The B&M uses "westward" and "eastward" in the ETT. Conn River Line was "northward" and "southward".
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:43 pm

My real question is what Guilford called the direction on the FML when they still owned D&H. Apparently CP started calling it north and south.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:36 pm

I have a 1951 ETT. All directions are inbound and outbound. The compass direction is in parentheses. Like I pointed out, FML is a Guilford invention. Its route combines parts of many MEC, B&M, and D&H main lines and branches.
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Re: Where did East/West originate for Freight Main Line?

Postby EDFLD Bill » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:53 pm

Engineer Spike wrote:My real question is what Guilford called the direction on the FML when they still owned D&H. Apparently CP started calling it north and south.


The full Guilford Freight Main Line from Mattawamkeag, ME to Sunbury, PA was East/West.
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