Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

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Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby roberttosh » Mon May 28, 2018 9:27 am

Was wondering around what year the B&M stopped running traffic out of Maine heading to Western connections via the Boston/Somerville yard complex and instead started avoiding Boston altogether in favor of the more direct Lowell Branch and Stony Brook routing? Also, once that shift was made what type of traffic continued to move on the Portland/Boston trains which I believe continued to run into the 70's? Thanks in advance.
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Re: Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby TomNelligan » Mon May 28, 2018 10:39 am

The "cross country" jobs between Portland and Mechanicville via the Stony Brook branch were running in the 1940s and I assume for some years before that. As for Portland-Boston freights, into the 1960s the B&M originated and terminated a lot of freight in Boston and environs, and they handled traffic bound to or from Maine and Atlantic Canada via the MEC connection at Rigby.
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Re: Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby jbvb » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:30 pm

Freight Train Symbol Book #3 (1915) shows round-trips from Portland to E. Fitchburg and Lowell, and Lawrence to E. Deerfield, but nothing running end-to-end.

Same pattern in #5 (1921), but I was surprised to find ex-Sun and Tue-Thu-Sun round-trips Salem - E. Deerfield via Lowell and ex-Sun Salem - Worcester via Lowell and Nashua. Similar pattern in #11 (1924).

FTSB #14 (1926) lists MP-2 (0430 - 2130) and PM-1 (2030 - 1630 next day).

Thank you Earl Tuson, Brent MIchiels. I will be spending some more time on http://bostonandmainerailroad.redmansef ... /index.htm
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Re: Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:03 am

Before everything was rerouted using the Stony Brook Branch, didn't the WN&P handle a lot of the east/west traffic for the B&M?
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Re: Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby cpf354 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:41 am

Indeed, at one time it was thought to be the busiest stretch of single track railroad in the country. It had it's share of cornfield meets over the years.
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Re: Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:12 pm

The question all boils down to the loss of industry around Boston. B&M always bridged cars between the NYC and D&H, to the MEC. As mentioned, there have been through jobs for a long time. The purpose of the yards in Cambridge and Somerville were to handle all the freight bound to and from Boston area customers.
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Re: Portland/Boston/Mechanicville routing question.

Postby johnpbarlow » Tue Nov 06, 2018 5:08 am

Terrific on-line article (authored by H. Arnold Wilder) of the detailed history of the Stony Brook RR from its inception to 1979. In June of 1946, shortly after the WN&P was abandoned, the Stony Brook "branch" featured 30 daily trains (Including 8 passenger trains) operating on double track CTC (1st CTC installation in New England) with a 100 car capacity controlled siding between Graniteville and Westford. The Stony Brook was also B&M's first branch to have rock ballast to facilitate 60 mph passenger train speeds! Daily train list for June 1946 is attached. A very good read!

Stony Brook Branch trains 1946.JPG
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