The Eastern Railroad revisited

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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:09 pm

North Berwick station courtesy of the B&M Historical Society and the same view today. The "platform" where the boy is walking in the vintage photo is still visible in the current photo.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Thu Nov 28, 2019 7:36 pm

Main Street, North Berwick. I count at least 7 tracks crossing what is now Lower Main St. circa 1910. A lot of railroad action for such a small town.

I met a gent a few years ago whose uncle worked for the B&M in the 1940s. He worked in North Berwick at one of those crossings and sent a postcard to his brother stating that on 7/1/1949, 23 trains passed his gate crossing from 10 pm to 6:30 am the next morning.

Bottom, old postcard, Eastern on the left, B&M on the right, North Berwick looking toward Portland.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:28 pm

West Brook, 1st crossing, just north of Rt. 9, N. Berwick. I've read in this forum that probably the only reason this bridge is still intact is the business relationship with the Swenson Granite Quarry, which ended in the 1970s.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:30 pm

Perry Oliver Rd. crossing. The Eastern passed under an overpass here which was removed decades ago and the gap filled in. However, 2 tell-tales remain, one on each side of the road. Neither has seen a train pass under them since 1944. Oddly, even though there were many bridges over the Eastern in Maine, these are the only tell-tales I've found, at least to Arundel.

A silent sentinel in the fading November daylight.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Fri Nov 29, 2019 6:35 pm

Other side, looking toward Portland. I'm surprised these tell-tales have remained intact for so many decades.
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nkloudon
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by nkloudon » Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:17 am

Back in the day... they built things to last!

Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Sat Nov 30, 2019 4:58 pm

They sure did. The "coat hangers" hanging from the horizontal arm of the tell-tail all seem to be in place, still waiting to warn a railroad man of an oncoming bridge.

The few bridges that remain still seem to be able to support a train although the only thing they have to support these days is a hiker or a mountain biker.

Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:16 pm

West Brook, 2nd crossing. If the 1st West Brook crossing bridge was left in place after the Swenson Granite Quarry went out of business, why remove the second bridge?

Anyway, the railroad was nice enough to leave a few rails in place so that someone could build a rickety wooden bridge for the mountain bikers.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:19 pm

Looking toward Portland.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:08 pm

The Merriland River crossing in Wells. There are a few bridges in this style. Instead of a steel girder bridge, the railroad chose to bridge the river with what looks like a giant concrete slab which was then covered with dirt to form the right-of-way.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:25 pm

The Eastern crossed under what is now Rt. 109 in Wells. I took this shot in 2005, the view 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. The station sign (Wells Depot) is just visible below the middle window. Odd that it has the word "depot" as part of its name. This station was also known as Highpine.

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.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:42 pm

Map of the Wells Depot area from 1872 and, bottom, looking towards Portland with Route 109 and the Wells depot location right behind me.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:13 pm

The ROW drops steeply to the bottom of the forest floor and it is here that the Eastern crossed Hobbs brook just south of Hobbs Crossing in Wells.
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Looking south from Hobbs Crossing.
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Manalishi
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by Manalishi » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:26 pm

The Eastern crossed Meetinghouse Rd. at what is known as Hobbs Crossing. This was also the site of a train wreck in the 1800s although an educated guess is that the wreck didn't occur at the crossing itself but a short distance south of it. The picture of the wreck is from an old stereoview.
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Hobbs Crossing at Meetinghouse Rd. today.
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Hobbs Crossing train wreck
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MEC407
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Re: The Eastern Railroad revisited

Post by MEC407 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:48 am

Thanks again for re-posting these photos and the accompanying narratives!
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