Maine

Maine Railroad Map

Maine is a state with a rich railroad history. From the early 19th century, railroads were built in Maine to transport timber and other goods from the interior to the coast. Today, Maine’s railroads are primarily used to transport freight, but there are also some passenger services. This essay will provide a comprehensive guide to Maine’s railroads, including their history, routes, and current status.

Maine Railroad Map

Maine-railroad-map

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Railroads were first built in Maine in the 1830s, primarily to transport timber from the interior to the coast. The first railroads were small and operated using horse-drawn cars. However, with the advent of steam-powered trains, larger and more efficient railroads were built.

One of the earliest railroads in Maine was the Atlantic and St. Lawrence Railroad, which was built in the 1840s to connect Portland to Montreal. The railroad was a major engineering feat, as it had to cross the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The line was eventually extended to Quebec City, making it an important link in the transcontinental rail network.

Another significant railroad in Maine was the Maine Central Railroad, which was formed in 1862 through the merger of several smaller railroads. The Maine Central Railroad was an important player in Maine’s economy, transporting goods such as lumber, paper, and fish to markets around the country.

Over the years, many other railroads were built in Maine, including the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad, the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad, and the Canadian Pacific Railway. However, with the rise of automobiles and trucks in the 20th century, many of Maine’s railroads began to decline, and some were abandoned.

Today, there are several active railroads in Maine, primarily used to transport freight. The following is a comprehensive guide to Maine’s railroads:

  1. Pan Am Railways: Pan Am Railways is one of the largest railroads in Maine, operating over 1,600 miles of track in New England. The company’s Maine routes include the Portland Terminal Company, the Rumford Branch, and the Millinocket Branch. Pan Am Railways primarily transports paper, lumber, and other forest products.
  2. St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad: The St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad is a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., and operates over 400 miles of track in Maine. The company’s Maine routes include the Lewiston Branch, the Auburn Branch, and the Danville Branch. The St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad primarily transports paper, chemicals, and other goods.
  3. New Brunswick Southern Railway: The New Brunswick Southern Railway is a Canadian company that operates over 200 miles of track in Maine. The company’s Maine routes include the Milltown Branch, the Calais Branch, and the Woodland Branch. The New Brunswick Southern Railway primarily transports forest products and other goods.
  4. Maine Northern Railway: The Maine Northern Railway operates over 233 miles of track in Maine, primarily in the northern part of the state. The company’s Maine routes include the Millinocket Branch, the Ashland Branch, and the Fort Kent Branch. The Maine Northern Railway primarily transports forest products and other goods.
  5. Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway: The Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway operates over 500 miles of track in Maine, Quebec, and New Brunswick. The company’s Maine routes include the Millinocket Branch, the Searsport Branch, and the Brownville Branch. The Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway primarily transports paper, chemicals, and other goods.
  6. Central Maine and Quebec Railway: The Central Maine and Quebec Railway is a Canadian company that operates over 480 miles of track in Maine. The company’s Maine routes include the Lac-M├ęgantic Branch, the Newport Branch, and the Rockland Branch. The Central Maine and Quebec Railway primarily transports forest products and other goods.
  7. Downeast Scenic Railroad: The Downeast Scenic Railroad is a tourist railroad that operates between Ellsworth and Washington Junction. The railroad operates on the track of the Maine Central Railroad, which was abandoned in the 1980s. The Downeast Scenic Railroad offers passengers a scenic ride through Maine’s countryside.
  8. Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad: The Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad is another tourist railroad that operates in Maine. The railroad operates between Unity and Burnham Junction, and offers passengers a scenic ride through central Maine. The railroad primarily uses vintage steam locomotives and coaches.

While Maine’s railroads have declined in recent decades, there are signs of growth and expansion. In particular, the Maine Department of Transportation has been investing in the state’s rail infrastructure, with the goal of improving freight transportation and supporting economic development.

One project that is currently underway is the Brunswick Layover Facility, which will provide a place for passenger trains to park and be serviced in Brunswick. The facility is expected to support the expansion of passenger rail service between Boston and Brunswick.

Another project that is being considered is the restoration of passenger rail service between Portland and Lewiston-Auburn. The project would involve upgrading existing track and stations, and could potentially provide an alternative to driving on busy highways.

Conclusion

Maine’s railroads have played an important role in the state’s history and economy. While many of the state’s railroads have declined in recent decades, there are signs of growth and expansion. With the support of the Maine Department of Transportation and other organizations, Maine’s railroads are poised to play an important role in the state’s future. The Maine Railroad Map provides a comprehensive guide to the state’s railways and can be a helpful resource for anyone interested in Maine’s rail history and current transportation infrastructure.

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