B&SR Railroad Structures

(This page is under construction. It is based on a clinic I presented at the National Narrow Gauge Convention in Augusta, Maine the first week of September 2016, and will have expanded content.)

The Bridgton & Saco River Railroad was established in 1881 and completed in 1883 to serve the Town of Bridgton Maine, located in the Lakes Region of central Maine. It covered about 16 miles of very hilly terrain between the junction with the standard gauge Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad in Hiram and downtown Bridgton.

In 1897 tracks were extended another five miles along the shore of Long Lake to Harrison. The rails were cut back to Bridgton in 1930, and the railroad was abandoned in 1941. Two of the locomotives and most of the passenger equipment, as well as a few freight cars and railcars, were salvaged and still exist.

Most photographs and historical accounts of the Bridgton line were made during the Great Depression when the road struggled to survive. One of the earliest histories is called “Busted & Still Running”. As a result, the railroad’s image today is one of a hapless little short line held together with baling wire and duct tape.

For the first 40 years, however, the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad was a busy, prosperous, and well-maintained operation. All of its rolling stock was painted every year, and new locomotives were purchased regularly until 1926. Its structures were similarly well cared for, although they too became very ragged looking toward the end.

 


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