Maine Central Railroad Company

Maine Central Railroad Company

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Maine Central Railroad Company

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Description:
The Maine Central Railroad Company was a railroad in central and southern Maine. It was chartered in 1856 and began operations in 1862. It operated a mainline between South Portland, Maine, east to the Canada-U.S. border with New Brunswick, and a Mountain Division west to Vermont and north to Quebec.

History

Charter and creation

The Maine Central was created in 1862 through the merger of the Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad and the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad, resulting in a line from Danville (now Auburn) to Bangor. The line connected with the Grand Trunk Railway on its Portland-Chicago mainline at Danville and with the Bangor and Piscataquis Railroad in Bangor. As a result of its connection with the Grand Trunk, the Maine Central initially operated on a track gauge of known as "Canadian" or "Portland gauge".

Expansion

Maine Central purchased the Portland and Kennebec Railroad, which ran from Portland to Augusta and was built to standard track gauge, since it connected with the Boston and Maine Railroad at Portland. By 1871, the Maine Central completed its conversion to standard gauge to facilitate interchange of cars.

The MEC established rail service to the Penobscot Bay in 1871 by leasing (for fifty years) the then just-completed of track built by the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad (B&ML). The B&ML's grade ran the length of Waldo County from the port town of Belfast inland to Burnham Junction,...
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