Farewell to Number 4. In preparation for her last operating day, Monson Railroad Locomotive #4 slowly builds pressure just outside the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company's shop building on the Portland Waterfront. In just an hour or so, the locomotive will be ready for the day's activities, which will include 3 round trip runs around the city's Eastern Promenade, and a special night photo shoot for New England narrow gauge fans.
When the Edaville Railroad in South Carver, Massachusetts closed in the early 1990s, there was great concern that the largest remaining collection of Maine 2-foot railroad equipment might be sold off piece by piece. At that time, a concerned group of enthusiasts from Maine put together a bid to purchase all of this equipment and repatriate it back to the Pine Tree State as a single collection. That effort succeeded and in 1993, three steam locomotives, one diesel and a large collection of wooden rolling stock moved to a new home on the waterfront in downtown Portland. A fourth locomotive, followed a few years later. The newly-formed Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company established a small museum in the old Portland Company complex, where steam locomotives were once built. The group has operated their trains on approximately 1.5 miles of track on the old Grand Trunk right-of-way which runs along the city's Eastern Promenade. Although quite some distance from any of the historic locations of the Maine 2-foot Railroads, the Portland location has proven advantageous from a ridership standpoint. Not only is it rather scenic, and a popular spot for tourists, but it is also a terminal for cruise ships in the summertime.