Steamscape - Casco Bay. Monson Railroad #4 runs east along the shore of pretty Casco Bay in downtown Portland, Maine, with a young Guest Engineer at the throttle.
Since its inception in 1993, the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum has called the Portland Waterfront home. The museum's 1.5 miles of trackage runs along a former Grand Trunk right-of-way that is now Portland's Eastern Promenade. It's a rail-trail of sorts, that is heavily utilized by runners, cyclists and average folks taking their dogs for walks. The line passes the city's Marine Terminal, which plays host to numerous cruise ships in the summer, and little 2-foot railroad is among the first things that visiting tourists see when they come ashore. The short train ride is very reasonably priced and offers scenic views of Casco Bay. In the winter, the line hosts the Polar Express, which typically sells out nearly all of the trains that are offered.
Despite all of the apparent advantages of having the museum downtown in a large city, there are also some disadvantages. The museum has very little indoor storage, which is becoming an issue for the wooden rolling stock. In addition vandalism has also been a problem. From a historical standpoint the location is also not prototypical for a Maine 2-foot line. In the last couple of years, and agreement has been worked out with the town of Gray, Maine, to allow the museum to move to a more rural location, and with hopefully better facilities. Future excursions will run along a former interurban ROW in a setting more reminiscent of 2-foot country. The move is expected to happen gradually, over the next several years, as a good deal of money must be raised, and facilities built in the new location.