Two foot to Bridgton Junction. On a frigid day in January, a Bridgton & Saco River Mixed Freight makes its way south toward Bridgton Junction with some loads for interchange with the standard gauge Maine Central Railroad.
The Bridgton & Saco River Railroad was a 2-ft. gauge, common carrier railway that operated between Harrison, Maine and Bridgton Junction, a distance of about 33 miles. Built in 1882, the railroad carried passengers and freight from small Maine communities to a junction with the standard gauge Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad....later the Maine Central. In fact, for the latter half of its existence, the B&SR was owned by the Maine Central. The railroad operated until 1941, and was the last of the 2-foot railroads to offer passenger operations. A significant number of pieces of rolling stock, as well as the last two locomotives to operate there were rescued by Massachusetts businessman Ellis Atwood, and became part of his Edaville Railroad for roughly half a century, before being repatriated to Maine in 1993, with the formation of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum. In the photo above, the train pictured is all original B&SR equipment, including Locomotive #7, three box cars, one of only two 2-foot gauge tank cars that ever existed, and just out of view, B&SR Coach "Mount Pleasant."
This re-creation of an early 20th Century scene in Western Maine was staged by the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum, on the main line of the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum. For 3 days in January of 2020, the two museums combined their collections and crews, and for the first time in history, all 5 of the surviving, Maine 2-foot locomotives appeared together, re-creating trains from 4 historic, narrow-gauge railroads, including the Bridgton & Saco River Railroad (depicted here), the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad, the Monson Railroad and the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway.