An Eastern regional Railroad of the 1930's - 1940's
The Boston and Maine Railroad


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B&M 1937
Boston & Maine
January 5, 1937


B&M logo
The Boston and Maine Corporation (BM), known as the Boston and Maine Railroad (B&M) until 1964, was the dominant railroad of the northern New England region of the United States for a century. At one point, the B&M also owned a majority of stock of the Maine Central Railroad (MEC), stretching from Quebec via northern New Hampshire to southern and eastern Maine.(wik) The B&M and the MEC cooperated in management and in passenger train services during the heyday of passenger rail traffic.(rp) The B&M flourished with the growth of New England's mill towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but still faced financial struggles. It came under the control of J. P. Morgan and his New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad around 1910, but anti-trust forces wrested control back. Later it faced heavy debt problems from track construction and from the cost of acquiring the Fitchburg Railroad, causing reorganization in 1919. The B&M is now part of the Pan Am Railways network. (wik)(bm)
The B&M ran extensive passenger services during the heyday of passenger rail, blanketing the states of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and eastern New York with trains. It connected through Pullman and coach services from

B&M 42
Boston and Maine
April 1, 1942
Washington DC, New York City, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Bangor, Maine, and cooperated with the MEC on the Boston to Portland, Maine runs. It introduced one of the first articulated lightweight streamlined trains, the Budd/EMD/GE "Flying Yankee". It ran many name trains including the "Gull" and the "State of Maine Express". Later, in its struggling days, it even ran a Fairbanks-Morse powered "Talgo" train on the Boston-Portland line. Many of its steam and then diesel powered trains were later replaced by Budd RDC cars, before all passenger service ended in 1965. MTA continued to run Boston commuter services.(rp)

History of the Boston and Maine Railroad

Boston and Maine 1833-1885
1833 - The Andover and Wilmington Railroad was incorporated to build a branch from the Boston and Lowell Railroad at Wilmington, Massachusetts north to Andover.
1835 - The Boston and Maine Railroad was chartered in New Hampshire.
1836 - The A&W line opened to Andover.
1837 - The A&W name was changed to the Andover and Haverhill Railroad, reflecting plans to build further to Haverhill.
1837 - A&H Line opened to Haverhill.
1839 - Line extended to Portland, Maine with the renaming to the Boston and Portland Railroad.
1839 - The Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts Railroad was incorporated in Maine.
1840 - B&P opened to the New Hampshire state line.
1840 - B&M and MNH&M continuing the proposed line to South Berwick, Maine, and opened to Exeter, New Hampshire.
1842 - B&M, MNH&M and B&P merged as a new Boston and Maine Railroad.
1843 - The B&M opened to Agamenticus, on the line of the Portland, Saco and Portsmouth Railroad in South Berwick.
18 43 - The B&M and Eastern Railroad came to an agreement to both lease the PS&P as a joint line to Portland
1844 -The Boston and Maine Railroad Extension was incorporated due to a dispute with the Boston and Lowell Railroad over trackage rights rates between Wilmington and Boston.
1845 - B&ME opened and merged into the main B&M, leading to the abandonment of the old connection to the B&L (later reused by the B&L for their Wildcat Branch).
1848 - Another original section was abandoned, as a new alignment was built from Wilmington north to North Andover in order to better serve Lawrence.
1873 - A new alignment to Portland opened, splitting from the old route at South Berwick. The old route was later abandoned.
1883 - The Eastern Railroad was leased by the B&M. This provided a second route to Maine, as well as many local branches, ending competition along the route between Boston and Portland.
1885 - The B&M leased the Worchester Nashua and Portland Railroad (WN&P).
Worcester, Nashua and Portland
1845 - The Worcester and Nashua Railroad was organized.
1846 - York and Cumberland Railroad incorporated.
1847 - Nashua and Rochester Railroad opened.
1848 - W&N opened, and with N&R formed a line between Worcester, Massachusetts and Rochester, New Hampshire via Nashua.
1851-53 - Y&C partially opened.
1867 - Y&C reorganized as the Portland and Rochester Railroad.
1871 - P&R opened rest of way Rochester to Portland.
1874 - The W&N leased the N&R.
1881 - P&R reorganized and then operated in conjunction with the line to Worcester.
1883 - W&N and N&R merged into the Worcester, Nashua and Rochester Railroad.
1885 - The B&M leased the WN&R, which included the P&R extension to Portland.
Boston and Maine Smaller Branch Lines
In addition to the major systems described above, the B&M also built, purchased or leased many shorter lines including: 1846 - The Medford Branch Railroad.
1853 - The Saugus Branch Railroad.
1853 - The Danvers Railroad.
1860 - The Newburyport Railroad,
1863 - The Dover and Winnipiseogee Railroad.
1873 - The West Amesbury Branch Railroad.
1874 - The Lowell and Andover Railroad
1883 - The Kennebunk and Kennebunkport Railroad.
1887 - The Methuen Branch Railroad.
1887 - The Manchester and Lawrence Railroad.
1891 - The Lake Shore Railroad.
1893 - The Orchard Beach Railroad.
More information on these branch lines can be found on WIK.
Boston and Maine 1885-1930's
1887 - The B&M leased the Boston and Lowell Railroad, adding trackage in the Boston area.
1887 - B&M leased the Central Massachusetts Railroad west to Northampton.
1887 - B&M leased the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad into northern New Hampshire.
1887 - The B&M leased St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad to northwestern Vermont.
1887 - The B&M leased the Connecticut and Passumpsic Rivers Railroad from White River Junction into Quebec.
1889 - The BC&M was separated and merged with the Concord Railroad to form the Concord and Montreal Railroad.
1890 - Northern Railroad leased to B&L, now part of B&M, providing a number of lines running west from Concord.
1893 - The B&M leased the Connecticut River Railroad, with a main line from Springfield, Massachusetts north along the Connecticut River to White River Junction, Vermont, where the C&PR (acquired in 1887) continued north. Along with this railroad came the Ashelot Railroad which had been acquired in 1877.
1895 - B&M leased the Concord and Montreal Railroad, giving the B&M the majority of lines in New Hampshire, and gaining the Concord Railroad's direct line between Nashua and Concord.
1900 - B&M leased the Fitchburg Railroad. This provided a main line from Boston west via the Hoosac Tunnel to the Albany, New York area, and included various branches.
1910 - New Haven attempts to gain control over B&M but fails.
1912 - The StJ&LC owned by B&M is leased to the Maine Central.
1919 - The B&M purchases the Fitchburg Railroad.
1919 - Costs of Fitchburg purchase contributes to financial problems and B&M is reorganized.
cir 1930's - Freight business was hurt by the leveling off of New England manufacturing growth, and by new competition from trucking.
Diesel-electrics and Passenger Upgrades on B&M
1935 - B&M and Maine Central introduce the "Flying Yankee", a lightweight articulated passenger train on its Boston-Portland run. This train was built by Budd, with GM Winton diesel engine and GE electrics.
late 1930's - Alco and EMD diesel-electric switchers begin to appear on B&M.
1941-43 - Last new or repurchased steam locomotives arrive on B&M.
1941-45 - 24 EMD FT freight diesels arrive.
1945-46 - 16 E7 EMD passenger diesels on B&M.
1947 - 24 stainless-sheathed lightweight cars arrived for the joint B&M - MEC service between Boston and Bangor, ME.
1956 - Last steam locomotive on B&M as more EMD and Alco diesels are purchased, including more EMD E7, E8, F2, F3, F7, BL2, GP7 and SW models, and Alco S1-5 series, and RS 2 and 3.
Boston and Maine from 1956
1958 - Budd RDC cars has replaced all but interconnecting passenger train power.
cir 1960 - FM powered Talgo train purchased .
cir1960-62 - 50 new EMD GP9's acquired to replace, then scrapped, F-2s, RS-2s, E-7s and older switchers.
Fitchburg
Fitchburg
February 18, 1893
1958 - Troy, NY to Boston passenger service back to Williamstown, MA due to auto traffic growth.
1958-1962 - Maine Central drifts apart from B&M cooperative management and eventually refuses to operate Talgo north of Portland.
1959 - B&M drops mail and express service.
1962-71 - The B&M eroded slowly through the 1960s under absentee owners mostly interested in a tax loss. The last interline trains dropped away, and the RDC runs were pruned back until finally only the Boston commuter service subsidized by the MTA (later MBTA) remained.
1965 - All long distance passenger service discontinued,
1970 - The B&M filed for bankruptcy. During bankruptcy, the B&M reorganized, rebuilding its existing fleet of locomotives, leasing new locomotives and rolling stock, and securing funds to upgrade its track and signal systems. It limped along through the 1970s, and reportedly was on the brink of liquidation during 1973-1974. The B&M was offered to merge its properties into the new Conrail but opted out.
1973 - The MBTA bought the rolling stock and tracks near Boston from the ailing B&M.
1973 - New power arrived in the form of twelve GP-38s,
1977 - Eighteen GP-40 diesel's received.
1977 - Most of former B&M RDC fleet cut off as prime power due to fire risks and harsh winter of '77, and MBTA turned to F40PH's and rebuilt F units.
1980 - The B&M started turning around thanks to aggressive marketing and its purchase of a cluster of branch lines in Connecticut. The addition of coal traffic and piggyback service also helped.
1983 The B&M emerged from bankruptcy when it was purchased by Guilford Transportation Industries.
1986-87 - Labor strikes hit B&M.
1990 - B&M's Mechanicville, NY site, the largest rail yard and shop facilities on the B&M system, is closed.
The Boston and Maine Today
Boston & Maine Corp. still exists today as a non-operating ward of Pan Am Railways. B&MC owns the property (and also employs its own railroad police), while Springfield Terminal operates the trains and maintenance, all owned by Pan Am Railways. This complicated operation is mainly due to more favorable labor agreements under Springfield Terminal's rules.

B&M map 1942
Boston and Maine timetable map - 1942


Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- Various editions
http://www.faracresfarm.com/jbvb/rr/bmrr/b_and_m.html(bm)
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, April 23, 2009, revised April 21, 2011