Prototype Information: the Wiscasset locomotives

The notes on individual locomotives were originally collated and published by Chuck Collins, and are re-published here with his permission. The introduction, updates and formatting for this blog by Terry Smith.

The Wiscasset line 

The Wiscasset & Quebec railroad was originally chartered in 1854 under the somewhat grandiose idea of using the port of Wiscasset to supply the Canadian Territory of Quebec with an ice free seaport. After a couple of re-organisations, the company finally started to raise money in 1890 and started construction of a Two Foot line in 1894. By the end of 1895 the line had reached Albion, a distance of 43½ miles from Wiscasset, and finally reached Burnham in 1897 (a further 11 miles from Albion).

The Wiscasset line went through a number of financial crises and owners. It was built as the Wiscasset & Quebec which had it’s first re-organisation in 1901, becoming the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railroad. Another crisis in 1906 resulted in a further re-naming this time to the Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway which had the additional benefit of not requiring any re-painting of stock lettered simply with the initials. As far as we are aware, no locomotives were re-numbered as a result of these changes.

The line always appeared to be in financial troubles and scrabbled for traffic and revenues. It was bolstered by a Mail Service Contract and a milk train servicing the farmers of the Sheepscot Valley and allowing them to sell their milk in the Portland and Boston markets. For the last chapter of it’s operating life it was owned by lumberman Frank Winter to transport his forest holdings to market. A train derailing south of Whitefield in the morning of 15 June proved to be the end of the line. No actions were taken to return the locomotive to the two foot rails. The Mail Service was temporarily supplied by a small motor van until the Post Office Authorities cancelled the contract. The line was abandoned, and then the main line rails were removed and sold for scrap in 1934 after a paint company called in an attachment on them.

The company was never officially dissolved, and it was re-activated in 1989 by current day preservationists to develop into the current WW&F Museum.

 

W&Q #1, WW&FR #1

Purchased from the Sandy River as their #3. 

This locomotive served as Sandy River #3 (1883 – 1894).

Wiscasset & Quebec #1 (1894 – 1901).

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railroad #1 (1901 – 1906).

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #1 (1906 – 1916).

 

Porter #565 built 4/1883 as Sandy River #3.

Configuration: 14 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
31″ diameter 130psi boiler
9″x14″ cylinders
38″ drivers
Rear tank carried 550 gallons water & 1 ton wood.

This was the least successful 2 foot gauge engine design to operate in Maine. Its frame was long and rigid in comparison to the contemporary Hinkley pattern later used by Portland, and 38 inch drivers raised the center of gravity. Derailed easily and was especially troublesome on newly laid track. Used as a standby engine for the Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, and Phillips & Rangeley railroads. Rebuilt to burn coal when sold to Wiscasset & Quebec Railroad as W&Q #1. Used as Wiscasset & Quebec construction engine beginning in September 1894. Used as standby engine following delivery of W&Q #2 and #3 from Portland in November 1894. Little used following discontinuance of service on Winslow branch in 1912. Scrapped in 1916 and boiler used as a culvert in Whitefield.

W&Q #2, WW&FR #2

Portland #626 built 10/1894 as Wiscasset & Quebec #2.

20 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
34″ diameter 140psi boiler
10.5″x14″ cylinders
31″ drivers

This locomotive served as

Wiscasset & Quebec #2 (1894 – 1901).

 Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railroad #2 (1901 – 1906).

 Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #2 (1906 – 1937).

One of a pair of engines built for the Wiscasset & Quebec Railroad. Some historians suggest these engines repeated the design of Phillips & Rangeley #1, but Portland data indicates they were longer, and no data survived from Wiscasset. Estimated specifications above assume similar boiler and running gear on an extended frame to accommodate a larger tank for the longer distances of the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railroad. Renumbered Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #2 in 1901. Became the preferred passenger engine until Wiscasset, Waterville, & Farmington #7 was delivered in 1907. Stack height reduced from 50″ to 36″ on 2 December 1911. Used as a Wiscasset yard engine after 1912. Fitted with electric headlight in 1921. Worn out by 1932 and scrapped in 1937.

W&Q #3, WW&FR #3

Portland #627 built 10/1894 as Wiscasset & Quebec #3.

20 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
34″ diameter 140psi boiler
10.5″x14″ cylinders
31″ drivers

This locomotive served as

Wiscasset & Quebec #3 (1894 – 1901).

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railroad #3 (1901 – 1906).

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #3 (1906 – 1937).

One of a pair of engines built for the Wiscasset & Quebec Railroad. Some historians suggest these engines repeated the design of Phillips & Rangeley #1, but Portland data indicates they were longer, and no data survived from Wiscasset. Estimated specifications above assume similar boiler and running gear on an extended frame to accommodate a larger tank for the longer distances of the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railroad. Initially the preferred engine until damaged in wrecks. Wrecked on a construction train at Coopers Mills on 21 December 1894. Cab destroyed by another wreck in January 1896. Renumbered Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #3 in 1901. Stack height reduced from 50″ to 36″ on 2 December 1911. Used as a Wiscasset yard engine after 1912. Fitted with electric headlight in 1921. Worn out by 1932 and scrapped in 1937.

WW&FR #4

Porter #2497 built 3/1902 as Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #4.

Configuration: 24 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
33″ diameter 150psi boiler
11″x16″ cylinders
33″ drivers
Rear tank carried 800 gallons water & 3/4 ton coal.

This locomotive served as

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railroad #4 (1904 – 1906).

 Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #4 (1906 – 1937).

Modified the design of Bridgton & Saco River #4 to include an extended metal cab enclosing the rear tank. Purchased to handle construction of the branch to Waterville. Became the preferred engine on the Wiscasset to Winslow main line following completion of the branch. Cab extension over the tank was cut away after the engine derailed and rolled over at Head Tide on 8 August 1905. Wrecked again in a derailment on Carlton Brook bridge in Alna on 12 September 1905. Used as a standby engine after Wiscasset, Waterville, & Farmington #6 and #7 were delivered in 1907. In 1910 the battered metal cab was replaced by a new wooden cab. Fitted with electric headlight in September 1920. Worn out in 1932 and scrapped in 1937.

 WW&FR #5

Purchased from the Bridgton & Saco River (their #2) in 1907.

This locomotive served as

Bridgton & Saco River #2 (1882 – 1907)

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #5 (1907 – 1912)

 

Hinkley #1564 built 10/1882 as Bridgton & Saco River #2. 

15 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
33″ diameter 140psi boiler
9″x12″ cylinders
30″ drivers
Rear tank carried 600 gallons water and 3/4 ton coal.

This locomotive was one of two using Hinkley’s Billerica and Bedford design revised to reflect Sandy River experience. Used as a standby engine on Bridgton and Saco River. Sold to Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington 1907 as Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway #5. Used as the Wiscasset yard engine. Locomotive scrapped and boiler used to heat Wiscasset shop following crown sheet damage in 1912.

WW&FR #6

Baldwin #31691 built 9/1907 as Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway #6.

Configuration: 26 ton outside frame 2-6-2
40″ diameter 180psi boiler
12″x16″ cylinders
33″ drivers
Tender weight estimated at 16 tons, but capacity unknown.

This locomotive served as Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #6 (1907 – 1937)

This engine followed the design of Sandy River #8 with a shorter tender. The engine was one of two purchased by Carson Peck for his newly acquired Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway. It became the preferred freight engine. Derailed by excessive speed and rolled over at North Whitefield on 7 May 1915. Fitted with electric headlight and Southern valve gear in 1920. Rolled off soft roadbed south of Albion on 4 April 1927. Used in mixed train service until 1930. Burned in the Wiscasset engine house on 15 December 1931 and scrapped in 1937.

WW&FR #7

Baldwin #31692 built 9/1907 as Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway #7.

Configuration: 28 ton outside frame 2-4-4RT
41″ diameter 180psi boiler
11.5″x14″ cylinders
33″ drivers

This locomotive served as Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #7 (1907 – 1937)

This engine was a Baldwin modification of Bridgton master mechanic Mel Caswell’s design for Bridgton & Saco River #6. Baldwin specified outside frames and smaller drivers to improve stability. The engine was one of two purchased by Carson Peck for his newly acquired Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway. It became the preferred passenger engine. Fitted with electric headlight in 1920. It was used in mixed train service until burned in the Wiscasset engine house on 15 December 1931. Scrapped in 1937.

WW&FR #8

Purchased from the Kennebec Central (their #3) in 1932.

This locomotive served as

Portland #624 built 4/1892 as Bridgton & Saco River #3.  

Kennebec Central #3 (1922 – 1932) and  

Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington Railway #8 (1932 – 1937)

Portland #624 built 4/1892 as Bridgton & Saco River #3.

19 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
35″ diameter 140psi boiler
10″x14″ cylinders
31″ drivers
Rear tank carried 600 gallons water & 3/4 ton coal.

Bridgton’s master mechanic Mel Caswell had Portland Company modify the design they had used for Phillips & Rangeley #1 and two Sandy River engines. This engine was purchased to increase the number of daily trains to Bridgton. It was the preferred engine until Bridgton & Saco River #4 was delivered in 1901. Used as a standby engine following delivery of Bridgton & Saco River #7 in 1913. Sold to Kennebec Central 10 August 1922 as Kennebec Central #3. Used as the preferred Kennebec Central engine until service was discontinued 29 June 1929. Purchased by Frank Winter and moved to Wiscasset in 1932. Renumbered Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #8 and used as the preferred engine until wrecked at Whitefield 15 June 1933. The wreck caused abandonment of the Wiscasset, Waterville, & Farmington Railroad. The locomotive was scrapped at the wreck site in 1937.

WW&FR #9

Purchased from the Kennebec Central (their #4) in 1932.

This locomotive served as

Sandy River #5 (1890 – 1908).

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #6 (1908 – 1925).

Kennebec Central as KC #4 (1908 – 1925).

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #9 (1908 – 1925).

Currently at the WW&F Museum. 

 

Portland #622 built 5/1891 as Sandy River #5 N. B. Beal.

18 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
34″ diameter 140psi boiler
10.5″x14″ cylinders
33″ drivers
Rear tank carried 600 gallons water & 3/4 ton coal.

This engine was a repeat order for the design of Sandy River #4. Purchased to handle lumber traffic being produced by mills on the newly completed Phillips and Rangeley Railroad. Used as the Sandy River freight engine until Sandy River 2nd #2 was delivered in September 1893. Overturned at Strong in December 1892, and repaired with a new cab January 1893. Burned in Phillips 19 June 1897 engine house fire. Engineer Will Barker was killed when this engine was hit and overturned by a standard gauge engine at the Farmington diamond on 20 December 1897. Used as the Franklin & Megantic freight engine from completion of repairs in February 1898 until the former Laurel River & Hot Springs Mogul was purchased in February, 1900. Then used as the Franklin and Megantic passenger engine. Renumbered Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #6 in 1908. Overturned with passenger train south of Salem Summit 23 January 1917. Electric headlight installed 13 December 1921. Sold to the Kennebec Central as KC #4 in 1925 and used as their standby engine until discontinuance of service in 1929. Purchased by Frank Winter and moved to Wiscasset in 1932. Renumbered Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #9 and used as the standby engine until discontinuance of service on the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington in 1933. Purchased by a railfan and moved to Connecticut in 1937.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Prototype Information: the Wiscasset locomotives

  1. This information on the Maine Two Footer prototypes is wonderful. What an interesting and thorough history. Thank you Chuck and Terry.

  2. Pingback: What are “the Maine Two Footers”? | The Maine On2 FAQ

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