Prototype Information: the Kennebec Central 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 Kennebec Central Railroad 

The Kennebec Central was built in to connect the National Soldiers Home at Togus to nearby Gardiner, but finished a little short on the Eastern Shore of the Kennebec River at Randolph. The backers of the line included Weston Lewis and Josiah Maxcey, both bankers who were also associated with the Sandy River and Franklin & Megantic railroads. Construction of the line started in 1889. The line hauled coaled from a riverside wharf and storage facility to the Soldiers Home boiler house, and also provided regular passenger and freight service. Special services were provided for major events held at the soldiers when trains ran continuously until all passengers had been transported.

The line was five miles long with a couple of intermediate stops. When the original loco’s were worn out, the KC bought second-hand replacements from the B&SR in 1922 and the SR&RL in 1925. The KC ceased operations in 1929, and eventually both of these locomotives were acquired by Frank Winter for his WW&FR in 1932.

KC #1

Baldwin built 1890 as Kennebec Central #1 Volunteer.

16 ton outside frame 0-4-4RT
38″ diameter 130psi boiler
9″x14″ cylinders
33″ drivers
Rear tank held 600 gallons water & 3/4 ton coal.

This locomotive served as Kennebec Central #1 (1890 – 1922).

Repeated the design of Franklin & Megantic #2. Became the standby engine when Kennebec Central #2 was delivered in December 1890. Scrapped when Bridgton & Saco River #3 was purchased in 1922.

KC #2

Portland #621 built 12/1890 as Kennebec Central #2 Veteran.

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

This locomotive served as Kennebec Central #2 (1890 – 1925+).

Some historians suggest this locomotive repeated the design of Phillips & Rangeley #1, but photographs suggest a lower and more diminutive profile. Phillips & Rangeley # 1 was the most powerful two foot gauge engine in Maine when Kennebec Central #2 was built, and the Kennebec Central may have specified a smaller engine to pull lighter trains over shorter distances. The estimated specifications above assume Portland repeated the design of Bridgton & Saco River #1-2 for this locomotive. Purchased as a standby engine, but appears to have been the preferred Kennebec Central engine until Bridgton & Saco River #3 was purchased in 1922. Kennebec Central #2 then became the standby engine until Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #6 was purchased in 1925. Veteran was subsequently stored outdoors at Randolph and dismantled as a source of spare parts to keep the other Portland engines operating.

KC #3

Purchased from the Bridgton & Saco River (their #3) in 1922.

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

This locomotive also served as

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.

KC #4

The KC purchased this loco from the SR&RL (their #6) in 1925. 

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 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.

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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One thought on “Prototype Information: the Kennebec Central locomotives

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

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