Track Schematics – the Wiscasset line

This series of track schematics were produced by Trevor Marshall in 2007 as part of his mid-term re-design for his On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layout, and were originally published on the groups Fotopic site. Trevor drew them up to enhance his understanding of the operations of the smaller Maine Two Footers and to demonstrate the relative simplicity of their facilities. They are not to scale and where the track work changed over time, they generally represent the largest variant. Note that the original intent of these track schematics was as model railroad LDE’s (Layout Design Elements) rather than as historically or prototypically correct representations.

Click here to view Trevor Marshall’s On2 Somerset & Piscataquis Counties RR layouts on another page.

The Wiscasset line operated from 1895 until 1933 between the Maine towns of Wiscasset, Albion, and Winslow, but was abandoned in 1936.

The line began operating to Weeks Mills on February 20, 1895, as the Wiscasset and Quebec Railroad. The line was reorganized in 1901 as the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway, and completed a branch line from Weeks Mills to the Kennebec River at Winslow intending but failing to connect with the Sandy River Railroad at Farmington. This branch line operated from 1902 to 1916 before it was abandoned.

WWF-01-WiscassetLowerc

The Lower Yard was around milepost minus 1

WWF-02-WiscassetCrossingc

This station was milepost 0.0.

WWF-03-WiscassettUpperc

The Upper Yard was around milepost 1

WWF-04-Sheepscotc

Milepost 4.8

WWF-05-TopMountainc

Top of the Mountain was around milepost 6.

WWF-06-HeadTidec

Milepost 9.1

WWF-07-HeadTidePitc

Head Tide Pit was around milepost 10.5

WWF-08-Whitefieldc

Milepost 13.3

WWF-09-NorthWhitefieldc

Milepost 17.4

WWF-10-CoopersMillsc

Milepost 20.4

WWF-11-Maxcysc

Milepost 20.4

WWF-12-Windsorc

Milepost 23.0

WWF-13-WeeksMillsc

Weeks Mills was at Milepost 28.2

WWF-14-Newellsc

Milepost 31.0

WWF-15-Palermoc

Milepost 32.9

WWF-16-Chinac

Milepost 38.0

WWF-17-Albionc

Milepost 43.5

The branch line to Winslow was built in 1901 as an ill fated attempt to connect with the Sandy River Railroad at Farmington, but only reached the Kennebec River at Winslow. The branch operated from 1902 until 1916 before it was abandoned.

WWF-18-SouthChinac

Milepost 31.5

WWF-19-EastVassalboroc

Milepost 36.5

WWF-20-NorthVassalboroc

Milepost 39.1

WWF-21-Winslowc

Milepost 42.7

 

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8 thoughts on “Track Schematics – the Wiscasset line

  1. Hi Trevor, I just found this blog and it is a wonderful resource, so thanks for all your work putting it online. I’ve been interested in Maine 2-footers (and especially the WW&F) ever since seeing Bob Brown’s layout in my grand father’s Model Railroader back in the early 70s. I am wondering if you can tell me how the railway turned a train at both Albion and Winslow since there are no run-arounds at either location. While I have seen pictures of both locations, it wasn’t until seeing your schematics that I started to wonder. Thanks, Rob.

    • Hi Rob:
      Thanks for the kind words although the credit for managing this blog goes to Terry Smith, who took the information gathered by the late Bill Kerr and organized it then greatly expanded on the work.
      As for your question, I suspect the train was run around via a flying switch – with or without the assistance of gravity. On the two-foot Bridgton and Saco River, a downgrade into the junction yard allowed arriving crews to set brakes on the train, uncouple the locomotive and run ahead into a side track, then release the brakes and roll the train past the locomotive and into the yard.
      It’s speculation on my part but perhaps the WW&F did something similar at these two locations.
      Cheers!

      • Before Trevor gets jumped on by other Bridgton fans, I would add to his comment. The Bridgton line did not use flying switches, instead they used gravity switching at the Junction. The topography of that area is such that the incoming line is downhill until it reaches the area of the switches and then the mainline rises up to the Maine Central station. Trains of cars could be held on their brakes (in either direction) and when the brakes were released, the cars would start to move, cross over the switches to the yard and coast to a stop on the opposite uphill section. The switches could be changed , if required, and the cars would roll back down the slope in the opposite direction. The locomotive could be detached and moved away smartly into the enginehouse and turntable for servicing and turning while the train went past.

        Gravity switching was much safer for the crews and gentler on all concerned.

        Terry

      • Hi Terry:
        Thanks for this. It’s what I meant to say – I didn’t mean to imply that a flyer big switch was used at Bridgton but somehow that’s what my comment ended up suggesting. Cheers!

  2. Hi Terry and Trevor. First off, I apologize to Terry for slighting you on the credit for the blog, so I offer my kudos to you as well. I guess that I should have looked further before adding my comment. I also thank both of you for the quick response to my question on how Albion and Winslow may have been worked. It is interesting that they would consider using gravity instead of installing a run-around. I have to wonder if that decision had anything to do with hoping neither station would be the end of the line. Take care, Rob.

    • I’ve had a quick look at a couple of my books about the Wiscasset line, in the hope of finding some suggestions as to what really happened, but to no avail (so far).

      The published pictures of both Albion and Winslow do not appear to show any significant grades, so I would discount the use of gravity switching.

      Which leaves the flying switch or the simpler alternative of human power. Two Foot cars could easily be moved by a couple of men and the distances required were short – just enough to allow a loco to escape. Other possible alternatives include use of a horse, or poling or even a rope/cable, but if any of these were used routinely then I would expect to see evidence of these in the form of pictures or write-ups.

      One of the movie films taken on the Bridgton line in the late 1930’s shows the excursion flat cars being moved by human power, and one of the SR&RL in winter shows a flying switch involving a passenger car.

      Do any of our other viewers know how trains were reversed at Albion and Winslow? if so please chime in……..

      Enjoy your Two Footing,

      Terry

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