Prototype Information: the B&B 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. Updated 15-01-2015.

The Billerica & Bedford Railroad

The Billerica & Bedford Railroad was chartered in May 1876 with building starting the same year and finishing in the Fall of 1877. The railroad formally opened for service in November 1877. The railroad ran the 8 miles between the two towns of the title in Massachusetts. Traffic and income were poorer than expected so service was suspended on June 1 1877 and the assets sold a week later. A mysterious “Mr Brown from New Hampshire” acquired the locomotives, rolling stock and rails.

B&B #1

Hinkley #1251 built 1877 as Billerica & Bedford Ariel.

12 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
30″ diameter 130psi boiler
8″x12″ cylinders
30″ drivers
Rear tank carried 400 gallons water and 1/4 ton coal.

This locomotive served as

Billerica & Bedford #1 Ariel (1878 – 1879) as a strict cab forward Forney design.

Sandy River #1 Dawn (1879 – 1908) rebuilt as a conventional boiler first locomotive.

Rebuilt in 1882 with longer wheelbase, larger cab and water tank.

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #1 (1908 – 1912)

This was the first two foot gauge engine built for New England, and was virtually identical to Billerica and Bedford Puck built shortly thereafter. Built to run tank first. Purchased by Sandy River Railroad following dismantling of Billerica and Bedford Railroad. Rebuilt by the Hinkley Works in Boston in April 1879 as Sandy River Dawn #1 running boiler first and using wood fuel. Used as Sandy River Railroad construction engine beginning October 1879. Wrecked on plow train at Sandy River bridge south of Phillips 23 January 1882. Rebuilt March 1882 with longer wheelbase, larger cab, and tank capacity increased to 500 gallons. Became the preferred Sandy River engine following rebuilding. Used for passenger service following delivery of Sandy River #4 in October 1890. Reconverted to coal burning in 1893. Used as a standby engine following purchase of Sandy River 2nd #2 in 1893. Renumbered Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #1 in 1908 consolidation. Little used following purchase of Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #9 in 1909. Scrapped September 1912 as Maine Central Railroad modernized subsidiary Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes locomotive fleet.

Editors note: 20-05-2017: the statements in italics need checking, as they appear incorrect by later photographs.

B&B #2

Hinkley #1261 built 1877 as Billerica & Bedford Puck.

12 ton inside frame 0-4-4RT
30″ diameter 130psi boiler
8″x12″ cylinders
30″ drivers
Rear tank carried 400 gallons water and 1/4 ton coal.

This locomotive served as

Billerica & Bedford #2 Puck (1878 – 1879) as a strict cab forward Forney design.

Sandy River #2 Echo (1879 – 1890) rebuilt as a conventional boiler first locomotive.

Phillips & Rangeley #2 Bo Peep (1890 – 1893)

Phillips & Rangeley #4 Bo Peep (1893 – 1908)

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #4 (1908 – 1912)

This locomotive was a reorder of the Billerica and Bedford Ariel design to be used as a standby engine. Built to run tank first. Purchased by Sandy River Railroad following dismantling of Billerica and Bedford Railroad. Rebuilt by the Hinkley Works in Boston in April 1879 as Sandy River Echo #2 running boiler first and using wood fuel. Used as Sandy River construction engine beginning 25 September 1879. Pulled the first passenger train to Strong 12 November 1879. Sold to Phillips and Rangeley Railroad as P&R #2 Bo Peep in July 1890 and used as Phillips and Rangeley construction engine. Renumbered Phillips & Rangeley #4 and used as a standby engine following purchase of Phillips & Rangeley 2nd #2 in 1893. Used for summer only passenger service between Rangeley and Green Farm upon completion of the Eustis Railroad in 1904. Renumbered Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes #4 in 1908, but little used following discontinuance of Eustis branch passenger service in same year. Scrapped September 1912 as Maine Central Railroad modernized subsidiary Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes locomotive fleet.

Passenger car models availability by prototype roadnames;- B&B

B&B Passenger cars                                      Rev 0                                  08-12-2013

RR

#

Type

Model Builder

Notes

Current status

Builder

Date

B&B

Sylvan

 Coach

Deerfield River (*/#)

sold to SRRR #3 1879

destroyed 1960

Ranlet Car Co – Laconia

1876

B&B

Fawn

Combine

Deerfield River (*/#)

sold to SRRR #4, 1879

destroyed 1950

Ranlet Car Co – Laconia

1876

B&B

A

Baggage/box

Deerfield River(*/**/#)

sold to SRRR #2 1879, used as baggage car till 1908, converted to caboose #4

scrapped 1908 to make SRRR caboose

Ranlet Car Co – Laconia

1876

B&B

B

Excursion

Deerfield River(*/**/#)

sold to SRRR #1 1879, used as baggage car till 1???, converted to caboose #5 which was leased to F&M

scrapped in SRRR rebuild as caboose

Ranlet Car Co – Laconia

1876

B&B

C

Excursion sold to SRRR #3 1879, rebuilt 1894

scrapped in SRRR rebuild as caboose

Ranlet Car Co – Laconia

1876

Deerfield River Laser make 36 foot Quik-Kits (coded * in this table), 46 foot kits (coded ** in this table) and 6 foot 6 inches wide ends (coded # in this table). See the Deerfield River Laser Two foot page for further details;- http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/CarsSides.html

They also make kits for

http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/DRL-O-102.html

http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/DRL-O-103.html

http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/DRL-O-104.html

Deerfield River Laser has full kits for former B&B stock; see http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/NGCarsPage.html and also the FAQ posts for B&B and SRRR. Full kits are coded as DRL-102 etc. in the above table.

Deerfield River Laser make 36 foot Quik-Kits (coded * in this table), 46 foot kits (coded ** in this table) and 6 foot 6 inches wide ends (coded # in this table) which are replacement side (and ends) conversion kits for passenger cars using Bachmann Passenger cars as donor vehicles at http://www.deerfieldriverlaser.com/CarsSidesList.html

B&B; Historic list of plans

Historic B&B drawings list; the content of this list of drawings was last updated on the 11th November 2003.

RR Description Reference source  Vol-issue  yr-mo pg-
B&B Sandy River Boxcar “A”, Part 1 Hall, Mark D. M2FM  1995/3 v47a    pg-13
B&B Sandy River Boxcar “A”, Part 2, Baggage Doors Hall, Mark D. M2FQ  1995/11 v01#02 pg-10
B&B Loco Ariel drawing Cornwall, L. Peter Ride the Sandy River                 pg-126
B&B Two-Foot Gauge Forney Locomotive ‘Ariel’ Golden West Books NMRA  1972/03        pg-32
B&B Loco Ariel Cornwall, L. Peter Ride the Sandy River                 pg-124
B&B Building Ariel and other notes NGSL  1980/01        pg-58
B&B Coach # Cornwall, L. Peter Ride the Sandy River                 pg-186
B&B Combine # Cornwall, L. Peter Ride the Sandy River                 pg-186
B&B Baggage Car “A” Hayden, Robert / Frary, Jim Finelines  1969/05 v06#01 pg-12

The Book list – Part 1- The B&B

b&bbk1

Maine Two Foot Railroad Books

Author

Year

Library #

B&B

 Revision date: 31 August 2013
The Billerica & Bedford of Massachusetts – Railroadians of America – Book 4 Railroadians of America 1879 27 pages, 9½ x 12, reprinted by Morristown Duplicating 1950
The Billerica & Bedford Railroad, America’s first 2 foot railroad and its second life, the Sandy River Railroad  Christian Cenac  2008  http://www.cenac-france.com/en/index.php330 pages, 80 plans (A4 size), 26 plans (A3 size), 55 pictures and 8 water coloursISBN 978-2-9505403-5-5
George E. Mansfield and the Billerica and Bedford Railroad   Don Ball  2012  http://www.bb-rr.com/212 pages, over 200 images, 24 drawings and 9 maps

 

What are “the Maine Two Footers”?

tspo9701

The former Monson locomotive #3, seen here at the Portland Narrow Gauge Museum in 1997 is a typical Maine Two Foot locomotive. The narrowness of two foot gauge track is evident at the feet of the onlookers.

What are “the Maine Two Footers”?

Most enthusiasts would recognise them as a group of two foot gauge railroads that were built in Maine from the 1880’s onwards, and operated as common carriers to their local communities until as late as the 1940’s.

They were characterised by using the same locomotives designs, and the same suppliers for rolling stock initially, and later worked co-operatively to develop better and larger locomotives. A number of locomotives and coaches changed lines at various stages of their careers.

The lines are;-

B&SR; – Bridgton and Saco River (after 1927 Bridgton and Harrison B&H)

KC – Kennebec Central

Monson – The Monson

SR&RL – Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes (formerly Sandy River, Franklin & Megantic, Phillips & Rangeley, Eustis) with two associated lines Madrid RR, Kingfield & Dead River RR which were both developed to handle lumber interest in the area, but never had equipment of their own.

WW&F – Wiscasset Waterville and Farmington (formerly Wiscasset & Quebec).

The first two foot gauge common carrier railroad built on the East Coast was the ill fated Billerica & Bedford railroad in Massachusetts which started the interest in two foot railroads but only operated  for nine months, before the equipment was sold to the then building Sandy River Railroad.

A lot of the equipment was to later return to Massachusetts when the remnants of the Bridgton and Harrison line and two Monson locomotives plus other various equipment were collected at South Carver to form the Edaville Railroad, which ran from 1947 until initial closure in 1993.

In line with most enthusiasts, this FAQ’s will use the term “the Maine Two Footers” to refer to and include all the above named lines. Further information on these lines can be obtained from a number of sources.

For more information about the B&SR locomotives click here.

For more information about the KC locomotives click here.

For more information about the Monson locomotives click here.

For more information about the SR&RL locomotives click here.

For more information about the WW&F locomotives click here.

Listed below are some resources currently available on the internet;-

Maine, an Encyclopedia

http://maineanencyclopedia.com/railroads-narrow-gauge/

Has a useful map showing the locations of all of the Maine Two Footers (click on image to enlarge in your browser). Some of the historical facts presented about the SR&RL are believed to be suspect.
Bridgton Historical Society
http://www.bridgtonhistory.org/Museum/NarrowGaugeRailroad/tabid/71/Default.aspx
 
B&SR Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridgton_and_Saco_River_Railroad
 
Kennebec Central Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennebec_Central_Railroad
 
Monson Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monson_Railroad

Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad http://srrl-rr.org/
 
SR&RL Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_River_and_Rangeley_Lakes_Railroad
 
WW&F Railway Museum  http://www.wwfry.org/
 
WW&FR Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiscasset,_Waterville_and_Farmington_Railway
 
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum http://www.mainenarrowgauge.org/
 
Wikipedia page: Narrow Gauge railroads in Maine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Narrow_gauge_railroads_in_Maine
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Narrow_gauge_railroads_in_Massachusetts
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billerica_and_Bedford_Railroad
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edaville_Railroad
 
Current Edaville theme park site
http://www.edaville.com/
 
Brian Carter has a very useful website about the Maine Two Footers at;- http://www.narrowgauge.iform.com.au/m2f.html

Written by Terry Smith 11-Aug-2013, updated 02-03-2015.