News & Reviews News Wire Locomotive loan allows Maine Narrow Gauge to keep operating

Locomotive loan allows Maine Narrow Gauge to keep operating

By Wayne Laepple | October 17, 2022

Diesel from Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington stands in for ailing unit

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Small green diesel locomotive with open air passenger car and caboose
Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington No. 52 heads up a work train on Oct. 8. Just a few days later, the locomotive was loaned to the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad. Bill Reidy, WW&F

PORTLAND, Maine — When Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad’s GE diesel No. 1 came up lame last week, the railroad’s close relationship with the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum proved its value.

Without another locomotive, Maine Narrow Gauge annulled its trains on Tuesday. Learning of the problem, the WW&F offered its Plymouth diesel No. 52 as a stand-in for No.1, and by Wednesday, Maine Locomotive & Machine Works had hauled No. 52 the 45 miles south to Portland so service could resume Thursday. To stand in for No. 52, Maine Locomotive & Machine is lending its Brookville diesel to the WW&F.

“Maine Narrow Gauge has been kind enough to allow the WW&F Railway to use locomotive No. 7, its [Bridgton & Saco River Railroad] turntable, and coaches. so this is an opportunity to, in small part, return the favor,” said WW&F President Dave Buczkowski. “It’s how we hoped the Narrow Gauge Collaboration would work.”

The two museums have developed strong ties following formation of the Narrow Gauge Collaboration in January 2019. Maine Narrow Gauge, the WW&F, and Maine Locomotive & Machine Works have cooperated extensively since then. The collaboration formed when Maine Narrow Gauge lost its display and shop space due to development along the Portland waterfront. The  WW&F agreed to house several historic locomotives and cars at its museum, including the only 2-foot gauge parlor car, Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad Rangeley.

“Maine Narrow Gauge is pleased to have such a close relationship with our partners at WW&F,” said Griffin Bourassa, Maine Narrow Gauge executive director. “Having the ability to help our neighbors, and be able to count on their support, is instrumental to our success and delivery of our mission.”

— Updated at 7:08 a.m. CDT with comment from Griffin Bourassa.

3 thoughts on “Locomotive loan allows Maine Narrow Gauge to keep operating

  1. Good news here! There are at least TWO operating two-foot-gauge tourist railroads in Maine and they are cooperating with each other.

    1. Charles, there are actually three. The Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes operates a very short piece of the old SR & RL trackage in the town of Phillips.

      And of course, there is the Boothbay Railway village but I’m not sure if that is two-foot gauge and it certainly is not of the same character as the other three, but I guess it does have its own charms.

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