After a brief overview of the Maine narrow gauge railroads to start off the September Mid-Atlantic RPM clinic, I presented my Design Assumptions. This section started with assumptions I made about the railroad quite some time ago, those I generated within the first few years of selecting the B&SR to model and after obtaining copies of the requisite books, including Moody’s “The Maine Two Footers” (original version) and “Busted and Still Running” by Meade. In a rather familiar fashion, most of the publications in my collection at that time focused on the yards and the state of the railroad in its demise. These books and acquired materials formed most of the impressions of the line. This is typical, in my opinion, of most publications until recently.
The general assumption I could walk away with from these sources was that everything else between this yard and the next was not that important and probably considered boring by railfans and modelers, and the stops on the line were for passengers and mail only. As my interest changed to operations, the stuff in between mattered more. Research beyond the books was needed. The later addition, and significant exception in my opinion, was Jones’ “Two Feet to the Lakes.” Luckily my grandparents had obtained a few copies, and had them signed by Robert, of which I received one. This reference started to open up the rest of the line and give me subjects to search out.
Along the operations interest, I had also assumed that the B&SR handled only Less than Carload (LCL) freight. Some of this research has been presented thus far, in the Freight Logs, and I will expand more on this topic in later posts.
Other assumptions I jumped to, based upon the way things were done on the Maine Central, was that the B&SR operated on Time Table and Train Order (TT&TO) procedures through out its existence and operated by other “current” railroad practices. The B&SR did operate under TT&TO after the MEC bought the line, it did not outside of that ownership. While Ernest Ward does expressly state that the RR did not use TOs during his time on the line, I am assuming the paperwork (TO below) was eliminated when the town reacquired ownership from the MEC.
Regarding the operations, as mentioned in a previous post, I had assumed the bells and whistles were as we know them today, but research has shown otherwise. The State of Maine laws provide interesting insight into how railroading in the state evolved.
One final assumption is Sanborn Fire Insurance maps are correct. The simple answer is that they are not, which others have likewise commented on, and should be taken with a pinch of salt and checked against photographic evidence. More on this later.