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The narrow gauge railroad arrived in the United States in the late nineteenth century. Based on the Welsh two-foot gauge, the American narrow gauge was expanded by railroad engineers to a three-foot gauge that became the standard track width for narrow gauge railroads in the United States. Maine, however, adopted the two-foot gauge that was developed by George E. Mansfield in Massachusetts. The narrow track width was ideally suited to the mountainous terrain, and the maneuverability of the trains proved highly beneficial to companies and passengers traveling to remote locations. The narrow gauge railroad served Maine for over fifty years until the early 1940s.
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroads is a comprehensive pictorial record of the history of the narrow gauge railroad in Maine. From the one-hundred-twelve-mile Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad to the five-mile Kennebec Central, Maine Narrow Gauge Railroads features the toylike miniature trains of Maine as they appeared at different stages in their history. The Bridgton and Harrison Railroad, the Monson Railroad, and the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway lines are documented within, as well as the current restoration projects that are under way.
About the Author
Robert L. MacDonald is a founding member and historian of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company and Museum and is a member of the collections committee. He is a retired sales representative for the Canadian National Railways in northern New England and a longtime member of the 470 Railroad Club. He has authored two books on narrow gauge railroads and is a feature writer for a publication on short-line railroads.