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Victoria, 3-10 to 8-10-2004
On the evening of July 21st, I heard that Pan Am’s Northern Maine Junction (Bangor) to Waterville freight, NMWA, was heading south. The only thing I knew is that it departed NMJ at 4:09 PM. I expected it to take a couple of hours for them to get south, so at 6 PM we headed north to Pittsfield to wait for them.
Pittsfield is a nice little community, with a beautifully restored depot and caboose.
Something about the depot reminds me of my “home depots” in the Adirondacks. The Pittsfield Historical Society has a small museum inside, although it was closed.
Something that’s often easy to forget in this age of Pan Am/Guilford is the line was split in Portland. Waterville was Maine Central territory, and Pittsfield is proud of it with their wooden caboose.
After photographing the station, I headed back to the car to wait out a downpour. After waiting for over an hour, a horn from the east sent me to the tracks as NMWA rolled through town at a crawl of 5 MPH.
The train was led by a matched SD40-Dash 8 duo. These two were working hard to get the train up some of the hills!
The first several gondolas were carrying “Dirty Dirt” from northern Maine.
We jumped on the chase and headed south to the next grade crossing.
After watching the first 3rd of the train, we moved south to the next crossing, Snakeroot Road. Even though I love the shots in Pittsfield, this crossing is probably my favorite location on the chase.
Light was fading, but we still chased south to Burnham, ME. A couple of railfans from Pennsylvania were there, eager for an update.
We chased one more time to Clinton, the start of signaled territory on the Pan Am. It was completely dark by this time. I’m glad we went north to get them in light!
I attempted one of those cool streaky signal-dropping photos, but since I couldn’t use the tripod it came out pretty shaky.
With that we headed back to Waterville. I didn’t even think about WAPO departing, I was just ready to sleep… -Harrison
This article first appeared on northcountrytrains.wordpress.com
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