All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Friday, April 06, 2007

Reading the Grand Trunk Railroad

There are two new books on New England's Grand Trunk Railroad out this year. Trackside Grand Trunk (New England Lines) by George F. Melvin with John Ames was released in January.
The Grand Trunk (New England Lines) of the Canadian National System were an almost forgotten piece of American railroading. Extending from Portland, Maine through New Hampshire to Canada, the late steam, diesel operations of GT are examined in full color through the camera of one of its long-time employees.
Jeff Holt's The Grand Trunk of New England: Trouble on the Tracks recounts the wrecks and mishaps that have occurred on the line since its construction in the late 1840s and early '50s.
The 20th century brought many safety improvements to train operations, but Jeff details why and how the West Paris Bridge collapsed… what happened when two double-headed freight trains collided head-on in Bethel… and how a train at Snow Falls headed straight for another passenger train that was fully-loaded with immigrants, both on the same track!
The 1901 Bethel crash left one engine twenty feet above the ground, atop the three others. Both engineers, a fireman, and two tramps were killed.

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