New England ski trip
By Al Barten
Iíve had a lot of fun driving John DíAngeloís Boston to Portland route. In a way itís really two routes in one. OK -- make that two-and-a-half routes. The Boston to Portland section provides some open double-track running, at least half of which is along the Atlantic coast. It's just the thing for a Sunday drive. The Portland to Sugarloaf run provides some double-track running along the coast, but most of the route climbs into the snow-covered mountains of New Hampshire on single track. The ďhalfĒ route is a continuous double-track loop through the foothills of the mountains. On the accompanying map Iíve indicated this latter loop as belonging to the Maine Central (MEC), whereas most of the remainder of Johnís layout Iíve labeled as belonging to the Boston & Maine (B&M).
Depending on the portion of the layout and the era in which youíre running, you have differing choices of rolling stock (assuming you want to stick to the prototype). The MEC came under the ownership of Guilford Industries in 1981 and has, since then, worn the Guilford black and orange livery. Before that the livery was sometimes very similar to the B&M (the two were under joint ownership at one time), having the same maroon and gold-striped livery as the B&M and also a similar dark green and gold-striped livery. In 1982 the B&M also came under Guilford control. Guilford-era EMD GP38 locos are available for both roads at the Trainz Download Station (DLS).
EMD SW7 switchers are available at the DLS for both the MEC and the B&M in identical maroon and black livery from the 1940s-50s at the DLS. There are also three GE 44-tonner switchers in this livery labeled for B&M.
The B&M maroon and gold-striped livery (also known as the Minute Man livery) is available in an EMD F7 at the DLS. With a little touch-up work one could fairly easily convert it to MEC. Between the two eras Ė- approximately mid-1960s till the early 1980s Ė- B&M wore solid blue. GP38 locos, first built in 1966, are available in B&M blue at the DLS.
Passenger service in this area can be considered Amtrak territory since Amtrak's formation in 1971. There is a good deal of Amtrak equipment available at the DLS.
A colorful ski trip
Our trip is set in 1956, when B&M was running F7s in Minute Man livery. Itís also set in late October/early November, when there is still some color in the trees and a good chance of snow in the mountains. As it happens, there IS snow, and it begins to fall as the train leaves Portland Station. The trip is straight forward, following the B&M route to the mountains. Thereís plenty of good scenery along the way.
Sit back and enjoy the ride!
Related items of interest
As I put this show together, I made notes of the steps along the way and fashioned two quick articles for Tips section. See
Article and screen shots ©2004 Alfred Barten. All rights reserved.