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Downeast Scenic Rail Equipment

The Downeast Scenic Railroad is acquiring an excellent collection of vintage railroad equipment. The locomotives and most of the rolling stock have been refurbished and are in use on our passenger excursion trains and work trains.


Maine Central Railroad Russell Snow Plow #82

The Downeast Rail Heritage Preservation Trust, Inc. has been presented with a rare opportunity to preserve a true piece of Maine’s railroading heritage. The Russell Snow Plow Maine Central Railroad #82 has been offered to the Trust as a donation by CSX Transportation, saving it from the scrap yard.

The plow, built in 1952 in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, would have been in service over many years on our line, the former Calais Branch of the Maine Central Railroad, operating from Northern Maine Junction and plowing the tracks 126 miles to Calais and back. #82 was last operated by Pan Am Railway in March of 2018 on the Bucksport Branch, and the unit is still serviceable. It has, however, suffered minor vandalism sitting on remote tracks at Northern Maine Junction and is in need of exterior painting and lettering.

It is our intention to restore the exterior of #82 to its original 1952 condition in the near term and to restore the interior, including mechanical controls, at a later date to allow visitors to see how these incredible machines of the 20th century operated.

Moving this plow has been a huge undertaking with a high price tag. Please help us return #82 to its home rails and preserve it for future generations. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

Engine 54

Locomotive Number 54 is a 600 hp “70 Tonner” that was built by General Electric in 1948. It was first owned and operated by the Berlin Mills Railway (Berlin, New Hampshire) as #15. It served the mills by switching cars around their yard for loading and unloading raw materials and products. In 1987, the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (B&ML) purchased the locomotive, along with a sister engine, number 16. Number 15 was renumbered 54 by the BML and used by the railroad for passenger excursion trains as well as the movement of freight traffic. Number 16 was not renumbered and ended up being used as a parts source.

In 2008, the Downeast Scenic Railroad purchased the locomotive from the B&ML, and in 2009, #54 provided the “headend power” for our first passenger excursion train. Today, the “70 Tonner” continues its passenger train service and provides power for most of our work trains.

Caboose 2608

Engine 1055

Locomotive Number 1055 is a 1000 hp S-4 that was built by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in 1950. It was purchased new by Portland Terminal, a subsidiary of the Maine Central Railroad, and was used in Portland (Maine) for switching freight cars in and around the area railyards.

In 1981 the Conway Scenic Railroad purchased #1055 and used it as power for some of their passenger excursion trains. In 2010, when the need arose for a larger locomotive, Conway Scenic sold #1055 to the Downeast Scenic. Today, it is the primary locomotive used for most DSRX excursion trains.

A side note: In the early 1960s, a 10-year-old boy used to join his father, who was an engineer on the locomotive. After school and on Saturdays, he would climb aboard to ride with Dad and sometimes even took a turn at the throttle. As a grown man, his continued interest in #1055 led him to become a volunteer for the Downeast Scenic Railroad. As a DSRX member, he, along with his brother, rides this beautiful locomotive and performs routine and annual maintenance to ensure the 1055 continues to “run like a clock.”

Engine 53

Locomotive Number 53 is a Davenport engine that was built in 1946 by the Davenport Locomotive Works of Davenport, Iowa. The “25 Tonner” is powered by a Detroit 671 diesel engine and utilizes a mechanical gearbox to power its drivers. It is known as a diesel mechanical locomotive.

The locomotive spent most of its early life on the ore docks in Minnesota. As a small engine sometimes referred to as a “Little Critter,” it easily maneuvered the docking facilities, pushing loaded and empty ore cars about the docks on the Great Lakes. Locomotives such as #53 were mostly utilized by private companies that needed to move freight cars around their facilities but did not want to incur the expense of operating and maintaining a full-size engine.

In 2008, refurbished with new cab seating and controls, Engine #53 was donated to the Downeast Scenic by a founding board member and supporter of the Downeast Rail Heritage Foundation. Today, the locomotive serves the DSRX by moving equipment, cars, and even larger locomotives during times when our much larger mainline locomotives are out of service.

Engine 53 in the yard

Passenger Coach #123 UNION RIVER

Coach #123 is an early example of all-steel construction. It was built in 1917 by the Pullman Company for the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad. Originally numbered 4315, it was first used in commuter service in New Jersey and was one of the first ten railroad cars in the United States to be wired for electric traction. On September 3, 1930, with Thomas Edison as an engineer, the car was connected to two other coaches and inaugurated the first electric train to run between Montclair and Hoboken, NJ, using Edison Electric Company propulsion. In 1986, the car was purchased by the Mount Dora Scenic Railroad in Florida, and then in 2000, sold by Railmark for use on tourist trains in Walled Lake, Michigan.

The Downeast Scenic Railroad purchased the coach from Railmark in the fall of 2009, and it was shipped by railroad flatcar to Maine. Volunteers with the DSRX gave the coach a very thorough cleaning and new coats of paint that matched the original colors. With the original interior refurbished and the running gear rebuilt where needed, the coach looks very much as it did when it was built. The car rolled into DSRX service in July 2010 with a new number, 123, and name, UNION RIVER.

LENGTH: 70 feet (over the buffers)
WEIGHT: 55 Tons
SEATING: 80 Passengers

Passenger Coach #155 McNEIL POINT

Coach #155 was built by the Laconia Car Company of Laconia, NH, in 1910. The wooden coach was built as an enclosed day coach for the Maine Central Railroad (MEC). In 1947, with the advent of more modern passenger cars, the MEC converted it to a workmen’s bunk car. During its years as a bunk car, it caught on fire twice from coal stoves, and the interior was burned at both ends. The coach was acquired by the Conway Scenic Railroad in 1978. Conway Scenic removed all the windows, converting it to an “open-air” car, and installed seats they salvaged from retired Boston, Maine, and Canadian National coaches.

In 2008, the Conway Scenic donated #155 to the Downeast Scenic Railroad. Our volunteer crew members spent two years rebuilding the interior and exterior of the coach, then completely repainted it. Today, #155 is a regular on our scenic excursion trains.

LENGTH: 76.5 feet (over the buffers)
WEIGHT: 40 Tons
SEATING: 80 Passengers

Combination Passenger / Baggage Car #102 GREEN LAKE

This wooden combination passenger and baggage car (“combine”) was built by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad (D&H) in their shops at Oneonta, New York, in 1904. It was originally numbered 540 and carried that number until 1927 when the car was rebuilt and renumbered 546. In 1943, the car was again renumbered, this time to 102. During the last two decades of its existence on the D&H, it was used on the Plattsburg to Lake Placid Line in northern New York. Retired in 1960, the car served, for a brief spell, on the Blackmount & Haverhill R.R., a short-lived tourist line at North Haverhill, NH. In August 1974, #102 became the first car to carry passengers on the Conway Scenic Railroad at Conway, NH.

DSRX volunteers completely rebuilt the interior of Green Lake. The woodwork is exceptional, especially the new maple ceiling and walls. All of the “flip-over” seats were reupholstered, and the mahogany armrests retained their original pinstriping and seat number insignia. The baggage portion of the car has been fitted with a picnic table and seating, plus guard railings for viewing through the sliding baggage doors. Car #102 has become a favorite for many passengers to enjoy their train ride.

LENGTH: 76 feet (over the buffers)
WEIGHT: 60 Tons
SEATING: 38 Passengers (Passenger area), 10 passengers (Baggage area)


Our “Open Air Car” was built in 1964 by Magor for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR) as a flat car to transport pulpwood to the paper mills of Northern Maine. It, and cars like it, were referred to as “Pulp Racks.” They were equipped with V-shaped floors, heavy-duty bulkheads at each end, plus a bulkhead in the center. In 1969 a number of these cars were rebuilt with flat floors and the center bulkheads removed. They were then used for transporting lumber. Unfortunately, the original BAR number and rebuild renumber for this car are unknown. We do know, however, that it was originally numbered within the 1100 to 1267 series and renumbered into the 400 series when rebuilt for carrying lumber. This flatcar, along with two others just like it, was purchased by the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad (BM&L). The BM&L cut the end bulkheads to 3 feet on two of the cars, rebuilt the floors with heavy plywood, and erected a framework to support canopies for shade. For seating, they were fitted with bench seats and picnic tables.

In 2008, the Downeast Scenic purchased #124 from the BM&L. The BM&L had used this car as part of their steam passenger train that was equipped with European-style couplers. Before we could operate the car, we removed those couplers and replaced them with North American-style couplers. Our volunteers then repainted the car, rebuilt the floor, and installed new canopies. Volunteer carpenters refurbished and painted the picnic tables and seating for passengers to enjoy on our excursion trips. #124 was part of the first DSRX excursion and has since become a passenger favorite.

LENGTH: 72 Feet (over the couplers)
WEIGHT: 30Tons
SEATING: 34 Passengers (Seated), 16 passengers (Standing along the railing)

Caboose #2608

Caboose #2608 was built in 1926 in the Reading Railroad Shops in Philadelphia, PA. It is an all-steel example of a Northeast-style design with a center cupola. The origin of the brass porthole window in the rear of the caboose is, at this time, unclear, though a couple of old photographs show Reading Northeast-style cabooses with a porthole window.

The caboose was equipped with a coal-fired stove, sink, desk, restroom, and bunk areas. The center cupola provided good visibility for the conductor and/or brakeman to view the train in front of them.

The caboose remained on the Reading roster until 1963 when it was purchased by the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad (B&ML) and was renumbered 28. The Downeast Scenic purchased the caboose from the B&ML in 2008, and it was transported by truck to Washington Junction Railyard. The Downeast Scenic renumbered the car to 2608, “26” being the year it was built and “08” being the year it was purchased.

Today, the caboose is used on DSRX work trains to carry crew members and maintenance-of-way workers to various locations on the line. During our Touch-a-Train special event day, the railroad provides free caboose rides to children and their parents. There is a short presentation about cabooses and the role they played in early railroading in the United States.

LENGTH: 34 Feet (over the couplers)

Flatcar #26

Downeast Scenic #26 was built in 1964 by Magor for the former Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR). It was equipped with heavy-duty bulkheads at each end, a center bulkhead, and a V-shaped floor for carrying pulpwood to the paper mills in northern Maine. In 1969, a number of these cars were rebuilt with flat floors, with the center bulkheads removed, and they were converted for use in transporting lumber. The cars were renumbered into the 400 series. This car was numbered 435 by the BAR. The wheels were equipped with roller bearings that were safer and required less maintenance than the earlier friction-bearing trucks. The Belfast & Moosehead Lake purchased the car from the BAR along with two others in the early 90’s. The other two were converted into open-air passenger cars, and this one remained a freight car.

In 2008, #26, along with another flatcar and a hopper car, was purchased by the Downeast Scenic. Car #26 is mostly used by the DSRX as a part of the work train, carrying debris cleaned from the right-of-way, new rail ties to be installed, as well as removing old ties for disposal. Materials and equipment are carried on the flat car while our volunteer workers ride behind in Caboose #2608.

LENGTH: 72 Feet (over the couplers)
WEIGHT: 30 Tons

Hopper Car #46

In 1944, the American Car and Foundry (ACF) built 35 two-pocket, 50-ton hopper cars for the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad (BAR)1. Several were modified by the Mechanical Department at the Derby Shops that allowed the bays, or pockets, to discharge out the side. This modification was made to enable the car to carry and discharge ballast along the side, as well as the center, of the roadbed.

DSRX Hopper #46 was part of a three-car purchase from the B&ML made in 2008. Today, the railroad uses the hopper primarily for maintenance-of-way work, carrying and distributing ballast.

1 Sweetland and Horsley, “Northern New England Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment,” 1964, p25


Flat Car #214

Flatcar Number #214 was built in 1944 by Bethlehem Car Works for the Maine Central Railroad (MEC). When no longer needed by the Maine Central, it was sold to the Maine Department of Transportation (MDTT). They used the car to distribute welded rail during the rebuilding of the Rockland Branch, which was also owned by MDTT. Downeast Scenic acquired the car on permanent loan from MDTT in 2008. As of this writing, 214 is used for storing some of the original parts of the #470 Steam Locomotive. To become roadworthy, the car will undergo repairs to the braking system.

LENGTH: 72 Feet (over the couplers)
WEIGHT: 30 Tons

Maintenance Of Way

The Downeast Scenic Railroad Maintenance of way equipment.

Steam Locomotive #470

Owned by New England Steam Corporation
Undergoing restoration at DSRX Railyard, Hancock, Maine

“Former Maine Central steam locomotive Number 470, a Pacific-type (4-6-2) locomotive, was built in May 1924 by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) in Schenectady, New York. The locomotive was built at a cost of $62,296.90 and was given serial number 65555. For 30 years, the 470 was assigned to pull Maine Central’s premier passenger trains between Boston and Bangor. These famous trains included The Gull, The Kennebec Limited, and The Bar Harbor Express.

On June 13, 1954, #470 became the last steam locomotive operated by the Maine Central Railroad when it made a highly publicized run from Portland to Bangor and returned. Following this historic journey, #470 was taken to the Maine Central’s Waterville shop, where it was completely weatherized. On June 17, 1954, she was rolled onto a supporting foundation in front of the Waterville station, ending the age of steam-powered trains on the Maine Central.

Locomotive #470 is now under the ownership of the New England Steam Corporation (NESCO), a not-for-profit organization. The locomotive has been moved to the Downeast Scenic Railyard in Hancock, Maine, and is currently undergoing a complete restoration. The merits of returning a live steam locomotive to Maine includes excitement for the newer generations who have never experienced the “iron horse” and reviving fond memories for those who do remember and miss that important era in both the American and Maine railroad history.”2

2 New England Steam Corporation website