New England Steam
Amazing and eclectic steam from the 1930s handled the unique terrain and transportation issues of New England.
New England Steam 5-set: the works!
New England Steam 5-set: the works!
Catch all New England Steam in one click. These films cover different places and types of steam across the region, including Boston & Maine, and other eclectic lines, fantastically captured, edited and narrated.
Boston & Maine: 4-4-0 to Superpower
The first of two thirds of this is devoted to an in-depth survey of Boston & Maine Steam Power as it was in the mid-30s: switcher, American, Atlantics, Monguls, 10m wheelers, Consolidations, a wide variety of light to heavy Pacifics, Santa Fes and Berkshires—all these arranged in order of size, small to large. the oldest and newest steam power is shown off in dozens and dozens of run pasts on both freight and passenger trains systemwide. Solid block refrigerator to brass railed observation and finally the streamlined “Flying Yankee.” The final part of this tape studies Boston & Maine branch line operations as it was at that time both summer and winter on twelve of the busiest branches.
Photographed by Albert G. Hale. Actual on-location sound recordings by Preston S. Johnson, Black & white, 37 minutes.
The New England Steam series comprises five tapes. For the Boston & Maine, there are two separate tapes.
Boston & Maine: Heavy Haulers & Crack Limiteds
Travel back to the mid-1930s to see action on the busiest divisions of the Boston & Maine. Steam locomotives work the Portland, New Hampshire and Fitchburg Divisions and the Connecticut Valley Line in both summer and winter. Huge hulking Berkshires battle the Ashburnham grade. High stepping passenger varnish—“The Flying Yankee,” “The Alouette,” and “The Red Wing”—go screaming by, as do similar name trains with brass-railed observation cars. Witness the unusual stainless steel streamliner, “The Flying Yankee,” on display in Boston’s South Station. Highlights include the Union Pacific’s streamlined M-10001 “City of Salina” on tour; the Rexall Special with its streamlined New York Central Hudson; and the appearance of Republican Alf Landon campaigning for President in 1936 against Franklin D. Roosevelt!
Photographed by L. Peter Cornwall and Charlie Brown with footage from the John Tolley collection. Sound recorded on location by Preston S. Johnson. Black and White, 32 minutes
New England Steam: Six Main Lines
Back when steam was the way to travel, an intertwined system of lines carried freight and passengers through the hills, hinterlands and hidden corners of New England in the 1930s. Here, six of the main lines are shown in rare archival film. The sweeping documentary covers New England steam, from the largest locomotives, the Central Vermont 2-10-4 Texans, to the sleek streamlined I-5 New Haven Hudsons.
(1) Opening in Canada, the DVD follows the Canadian Pacific and Quebec Central delivering goods from Montreal to the ice free harbor in Portland, Maine.
(2) A winter trip on The Bangor and Aroostook Railway meanders through Millinocket, a town created by the Great Northern Paper Company.
(3) The Rutland snakes through Bennington and Bellows Falls, Vermont. Ever-practical New Englanders hitched the humble milk car to the back of the Green Mountain Flyer, the crack passenger train from New York to Montreal.
(4) Shepherded by three generations of the Smith family through 6 bankruptcies, The Central Vermont Railway is covered in depth: consolidations on the way freights Palmer to Brattleboro; mammoth Texas type 2-10-4s wheeling the Chicago—East Coast manifest freights and high-drivered 600 Mountain Class on the premier name trains between Montreal, New York and Boston.
(5) The Grand Trunk Railway used monster 6100 class Northerns on the thru passengers and smaller power on the way freights.
(6) The New Haven featured some of the very last three-cylindered 3500 class as well as the magnificent streamlined I-5 Hudsons.
Photographed by Albert G. Hale, and film from the collection of John Trolley and Charlie Brown. Sound by Preston S. Johnson and Sunday River. Black and white, 47 minutes.
The trunk lines of New England in the mid-30s when they were entirely steam operated. From the largest locomotives in New England, the Central Vermont 2-10-4 Texans, to the sleek streamlined 1-5 New Haven Hudsons.
The Canadian Pacific
From brand new streamlined 4-4-4s to diminutive 50 year old 4-4-0s. Doubleheading on the Quebec Central. Operations in Northern Vermont and across the state of Maine.
The Bangor & Aroostook
A trip in winter the complete length of the line from Searsport to Presque Isle.
The southern portion of the railroad from Rutland to Bennington and Bellows Falls. Double-headed freights, the “Green Mountain Flyer.”
The Central Vermont
Both northern and southern divisions covered in depth: Consolidations on the way freights Palmer to Brattleboro. The mammoth Texas type 2-10-4s wheeling the Chicago - East Coast manifest freights and the sleek high drivered, 600 Mountain Class on the premier name trains between Montreal, New York and Boston.
The Grand Trunk
The monster 6100 class Northerns on the thru passengers and smaller power on the wayfreights.
The New Haven
The 3-cylindered 3500 class and the magnificent, streamlined I-5 Hudsons.
Photographed by Albert G. Hale also from the collections of John Tolley and Charlie Brown. Sound by Preston S. Johnson and Sunday River. Black & white, 53 minutes.
Two Foot Gauge in Maine: Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes
This tape is equally divided between the Sandy River and Rangely Lakes and the Bridgton and Harrison with a four minute segment in the middle on the Monson and the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington. The only comprehensive record anywhere of these legendary two foot lines actually running. You see the little engines racing through the wildflowers of summer and slugging it out with the drifts of Maine winter. Freight and passenger trains plus the rail buses. You ride the cabs, cabooses an flat cars, put your shoulder to the turntable and actually pull the throttle.
Photographed by Albert G. Hale with additional footage from L. Peter Cornwall and the collection of John Tolley. Sound is of the actual engines themselves recorded by Sunday River. Black & white, 31 minutes.
New England Short Lines
Taken in the 1930s when these railroads were independent of control by the major rail systems and operating just as they had done when first built in the mid-1800s.
The Belfast & Moosehead Lake
The Montpelier & Wells River
The St. Johnsbury & Lake Champlain
The Lake Champlain & Moriah
The Suncook Valley
Photographed by Albert G. Hale and L. Peter Cornwall. Sound by Preston S. Johnson and Sunday River. Black & white, 40 minutes.