Maine Central Prototype

The Rockland Branch of the Maine Central Railroad connected Brunswick – on the so called “lower line” – with Rockland on the Penobscot Bay. It was part of the Maine Central network from 1901 until the MEC ceased to exist in 1982. The State of Maine purchased the Rockland Branch in 1987 to prevent abandonment. The 56,6 miles between Brunswick and Rockland are very scenic. With several bridges over lakes and inlets. Rockland, Maine is the terminal station. Several generations ago the harbor there was served by the MEC. Several customers – canneries amongst them – had a rail connection. Today it is mainly the Dragon Cement Company in Thomaston which uses the line. As of June 2020 Canadian Pacific Railway is the new owner of the Rockland Branch.

Gallery: Maine Central Railroad

Why build a layout which is set in the Fifties? I think the easiest answer you’ll get by looking at the photos of the “Rockland Branch” of the time. Fascinating to see steam locomotives still in service while the first generation diesel engines are already phasing them out. But there’s something else: In the Fifties traffic on this branchline of the Maine Central Railroad was still considerable, with several scheduled trains daily. Well, at least the line is alive again.