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View Full Version : That Railroad near VanDyke and Merrill on the Beaudry



Papa Bear
06-11-2009, 01:23 PM
Here's another question for Beaudry lovers.

There's a railroad that crosses the timber land just north of Van Dyke Mtn., turns a bit north and crosses over into Canada. It comes from Rte 201 just south of Jackman and goes on the Greenville and points east.

It used to be (I think) the Canadian National RR and used for freight (originally it was probably built for timber). A few years ago someone tried to make a go at passenger service and DeLorme now has the name "Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railroad" which is I think the new name it got.

Questions:

1) Does it still run? For passengers? freight?

2) When you go to Van Dyke, do you actually see it? How far in to Van Dyke can you drive? As far as the RR (called "Lowelltown" on the map)?

3) Has anyone ever followed it up to the border? Is there a customs station there (for passengers? freight?)?

There looks like a number of logging road that follow it closely enough to get to the border crossing. Then again one could walk along the right-of-way if the line was not active (or not too active, just once a day service, etc.).

Any information, even out-dated, would be appreciated.

Thanks (still full of screwy ideas)

Jazzbo
06-12-2009, 06:50 AM
Search on "Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railroad" comes up with web site for the RR. Also shows a map of the RR.


http://www.mmarail.com/profile_main.php

http://www.mmarail.com/downloads/mma_rail_map.pdf

Papa Bear
06-12-2009, 10:54 AM
Search on "Montreal Maine and Atlantic Railroad" comes up with web site for the RR. Also shows a map of the RR.


http://www.mmarail.com/profile_main.php

http://www.mmarail.com/downloads/mma_rail_map.pdf
Thanks for that link. Looks to me that it's a freight line. No mention of passenger service, schedules etc.

Maybe that passenger train was run by a sub-lessor of this system and didn't get a sustainable amount of traffic. I remember them heralding Greenville as a great destination between Canada and the Maritimes. Say what?

Now my question remains - has anyone who's been up to that area (primarily 3k-ers) seen a train or even seen the track?

dms
06-12-2009, 10:58 AM
Pb, I've been up there a few times, and I have never seen the tracks nor heard a train.

RoySwkr
06-12-2009, 03:29 PM
has anyone who's been up to that area (primarily 3k-ers) seen a train or even seen the track?
The usual turnoff for Merrill & Van Dyke is before you reach the tracks so I haven't seen it there.

Interestingly another section of that track is the usual approach to Sally Mtn in guidebooks - walk the tracks until you reach the path from the boat landing used by the fire warden. We saw no trains as we deliberately went on a day they didn't run (Sunday?). Most RR are strictly off-limits for hiking so I don't know why this one isn't.

Gamehiker
06-13-2009, 10:14 AM
Hey PB,

The railroad in the Lowelltown-Skinner area is on Passamaquoddy tribal land. Or at least the access to it is through that land. On my trip to Merrill-Van Dyke with Onestep and Pig Pen in Oct 06 we took the right (wrong) fork and very quickly came to a posted sign. It looked like they were very serious about not having visitors on their land. I seem to remember a gate there as well but it was open. Kurt and Phil should please correct me if my memory is sketchy on this one.

We went back to the left (correct) fork and parked about a mile from the Van Dyke summit. No views at all from the summit area.

Jim

Dennis C.
06-13-2009, 02:44 PM
I have an interest in railroads, especially hiking along abandoned and/or historical ones. Here's the topo map of the Canadian Pacific Railway / Lowelltown (http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=45.49979,-70.64080&z=14&t=T&marker0=45.38039%2C-70.80229%2Ccoburn%20gore) in relation to Van Dyke and Merrill Mtns (lower left).

Papa Bear
06-17-2009, 09:15 PM
Hey PB,

The railroad in the Lowelltown-Skinner area is on Passamaquoddy tribal land. Or at least the access to it is through that land. On my trip to Merrill-Van Dyke with Onestep and Pig Pen in Oct 06 we took the right (wrong) fork and very quickly came to a posted sign. It looked like they were very serious about not having visitors on their land. I seem to remember a gate there as well but it was open. Kurt and Phil should please correct me if my memory is sketchy on this one.

JimHi Jim

I looked at DeLorme and the reservation seems to occupy the whole of T1 R8 WBKP "Lowelltown" township, which is actually just east of the old Lowelltown RR station shown on the topo. See this: Lowelltown map (http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze2h6gy/papabear/BM_Station_GMap.html#width=1200&height=920&title=1&t=topo&z=14&object={station:%22Lowelltown%22,lat:45.518,lng:-70.640}). The township boundary is about a half mile east along the RR line from where I'm interested in. That's where the road turns north and follows the tracks for a while and you probably turned off to a side road towards the west (left) to get to Van Dyke before you would get to that point.

Click the map type in the upper right and look at "Sat" and you'll see the roads. I'm interested in from Lowelltown over to the border (including a few peaks north of the tracks such as Lowell Hill) for a number of very old historic survey markers.

I think your wrong turn was a few miles further back on the Lowelltown Rd.


We went back to the left (correct) fork and parked about a mile from the Van Dyke summit. No views at all from the summit area.
Views? We don't need no steenkin' views! :D


I have an interest in railroads, especially hiking along abandoned and/or historical ones. Here's the topo map of the Canadian Pacific Railway / Lowelltown in relation to Van Dyke and Merrill Mtns (lower left). Hey Dennis - if I go, wanna come too?