Maine Central Railroad 519
Whyte System Type: 2-8-0 Consolidation
Builder: American Locomotive Company (Schenectady Works)
Cylinders (diameter x stroke in inches): 22 x 28 (23 x 28?)
Weight on Drivers (in lbs.): "engine weight": 171,600; also reported as 172,500
Remarks: Engine is a manually fired coal burner, one of the last two steam locomotives on the Maine Central. It is not in bad condition and could be made operable.
Maine Central Railroad 2-8-0 Locomotive No. 519
History: Like many other regional railroad systems, the Maine Central grew by accretion and consolidation with numerous smaller roads. The Maine Central Railroad itself appeared on October 28, 1862, out of consolidation of the earlier Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad and the Penobscot and Kennebec Railroad. In 1874 the company went on to absorb the Leeds and Farmington Railroad, the Portland and Kennebec Railroad, and the Somerset and Kennebec Railroad. In 1888 it took over the Maine Shore Line Railroad. In 1901 it swallowed the Knox and Lincoln Railway. In 1911 it gobbled the Washington County Railway, the Somerset Railway, the Sebasticook and Moosehead Railroad, and the Androscoggin Railroad.
By October 1, 1882, the Maine Central operated 126.6 miles of track from Portland to Bangor, Maine, plus four branches totalling 155.5 miles of track and four leased companies that operated another 161.30 miles, for a total of 464.5 miles of railroad. It had 59 locomotives; 94 passenger, baggage, mail, and express cars; 1,140 freight cars; 36 work cars, 17 snowplows; and 10 flangers.
In 1910, the Maine Central began purchasing a series of new high-boilered, low-tender 2-8-0 freight Consolidations, acquiring nine that year, Nos. 501 through 509; seven more in 1912, Nos. 510 through 516, and eight in 1913, Nos. 517 through 524: The railroad called these Class W, and acquired more later. The American Locomotive Company's Schenectady Works photographed No. 517 for a builder's photo representing Nos. 517 through 524. This photo, nevertheless, depicts the appearance of No. 519 "as built."
By June 30, 1914, not long after this Consolidation went into service, the company owned 221 locomotives, 311 passenger train cars, 9,640 freight cars, 660 work cars, as well as two ferryboats and seven steamboats. By December 31, 1919, the company and its leased lines operated 1,201.58 miles of track, reaching principally north, northwest, and northeast from Portland, Maine, throughout the states of Maine and New Hampshire, stretching as far east as Eastport, Maine, as far north as Kineo Station on Moosehead Lake, and as far west as St. Johnsbury, Vermont, with a network of branches covering much of the intervening country.
The operational history of Maine Central Railroad Locomotive No. 519 awaits research in local sources, but it is known to have taken a freight out of Portland on August 16, 1937, and appeared in Rigby on June 2, 1950.
Maine Central No. 519 is the second most powerful 2-8-0 among the four locomotives of that type in the Steamtown Foundation collection and is a good example of a high-boilered, main line 2-8-0. In appearance, it differs from Illinois Central Engine No. 790 in having larger drive wheels, a more typical sand dome, and a much lower tender with a longer wheelbase.
Condition: This locomotive reportedly is not in bad condition and could be made operable with some overhaul. It was a hand-fired coal burner, which meant that a fireman shoveled coal from tender into firebox as needed; it had no mechanical stoker.
Recommendation: The National Park Service should commission a report on the engine. The history section of the report should fully explore the engine's operational history, based on research in local archives and sources in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Upon completion of this research, the locomotive should be restored "cosmetically" to its appearance as a freight locomotive of the Maine Central, and the report should recommend the period to which it should be restored, as the engine has had at least two distinctly different lettering schemes in its history. The mechanical condition of the locomotive should be carefully assessed, and if feasible, the locomotive should be restored to operable condition to be used in interpretation and for special events. The locomotive is probably not appropriate for use on a regular excursion train, and should be used for other, less demanding interpretive purposes, but this does not rule out some operation.
Allen, C.F.H. "The End of Steam on the Maine Central." Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin, No. 108 (Apr. 1963): 39-48.
"Arrivals and Departures." Trains, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Dec. 1963): 13.
Baker, P.E., Vice President, Maine Central Railroad. Letter dated Nov. 12, 1963, to Robert W. Adams, Superintendent, Monadnock Northern Railroad. Steamtown Foundation files, Scranton, Pa.
Beebe, Lucius, and Charles Clegg. Mixed Train Daily: A Book of Short-Line Railroads. Berkeley: Howell-North Books, 1961: 268, 300.
Boyd, Jim. "Maine Central Steam Locomotives." Railfan, Vol. 2, No. 6 (Sept. 1978): 37-43.
Edson, William D. "The Maine Central Railroad: Predecessor Lines and Locomotives." Railroad History, Bulletin No. 152 (Spring 1985): 48-83. [See especially p. 78.]
Givens, Charles S. "Early Locomotive[s] of the Maine Central Railroad." Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Bulletin No. 12 (1926): 34-48.
Guide to the Steamtown Collection. Bellows Falls, Vt.: Steamtown Foundation, n.d. (ca. 1973). [See roster and Item 24. This source claims the engine was built in 1910, not 1913.]
Harlow, Alvin F. Steelways of New England. New York: Creative Age Press Inc., 1946.
Hastings, Philip R. "Mountain Subdivision." Trains, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Jan. 1950): 10-15.
__________. "When Steam Ruled June 13." Trains, Vol. 14, No. 11 (Sept. 1954): 35-40.
Johnson, Ron. The Best of Maine Railroads. South Portland, Me.: Author, 1958.
_________. "Maine Central History Highlights." Railfan. Vol. 2, No. 6 (Sept. 1978): 44-48.
__________. Maine Central Railroad Mountain Division. South Portland, Me.: The 470 Railroad Club, n.d.
Kean, Randolph. The Railfan's Guide to Museum & Park Displays. Forty Fort: Harold E. Cox, Publisher, 1973: 174.
Locomotive Cyclopedia of American Practice, Eighth Edition, 1927. New York: Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corp., 1927: 179.
"Locomotives of the Maine Central." Railroad, Vol. 61, No. 1 (June 1953): 104.
Meet the Maine Central. South Portland, Me.: The 470 Railroad Club, 1981.
Poor's Manual of Railroads, 1920. New York: Poor's Publishing Company, 1920: 632-646. [Excellent map between pp. 632 and 633.]
Robertson, Edwin B. Maine Central Steam Locomotives: A Roster of Motive Power from 1923 to the end of the Steam Era. Westbrook: Author, 1977: 44-47. [On p. 44 is a locomotive folio diagram for Class W locomotives of this type.]
"Steamtown Engine Roster, September 1967" Bulletin of the National Railway Historical Society, Vol. 33, No. 1 (1968): 8.
Thomsen, John S. "The Maine Central." National Railway Historical Society Bulletin, Vol. 11, No. 3 (3rd Quarter 1946): 4-11.
Last Updated: 14-Feb-2002