New book documents Maine’s two-footer railroads
Being published as of Feb. 19, “Maine’s Two-Footer Railroads: The Linwood Moody Collection” by Michael W. Torreson looks at the photographs of Linwood W. Moody.
Beginning in 1932, Moody (1905–1983) documented in photographs and collected artifacts of Maine’s two-footer railroads. A pioneer of railroad photography, his work led to articles in numerous publications such as Railroad Magazine and later culminated in Moody’s 1959 publication “The Maine Two-Footers”. Among his personal effects at the time of his death in 1983 were hundreds of photographs of three of the Maine two-footers — the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway; the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad; and the Monson Railroad. The state of Maine was unique in regards to its narrow-gauge railroads. Most railroads in the United States have a width of four feet, eight and one half inches between the rails, known as standard gauge. Due to the efforts of George Mansfield, a railroad promoter of the late 1800s, a very narrow gauge of two feet between the rails was successfully developed in the state of Maine.
Torreson, a lifelong resident of Iowa, is charter/life member No. 11 of the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum of Alna,. He is also a longtime member of the 470 Railroad Club; the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad at Phillips; the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum of Portland; and many other railroad museums around the United States. In 1968, he bought Moody’s book, and that purchase sparked a correspondence from that point until Moody’s passing in 1983.
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