Bridgton & Saco River Railroad Coach 11 (later renumbered to #30) is the only surviving baggage/RPO coach from the iconic Maine Two Footers. It was built in 1900 by Jackson & Sharp and later salvaged by Ellis D. Atwood when the B&SR finally shuttered their operations in late 1941. At Edaville, the coach was converted to passenger use. Our restoration is unique in that we plan to bring it back to its original state and instead of using it for passenger service at the Museum it will be an exhibit open to educate the public about RPO and other topics. Work is guided by original drawings from Jackson & Sharp and supervised by the Museum’s Chief Engineer and supervisor Brian Fanslau.
Most labor on this project has been completed by volunteer Fred Fahlsing. Restoration began in 2014 and so far, completed work includes new clear-story windows, ceiling panels, and moldings for the upper section of the roof. Three doors are also complete. The clear-story hardware was restored and installed. The next phase of the project includes custom milling of the new interior siding as well as the installation of both interior and exterior siding.
The Museum displays & occasionally demonstrates an original B&SR box car (#51, built by B&SR in 1889) that has been completely restored and is also in the process of a major track expansion project which will utilize the last two surviving bridges from the Maine Two Footers, also owned by the Museum and original to the Harrison branch of the B&SR.
For more than a year, while Fred built the doors and started milling the siding, Coach 11 has been on loan to and in operation at the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum in Alna. Once we are ready to start installing the siding the coach returned to Boothbay for the final stages of its restoration, now in progress.
The Mystic Valley Railway Society has selected our Coach 11 restoration project as one of the recipients of their 2018 Rylko Award. The award honors Russ Rylko, the founding and only president of MVRS for forty three (43) years until his untimely passing in 2013.
The cash award of $3,900 will be used to fund the next steps in this multiyear restoration project. Earlier this year the Museum received a $1,000 Railroad Preservation Award for the same project from the Massachusetts Bay Railway Enthusiasts.
If you’d like to support our ongoing restoration efforts of Coach 11, you can make a gift through our secure online form and in the comments section ask for it to be used for Coach 11. Alternatively feel free to mail a check to our offices indicating your gift is in support of Coach 11.