Visitportland.com Visitportland.com

Official Tourism Site for the Greater Portland Region of Maine

Follow

follow us on Twitter follow us on Facebook Follow us on YouTube Follow us on Instantgram Follow us on Pinterest
Visitportland.com
Official Tourism Site of Greater Portland Maine
-->
Slide backgroundVisit Portland Museums & Historic Sites
www.Visitportland.com
207-772-5800 | info@visitportland.com

Transportation History

History Comes to Life at These Family-friendly Attractions

The history of American transportation can be experienced right here in Greater Portland and Maine's other regions, where antique aircraft, automobiles, railways, and trolleys provide family fun and a unique sense of history.

Visitors can take a scenic waterfront train ride along Casco Bay, or enjoy the "Polar Express” where passengers carol and journey to the "North Pole” during the holiday season. Outside of the city, travelers will discover collections of antique aircraft and automobiles, and enjoy car rallies, airplane shows, Model T rides, coastal biplane rides, and plenty of family activities. There’s a chance to ride the rails behind an authentic steam locomotive and see an operating narrow gauge steam railway where methods used by those on the original railroad are in full swing. Gift shops, exhibits and all-ages rides help bring history to life.

Portland first became a transportation hub when the Cumberland and Oxford Canal to interior Maine was completed in 1832. The first railroad reached the city 10 years later: the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth Railway (PS&P), whose joint operation with the Eastern Railroad of Massachusetts began in 1842. The PS&P's main terminal in Portland was on Commercial Street south of Union Street. Six passenger trains per day connected Portland with East Boston. The Boston & Maine Railroad (B&M) arrived in 1843 (via PS&P to Portland).

Portland businessmen led by John A. Poor believed rail connections with Boston threatened Portland's independent seaport. Poor promoted a separate system of Portland gauge railroads to funnel interior traffic to Portland in competition with the standard gauge railroads bringing traffic into the port of Boston. The Portland Company was organized in 1846 to build locomotives for the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad (A&SL) (with trains from India Street in Portland to Yarmouth in 1848 and ultimately to Montreal in 1859). Services to Auburn, Lewiston, and Waterville began in 1849 on lines of the original Maine Central (MEC) system that are now the (GRS) main line to Lewiston, Waterville and Bangor. The route to Brunswick opened in 1847 as a portion of the Kennebec & Portland Railroad which was subsequently subsumed by the MEC and GRS.

The Portland gauge railways north of Portland were converted to standard gauge in the 1870s. The line from the India Street station to Montreal remained independent as the Grand Trunk Railway while the remaining lines were consolidated as the Maine Central Railroad and came under the control of the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1884. 58 Passenger service through Union Station emphasized connections to Boston until the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad introduced convenient long-distance train travel in 1913 with State of Maine overnight sleeping car service to Grand Central Terminal in New York City.

READ MORE
You May Also Like

BUSINESS LISTINGS

Boothbay Railway Village

Boothbay Railway Village

Boothbay
Travel back in time to vintage Vacationland.
 Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum

Portland
Kid-friendly activities & exhibits on Maine's railroad history.
Owls Head Transportation Museum

Owls Head Transportation Museum

Owls Head
Features an operating collection of antique aircraft and automobiles.
 Portland Fire Museum

Portland Fire Museum

Portland
Collection of art and artifacts from the 18th century to the present.
Seashore Trolley Museum

Seashore Trolley Museum

Kennebunkport
Unlimited rides, picnicking, special events and exhibits.
 Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum

Alna
Volunteer run, using original equipment on original right-of-way.

BUSINESS LISTINGS

Boothbay Railway Village

Boothbay
Travel back in time to vintage Vacationland.

Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum

Portland
Kid-friendly activities & exhibits on Maine's railroad history.

Owls Head Transportation Museum

Owls Head
Features an operating collection of antique aircraft and automobiles.

Portland Fire Museum

Portland
Collection of art and artifacts from the 18th century to the present.

Seashore Trolley Museum

Kennebunkport
Unlimited rides, picnicking, special events and exhibits.

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum

Alna
Volunteer run, using original equipment on original right-of-way.

Printed from www.Visitportland.com
207-772-5800 | info@visitportland.com