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George Mansfield and the Billerica & Bedford Railroad

Donald L. Ball

1 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0615593712 / ISBN 13: 9780615593715
Published by Aubrey Publications, 2013
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Arizona Hobbies (Tucson, AZ, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 14, 2002

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

When the Massachusetts towns of Bedford and Billerica clamored for a railroad, George E. Mansfield appeared on the scene and sold them on a new, inexpensive way to build one. He finished the line in 1877 and it was acclaimed around the world as a brilliant new departure in railroad building. The Billerica and Bedford Railroad delivered everything its promoter said it would but, yet, it failed financially in less than a year. What happened to cause this failure? Using original railroad documents and letters along with newspaper and trade journal articles, the author delves into the behind-the-scenes machinations that plagued this 8? mile line. The backgrounds of the people involved are explored to determine their goals and motivations. Numerous drawings of the railroad rolling stock and structures are included along with examinations of the technical aspects of line which made it so revolutionary. George Mansfield went on to build the Sandy River Railroad as well as the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad, both of which survived into the 1930s and beyond. After only six years of railroad building, though, Mansfield seemingly vanished from the railroad scene without building another railroad. This is the story of the pioneer two-footer which paved the way for the more successful narrow-gauge lines built in Maine and other locations around the country. It is also the story of the promoter of the Mansfield System of two-foot gauge railroads, who he was, where he came from and what happened to him and his dreams. Contents: Prologue, pp. 1-8; Hyde Park, pp. 9-16; A Railroad is Born, pp. 17-26; Building the Railroad, pp. 27-36; Completion of the Railroad, pp. 37-46; A Description of the B&B, pp. 47-54; Into Bankruptcy, pp. 55-62; End of the B&B, pp. 63-72; Railroad Builder, pp. 73-80; Railroad Consultant, pp. 81-90; Locomotives of the B&B, pp. 91-100; The Rolling Stock, pp. 101-112; Couplers and Vacuum Brakes, pp. 113-118; The Billerica & Bedford Today, pp. 119-121; A Pictorial Tour of the B&B Today, pp. 119-121; Track Layouts and Operations, pp. 122-130; George E. Mansfield, pp. 137-140; Appendix (Diagrams, Equipment Drawings, Track Layout), pp. 141-182; Bibliography, pp. 183-184; Notes, pp. 185-192; Index, pp. 198. Aubrey Publications, hardcover with jacket, 198 pages, 8.5 x 11 x .75 in., B&W and Color pictures and illustrations. Bookseller Inventory # aup715

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Bibliographic Details

Title: George Mansfield and the Billerica & Bedford...

Publisher: Aubrey Publications

Publication Date: 2013

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title

Synopsis:

When the Massachusetts towns of Bedford and Billerica clamored for a railroad in the 1870s, George E. Mansfield appeared on the scene and sold them the first two-foot gauge railroad in the country. It was economical, practical and was acclaimed around the world as a brilliant new departure in railroad building. Although it failed financially in the less than a year, it was the model for the great Maine two-foot gauge railroads. Using rare original railroad documents, letters and family histories along with newspaper and trade journal articles, the author delves into the behind-the-scenes machinations that plagued this 8½ mile line. The backgrounds of the people involved are explored to determine their goals and motivations. The story is complete with the technical details of locomotives, cars and track work of the line which made it so revolutionary. Over 220 images, 24 drawings and 9 maps in 212 pages tell of the line's inception, construction and eventual demise. Reproduced railroad appliance advertisements of the 1870s era are also included. George Mansfield, the "father of two-foot gauge," seemed to magically appear on the scene, build the Billerica & Bedford along with the Sandy River Railroad in Maine as well as the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad. Then, he disappeared from railroading. George Mansfield and the Billerica and Bedford Railroad tells Mansfield's story from early childhood through his railroad building phase and afterward. This is the first thorough history of one of railroading's most enigmatic figures. While the Maine two-footers are well-known to many, this is the story of the pioneer two-footer which paved the way for those more successful lines. It is also the story of the promoter of the Mansfield System of two-foot gauge railroads, who he was, where he came from and what became of him and his dreams.

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