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New Book
Guy Rioux hardcover

This volume covers the history of the Sandy River railroad from Farmington to Phillips, Maine from 1878 to 1909. The volume is an extensive historical overview, and has over 150 black and white photos and maps. Along with court records, Sandy River and Maine Central railroad documents, diaries, family records, and over 1,000 quotes gives The Next Stop is Phillips a unique firsthand account of the Sandy River railroad. New with this volume will be a gated content file on the webpage, allowing you to view selected photos from the book on your computer and enlarge the fine detail contained in the photos. These photos in the book and file have been cleaned up and sharpened by a professional photographer. The gated content section will not allow you to copy photos, though. Also new will be a timeline of named locations along the Sandy River. One example is a place the crews called the "haunted house." A partial roster of T&E employees is also included from 1879-1909. As with volume one, GPS coordinates of different locations are listed. The difference with volume two is that Rt. 149 in Strong is covered by Google Street View. For those who have never been to Franklin County, it's the next best thing to being there. As one would expect of Maine's first two-foot railroad, the Sandy River railroad is full of history covered in the volume: The history of Bedford & Billerica railroad is intertwined as it relates to the Sandy River railroad in how it came to Franklin County, and its construction in 1879.The Appleton survey is covered, even though very little was actually written about it in 1878-79, along with a copy of an Appleton deed for the right-of-way that went through the Hamlin Farm in Avon. A detailed car graph starting in 1879 that lists each time a car was built or an order was placed by the Sandy River railroad. The graph is broken down by year, builder, orders reported in newspapers, along with foot notes for certain years and then what was actually reported to the Railroad Commissioners. A further breakdown covers whether boxcars or flat cars were built and are then added to give a total running car count. It's about 90% accurate - you will have to read the book to see why - and it attempts to explain many discrepancies, especially in the early years. In the chapter titled The Franklin County Civil War: North vs. South, you will read about the fight for the control of the Sandy River railroad stock that ripped apart the original group who built the Sandy River railroad. This then leads into the next chapter, The Battle for Strong, and a lawsuit that is used as case law to the present. In this case, the Sandy River railroad sued a sitting director and lost. This was how the Sandy River railroad right-of-way in Strong Village was moved south in October 1879, and not where it was planned to follow. The railroad buildings in Phillips yard are covered extensively, like the 1880 repair shop, it additions over time, and when it was torn down. The reported use of the terms "repair shop," "paint shop," and "car shop," and what buildings they might have been, is explored. In 1893, the 44 foot long locomotive No.2 (2nd No.2) was bought by the Sandy River railroad. In 1893, a new turntable was built at Farmington with Maine Central bridge timbers, it was built to turn the No.2. But the Phillips enginehouse housed the turntable in a building approximately 30 feet wide. So how did the Sandy River railroad possibly turn the No.2 in Phillips until 1897' Which building had a water pump, a/the water tank, and the years that three different stand pipes were built, with photos. The 1897 death of a Sandy River railroad engineer at Farmington is looked at closely due to the discovery of over 60 pages of new information. You will be in the cab of the No.5 with all three employees (before the engineer got on) in their own words and thoughts as events unfolded. You will read conductor E. Voter's own testimony how he was the perfect witness. Also included are accounts from the two Maine Central firemen who were in the cab of their locomotive at the time of impact with the engineer in the caboose. After reading this chapter, How Does A Dead Engineer Testify' You Testify for Him, you will see why railroad rules are written in blood.