This Old Steam Locomotive in Waterville, Maine Moved For the First Time in 46 Years
A steam locomotive on display in Waterville for 46 years after being retired from service, was moved to Ellsworth this week, piece by piece.
The Maine Central Railroad donated #470, after its final passenger trip from Portland to Bangor. Steam locomotives were on the way out, to be replaced by diesel powered locomotives.
After it was retired in 1954, #470 was put on permanent display near the Maine Central's rail yard in Waterville and it has sat there ever since. Unfortunately the years were unkind to the #470. Outdoor elements, vandals, and lack of care turned the #470 into a rusted hulk of metal that had lost all the beauty it has when it was placed there 46 years ago.
A non-profit group was formed called The New Egnland Steam Corporation with a mission to restore, preserve and one day operate the #470 again. They purchased the locomotive from the city of Waterville with plans to move it to Ellsworth to begin the restoration process.
How do you move a beat like this that hasn't moved in 46 years across the state? One piece at a time. Volunteers helped donate their time and equipment to disassemble the locomotive for the move.
The three biggest parts were the boiler, the tender and the wheel assembly. Each was loaded with cranes onto flatbeds and driven up I-95 to Ellsworth along with all the smaller pieces waiting to be restored and re-assembled.
The group has a long road ahead of them, but eventually hopes to have this piece of history back on rail and in service for everyone to enjoy.
If you ever wondered what it looked like and sounded like back on the last day of it's run, this video from New England Steam Corporation shows you through pictures and the actual radio broadcast of its final run from Portland.