Macy to South Bog

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  • States: Maine   
  • Railroads: SBRR   

The South Bog Railroad

The South Bog Railroad was a lumber railroad built by the Brown Lumber Company, who operated the line from 1901 to 1906. It ran from Macy (at a connection with the Rumford Falls and Rangeley Lakes Railroad), through South Bog Brook to the east, and then along the brook to the company's logging operation.

It was eventually taken over by the Maine Central, who abandoned it in 1933.

The South Bog RR ran from Macy on the RF & RL RR east into South Bog Brook and south along the Brook to a logging operation. It was a short term road and was removed to beat a wildfire. The route shown on your map is the continuation of the RF & RL RR from Oquossoc to Kennebago, the terminus of the line.

Charlie Flynn
W. Newbury , MA

[Thanks Charlie, I've moved the map to its own page for the RF&RL  —Greg Harrison]


I am researching the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes narrow gauge RR as well as the Runford Falls and Ranageley Lakes std. gauge RR. I have read Doug Hutchinsons book on the RF&RL but his information on the South Bog Railroad is very limited. I know that it ran about 7 miles south toward Beaver Pond with a turntable about 5 miles in. What I am looking for is a map or diagram that show the location of the grade itself and the location of the turntable. For example, did it stay on the west side of South Bog Stream or did it cross somewhere? Has anyone been able to locate the exact grade location?

David Beisler
Jamesvile, NY


David: A reference is the Maine State Railroad Commission's Reports. I found a copy in the Auburn (ME) library. There is a mention in the 1902 report of land granting in the South Bog area. While the maps shown on Google Earth and/or Bing Maps give an idea of the South Bog Brook and accompanying road (probably the original railroad bed), a paper topographical map give better definition. My understanding (and I will have to further research my memory---a risky enterprise at best) is that the South Bog was a down and dirty operation with a poor bed and trackage meant for a quick lumbering hit. Supposedly, the iron and equipment was picked up to beat the large "Bemis blueberry fire", an event started by some blueberry pickers. By the way, the story of the town of Bemis is fascinating.

Charlie Flynn
W. Newbury, MA



Thanks for the response. Seems the South Bog is a big mystery to everyone. I live in Oquossoc, ME for about 6 months a year, and have walked the dirt road/trail along South Bog Stream and could find no remnants of the grade, although I believe, like others, that the road/trail is, in many places, the original grade. But there are also other roads/trails in the same area which could also be part of the old grade. I plan to check in the Franklin County Court House and with the Bethel Historical Society to see if I can learn more. Sadly, the 1939 USGS Quadrangle does not show the abondoned grade.

David Beisler
Jamesville, NY


Small world, David! We have probably bumped into each other at Koob's or the village store... or walking along Shore Drive or whatever they are calling it now (essentially the old rail bed). I'll check back here soon; today is chock full.

Charlie Flynn
West Newbury, MA


This is NOT the South Bog RR. The South Bog ran from Macy's {off Rte. 17} to South Bog which are in So. Rangeley, close to where the Rangeley State Park is today. Charlie Flynn of W. Newbury, MA posted to this effect on 9/10/2010. This map needs to be corrected immediately to maintain the integrity of this site.

Tom Tanguay
South Portland, ME

[Thanks Tom, I've moved the map to its own page for the RF&RL  —Greg Harrison]


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Do you have any pictures or information about The South Bog Railroad? Please . You will get credit for anything you contribute.