Don Young designed what was a large 2-4-4 engine in 3.5” gauge called Lucky 7, based on a Maine two-footer, from the Bridgton & Harrison line. It was also adapted to run on 7.25” gauge rails as Mini Lucky 7. It was also made available as a scale (about one-third full size) version in 7.25” gauge, the Maxi Lucky 7. As can be seen that is a massive engine, almost 11ft long, with a 14” dia boiler, and 10.625” dia driving wheels. It is under construction by Roy Morris, and was photographed in the 7 1/4 Gauge Society display at Harrogate in 2013. It has cylinders of 4” bore and 5” stroke, and Clupet piston rings. The loco is fitted with steam brakes and the tender with air brakes.  Roy made the steel boiler which was hydraulically tested to 250psi and is CE stamped. The tender body is built in 10swg brass.

There were five two-foot gauge railways in Maine. The size was introduced to the USA by George Mansfield after visiting the Ffestiniog Railway in the 1870s. His first 2ft gauge venture was the Billerica & Bedford RR in Massachusetts, opened in 1877 but which closed after only a few months of operation due to lack of traffic. The Bridgton & Saco River, later the Bridgton & Harrison, followed in 1882.

Sadly these Maine railways all failed, but North Wales pointed the way once again with the rescue of the Talyllyn after its owner’s death in 1950 showed the world what could be done. Meanwhile, most of the Bridgton line’s rolling stock had been bought for preservation, much of it by Ellis Atwood, America’s largest cranberry grower from South Carver near Plymouth, Massachusetts. Eventually it was moved to South Carver and the new Edaville Railroad was built. The line became home to four of the surviving five steam locos from the five lines, two from the Bridgton & Harrison, along with a large collection of coaches, vans and wagons.  It closed in 1991

Today the ex-Bridgton 2-4-4 no. 7 is being restored at Portland, at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum and will run again.  The other engine no. 9 probably will not run again. The museum has a fine collection of coaches, restored to their original condition, some in use on the working railway and some inside the museum. There are also an original Model T Ford inspection car and a railbus.

Roy Morris’