Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Portland and Rochester Shortline

The imagineering behind the layout.

The time frame is 1961, when the Boston and Maine filed to abandone the line, officials in Sanford and the Maine capitol searched for an operator to take the line. In order to make this sweeter generous tax breaks and incentives were being offered to the operator and any new business or industry that would locate along the line.

Three major industries took the offer and established operations in or near Sanford/Springvale Maine.

Thomas Cement - Established a cement plant between Rochester and Sanford.

Maine Wood and Paper Products - When the Goodall Mills (textile manufacturing) shut down, MWPP renovated the structures in Springvale and expanded to manufacture various paper based products and eventually added additional capacity to include a recycled wood/paper product called Tough Panel (TM) used in the construction of interior walls for stores and businesses in malls and shopping centers.

Eastern Talc The mine was opened due to a rich vein of the material found North of Sanford. It's output was specifically for the paper industry in Maine and Eastern Canada.

Various other existing business took the advatages of breaks to expand including:

LaValley Lumber - Having a Mill north of town they took a step into the building materials supply business and opened a new recieving and distribution facility for brick, block and specialty lumbers. Located in the new Sanford Industrial Park in 1974.

Simpson Fuels - A bulk fuel (Gas, Oil, Propane and Coal) dealer.

Purina - Feed mill for chicken feed.

Alexander Foods - Opened a consolidated bakery food manufacturing plant that produced Potato chips, cookies and other bakery products for new england chain store operator Hannaford Bros. Located in the newly established Sanford Industrial Park in 1974.

Sanford Recycling - Scrap metal recycler.

New England Appliance Mfg - Maker of energy efficient wood stoves, fireplaces and out door grills.

Next time I will discuss the Portland and Rochester Railroad as it developed from 1961 onward to the mid 1970's.