Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Boston and Maine Corporation
The Boston & Maine , also known by the abbreviation B&M, was the dominant railroad of the northern New England region of the United States for a century. It is now part of the Guilford Transportation Industries network.
B&M was first formed beginning in 1835 to create a continuous inland route between the cities of Boston, Massachusetts and Portland, Maine. It originally rented the Boston and Lowell Railroad tracks between Wilmington and Boston but in 1844 started laying its own tracks from Haverhill through to Boston, completing the route. By 1883, B&M had gained control of other major New England railroads, creating a network of tracks linking Massachusetts, the northern New England states, and eastern New York.
B&M flourished with the growth of New England's mill towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but still faced financial struggles. It came under the control of J. P. Morgan around 1910, but anti-trust forces wrested control back. Later it faced heavy debt problems from track construction and from the cost of acquiring the Fitchburg railroad, causing a reorganization in 1919.
Beginning in the 1930s, freight business was hurt by the leveling off of New England manufacturing growth, and by new competition from trucking.
The popularization of the automobile doomed B&M as a passenger carrier. It gave up on long distance passenger service around 1960 and was able to continue Boston commuter service only by the aid of subsidies from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. In 1973 the MBTA bought the rolling stock and tracks near Boston from the ailing B&M. By 1976 the B&M was bankrupt, resulting in the purchase and reorganization of the B&M by Timothy Mellon 's Guilford Transportation Industries in 1983.
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