The Maine Central Railroad (now owned by Guilford Transportation) began life as the Penobscot and Kennebec that was chartered the 5th of April 1845. Construction actually began in the spring of 1853 on the line from Waterville to Bangor. The 55 mile stretch was opened in 1855. This connected with the Androscoggin and Kennebec that went from Danville Junction to Waterville. A rail way was now open for the first time from Bangor to Portland, and points south. On November 1, 1856 the Waterville to Bangor line was leased to and operated by the Androscoggin and Kennebec. In 1862 the two lines merged and renamed themselves the Maine Central. From 1862 to 1873 the Maine Central acquired a number of other smaller lines, and in 1873 the Legislature formally consolidated the Maine Central. Throughout the 19th and the first half of the 20th Centuries the Maine Central acquired smaller lines, including the E & NA, to become the largest railroad in Maine. By 1882 the Central owned 58 locomotives, 1,119 cars (25 passenger cars, 25 baggage, mail or express cars, 645 box cars, 474 platform cars, and 40 service cars). The company either owned or leased almost 355 miles of track.