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Small but important among the electric railways of Maine during the golden era of the trolley car was the Biddeford and Saco Railroad which motorized its seven mile system in 1939 after a half century of rail service in the twin cities of Biddeford and Saco and to the neighboring summer resort, Old Orchard Beach.
A busy and prosperous little road for many years, the Biddeford and Saco was a key segment in the continuous electric railway route from the New Hampshire state line to the heart of Central Maine, serving as the connecting link between the Atlantic Shore Railway and the Portland Railroad Company in addition to providing terminal trackage for the latter at Saco and Old Orchard Beach. As a matter of fact, for a time the Biddeford and Saco was controlled by the Portland system through stock ownership by Portland Railroad officials.
The Biddeford and Saco operated the last open cars in the Pine Tree State and was the last street railway in New England to run opens in regular scheduled service. It is one of the oldest New England transit properties still operating under its original corporate title but its greatest distinction lies in the fact that it continues to maintain the basic five cent fare-the same fare with which it began operation in 1888! In recent years, the B&S has been given nationwide publicity over this unusual state of affairs -- unusual in that there are very few bus lines in this country where a nickel retains its old-time dignity as the price of a ride .
Electric Railway Historical Society
Engineering | History
Cummings, Osmond Richard, "The Biddeford and Saco Railroad" (1956). Books and Publications. 31.
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