Explore the Abandoned Ghost Trains of the North Maine Woods

{Maine’s Abandoned Ghost Trains Location}

Eagle Lake Township, T8, R13 WELS
DeLorme: Map 55, D5 | GPS: 46.322469, -69.375147

This is how logs were moved from Chamberlain Lake to the train cars they were loaded on.
This is how logs were moved from Chamberlain Lake to the train cars they were loaded on.

{Secluded history}

One of the most exciting adventures I’ve had is visiting the abandoned “ghost trains” in the North Maine Woods region. Reaching the locomotives isn’t for Sunday drivers. You either need a good vehicle with decent clearance and about two spare tires, or the above plus a canoe. Either way, it’s well worth the trip if you don’t mind driving down dusty logging roads in the remote wilderness.

Eagle Lake Tramway history.
Eagle Lake Tramway history.
There are abandoned train tracks that run though this area of the North Maine Woods.
There are abandoned train tracks that run through this area of the North Maine Woods.

{Yield to logging trucks}

The roads into the trains are owned by logging companies who are kind enough to let the public use them. This means you need to yield to the trucks when you see them, either in front of or behind you. It isn’t easy to suddenly slow down or go out around passenger vehicles when they’re loaded with logs.

Here is an abandoned sign near the trains.
Here is an abandoned sign near the trains.

 

{Getting there}

There are several ways to reach the locomotives, although either way you’ve got to drive the logging roads (unless, of course, you have a float plane!). This link takes you to complete driving directions to the locomotives. Of course, if you’re interested in paddling in, the directions are mostly the same with the exception that you will launch your canoe from Chamberlain Lake and paddle the rest of the way. Be aware that the wind can be brutal on the lake if it picks up.

The abandoned ghost trains (locomotives) in the North Maine Woods.
The abandoned ghost trains (locomotives) in the North Maine Woods.

{About the trains}

The two full-sized locomotives were part of the Eagle Lake & West Branch Railroad from 1927 to 1933. When logging operations ceased, it was discovered that it would cost too much to haul the now obsolete trains out of the woods, and so they were left in a shed at their current resting spot. The shed has since burned.

The area surrounding the locomotives paints a picture of the logging operations that took place during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. An entire row of old rail cars sits up on an embankment next to the shore of Eagle Lake. If you follow the grassy path that was built by the Boy Scouts to the opposite shore of Chamberlain Lake you will see furnaces and the conveyor system used to move the logs to the train cars. The site is part of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and so is maintained by the state of Maine.

The abandoned ghost trains (locomotives) in the North Maine Woods.
The abandoned ghost trains (locomotives) in the North Maine Woods.
Most parts of the operation have been left behind.
Most parts of the operation have been left behind.
This is what is left of most of the abandoned railroad cars.
This is what is left of most of the abandoned railroad cars.
These are the huge gears that were used to pull the cables that transported the logs from Chamberlain Lake to the train cars.
These are the huge gears that were used to pull the cables that transported the logs from Chamberlain Lake to the train cars.

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Angela enjoys exploring the many beautiful and unique natural places in Maine and sharing her outdoor experiences with others.When not out exploring Maine woods, trails, mountains and waterways Angela can be found plotting and planning her next adventure or buying another backpack.(Because you can never have too many).

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