Bangor & Aroostook Streamliners

The Bangor & Aroostook Railroad acquired its first streamlined cars from Pullman in 1949 and used them on at least two of its trains from Bangor into northern Maine. One train was called the Aroostook Flyer and the other was romantically named the Potatoland Special. Like the Maine Central, with which it connected at Bangor, the B&A trains had corrugated stainless steel sides bolted on to ordinary steel car bodies.

Click to download a 3.9-MB PDF of this 20-page brochure.

The Bangor & Aroostook didn’t actually have tracks into Bangor, but it had trackage rights the last over the Maine Central. Its trains connected Maine Central trains to Portland and on to Boston, with one sleeping car and one coach going over the entire route.

B&A E-7 awaits the signal to depart Bangor with the Aroostook Flyer at 3:05 pm while on the far left Maine Central E-7 is ready to take the Flying Yankee south to Portland at 4:45 pm.

Sad story: Potato hauling provided as much as half of the B&A’s revenue after World War II. That business ceased to exist after 1970 when connecting Penn Central were so slow that almost an entire year’s crop was spoiled when the potatoes freeze because the heaters in the cars ran out of fuel. The railroad failed to process claims for the losses before going into bankruptcy in June 1970, putting many potato farmers out of business while the surviving farmers swore to ship their crops by truck from then on.

Leave a Reply