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Portland Weekly Advertiser
Excerpt from an article in the Portland (ME) Weekly Advertiser of January 28, 1870, relating to the Report of the Maine Railroad Commission for 1869.

" ... The last Legislature instructed the [Railroad] Commissioners to inquire into the system of railroad gauges in use in the State and to consider the expediency of providing for a uniformity of gauge on all the lines now built or to be constructed hereafter. They say upon this point that it is to be regretted that we have more than one gauge and point out the advantages of uniformity in saving expense of equipment to the roads and in the convenience that would result to the public, especially the shippers of freight. In case of war also upon our exposed frontier the swift concentration of men and material which would be possible with a uniform gauge could not now be attained.

"They [the Commissioners] don't feel ready to advise the adoption of either gauge. Inasmuch as the narrow [Standard] now connects us with the West and the broad ["Portland"] with the Provinces, yet in regard to roads yet to be built it is to be observed that the narrow gauge is cheaper, both in construction and equipment, than the broad gauge. 331 miles of broad and 290 of narrow gauge road are now in operation but the roads in construction show 111 miles of narrow to 67 of broad [including the Belfast & Moosehead Lake RR], besides the 56 miles of the European & North American, (broad gauge,) yet to be built. Neither are they prepared to advise the adoption of changeable cars, now in use on the Grand Trunk Railroad, or the third railway saying that though both have been tried successfully under favoring circumstances, they have not yet been sufficiently used, and under conditions sufficiently varying, to justify them in recommending the legislature to enforce the adoption of the one or the other as a remedy of the evil of two gauges. So they leave the subject for further investigation."

Courtesy Bruce C. Cooper Collection.

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