About MEC #470
Maine Central 4-6-2 "Pacific"-type locomotive #470 was built in May of 1924 by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, NY as serial #65555 and at a cost of $62,296.90. She pulled passenger trains for thirty years, including named trains The Gull, The Bar Harbor Express, and the Kennebec Limited between Boston, MA and Bangor, ME. On June 13, 1954, #470 was the last steam locomotive operated by Maine Central Railroad, making a publicized run from Portland to Bangor, ME and back. After the historic journey, #470 was brought to the Maine Central's Waterville, ME shop, where it was weatherized. On June 17, 1954, it was pulled onto its first plinth in front of the Waterville station, ending the age of American steam in Maine.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TRAINS ARTICLE ON #470'S LAST RUN
Used here with permission from Kalmbach Publishing, 2013
On October 28, 1962, during the 100th Anniversary of the Maine Central Railroad celebration, #470 was officially presented to the city of Waterville. A few days later, #470 was removed from its display and returned to the Waterville yard due to construction of the College Avenue underpass. On December 14, 1970, #470 was moved to its new display position and re-dedicated on August 14, 1971. Since then, over four decades of Maine's extreme climate, vandalism, and asbestos abatement efforts have taken a toll on the condition of the locomotive.
The New England Steam Corporation was founded in 2013 to turn back time, bring #470 back to how it appeared in its service years, and restore the locomotive to operating status once more. With the help of many private donors and sponsors, New England Steam officially purchased #470 from the City of Waterville for $25,000 on November 5, 2015. The locomotive was partially disassembled on-site in Waterville and moved by crane and truck to the Downeast Scenic Railroad's shops in Ellsworth, ME in several sections between July and August of 2016.
At Ellsworth, Maine Central #470 will be restored to operation by New England Steam's dedicated volunteers. The economic and educational merits of a returning live steam to "Vacationland" will provide much benefit for the newer generations that have never experienced the "Iron Horse," as well as bring back fond memories for those who remember and miss an important era in both American and Maine's history.