Quite a Track Record
From “The Real Peculiar Railroad” by Charles Morrow Wilson, in our March 1958 issue.
Every other railroad in North America has a man as its dining car superintendent. On the BAR, she is a woman. Mrs. Doris G. Rosen persists in keeping diner fares below the average of landside restaurants and in serving full-size breakfasts free to Pullman passengers. And speaking of Pullmans: while other New England railroads were dropping sleeping-car service, BAR was buying new sleeping cars.
When the Interstate Commerce Commission grants permission for a rate increase, most railroads grab the increase like a hungry hen grabs a fat bug. BAR has taken only a nibble, declining the total allowed raise on the grounds that it would have been uneconomic for Maine’s potato industry!
Declared bankrupt in 2003, the 108-year-old BAR had struggled since 1969, when the potato crop it transferred to the Penn Central railroad froze in a PC yard, causing potato farmers to abandon rail. Much of BAR’s property was acquired by the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, which likewise went under after the 2013 rail explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. Sadly, the modern-day demise of such storied lines is none too peculiar.