Location of Maine’s Abandoned Ghost Trains
Eagle Lake Township, T8, R13 WELS
DeLorme: Map 55, D5 | GPS: 46.322469, -69.375147
A historical tale unfolds
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.
Yield to logging trucks along the way!
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.
How to get 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.
About the abandoned 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.