Bill Kenny Contributed photo

The Kennebec Historical Society’s June Facebook live presentation, “A History of Maine’s Railroads” by Bill Kenny, is to be held online at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 16.

Maine is populated with intriguing characters who set in motion a fascinating, compelling story of railroads and the unique communities they helped to build, according to a news release.

One of the first states to build railroads and trolleys in the United States, Maine at one point had more than 90 communities with trolleys. Standard-gauge and the “two-footers” crossed the state, including the St. Lawrence and Atlantic, the Boston and Maine, and Maine Central Railroad.

From the first and only international trolley in the U.S. to the attempted World War I dynamiting of a railroad bridge between the U.S. and Canada, Maine is home to a rich rail heritage. Kenny is to discuss the importance of two Maine governors, of the men who needed railroads to transport both product and people in support of their businesses, and how one Maine man was instrumental in opening up Maine to the movement of goods and people from Canada.

Kenny will take viewers on a journey from the first tracks made of wood to today’s high-speed Downeaster Amtrak train. A former career Air Force officer, Kenny directed the movement by rail and ship of more than 3,000 tons of military equipment from the U.S. and Europe for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He also managed the military railroads at Loring Air Force Base in Maine, Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska and in Korea. He now consults in the movement of oversize and outsize cargo around the world via rail, ship, and trucks.

The video is to air live on the KHS Facebook page, KHS1891, at 6:30 p.m. June 16. It will also be available to watch later. Questions can be submitted in the comments during the live video presentation.

For questions about the program, call Scott Wood, executive director, at 207-622-7718.

filed under: