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Old Time Trains


The Gull

New England and the Maritimes.

Boston - Portland - Saint John - Moncton - Halifax

Boston & Maine, Maine Central, Canadian Pacific, Canadian National.

B&M Boston to Portland 114.7 miles
MEC Portland to Vanceboro 249. 9 miles
CPR Vanceboro to Saint John 90.3 miles
CNR Saint John to Halifax 278.1 miles


In the early 20th century the Maritimes had closer ties to Boston and New England than to Montreal.
The only passenger train between Boston and Halifax was The Gull. Inaugurated September 30, 1928
operating daily it was a joint service with pooled equipment. Ending September 5, 1960.
The only through car from Boston was a 12 section 1 drawing room car carried on CNR train 14 between Saint John and Moncton as well as on the The Ocean Limited Moncton to Halifax. In addition, a buffet-club-1 drawing room - 4 compartment sleeper operated between Boston and Moncton. Coach passengers changed trains in Saint John and Moncton.
This later (end 1948) changed from a 12-1 sleeper to a 10 section - 1 compartment- 2 bedroom sleeper.
Over the years sleepers and dining cars changed as well as trains they operated on.
Additional sleepers operated on B&M and MEC segments.

RDC's replaced conventional equipment on the B&M between Boston and Portland September 12, 1959.
In October 1959 CPR discontinued trains 113 and 114 between Vanceboro and Saint John
ending through MEC coaches requiring a change to the Atlantic Limited further downgrading service.
The final run of The Gull on Maine Central was on September 5, 1960.

Canadian Rail July - August 2015

Two views of MEC 711 E7. Fredericton Junction June 30, 1956 Ken McDonald


MEC 710 in B&M style paint scheme on 147 eastbound at Shawsheen, Massachusetts, July 1951.
Preston S. Johnson/B&MRRHS Archives

B&M 3813 E7 with No. 8 The Gull passing the Boston Suburb of Malden near its destination. 1950's
Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society

G3 class Pacific 2332 complete with smoke deflectors regularly assigned to train 114 The Gull.
Saint John, New Brunswick June 1952 Ken McDonald

2332 with The Gull at McAdam, New Brunswick October 28, 1952. Ken McDonald
Note engine crew talking with man possibly a company official.
Actually, the fireman is likely just listening!

A spotless and near-new 1255 blowing down the boiler on the way to its train The Gull to McAdam and Vanceboro,
Maine where the MEC would take over to Portland and then the B&M would handle the remainder of the run to Boston.
Both 1255 and 1256 were West Saint John engines from delivery by CLC in November, 1949
until trains were dieselized in 1955. Bay Shore Yard, West Saint John.

CNR 5257 leads No. 14 out of Saint John Union Station bound for Monction with through sleeper off The Gull.
Coach passengers changed here off CPR No.114 (above) and would have to change again in Moncton for Halifax
as would First Class passengers since their sleeping car came off in Monction. June 30, 1956 Ron Ritchie




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