Boston & Maine 2: Order 558 “Maximum Weight and Clearance Chart”

Map of Boston & Maine Railroad as it existed in 1905

Map of Boston & Maine Railroad as it existed in 1905

In this second installment examining Boston & Maine documents found in our attic, this pamphlet is among the coolest. It is Order 558 which shows “Maximum Weight and Clearance Chart(s)” for the entire B&M system as of January, 1905.

The leading picture in this post shows the entire B&M system color coded by division including: Western Division, Eastern Division, Southern Division, Fitchburg Division, Worcester, Nashua & Portland Division, Concord Division, White Mountains Division, and Connecticut & Passumpsic Division.  Also shown are 3 other railroad lines: St. J. & L.C. R.R., Maine Central R.R., and Central Vermont R.R.

We won’t attempt to transcribe every page as we did in our first post, with the exception of the opening page which details the purpose of the pamphlet. The pamphlet had a hole in the top middle which suggests it hung in a prominent place for easy reference. Also pages 20 & 21 were updated at one point with a glued sheet of paper–it would be impossible to view the pages underneath.

Here is the text from the first page.  The remaining pages are shown gallery style below. Click the picture for a larger view. Enjoy!

Boston & Maine Railroad.

Order 558.

Superseding Order 546.

Maximum Weight and Clearance Chart.

In all shipments over this System, the maximum weight of dead engine or car and lading, and height and width of engine, care or lading, must not exceed the figures given in the following tables.

The height of car or lading must in every case be taken from the top of the rail. Widths of lading on open cars must be equally divided, one half on each side of the centre (sic) of car.

When the width of any car or lading measures between the widths shown by this table, use the greater width following actual measurement, as shown by table, to ascertain clearance height. If clearance cannot be determined from table, Agents will refer to their Superintendent for instructions, advising actual measurements.

All cars for movement in passenger trains must be equipped with Westinghouse air brake, train air-signal apparatus, steam heat train line and M. C. B. couplers.

Cars of maximum weight allowed to run on any Division or Branch, as specified herein, must not be coupled together while passing over such Division or Branch, nor coupled to the locomotive.

It may occasionally happen that Connecting Lines will offer cars, the gross weight of which will not allow them to run to destination via the direct line, but which, by a little detouring on the part of Connecting Lines, or on our own Road, may be received and forwarded to the proper destination. When Agents are in doubt as to the propriety of receiving or detouring cars, they must ask their Superintendent for instructions.

The accompanying map will enable Connecting Lines and Junction Agents to locate stations and routes.

Regardless of maximum weight, this Road, as heretofore, will not accept cars consigned to any point on its System, or its connections, when the weight of contents is in excess of ten per cent.(sic) (10%) above the marked capacity.

Cars that have no marked capacity on them must not be received from our connections until they have passed a thorough inspection and are found to have journals large enough to carry the loads.

All previous instructions in regard to weight and clearance limits are hereby cancelled.

The provisions of this order should be fully and consistently carried out.

Issued by the Operating Department, General Superintendent’s Office. January 1905.

Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Front Cover Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Page 1
Front Cover Page 1
Map of Boston & Maine Railroad as it existed in 1905 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 4 & 5
Pages 2 & 3 Pages 4 & 5
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 6 & 7 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 8 & 9
Pages 6 & 7 Pages 8 & 9
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 10 & 11 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 12 & 13
Pages 10 & 11 Pages 12 & 13
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 14 & 15 Pictures of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 16 & 17
Pages 14 & 15 Pages 16 & 17
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 18 & 19 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 20 & 21
Pages 18 & 19 Pages 20 & 21
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 22 & 23 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 24 & 25
Pages 22 & 23 Pages 24 & 25
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 26 & 27 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 28 & 29
Pages 26 & 27 Pages 28 & 29
Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 30 & 31 Picture of Boston & Maine Railroad Order 558 January 1905 Pages 32
Pages 30 & 31 Page 32
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