After the final revenue run on September 7th, 1941, the process of tearing out the track commenced. On September 26th, the scrappers took over and began to dismantle the railroad. The head scrapper, Ben Sceckoway, was lenient and gave the preservationists a chance to raise funds to purchase the narrow gauge during the summer season, but they unfortunately came short. Had the preservationists succeeded, Bridgton's unique narrow gauge line could have made history as the worlds first preserved railroad, but that was not meant to be (the first preserved railway ended up being the Talyllyn Railway in Wales).
Locomotive #7 had the honors of being the last engine to ever run between Bridgton and Hiram as scrap workers loaded up the pulled rail onto flatcars to be brought to Bridgton Jct. It took half a year to construct the original 16 miles of the little railroad but the scrappers made quick work, and the line was all but ripped up in less than a month. All the remaining rollingstock on the railroad was assembled in Bridgton Jct. to await scrapping. Thankfully not all the equipment was cut up at Bridgton Jct. Edgar Mead, a longtime employee and one of the men responsible for leading the preservation movement of the Bridgton narrow gauge, had purchased some of the rollingstock to save them from the cutters torch. B&H 2-4-4T #8 almost suffered its demise to the cutters torch had it not been for John. B. Holt. John, A B&H fan and volunteer from Cleveland, Ohio, had purchased locomotive #8 for $1000 just a week before the engine was due to be scrapped. While these individuals had purchased these narrow gauge engines and cars and felt pride that they saved pieces of Bridgton history, they had no plan on what to do with them.
Evidently, there was another individual that had purchased equipment that did have a plan for the rollingstock. He was a railfan and the wealthy owner of 1800 acres of cranberry bogs in South Carver, Massachusetts, and had the idea of buying up the remaining rollingstock of the Bridgton & Harrison Railway and relocating them to South Carver, MA to help with the operation and to be his 'hobby railroad'. This gentlemen was named Ellis D. Atwood. Atwood purchased all the remaining rollingstock that had yet to be saved by preservationists, and was planning the logistics to truck all the surviving equipment. Though this move was going to be delayed by World War II.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941, the United States became an major participant of World War II and the relocation of the surviving Bridgton narrow gauge equipment was put on hold. According to the book "Busted & Still Running" by Edgar Mead, the rail that was pulled up was sold to the United States Navy to be melted down and repurposed, and it is believed in this manner the Bridgton narrow gauge helped with the allied war effort. For the duration of WWII, the locomotives and railcars of the defunct narrow gauge line sat dormant in Hiram, Maine until the end of the war in 1945.
Upon the end of the war, Ellis D. Atwood set to work on bringing the engines and rollingstock to their new home in Massachusetts. With the help of his cranberry bog workers and two-foot gauge preservationists, He constructed a 5 mile loop of track around some of his cranberry bogs. When just enough track had been completed in 1946, the locomotives and railcars were transported from Bridgton Jct. to South Carver and restorations began immediately. Ellis Atwood originally called his operation the "Bridgton & Saco River Railroad" but it was eventually renamed to the Edaville Railroad, Eda being the first initials of Ellis D. Atwoods full name. More equipment was rescued from the Monson and Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroads and soon enough, the Edaville R.R. was in full operation with multiple steam locomotives and historic passenger and freight cars. Starting operations in 1947 as a working railroad to help with the cranberry operation, it eventually became just a tourist attraction.
The original Bridgton narrow gauge rollingstock and locomotives #7 & #8 saw many years of service at the Edaville Railroad from 1947 all the way to the mid to late 1990s. After the passing of Mrs. Atwood, the Edaville Railroad went up for sale and all rollingstock on auction. Thanks to the efforts of the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum of Portland, founded in 1992, all the historic Bridgton locomotives and rollingstock were returned to Maine after many years away. As of 2020, most of the surviving equipment from the B&SR/B&H can be found in Portland, Maine at MNGRR or at Alna, Maine with the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum, with some exceptions. Most of the rollingstock used today by the Edaville Railroad are conversions of old Bridgton freight cars into passenger cars for hauling tourists.
SURVIVING B&SR/B&H EQUIPMENT ROSTER:
Work In Progress