Boston and Maine Railroad


SKU: 1270or
Product Details


Beautifully engraved antique stock certificate from the Boston and Maine Railroad dating back to the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's. This document, which is signed by the company Vice President and Treasurer, was printed by the Hamilton Bank Note Company, measures approximately 11 3/4" (w) by 8" (h). 


This certificate's vignette features a steaming locomotive.


You will receive the exact certificate pictured.

    Historical Context

    The Boston and Maine was the second major New England railroad - originally chartered in New Hampshire on June 27, 1835.

    The B & M in 1900 had a system of owned and leased lines that totaled over 1,700 miles, had a major financial interest in the Maine Central, and had a growing interest in the Fitchburg. Lucius Tuttle (1846-1914) was President of both the B & M and Maine Central from around 1895 until 1910. At the turn of the century Tuttle’s Boston and Maine had so simple and chaste a financial structure (without benefit of watered stock, second mortgages, or refunding certificates) that E.H. Harriman, upon hearing of it, was reported to have exclaimed: “Great Scott! Is there anything like that left out of doors?”

    The B&M flourished with the growth of New England's mill towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but still faced financial struggles. It came under the control of J. P. Morgan and his New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad around 1910, but anti-trust forces wrested control back. Later it faced heavy debt problems from track construction and from the cost of acquiring the Fitchburg Railroad, causing a reorganization in 1919.

    Around 1930, freight business was hurt by the leveling off of New England manufacturing growth and by new competition from trucking. In 1925 B&M reported 2,956 million net ton-miles of revenue freight and 740 million passenger-miles; at the end of the year it operated 2,291 route-miles including "42.85 miles of electric street railway". Those totals did not include the B&C, M&WR, StJ&LC or YH&B.

    The B&M's most traveled and well known passenger trains included the Alouette, Ambassador, Cheshire, Day White Mountains, East Wind, Green Mountain Flyer, Gull, Kennebec, Minute Man, Montrealer/Washingtonian, Mountaineer, Pine Tree, Red Wing, and State of Maine but the popularization of the automobile doomed B&M as a passenger carrier. It cut its Troy, New York, to Boston passenger service back to Williamstown, Massachusetts, in January 1958 and gave up on long distance passenger service completely by 1965. It was able to continue Boston commuter service only by the aid of subsidies from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

    Around this time, the company changed it's name to the Boston and Maine Corporation.

    The B&M filed for bankruptcy in December 1970. During bankruptcy the B&M reorganized. It rebuilt its existing fleet of locomotives, it leased new locomotives and rolling stock, and it secured funds for upgrading its track and signal systems.

    For much of the decade, the Boston and Maine limped along. In 1973 the MBTA bought the rolling stock and tracks near Boston from the ailing B&M used in its commuter operations. In 1973 and 1974 the B&M was on the brink of liquidation. The B&M was offered to merge its properties into the new Conrail but opted out.

    By 1980, though still a sick company, the B&M started turning around thanks to aggressive marketing and its purchase of a cluster of branch lines in Connecticut. The addition of coal traffic and piggyback service also helped. In 1983 the B&M emerged from bankruptcy when it was purchased by Timothy Mellon's Guilford Transportation Industries for $24 million.