Piece of long-lost B&M steam locomotive brought up from the deep

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A wheel off of a Boston & Maine 4-6-2 that sunk in 1939 was recently brought out of the Piscataqua River.
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A wheel set from a Boston & Maine 4-6-2 that plunged off a bridge and sunk in a river in 1939 has seen the light of day for the first time in nearly 80 years.

Earlier this month, contractors working on a bridge project over the Piscataqua River between Portsmouth, N.H., and Kittery, Maine, were dredging up material from a dismantled pier when they discovered a wheel that once belonged to B&M No. 3666, which has been under water for 78 years.

According to newspaper reports of the era, the locomotive was leading a southbound passenger train to Boston on the evening of Sept. 10, 1939, when the bridge collapsed. The locomotive and the first car went into the river, killing the engineer, John Beatie, and the fireman, Charles Towle. The locomotive sunk 70 feet to the bottom of the river and has sat there ever since.

Officials say there are no plans to bring the rest of the locomotive up from the bottom of the river. Ted Talbot, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Transportation, tells Trains News Wire they have reached out to the Maine State Museum and the New Hampshire Historical Society to see if either group is interested in the artifact. If the museums are not interested it will most likely be put on display at a new park that is slated to be built near the river.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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