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Why there are no diesels on the PV&T

Given that the vast bulk of the railroad lines in the United States are all dieselised, I need to make up an excuse for why my model railroad is still electrified as of the magic 1966 date that I chose. From what I've read, the prototype railroads either abandoned their electrifications because

I can easily explain why the PV&T electrified: The main lines from Portland to Montreal and Portland to Albany crossed several mountain ranges the hard way, thus requiring helpers in 6 locations Electification offered the chance to replace steam helpers with more reliable and cheaper to operate electric equipment. (the Canadian Northern electrification, which was local, and the BA&P electrification were good references for electrifying, and for a high voltage DC electrification).

So, why are the wires still up in the New Hampshire of my mind? There are three places where electrifications could have gone wrong; the traffic slowdown of the 1930s, the collapse of the permanent way after the second world war, and the collapse of aging power plants in the 1960s.

  1. On the PV&T, the great depression reduced traffic flows, but by the time the great depression happened the railroad was already mainly electrified, so it was cheaper to just keep running the electrics. (which didn't cost as much to run as steam engines, which was important for a railroad that cuts directly across mountain ranges.)
  2. WW2 put a heavy load on the PV&T, forcing the railroad to modernise its power plants. When the antitrust laws went into effect in the 1930s, the PV&T was using enough electric power so it was less trouble to hand their non-railroad electric power customers over to other power companies and devote the powerplants to railroad production. When the WW2 crunch came, the railroad was still in a DIY mindset and decided to modernise instead of throwing in the towel and buying power from the electric utilities. So, when the war was over, the PV&T found itself with an excess of power, modernised power plants, a lot of worn out steam engines, and overhead wire over 99% of the railroad.
  3. in the 1950s and 1960s, as the first generation of class A and class B engines aged, traffic in the Northeast fell off fast enough so that old engines could be stored and/or retired without needing replacements (see also the lease of class B engines to the CMStP&P.) The modernisation of the power plants during the second world war kept the cost of producing power down, so the PV&T could maintain a better cost per mile from electric engines than either Alco or GM could offer for their engines.
    The exception was on the LT&L and Montreal Terminal, which didn't have the electrified infrastructure. Those railroads were dieselised (except the Bangor-Augusta stub of the B&Q, which ended up being a long ways away from any PV&T diesel facility.)

Thus, in 1966, the PV&T found itself with fairly modern power plants, enough modern class B locomotives to run the railroad, and a large supply of spare parts from old retired class A and B locomotives to keep the modern locomotives running. The future doesn't look particularly shiny, because the Northeast is dying industrially, but enough bridge traffic comes out of Portland and Boston to keep the through lines running under wire.

By the 1970s, the Lincoln branch of the LW&C would be dieselised as a preamble to being spun off into the hands of a shortline (or abandonment) and most of the remaining rural New England branches would either be embargoed or simply ripped up. But by 1973, the CMStP&P would abandon its electrification, and the class B engines that were sent out west would return (along with a brace of class D engines purchased either for parts or to standardise the Portland to Montréal line with one class of engines.) But that's all in the future, and not an issue for the 1966 in my head.