From Carver to Portland: Edaville’s Original Trains Now Up North
Edaville Family Theme Park made its long-awaited announcement on Monday that it has put into motion reopening plans for 2021. Edaville explained on Facebook that opening the grounds take about 60 days, between preparing the property, working with Mattel, stocking the restaurants, and re-inspection, but the ball is in motion for the beloved theme park to open as quickly as possible.
It’s hard to imagine Edaville Family Theme Park as anything else, but if you grew up in Carver or in the surrounding area, you most likely took a ride on the Edaville Railroad as a kid before it ceased operation in the 1990s.
Have you ever wondered where those original trains ended up? They found their way up north to Portland, Maine.
The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum shared a fun history lesson on its Facebook page about the locomotives that Southeastern Massachusetts families used to ride before it became a bustling family theme park.
According to the museum, Ellis D. Atwood was the man with the plan. Notice his initials “E.D.A.”, the inspiration behind the "Edaville" name. He came into possession of four locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars after the Saco River, Sandy River, and Rangeley Lakes Railroads were all dismantled. He purchased the equipment to be used on his 1,800-acre cranberry plantation in South Carver.
In 1945, a five-and-a-half-mile long track was built on top of the levees surrounding the cranberry bogs to transfer sand and supplies, but its function changed when neighbors became fascinated by the train. The demand for rides skyrocketed, becoming more of a tourist attraction by 1947.
When Edaville ceased operations in 1992, much of the equipment was brought to Maine, giving birth to Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. & Museum. The museum says that “you can still ride the same trains you did as a kid right here in Portland.”
So while Southeastern Massachusetts waits for Edaville Family Theme Park to open its doors, plan a family trip to Maine this summer and take a ride on the original locomotives that started it all.