Interesting stories about railroads

High Green by Herbert Cleaves, published by North Country Press, is a very interesting story about an Irish-American’s love for and experiences with a railroad in northern Maine. It’s a work of historical fiction, but it sure does seem like a true story.

John Hanahan’s dad owned the railroad, but John’s plan to drive trains derailed after he was severely wounded in North Korea. John was sent to northern Maine to close down the railroad there, but he quickly realized that this area was totally dependent on the railroad for transportation.

And then he fell in love with a young lady who had a daughter that he also loved, and he convinced his dad to not only keep their railroad open, but to buy the other railroad in that area. That railroad was also planning to close.

And not only does John save the railroad, he even finds a way to drive a locomotive, and that was not easy because the rails in this location were in terrible shape and they had, while John was there, a bunch of terrible snowstorms.

John eventually becomes the best driver in the whole system and makes a miraculous drive through a blizzard.

While I enjoyed John’s stories, I also found the stories about the various and very challenging train trips to be very interesting.




George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.