Maine FELA Attorney

The first railroad built in Maine started operating in 1832. It had wooden rails and was drawn by horses. Today, refurbished and updated, it is the Calais Branch of the Maine Central Railroad between Bangor and Calais.

In 1836, the Bangor and Piscataquis Canal and Railroad connected Bangor to Old Town. The miles of track in Maine peaked in 1924 with about 2,380 miles. Between 1920 and 1930, tracks were being removed and abandoned in the state. In the 1970s and later, however, unlike the rest of the country, Maine started to increase its railroad business. Today, more cargo is carried by the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad than ever.

Among the lines built, and expanded by many branches, were the:

  • Aroostook Valley Railroad, which started in 1909, and had tracks between Washburn to Presque Isle, and branch lines thereafter.
  • Bangor and Aroostook Railroad/Montréal, Maine & Atlantic Railway, whose major freight, through extension of the rails, were pulp and paper products, followed by potatoes, petroleum, mill products, and chemicals.
  • Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad
  • Boston & Maine Railroad
  • Maine Central Railroad
  • Maine Eastern Railroad
  • Eastern Maine Railroad

Building the railroads as well as working on them has always been dangerous work. Much of the labor was done by hand — laying track, pounding spikes, moving heavy parts and equipment — and the hours were long.

Working on the railroads had become so dangerous in the country that pressure mounted for Congress to pass laws protecting and reimbursing railroad workers for serious injuries. In the case of their deaths on the job, families sought compensation from the railroad companies.

During the golden years of railroad growth, railroads were expanding at an enormous rate and accidents were occurring by the hundreds. The clamor for reform reached such a pitch, that pressure from the public and railroad workers unions convinced Congress to pass a law protecting the railroad workers and their families. The result was the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA) of 1908.

Railroad Occupations in Maine

FELA protected all railroad employees working on interstate lines. It allowed the injured worker or the worker’s family to sue the railroad company for damages suffered while on the job. Among workers covered by the law were:

  • Firemen
  • Engineers
  • Boilermakers
  • Switchmen
  • Blacksmiths
  • Brakemen
  • Machinists
  • Flagmen
  • Yardmasters
  • Conductors

Commonly occurring injuries included :

  • Broken bones
  • Head, neck and back injuries
  • Burns
  • Crushing injuries
  • Disfigurement and dismemberment
  • Electrocutions
  • Joint injuries, especially knees and shoulders
  • Traumatic brain injuries

Contact an Attorney in Maine

If you or someone you love has been injured in a railroad accident, you should be working with a Maine FELA law attorney to get the best compensation you are entitled to. FELA lawyers have the background and expertise to understand complex laws and litigation regarding railroad injuries. To discuss your situation with an attorney in Maine, contact a qualified railroad injury attorney today.