Mechanical Components
© Marie Demick

Gloucester has two of the oldest continuously operating marine railways in the nation—special facilities where ships are pulled out of the water so they can be maintained or rebuilt.

“Six-hundred-ton boats are blocked up, lashed down, and hauled ashore by a double-shot of one-inch chain worked off a series of huge steel reduction gears. The gears were machined a hundred years ago and haven’t been touched since….Tourists blithely wander past machinery that could rip their summer homes right off their foundations.”

Sebastian Junger The Perfect Storm

Burnham Brothers Railway, now part of Maritime Gloucester at the tip of Harbor Loop, has been hauling boats since 1849. Directly across the harbor is the Gloucester Marine Railway, which was founded in 1855. It hauled Captain Cook’s Arctic vessel in 1907.
  • Launch! (1:41 min)

    Launching the Tea Party replica The Beaver, Joey Ciaramitaro, Wholesale Lobster Dealer Captain Joe and Sons, Founding Editor

  • Then

  • Hauling Out (1:30 min)

    © Marie Demick

  • 1857 Lane painting

    Fitz Henry Lane. Three Master on the Gloucester Marine Railway. 1857. Oil on canvas. Cape Ann Museum. Gloucester, MA