Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

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Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby JAP » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:20 pm

Hi, Im new here and have been doing some research on my family. I have found that my great grandfather work for the railway. He had a badge which is in our possession that reads "Claremont Railway and Light Company" the badge is shaped like a police badge and has a number the 8 inthe center of it. I have thought that this was the trolley line that ran through town abd had a rail yard on Sullivan St or Main st. I have not been able to find out any information on the railway. If anyone has any information it or old photos I would love to learn more or see photos. Thanks Josh
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby mtuandrew » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:26 pm

Moderator's note: Moved to General Discussion: Fallen Trolley and Interurban Lines.
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby Leo Sullivan » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:22 pm

I can't tell you anything about the beginnings of the company but, i believe passenger service ended in 1932 and freight service continued into the early 50s.
The line was then sold along with the Concord & Claremont branch of the B&M, to Sam Pinsley, who
operated a number of small railroads in New England. Diesel power was substituted for electric and modest sucess followed for some years. I don't know the end of the story.
The first picture is the car barn showing a selection of equipment
The second is line car (for wire work) #4 which is now at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport Maine.
It has, since being acquired by the museum, done a stint loaned to the MBTA in Boston.
The third picture is #18, the best of the freight locomotives, that closed out electric operation.
LS
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby JAP » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:34 am

Leo, are all of thoes picture of the Claremont Line? Do you know where the Car house was located? I had thought I was told that it was on Sullivan St or Main St. The pictures are great! Do you have any infor on why a worker would have a badge? Thanks Josh
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby eddiebehr » Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:02 pm

There's a booklet on it printed probably about 1950 and probably by O R Cummings. It shows up from time to time at train and trolley shows and meets.
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby Aa3rt » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:07 pm

Another photo of the steeplecab with "Claremont Railway & Lighting Company" lettering can be found on page #97 of Kalmbach's Traction Guidebook For Model Railroaders.

JAP wrote:Do you have any infor on why a worker would have a badge?


This is one aspect (of many) of railroadiana that I know little about however I did go to eBay and typed in "railway badges". It appears that badges were issued by some railroad (or street railway) companies, most likely to be worn with a uniform when the individual was performing his duties. These badges did not confer law enforcement authority but were part of the uniform. I also uncovered some bus driver badges during my search.
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby 3rdrail » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:27 pm

Hi Josh !
Welcome aboard ! The practice of issuing badges occurred from the very start of street railways with drivers, gripmen, and motormen being issued them for the same reasons that badges are issued today. In the early years, particularly in rural areas, street railway company workers often were not in uniform. It seems that the colder the climate, the more that this predominated. I have heard of a motorman's coat which consisted of multiple hides of leather stitched together to form a tremendously heavy (but insulated) warm coat of approximately three inches thickness ! Badge issuance was for the same reasons they are issued today - identification and security. It was very important for members of the general public to be able to identify a legitimate street railway employee. The "good old days" weren't completely innocent, and there were more than a few undesireables back then who would pose as street railway men in order to collect some unsanctioned "fares". A railway type uniform might be procurred (or stolen) and the con might be made so much easier if it weren't for a positive means of identification. Also, the badge was a way for the companies to control who had access to their facilities. The times were filled with all sorts of labor unrest, riots, work slow downs and strikes, as well as competition and sabotage from rival companies and services. A company would demand a badge from a striker, the penalty for not returning it would be immediate dismissal from the company with no consideration of re-instatement. The companies needed this control from keeping their equipment and property from ruin in cases such as I have mentioned. I think also, that the prestige of being awarded a badge, an acknowledgement that one was in a particularly prestigious profession (more respected than today) was a reason for issuance.

The badge that you possess is a gem. First and most importantly, it represents your grandfather's life, in a proud, public-service profession, and secondly, it is quite rare. I would keep it under lock and key in a fire proof safe. You should be very proud.

The Trolley and Interurban Directory by Gross has this regarding the Claremont Railway and Lighting Company:
Initials; CRY&L CO.
5.33 miles of track
Incorporated in 1901
General Offices in Claremont, NH
Ended in 1907, at which time they re-organized.
(There is also a Claremont Railway Co., initials C RYCO., general offices in Claremont, which shows up, no further info. Based upon what I read in McGraw (below), I'm guessing that it was the CRY&L's successor.)

The McGraw Electric Railway Manual, Vol. 10, pgs. 128-129, says this about the CRY&L CO.:
Chartered 3/22/03 (?)
Owns and operates the electric lighting plant of Claremont.
8 miles of track
Standard gauge
owned 7 cars
President H.R. Beckwith
(In discrepencies with Gross, I'd go with McGraw as it was written at the time (albeit just prior to) of the railway.)

Any chance that we could see a photo of this great badge ?
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby JAP » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:42 am

3rdrail, I will try to post a picture of the badge, been having trouble with my camera. I see your in law enforcement, as am I ,and my father is retired LEO. I can only imagine the prestige of having been issued the badge we have and the honor of wearing it.I know the feeling as do you, although its a much different time today. I will get pics of it for all to see. Thanks for all the great info. Josh
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Claremont Railway and lighting Company

Postby JAP » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:42 am

Hi, again I have gotten a lot of great info from other users and Pictures. i am still looking for any pictures of the railway, and would love to see ones with workers. I would be interested in purchasing them if they were for sale and if not would just like to see them. Thanks again for the great info and pics. Josh
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby 3rdrail » Fri Jan 21, 2011 5:04 pm

JAP wrote:3rdrail, I will try to post a picture of the badge, been having trouble with my camera. I see your in law enforcement, as am I ,and my father is retired LEO. I can only imagine the prestige of having been issued the badge we have and the honor of wearing it.I know the feeling as do you, although its a much different time today. I will get pics of it for all to see. Thanks for all the great info. Josh


I have had good luck in putting a badge directly on the scanner as opposed to photographing. I've found that the direct route seems to pick up a lot more detail. I understand your feeling about badges, although they start out very heavy and get lighter as you progress in your career, as they go from invincible to battle weary. Be safe, brother.
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby Aa3rt » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:31 pm

Paul, Thanks for that great writeup on the use of badges by railway employees. You covered some aspects that never occurred to me. (Like unauthorized individuals collecting "fares" from unsuspecting patrons. Some people will do anything for a drink!)

Josh, I always enjoy a challenge but have pretty much come up empty handed regarding information regarding the Claremont Railway & Power Company. Even Wikipedia makes mention of the line but there are no writeups. I did find this little blurb at a Chicago railfan site saying the line operated from 1903 to 1918. However there is no supporting documentation so I'd give more creedence to the references that Paul has provided.

http://web.me.com/willvdv/chirailfan/aatnh7.html

Regarding photos-I'd suggest you start with a historical society in or near Claremont (Providing they have one) and see what resources they may have.
You might also try eBay-set up a couple of searches using terms like "Claremont railway", "Claremont trolley", "Claremont electric" and then BE PATIENT!

EDIT: Just out of curiosity I went to eBay and typed "Claremont Railway" in the search bar. There's a postcard labelled "Claremont NH Railway Power Plant 1910 postcard" available. The item# is: 330115028641

I've been researching an obscure little railroad that served my hometown in northwestern Pennsylvania for years. Every once in a while I'm rewarded with something to add to my collection but these items appear infrequently at best.
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby JAP » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:27 pm

I want to thank everyone for all the information. The badge is in my fathers collection and I am working on getting it scanned and posted foe all to see. Thanks Again, Josh
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby delvyrails » Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:49 pm

If you have access to back issues of Railroad Model Craftsman magazine, there was a group of articles on the Claremont Railway and its passenger and interchange freight operations, including track maps. Look for the four issues November 1993 through February 1994.
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby JAP » Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:36 pm

I believe I have located the Claremont Railway and lighting Company Car House. I drove down Lafayette St. today, and noticed a building with four bays that looks alomost identical to the pictures in the eariler post. It would make sense being that tracks used to run up Layfayette st. to Main St. I wish I had a camera with me so I could have posted a picture. If anyone is interested try google maps and get a birds eye view and compare the pictures in the eariler post. I would love to hear what other people think. Josh
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Re: Claremont NH Railway and Light Company

Postby 3rdrail » Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:29 pm

Josh has asked me to show you his grandfather's badge.
Image
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