Stratford RR

Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:20 am

I finally managed to piece together some personal questions on an old line after re-stumbling upon the link to OpenRailwayMap a few days back. After doing a good bit of research, I still have two outstanding questions of the line:

When was the portion south of Lancaster abandoned? I've been wondering for almost two years where exactly Coos Jct. was located, that has been solved. I can understand why MEC abandoned the northern section, as it was a completely duplicate route. However, there remains fair traces of the southern section, all the way into Whitefield, which leads to my second question:

The line is shown to stay to the left of the Johns River throughout it's course in Whitefield proper, however there is a small bridge that stands to this day (https://www.google.com/maps/@44.3783896,-71.622224,99m/data=!3m1!1e3), that has boggled my mind since i first saw it around the time I was young enough to get a ride on my namesake locomotive. What exactly does/did this go to, or to rephrase my question, what exactly did it serve? The old Brown furniture plant is there, I'm assuming that's a possiblility.

Note: MEC407, move this as needed if you see fit
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division

Re: Stratford RR

Postby b&m 1566 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 6:56 pm

If I'm understanding you correctly the old ROW between Lancaster and Whitefield (Scott Jct., MEC Mt. Div) and further south (Whitefield Jct., B&M Berlin line) was not MEC, it was B&M.

Edit - To the best of my knowledge this section was the original B&M line to Groveton before building a connection at Weumbeck Jct in or around 1931and using MEC tracks up to Lancaster. MEC abandoned Coos Jct., north to Stratford in 1948, in favor of the B&M tracks to Groveton and GT tracks to Stratford.
Last edited by b&m 1566 on Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
b&m 1566
 
Posts: 2842
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:09 am
Location: Hudson, NH

Re: Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:00 pm

I'm referring to just the section starting at the curve (Whitefield Jct.) running through Scott's to Lancaster at Coos Jct. There's a bit of info on the section north of Lancaster, none on the trackage south of it.
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division

Re: Stratford RR

Postby b&m 1566 » Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:21 pm

Oh, okay I see what your getting at.

Edit - that section of line was still used at least up until 1972 as the B&M still had a customer on the branch at that time. The bridge you are asking about was the track leading to a factory of some sort off of Brown Street.
historicaerails.com
b&m 1566
 
Posts: 2842
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:09 am
Location: Hudson, NH

Re: Stratford RR

Postby Mikejf » Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:22 pm

That was track into that portion of the Brown Lumber Company, which was a mill in that location in the late 1880s-1910ish, when they sold their timberland the Berlin Paper. There is a very nice hand drawn map in one of the books I have. As far as I know, this was never part of the Stratford RR. It started off as being served by the Boston, Concord & Montreal.
You really need the book Lost Railroads of New England by Ronald Karr. He is now into his 3rd edition of this book, and tells you dates when lines were abandoned. The line in question ran from Whitefield Juntion, crossed the MEC, and went to Coos Jct. and was abandoned in 1941. I can recommend more books on the area if you'd like. Several Logging RR books are available too.
Mikejf
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:46 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 5:20 pm

Mikejf wrote: I can recommend more books on the area if you'd like. Several Logging RR books are available too.


Absolutely. Could always discover more old RR artifacts I never knew existed
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division

Re: Stratford RR

Postby eustis22 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:15 pm

Whatever happened to that GE 50-tonner the NSRR abandoned in the middle of..Colebrook? Pittsburgh?..back in the 80s?
eustis22
 
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:23 am

Re: Stratford RR

Postby ericofmaine » Fri Dec 04, 2015 1:35 pm

I think that was a 44 tonner and I believe that it is now sitting in the yard at North Conway.

Eric
470 Club Trustee and "Webmaster"
Unless otherwise stated, the opinions I post are mine and are not the opinion of the 470 Railroad Club.
ericofmaine
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:10 am
Location: Southern Maine

Re: Stratford RR

Postby Mikejf » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:13 pm

NHV, besides the one I already recommended, Logging Railroads Along The Pemigewasset River by Bill Gove and J.E Henry's Logging Railroads, also by Bill Gove are excellent reads, as well as some good info. One book I have that may be out of print now is Logging Railroads of the White Mountains, by C. Francis Belcher covers about the same area, with some maps and pictures that could be of interest. That is a start. I am in the middle of a B&M book for the White Mountains, but have not found anything of real great interest in it yet.
Mikejf
 
Posts: 1481
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:46 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:49 pm

I believe I've read a copy of the second Gove book, but will look out for the other two. Any B&M/MEC info is relevant to me, as the Gil Ford collection on RRpicturearchives has been instrumental in seeing how big and vast the business was in the glory days of northern NH rail.
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division

Re: Stratford RR

Postby Dick H » Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:04 am

Amazon "Partners" has used copies of the Beecher book.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... d&qid=&sr=
Dick H
 
Posts: 3029
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 8:55 pm
Location: Dover, NH

Re: Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:19 am

Finally home, I made a trip down to Parker Rd. yesterday, and it appears that I'm a bit too late. The sidewalls are off the bridge, leaving nothing but the deck and supports below, giving me no immediate way to date the structure. I find it rather amazing how many railroad ties exist on this well-preserved RoW, given it hasn't seen a train at minimum in roughly 75 years.
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division

Re: Stratford RR

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:21 pm

NHV 669 wrote:I believe I've read a copy of the second Gove book, but will look out for the other two. Any B&M/MEC info is relevant to me, as the Gil Ford collection on RRpicturearchives has been instrumental in seeing how big and vast the business was in the glory days of northern NH rail.

I own a copy of the Belcher book. It's fascinating, tons of detail on operations that I never realized existed. Definitely worthwhile if you can get your hands on a copy.
Ridgefielder
 
Posts: 2299
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:50 pm

Took a trip down to Littleton Public Library before heading north into NHCR territory, this morning, and they are loaded with source material: I got Karr's third edition, as well as The Rail Lines of Northern New England by Robert M. Lindsell. They have Belcher's book as well as, it seems, all of Gove's books on the area. Looks like I've got plenty of reading ahead of me.



Final Edit: main reported OOS 1932, due to acquiring of trackage rights over the MEC, puts that question to rest. So, that leaves us with a RoW and bridge to the former Brown plant that has been without a train or maintenance for over 80 years, yet miraculously preserved despite "frequent spring flooding" of the Johns River. Thanks to all who helped provide info, especially Carr's Lost Railroads of New England, Third Edition.
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division

Re: Stratford RR

Postby NHV 669 » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:27 pm

Some excellent new info via Scott Whitney pictures via a Conrad Ekstrom Facebook page on the Berlin Branch:

The brown furniture spur, and track down to Parker Rd., Whitefield were existent into at least the early 70's. Lindsell's and Carr's books do not address this portion, I was unaware until this new info procured itself within these last few days.
Casey
Living near right-of-ways since 1989. Old haunts include: childhood sightings of 669 being the last to "de-rust" the Berlin branch, late 90's summers trackside at the Wagon Wheel of Biddeford, ME, White River Junction, VT, Oneonta, NY, Colorado Springs, CO, and Santa Barbara, CA.
User avatar
NHV 669
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:07 pm
Location: Just east of Scott Jct. on the Mountain Division


Return to New England Railfan

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests