New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad (NHN) Discussion

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New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad (NHN) Discussion

Postby b&m 1566 » Sun Sep 10, 2006 7:12 pm

superwarp1 wrote:Nick,

You into O gauge trains? If so do you post on the OGR forum?

Few Questions for anyone about the Conway.

Are the tracks south of Conway abandoned? How about north of Fabyan? Really my question is. Is the Conway Scenic a isolated RR?


The tracks south of Conway are abandoned. There is 10.6 mile of track that hasn't seen a train since October 31, 1972. South of the abandonment is the railroad New Hampshire Northcoast (NHN) out of Ossipee, NH. The line west of Fabians (not north) is still in service to Hazens; from Hazens to St. Johnsbury, VT the track is not abandoned but not in service at this time. Hazens is also where the Mountain Division crosses another line that goes to Berlin. This is the only connection currently the CSRR has to the outside railroad world and is used from time to time by the CSRR. CSRR has their engines shipped in and out (for major work only) at Hazens. Engines such as 573, 6505, 6516, 2820, 23, and 360 plus all CSRR notch train cars 5 in total (not including the open air car because that was rotting away in Bartlett) have all made the journey into N. Conway from Hazens. CSRR does go to Hazens on fan trips but stops at Hazens and heads back to N. Conway... this only occurs 2 to 3 times a year.
Last edited by b&m 1566 on Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby B&Mguy » Mon Feb 19, 2007 2:01 pm

If anything, wouldn't it make sense for the CSRR to have a connection to the outside world that would not require them to travel through the Notch? It may be costly to upgrade the crossings and track, but in the long run, it would seem to make sense to have two rail connections. If the Mountain Division were to be out of service for an extended period due to the forces of nature, I'd think the CSRR would be happy to have another link to the south.

Since the active NHN is only about 22 miles south of North Conway, and tracks are being upgraded in Madison, I would think restoration of the remaining track would not be an unreasonable goal.

How large is this beaver dam in Ossipee? I was not aware that this branch passed through wetlands in this town.
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Postby NHN503 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:41 am

B&Mguy wrote:If anything, wouldn't it make sense for the CSRR to have a connection to the outside world that would not require them to travel through the Notch? It may be costly to upgrade the crossings and track, but in the long run, it would seem to make sense to have two rail connections. If the Mountain Division were to be out of service for an extended period due to the forces of nature, I'd think the CSRR would be happy to have another link to the south.

Since the active NHN is only about 22 miles south of North Conway, and tracks are being upgraded in Madison, I would think restoration of the remaining track would not be an unreasonable goal.

How large is this beaver dam in Ossipee? I was not aware that this branch passed through wetlands in this town.


There is no track upgrade going on in Madison. Anything that is running is running on the rail that has been there.

The dam is quite large, and once you cut through all the brush it is about 3' above the track level when you look at it. The tracks go though a wetland area at Pollys Crossing, and then again in Archers Marsh.
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Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Feb 20, 2007 8:22 pm

I don't believe Pan Am owns any of the Conway Branch. I thought the B&M sold off the line a few years after it abandoned the northern part. I know the investors to the CSRR had to go to court to get the right to use the Conway Branch because in the beginning the B&M wasn't forth coming with the idea. At the time I think the investors were trying to get as much track as they could but the judge only allowed the group to make use of the track with in the town limits of Conway and that's how the name came to be the Conway Scenic Railroad. The rest of the line I believe is owned by the state and I'm not clear but I believe NHN owns part of the line as well.
I have never read anywhere or been told that Pan Am owns a few feet of the Conway Branch nor do I remember seeing it in the study report that was completed about 2 to 3 years ago.
If Pan Am does own a section of the line, the ROW will just have to be relocated around it and Pan Am can keep its abandon track (jk).
Now I know the CSRR has no intentions of ever using the line south of Conway but if the track was rehabbed for other services I would like to think the CSRR would make special fan trips south of Conway like on rail fans weekend, the 470 RR Club trip and the occasional MBRRE trip. They do it for the Mt. Division going to Redstone… absolutely nothing to look at but they do venture down there; same goes for the trips west of Fabyans.
I do have one question: Did the CSRR ever go south passed the Conway rail yard on fan trips back in the 70’s and 80’s when the track was still good and clear of brush? They have permission to use the tracks right to the town line.
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Postby #7470 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:58 pm

This is once again off topic but i have recieved my e-mail from Paul Hallet about the Conway Branch and NHN. It is rather long.


[color=blue]Boston Sand & Gravel, Ossipee Aggregates, and several other
sand/gravel/ stone businesses in our region were indeed bought out by a
large Irish conglomerate known as "Castle". They have kept the Pike
Industries corporate name locally as the management umbrella for all of
the New Hampshire properties. Castle/Pike is not interested in running a
railroad and they have had the NHN up for sale for over a year now, but
with no interested takers. Probably because the asking price is $3M for
everything (track, locomotives, hopper cars, shop building and
equipment, etc). They have not expressed any comments about abandonment
of the rail operation - they just want somebody else to buy it and run
it instead of them.

The stub of track that runs north from the enginehouse to Route 171 is
owned by NHN. It serves as the enginehouse lead track and I'm sure they
used part of it for empty hopper car storage as needed. For about one
year, they actually had a lumber customer on this track, where they
shoved lumber cars (one at a time) north to the spot behind the dealer.
It was East Coast Lumber who opened a retail outlet on Route 16 in what
is now a boat yard. East Coast Lumber is based out of Route 111 in
Hampstead , NH . They were trying to tap into the residential building
boom of the late 1980's. Using a front end loader they built a crude
road from behind the dealership to the tracks to access the lumber cars.
Well the business didn't boom for them and they closed up the store
after about a year.

The rails are intact on the rest of the stub out to Route 171, but there
are several small washouts due to pesky beavers (it is mostly swamp land
anyway) and the trees have seriously grown in next to the rails. The
only reason they haven't grown between the rails is the local
snowmobilers use this as part of a trail.

For many years, GRS owned the half mile of track between Route 171 and
Route 28. They removed the rails for scrap value, but kept ownership of
that segment to prevent the line from being used as a through-route for
freight traffic. Three years ago, the State of NH finally negotiated a
deal with GRS and purchased this last piece of the line. This purchase
deal was then the catalyst for the legislature to authorize DOT to
perform the feasability study on the revitalization/ restoration of the
Conway Branch. You and I attended that public hearing in Ossipee - so
you know the results from there forward.

Any effort to re-lay the rails south from Route 28 would need written
approval from the NHDOT as they are the legal guardians of this right of
way. And in the spirit of being good neighbors, I would hope the club
would also get a blessing from the local officials in the Town of
Ossipee as well.

As far as the GP-9 going to Waterville - who knows the real deal on
that? Short of talking directly to someone at NHN, the rumor mill is
nothing more than that. NHN may have sold the unit to another shortline,
or they may have just sent it to Waterville for some major maintenance
work that they can't perform at the Ossipee shop. Now is the time to get
any such maintenance projects completed, before things get busy again in
the spring time. Unless it has been sold to someone else, I doubt they
will spend any money to paint it, because traffic levels are low right
now, and I don't see Castle wanting to needlessly expend any more funds
then absolutely necessary. Besides, if they were going to paint
something, it would be the other GP-38-2 which is still in blue patch
paint. Furthermore, they can save a bundle of money and roller-paint the
unit themselves, just like the other GP-38-2 was done.

I know Lenny Gilmore (who is a speeder operator) works for NHN as their
engineer and he lives in Exeter . Perhaps if someone in the CVRTC has a
friendly connection with him, they can learn more about the GP-9 story.

So, as radio and television personality Paul Harvey would say, "Now you
know the rest of the story" ...
[/color]
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Postby NHN503 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:12 am

#7470 wrote:This is once again off topic but i have recieved my e-mail from Paul Hallet about the Conway Branch and NHN. It is rather long.


[color=blue]Boston Sand & Gravel, Ossipee Aggregates, and several other
sand/gravel/ stone businesses in our region were indeed bought out by a
large Irish conglomerate known as "Castle". They have kept the Pike
Industries corporate name locally as the management umbrella for all of
the New Hampshire properties. Castle/Pike is not interested in running a
railroad and they have had the NHN up for sale for over a year now, but
with no interested takers. Probably because the asking price is $3M for
everything (track, locomotives, hopper cars, shop building and
equipment, etc). They have not expressed any comments about abandonment
of the rail operation - they just want somebody else to buy it and run
it instead of them.

The stub of track that runs north from the enginehouse to Route 171 is
owned by NHN. It serves as the enginehouse lead track and I'm sure they
used part of it for empty hopper car storage as needed. For about one
year, they actually had a lumber customer on this track, where they
shoved lumber cars (one at a time) north to the spot behind the dealer.
It was East Coast Lumber who opened a retail outlet on Route 16 in what
is now a boat yard. East Coast Lumber is based out of Route 111 in
Hampstead , NH . They were trying to tap into the residential building
boom of the late 1980's. Using a front end loader they built a crude
road from behind the dealership to the tracks to access the lumber cars.
Well the business didn't boom for them and they closed up the store
after about a year.

The rails are intact on the rest of the stub out to Route 171, but there
are several small washouts due to pesky beavers (it is mostly swamp land
anyway) and the trees have seriously grown in next to the rails. The
only reason they haven't grown between the rails is the local
snowmobilers use this as part of a trail.

For many years, GRS owned the half mile of track between Route 171 and
Route 28. They removed the rails for scrap value, but kept ownership of
that segment to prevent the line from being used as a through-route for
freight traffic. Three years ago, the State of NH finally negotiated a
deal with GRS and purchased this last piece of the line. This purchase
deal was then the catalyst for the legislature to authorize DOT to
perform the feasability study on the revitalization/ restoration of the
Conway Branch. You and I attended that public hearing in Ossipee - so
you know the results from there forward.

Any effort to re-lay the rails south from Route 28 would need written
approval from the NHDOT as they are the legal guardians of this right of
way. And in the spirit of being good neighbors, I would hope the club
would also get a blessing from the local officials in the Town of
Ossipee as well.

As far as the GP-9 going to Waterville - who knows the real deal on
that? Short of talking directly to someone at NHN, the rumor mill is
nothing more than that. NHN may have sold the unit to another shortline,
or they may have just sent it to Waterville for some major maintenance
work that they can't perform at the Ossipee shop. Now is the time to get
any such maintenance projects completed, before things get busy again in
the spring time. Unless it has been sold to someone else, I doubt they
will spend any money to paint it, because traffic levels are low right
now, and I don't see Castle wanting to needlessly expend any more funds
then absolutely necessary. Besides, if they were going to paint
something, it would be the other GP-38-2 which is still in blue patch
paint. Furthermore, they can save a bundle of money and roller-paint the
unit themselves, just like the other GP-38-2 was done.

I know Lenny Gilmore (who is a speeder operator) works for NHN as their
engineer and he lives in Exeter . Perhaps if someone in the CVRTC has a
friendly connection with him, they can learn more about the GP-9 story.

So, as radio and television personality Paul Harvey would say, "Now you
know the rest of the story" ...
[/color]


I thought Paul Hatch sent that email out....it was posted to the CVRTC group.

It was confirmed 3 weeks ago on the NHN list that GP9 1756 was sold and
dropped of in Dover for GRS on Feb 5th. It will be going to GRS for
overhaul, puddle around for a few months, then ownership transfered to
MBTA, painted in their gray and orange MOW colors. 1757 will be the
sole remaining GP9 on NHN property.
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Postby #7470 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:10 pm

I thought Paul Hatch sent that email out....it was posted to the CVRTC group.

It was confirmed 3 weeks ago on the NHN list that GP9 1756 was sold and
dropped of in Dover for GRS on Feb 5th. It will be going to GRS for
overhaul, puddle around for a few months, then ownership transfered to
MBTA, painted in their gray and orange MOW colors. 1757 will be the
sole remaining GP9 on NHN property.
_________________
Ian M MacMillan - Woodings Railcar Owner
Member CVRTC


Ian, this was just the e-mail that was sent to me about the Conway Branch from Paul Hallet. He did say it was from the CVRTC Group, he sent it to me after I e-mailed him about the Conway Branch.
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Postby GRSGuy » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:50 am

I was told by a couple of our engine maintainers that the ST bought the NHN engine for parts.
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Postby NHN503 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:50 pm

GRSGuy wrote:I was told by a couple of our engine maintainers that the ST bought the NHN engine for parts.


Yes...its a 3 way deal... GRS will be getting it first, but then it will be transfered (really should be read purchased by) to MBTA.
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Postby octr202 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:54 pm

That's odd -- perhaps GRS is parting it out, with some of the parts for their Geeps, and some for the T to patch up 902 and 904. Given the fact that the MBTA bought a GP40 from Ohio Central, I doubt they'd buy a beat up Geep 9 for work train power at this point.
Wondering if I'll see the Haverhill double-tracking finished before I retire...
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Postby MEC407 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:07 pm

octr202 wrote:Given the fact that the MBTA bought a GP40 from Ohio Central, I doubt they'd buy a beat up Geep 9 for work train power at this point.


Right. And shortly after they bought the GP40, they sold the GP9 that was in B&M-style paint (can't remember the number). Why would they turn around and replace it with another GP9 that probably isn't in any better condition?

And for that matter, it seems odd that PAR would need a GP9 just for parts. They ought to have plenty of geep parts on hand at Waterville and Billerica... or, if they've finally run out, those parts are easily obtainable from vendors such as Larry's Truck or NRE.

But who knows. Stranger things have happened.
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Postby NHN503 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:58 pm

I had got my info from both a GRS and MBTA employee on it... I guess that we will just have to wait and see. :-D
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Postby greenus90 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:03 pm

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Postby greenus90 » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:06 pm

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Postby GP40MC 1116 » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:12 pm

I think that the MBTA is in dire need of a good switcher. Not sure exactly but one of the units 904 is dead at BET. Thus leaving the remaining 902 unit that is running and 3247 is primarily assigned to the work train. I remember when 902 and 904 were both out of service, you then saw a F-40 and a 1500 series MBB Control Car uses for the readville switcher!

Now thats bad... :(
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