Most futile railroads in New England

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

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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby ewh » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:11 pm

The branch between Collinsville and New Hartford wasn't part of the CNE. The CNE main line did run through Collinsville and New Hartford towards the west, but New Hartford industry was served by the New Haven branch. If this is confusing in 2012 think what it was like in 1912. When I lived in Collinsville thirty years ago both rows made interesting walks, although overgrown then.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby chrisnewhaven » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:59 pm

Bad wording on my part, but I was trying to mention Collinsville-New Hartford in addition to the CNE for most futile lines, not part of the CNE.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby Red Wing » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:59 am

I'll add the Lancaster RR to this.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby ewh » Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:53 am

Yeah, the Lancaster gets my vote too. But, with a good map you can still trace the row.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby trainsinmaine » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:48 pm

A good deal of the Lancaster ROW is surprisingly visible if you know where to look. I went searching for it one day a few years ago when I was in the area, using photocopies of old USGS maps. It's not difficult to trace most of the roadbed.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:31 am

Red Wing wrote:I'll add the Lancaster RR to this.

Not familiar with the Lancaster. Where was it, and when did it exist?
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby trainsinmaine » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:14 pm

It went from Lancaster to Hudson, Massachusetts. It was built during 1872 and '73, was fully completed, and ran one inspection train before it was abandoned. The thread below entitled "Former Railroads in Bolton, MA?" will fill you in. IIRC, the Central Mass. and the Fitchburg were players in its unanticipated early retirement.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby MaineCoonCat » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:06 pm

The Lancaster's ROW runs through Camp Resolute (Boy Scouts) in Bolton (off MA Rte 85). I saw it many moons ago when my son was in scouts.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby markffisch » Fri Apr 13, 2012 6:42 pm

How about the Manchester NH to South Acton? Somehow it manages to avoid anything resembling a city and had the Worcester Nashua and Portland to its west and the B&M to its east.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby ThinkNarrow » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:50 pm

markffisch wrote:How about the Manchester NH to South Acton? Somehow it manages to avoid anything resembling a city and had the Worcester Nashua and Portland to its west and the B&M to its east.
Ah, yes, the Nashua, Acton, and Boston. It ran from North Acton (later from West Concord) to Nashua via such metropolises as Graniteville MA and Dunstable NH.

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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby joshg1 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:19 pm

I'm going to speak up for the Nashua, Acton & Boston. It provided the Concord RR an outlet to the south without the Boston & Lowell or B & M. I'll nominate the original Mass Central, which only passed through one town with a population over 3000 (Rutland…?) that didn't already have rail service. I think we can divide the duds into the never-operated and struggled-with-futility.

Also the 2' gauge incarnation of the Bedford & Billerica.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Apr 26, 2012 12:02 pm

joshg1 wrote:I think we can divide the duds into the never-operated and struggled-with-futility.

Definitely. And in the struggled-with-futility category: how about the Shepaug, Litchfield & Northern? Bethel to Litchfield, Conn., via Hawleyville and Washington Depot. Forty-odd miles of incredibly slow and curvy track to avoid a 4.5 mile drive from Litchfield Center to the East Litchfield station the Naugy opened in 1849.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby number7 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:12 pm

There is an interesting book that explains the reasons many of the lines were built. It's called Formation of New England Rail Systems, I forget the authors name but if you do a search on your library's electronic card catalog most likely your library or the consortium it belongs to has it.

It's worth getting a copy of, even if you have to borrow it from the library and scan it.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby number7 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:14 pm

I just remembered....


Someone did a rather extensive book on the NAB, the Westford ma library has a copy of the book, I got it on interlibrary loan and read it. Good book.

While you search your online card catalog do a search on the Nashua Acton and Boston.
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Re: Most futile railroads in New England

Postby number7 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:17 pm

The B&B essentially brought the two foot gauge to New England. While it wasn't successful, the Maine two footers were, for a while.
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