History of passenger service between Boston and Keene

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History of passenger service between Boston and Keene

Postby BostonUrbEx » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:45 pm

I was hoping to dig up information specifically about passenger service between Boston, MA and Keene, NH. What services operated to/from Boston via Keene and when? Were there any commuter services, or just intercity runs? Did they all operate via Lowell and Nashua, or did some operate via Fitchburg? What did passenger service to/through Keene look like when it came to an end (how much service, what was the route)? Bonus question: was there ever passenger service connecting Keene and Worcester directly in some way?
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Re: History of passenger service between Boston and Keene

Postby edbear » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:32 pm

The preferred route to and through Keene was via Waltham and Fitchburg. This routing pre-dates the route via Nashua by a couple of decades. The Nashua route was never upgraded for heavy motive power and long trains. In the era of the USRA (World War I) schedules via Nashua show trains through from Nashua through Keene via Ashuelot Branch to East Northfield. The end of passenger service to Keene via Fitchburg happened on June 1, 1958. The last schedules had a pair of RDC equipped trains operating through from Boston to Bellows Falls and one heavyweight trains to Bellows Falls with a coach and empty milk cars. This equipment returned with full milk cars and a coach but was not advertised to carry passengers. After the demise of passenger service, the milk train continued to run until the Rutland 1961 strike with a caboose for the train crew.
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Re: History of passenger service between Boston and Keene

Postby jonnhrr » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:49 pm

My June 1950 Official Guide shows 5 trains each way (6 on Sunday) between Boston and Keene with trains going on to Bellows Falls and most continuing to White River Jct. One trip each way was the "Cheshire" streamlined all reserved train. Route was Boston - Fitchburg - So. Ashburnham - Winchendon - Fitzwilliam - Troy - Keene.

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Re: History of passenger service between Boston and Keene

Postby jbvb » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:14 pm

AFAIK, the normal train trip from Worcester to Keene started out on a train to Concord (cut back to Peterborough after the ?1936? floods) via Holden and Gardner, then changing to a train to or via Bellows Falls in Winchendon.

Through service between Boston & Montreal via Fitchburg & Rutland VT passed through Keene until 1953: http://www.faracresfarm.com/jbvb/rr/run_thru.html#GMF
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