manchester/lawrence branch

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manchester/lawrence branch

Postby thestimmer » Mon Apr 07, 2008 2:39 pm

its been a while since ive been up there, what has become of the line since '94?
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Postby Rockingham Racer » Mon Apr 07, 2008 8:28 pm

You'll find a lengthy discussion on this topic at the New England Railfan forum.
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Postby b&m 1566 » Mon Apr 07, 2008 9:56 pm

To make a long story short:

1. Guilford last went past Salem Depot in December of 93 or 94 (I can't remember which year it was).

2. Mid to late 90's one of Manchester Airport runways was expanded and now goes through the old ROW. (If commuter train ever goes through a tunnel will be constructed to go under the runway.)

3. Guilford stopped using the siding up by the race track in March/April of 1999 when construction of a parking lot started for the Best Buy, CompUSA plaza. Instead of having another grade crossing the tracks were ripped up and ROW leveled for the parking lot entrance and Guilford operated in push pull mode up from Lawrence. Tracks up by the passing siding were removed as well in the summer of 1999.

4. June 2001, Guilford ceases all operations north of Lawrence leaving two covered hoppers behind in Salem at their former customer for storage. About a month or two later Guilford rips up the track north of Hampshire Rd. all the way to the Spicket River. State of NH studies line for commuter trains from Lawrence to Manchester.

5. 2005 Windham constructs a paved bike bath with in the town limits.

6. In the fall of 2006 the town of Salem votes to make the ROW a paved bike path which will be a continuation of Windham's. Rte. 111 was rerouted in Windham and a bridge constructed over the new rode to keep the Pike bath in tacked.

7. Guilford continues (very seldom) to service the remaining customer on the line in North Lawrence.


I don't believe the MBTA has touched the track in Methuen or if they have any plans to do so. I'm not sure but I've been told Methuen is interested in the paved bike bath as well and I believe Derry wants to connect theirs with Windham’s.
Derry Depot is now a restaurant called the Depot Square Steak House (amazing food , I recommend the Prime Rib) http://www.depot-square.com/
The Salem Depot is in the process of being refurbished by private donations… The town wanted nothing to do with it.
Windham talks about restoring there station but nothing has started… although they did get a caboose to put on display.
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Postby thestimmer » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:55 pm

wow, I leave salem for 14 years, and my favorite branch is gutted out, nice.
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Postby tom18287 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 4:05 pm

b&m 1566 wrote:2. Mid to late 90's one of Manchester Airport runways was expanded and now goes through the old ROW. (If commuter train ever goes through a tunnel will be constructed to go under the runway.)







if that happened, i assume the airport would have to pay?
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Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:57 pm

I'm not sure to be honest. I've read (may have been the report from the study) that the airport owns 6 miles of the ROW. Without knowing the exact mileage if I had to guess that would be from the switch at the Manchester rail yard all the way to the Derry, Londonderry town line. If I would put money on it... the state pays for it not the airport because the state did say in the report; that they could re-locate the ROW around the airport to the east. The relocated ROW I believe would turn hard right just before Rte. 28 in N. Londonderry having it parallel 28 till it passes the runway where it would then S curve (left then right) back to its old alignment. The only issue with that... land taking by eminent domain and more grade crossings something the line is clutter with already. The tunnel will start between Mammoth Rd and Little Cohas Pond (Cohas Pond is labeled on Google Map) and will end just before or just after Goffs Rd.
In my own opinion the tunnel should start just after the curve rather than before it (between the curve and Kelly Ave), that would shave off a lot of money.

FYI
Proposed station
1. Methuen - next to Rte 213
2. Salem - next to Race track (Rockingham Park Blvd. - Ext 1)
3. Derry - not sure where (no land in downtown is big enough for parking lot and station)
4. Wilson - next to exit 5 (North Londonderry)
5. Manchester Airport (not sure of the location but have been told near or around Kelly Ave.) *Spur built by Airport connecting station, Parking lots and terminal using its own train.
6. Downtown Manchester (not sure where though, most likely old station site)

I'm not sure about North Lawrence or Windham. With the exception of Derry and the airport all stations are next to exits of 93 and 213.
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Re: manchester/lawrence branch

Postby Boston-and-Maine » Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:49 pm

I thought that they were supposed to be leaving enough room for a commuter train to be built (if they ever decide to do it) next to I-93 as they widen it from the Mass line to Manchester?

Anyways, OP you should be happy to know that the Salem Depot is being restored as I write this... Of course I would much rather see trains running up and down the line too, LOL... Here is a picture I took of it yesterday, the addition and siding have been torn off...
Last edited by Boston-and-Maine on Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: manchester/lawrence branch

Postby SilverLakeRailroad » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:27 pm

Well I was looking in my fileing cabinet, and interesting enough I found an MBTA map circa 1980's i believe.. I was amazed to find out that MBTA operated on this line.. what happened there? I would love to be able to take the train to the airport next time I fly somewhere.. Would save the Silver line/blue-line shuttle mess at logan! I think just haveing a stop at the airport would make the line sucesssful
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Re: manchester/lawrence branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:37 pm

The MBTA had plans to build a station on the M&L near 213 in Methuen but that never came to fruition. Had the Haverhill/Reading Line been double tracked, I think it would have happened.
The line was also going to have a stop at the old Methuen Station as well.
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