B&M Blackmount Branch

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B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby B&Mguy » Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:37 pm

When the B&M abadnoned the White Mountains Line between Plymouth and Blackmount in 1954, What businesses were left on the Blackmount segment that caused it to be retained? I read that this short branch lasted until the mid 1980s. Was it being used up until then?

Also, I heard a tourist railroad operated on this section briefly in the 1960s. Can anyone give me any info on that?
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:11 pm

There was a lumber yard in Blackmount that got occasional cars at least through the late 1970s.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby ferroequinarchaeologist » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:18 am

The tourist operation was the Woodsville, Blackmount & Haverhill. It ran sporadically 1962-1963. You can find more about it at the Steamtown website of the National Park Service, in the context of the history of Groveton Paper Co. saddletanker No. 7, here:

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/onli ... /shs2b.htm

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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby B&Mguy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:20 pm

Thanks for that information.

What an obscure location to operate a tourist railroad. That's not a very well visited area of the White Mountains, and with only a 3/4 mile ride, no wonder it shut down quickly. They must have left a little track in south of Blackmount. i always thought it was removed right after abandonment.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby BM50 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:32 pm

The primary business that kept the Blackmont line open was First National Stores. In fact the line ended just past the spur to the building. A small flag shelter was built across the track from it since the station was a little farther south and thus no longer had any trackage.

Besides the already mentioned lumber mill, there was also a feed store.

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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby B&Mguy » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:26 pm

Thanks Duane.

Just curious, why was a flag shelter built if this line was freight only?
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby BM50 » Tue Nov 03, 2009 1:35 am

I was not aware of the shelter until just recently after having purchased a newly published Morning Sun book earlier this year. The title is Trackside around New Hampshire 1950-1970 with Ben English. On page 23 is a nice color shot of the shelter with FNS in the background. It's dated September 29, 1962.

You are correct that the line became freight only after October of 1954. Although the photo caption says it's a flag stop, my guess is that it was either used for the local freight crews in some capacity, or it was built for the tourist line that didn't prosper.

The original station was sold by the B&M soon after the tracks were removed. At present it's being used as a residence. http://www.lightlink.com/sglap3/newhamp ... erhill.JPG

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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby B&Mguy » Thu Nov 19, 2009 3:34 pm

Thanks for the replies!

You all seem to be pretty knowledgeable about this line, so I was wondering if you might be able to answer a few questions I have. I’ve always been fascinated with this line and its abandonment.

Aside from the actual right of way, and a few stations here and there, are there any other railroad artifacts to be found along the corridor? (Mileposts, signal boxes, crossing signal bases, etc.)

I have heard various reports that the station in Rumney still stands as a residence. I’ve heard other reports that it’s long gone. Do you happen to know?

Also, this does not directly pertain to the railroad, but in Ben English’s recent book about the B&M in New Hampshire, there is a shot of the dry bed of the Baker River in Plymouth. The old bridge piers of the White Mountains Line are in the shot as well. The caption says the river was rerouted for the building for I-93. I have not been able to find out any info about this online. Do you happen to know anything about it?

Thanks for any info you can provide!
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby thutchinson » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:15 am

My wife and I have horses and have been riding them on the old B & M line and now rail trail from Woodsville to Berlin. I have some questions about that line.

When was the line abandoned in this section, Berlin to Woodsville, and when were the rails pulled. In the 80s, I remember some cars being on the tracks between Littleton and Woodsville, but I never saw anything in the Gorham area.

Is there any history on the spur up to Jefferson Highlands? You can see it in Google Maps, but hard to find on the ground where it came in to the main.

What was this line called? I imagine it was there to compete with Grand Trunk for Berlin Mills / Brown Company paper and lumber.

Any written history on this line?

Here's a nice pic of us. Hope I can get it on.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby ferroequinarchaeologist » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:48 am

Originally called the extension of the Whitefield & Jefferson Branch of the Concord & Montreal Railroad (although it went all the way to Berlin) when it was built in 1892, the line from Waumbek Junction to Berlin was abandoned in 1996, and the rails were removed in 1997 (Lindsell).

The stub to the Jefferson Highlands area - not to be confused with Jefferson Highlands station - was built expressly to serve the Waumbek Hotel, and was not surprisingly called the Waumbek Branch. It was abandoned in 1925. Good luck finding evidence of it. I've tried more than once, but the Waumbek golf course seems to have obliterated all traces.

You might be interested in acquiring the paperback from which this data was extracted: Robert M. Lindsell, The Rail Lines of Northern New England, Branch Line Press, Pepperell, MA, 2000.

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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby p42thedowneaster » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:14 pm

By the way...
The Woodsville, Blackmount & Haverhill RR had a nice wooden combine car (ex D&H) which they used with the steam engine. This nice coach then found its way over to Conway Scenic where it served for many years. It now resides at the new Downeast Scenic RR for a possible 4th life.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby thutchinson » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:43 am

We were over in Woodsville NH this past weekend and rode the line on our horses. We started in Lisbon and rode all the way to Woodsville. beautiful ride along the river.This R2T is in great shape.
I also rode the old B&M Blackmount Branch line south for 2 miles. Just outside of the Woodsville rail yard was an old switch and a siding that went down in the low area for quite a ways and out of sight. There is still a least a 1/2 mile of rail in the woods with trees grown up through them. What was that there for? Also, does anyone have a book or pictures or a plan of the old railyard in Wodosville.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby BM1575 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:44 pm

Here's a diagram of Woodsville in 1978.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby ferroequinarchaeologist » Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:50 pm

Heymanyousuck River? Obviously a Native American variation on Ammonoosuc.

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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:26 pm

B&Mguy wrote:Also, this does not directly pertain to the railroad, but in Ben English’s recent book about the B&M in New Hampshire, there is a shot of the dry bed of the Baker River in Plymouth. The old bridge piers of the White Mountains Line are in the shot as well. The caption says the river was rerouted for the building for I-93. I have not been able to find out any info about this online. Do you happen to know anything about it?

Thanks for any info you can provide!


Yes the river was straighten out near the 93/25 interchange. The railroad bridge was located right where 25 is today. The best way to see it, is go to historicaerials.com
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