B&M Blackmount Branch

Discussion relating to the pre-1983 B&M and MEC railroads. For current operations, please see the Pan Am Railways Forum.

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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby jbvb » Tue Nov 10, 2015 11:56 am

Leaving Woodsville depot, the lines to Berlin and Plymouth ran together to the enginehouse area, then split. From around 1900 through WWII a fairly steep wye track behind the enginehouse let trains run directly between Plymouth and Berlin, but IIRC from the long-ago Bulletin article, this was removed before the line from Plymouth was abandoned. Past the enginehouse, the Plymouth line descended steeply to a flat area. Here, on the east side, the 'New Yard' was built sometime after 1900. I haven't explored the area, but I've read it was abandoned in place piecemeal after through service ended.
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby B&Mguy » Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:42 pm

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


Thanks for the information! I had been trying to locate any traces of this long lost bridge, but figured it was probably completely demolished when the Interstate was built. Amazing how in this short section of the former line, there's literally no evidence of it at all. Do you know why they wanted to straighten out the river? Was it too difficult to construct the highway around the old route of the river?
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:59 pm

From what I can gather the river was moved to help control flooding and to eliminated the need to construct a number of bridges that would've been needed. They did something similar to the Spicket River in Salem, NH when 93 was constructed. I imagine there are more examples like it across the country. I highly recommend historicaerials.com (pictures taken in 1956) to see what the area looked like (note the rail bridge had already been removed).
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Re: B&M Blackmount Branch

Postby B&Mguy » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:39 pm

I had looked at the area on historic aerials before, and you're absolutely right; that website is a fantastic resource for exploring long lost rail lines. I have been roughly able to trace the remains of that area, and how the construction if I-93 affected both the river, and the former roadbed. I was hoping that there might still be some traces of the bridge abutments remaining today, but it looks like they got completely demolished.
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