• Chester and Derry RR (New Hampshire)

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This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

  by p42thedowneaster
Hello everyone,
I'm doing a little research on a local electric railway which ran trolleys and handled some freight in the beginning of the twentieth century. The line began at depot in Derry NH where it met the B&M...it terminated at in Chester Center. Does anyone have any idea where specifically Chester Center is? Are there any maps of the area pre-1928 which show the complete route of the railroad? I'd love to see if the roadbed is still in tact and if any structures, such as the Derry car barn still exist.

Thanks for any help!
When i return to my desktop, I'll be posting some links to old photos and a timetable to show a little more detail.
  by CarterB
1905 topo map clearly shows the line route from West Derry up to Chester. Connected at W. Derry with the Manchester & Lawrence RR. http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=NH
"Historically the property contained a valuable public transit corridor. One of the existing trail which approximately bisects the property, sits on the bed of the old Chester & Derry Electric Railroad. The rail line operated from 1891 to 1928." from info on The Albert W. Doolittle property.
"The Elms was built in 1825 and was located at the corned of Lane and Hampstead Roads. Originally it was a dormitory and boarding house for girls who attended Adams Female Academy. When the academy closed in 1886 the building became a forty-room summer hotel. It was at this time that the building earned its name, as there were a number of tall elm trees shading it. Since the electric cars of the Chester & Derry Railroad passed by it, the hotel was in a very good location for summer vacationers."
"Unlike the surrounding towns of Auburn, Candia, Raymond, and Sandown, no steam driven railroad was ever built into Chester. It did, however, have an electric railroad, the Chester & Derry Electric Railroad, a line that ran from Chester Center, to East Derry Village, then into Derry, near the Derry Depot. The “Trolley,” as it was called, ran passengers and freight from 1896 to 1928"

Book on the subject: Trolleys to Beaver Lake:
a history of the Chester & Derry Railroad Association, 1891-1928
Osmond Richard Cummings
Also possibly went by name of Chester and Derry Railroad Association
  by edbear
There's a second soft cover booklet by Cummings, Chester and Derry Railroad, about 1957 by the connecticut valley chapter nrhs.
  by p42thedowneaster
Thanks for link to the map! This was exactly what I was looking for!

It would seem to me that the gradiants, especially on rt 102 just east of 121 are a bit extreme for rail travel. Also the section following Hampstead Rd poses a strong grade between the traffic circle and East Derry. Is it possible that these sections were not in fact "street running" areas?

Anyways, here is a link to some photos posted by the Derry public library.
C&D RR schedule: http://www.flickr.com/photos/derrypubli ... 734612645/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derrypubli ... 1734612645

http://www.flickr.com/photos/derrypubli ... hotostream

Here in East Derry it seems the trolley tracks might be in the grass to the right side of the roadway. There appear to be some "arms" on the power poles for a trolley line. http://www.flickr.com/photos/derrypubli ... hotostream
  by robmcalpine
The only thing exists from the car bar in Chester is a portion of the waiting room which now sits under a covered structure next to the firehouse in Chester as you head east towards Raymond.
  by l008com
My family had a house on Beaver Lake for many years. They bought it in the late 60s, and no one ever had any idea there used to be trolleys to the lake, until someone saw the book "Trolleys to Beaver Lake" sitting at a flea market somewhere. From the USGS maps, it looks like it was street running almost the whole way, except for the 'diversion' off Old Chester Rd to the lake. Surprisingly, both halves of that piece are largely undeveloped. If you went kicking around, I'm sure you could find signs of the ROW at least. And who knows, maybe a stray post of some kind, or old bridge foundations for the stream crossings. Everything directly near the lake has been long since obliterated. But get away a bit and I bet there's something left to see.