Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby moth » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:20 am

jbvb wrote:I rode an RRE trip Ayer - Greenville (also Ayer - Hollis) sometime about 1970. The 4 RDCs went across the trestle, and on the leg to Hollis, detoured onto the 1/2 mile remaining of the third branch into the area, whose name I can't conveniently find on available maps.


I think you are thinking of the Fitchburg and Brookline for that 3rd branch. It ran the west side of the Nashua River, but when they cut back service the B&M built a bridge across the river north east of Pepperell from the Hollis branch to serve the mill buildings on the west side. You can see the part of the branch I suspect you detoured over on this map: http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=MA
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby sparkyjay31 » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:23 pm

You can also try going here: http://www.nashuacitystation.com/?railt ... l#potanipo

It shows a map and that might be of some use locating the Brookline Branch as much of it long since gone. Well it exists in my basement as this is what my HO layout is based on.

Jay
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby MaineCoonCat » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:00 pm

Any speeder potential on this abandoned branch?

You might want to take a look. Been by there a few tines this summer. Looked like the iron was still
there almost to the harbor. DISCLAIMER - i was driving so didn't get a good look. Setting on at W. Groton
may be a hassle though as it's a moderately busy intersection.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby trainsinmaine » Tue Sep 14, 2010 8:11 pm

Actually, the rails still lie there all the way through town, almost as far as the former Route 119 crossing in West Townsend. They're covered by weeds, and small trees are growing in the middle of them, but they haven't been removed. The crossings have been paved over, however.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby NRGeep » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:06 pm

trainsinmaine wrote:Actually, the rails still lie there all the way through town, almost as far as the former Route 119 crossing in West Townsend. They're covered by weeds, and small trees are growing in the middle of them, but they haven't been removed. The crossings have been paved over, however.


Ahh, that's too bad. I'll just continue to content myself with midnight speeder rides through Weston and Wayland on the CM... :wink:
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby snarfer » Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:14 pm

moth wrote:
jbvb wrote:I rode an RRE trip Ayer - Greenville (also Ayer - Hollis) sometime about 1970. The 4 RDCs went across the trestle, and on the leg to Hollis, detoured onto the 1/2 mile remaining of the third branch into the area, whose name I can't conveniently find on available maps.


I think you are thinking of the Fitchburg and Brookline for that 3rd branch. It ran the west side of the Nashua River, but when they cut back service the B&M built a bridge across the river north east of Pepperell from the Hollis branch to serve the mill buildings on the west side. You can see the part of the branch I suspect you detoured over on this map: http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=MA



I read this recently and took a bike ride on the Pepperell portion of the rail trail. The ROW veers towards the Nashua River about 1/2 mile east of the town of Pepperell. Took these pictures of the remaining timbers, pilings, cables and ties. Have not been able to get to the other side yet to investigate there. Looked like quite a bridge, does anyone have pictures when it was standing? Also anyone know when it was removed, dismantled etc?

https://picasaweb.google.com/loprinze/J ... directlink
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby MaineCoonCat » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:41 pm

Does Pan-Am still own the trackage/ROW through Townsend, or has it been picked up by Mass EOT?

[From our "pipe-dream" department] I wonder what it would cost to "re-hab" the track to class 3 with catenary sufficient for trolley and "box motor" hauled freight (presuming you could "win back' Vose and that plastics outfit on 119)..
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby trainsinmaine » Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:18 pm

Owned by the MBTA the last I knew.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby MaineCoonCat » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:36 pm

trainsinmaine wrote:Owned by the MBTA the last I knew.

Thanks!
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:40 pm

papabarn wrote:
trainsinmaine wrote:Owned by the MBTA the last I knew.

Thanks!


They picked it up in the 1976 B&M asset sale. Probably the lowest population density of any line they have ownership of. But throw-ins like this were a footnote to all the valuable passenger assets they got. North of the border it's abandoned-abandoned. New Hampshire didn't pick up the ownership, which is unusual for them because they're usually very diligent about locking up every ROW that comes available under state control.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby moth » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:16 am

They are still trying to get a rail trail in West Groton and Townsend on parts of this line. See http://www.squannacookriverrailtrail.org/ for latest info.

Looks like this might of been discussed a couple days ago at the board of selectmen.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby trainsinmaine » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:27 pm

I checked out a short part of this line a couple of weeks ago while in the Townsend-Groton area. The rails have been removed (or paved over) at the 119 crossing in West Townsend, but from there they continue into the woods toward New Hampshire for some distance, perhaps as far as the state border. There are sizeable trees growing up out of the roadbed. I discovered that there is a wooden trestle in the woods just northwest of the 119 crossing. Looking at it from the highway, you can just barely make it out (doubtless the view would be clearer in the winter). I didn't walk out the ROW to see it; that would seem the easiest access. If you plan to do it before the snow falls, be aware that the roadbed is full of impediments --- it's a weed- and bush-covered mess, and probably full of ticks.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby jaymac » Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:32 pm

Besides ticks, keep alert for poison ivy-oak-sumac. The leaves may go dormant this time of year, but that can just make it harder to spot. The vines still carry resin, even after being uprooted. Way off topic mebbe, but also never burn the stuff. The resin gets airborne in the smoke and does to lungs what the unburned stuff does to skin, with possible fatal results.
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby RedLantern » Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:58 pm

I hiked some of this line last spring, the wooden trestle mentioned before is all burned out and would be unlikely to pass structural inspections for even a trail. Further north from there there's 1+ foot thick trees growing between the rails for a short stretch. Then there's about a mile and a half of track that may be able to accomidate a narrow speeder, where there's trees between the ties outside the rails but nothing between. The tracks run right to the NH border, but for about half a mile south of the NH border the western rail has been torn out and is laying on it's side still bolted together. When I was there the dirt was still fresh where the rail had been leading to the impression that it had been done recently. Here's a few photos I took:

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/68762426
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/68762733
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/68762559
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Re: Ayer - Greenville, Nh. Branch

Postby NashuaActon&Boston » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:26 am

Here's an image of the legendary aeronautical plunge under the Greenville bridge in 1979.
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GreenvilleCub.jpg
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