• branch lines on the CV?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by trainsinmaine
If I'm not mistaken, Route 30 crosses the old roadbed at least six times --- at Dummerston (trestle over road and river, long gone, abutments still standing); a bit south of Newfane, at grade south of town (indiscernible) and again north of town via an underpass (also long gone); by missing trestle again south of Townshend (abutments still there), then at grade in Harmonyville; and, I think lastly, somewhere between West Townshend and Jamaica, though I don't know where. It heads north toward South Londonderry as it leaves Jamaica.

There are, as has been said, many segments of the ROW that can be found, but you have to know where to look. Purchase DeLorme's Vermont Atlas and Gazetteer, then go to the University of New Hampshire's collection of old USGS topo maps and print out the appropriate ones. Combine them, and you will get a good idea of where to explore.
  by ProRail
From NRGeep...

"While we're on the CV, I have noticed from the Vermonter a short siding in south Northfield Ma near the Erving line which leads to a field which seems to be still active as a farm. Anyone know what this was used for "back in the day?""

I am still puzzled about the siding you reference. I spent some time yesterday scouting out the CV/NECR main between Millers Falls and East Northfield hitting all the back roads and Route 63 trying to find this location to no avail.

NRGeep, a follow up question on your mystery siding in Northfield:
If you were northbound on the Vermonter, seated on the east side the train, leaving Erving passing in to Northfield you would cross a few roads on bridges or at grade, namely, (south to north) Ferry Road, Pine Meadow, Cross Road, Pine Meadow (again) and Munns Ferry Road. A notable feature on this route would be the large Solar Farm on the east side of the tracks that would be a useful reference point. If you were to use Google or Bing maps could you please be more specific as to the location of your mystery siding? Thank you.

Also, north or south facing siding? You have me very much intrigued since none of the CV timetables I can find reference anything that would even have existed before never mind still exists now. So it is quite a mystery.
  by bruceclouette
IIRC, a 1-mile "branch" in Mansfield, CT was called the Colony Branch. It basically supplied coal for the Mansfield Training School, now the UConn Depot Campus. It was called Colony Branch because an older name for the facility was the Colony for Epileptics. About all that remains is part of a concrete trestle near the former power plant. Attached is a topo from the 1940s.
  by ProRail
I have found and confirmed the siding NRGeep mentioned seeing earlier in the post while travelling northbound on the Vermonter.
It is indeed just north of the Erving/Northfield line. It is in Northfield, just south of the bridge that crosses over Ferry Road.
It is located out behind the solar panel farm along Route 63.
The switch is pulled out, the rails are very rusty and the ties old and rotted.
The siding appears to have indeed run up into the area where the solar panel farm is now but was probably used at least 20+ years ago.

Nice find NRGeep.
  by The EGE
You're entirely right. It's invisible on modern satellite imagery, and it was built after the latest (1940s) topo maps that I have access to. But I see it now.

The siding was in fact double-ended with a branch off it into what is now the solar farm. It was built between 1966 and 1971 and was long-gone by 1997.

It's obvious on the 1971 historical aerial.
  by NRGeep
joshuahouse wrote:I guess the question now becomes, what was there in the 1970s that was gone by the late 1990s?
Well, the Northfield Mountain hydroelectric plant began operating in 1972. Could this have been used to unload materials for this project? The plant is located in the viscinity of the old spur.
  by NRGeep
Getting closer it seems. In the April 1970 issue of Popular Science (pg 76) which can be found on googlebooks there is an article on the building of the Northfield hydro plant. It describes the process of hollowing out Northfield Mountain via drilling and blasting to create "more than three miles of underground tunnels. Nearly half a million cubic yards of rock were removed -enough to fill 69,000 70-ton freight cars." Could they be writing metaphorically and they really used an army of dump trucks? I wouldn't be surprised if they used the CV to bring in the parts for the massive water turbines however. Any old timers remember this?
  by p&w3901
Couple tidbits on the West River Railroad:
There is a second, albeit much difficult to find, book on this road. The Chronology of the West River Railroad by James Mellish is much more in depth than 36 Miles of Trouble, and is loaded with data and photographs. My understanding is that there was only one printing of 300 copies of this book.
Several porions of the old ROW are in the process of being converted to a hiking trail/bike path.
  by Townshipfarmer
When the Richford branch was abondoned, was it still owned by CV or had the state bought it? Also why was it abandoned? Seems to me it would be handy to have that line in use.
  by Noel Weaver
Townshipfarmer wrote:When the Richford branch was abondoned, was it still owned by CV or had the state bought it? Also why was it abandoned? Seems to me it would be handy to have that line in use.
A substantial bridge was badly damaged by a freight train, actually a detour train between the CP and the B&M that ran that way due to a derailment. It was too much for the CV to repair based on existing business on this line.
Noel Weaver
  by Townshipfarmer
Thanks for the info. In the last few years did CV have a yard in Richford or did they use the CP yard on the other side of the river?
  by dustybroe
CV did have small yard with cp interchange but the CV never used CP Rail in richford, Lamoille Valley Railroad opreated Sheldon Jct To Richford From 1988 to 1991, tracks from Sheldon Jct To Richford wore tore up in 1993. St.Albans to Sheldon Springs was tore up in 1990 to the bridge.