• Hampton branch activity tracker

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  by jaymac
For those who enjoy non-aerobic multitasking, you can simultaneously watch paint dry and watch the B&M/ST Hampton Branch exemption applications load from the 09-09-2011 Surface Transportation Board "Filings" section. According to the site, it should take 233 minutes for just one to load at 28.8, a strong argument against dial-up.
  by Tim Mullins
Wouldn't carrier pigeon be faster?
  by jaymac
Mebbe, but there's the distinct risk to the environment -- a well-known PAR concern -- from airborne HAZMAT producers.
  by Tim Mullins
OH!....You mean the stuff you find on your vehicle after you have washed it?:)
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
BostonUrbEx wrote:I hope they don't butcher the thing if they're going to be cutting it up for drainage...

And if that East Coast Greenway happens, kiss a Portsmouth extension of the Newburyport Line goodbye. *rolls eyes*
That's going to be a low-priority Greenway extension for funding. Can't traverse the nuke plant exclusion zone without a re-route, and can't get across the Merrimack River. I think the Greenway organizations are getting on the record with it since this is the first time that corridor has become available, but even they know they're decades from critical mass and have other easier-to-fill gaps in the network.

Seacoast isn't like the rail cro-magnons in Manchester and Concord who keep shooting themselves in the foot. The local pols actually want passenger rail on this corridor, and I've been pretty impressed by the amount of concern they've expressed in public comments over this filing to do it right on the line purchase and make certain no interim plans for it block passenger rail. Not that they can expect that anytime soon, but there seems to be an element of "Yo, Union-Leader, we'll take 'yer evil trains over here if you don't want 'em" awareness-raising for their transit needs. Always good to see it when some significant percentage of a region's leadership exhibits proactive applied knowledge. It's so rare.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
ferroequinarchaeologist wrote:Recent modification of abandonment decision.

http://www.stb.dot.gov/decisions/readin ... /42934.pdf

Fairly routine to see one of those filings after the historical inventory has been completed. Last year the STB did the same amended filing on the Lowell Industrial Track (ex-Framingham & Lowell) abandonment that had been languishing in the queue since 2008. This just means that if they take the rails out or build a trail they have to leave all the historic mileposts in-place and have to check with the proper authorities before weighing removal of any other historic RR structures.

I don't think abandonment's official-official until they haggle out sale of the property to the state, but this reopening + inserted legalese about historical considerations advances it one more step.
  by MEC407
From SeacoastOnline.com:
SeacoastOnline.com wrote:State planners acquired important funding for the purchase of 10 miles of abandoned railway between Hampton and Portsmouth on Friday.

The land targeted for acquisition is owned by Pan Am Railways and hasn't been used for years. It's directly north of a 4.5-mile section of the same track going south from the center of Hampton into Seabrook that was bought by the state in 1999. Supporters of the acquisition envision a rail trail for bikers and hikers or an alternate route for cars with a bike lane that would stretch across the Seacoast.

Tom Jameson of the N.H. Department of Transportation said DOT officials met with a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) advisory board Friday morning, which agreed to fund the project that Seacoast lawmakers said "will have numerous and long-lasting benefits for the state, our towns and the entire Seacoast."
. . .
Pan Am quoted the price of the railroad at $100,000 in 2011, shortly after it was abandoned. Jameson said the next phase is a negotiation between the state and Pan Am.
Read more at: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/ ... -303310341
  by A320
As I approached the grade crossing of the old Eastern RR at the entrance to Hampton Airfield on Thursday, April 25, 2013, my interest was piqued by the sight of activity on the tracks.

My hopes were soon dashed, however, as I realized what the activity was all about.

The end of an era that began in 1840.

  by BM6569
However the CMAQ funding requirements state that the ROW be rail banked if future use is warranted/needed. Unlikely but still a chance. The article I had read recently mentioned it might be used if a train from Boston to Kittery comes a reality in the future when ridership is there.
  by bmvguye39
What a shame, but its no different than whats happening to the Danvers / Peabody branches as well. Lack of money, vision and management I suppose. There are alot of great restaurants in Portsmouth as it would be great to be able to catch a commuter from anywhere no the North shore and be able to go up to Portsmouth / Kittery area. I imagine there are as many people in NH on the coast that would want to be able to catch a train to Boston as well... similar to that of the Downeaster. Plenty of bike trails. Need more trains and less cars!
  by shadyjay
Sad to see the line go. Seems like it would've made a logical extension of the Newburyport line, first to Seabrook, then to Portsmouth.

But all is not lost for Portsmouth. If they really wanted commuter rail bad enough, there's still a Boston-Portsmouth route in place and in service, albeit much less than passenger standards between Rockingham Jct and Portsmouth. That'd be a good place to start in the future. With the Hampton branch to reach the existing Newburyport Line, not only would you have to relay the rails and rebuild the r.o.w., but there's also the Merrimack River bridge in Newburyport that I have read is in need of a complete replacement, if it hasn't been removed already.
  by b&m 1566
Is Pan Am removing the rail or the state? Why?
  by A320
b&m 1566 wrote:Is Pan Am removing the rail or the state? Why?

I didn't recognize the name on the sides of the trucks of the company that was doing the work -- i.e. it was neither Pan Am nor the State -- so I assume it's a contractor.

One person at Hampton Airfield mentioned that the rails were going to be sent somewhere in Pennsylvania to be re-used, as opposed to being scrap metal. Judging by the condition of some of those rails, I'm somewhat sceptical of that theory.
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