• Manchester - Portsmouth branch

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

Moderator: MEC407

  by Railroad Junkie
 
Hey all, I'm new hear and i was looking for some info on this line. when it was abandon and such. and if yall have pix when it was in service i would like to see em also :-D ! thanks!!

btw iv searched on google so mutch on this line and cant find anything. so any help is good thanks.
  by Dick H
 
From "Lost Railroads of New England, 2nd Edition" by Ronald Dale Karr

East Manchester to Rockingham Jct. NH
Abandoned 1982
Length 27.2 miles
Opened 1861
Became part of the B&M in 1895
Passenger service ended in 1954

Here's a photo of the rails being removed in 1985
http://tinyurl.com/ybmdea5

At the same time, the Fremont Branch between
Epping and Fremond was abandoned and torn up.

Dick
  by jaymac
 
Passenger train service may have ended in 1954, but there was round-trip mixed service until at least 1958. The accommodation was -- at least the one time I rode it -- a steel underframe wood coach. My documentation has long since disappeared, so I can't provide train, power, or coach numbers. High-schoolers never know what's likely to be important a half-century later.
  by RRBUFF
 
from the book Lost Rails of New England by Ronald Dale Karr the Passenger service was ended in 1954 and the line was abandoned in 1982. I lived in East Candia and rode the train A doodlebug and coach to and from school in Manchester. I visited the East Candia stop a few months ago and it is now a trail. There was no station just a pole with a flag you could turn if you wanted the train to stop. The train also carried the mail each morning run from Manchester.
  by TomNelligan
 
RRBUFF wrote:from the book Lost Rails of New England by Ronald Dale Karr the Passenger service was ended in 1954
However I'll confirm Mr. Jaymac's observation that mixed train service over the line continued beyond 1954, I believe until around 1960. The Manchester-Portsmouth mixed train was listed in the B&M passenger timetable. During the last couple years the coach was dropped and any remaining riders were carried in the caboose of the local freight.
  by Railroad Junkie
 
thanks for the info guys!!! do you know why it was abandoned? and why was B&M was so quick on tarring up the rail? and do you know of any local freight building that needed freight on the line?
  by TomNelligan
 
Railroad Junkie wrote: do you know why it was abandoned?
Same reason as for most rail abandonments... freight business had dropped off to a point where the revenue didn't pay for the taxes and upkeep on the track.
  by jbvb
 
From photos I've seen, into the 1960s the Manchester - Portsmouth freight often required two units - oil moved from Newington to up-country destinations, freight from Canada took a shortcut to the seacoast and Maine. There was also on-line industry, including the brick works and the barrel factory in Fremont. However, by the time I was railfanning it in the early '70s, even though the route to Canada was still open, the local was down to less than a dozen cars. The on-line industry probably wasn't paying the cost of keeping that much track in decent condition, and it had been old, light rail to begin with. And revitalizing branches has never been on Guilford's agenda...
  by Railroad Junkie
 
Thank you for the info. and do have any photos of the line in opperation? Thanks.
  by Railroad Junkie
 
sorry for the dobble post, did the line go west of Manchester aswell? like to gofstown? or did it end on maine line in manchester?
  by TomNelligan
 
The B&M did run west of Manchester to Goffstown and beyond, crossing the Merrimack via the bridge that's now a walkway, but that was a different line.
  by jbvb
 
I don't have pictures of the Manchester & Portsmouth, but catching the local at Rockingham Jct. was a fairly common railfan activity, so there are a fair number of published pictures. For 1960s views of Rockingham Jct., Epping and Raymond, take a look at George Melvin's "Trackside in NH 1950 - 1970 with Ben English", pp 30 - 34. Other books show the gas-electric making the station stop, etc. You might also want to ask at the Raymond Museum (in the preserved depot).