• Memories of B&M in NH

  • 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 fromsuncook
I will ramble along here and possibly incur the wrath of some mod.

First, thanks for this forum. It brings back a lot of memories and explains quite a few things.

I am not really a rail fan but have always loved trains. Now that I am older I am starting to notice more since I work next to a UPRR yard. I also have always loved exploring old ROW. In my earliest years I lived right by the abandoned North Weare branch and us kids were always excited to find spikes or old ties. Not much to do in our part of Weare in those days. Later I lived amongst the Suncook Valley RR abandoned ROWs and there was still a lot of track, bridges and "junk" around though it was 8 years since a train had run.

Actually seeing a train while on a trip was pretty exciting. Waiting for one at a crossing was the best and if it was only one or two cars I was always disappointed. I didn't realize at the time that these must have been RDCs or some type of passenger cars. I remember thinking that the few minuteman logos you could actually see on the front or side were cool. I never realized how nice the maroon and gold could look as all the equipment I saw was either so dirty or so rusty you couldn't tell. A lot of the trips were to Concord (NH) so waiting at a crossing didn't happen. You could hardly see any of the rail yard from the South Main Street bridge. It might actually be Water Street bridge but it was right by the big gas tank.

At one point in the late 60s and early 70s I was crossing the Merrimack River in Hooksett daily and would sometimes have to wait for a train. This was after I began driving. A long wait if it was the Bow coal train. All the power I remember seeing was either so dirty or rusty that seeing the minuteman was rare. I never recognized that the colors were actually maroon and gold. I do not recall seeing any freshly painted blue equipment before I left the area in 72.

While I was waiting for these trains to pass, what power was I likely seeing in this time period for the freights and the coal train? I am talking about 1968-72.
  by MEC407
fromsuncook wrote:I will ramble along here and possibly incur the wrath of some mod.
No wrath from me! Quite the opposite; memories of bygone times are always welcome and appreciated. In fact, I enthusiastically encourage people to share those memories because it's one of the best ways for younger people to learn about what things were like in "the old days."

As far as overall B&M power was concerned during the '68-'72 time period, you might have seen GP7s, GP9s, GP18s, RS3s, and various types of end-cab switchers from EMD and Alco. The GP38-2s came in late '73 / early '74.

Good question about Bow coal train power. Was B&M using run-through power from other railroads on that train? I bet our Mr. Hutchinson will know (and maybe even have photos!).
  by Rockingham Racer
I lived in Tyngsboro from '61-'63. All I remember seeing was B&M blue on the coal trains--and on the milk train to/from Vermont that was still running then!
  by edbear
In the late 1960s the power on the Box coal train was mixed. That's how B & M 1710 and 1735 got wrecked on a runaway coal train at Ashtabula, Ohio in the summer of 1968.
  by fromsuncook
Thanks for the replies. It was a long time ago and any minutemen I saw may have been much earlier than my times waiting in Hooksett.

I do seem to remember power looking more like this:

or this:

than this:

I noticed while browsing photos that there were some blue/white units with a minuteman on the front.

Some young people reading this may be thinking that you don't cross the track while crossing the river in Hooksett Village. The main road used to cross the river on the bridge to the east of the railroad bridge, then go in to a sharp left over the track. To add some confusion, someone has posted a photo of the old bridge in Google Earth and labeled it "abandoned railroad bridge".
  by bmcdr
The Bow Coal Train in the early Penn-Central era was a variety of former New York Central power mixed in with B&M and a few Penn-Central re-paints. Check out this photo attatched below from my collection of the coal train at Greenfield,Mass. on February 23,1970. The lead unit was a PC GP-30, B&M GP-9, NYC F-7a, B&M F-7b, and another B&M GP-9.
  by MEC407
Thanks, Mr. H! I knew you'd have a great photo for us. :-D
  by fromsuncook
Thank you bmcdr. Are there any photos around of the coal train further north or at the plant. Maybe some history of the Bow coal train? I am intrigued about the OH accident mentioned.
  by kilroy
Consist is noteworthy in it contains a PC re-paint with the rare red and white PC logo on the long hood.
  by NRGeep
ANYONE have photos of rolling stock on the long gone Cheshire branch?
  by Dick H
If you run this search link, you will find a few photos on the Cheshire Branch.
You will have to look through the photos, as the search will bring up
references to Cheshire MA and the Flying Yankee as the Cheshire.

http://photos.nerail.org/search/searchr ... e&BOOL=ALL