• Remains of B&M Belmont/Bristol Branches?

  • 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 B&Mguy
I posted this on the B&M board, but this one seems to get a lot more hits, I figured i'd put it here too.

I was wondering if anyone one here can tell me if there are any remains of these two branch lines in New Hampshire.

I know the Belmont branch was very short and was abandoned 80 years ago, but I think I was able to locate the ROW on google maps. I was amazed that it still seemed to be fairly intact after all these years. Are there any artifacts on this line like bridge abutments or old buildings?

I’m also interested in finding any remains of the Bristol branch. I was unable to trace the right of way, probably because it was located on the Pemi floodplain and was probably washed away. Does anyone know if anything remains of this line?

  by thebigham
What towns did these lines serve? Where did the braches start on the mainline?
  by wog820
The Bristol line started in Franklin NH ,headed north to Bristol, follow rt.3 you can still make some sections out.

The Belmont was a connection off the White Mountain branch just north of Tilton. the spur to Quinn T is part of that line.
  by ferroequinarchaeologist
There is an extensive article on the Bristol Branch in the Summer 1978 edition of the B&MRRHS Bulletin which may help in your search.

  by bigfreight
I believe that part of the Bristol line is now the Heritage trail that goes up thru Old Hill Village. All of this easily accessable following NH rte 3A north from West Franklin. You can still see where the line went off the Northern pretty clearly at certain times of the year.The trail starts at the dam in W Franklin and continues north for about 10 to 12 miles winding up at Profile Falls by Bristol,NH.Whats left of the line into Bristol from the Falls is pretty sketchy. No vehicles are allowed so only really accessable by foot and is pretty flat.
  by citystation1848
For those interested and curious where these lines were

Map of the Bristol Branch...
View Boston and Lowell Railroad: Franklin and Bristol Railroad map

Map of the Belmont Branch...
View Concord and Montreal Railroad: Tilton and Belmont Railroad map

  by B&Mguy
Hey Matt,

How did you create those maps with the abandon rail line overlays? I heard the in the UK at least Google maps has a feature like this, and I was wondering if it's also available for US railroads.

  by citystation1848
I created the overlays...
Central Vermont Railroad (main line, partial)
Concord & Montreal Railroad (N.H. as far north as Lincoln and Wells River)
Connecticut River Railroad (N.H. branch)
Boston & Lowell Railroad (N.H. lines and line into Boston)
Boston & Maine Railroad (N.H. branches and main line)
Eastern Railroad (N.H. branches and main line)
Fitchburg Railroad (N.H. branches and main line to N.Y.)
Portland & Rochester Railroad
Worcester, Nashua & Rochester Railroad

I've done it all in Google, but I've started doing it as well with Microsoft Live. With Live, I can have all the railroads in the same layer (Google has a data point limitation).

  by heb
Hello B&M Guy,

I've been reseaching the Franklin - Bristol Branch for the last 9 years; specifically trying to pinpoint the location of, and all history concerning, "OAKDALE PARK", an obscure whistle stop on that line. I'm getting close.

Trying to find any portion of this line -- which might resemble an old rail bed -- is practically impossible because of the changing landscape brought about by the building of the Franklin Falls Dam and Fathertime, however, some discrete features still exist. I would recommend getting a copy of the 1914 Railroad Valuation of subject line from Mr. Nowell of the B&M Historical Society. The 12 or so very large sheets are expensive but worth it for any serious researcher of this great branch.

Armed with the Valuation maps, a GPS, and many hours of satellite photo study on the TerraServer and Google sites, I was able to pinpoint the location of, and actually saw at a distance, a stone culvert over which passed the railbed. The culvert's location is a few tenths of a mile south of what I think is Oakdale Park. I plan to go back there this fall and observe it close up as well as examine the Oakdale Park site and maybe even do a little light excavation if I feel up to it. After that, and after the next 9 years of more study, I'll try finding "Blake's".

I can't believe there is someone else out there who also cares about this subject!

Good luck,
  by EdHiller

The folks in Bristol are interested in constructing a rail-trial on the old Franklin-Bristol line. I see you mention that you have access to the Val Maps for that line. I have been trying to find them through the B&M RR HS without luck so far. Where did you access them, and how could I get them to help the Bristol group?

Thanks for your help.

I am active in restoring the historical artifacts on the Northern Line, Concord to White River Junction.

  by kwf
I was looking for info on Oakdale Park also...
my guess: 43.49872, -71.67522