• Rockingham Jct.station

  • 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 arthur d.
A few months ago, the station building at Rockingham got tagged. In some 45 years of train watching there, this is the only such incident I am aware of.
Out for a ride today, I discovered the new owner there, he had painted over the graffiti and was cleaning up after applying what looks to be the correct shade of cream or pale yellow paint to a few clapboards as a test. We had a brief chat, I thanked him for doing the work and wished him luck. He didn't say what he plans to do with the place, and I didn't ask, but hopefully he can find a way around the roadblocks that derailed the previous owner.
  by arthur d.
I don't. My collection of later year timetables is spotty, but the last mention I see of a station stop there is ETT #3, effective October 1963. I don't know when the interlocking plant went away, but at one time an operator there controlled the switches and signals from a control panel in one corner of the station. At one time there was a track gang based there, they had their own building, but could have moved in in later years. (Note concrete pad with rail embedded to store a track car, 15 feet west of station) After the railroad sold it off, someone tried to make a go of it as an antique shop. It failed, but until recently a claw foot bath tub remained. Another party owned it at one point using it for storage, I remember seeing machine shop equipment through the windows. The last guy, a contractor, did great work stabilizing the foundation and was working on the siding and windows when business was slow. What killed it for him was discovering PAR retains a right of way around the west side of the building.
  by b&m 1566
Slightly off topic, is the eastern connection off the western route a relatively new addition? On historicaerials.com topographic maps do not show an eastern leg until 1958, but do show a western leg.
  by The EGE
Historic topos tend to be hit-or-miss - in many cases, the base map is not updated for many years even when republished. The 1951 aerial imagery shows both eastern and western wyes.

If the station still had passenger service in 1963, I would imagine it probably stayed in service until the Dover round trip was discontinued in 1967.
  by Dick H
Here is a B&M 1956 Boston to Portland Timetable from the collection of David Sommer
It shows three trains stopping at "Newfields". I do not know if that was the Rockingham
Station, or if the stop was at Squamscott St. crossing. The Rockingham depot property
does straddle the Newfields/Newmarket town line.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=47653" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by The EGE
Newfields station was definitely at Swamscott per the mileage.

1946 public timetable has stops at Rockingham Junction on both lines. (Manchester-Portsmouth service ran until 1954, with mixed trains until about 1963.) The last timetable with Dover service does not have Rockingham Junction.
  by arthur d.
Old timers I knew spoke of a more substantial station in Newfields, on Depot street about 100 yards east of the Swampscott flag stop.
Riding the Budd cars in the mid sixties, we never stopped at Newfields or Rockingham. Not to say it wasn't a flag stop.
Newfields also had another station; Littlefield, a flag stop on what today is rte 87.
  by arthur d.
The EGE wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2019 11:11 pm The last timetable with Dover service[/url] does not have Rockingham Junction.

Interesting. ETT #15, also dated 30 April 1967 does list both Newfields and Rockingham.
  by The EGE
Very strange. Does it show stops at Rockingham Junction, or just as a timetable point?
  by arthur d.
Closer scrutiny shows us Exeter is listed as the last regular stop. Newfields and Newmarket listed as "stops to leave". Durham is a flag stop, Dover of course being the final stop. Rockingham shows no additional symbol, so I would guess its listed as a way point.

Off on a tangent, I see no listing for Front street Exeter in any of my TT's. I know that they used to stop there, either to shave about a quarter mile off for the west end residents walking home, or to pick up employees of the old shoe factory there who lived further east, I'm not sure.
  by jbvb
ETT #54 (27-Apr-52) shows Rockingham as TWD (phone, water, part-time operator) with outbound stops 7:58-8:06A by #2907 to Intervale and 4:40-4:58P by #141 to Dover (pulling in on the wye to clear #19). Inbound, #132 from Portland stopped 7:50A and #174 from Dover stopped 4:40-4:46P. ETTs #60 (24-Apr-55) #63 (28-Oct-56), #69 (26-Oct-58), #70 (26-Apr-59), #78 (30-Apr-61) all show Rockingham as TD (phone and part-time operator) but no passenger trains stopping.

As of 1967, the area around Rockingham Jct. was very rural. IIRC there were a couple of houses on the pre-overpass NH 108 remnant, then widely spaced farmhouses in both directions. The built-up part of Newfields ended just east of Rt. 85's overbridge. There was a big egg-farm barn NE of the bridge over the Portsmouth line, then a big gravel pit that's now being developed. The present golf course west of 108 was pasture. With this population density and stops in Newfields and Newmarket, no wonder Rockingham Jct. was discontinued when Manchester - Portsmouth service changed to mixed trains.
  by arthur d.
The big hen house on New road is still there, though mostly engulfed in foliage.
The new station owner has posted architectural renderings of station expansion plans in a window at the station.
The maroon and cream repaint continues to slowly creep its way around the building.
  by arthur d.
Of note, some land clearing going next to the station these past few weeks. Who knows what treasures will be unearthed? Based on conversations with previous station owners, it is believed that this is the land that goes with the station. Who authorized the clearing? The current station owner, or did the state step in to improve parking for the rail trail? We don't know.
  by Dick H
I have a second hand report that the station will be moved onto a new foundation which will facilitate adding running water
and other amenities.