Wilton Scenic Railroad train passing through Greenfield

Railroads of New Hampshire

The first railroad to be constructed in New Hampshire was the Nashua & Lowell Railroad, extending Massachusetts's first railroad between Boston and Lowell. By train, goods could now travel between the mill cities and down to Boston in under an hour, rather than the day it took to travel by horse-drawn wagon or canal. Besides being faster, railroads provided reliable year-round service as canals would freeze during the winter and stagecoach paths would become muddy and be nearly impassible during spring thaws. As technology improved from the first trains of the 1830s, trains were able to haul more people and goods faster and farther - but so did other modes of transportation. As the car and truck industry developed along with the railroads, and highways were built parallel to most railroad routes, the short distances between communities in New England lent itself to trucking and personal automobiles being the economical choice. Today, the railroad network in New Hampshire is a fraction of what it once was, but it still does what it was built for well - moving bulk commodities and products long distances efficiently.

Browsing New Hampshire's railroads can be done in various ways. Here, by rail line, a turn of the century snapshot of the railroad network was taken by using railroad timetables. When exploring using this method, the topic is not time sensitive and history, photographs, and historical items are inclusive of all railroad companies that existed for a section of rail. While only portions of the Boston & Maine, Maine Central, and Grand Trunk served New Hampshire, those railroad systems are presented here in their entirety for a compete picture of the region.

Boston and Maine Railroad
Details from the July 1, 1923 Official List of Officers, Agents and Stations

Berkshire Division :: Main Line :: Main Line (to Rotterdam Junction) :: Bennington Branch :: Saratoga and Schuylerville Branches :: Saratoga and Schuylerville Branches (to Schuylerville)

Connecticut River Division :: Main Line :: Ashuelot Branch :: Easthampton Branch

Fitchburg Division :: Main Line :: Main Line (to Bellows Falls) :: Ashburnham Branch :: Greenville Branch :: Marlboro Branch :: Milford Branch :: Turners Falls Branch :: Watertown Branch

Passumpsic Division :: Main Line :: Stanstead Branch

Portland Division :: Main Line via Dover :: Main Line via Portsmouth :: Main Line via Portsmouth (to Conway) :: Amesbury Branch :: Dover Branch :: Essex Branch :: Georgetown Branch :: Gloucester Branch :: Kennebunkport Branch :: Lakeport Branch :: Lawrence Branch :: Lowell Branch :: Manchester and Lawrence Branch :: Marblehead Branch :: Medford Branch :: Merrimac Branch :: Newburyport Branch :: Orchard Beach Branch :: Saugus Branch :: Somersworth Branch :: South Reading Branch :: Swampscott Branch :: Wolfeboro Branch

Southern Division :: Main Line :: Main Line (Woburn Loop) :: Main Line (Suncook Loop) :: Main Line (to Northampton) :: Bristol Branch :: Claremont Branch :: Franklin and Tilton Branch :: Lawrence Branch :: Lexington Branch :: Lexington Branch (to Shady Hill) :: Portsmouth Branch :: Salem Branch :: Stoneham Branch :: Stony Brook Branch :: Suncook Valley Branch

Terminal Division :: Terminal Division

White Mountains Division :: Main Line :: Main Line (to Groveton) :: Main Line (to Mt. Washington) :: Bethlehem Branch :: Pemigewasset Valley Branch :: Tilton and Belmont Branch :: Whitefield and Jefferson Branch

Worcester, Nashua and Portland Division :: Main Line :: Acton Branch :: Keene Branch :: Manchester and Milford Branch :: North Weare Branch :: North Weare Branch (to New Boston) :: Worcester and Hillsboro Branch

Barre and Chelsea Railroad :: Montpelier and Wells River Railroad :: Mt. Washington Railway Co. :: The St. Johnsbury and Lake Champlain Railroad Co. :: York Harbor and Beach Railroad Co.

Central Vermont Railway
Details from the April 24, 1955 Employee Timetable #45

Northern Division :: Alburgh Subdivision :: Barre Subdivision :: Richford Subdivision :: Roxbury Subdivision :: St. Armand Subdivision :: Swanton Subdivision :: Winooski Subdivision

Southern Division :: Palmer Subdivision :: Palmer Subdivision, Palmertown Branch :: Windsor Subdivision

Grand Trunk Railway
Details from the July 14, 1880 General Passenger Timetable

Main Line from Montreal to Portland :: Lewiston Branch :: Norway Branch

Maine Central Railroad Co.
Details from the January 1, 1917 Handbook of Officers, Agents, Stations and Sidings

Portland Division :: Main Line :: Main Line via Lewiston :: Belfast Branch :: Farmington Branch :: Foxcroft Branch :: Harmony Branch :: Kineo Branch :: Kineo Branch (to Kineo) :: Lewiston Branch :: Livermore Falls Branch :: Rangeley Branch :: Rockland Branch :: Skowhegan Branch

Eastern Division :: Main Line :: Main Line (Howland Branch) :: Main Line (Stillwater Branch) :: Bar Harbor Branch :: Bucksport Branch :: Calais Branch :: Eastport Branch :: Princeton Branch :: Princeton Branch (Woodland branch)

Mountain Division :: Main Line :: Main Line (Victory spur) :: Main Line (to Canada)

Marine Service :: Penobscot Bay Line (Castine) :: Penobscot Bay Line (Sargentville) :: Frenchman's Bay Line

Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad :: Main Line :: Bigelow Branch :: Eutis Branch :: Madrid Branch :: Mount Abram Branch :: Perham Branch

Bridgton and Saco River Railroad Co. :: Portland Terminal Co. :: Ricker Hotel Co.

New Hampshire Shortlines and Logging Railroads

Ammonoosuc Lumber Co. :: Upper Ammonoosuc Railroad

Barlett Land and Lumber Co. :: Barlett and Albany Railroad

Berlin Mills Co. :: Berlin Mills Railway :: Millsfield Railroad

Blanchard and Twitchell Co. :: Sucess Pond Railroad

Browns' Lumber Co. :: Johns River Railroad

Conway Co. :: East Branch Railroad :: Rocky Branch Railroad :: Swift River Railroad

George Van Dyke :: Little River Railroad

J. E. Henry and Sons :: East Branch & Lincoln Railroad :: Zealand Valley Railroad

Johnson Lumber Co. :: Gordon Pond Railroad

Kilkenny Lumber Co. :: Kilkenny Lumber Company Railroad

Profile and Franconia Notch Railroad

Saco Valley Lumber Co. :: Saco Valley Railroad

Saunders family :: Sawyer River Railroad

W. D. Veazey and Co. :: W. D. Veazey and Co. Railroad

Waumbeck Lumber Co. :: Waumbeck Lumber Company Railroad

Wild River Lumber Co. :: Wild River Railroad

Woodstock Lumber Co. :: Beebe River Railroad :: Woodstock and Thornton Gore Railroad