Starting in 1982, the New England Southern Railroad (reporting mark NEGS) was awarded an operating agreement by the State of New Hampshire to serve as the freight carrier on the Concord to Lincoln line, taking over from the Goodwin Railroad whose operating agreement had expired. New England Southern expanded its service area in 1985 when it signed a lease with Guilford Rail System to operate Guilford's rail line from Manchester to its northern-most point in Penacook.
Pan Am Railways (formerly Guilford Rail System) decided to terminate its lease with New England Southern in 2007. New England Southern's customers stood up their railroad, protesting the termination of the lease. While Pan Am Railways stated it would take over rail operations in Concord, the date it set came and went with no action by Pan Am. New England Southern continued to faithfully serve its customers until 2010.
Today, New England Southern still has a contract with the State of New Hampshire for freight service up to Tilton and in 2010 constructed a transload facility in Canterbury to develop some new traffic on the line.
In 1993, New England Southern began offering scenic train rides as the Granite State Railroad between Concord and Northfield. Trains left from small platform located off Foundry Street until the excursions stopped in the late 1990s.