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miles. Leased: Vermont & Massachusetts Railroad, from Fitchburg, Mass., to Greenfield, Mass., 56 miles; Turner's Falls branch, from Greenfield to Turner's Falls, Mass., 2.80 miles. Total, 152.12 miles.
PETERBOROUGH & SHIRLEY RAILROAD.
Main Line. From Ayer, Mass., to Greenville, N. H., 23.62 miles. Single track, iron rails.
History and Condition. Chartered in this State July 8, 1846, the authority being to build a road from the state line in Mason through New Ipswich to Peterborough; built from the state line to Greenville, a distance of 9.37 miles. Construction began in 1849 and was finished in 1851. The road was greatly embarrassed for ten years, when it was leased to the Fitchburg road for nine hundred and ninety-nine years at 6 per cent, and the New Hampshire section was thrown in as a gratuity, on condition that the road should continue to be operated. By this arrangement the road is given the same rates as the main line.
This road remains in the same condition as a year ago. It continues to give its patrons lower rates and more train service in proportion to its business than any other in the State. With a new station and engine-house at Greenville it would be beyond the reach of reasonable criticism. During the summer of 1886 the engineers of the Fitchburg road made a survey from Greenville via Peterborough to Claremont, a distance of about 70 miles, following a portion of the way the line of the Windsor & Forest charter. Such surveys furnish employment to educated and deserving men, are fruitful subjects of speculation in the towns through which they pass, and sometimes lead to the construction of important railroads.
GRAND TRUNK RAILROAD SYSTEM.
Main Line. From Portland, Me., to Chicago, Ill., 1,145 miles. Total length of all lines owned and leased 2,358 miles, of which 52.02 miles are in this State.
History. The Grand Trunk Railway was chartered in 1851; opened from Portland to Montreal in 1853; to Quebec in 1854; to Toronto in 1856; from Toronto to Sarnia in 1858; to Chicago in 1880. Consolidated with Great Western Railway Company August 12, 1882. Total capital invested, $45,485,871.
ATLANTIC & ST. LAWRENCE RAILROAD.
Line. From Portland, Me., to Island Pond, Vt., 149.37 miles, of which 52.02 miles are in New Hampshire. History and Condition. Chartered in this State June 30, 1847; in Maine February 10, 1845. Opened to Island Pond January 10, 1853. Leased to the Grand Trunk Railway Company July 1, 1853, for nine hundred and ninety-nine years, at an annual rental of 6 per cent on funded debt and capital stock, amounting to $5,484,000 of the former and $3,000,000 of the latter.
This road, of which little is known by most of the people of the State, is essentially English in character, solid, substantial, slow, and safe. Its road-bed is one of the best. The ballast is of excellent material and well placed, broad, deep, porous, and elastic. The rails are sixty-fivepound steel, the ties hemlock and tamarack, 2,600 to the mile, lined on one side and sound; the bridges are iron with heavy and well-laid granite supports. The fences are kept in good repair, and the space between them is clean and tidy. The semaphore signal is in use at all stations, and a system of locks prevents the escape of cars left upon sidings and consequent collisions.
We hear no complaint of the train service, which ap
pears to be ample. The permanent improvements during the year are a neat and commodious station at Starkwater, an addition to the station at West Milan, and seven iron-plate girder bridges, from 22 to 28 feet in length, to replace wooden structures. There is need of a new station at North Stratford, of better depot accommodations at Groveton, and a larger freight-house at Berlin Falls, all of which are promised in the near future. The local business on this road is light, and when considered independently it has been operated at a heavy loss; but there has been a rapid development of the resources of the section in the last few years, which is contributing materially to a more satisfactory balance-sheet. A new paper-mill costing half a million dollars, and having a capacity of twenty tons a day, has been erected at Berlin Falls, and upon the barren ledge about it has sprung up a village whose growth is probably without parallel in the State. Eighty substantial blocks and houses were erected there last year. The mills a short distance above furnish a train-load of lumber and the copper mines at Milan a carload of ore daily, while the mills at Stark, Starkwater, and Milan are flourishing and increasing their output, and the receipts of the road at North Stratford, Groveton, and Gorham are steadily growing.
PORTLAND & OGDENSBURG RAILROAD.
Line. From Portland to Fabyan's, 89.034 miles. From Scott's Mills to Vermont line, 2.32 miles. Length of line in New Hampshire, 40.544 miles.
History and Condition. The Portland & Ogdensburg Railroad originated in the desire of the people of Portland for a new line to the West. It was chartered in this State in 1869, with the consent of those whose interests it threatened, because they were convinced its route through the Notch was one on which a railroad
could not be built. Its construction was begun in 1870, and August 7, 1875, it was opened from Portland to Fabyan's, a distance of 89 miles. Its cost to this point exhausted its resources, including its credit, but for about ten years its trains were run over the track of the Boston, Concord & Montreal to Scott's Mills, and thence to the Vermont line.
This arrangement terminated May 3, 1885, and since that time its western terminus has been at Fabyan's. It never did a paying business, and was soon bankrupt. In 1884, upon petition of the creditors, the Supreme Court of Maine issued a decree placing it in the hands of Samuel J. Anderson, of Portland, as receiver, which was afterwards confirmed by the United States District Court for New Hampshire. It was in wretched shape when General Anderson took it as receiver, its roadbed, never a good one, badly out of repair, its bridges unsafe, its trestles frightful and dangerous, its track fit only for old iron, and most of its buildings shanties. It has been greatly improved since then, and is now in good condition. The track is now all in steel, the worst of the trestled gorges have been filled, the weakest of the wooden bridges replaced with iron, and the roadbed brought into excellent condition.
Last year "Cook cut" in Conway was completed, reducing the grade from 82.5 feet to 52.8 per mile. Seven miles of track have been raised by ballasting from three to eighteen inches. Hall's pass in Bartlett has been filled up. Six hundred yards of ledge have been taken from the bed of the Saco River to protect the bridge pier near the first crossing above Bartlett, and 500 yards of riprap placed on the banks of the Saco near the junction of the Ellis. The long singlespan bridges over the Saco above Bartlett, and the bridge at Davis brook in Hart's Location, have been replaced by iron structures. Three new turn-tables have
been built, and the platforms at Crawford's, Intervale, Fabyan's, Mt. Pleasant, Bartlett, and North Conway have been repaired. Upon the whole line, since it passed into the hands of the receiver, the length of bridging has decreased nearly a mile and a half, and that of the iron bridges has increased 1,825 feet. More than 60 per cent of the bridging over openings twenty feet wide or more is now iron.
In October, 1885, the Circuit Court issued a final order in foreclosure in favor of the Mercantile Trust Company and the city of Portland, upon mortgages representing $1,590,744, and a corporation constituted by virtue of this foreclosure, and under legislation obtained in Maine and New Hampshire, was organized in June, 1886, to take possession of the road, which it has done.
MOUNT WASHINGTON RAILROAD.*
Line. From the base of Mt. Washington to the summit, 3 miles.
History and Condition.
"This road was chartered in 1858. The charter was renewed from time to time, and in 1868 construction began. The merit of originating this novel enterprise in railroad construction belongs to Herrick Aiken, of Franklin, who had conceived its possibility as early as 1850. He subsequently visited the mountain, and in 1857 he constructed a model to illustrate his idea. Mr. Aiken failing in health, Sylvester Marsh took up the project, invented the cog-wheel, and carried the enterprise forward to completion in 1872. The operative power has been improved and the liability to accident reduced to the minimum by the vigilance and skill of Walter Aiken, son of the originator, and manager of the road. The capital stock is $129,000. The cost was $139,000. The road has paid 9 or 10 per cent
* Report of 1886.