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with sandstone trimmings was erected last year at Great Falls to take the place of the dingy and dilapidated affair that has hitherto served as a passenger station at that place. It cost, including the extensive stone-work, about $20,000, is an ornament to the town and a credit to the road.
PORTSMOUTH & DOVER RAILROAD.
Line. From Portsmouth to Dover, 10.88 miles.
History and Condition. In 1872 the Eastern New Hampshire Railroad engaged to lease the Portsmouth & Dover, when it should be completed, at 6 per cent on its cost, for sixty-five years, and as a result this road was opened February 1, 1874. It was first chartered in 1842, and again July 6, 1866. Its first cost was $763,000, which was paid in bonds that were afterwards converted into stock. Of these the city of Portsmouth took $300,000 and Dover $225,000. It was well built, and is now in excellent condition, but has never done a large business. For some years its rental was 80 much loss to its lessor.
The openings at Rollins's, Paul's, Hill's, and Cushing's bridges were filled last year, and new Howe trusses were put in at Dover Point.
Line. From Wolfeborough Junction to Wolfeborough, 12.03 miles.
History and Condition. Chartered in 1848, and opened August 19, 1872. It cost $337,900, of which $289,400 were paid by the Eastern Railroad, which received stock in return, and now owns all but 375 of the 3,855 shares. It is and always has been really a branch of the Great Falls & Conway, though nominally leased to the Eastern New Hampshire. For many years it did not pay operating expenses, but is doing better now. It has an iron track in good repair, and decent stations.
CONNECTICUT RIVER RAILROAD SYSTEM.
Main Line. From Springfield, Mass., to South Vernon, Vt., 50 miles. Branches: Chicopee Falls, Chicopee to Chicopee Falls, 2.35 miles; East Hampton, Mt. Tom to East Hampton, 3.50 miles. Leased: Ashuelot Railroad, from South Vernon, Vt., to Keene, N. H., 24 miles, in New Hampshire 23.2142 miles; Sullivan County Railroad, from Bellows Falls, Vt., to Windsor, Vt., 26 miles; Vermont Valley Railroad, 24 miles. Total mileage 129.85 miles, of which 49.2142 are in New Hampshire.
Line. From Keene to South Vernon, Vt., 24 miles, of which 23.2 miles are in this State.
History and Condition. First incorporated December 27, 1844. Rechartered July 10, 1846. Work began upon the road in 1849, and it was opened for business January 1, 1857. It cost, including the equipment, about $500,000, only $441,000 of which were provided for by the sale of stock. The efforts of its managers only served to bury it deeper in debt, and many of the stockholders became alarmed lest they should be held personally responsible, and surrendered their certificates to the corporation to the amount of $231,000, leaving only $210,000 outstanding. In 1860 the holders of the $200,000 in bonds that had been issued secured possession of the property and leased it to the Cheshire. A long controversy between the bondholders and the stockholders ensued and occupied the attention of the court for years, but finally the stockholders established their claim, and on the 20th of April, 1878, recovered the road. They then brought suit for the use of it while it had been operated by the Cheshire, and with the proceeds of this canceled the outstanding bonds. The
corporation was then reorganized upon the basis of $210,000 capital, and the road was leased to the Connecticut River corporation, which pays 6 per cent on the stock for the use of it, and has brought it into most excellent condition, its road-bed, track, roadway, stations, and bridges being superior to those on any other branch road in the State. Two thirds of the track is in steel. Only ordinary repairs were made last year.
SULLIVAN COUNTY RAILROAD.
Line. From Bellows Falls, Vt., to Windsor, Vt., 26 miles.
History and Condition. The Legislature of New Hampshire chartered the Sullivan Railroad July 10, 1846. It was opened February 5, 1849, the cost being represented by $500,000 in stock and $854,796.93 in debts secured by mortgage bonds. After having operated two years it was surrendered to trustees for the benefit of creditors, and in 1863 was leased to the Vermont Central. In 1866, the corporation being hopelessly bankrupt, the property was sold for $500,000 to the bondholders, who formed a new corporation under the name of the Sullivan County Railroad, and, taking possession of the road, re-leased it for ten years to the Vermont Central at $25,000 per year. Of the stock in this new corporation, the Northern road was the principal owner. The Vermont Central continued to operate it until 1880, when the Vermont Valley Corporation purchased the stock, and it became part of the Connecticut River system.
Steel rails, 56 pounds to the yard, sound ties, 3,000 to the mile, and a deep, broad, well-surfaced road-bed, cleancut ditches, good fences, strong bridges, and respectable stations attest the success of the recent purchasers this road in their efforts to make it worthy of its place in a through line of great importance. Four miles of the
road-bed were raised from one to two feet last year, the stakes are set for a continuation of this improvement, which, when completed, will relieve it of heavy grades and fit it to do a large business at small cost.
CHESHIRE RAILROAD SYSTEM.
Main Line. From Ashburnham, Mass., to Bellows Falls, Vt., 53.62 miles, of which 42.81 miles are in this State. The Cheshire road uses that part of the Vermont & Massachusetts road which extends from North Ashburnham Junction to Fitchburg, 10.50 miles, for which it pays an annual rental of $51,000, and leases the Monadnock from Peterborough to Winchendon, Mass., 15.8 miles.
History and Condition. Chartered by the New Hampshire Legislature in 1844. The part in Massachusetts was chartered as the Winchendon Railroad Corporation. Construction was begun in 1845; opened to Keene in 1848, and to Bellows Falls in 1849. Capital stock, $2,153,300. Cost of road and equipment, $2,717,535.26. Funded debt $800,000, at 6 per cent.
There are no important changes to report on this road, and few are needed. Its veteran superintendent, who was one of its builders, has put upon it the impress of a steady purpose to make it stable, strong, and permanent. Its road-bed is nearly perfect, and the superstructure is first-class; its masonry is solid and enduring'; its bridges sound, safe, and high; its ties in good condition, - about 3,000 to the mile, and in line on one side; its track heavy steel; its ballast fourteen feet wide, deep, and of good material; its ditches well cut and unchoked, and its roadway well grassed and clean. It is free from sharp sags, and its few curves are skillfully drawn, while its
stations are commodious and in good repair. The stations south of Keene have been repainted.
Line. From Winchendon, Mass., to Peterborough, N. H., 15.8 miles, of which 13.76 miles are in this State. History and Condition. The Monadnock Railroad was first chartered in 1848. Eighteen years later the charter was revived, and in 1869 authority was given to lease the road when completed. Construction was commenced in 1870, and the road was completed the next year. It cost $367,701. In 1874 it was leased to the Boston, Barre & Gardner, and six years afterwards, when this company failed to meet its obligations, the Cheshire secured it at an annual rental of $12,500 per year. This arrangement terminated some months ago, but it is still operated by the Cheshire at a reduced rental. The stock, with the exception of a few shares, is owned jointly by the Cheshire and Fitchburg. Uncertainty regarding its future has doubtless prevented costly permanent improvements upon it, and it suffers by comparison with the Cheshire main line, but its road-bed and track are fully up to the average of our branch roads, and its stations are commodious and clean. It is one of the many short roads that cannot be operated to advantage independently, and its importance consists in its being a public convenience rather than in its ability to earn dividends.
FITCHBURG RAILROAD SYSTEM.
Main Line. From Boston, Mass., to Fitchburg, Mass., 50 miles. Branches: From North Cambridge, Mass., to Waltham, Mass., 6.60 miles; from South Acton, Mass., to Marlborough, Mass., 12.42 miles; Peterborough & Shirley, from Ayer, Mass., to Greenville, N. H., 23.62