Vision Of Past And Future.

It was my interest in rail that led to my involvement in NH politics and what a ride that it has been.

In any case, yesterday I went to what was once one of my favorite and most frequent railfan sites. And this is Wells River, Vermont. Back in the day this was a major railroad junction and nexus. It declined with the rest of the industry after WW II but it sill continued to be a major freight throughfare right through to about 1999.

This is shot that probally represents the epicenter of this important activity. I'm standing on the southern terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railway "Lyndonville Subdivision" that runs south from Canada. I'm looking south at the Boston & Maine line that leads to White River Junction, Vermont and down the Connecticut River to East Deerfield, Mass. The line to the left also belonged to the Boston & Maine and it was their line to the papermills at Berlin, Groveton and there was also some salt and lumber business at Littleton.Wells River, Vermont. This Is Both A Vision Of Past And The Present.

Today all this is gone. The successor the the Boston & Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont Railroad abandoned most of the line to Berlin and Groveton and thus severing this connection. The Canadian Pacific evaculated from it's portion and sold their line to the State of Vermont. Later the Boston & Maine and it's owner Guilford Rail System would sell their portion of line from Wells River to White River Junction, VT to the State of Vermont for about $3.2 million dollars.

I used to go to this exact location and see all kinds of rail activity. At one point Ford Motor Company was bringing cars down from Canada via this route. I mean there was autorack after autorack interchanging from the CP to the B&M and it was happening right here. Actually, to get technical, it was CP to the Springfield Terminal Railway (ST). The ST was a successor to the B&M during the last years of operations on this line.

Today, all this is gone. The State of Vermont, as owner, signed a 30 year lease with two options for renewal to the Washington County Railroad, part of the Vermont Rail System. And they do run trains from White River Junction up to Newport, VT. And I don't think anywhere near the scale of what the CP and B&M were doing for traffic but this is only my vision.  

I'm sure 'Guest' can point out showing me that I'm wrong. But the history of this area is what is making me think of the proposed Canadian Pacific/Norfolk Southern merger. Which I still hope gets rejected by the Surface Transportation Board.