Boston & Maine, Mt Washington Branch

Railroad trestle along the old Boston and Maine Railroad near Fabyans in Carroll, New Hampshire.
Boston & Maine Railroad, New Hampshire – Fabyans Trestle
 

Boston & Maine Railroad, Mt Washington Branch – Built by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, the thirteen and a half mile long Mt Washington Branch was completed in 1874. This branch began at Wing Road in Bethlehem, New Hampshire and ended just east of Fabayns in Bretton Woods. The railroad would be leased to the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1895.

Because there was a growing interest in the Mount Washington Cog Railway, an extension was added to this branch in 1876. And this extension is the focus of this blog article. The Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad completed the roughly six and a half mile long extension from Fabyans to the base of the Cog Railway in 1876. The last passenger trains to the Base Station ran on August 31, 1931.

Side view of a decaying timber bridge along the abandoned Mt Washington Branch of the Boston and Maine (B&M) Railroad in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. The Mt Washington Branch was built by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad and completed in 1876. This branch traveled from the Fabyan House to the base of the Cog. The branch was closed in June 1932
Boston & Maine Railroad, New Hampshire – Mt Washington Branch
 

Today the Mt Washington Branch is officially abandoned, but the section from Fabyans to the base of the Cog Railway can be followed. The railroad grade was consistent with a few brook crossings that required wooden bridges. And the trained eye of a railroading enthusiast will see remnants of the railroading era scattered along the right-of-way. But the most rewarding artifacts are a few rotten timber bridges and a granite culvert.

Side view of collapsed timber bridge at the Sokokis Brook crossing along the abandoned Mt Washington Branch of the Boston and Maine (B&M) Railroad in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. The Mt Washington Branch was built by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad and completed in 1876. This branch traveled from the Fabyan House to the base of the Cog. The branch was closed in June 1932
Boston & Maine Railroad, New Hampshire – Mt Washington Branch
 

The collapsed timber bridge (above) at the Sokokis Brook crossing is one of the more interesting bridges I have come across along the abandoned railroads in the White Mountains. The bridge is still in a somewhat standing position.

Granite culvert along the abandoned Mt Washington Branch of the Boston and Maine (B&M) Railroad in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA. The Mt Washington Branch was built by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad and completed in 1876. This branch traveled from the Fabyan House to the base of the Cog. The branch was closed in June 1932 +/-.
Boston & Maine Railroad, New Hampshire – Mt Washington Branch Granite Culvert
 

The granite culvert above looks to be in perfect working order. Pretty amazing considering it was likely built in 1876. That is 137 years ago! These artifacts are amazing pieces of White Mountains railroad history.

All of the above images can be licensed for publications by clicking on the image you are interested in. And you can view more imagery of 19th & 20th century White Mountains railroads in their current state here.

Happy image making..


 

Don’t Remove Artifacts | Historic Information Disclaimer | Purchase Our EB&L Railroad Book

The following two tabs change content below.
Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

Latest posts by Erin Paul Donovan (see all)

4 Responses to “Boston & Maine, Mt Washington Branch”

  1. Roger Clemons

    I worked at the Cog 1969-1971, brakerman, fireman, engineer.  The #494 ran with the hopper car backwards, with the engine running in reverse.  This was done to keep water covering the firetubes through the boiler, thus avoiding a major catastrophe.  Paul C. Dunn was a crewmember acog t the Cog in the 1930's; summer work before going back to college.  He was GM a the cog 1971-73(?).  Said the run was hairy, as the #494 was in bad shape.  Earlier remark is correctabout the light track, most was only 50 pounds/yard.

     

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Roger,

      Thank you for sharing your information and knowledge. The Mt Washington Branch of the Boston & Maine is very interesting. The history in this part of the White Mountains is awesome.

      Reply
  2. Carl Byron

    And you can see the last locomotive used on the branch at the White River Jct., VT station. B&M #494 lasted well beyond her contemporaries lifetime because she was light enough to go over those wooden bridges and haul [push?] a single hopper of coal to the Cog. Because she was so old the 494 was "spiffed up" and sent as the "before" engine to the B&M's portion of the Eastern RR display at the 1939-40 NY World's Fair. Of course a new 4-8-2 Mountain type steam locomotive was the "modern" display. After the fair and WW2 her luck continued to hold and she went on display in WRJ in the mid-50's.

     

    Reply
    • Erin Paul Donovan

      Hi Carl,

      Thank you for providing this very interesting information. I did not know #494 was at the White River Jct., VT station. I will have to take a look the next time I am in that area.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>