List of White Mountains Railroads


White Mountains, New Hampshire railroads: From the late 1800s to the early 1900s, railroad logging was a way of life, and the timber barons dominated the White Mountains. But in life, change is inevitable, and now in the 21st-century, railroad logging in the White Mountains is a thing of the past. Below is a list of logging railroads (and some of the passenger railroads) in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Included are random tidbits of history about the railroads, and links to blog articles and photographs of these railroads in their current state.

 

White Mountains, New Hampshire Railroads
 

RailroadCompaniesLocationYears OperatedLength
Notes
Bartlett & Albany RailroadBartlett Land and Lumber CompanyAlbany, Bartlett1887-189410 MilesThe Bartlett & Albany Railroad ended in the area known as Passaconaway.

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Beebe River RailroadWoodstock Lumber Company, Parker Young Company, Draper CorporationCampton, Sandwich, Waterville1917-194225 MilesThe last timber hauled on the Beebe River Railroad was in 1935. And by 1942 the railroad track was removed and donated to the war effort (World War 2).

Read more about the Beebe River RR

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Boston & Maine, Mt Washington BranchBoston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, Boston & Maine RailroadBethlehem, Beans Grant, Carroll, Chandlers Purchase, Crawfords Purchase, Thompson & Meserves Purchase1874-?13.5 MilesBuilt by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, the Mt Washington Branch was completed in 1874. This branch began at Wing Road in Bethlehem and ended just east of Fabayns in Bretton Woods. In 1876, a roughly six and a half mile long extension from Fabyans to the base of the Cog Railway was completed. The railroad would be leased to the Boston & Maine Railroad in 1895. The last passenger trains to the Cog Base Station ran on August 31, 1931.

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East Branch & Lincoln RailroadJ.E. Henry and Sons, Parker Young Company, Marcalus Manufacturing Company, Franconia Paper CorporationFranconia, Lincoln1893-194860 MilesBuilt by James Everell Henry, the East Branch and Lincoln Railroad (EB&L) is considered to be the grandest and largest logging railroad operation ever built in New England

Read more about the EB&L RR

Purchase our EB&L Railroad Book

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East Branch RailroadConway Lumber CompanyBartlett, Jackson1916-192013 MilesLast of the Conway Company logging operations. In 1910, the Conway Company changed name to the Conway Lumber Company.
Gale River RailroadWaumbek Lumber Company, Gale River Lumber CompanyBethlehem1874-1877/18783 MilesSecond logging railroad built in the White Mountains. There has been many questions surrounding the existence of this railroad. And many disregard this railroad and say the Sawyer River Railroad is the second logging railroad to be built in the White Mountains.

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Gordon Pond RailroadJohnson Lumber CompanyLincoln, Woodstock1907-191615 MilesJohnson Lumber Company's first sawmill was located in North Lincoln. And a small settlement formed around the North Lincoln sawmill known as “Johnson”.

Read more about the Gordon Pond RR

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John’s River RailroadBrown's Lumber Company (Whitefield)Whitefield, Jefferson1870-187915 MilesConsidered to be the first logging railroad to operate in the White Mountains. It ran from Whitefield to Jefferson Meadows. This railroad would be merged into the Whitefield & Jefferson Railroad around 1879. And be used both as logging and passenger line well into the 20th century. These Browns are not the same Browns of Berlin. This railroad may have never been officially incorporated.
Kilkenny Lumber Company RailroadLancaster and Kilkenny Railroad Company, Kilkenny Lumber Company RailwayKilkenny, Lancaster1887-189710 MilesThe original charter was in made July 1879. Everything was planned out under “Lancaster and Kilkenny Railroad Company” but it never came to be. Charles Eaton and Henry C. Libby (Littleton Lumber Company) secured a new charter in 1887.
Little River RailroadJ.E. Henry, George Van DykeBethlehem1893-19006 MilesThe act passed to incorporate the Little River Railroad in March 1891 (J.E. Henry) was revived March 1893 (Van Dyke).

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Maine Central Railroad, Mountain DivisionPortland & Ogdensburg Railroad, Portland & Ogdensburg Railway, Maine Central RailroadBretton Woods, Bartlett, Hart's Location1867-1983Not abandoned, track still in use - Since 1995 the Conway Scenic Railroad, which provides passenger excursion trains, has been using the Crawford Notch section of the track.

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Millsfield RailroadBerlin Mills CompanyMillsfield1910-19157-8 MilesRailroad was in operation for 4 years, track removed in 1915. This was a remote logging railroad that did not connect to an outside line. All railroad equipment and the locomotive was dismantled and brought to the location by horses and oxen. The logs were dumped into Clear Stream, and floated down the Androscoggin River to the mill in Berlin.
Mount Washington Cog RailwaySylvester MarshThompson & Meserves Purchase1869 -3 MilesNot abandoned - Railroad still in use. This is a passenger railroad that travels to the summit of Mount Washington.

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Profile & Franconia Notch RailroadRichard Taft and Charles H. GreenleafBethlehem, Franconia1879-192110 MilesOpened in 1879, this was a passenger railroad, and it only serviced the Profile House in Franconia Notch.

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Rocky Branch RailroadConway Company, Conway Lumber CompanyGlen, Jackson, Sargents Purchase1908-191412 MilesRocky Branch River Railroad. In 1910, the Conway Company changed name to the Conway Lumber Company.
Saco Valley RailroadSaco Valley Lumber CompanyCarrigain, Cutts Grant 1892-18987 MilesThis short lived railroad traveled up into the Mount Washington Brook (known today as Dry River) valley. It crossed the river many times. And over the lifespan of the railroad, the trestles were washed out numerous times.
Sawyer River RailroadDaniel and Charles SaundersLivermore1877-192810 MilesWas one of the last logging railroads to operate in New Hampshire.

Read more about the Sawyer River RR

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Success Pond RailroadBlanchard & Twitchell CompanyBerlin, Success1894-190714 MilesA number of branch lines were built off the mainline, and total length of track is closer to 29-30 miles.
Swift River RailroadConway Company, Conway Lumber CompanyAlbany, Conway, Livermore, Passaconaway, Waterville Valley1906-191625 MilesBefore the Conway Company took over the Swift River valley, a settlement was already in the area. Originally known as the Albany Intervale, the Passaconaway Settlement consisted of a small farming community. There also were at least three sawmill settlements in the area during the 1800s. In 1910, the Conway Company changed name to the Conway Lumber Company.

Read more about the Swift River RR

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Upper Ammonoosuc RailroadKilkenny Lumber Company Railway, Upper Ammonoosuc Railroad Company, International Paper CompanyBerlin, Kilkenny, Milan1892-19038-14 MilesThe Kilkenny Lumber Company Railroad started this railroad in 1892 under their name, but the owners wanted out, so in March 1893 an act was passed to incorporate the Upper Ammonoosuc Railroad. Under the act, the Upper Ammonoosuc Railroad was authorized to purchase the rights of the Kilkenny Railroad.
W.D. Veazey RailroadW.D. Veazey and CompanyThornton1906-19201.5 MilesThese were short sidings off the Boston and Maine Railroad.
Whitefield & Jefferson RailroadBrown's Lumber Company (Whitefield)Whitefield, Jefferson1879-188913 MilesWhitefield & Jefferson Railroad (formerly the John’s River Railroad) originally traveled from Whitefield to Jefferson Meadows in the early years. It used some of the railroad bed of the John’s River Railroad.

After this railroad was purchased in 1889 by the Concord and Montreal Railroad, it was extended to Berlin. Because of this extension from Jefferson to Berlin, the Whitefield & Jefferson Railroad branch was also referred to as the Berlin Branch.

It was both a logging and passenger line, and it operated well into the 20th century under different owners.

Wild River RailroadWild River Lumber Company of Gilead (Samuel Hobson, Eber C. Robinson and George H. Fitzgerald), Hastings Lumber CompanyBeans Purchase, Gilead, Hastings1891-190415 MilesA number of branch lines were built off the mainline, and total length of track is closer to 20 miles. Hastings Lumber Company took control in 1898.

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Woodstock & Thornton Gore RailroadWoodstock Lumber CompanyLivermore, Thornton Gore, Woodstock1909-19147 MilesCharter repealed March 2, 1915. Operated by the Woodstock Lumber Company.

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Zealand Valley RailroadJ.E HenryCarroll, Bethlehem, Lincoln1884-189711 MilesIncorporated as the New Zealand River Railroad in July 1878. Charter was extended a few times for organizational reasons and time to build the railroad. Henry began building the railroad likely in 1884/1885. Henry moved on to Lincoln in 1892. And the end date listed here is for the entire Zealand operation.

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Books
 

East Branch & Lincoln Railroad Book by Erin Paul Donovan
East Branch & Lincoln Railroad Book
by Erin Paul Donovan With the use of black and white and color photographs, this book explores the history of the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, while showing the abandoned ... Read More

$22.99 $17.99Add to cart

The Boston and Maine A Photographic Essay by Philip Ross Hastings
The Boston & Maine: A Photographic Essay
The Boston & Maine: A Photographic Essay by Philip Ross Hastings. This 206 page book was published by Locomotive & Railway Preservation in 1989. It looks to be a first ... Read More

$105.00

 

Back to White Mountains Railroad page

 

Notes:

• ScenicNH Photography is in the business of photography. And with the use of photography, we create awareness for historic preservation.

• This is a list of railroads in the White Mountains. It is a work in progress and subject to errors and omissions.

• We do not give directions to logging camp locations, so please do not send us an email asking where Camp 23A of the East Branch & Lincoln is.

• Being history related, years of operation and length of track vary greatly from historian to historian, so please keep this in mind when viewing the above information.

• As you explore the historical sites in New Hampshire, keep in mind the removal of historic artifacts from federal lands without a permit is a violation of federal law.

• See more of our ongoing history work at the projects page.