The Boston & Maine Railroad (1835-1983) was the dominant New England railsystem from the latter half of the 19th Century until its absorption by the Guilford Rail System in 1982. It gained fame not only for its many services in New England, but for its charm, determination and character. Trouble found the B&M often, and the road almost never saw the enormous prosperity its other Class 1 neighbors to the south enjoyed.
However, the Boston & Maine still managed to capture the heart and minds of railfans and the public while supporting the economy of New England for over a Century. In the words of George Drury,
"It was a small railroad, and a good one."
The Boston & Maine was famous for its many bucolic and scenic branchlines, an in many respects was a "branch" railroad. While there was certainly a lot of mainline action, especially on its Portland, Connecticut River and Fitchburg Divisions, the identity and most of the memories of the B&M came from its many back-country branches. These idyllic lines passed mountains and rivers, traversed lakes via causeway and spanned charming covered bridges and impressive steel trestles. Often, these "mom-and-pop" branches were the only means a small town had to ship goods to the outside world.
The line I have created represents a fictional Boston & Maine route and two branchlines in the State of New Hampshire in the period from 1955-1960, when the B&M, and railroads nationwide, were experiencing great changes. Although it is a fictional route, the branches borrow aspects from many Boston & Maine lines including the Conway Branch, Wolfeboro Branch, Greenville Branch, Hillsboro Branch, Goffstown Branch, Manchester and Lawrence Branch, Portsmouth Branch, Claremont and Concord Branch, and many others.
Our line begins in a small industrial city where it leaves a busy mainline and curves northward. After serving quite a few city businesses, the line enters the countryside, rolling through fields and farmland. Next up is a large lake, which the line crosses via causeway.
The line swings to the Northwest and begins to climb a grade as mountains close in. A steep enbankment and a gravel company spurline come next. After this, the line swings to the west and crosses a river gorge over an impressive steel trestle. Passing peaceful hills and an orchard, our line then gradually turns south and comes to a dead-end halt at a mountain village, where industries include a box factory, coal trestle and Railway Express Agency.
Looks really good.