Acton, MA to Nashua, NH

The Nashua and Acton Railroad

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(Forwarded from the Nashua, Acton & Boston Railroad)

In the mid- to late-1800s, competition among railroads to reach the burgeoning commercial center of Boston was fierce. One of the competitors was the Nashua, Acton and Boston Railroad, chartered in 1871. They built a railroad line between Nashua, NH and Acton, MA, at which a connection with the Framingham and Lowell Railroad was made. The NA&B declared bankruptcy in the early 1900s and was reorganized as the Nashua and Acton Railroad in 1907 and became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad.

The line was not profitable and was abandoned in 1925.

I grew up at 86 Almont st. in Nashua, N.H. in the early 1950s. The old Acton R.R. Bed ran right between or back yard and Salmon Brook. The ties and rails were long gone but we could ride our bikes all the way to Pepperal, MA. Just before the rail bed crossed New Searl's Rd. they had blasted through a huge wall of granite called "Twin Ledges. Shear rock face several 100 ft. high and it was favorite climbing spot. Further down by old Camp Ducette was a granite lock bridge we called the "Arches" which was a favorite swimming hole and beer party spot in later years. And there was the ghost story about the brakeman that was killed by some runaway Box cars 1901 right in back of our house. When the train stopped for coal and water up at Balcom's coal yard by Sandy Pond at Lake and Pine sts. a pin broke on a coupling device and the freight cars became separated picking up speed and momentum they smashed into the main main body of box cars killing the brakeman. It was said that on foggy nights with no moon the ghost of the brakeman could be seen waving a his kerosine lantern in the fog crying out for help. The fact that it actually happened really made it believable to us kids back then. I've told it to my kids and grand kids for years.

Charles Grigas
Mission Viejo, CA
7/25/2016

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