West Concord to Claremont Junction

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The Concord and Claremont Railroad was originally built during the heyday 1840s, went bankrupt in 1852, and re-emerged in 1874, or thereabouts, having merged with the Sugar River Railroad and Contoocook Valley Railroad, under the aegis of the Northern Railroad. It became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1887. The line was freed up as an independent once again in 1954, this time named the Claremont and Concord Railroad.

The abandonments of the route took place east to west:

  • 1960: 9 miles, West Concord west to Contoocook
  • 1961: 17.6 miles, Contoocook west to Bradford
  • 1964: 16+ miles, Bradford northwest to Newport
  • 1977: 11 miles, Newport west to Claremont
  • 1988: 1.5 miles within Claremont

The last abandonment in 1988 also included and a 3-mile north leg that had been opened as the electric Claremont Railway beginning in 1903.

The Claremont and Concord still operates on a short stub between Claremont Junction on the main line east into Claremont.

Thanks to Nelson Lawry for contributing information about this route.

Within this abandonment survive New Hampshire's last three railroad covered bridges (once there were several to many such timber RR bridges in the state), all three of which can be seen in satellite imagery on this page:

1: Going northwest on Route I-89, find Contoocook directly west of Concord, and enlarge on that town. The covered bridge is right in the middle of town, spanning the Contoocook River just adjacent to the Route 103 road bridge, with the surviving railroad station and a Pullman coach standing just to its east.

2, 3: Follow Route 103 west, to between Newport and Claremont, where the congruent Routes 11 and 103 cross the Sugar River. Just before this river crossing, follow Chandler Mill Road west along the river and see the two RR covered bridges spanning the river, close to the road.

And if you're into railroad bridges, as I am, continue west and north along the Sugar River, through Claremont, to West Claremont. Just before the Sugar empties into the Connecticut River, it flows under the famous high bridge in West Claremont, still in use on the active Conn River rail line.

Nelson Lawry
Rollinsford, NH
11/3/2012

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do you have a detailed map of the orignal track leaving concord to contoocook? i see parts of the rail just above the state prison on the left side of the road. gary

gary russell
londonderry,, NH
12/18/2013

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