Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club

Established in 1992
NARCOA Affiliate since 2014

LEGAL NOTICE: Operation of railway equipment, including motorcars, is governed by Federal, State and Railroad authorities. All rail property is owned by someone.  Operation of any equipment on or around railroad property is only permitted with permission of the property owner or leasor.  CVRTC will assist local, State, and Federal authorities in prosecuting illegal operators of railway equipment. 

The Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club is an association of railway motorcar enthusiasts dedicated to preserving motorcar history and right-of-way maintenance through active operation and stewardship.
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First Meeting of 2024

(February 11, 2024)

Message from President Bruce Stuart:

Look what's coming down the tracks - warmer weather and our first meeting of the year! This year's annual meeting will take place on Saturday, March 9th at the the Merrimack Valley Railroad Function Hall, 5 Park Street, Northfield NH (The Freight House). The meeting will commence at 10:00 am, BOD will, if possible, arrive early to help with setup. As always, coffee & pastries will be on hand for all to enjoy. I want to thank Jesse for taking the reins on this and securing the hall with Alan. For those of you who are new to CVRTC, this is an absolute ideal venue to hold our annual CVRTC meeting as you will see when you arrive. I can't thank Alan enough for his grace in always accommodating CVRTC and this request.

Our annual Board of Directors meeting will take place at Fernald Station on Saturdy, February 17th at 10:00am. As always, hot coffee, a warm station and plenty of morning pastries.

Bruce & Cathy


2024 Membership Forms

(October 23, 2023)

The updated 2024 Membership Form has been uploaded to the Membership Page.


Passing of Sean McInerney

(June 17, 2023)

Message from President Bruce Stuart:

Good afternoon friends. There are moments in your life that time and understanding prepare you for, what news I bring does not lend itself to one of those moments. As I sit here at this keyboard, still trying to digest this loss, I struggle to come up with words that can truly express my sadness in saying goodbye to a very dear friend. On this 17th day of June. The brakes have been released, markers hung and the throttle cracked for one last departure from Fernald Station for Sean. More...


April Motorcaring Is Here! First meeting at Fernald for 2023

(April 15, 2023)

The 2023 CVRTC season started off with a bang! Over 25 members attended the business meeting and then stayed working for many hours painting the engine house. It was a great effort with great results. The southern and western sides of the engine house get baked by the sun and weather so it took a lot of paint to cover the faded walls. The window and door trim were also painted. Linda and Jeff came by with a lunch for everyone! Thank you! While the paint crew applied 25 gallons of barn red, a track crew of four headed west and fixed the rolled rail that occurred last fall during the brush cutting activity. The gauge was fixed, rods installed and spiked back down to keep us running into town for the 2023 season. Thank you to everyone involved for the job well done!

(N McDonald,S McInerney,A Mansur Photos) (SPM)

Annual March Business Meeting

(March 25, 2023)

Message from President Bruce Stuart:

I was apprised by Jon Minor last evening that member Denneth "Tiny" Lee had passed away at 83. Tiny joined CVRTC in 1995. Tiny held both officer and director positions as well as writing an early RTP Grant for the club to install guard rails on Willey Brook Trestle. Tiny was a big man who drove truck for St Johnsbury as well as Roadway. Tiny was seldom found on the line working without his sidekick Wayne Goldthwaite. He was also a quiet member who's action spoke more than his words. The two of them worked side by side their entire time at CVRTC. Both also provided the initial work rides on the Conway Scenic RR due to the relationship & trust they had fostered with management at the tourist line. I'm saddened at seeing yet another long time member depart the station. RIP Tiny.

(D Kotsonis Photo) (SPM)

Spring Is Trying to Spring

(March 24, 2023)

The new roof on Fernald Station looks great. All the gingerbread has been returned to it's former glory. The contractor even took a day to apply a new coat of cream colored paint to the trim. The task list is being created and the club is looking forward to completing the paint on the engine house and do the same for Fernald. Hopefully the current storm will melt quickly and the track passable by Saturday, 15 April for our first meeting of the year.

(S McInerney Photo) (SPM)

Annual March Business Meeting

(March 18, 2023)

The meeting was held at the function hall at the Merrimack Valley Railroad on Park St in Northfield, NH. Per our by-laws, annual elections were held and the new officers were welcomed to the Board of Director fold. All officers reported to those in attendance about their respective responsibilities. Updates from DNCR, NHOVA, NARCOA and other topics were covered by the Vice President and President. A summmary of our 2023 goals were stated and lots of discussions ensued to hammer them out and begin to define what this year's activities will look like. Please see the Events Calendar page on this website to help plan your motorcar activities.

(S McInerney Photo) (SPM)

Remembering Our Friend, Scott Fuller

(March 3, 2023)

Message from President Bruce Stuart:

It is with deep sadness that I bring this passing before the membership. One passing that I'm finding hard to acknowledge the very depth of, Scott Fuller. I struggle with the insignificance of the word passing in relation to Scott. Words that come to my mind and seem more fitting are words such as, Engaged: Engaged in any project he could contribute to and make a difference with, you could count him in 100%. Knowledgeable: There weren't many subjects with which Scott wasn't knowledgeable. Whether it be a mechanical question or a technical question, a certain way to accomplish something or the best way to go about doing a task, he usually had the answer. If he did not, he would by the next time you spoke. Committed: When Scott accepted responsibility for a project or a promise that he made,he was committed to see it through to completion. His word meant something to him, and that is exactly how he carried himself. Giving: Giving of his time and resources. When a club member needed help with something or did not have the wherewithal to carry out the task or resolve the issue, Scott would make himself available. He always took care of those in his life. His family, friends and friends to be. Determined/Tenacious/Perseverance: Regardless of any failures, to Scott, they were just another rung in the ladder. Simply another part of the climb in attaining the end result. Never have I witnessed the slightest telltale of defeat in anything Scott took on. Whether that was mounting the highrail gear to the tractor or taking on the fight for his life, determination and tenacity are what showed up in his voice and his actions. Rest in peace Scott, you have certainly earned it.


New CVRTC Apparel at the Business Meeting

(March 1, 2023)

The BOD wants you to be aware that we will have new CVRTC hats and shirts available at the Business Meeting on Saturday, 18 March. We have replenished our stock of the popular safety green T-shirts and embroidered caps. Of course we will have our traditional CVRTC Safety Orange T-shirt and black embroidered cap. New this year will be a V-neck shirt that many of the ladies in the club have requested. Items are reasonably priced at $15 each. (SPM)

Ben Hubley's Grand Enthusiasm

(February 12, 2023)

CVRTC President, Bruce Stuart has some words to say about long time member Ben Hubley

With sadness, I announce to the club that a member has left the station for the last time. Ben Hubley passed suddenly this past Nov 26th. Ben is the son of Frank & Heleen Hubley of Warner NH. Frank, Heleen and Ben have been members of CVRTC for a very long time. For many years, Ben has been doing what he loved best when surrounded by folk's and motorcars. Being involved.

With much enthusiasm and excitement, Ben would want to give a helping hand when opportunity arose to turn a railcar or be the first with a flag in hand to protect a crossing. Frank and Heleen were very acute to Ben's love for the club and all that took place on meeting Day. They have always ensured, when time permitted, that Ben was present and fully engaged in something he loved so much, CVRTC and riding the rails. Rest in peace Ben, the members will miss seeing that broad smile you brought to the table and your enthusiastic love for being a part of this Hobby.

(Hubley Photos) (SPM)

CVRTC 2023 Season is Warming Up!

(February 8, 2023)

The CVRTC motorcar season is starting to take shape. The Board of Directors is meeting on Saturday, 25 February at Fernald Station. They will have the B&M potbelly stove stoked and the 2023 activity planning will be discussed. Please send your suggestions to any club officer or director. The clubs Annual Business Meeting has been booked at the Merrimack Valley Railroad function hall in Northfield, NH. This will take place on Saturday, 18 March. This is the same location as last year. The doors will open at 9:00 for a social hour before the meeting is called to order at 10:00 AM. We will have light refreshments (coffee, muffins etc.) and there will be club apparel on sale too. Keep your eye on the club's Event Calendar page for all the posted activities.

(S McInerney Photo) (SPM)

Fernald Station Roof Is Complete!

(February 1, 2023)

The State of New Hampshire contractor has finished replacing the roof at Fernald Station! The deck was replaced with new plywood. The chiminey flashing was sealed. The new roof deck also has real eves which allow for a more secure attachment of the cherished gingerbread. The fresh paint on this trim looks great. I guess we all know what tasks await us in the spring. Painting the remainder of the station!

(N. McDonald Photo) (SPM)

Passing of Long Time Member, Dwight Winkley

(January 23, 2023)

A message from CVRTC President, Bruce Stuart.

It is with deep regret that I announce the passing of long time club member Dwight Winkley of Ossipee, NH. Long associated with anything trains, Dwight was always interested in helping out or volunteering wherever he could make a difference. The gang trailer we use at CVRTC for giving rides at our various gatherings is Dwight's doing. Many current members may not have met or worked alongside Dwight. Many of these original club members were instrumental in creating what we now all enjoy with CVRTC. Dwight is one of these individuals. Thank you Dwight, Rest in Peace.

(WW&F RR Photo) (SPM)

The New Year Is Off To A Great Start!

(January 4, 2023)

Work on the roof that started after Chritmas has progressed. As of this writing Fernald Station has a new roof deck installed. The new asphalt shingles are soon to follow. This will allow work inside the station to continue in earnest this Spring.

(R. Libby Photo) (SPM)

CVRTC Christmas Wish Come True!

(December 30, 2022)

The State of New Hampshire contractor has begun work on the roof at Fernald Station! The old shingles (what was left of them!) are removed and they have begun to install the new roof decking. Work should commeence after the New Year holiday as weather permits. All the original gingerbread will be painted and affixed.

(R. Libby Photo) (SPM)

Last CVRTC Meeting for 2022 Goes Out with Flurry of Activity

(November 19, 2022)

There were several activities going on at once for the last meeting of 2022. The roof of the engine house got a temporary repair to seal some leaks for the winter. The Club worked in concert with the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Committee on the west end to clear the causeways of all the brush cut during the summer. Special, special thanks to 25 volunteers that made it happen! CVRTC members Aaron, Allen and James provided transportation with two motorcars and a large push cart. The volunteers also built two wildlife habitats near the lakefront. Thanks to Lovering Tree Care for chipping the brush pile on Sandbox Rd. Simultaneously other Club members were down at Clark Rd completing the parking lot guard rail. Many other small tasks were done before locking up for the season. We will see you all at the Annual March Business Meeting.

(N. McDonald Photos)


RTP Grant Work Continues with New Guard Rail at Clark Rd.

(November 12, 2022)

Aaron, Allen and Hayden volunteered to install the large posts in the ground for the new guard rail at the parking area at Clark Rd. This was required as trail users often parked their vehicles too close to the rail head. The parking lot is somewhat confined and the car bumpers often foul the line preventing our motorcars from passing. Aaron was kind enough to trailer his JD backhoe to the site and use it to dig the 36" deep holes to bury the posts. Final completion of the of the guard rail is scheduled for the last meeting of the year on 19 November. Thanks guys!

(A. Mansur Photos) (SPM)

The Operator and His Amazing Machine!

(November 11, 2022)

The canopy trim with the "Brontosaurus" has given the trail users an amazing new experience. The entire Cotton Valley Rail Trail is wide open! The benefits from this cut are many fold. Site lines in the curves are much improved for faster moving cyclists or motorcars for safety. No more tick laden branches hanging far into the walkways. Future regular trail maintenance with the mowing equipment will be completed much faster with fewer impediments. Snowfall on the trail will be more consistent for the winter ski and snowmobile activities. CVTC Chair, Noreen McDonald got this great photo of the operator, Chris, who so skillfully manicured our trail. Many Thanks!

(N. McDonald photo) (SPM)

Canopy Trim Is Complete!

(November 9, 2022)

The "Brontosaurus" has completed it's task! The entire Cotton Valley Rail Trail is now open. Thank you to all the trail volunteers who worked many many hours to keep up with the fast moving machine and open sections soon after it passed. We would like to thank Noreen MacDonald and the efforts of the Cotton Valley Trail Committee with organizing the cleanup days on the trail as the machine cleared each section. Enjoy the trail anyway you can. It's a great time of year to be out there.

(S McInerney photo) (SPM)

Late Fall Workday at Fernald

(November 5, 2022)

Some club members got together on a crisp fall day to complete a few tasks on the buildings and grounds at Fernald. Rick focused on maintenance to improve the drainage around the foundation of the engine house. John, Scott, Doug and Sean got busy wrapping our beloved Fernald Station roof with tarp #3 (hopefully the last!). Ron and Ken worked on replacing some rotted boards on the large doors at the east end of the engine house. Before leaving for the day Sean and John removed the semaphores from the signal mast. Ron has agreed to repair the spectacles and paint them anew. Ken also assisted CVTC with brush clearing down at Cotton Valley before joining us at Fernald.

(S. McInerney,N. McDonald Photos) (SPM)

Canopy Trim Is in Full Swing East of Cotton Valley

(October 20, 2022)

The canopy trim is moving along at nearly one mile per day with the "Brontosaurus". The Cotton Valley Trail Committee is organizing cleanup days on the trail as the machine clears a section. Please see the club mailing list or our Facebook page for notifications of these organized trail cleanup days for time and location. Currently, 20 October, it is working between Clark Rd and Cotton Valley. If you venture out to cleanup on your own, please do not forget to put the trail closure signs back up after you pass with the motorcar. Please communicate the work you have done to our Trail Master, Bruce Stuart, so we document the work days. Get out there!

(N McDonald photo) (SPM)

Ossipee Work after October Meeting - Ever Popular Polly's Crossing

(October 15, 2022)

After the business meeting some club members went over to do some maintenance on the Ossipee line. Aaron was kind enough to trailer his John Deere to help clear the culverts that keep clogging and flooding Polly's Crossing. After all the effort to re-open the crossing, it's inmportant that we put in the time and affort to keep the entire ROW clear. This is for our recreational enjoyment as well as the winter snowmobiles and the State of New Hampshire, the owner.

(A Mansur photo) (SPM)

October Meeting at Fernald - Beavers you say? What beavers?

(October 15, 2022)

After the business meeting the club set out to moving everything in the engine house! Ron needed the large platform pushcart to prepare for a paint project and the jig with the tall staked sides was needed to move the large diameter culvert pipe. Of course both were furthest in the engine house. After all the switching was done some remained to help Ron with the scaffolding arrangement and another crew set off with the culvert sections for an upcoming "beaver deceiver" upgrade project. The first 1.5 miles of the canopy trim looks great.

(S Fuller, S McInerney photos) (SPM)

Remembering long time club member Don Wendell

(September 24, 2022)

Message from President Bruce Stuart:

It is with heartfelt sorrow that I write about the passing of Don Wendell. Don has been a staple member of this club almost from its inception. Joining in 1996, both Don and Faith regularly attended meetings, gatherings and functions. Don was always available to contribute to an ongoing project or simply make the trip up and take care of it himself. Many times I would see him hand mowing the engine house area or the Cotton Valley siding. When we see our CVRTC sign hanging from the gable end of the engine house, we think of Don. In his later years, Dons car was not always present but his photo album was and he would thumb through it and explain all the photos to anyone who wanted to listen and learn. I will miss his presence immensely. Farewell my friend, you will be missed by all.

(B Stuart photo) (SPM)

The Cool Autumn Weather Is Here!

(September 18, 2022)

Get out there and enjoy the trail! You don't need a club meeting for an excuse to ride the Wolfeboro or the Conway Branch in Ossipee.

(B Stuart photo) (SPM)

Open House Was a Smash Hit

(August 18, 2022)

Wow! What a great day at Fernald station this year! The Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club would like to thank all those who took the time to discover what it is like to ride the rails in antique railroad work vehicles. Many of you took the time to see our historical displays in the old Fernald Depot too. Thank you for sharing your stories of riding the Wolfeboro train as a youth and of course many thanks for all the smiles. We truly appreciate your support. Watch a short vid on our YouTube channel.
YouTube Vid: Open House

(S McInerney photos) (SPM)

July Meeting on the Conway Branch

(Jule 16, 2022)

In addition to the Wolfeboro Branch, we also operate on the former Boston & Maine Portland Division main line with permission from NH DOT. Usually referred to locally as the Conway Branch. We maintain the track from approximately MP 111.5 to 118.9. This past Satruday we installed platforms at each end of the line to allow an easy way to turn the cars for the return trip back to seton. These are not so unlike the same motorcar platforms that the Boston & Maine would have installed for their MOW motorcar fleet. Lola seemed to be a bit disinterested in all the work. (S McInerney photos)


CVRTC Gandy Debuts with "The Ripper"

(June 28, 2022)

The former MOW tie inserter was converted to mowing duty by past members years ago. The tractor mounted sickle bar has made mowing with the Gandy obsolete. Scott Fuller wanted to put the Nordberg Gandy to good use to rip out the beaver dams that flood the track each Spring and throughout the year. This was it's first test run. Impressive! (S McInerney photos)


The Engine House Gets Some Attention

(June 18, 2022)

The June meeting was an Engine House Paint Party. The membership got to work after the business meeting. Most of the front of the building got a first coat. The BOD will schedule a couple of more paint days to complete the other three sides. (S McInerney photos)


Motoracaring Is Fun for All Ages

(May 13, 2022)

Any day is a good day to run the Wolfeboro Branch in a motorcar. As new members to the club, the Arnold's are really taking advantage of the Spring weather and the whole family jumps on their new MEC M19 for a ride down the line. (J Arnold photos)


2022 Begins with a Spring Cleaning

(April 16, 2022)

The first meeting of the year at Fernald was a Spring cleanup. All the members pitched in after the business meeting to spruce up the station and the engine house grounds. The second floor of Fernald was emptied to prepare for the new roof. The Board of Directors is hoping this is completed by the end of May. Many members took a ride out to Rt 16 after the work was done. (S McInerney photos)


Polly's Crossing Gets A Spring Cleaning

(April 10, 2022) The Mansur's and the Pepper's got an early start Spring running on the Conway Branch. They report removing some fallen trees and cleaning the flangeways especially at Polly's Crossing. The crossing fared well over the winter and they were able ride all the way up to Rt 16.(A Mansur photo). (SPM)

Annual Business Meeting

(April 2, 2022) The club held it's annual business meeting at the Tilton Freight House on Saturday, 2 April. Elections of club officers was carried out by the Board of Directors. Many topics were discussed including building maintenance (roofs), painting as well as major trail projects this year like the brush clearing.(S. McInerney photo). (SPM)

In Memorial

(November 15, 2021) A message from club President Bruce Stuart: Members, I just received a call from Leroy letting me know that long time member Arthur "Arti" Wiggins has passed away. Art has been with the club for many, many years and was a staple at our meetings until the past year or two due to ongoing health issues. Whenever we would have a function that would entail giving rides, he would always ask if I needed some weight over the drive's on the A-Car for some additional "tractive effort". The air horns on the front of the A-Car came off his plow truck from when he worked for the State crew. Art will be missed. I have no information regarding a service, but will have a card for members to sign at Saturdays meeting. Thank you. Bruce (Art in Center, D. Kotsonis photo). (BDS)

CVRTC Work Ride on the P&L - Ashland

(August 29, 2021)

Jon Miner reports another safe, fun and productive day on the rails. Thanks to Ron, Chris & Amy, and Scott and Kathleen for joining me. We patrolled from Bridgewater to Meredith, stopping at the Ashland Depot (photo at left) for lunch on the return trip. We collected three bags of trash, as well as opening up sightlines at the crossings. The foliage trains will start soon.

(J Miner)


CVRTC Open House Was A Huge Success

(August 21, 2021)

A Note from Open House Organizer Scott Fuller: I want to thank everyone that played a part in making it happen. Our NARCOA EC Tom Sopchak and his wife Terry had, I believe the longest drive, to get to Wolfeboro and without their willingness to do so, the event would not have been able to take place. We had eight motorcars giving rides, nine operators and Gator at the grade crossing flagging. There were more who covered registrations, sales of T-shirts and hats, helping with loading and unloading passengers and a number of other jobs that allowed the day to go smoothly.

Thank you to each and every one of you, it was a team effort that made the day an enjoyable success.

We had exactly 120 people from the public that registered and took a ride. Many of them rode at least two or three times! The weather cooperated for the most part with just one fifteen minute period of rain around noon time, but even the passengers on the open cars didn't seem to be bothered from getting a little wet. A lot of happy and smiling people were introduced to this hobby that we all enjoy.

(C Davis, R Libby photos)


Club Efforts on the Ossipee Line

(July 31-August 9, 2021)

There has been a lot of activity on the recovered section of the Ossipee line over the past several weeks since its rescue. The trail needed maintenance before any mowing could occur as its been idle for several years. Every ride since has been a work ride of some level given the needed brush clearing, beaver activity and obstacle removal for the mowing. Thank you to all the CVRTC members who have contributed to this effort.

(S Fuller, B Stuart photos)


Polly's Crossing is open!

(July 22, 2021)

Note from CVRTC President, Bruce Stuart: A hard road traveled! Polly's Crossing is completed! We will do our part to keep all parties happy and show our good faith. Perseverance got us here. Please get out and ride the line. A mowing date for this previously inaccessible section will be announced. Thank you to Jon M. for cleaning up the mile posts and setting about to get them painted. I like the idea of a September meeting there.

(B Stuart photos)


July Meeting in Center Ossipee on the Conway Branch

(July 17, 2021)

Note from CVRTC President, Bruce Stuart: For what was projected as a rainy Saturday, CVRTC members had a fairly rain free window for most of the event. Twenty-eight members and eight cars attended the meeting. Rides on both the North and South side took place. Rain caught up with us by the end of the day, but all and all a super day for all involved. The Mountainview Station Restaurant and staff furnished us with a great lunch stop as well as the folks at the Sap House Meadery for an end of day place to relax. The Center Ossipee downtown area with all its turn of the century accoutrements, provides us with a quintessential feeling of a railroad town. We will be working on some improvements making it a little more railcar friendly when unloading. Great to see some new members enjoying the day and a good turn out for the meeting itself. Thanks everyone for making the time. Regards, Bruce.

(S McInerney photos)


North on the P&L

(July 11, 2021)

Patrol Report from Jon Miner: The hardest working track crew in NH was at it again, patrolling in central New Hampshire. We found a large oak down just inside the Plymouth yard limits. We picked up trash, cleared brush at bridge approaches, and painted switch targets. Thanks to Scott & John, Hank & Gary, and Ron! Another safe and enjoyable day on the rails.

(J Miner,S Fuller photos)


First Mowing for the year on the Conway Branch

(June 25, 2021)

Patrol Report from Jon Miner: A long day mowing on the Ossipee line for Bruce and I. We seton at 6AM and wrapped up at 5PM. In between we cleared and mowed both sides from Polly's Crossing to Route 16. There is manual cutting needed at the northwest quadrant of the Mountainview crossing for approximately 200ft to the north. We managed to collect two bags of trash.The line is in great shape. Get out and ride, keep your wheels shiny.

(J Miner photos)


Workride for the P&L

(June 12, 2021)

Patrol Report from Jon Miner: We had four trackcars today with a total of six members and guests. We covered about 15 miles while clearing crossing flangeways and improving the ROW sight lines. The weather was very good weather and it was a safe day. Many thanks to Brad, Ron, Chris, Scott and Johnny.

(J. Miner photo)


Ramp west of Fernald is complete!

(June 10, 2021)

President Bruce Stuart and Safety Chair Scott Fuller hatched a plan to keep the improvements to the west end coming. After Bruce had secured the steel via donations and delivered it to the work site, Scott arrived on Thursday morning with a trailer full of tools and they built the long planned "fix" for the steep incline to the Governor Wentworth Highway when headed east. They even managed to encompass some pieces of the old Wolfeborough Railroad engine 250 by utilizing some of the discarded boiler tubes out by the engine house. A few were cut up for spacers and gauge rods. Another load of gravel to finish the job should arrive this week.

(S. Fuller, B. Stuart photos)


Saturday spent patroling the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad

(May 22, 2021)

Patrol Report from Jon Miner: Good day on the White Mountain branch patroling for the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad. The crew did some cutting but mainly clearing flangeways in the crossings after the winter road sanding. Many thanks to Chris and Amy, Ted, Scott and Ron. The photo was taken after turning at Silver Lake Road.

(J. Miner photo)


Annual Business Meeting held at Fernald

(May 15, 2021)

Summary of minutes from the Secretary J Chadbourne: The business meeting came to order with a moment of silence for Peter Armitage who passed recently. Ballots were distributed to all members. The Treasurers report was read and accepted by the membership. After the votes were tallied Kathleen Fuller took her new position as Treasurer and the BOD thanked outgoing Treasurer Dave Kotsonis for his many years in that position. With the recent Wolfeborough memorabilia gift to the club by Rick Libby an Archive Committee was established to catalog and organize the content. Some of it for display in the recently renovated interior of Fernald Station. Scott Fuller was appointed as Safety Committee Chair and will lead the committee in updating the mentoring process. After discussion of some pending maintenance projects and the Trailmaster's Report the meeting adjourned at 11:23. There was a large contingent of cars at the May meeting and many members rode out to Rt 16 afterward.

(J. Mazzie photo)


Board of Directors Zoom Meeting

(May 12, 2021)

The BOD met via a Zoom meeting on Wednesday evening. Topics covered were enabling members to renew memberships on-line via the clubs website, Fernald Station's roof repair, painting the west end of the engine house, addressing the gravel between the rails over the causeways on the west end as well as many other minor items. Discussions helped frame up the agenda for the Annual membership wide Business Meeting to be held on Saturday 15 May.


2021 Trail Work Has Begun!

(April 10, 2021)

Patrol Report from VP Jesse Mazzie: It was a perfect 75+ degree day!!! Ron M. headed east followed by Jesse. Minor work at the crossings and small branches moved by Ron. We came across a cluster of large pine trees down beyond Clark Road. We cleared some of the smaller trees but we could not safely cut the large trees because we can not see if there is anyone walking on the trail from where we need to cut. We need a work party to safely accomplish that next weekend (Saturday 17 April) Heading back we met up with Hayden and patrolled west to Whitten neck cutting a downed tree and moving some light deadfall. Once cleard we headed on to Whitten neck and returned.

(J. Mazzie photo)


Fernald Work Continues

(March 28, 2021)

From President Bruce Stuart: I want to convey a much deserved thanks to Scott and Kathy Fuller. I mentioned in a text that I was going to head over to Fernald and cover the roof with a tarp to prevent any damage to the interior. It was Kathy who insisted her and Scott make a trip north to get the station roof "safely" tarped using multiple hands opposed to one pair. We met at 10:00 AM and Scott laid out a plan. Two and a half hours later at the start of a steady rain, mission accomplished. I cannot thank the two of them enough with the help on a Sunday morning. While making this repair, we were able to take a good look at both gable end overhangs. Before the new shingles can go on, we will have to correct some previous work that was performed when the building was converted from an engine house for #9 to the present station.

(K. Fuller photo)


Fernald Station Gets Some Attention

(February 23, 2021)

Some work has begun to improve the interior of Fernald Station. Club members have volunteered some time to give the interior of Fernald Station a rehab. The floor was sanded to remove the floor tile adhesive. Then the walls and ceiling were smoothed and patched with nearly five gallons of compound. The sanding has begun. This will be followed with paint on the walls and floor and urethane on the woodwork. Meanwhile other club members are working on a grant to replace the roof on Fernald AND the engine house. There are BOD plans in the works to have an exterior paint party this season for both structures. Left, Scott F is seen using the power sander. The motorcar season in New England is almost here!

(S. McInerney photo)


Happy Holidays!

(December 21, 2020)

Wishing all our motorcar buddies and families a great holiday! A note from club President Bruce Stuart:

Good morning, and a Merry Christmas to all of you. Yes, this has been quite a year for each and every one of us. Not just with our time together as a club, but with ourselves, our families and our friends. The constant navigation through waters unfamiliar to us, has fostered creative ways to chart those waters and ultimately reach our destination. I so look forward to not just seeing each of you as our season begins this coming spring, but seeing your smiles and expressions and sharing in your excitement of once again plying the rails. With the advent of this vaccine, the near future looks to be promising for a return to some semblance of normality with our club. The enjoyment we experience with setting on for an afternoon ride to the Miss Wakefield, or simply the social aspect we take in at one of our club gatherings. Hopefully, we won't find ourselves pining for those pieces of time out of our lives and everything Bedford Falls once again returns to our rails. I take solace in the fact that the lights still burn bright on the station platform, awaiting another year when voices fill the yard with conversation and the snap of two stroke engines echo off the tree line. Merry Christmas everyone. Bruce.

(J. Miner photo)


Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad Workride

(October 24, 2020)

Work Ride Recap from Jon Miner: "Long, but safe day on the rails. We patrolled from Silver Lake Road to the Lakeport drawbridge in preparation for next week's excursion train. Took care of brush cutting a few spots where the hy-rail cutter missed. Ben Clark says "Thanks very much!" (J Miner Photo)


Milford & Bennington Railroad Run

(October 18, 2020)

A message from the club Vice President, Jesse Mazzie:

First, thank you to all those who came to this and all the M&B runs this year. Your participation and professional attitude towards safety first, last and always was noticed. Ten railcars gathered on a PERFECT fall day at Howard st. in Wilton. Set on went smooth and we gathered for our safety meeting. Once we set out it was slow and steady up the big hill due to the anticipated frosty rail. We stopped in Greenfield for lunch and some members went over and checked out the blacksmith shop that was working. After turning in Bennington we checked out the closed trestle and Contoocook river. On the way back we stopped at the historic Elmwood Jct. to see the remains of a historic area. We stayed on schedule and were off the rail in time with our thanks to the M&B for helping contribute to a great series of runs this year. (J Mazzie photos) (SPM)

Art Hawkes Memorial Run - MEC Mountain Division

(October 10, 2020)

The club rode to remember Art Hawkes by running his beloved Mountain Division. We enjoyed spectacular warm summer weather in October. It was so nice to have Brenda Hawkes join us on this somewhat "Adventure Excursion". Thanks to Brian and Sue for providing a seat for Brenda. Brenda remarked, "As I rode, I watched all the mile posts he had lovingly painted the whole length and laughed how well they were holding up and how precise they were painted. He was a perfectionist. Getting back just after dark was even perfect as he had no sense of time and almost always got back late and often after dark. Again our son Will and I thank you for this."

It was our pleasure Brenda and Will. Thank you for joining us. We were happy to do the full trip to the New Hampshire border and back. (B Leo,S Fuller, S McInerney Photos)


Mentoring Day at Fernald

(September 26, 2020)

Meeting Report from Vice President Jesse Mazzie: This morning seven more Cotton Valley members took part in mentoring day at Fernald Station. We started off with classroom teaching on safety/operating rules, mechanical and lots of other motorcar topics. After a morning of classroom learning we headed out on the Wolfeboro line and upon arrival back at Fernald 5 new NARCOA Mentored operators were signed off on and the other 2 will get checked off next insurance season. Everyone did great and it was safe day. Thank you to Gordon, Danny and Mark from NEREX for coming over and congratulations to Jon M, Paul R, Kathleen F, Chris R, James I, Glenn F and Ken B on your work getting "your wings". (J Mazzie Photo)


September Meeting - Family Day

(September 19, 2020)

Message from CVRTC President Bruce Stuart: "The family day gathering photos are attached here showing the summer time staples such as burgers, dogs and unbelievably sweet corn on the cob. Long time member Don Wendel is seen holding down the station bench and quietly observing the going on's. The ever growing fan club of Scott, crowd toward Scott and Kathy's car full of questions and advice on the operation of their two strokes. Leisurely conversations sprinkled in throughout the yard enjoying a great afternoon lunch compliments of Sean and Rick, thank you both for manning the grill." (S Stuart Photos)


August Meeting

(August 15, 2020)

Vice President Jesse Mazzie brought the meeting to order at 10:0 AM. It looks like our calendar will have several options to ride over the next two months. The next meeting on 19 September will be Family Day. Bring your family for a BBQ and rides on the branch line. We will have the gang trailer out and organized rides both east and west. After the meeting several cars headed east on the Wolfeboro branch. Some cars also went over to the freshly mowed Ossipee line. At left is a group photo of member cars lined up at Cotton Valley. Second photo is cars pushing over the crossing near the Mountainview Station in Center Ossipee ready to head north. (J Mazzie, S McInerney Photos)


Cleanup Day on Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad

(July 25, 2020)

Jon Miner led a crew on a work ride on the Winnipesaukee Scenic section of the Plymouth and Lincoln on Saturday. Ron M. brought his motorcar AND a trailer to help transport the debris that was collected along the ROW in the Laconia section. The work crew got a tour of the beautiful Laconia station after the work ride. Great to see renovation work is being done on the old Concord & Montreal RR station. (J Miner Photos)


July Meeting

(July 18, 2020)

The meeting was called to order at 10:00 AM by President Bruce Stuart. After the treasurer and membership reports Jon M gave notice of several work ride opportunites with our host railroads (Plymouth & Lincoln, Seashore Trolley, Milford & Bennington). James C and crew was thanked as he led a work party at the seton location in Center Ossipee last month. Members were also reminded about helping to keep the area outside the railhead (10 feet) clear of debris for the success of our sicklebar cutting. We will probably mow Wolfeboro with the deck mower before the end of August. Photos at left show the sicklebar running from Rt 109 to Sand Box Rd after the meeting concluded. Members went out ahead of the tractor to clear obstacles. (J Miner Photos)


Ossipee Brush Cutting

(June 27, 2020)

MOW Report from James Chadbourne: We had a very successful morning on the Ossipee line today. Toby Lowry, Rick OBrien, Jon Miner, Norm Yeaton, and Hayden joined me as we went to town on the overgrown siding at Center Ossipee behind the Mountain View diner at 9:00 AM. With a good set of tools and a willing crew we made short work of it. It will need mowing and the dirt in the gauge near Mountain View will have to be removed by the tractor. We were all set off and safely on our way before 13:00. After the main work was complete the five of us rode the line to Pollys Crossing. There were 3 or 4 trees (photo) we had to stop and remove. Video link below from the return trip crossing the swamp south of MP B113/I26. Jon was stopping at each MP to record an accurate GPS fix on them. B115 seems to be missing. (J Chadbourne Photos)

James' Ossipee Video


Annual Business Meeting

(June 20, 2020)

After many delays and postponements caused by the global pandemic, the club was able to finally hold it's annual business meeting. Usually held every year in March (stated in club by-laws), it was strange to sit down for the first time as a group in 2020 in June! Elections were held, updates from the Trail Master, Membership Secretary and many other agenda topics discussed. Some trackcars headed east to the Miss Wakefield after the meeting. Some maintenance was performed on the 60" deck mower. (C. Sullaway Photo)


Milford & Bennington Railroad Excursion

(June 14, 2020)

Jessie Mazzie Trip Report: After a well organized set on we had a brief safety meeting and headed out on the line for a safe 36 mile round-trip excursion. We had a nice lunch stop at the Harvester Market in Greenfield. They seemed very happy to have our business and the food was great. Once in Bennington at the turnaround point, we took a walk down to the falls at the dam. On the way back we stopped at Elmwood Junction where Boston and Maine Historical Society historian, Rick Kfoury, gave an informative talk about it's importance and activity in the remote section of New Hampshire. The group headed back to Wilton and set-off expeditiously. A big thank you to Jon Miner and David Maher for doing the over-the-road flagging. A very big thank you to all the members who turned out for this event. Both our railroad pilot and the owner of the railroad were present and very impressed with our professionalism and safety oriented attitude. (J. Mazzie Photo)


Seashore Trolley Museum

(June 6, 2020)

Jon Miner Trip Report: Thanks to James, Jesse, Sean, and Norm for a fun and safe day of operations at the Seashore Trolley Museum. We didn't keep track but since we pretty much ran hourly, we racked up about 20 miles. As a bonus, we never had to turn the cars around! The weather was almost perfect... with the exception of a downpour that occurred as we finished our final run. The Seashore staff had fun taking some motorcar rides too. The staff also provided lunch for the operators. We all look forward to doing this event in the future. (S. McInerney Photos)


Spring run at Wolfeboro and Silver Lake RR

(May 16, 2020)

Jesse Mazzie Trip Report: Had a wonderful day on the rails of New Hampshire. Three cars headed east from Fernald to meet Scott and Kathleen who were already out on the line. The scenery was great and the mowing is perfect. We all had lunch at the Miss Wakefield Diner. They accomadated us with outside seating. On the way back we had a meet with Hank and gang at Cotton valley. After returning to Fernald, two cars headed out seton at Silver Lake. We had a great ride there too! A few small trees had to be cut and moved but it was short work for Hayden‘s chainsaw. We also cleared the remains of a flooded beaver dam off the track where at one point it was under water. (S Fuller & J Mazzie Photos)


Flooding east of Cotton Valley

(May 3, 2020)

On Sunday CVRTC in union with the Cotton Valley Trail Committee (CVTC) addressed the trail flooding east of Cotton Valley. PVC pipe was installed in a manner that will hopefully foil the efforts of the local beaver population. The objectives were to provide enough water to support the beavers and other wildlife it attracts but in a controlled manner to preserve the rail bed from flooding and erosion. Water was over the railhead during the past week until trail volunteers cleared the debris from the culvert areas. The fury civil engineers were busy with their nocturnal repairs after each cleaning. The groups will monitor the new installation to gauge effectiveness, water levels and consider modifications or improvements if needed.


CVRTC - Teleconference Test

(March 29, 2020)

A few club members gathered in an impromptu teleconference meeting today. The effort was to test if the club could use this method to conduct some business during the governors request to stay at home until 4 May during the virus outbreak. The Board of Directors will test this a bit more and decide if they might want to use it in place of our April meeting which has been cancelled. It seemed to be a great way for the BOD to get together and accomplish some tasks that do not require presence at Fernald. Jesse Mazzie photo.


NOTICE: Business Meeting in Tilton has been Cancelled

(March 17, 2020)

The Board of Directors in cooperation with State of New Hampshire health authorities have cancelled the business meeting that was to be held at the Tilton Freight House. At this time, the BOD will schedule the annual business meeting on the club's regular April meeting at Fernald. If there are improvements in the health event and restrictions on gatherings are lifted to allow such an activity we will next meet on Saturday, 18 April. We hope all members stay healthy and safe.


Looking for Spring at Fernald

(March 2, 2020)

Spring is coming! Don't forget to mark your calendar for the annual season opener CVRTC Business Meeting on 28 March. Check the Events page for details on the where and when! (Bruce Stuart photo from early February)


Board of Directors Meeting

(February 29, 2020)

A Leap Year BOD meeting was held at Vice President Jesse Mazzie's home this year. The four hour meeting covered a lot of ground. Decisions about family membership, operation and capital expenditures were covered. Some of these changes are reflected in a new version of the by-laws. The Directors are prepared to explain the results at the Annual Business Meeting on 28 March. Please see the Events page for details on the where and when of this important CVRTC meeting.


Winter Motorcar Time - The members have been busy

Left to right, Scott's Nathan, Bruce's A5,James' new truck, Pauls trip to NC, Toby's M19 hibernating!

(February 4, 2020)

As we wait for season opener CVRTC Business Meeting on 28 March, some of our members have tackled a few projects on their motorcars. Some have focused on trailers or their tow vehicles. Bruce and James have acquired new trucks to help get their motorcars to Fernald or our host railroads. Bruce has also acquired a Fairmont A5. Scott has set his sights on a Nathan air horn project for his MT-14. Tony found his brake parts. Paul R has traveled to North Carolina to ride in the warmer weather on the Red Springs and Northern RR. Sean has improved his Woodings seating height and angle and added some new lighting. Some members are still hibernating!


November Meeting

(16 November 2019) Message from the Club Vice President, Jesse Mazzie:

Club President Bruce Stuart was on business travel and VP Jessie Mazzie took the gavel for today's meeting. It was cool so it was held in Fernald Station with the warmth of the wood stove. A card was passed around to sign for Art Hawkes who has been ill. Jessie re-iterated the dues increase voted on by the membership at the Octtober meeting. The dues for 2020 will be $50. The dual axle trailer discussed and approved by vote at the October meeting was picked up by Ron Mitchell and it's now stored in the engine house. This will facilitate moving the tractor easily for maintenance and with mowing operations over in Ossipee. More consideration was given to adding hy-rail gear to the tractor and some potential sources for used gear was discussed. The dates may slip into early 2020 to repair the roof on Fernald as "winter is coming". The meeting ended at 10:30. A few cars ran the line out to Rt 16. Left, Jesse and Liz enjoy a snow filled gauge ride at the season closer. (SPM)

Trail Work Day

(3 November 2019) Message from the Club President, Bruce Stuart:

Today's volunteer day went well with approx 21 volunteers. They spent about 4 hours out on the line cutting at three different locations. The curve as you leave the first wetland area after Cotton Valley is now completed. An area around Moxie Junction got some attention too. The last section along the river around the picnic table is also cleared. There are now one or two areas along the river section that we could place some benches for a nice riverside view. Several downed trees from the recent wind storm were cleared from the trail just east of Clark Road too. The Seven Lakes Snowmobile Club tackled that job. Thanks guys! Expect more published volunteer days next season with CVTC. See everyone at the next meeting. (SPM)

New Hampshire Southern / Hobo Railroad

(20 October 2019) Frosty morning at Canterbury as the group seton. We had five motorcars and eight members and guests. Our mission for the day was to clean up any storm damage between Canterbury and the former Winnisquam depot, as well as do some more cutting along the causeway and campgrounds.

The storm damage was less than expected, but the chainsaws came in handy. Chris took this picture as we got ready to clear a tree near the Lochmere siding.

Received an email from the Hobo Railroad, saying "Thank you-- we really appreciate your assistance and support.". That really sums up the impact that our club members make! (JWM)

October Meeting

(19 October 2019) The club gathered in the engine house for the monthly business meeting. We welcomed a new member and discussed the days activity. What else! Cutting the corridor out near Frost Crossing. We have been busy clearing any obstructions that are in the path of the new seven foot sicklebar. The ROW has never been bigger since the Boston & Maine Railroad left town.

Pictured left is the tractor leaving Frost Crossing and heading east to Cotton Valley siding. Right, Vice President Jesse Mazzie "contemplates" the awesome fall foliage of northern New Hampshire where we ride, then proceeds to cut down half of it! :-) (SPM)

New Hampshire Central

(13 October 2019) It was pretty cloudy as Jon drove past Franconia Notch and Cannon Mountain, and the forecast still called for a chance of rain. It wasn't sounding like a great day for a foliage excursion in Northern New Hampshire.

We had nine motorcars, with members, guests, and Roger, our railroad pilot for the day. It was easy to seton at Hazens, with plenty of parking in the NHC transload yard. After our safety briefing, we headed west to Whitefield on the former B&M trackage to the ball signal. From there, we reversed direction, heading east to Waumbek Junction, then north on former Maine Central track to Coos Junction, where we returned to B&M tracks for the trip to Groveton.

The sun came out, and we had some great views of foliage. To the left, one of Amy Read's pictures. (JWM)

Seashore Trolley Museum

(12 October 2019) Today was "Members Day", Jon and his son Dave started their day with hardy breakfast at the Kennebunk McDonalds. The brush cutting mission today was to open up several culverts. These are built with massive granite blocks. After following the inspection trip back to the Visitors Center, they switched over to the Butler Grove Lead, and gave rides all the way over to the Highview Barn; even shuttling some Museum staff. Hey, why walk when you can ride?

To the left... TC-42 is perched on the mainline; those granite blocks are about two feet thick, the culvert opening three feet high. Jon thinks he might be done for the season, but already thinking about spring, and continuing to build our relationship with the museum. (JWM)

WMUR Channel 9 Chronicle Visit

(23 September 2019) We hit the big screen! Well.... maybe just the large flat screen in your living room. The WMUR Chronicle crew with Sean McDonald payed a visit on the Monday after our September meeting. We will be featured in an upcoming series about trains in New Hampshire.

AND they loved us so much that they will be back to shoot all the intros and wraps for the week long show about trains. The date will be announced shortly. The week long series should air in November on Channel 9.

Pictured left to right, President Bruce Stuart looking on as club member Jon Miner is interviewed by Sean McDonald. Videographer Paul utilized the gang trailer to get some "dolly" shots of railcars on the adjacent track. Frank enjoys a conversation with host Sean McDonald. (SPM)

September Meeting

(21 September 2019) The usual business meeting was held. After the meeting we headed east to do more pre-cutting of small saplings and bushes to help speed up the sickle bar cutting with the tractor. Check out a short video of our weed-whacking adventure on our YouTube channel: Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club

To the left we see the usual ROW discussions taking place and to the right Toby wrestles with the Stihl. We have more cutting to do so please ask the Trail Master, Bruce Stuart, for the latest task list. (SPM)

Seashore Trolley Museum

(14 September 2019) Jon and Chris enjoyed a cool Fall morning, continuing to push back the bushes along the STM mainline. They were joined on the return trip by Charlie, head of the track department, who pointed out a couple of more spots need attention. At this point, there is no longer anything hitting the trolleys, so we're focusing on clearing around culverts, and poles bases to make inspections easier. Everyone is happy with the work we've been doing, and the professionalism we bring.

Next trip over is scheduled for their "Members Day" on October 12. (JWM)

New England Southern

(7 September 2019) Today's crew was Frank, Tommy, Hayden, Collin and Jon. The crew took advantage of the nice cool weather to finish their cutting in the Northfield swamp. Due to the wetlands, this is a spot where the State of NH cannot spray.

After lunch at Tilton House of Pizza, they went all the way south to White Mountain Junction (Concord), before returning to Canterbury. Great day, and a big thanks to the crew at WMUR for an accurate forecast! (JWM)

"Mowing Monday" at Cotton Valley

(26 August 2019) Another Mowing Monday on the Wolfeboro branch. This time we traveled from Fernald Station to the western end of track at Route 28 in downtown Wolfeboro. Hayden L. cleared enough saplings the previous Wednesday to allow us to take the mower west! The rails are now clearly seen as you pass the trailhead along Rt 28 in town. So get out there and enjoy the West End! (SPM)

New England Southern

(25 August 2019) We got to run from Canterbury up to the Tilton Freighthouse.

Big thanks to Frank, Tommy, Chris, Hayden and two Jons... The crew took advantage of the nice cool weather to do some serious cutting in the Northfield swamp. We have a little bit more to do on the north end to finish up the job. Due to the wetlands, this is a spot where the State of NH cannot spray. (JWM)

Donation to Fernald Station

(17 August 2019) There is a new addition to the furniture in Fernald Station. As many of you know we have been slowly planning to update the interior of Fernald Station so that it may look a bit more like how it did in the 1970's during the heyday of the Wolfeboro Railroad. Gator and Deb Truman have donated a nice old rolltop desk that looks perfect in the office area on the first floor. Thank you from all the members! (SPM)

Open House 2019

(17 August 2019) Thank you to all the people who came to Fernald Station this year to ride with us. We had a great time and the weather did not deter us from having some fun. We love having an Open House each year and look forward to many more in the future. We gave rides to nearly 100 individuals. Whole familys piled onto the gang trailer to enjoy the ride on the old Wolfeboro Branch. (SPM)

Seashore Trolley Museum

(9 August 2019) Jon headed over for another productive day cutting back brush at the Seashore Trolley Museum. At this point, we're no cutting stuff that was hitting the finely restored trolleys, but we're improving sight lines, and clearing around platforms, trolley poles, and catenary supports.

In the picture, TC-42 has stopped at "Morrison Hill", and Jon will grab the "Orange Work Paddle" before heading out on the mainline. They've got a pretty simple, but effective system. The next trolley out will see that the work paddle is missing, so they'll expect to find someone on the line. Jon will also put his sweeps down before continuing. He's found that if the sweeps are down in the Vistor Center area, they pick up grease and plow the pea-stone ballast in the walking areas.

Interested in helping out... get in touch with Jon and he can provide more details. (JWM)

Seashore Trolley Museum

(28 July 2019) Big crew today! Jon and David were joined by Hank and Lili, as well as Bill. Bill also works in the Museum's Restoration Shop. Thanks to Hank for taking the picture, as we sit on the Biddeford track with some old PCC cars. (JWM)

July Meeting

(20 July 2019) The monthly business meeting started at 10:00 AM. Bruce and Jesse covered NHOHVA status, Fernald's need for a new roof and the work needed for the new sickle bar on the club tractor. After the business meeting some club members went east and some west to improve the sight lines at the crossings.

Photo Left: As the new owner of a Woodings CBI, one of our newest members (and among the youngest), Hayden takes a spin in his first motorcar. The smile says it all! Photo Right: Tommy wields the cutter at a crossing west of Fernald. (SPM)

Seashore Trolley Museum

(14 July 2019) On Sunday, Jon and David headed over for another early morning. Repeating what worked before, they got two hours of cutting done, before meeting the Inspection Crew at Talbott Park. David learned how to apply grease to the insides of the trolley rail. After following the trolley back and setting-off, the guys rode the first revenue run and chatted with the crew about future cutting.

Pictured; David stands next to TC-42 at the Library Crossing, in front of Tower C. (JWM)

Seashore Trolley Museum

(5 July 2019) A year ago, Jon visited the Seashore Trolley Museum and noted that branches were touching or nearly touching in several places, potentially damaging their finely restored equipment. This was certainly an issue that Jon, and the Cotton Valley membership, has expertise in.

On Friday, Jon headed over for an early morning, getting several hours of cutting done before backing into the Biddeford Spur, and waiting for the inspection trolley to come out to the Talbott Park loop. Jon would then follow it back to the Vistor Center.

It's great to be able to leverage the Club's expertise and help out the short lines and heritage railroads in New England. (JWM)

New England Southern

(4-5 July 2019) Jon and Clif could almost be called the "Minute Men of Weed Whackers". Juggling schedules at the last minute, and over the holiday, they were able to help clear around signal cabinets and a customer siding in Concord. Clif's photo shows the forrest tunnel! (JWM)

New England Southern

(30 June 2019) On Sunday Jesse, Chris and Pete patrolled New England Southern on a shakedown run before the NEREX Vermont run. Other than stopping for a black bear it was an uneventful and safe run. (JM)

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

(29 June 2019) Great day up at the Mount Washington Regional Airport! Scott, Kathleen, and Jon and David got to meet a lot of interested people, as well as enjoying all the sights and sounds of an air show, classic car show, small engine show, and craft show. But wait... there's more... steam trains, steam boat, fried dough, french fries... and a couple great looking Chevy Colorados!
Lots of brochures were handed out; expect some potential new members and visitors at the August Open House. (JWM)

New England Southern

(28 June 2019) Sunny and hot day in the Capitol region; Thanks to Norm, Clif, Sam, Scott, Ryan, Will and Russ... great day for CVRTC members and guests.

We did a little bit of cutting at Lambert Road and a few misc places. The State of NH should be cutting it this year, so we're not going to expend a lot of effort until after that.

Stay hydrated... stay cool.. stay safe! (JWM)

Conway Scenic Railroad - Fathers Day

(16 June 2019) Thanks to Dave M, Al D, Pete L, and Jon M for helping out at CSRR's Fathers Day event, giving rides to enuthuiastic vistors. The day started out with the arrival of #7470; so great to see, smell, hear, and feel coal-burning steam power back in the Valley! It was probably the first time that TC-42 has seen live steam!

Each Valley train would come down to Conway, with an hour layover. Visitors got to try their hand with a mini-excavator, driving spikes, spraying water from CSRR's firetruck, and locomotive and caboose tours... and the always popular motorcar rides, with a 400ft round trip. Once the train left, we had an hour long break before the next train.

To the left, several pictures taken by Eric G. Pete and Jon watch the steam engine perform a run-around in the morning. In the second picture, the guys are coming through the switch, and back to the loading platform. Over the photographer's left shoulder is the Conway freighthouse. (JWM)

June Meeting - Family Day

(15 June 2019) A note about Family Day from Vice President Jesse Mazzie

"What a fantastic day on the rails. A huge thank you to Ken, Bill, Bruce and Sean who did lots of behind the scenes work to make this event a success. Hayden and I patrolled west into town then returned for a short club business meeting. After the meeting 5 cars including the big A car headed over Rt. 109 to ride our scenic west end. The track and flangeways are clear so please enjoy this beautiful portion of track. Upon our arrival the hard working team served a great lunch to us all. I'm still full as I write this message. After enjoying some social time cars headed east for a great sunny excursion on these New Hampshire rails. We were happy to have with us long time friend of the CVRTC, Peter Dearness and his wife attend the BBQ and motorcar ride. The group headed toward Rt 16 for great trip with outstanding weather. Thank you again to all that came and all that volunteered to make this day happen.

Interesting historical side note: While taking Pete on a tour of Fernald, upstairs in the station he told me in 1974 a young Mr. Dearness ventured into the upstairs office of Fernald station to meet Don Halleck, the founder of the Wolfeboro Railroad. He wanted to find out about what it took to run a railroad as he was looking at getting into the business. Forty-five years and three short lines later the rest as they say is, History." (JMazzie)

Conway Scenic Railroad Excursion

(26 May 2019) CVRTC Members enjoyed a great day on the former Maine Central Mountain Division, in exchange for their efforts over the last year. Jon and Hank did a great job piloting the group, and the weather couldn't have been much better. We started our day, setting on Redstone, then backing down to the Saco River bridge. From there, we headed West, clearing Mountain Junction, and backing into North Conway. Track permit in hand, we headed to Fayban, making stops in Bartlett and Crawford. (JWM)

May Meeting

(18 May 2019) Finally a warm and sunny Spring day in New England! The May meeting started at 10:00 PM with a good gathering. After the business meeting the group headed west on the line to the Moose Point Rd. crossing to repair a broken rail. Scott Fuller brought his portable Onan powered welder and Al Dumais had his van full of tools. The club tractor was used to excavate the crossing. It was a busy crossing today as there was a canoe/kayak event on Lake Wentworth. Other members made good use of the time and cleared some winter deadfall. We will need to do a lot of cleanup like this on the line before we deploy the new 7 foot sickle bar. (SPM)

New England Southern / Hobo Railroad

(11 May 2019) Six trackcars, and ten CVRTC members and guests, made up the crew for today's patrol. A big, "THANKS!", to Hayden, Hank, Marty, Sam, Leroy, Clif, James, Kathleen, and Scott for coming out today. The crew seton at Canterbury, and worked north to Lochmere, and then continued up to Winnisquam. The focus of the work to was improve sightlines, and dig out flangeways at crossings. (JWM)

New England Southern

(27 April 2019) New England Southern recently held a memorial luncheon for the former Treasurer, Kenneth Coombs, of NEGS. Several CVRTC members were in attendance. Seen here are Jon Miner and Jesse Mazzie with NEGS owner Peter Deerness at the Merrimack Valley Railroad offices in Northfield. The office is the former Boston, Concord and Montreal freight house for Tilton. (JWM)

April Meeting

(20 April 2019) Winter was an uninvited guest at our April Meeting. While the tracks at Fernald appeared clear, it only took a short trackcar ride East, and around the corner to find ice and snow still covering the railhead. Jon hiked west, and found similar conditions on that side of the road too. The Wolfeboro Railroad is one of the few places in New Hampshire where the rails generally run in an East-West orientation, and as such, the snow melt occurs a little later in the season. Members worked to clean up around the enginehouse, including some trees falling toward the trail. (JWM)

New England Southern

(13 April 2019) Opening day for the New England Southern Railroad, and the White Mountain Branch! Jon and his crew of Hayden, Collin, Sam, Leroy, Nick, Scott, and guests patrolled 40 miles round trip, clearing the winter's damage. To their surprise, very little storm cleanup was needed. Our patrol did uncover several issues that we reported to the Track Department; they'll get out before trains start running.
It's great to be back on the rails, and more importantly, working safely and professionally with local railroads. (JWM)

Board of Directors Meeting

(March 6, 2019) The Board of Directors met this past Saturday, 2 March. Treasurer Dave Kotsonis & wife Nancy were kind enough to host the gathering. In attendance were President Bruce Stuart, Vice President Jesse Mazzie, Secretary James Chadborne, Directors Leroy Tripp Sr, Russ Hoyt, Clif Mills and members Sam Plourde and Sean McInerney and of course, Dave Kotsonis. We will post the highlights on the club's Yahoo group soon. Photo: Jesse Mazzie. (SPM)

Season Opener Business Meeting at the Merrimack Valley Railroad

(January 5, 2019) The board has moved to a new venue this year and scheduled the annual season opener business meeting at the Merrimack Valley Railroad Freight House in Northfield, NH. It is on Saturday, 30 March at 10:00AM. See the Events page for location details and Google map links. For the Boston & Maine Railroad fans in the club, this property was once the freight house for Tilton, NH. The Tilton station, located on the opposite side of the river (now the bank parking lot) was razed in the late 1950's. It is also the home of the Caboose Train. The club will be offering coffee and juice along with donuts and pastries. Please feel free to bring a baked good to share. The doors will open at 9:00 AM and the meeting will start at 10:00. The board is putting together the agenda now so please send any items that you would like to see covered. (SPM)

October Meeting at Fernald

(October 27, 2018) Due to a reschedule of the October business meeting AND very heavy rains along with all the flash flood warnings, attendance was understandably low at the October business meeting at Fernald. Instead of fixing the broken rail at Moose Point crossing, some of the work typically done at the November meeting was done this Saturday. Our usual winter preparedness drill. We don't have a photo from the meeting so here is one of the enginehouse at Fernald from 1973 near the inception of the Wolfeboro Railroad. (BDS)

Fernald Memorial Garden

(October 26, 2018) The atrocious weather this fall has prevented many of us from attending the October meeting. It was moved because of a rail event that could not be re-scheduled. An unfortunate side affect to that along with the weather was failing to allow us to see the culmination of Dave Bowles Memorial Garden project. Its beautiful. The thoughtful stonework and flowers will be there to greet us in the Spring. The board would like to thank all those members who assisted Dave with this project for the club. It was the last thing Dave did for the club before his passing. (SPM)

Milford & Bennington Railroad Run

(October 13, 2018) Steve Medlyn reports that the club had a great day on the rails at the Milford & Bennington RR Saturday. From the "feed bag" put on by the Greenfield Historical Society to all the great views to Bennington and back, it was a fun day for all. Thanks to all the participants for a safe and beautiful ride. Thank you for hosting Steve. Please pass along our gratitude to Peter and the RR. Photo credits: Will Scopa. (SPM)

In Memorial

(October 9, 2018) It is with heartfelt sadness that I bring to the membership news of the passing of Dave Bowles. Dave always made it a point to be at any important event or lend a hand with club activities. Whether it was cutting down the trees that surrounded Fernald Station, moving the clubs tractor to my house for repair, using his background as a civil engineer or using his experience with the Veterans Cemetery in helping with the CVRTC Memorial Garden. David wanted to be a part of it all. He was extremely involved with the snowmobile club and several other entities that embraced his involvement. He was very committed to anything and everything. Dave was 84. He didn't believe in slowing down and could be methodical in his explanation of his thoughts on a project. I'll miss those thoughts now. I will apprise the membership of any service and dates. Both David and Mrs. Bowles are, and have been very involved with their church. Rest in Peace David. (BDS)

September Meeting

(6 October 2018) Today was a typical fall day in central New Hampshire. It started out with a little fog, and the sun attempted to poke through. With track permit in hand, and a safety meeting, the crew headed out to work. The primary task was to dig out the flangeways at the crossings. The crew finished some cutting in Northfield, and added reflective stripes to the switch targets. In the picture, the guys have stopped in Northfield for lunch at the Tilton House of Pizza. Left to right... Tom, James, Hayden and Frank. Jon took the picture; his trackcar, the only modern Onan today, is out of view to the left. (JWM)

September Meeting

(15 September 2018) Great day for a meeting, especally when your office has four wheels and a wide open view of New Hampshire. Today's meeting was hosted by the Silver Lake Railroad; big thanks to Neil and Bruce for putting this together. To the left, Jesse's picture shows the group during our morning Safety Briefing. Bruce went over the condition of the line, and noted the one dirt crossing that operators had to pay attention to. The line had been mowed earlier this week, and we had already run a track patrol this morning! Members got to make several round-trips between the Siler Lake depot and Boulder Road. The Club will be working with the local snowmobile club to open up more of the line for trackcars. (JWM)

September Meeting

(12 September 2018) The regular monthly meeting is being held this Saturday at 10 AM at the Silver Lake Railroad which is in Madison New Hampshire, many of you probably are familiar with it. If you were not it is also on the Ossipee branch but further north. If you were new to the club with the area put this address in your GPS. 1381 Village Rd, Madison, New Hampshire 03875 (JWM)

Successful Open House at Fernald Station

(18 August 2018) We had a great day on the rails Saturday! The club had a blast hosting its Open House for the third year in a row. So many smiling faces on both young and old! Thank you to all the club members for making it a great event for those that attended. Dave did a fantastic job keeping us all in sync in a safe manner and the whole operation ran very smoothly. Thank you to the car operators, exhibit work in Fernald, release and tickets, concession and crowd control. An additional thank you to those who helped expand the food offerings, awesome! I also observed many of you in great conversations with our guests. I am sure the community appreciated our efforts so lets keep it growing. These neighbors gave us a great reason to share our passion for railroad history. The weather held for our 160+ riders, most of which were new to motorcars but on the other hand I spoke with a few people who have ridden with us for many years too! Always a fun time at CVRTC. Thank you all! (SPM)

NEGS Work Ride

(11 August 2018) We've had a busy summer on the New England Southern, including two back to back work rides. Under the threat of rain, our crew of Collin, Jim, Hayden, Clif, Frank, Tommy and Jon (behind the camera) got cutting done at milepost C21 and Noyes Rd. After lunch at the now famous Tilton House of Pizza, they trimmed around some of the old semaphore signals. (JWM)

Summertime mowing on the Cotton Valley Rail Trail

(16 July 2018) Our President and Trail Master decided to spif up the line before the July meeting. He was out after work this week mowing the line with the deck mower finishing at dusk (under Cliff's Fernald lights). The line looks good for the July meeting this Saturday. (SPM)

Family Day Meeting

(16 June 2018) Family Day at Fernald! It was a great day with fellow motorcar club members. Gator, Debbie and Bill helped us put on the feedbag! Thank you to that team for a great meal with the strawberry shortcake! Thank you to those who provided the pot lock dishes as well. Afterwards we took family rides with Bruce's A5 and the gang car along with other motorcars. We took one final ride in the mid afternoon out to Rt 16 and back. The weather was perfect with the best of company. (SPM)

Crawford Notch Excursion

(3 June 2018) Club members who volunteered at Conway Scenic Railroad last year were rewarded with a ride from Redstone to Fayban on Sunday. The weather could not have been any better! Lilli snapped a picture of the group when they stopped at the Mt Willard section house location. We'll look forward to scheduling a second excursion for later this year. (JWM)

May Meeting

(19 May 2018) Despite the best intentions of the weather forcasters trying to scare everyone away, members were greeted at Fernald by sunny blue skies. Bruce and Jon got an early start, and were soon joined by lots of other members. Jesse and Peter started worked on replacing ties in the yard, with others cleaned up inside the enginehouse, and started hanging up the wooden railroad signs that the Club had purchased. (JWM)

CVRTC attends Boy Scout New Hampshire Jamboree

(5 May 2018) Trying hard to bring in new YOUNG blood to the hobby. The Club represented Railroading in the Transportation section at the New Hampshire State Jamboree held at Loudon racetrack. The local BSA group, Daniel Webster Council, hosted the weekend event. Over 3000 scouts and leaders were in attendance and our foot traffic was pretty good. We had two cars. One was a two-stroke so the older Scouts could crank start it. Not too many takers though... LOL. Good time for the club members too! We handed out a lot of club brochures. Thanks to Bruce Stuart, Tony Aftuck, Jerry Kelley and Clif Mills for assisting. (SPM)

April Meeting at Fernald

(21 April 2018) Members met on a sunny Saturday at Fernald. Before getting started Bruce and Sean surveyed the tree work clean up. Jesse lubricated the tractor/backhoe and got it started. Peter brought a professional leaf blower to blow down the engine house and yard, Pete also did an initial assessment on the Gandy getting it running. Once it is running will we have a training class for those interested. Many members gathered for a short meeting where some painting of the engine house was discussed as well as reroofing Fernald. Also discussed was returning the Gandy back to a tie inserter again. We also learned about a possible run on the Milford-Bennington line in May. After that members set out to clear trees taken down by the contractor and clearing up all the slash. Many hands make light work. Then Sean and Dave took down the two small dead trees behind Fernald. After that Jesse went to the 109 crossing and removed material between the rail so our crossing to the west side will be easier. Clif demonstrated his work on the solar system and electric lights inside Fernald. There is enough solar to power a computer. He has movies on the former WRR 250. Many members helped with the clean up and other tasks unseen by this author. A thank you to all that came to a well attended April meeting. We had new faces as well a few old faces come back too :-). 2018 is off to a great start. (JM)

Result of Club Elections

(11 March 2018) Here are the results of the elections:
  • Bruce Stuart, President
  • Jesse Mazzie, Vice President
  • David Kotsonis, Treasurer
  • James Chadbourne, Recording Secretary
  • Dennis Heffernan, Membership Secretary
  • Leroy Tripp, Director
  • Peter Legare, Director
  • Douglas Zukowski, Director
  • Clif Mills, Director
  • Russell Hoyt, Director
  • Bruce Stuart, Trailmaster
  • Bill Catansye, Lockmaster
  • (JWM)

    Annual Business Meeting

    (10 January 2018) The board has scheduled the annual annual business meeting for: Sunday, 11 March at 10:00am. The meeting will be held at the same location as last year: Lake Shore Park, 2600 Lake Shore Road, Gilford, NH. For the Boston & Maine Railroad fans, this property was once owned by the B&M and sold lakeside cottage lots to the employees. The original ROW and Lake Shore Park depot (heavily modified) can still be easily seen. The board will be offering coffee and juice along with donuts and pastries. Please feel free to bring a baked good to share. The doors will open at 9:00 AM and the meeting will start at 10:00. The board is putting together the agenda now so please send any items that you would like to see covered. (JWM)

    Bill Wheeler

    (17 December 2017) Bruce Stuart reports that long time member Bill Wheeler has passed this weekend. Bill has been a member of CVRTC since 1994. For many of our current members, they might not have had the opportunity to have met Bill or to have seen him around the engine house. But, there was a time before contending with some health issues, Bill was an absolute staple in the ranks of CVRTC. (JWM)

    New England Southern

    (21 & 22 October 2017) It's been a busy month on the New England Southern Railroad, as they're taking advantage of the cool fall days to get track work projects done. Our members have been helping out with pulling spikes, and sorting tie plates. On the left, Jon and Clif start cutting on the right-of-way near Manville Road, the State will be dumping the old fill in this area. On the right, Norm and Jon have finished bringing good tie plates to Canterbury, and have patrolled down to "Overlook" to keep track on the river's erosion. Thanks to everyone who has been helping out! (JWM)

    Clearing the Trail

    (12 October 2017) The Thursday Gang has been out patrolling the line, and keeping it open for everyone to enjoy. To left, we see a large a tree that came down, blocking the corridor. Dave reports that the guys spent a half hour with a chain saw, cutting up the tree and clearing the trail. (JWM)

    Trail Ceremony

    (30 September 2017) Despite the rainy weather, around 100 people showed up for the Golden Spike ceremony and motorcar rides along the newly completed trail section. To left, Club President Bruce Stuart shares his thoughts and praises all other groups involved. He put out a challenge to get the younger generations involved, insuring that the trail will continue to be maintained in the future. (JWM)

    Improvements at Cotton Valley

    (13 September 2017) Jessie and his dad were out at Cotton Valley today with the Club's tractor, digging holes to set posts for the new guardrail for the parking area. This will protect vehicles, by keeping them away from the rails, and reducing any obstruction of maintenance equipment. The ribbon cutting for the next trail segment is scheduled for Saturday, September 30th (JWM)

    Clothing Order

    (10 September 2017) The Club will be placing an order for T-Shirts and long sleeve denim shirts. Get in touch with Dave by email, or call him at 603-431-7044 if you're interested. (JWM)

    September Meeting at Fernald

    (10 September 2017) After the club meeting at 10:00 AM was over members headed both west and east of Fernald Station for some trail work. Ken and Cliff moved signs and cut down low hangars while Sean pulled the deck mower and Bruce ran the sickle bar machine to the first causeway. Ron and gang headed east and placed a temporary guard rail at Cotton Valley. They also dropped off gauge rods at Clark Road for the final bridge work over the stream.

    To the left, Bruce is taking a look back west at the wide swath that the sickle bar affords us. A short video of the mowing heading west. (JWM/SPM)

    New England Southern

    (26 August 2017) Our track crew was blessed by good weather, as we patrolled north from Canterbury to Lochmere. We cut back sight lines, and cleaned out the flangways at several crossings. Our lunch stop was the Dippsy Doodle, and we're happy to announce that the quality of the food and service has improved back to how it was several years ago. Thanks to the seven members and guests that made it out today!

    To the left, from back to front, we have Ron, Frank, Clif, Tony and Jon's motorcars; five different Fairmont cars, spanning the ages. Frank's car is a 1930s off the Rutland RR, and Jon's is a 1986 from the S.D. Warren paper company. (JWM)

    Open House

    (13 August 2017) Great day for the Club's Open House. See you next year! (JWM)

    M & B Excursion

    (6 August 2017) The club enjoyed a great day of motorcaring on the Milford & Bennington Railroad. Closely associated with the host railroad, club member Steve Medlyn, organized a perfect day on the rails. The Greenfield Historical Society was very gracious offering the use of their facilities and even providing lunch for the entire group at our mid-day break. We ran the full length of track from the old Wilton Depot to near the end of track at the old Bennington Depot. Special thanks to the roads owner, Peter Leishman and the small army of flaggers who kept the consist moving through all the crossings. Thank you Steve and Pat! (SPM)

    Day Out With Thomas

    (July 30, 2017) We finished off the second weekend in great style. We had good weather all three days, and kept fairly busy, packing our cars full of excited kids.

    There was some thought that we might have been creating confusion and delay, and Sir Topham Hatt came over to inspect our operations. He found that we were very useful, and operating to the highest standards.

    Later Hank invited the band over, and they put on a moving concert!

    Thanks for everyone's efforts this year! (JWM)

    Roy Frendberg

    (July 27, 2017) The Club lost lost time member Roy Frendberg. (Pictured on the left)

    He was an avid rail enthusiast and enjoyed spending time at the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club in Wolfeboro, NH, the Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, ME and the Edaville Railway in Carver, MA. Many friendships were made and treasured. He will be remembered for being kindhearted, caring, thoughtful and always willing to help friends, neighbors and others. "It was a good life!". (JWM)

    Len Abrahamson

    (July 16, 2017) The Club lost lost time member Len Abrahamson. Lenny, as most knew him, was active not only in the CVRTC, but an Industrial Arts teacher, active with drag racing and past president of the local snowmobile club.

    Sean recalls mentoring him on his first NARCOA excursion. Lenny had already operated his M9 plenty on the Wolfeboro, and "you knew in the first 100 yards that he was more than capable of operating a motorcar"

    Lenny enjoyed modeling the Boston & Maine railroad, and would show up at Dave's house during the Tour de Chooch, always bringing some new locomotives to run.

    He was a real likable guy, and we'll miss his easy smile and contributions to the Club. Rest in Peace!

    Services will be held at Peaslee and Son Funeral Home in Wakefield NH this coming Sat at 11am for those members who would like to attend. Cards can be addressed to 30 Clark Rd, Brookfield NH, 03872 (JWM)

    July Meeting

    (July 9, 2017) Nice day for a meeting... unless you stayed home recovering from the Crawford Notch ride the day before! Eighteen members showed up for the meeting. Gator, Jon and Jesse showed up a bit early, and went right to work, cleaning up the trash around the porta-potty, and painting and replanting the whistle post. We hope to start work on the Memorial Garden as soon as the dead pine tree can be removed. There's still a little cleanup work to be done before next month's Open House. That is Jesse's MT-19 sitting in front of Fernald Station. (JWM)

    Crawford Notch

    (July 8, 2017) CVRTC members that volunteered during last year's Day out with Thomas™ events had another great day patrolling through Crawford Notch.

    We had a safe, accident-free trip with twelve cars and 25 riders. The day started off with a safety talk at eight. After our arrival at the North Conway depot, Paul Hallett thanked us for the help the CVRTC does during the Thomas weekends, finishing up with a short safety talk. Off to Fabyan with stops in Bartlett and Crawfords. On our return trip, we met the North Train at Crawfords, where we waited for it's departure before we followed it back down, meeting the Valley Train in Bartlett, and then following it to Mountain Junction, where we bent the iron, and contined to Redstone. But there's more... we continued east to the Saco River bridge, which is decked over for snowmobile use.

    Thanks to all of the participants who helped make this another safe and enjoyable trip! (JWM)

    New England Southern

    (June 25, 2017) Six cars and nine crew members patrolled for NEGS today. We inspected the new Sewells Falls crossing, and trimed the sight lines. Clif showed us the progress that has been made on the historic signal cabinet.

    Picture was taken in the Canterbury Yard, one car had already been setoff and loaded up. (JWM)

    Crawford Notch

    (June 24, 2017) Another great day through the Notch was had by the CVRTC members that volunteered during last year's Day out with Thomas™ events.

    If you don't like the weather in New England... wait a couple of minutes. The weather Gods change their minds; we only had a very short light mist during seton and some rain through the Notch which was over by the time we arrived at Fayban. Other than that we had warm temperatures, sunny skies with a nice cool breeze the rest of the day.

    We had a safe, accident-free trip with nine cars and 18 riders. The day started off with a safety talk at eight. After our arrival at the North Conway depot, Paul Hallett thanked us for the help the CVRTC does during the Thomas weekends, finishing up with a short safety talk. Off to Fabyan with stops in Bartlett and Crawfords. On our return trip, we met the North Train at Crawfords, where we waited for it's departure before we followed it back down, meeting the Valley Train in Bartlett, and then following it to Mountain Junction, where we bent the iron, and contined to Redstone.

    Thanks to all of the participants who helped make this another safe and enjoyable trip and everybody was off the rails and headed home by 5:45. See you all on July 8th. Don't forget to check your brakes and bring release forms for each participant. (JWM)

    Thursday Gang

    (June 15, 2017) Must be nice to be retired! The Thursday Gang was out for a track patrol today. Looks like five cars headed eastbound on the mainline at Cotton Valley. (JWM)

    June Family Day and BBQ

    (June 11, 2017) Great day full of motorcar rides, great food, and a little bit of work restoring a whistle post. Photos taken by Edward. Overhead photo by Jesse. (JWM)

    Trail News

    (June 5, 2017) Bruce reports that the bridge is finished. The recent weather has rained out on starting the Memorial Garden. Bruce and Dave will try for later this week. Bruce spoke with contractor regarding brush chipping; no problem with holding off for a couple of weeks until the base of the trail is established. It will be a lot easier to move the chipper and tractor up the line utilizing the trail opposed to negotiating the ties. We've had a chance to take a look at what we're dealing with regarding brush. Not as much, or big as first thought. Mike said that because of the amount of fill they're digging out of the embankments, they are going to fill the holes with as much brush as they can, and cover it. Will be a huge help for us.

    See everyone this weekend for our Family Picnic Day. (JWM)

    Pike Brook

    (May 30, 2017) The new bridge timbers are installed, and the rail has been replaced. The line is now re-opened all the way to the Miss Wakefield Diner. Use caution over the bridge, as some spikes still need to be driven. (JWM)

    New England Southern

    (May 27, 2017) We had three trackcars and five members and guests along for a great day on the rails. This spring NEGS expanded their trackage from Sargent Street (C17.61) to Silver Lake Road (C21.90). Today's focus was brush trimming along this section. In the picture, Sam is just finishing turning his Woodings car, while Hank waits to spin his little M9. Out of the picture to the left, Jon has already turned his MT-14. After a morning of cutting, the crew headed back to Tilton, having lunch at the Tilton House of Pizza; across the street from the former station at C18.38 (JWM)

    May Meeting

    (May 21, 2017) Lots of work getting done today. Repairs were made to the enginehouse roof, wallboarding and mudding progressed in the Fernald Station, and crews went east to Pike Brook to remove rail sections in advance of the State of New Hampshire rebuilding the bridge deck. New sixteen foot timbers will be installed to support the rails, and will be big enough to install guardrails, and still be wide enough for the snowmobile trail groomers. On the right, Jeff Johnson is seen here helping repair the interior walls of Fernald Station. (JWM)

    May Meeting

    (May 1, 2017) Don't forget that because of Mother's Day, our May meeting is held on the 3rd Sunday. This year, it will be May 21st. Looking forward to a nice spring day. Stay tuned for more information regarding the projects we'd like to get done. (JWM)

    Hooksett Model Railroad Show

    (April 23, 2017) Norm Yeaton represented the Club at the annual Hooksett Lions Club show. (JWM)

    New England Southern

    (April 22, 2017) We had our first track patrol of the year on the White Mountain Branch, running up to Tilton, and lunch at the Tilton House of Pizza. Along the way we inspected and marked ties for this summer's tie replacement project, as well inspecting the new crossing at Sewells Falls, and identify vegatation that needs to be trimmed. We also noticed that we should repaint mileposts this year. (JWM)

    Happy New Year

    (January 2, 2017) Happy New year! We hope you are doing well. The 2017 Cotton Valley Membership Application has been put on the Membership page.

    Please fill out, and mail the application, along with a check for $30 to:

    CVRTC Membership Secretary
    Dennis Heffernan
    PO Box 2220
    York Beach, ME 03910

    Send your application and dues as soon as possible but no later than February 18. Don't forget to indicate whether your application is for a single individual or for a family. Membership cards and rosters will be handed out at the annual meeting.

    Please make every effort to send your application/check BEFORE the annual meeting - by February 18 at the latest - in order to allow time to print membership cards, as well as print the roster.

    Thanks and we look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting in March. (DH)

    Good Bye

    (October 12, 2016) Hello fellow CVRTC members,
    After a lot of thought and soul searching I have decided to hang up my hat as the organizer for the Thomas events at the CSRR.
    I started out ten years ago helping Wayne and Tiny running three motorcars with Thomas only being a three day event.
    Today Thomas has evolved into a two, three day weekend event requiring more cars and people. When I first started we didn't have flaggers or even a fence running parallel to the tracks to keep everybody away from the track cars.
    Today that is not the case, as you can just look around and see all the changes that have been made over the years in the name of safety.
    While I am very proud of the job you all have done over the years, I am extremely proud of never having had an accident or having somebody get hurt. Without your help and dedication this would not have been possible, and it speaks volumes for everything that you have done over the years.
    So with this said, I want to once again thank all of you who have helped me over the years. Dennis and Stacie have volunteered to take up the reins and will be running the Thomas event next year. I know you will give them all the help they need, as you had done for me. Continued success with the Thomas event and keep up our safety record.
    The best to all of you.
    Dave (DK)

    October Meeting

    (October 9, 2016) CVRTC members were greeted by a dreary, overcast day at Fernald Station. After the monthly meeting, a small group headed out to patrol the Wolfeboro line, inspecting the newly constructed trail sections, and breaking for lunch at the Miss Wakefield diner. The group returned west, all the way to Wolfeboro Falls. (JWM)

    September Meeting

    (September 11, 2016) The club had a special visitor to the monthly club meeting this Sunday. Chris Gamache, Chief for the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails made a surprise visit at Fernald Station. Mr. Gamache had nominated our President, Bruce Stuart, for a Trail Advocacy Award. This award is given by American Trails, a national organization that works on behalf of all trail interests. The award demonstrates the national recognition of motorcars as a peer trail user among snowmobiles, hiking, horseback riding and any other means or contrivance to navigate a trail. Bruce earned this by his dedication to railroad history and focus on our recreational pursuits of riding the rails. We've worked closely with Trail Chief Gamache over the years and appreciate his inclusive efforts to keep our hobby alive in the state trail system. We were delighted with his visit on our Family Day and his consideration of CVRTC for this kind of recognition in the trails community. (SPM)

    Trail Work

    (August 27, 2016) Six club members have responded for this weekends' work party. Sunday, 8am - 1pm will work for the majority of members. Members will be meeting at Cotton Valley at 8am and installing gauge rods on the downgrade, eastward, leaving Cotton Valley. We definitely could use some additional help that day. Additional spike mauls and grub hoes would be a big plus. The digging won't nearly approach the amount of effort it took to install the initial ones that were put in two weeks ago. There are many spikes creeping upward and they will need to be spiked back down.

    This latest effort on our part will virtually get us to the 1st culvert in the wetlands that Ron and members rebuilt 6-8 years ago. At that point the trail goes beside the rail for quite some distance. The Club's interest will be as well protected as practical up to that point. There are some bridge culverts to address and one or two more sections of gauge rods to get in before mid Oct. After this year passes, the bulk and majority of work on our part will be over. Bruce says that he, as well as all our membersr will be looking forward to bringing some fun back into the mix.

    Bruce can't stress enough, fluids, electrolytes and breakfast should be a high priority Sunday. Look forward to seeing all. (JWM)

    August Meeting

    (August 14, 2016) Members held a quick meeting early Sunday morning, then headed out east of Cotton Valley to install gauge rods in the sections of the right-of-way in the marshes. Two deer could be seen at the far end, where the track disappears back into the woods. Thanks for everyone's hard work! (JWM)

    New England Southen Railroad Track Patrol

    (August 13, 2016) It was a nice day in central New Hampshire, lower temperatures and slight overcast. The crew cut several trees, keeping the line clear. Everyone was packed up and headed home before the forecasted thundershowers rolled in. The owner of the railroad extended a big thanks to the CVRTC members and their guests for their work today. (JWM)

    Conway Scenic Railroad - Day Out With Thomas!

    (July 31, 2016) Ready. Set. GO! Dave reports a great second week up in North Conway at the Conway Scenic Railroad participating in their Day Out With Thomas. The crew lucked out with the weather and missed the heat for the most part with an hour and half delay on Saturday due to rain. For all of you who helped out this year, thanks go out to all of you in making it another successful and safe event. Pictured is the crew that helped out on Saturday. (JWM)

    Conway Scenic Railroad - Day Out With Thomas!

    (July 24, 2016) Ready. Set. GO! We had a great first week up in North Conway at the Conway Scenic Railroad participating in their Day Out With Thomas. Come on up next week, visit with Thomas, Percy, and Sir Topham Hatt! Pictured is the crew on a bright sunny Sunday morning. (JWM)

    Visit From Senator Shaheen

    (July 21, 2016) In an impromtu visit (CVRTC had a three hour notice), Senator Shaheen stopped by to speak with TRAC and CVRTC on Thursday, 21 July. The Senator wanted to know more about the trail and to see, first hand, the results of Federal RTP grant money. Bruce Stuart, CVRTC President, gave the Senator a ride out over the Lake Wentworth causeways and back. She enjoyed the ride and the scenic views from the motorcar. (SPM)

    July Membership Meeting

    (July 10, 2016) Quiet morning at Fernald Station preceeding the Club's July Membership Meeting. (JWM)

    June Membership Meeting

    (June 12, 2016) Great day for a meeting... Jon reported some fog and rain through Alton, but all cleared up before meeting time. After reading the President's Report, and the rest of the meeting, we adjourned our brief meeting, and members headed out to the Miss Wakefield Diner for lunch. Jessie's drone snapped a picture of the group at the east end of the line. (JWM)

    Crawford Notch Excursion

    (June 4, 2016) As guests of the Conway Scenic Railroad, and in exchange for Club members' efforts during last year's "Thomas the Tank Engine" event, participants were rewarded with an excursion on the former Maine Central Railroad line through Crawford Notch.

    The trackcars were set on at Redstone and went as far as Fabyans this year. A total of ten cars with 23 people made the trip. After holding a Safety Briefing at 8:00am, the group proceeded west to Mountain Junction, then backing down the former Boston & Maine trackage to the North Conway depot.

    Of all of the trips Club members have made over the years up through the Notch, Dave K believe this was the best trip ever had. We had no safety issues due to the attentiveness of the whole group. We had no breakdowns (a first), and we had just gorgeous weather. While at Crawford's we were able to see climbers repelling off Elephants Head and when at the Hattie Evans homestead we saw two climbers climbing the cliffs along the tracks. Dave guesses the only negative thing about the trip was that we saw no wildlife along the tracks but they encountered many hikers hiking along the rails.

    Dave hopes that everyone enjoyed the ride as much as he did, and until Thomas arrives for another Day Out With Thomas, and we all get together again, have a safe summer and happy motor caring. (JWM)

    New Hampshire Public Radio

    (May 24, 2016) Sean Hurley, a reporter from New Hampshire Public Radio, came up to our May meeting and put together a short segment on the history and present day activities of the Club. In case you missed it on the radio, or just want to hear it again, visit the NHPR website. (JWM)

    New England Southern Railroad Work Ride

    (April 30, 2016) Five trackcars and a crew of ten... Nice day for the first work ride of the season. The crew patrolled from Concord to Tilton, helping to get ready for an upcoming tie project, and clearing some leaners before they bent over far enough to impact train operations.

    Thanks for everyone's hard work today! (JWM)

    Annual Business Meeting

    (February 24, 2016) The annual Business Meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, March 13th at 10:00am, at Lake Shore Park (2600 Lake Shore Road, Gilford, NH)

    This is the same location that we used last year. Originally a Boston & Maine Railroad property which contains the last standing water tower. The Lake Shore Park depot can be seen as well. Breakfast will be served at 9:00am.

    Looking forward to see you all there... (JWM)

    Membership Forms

    (January 14, 2016) Happy New Year! We hope you are doing well. The 2016 Cotton Valley Membership Application as been put on the Membership Page.

    Please fill out and mail the application, along with a check for $30 to:

    CVRTC Membership Secretary
    Dennis Heffernan
    PO Box 2220
    York Beach, ME 03910

    Send your application and dues as soon as possible but no later than February 21. Don't forget to indicate whether your application is for a single individual or for a family. Membership cards and rosters will be handed out at the annual meeting. Please make every effort to send your application/check BEFORE the annual meeting - by February 21 at the latest - in order to allow time to print membership cards, as well as print the roster. Thanks and we look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting in March. (JWM)

    November Meeting

    (November 8, 2015) The motorcar season in Wolfeboro has drawn to a close. The usual items were crossed off the list to prepare the engine house and station for winter. The sign was removed from the front of the engine house. A motion was passed to address the pine trees overhanging the Fernald Station. Two new members also joined us for the last meeting of the year. Thanks to Clif for installing a solar powered lighting system at Fernald Station. We can now fly Old Glory 24 hours a day. After the meeting a contingent of ten members proceeded toward a private crossing near Mast Landing to repair a broken rail. Roy provided the cutting torch and Bruce, our Trailmaster, provided the labor. Others pulled out some old timbers that made up the ancient crossing and new clean gravel fill was put in its place. After a few hours the gauge was brought back in and both the club and the owner of the private crossing were very pleased. (SPM)

    New England Southern Railroad

    (October 18, 2015) It was a frosty morning, but the sun was out and by seton time it had warmed up. Thanks to James, Clif, Ron, Frank, Tom, and Jon for coming out today. The crew patrolled the southern-most 17 miles of the White Mountain Branch, and performing some vegatation management. The crew even saw some snow during lunch... Jon is hoping for some good weather in November so he can schedule "just one more" ride this year. (JWM)

    October Meeting

    (October 11, 2015) Great day for a quick meeting... and a ride out to the diner. Fall foliage was peaking. Ron, Jon, Frank and his guests headed out to the diner. Finding the parking lot full.. Ron and Jon headed back, while Frank and his guests stayed for lunch. Heading back west, they met Hank and his guests.

    Great fall colors, and the line was in good condition! (JWM)

    Joint Meeting

    (September 26, 2015) Great day for a joint meeting with the Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society. The day started with a quick introduction and Safety Briefing, then a short ride out to Cotton Valley while the grill heated up.

    After lunch the group headed out to ride the entire line. (JWM)

    Crawford Notch Run

    (September 19, 2015) After our set-on and safety briefing given by Paul Hallett, operations manager of the Conway Scenic Railroad, we headed out on our patrol to Hazans at 8:00am. Without a doubt we had gorgeous weather on our trip, beautiful skies, a very slight breeze and warm temperatures the whole day, and let us not forget an accident free day.The picture of the group was taken at the Hattie Evans memorial on our return trip. If you every get a chance to read the book "LIFE BY THE TRACKS", it is a wonderful read about the Evans family years in the Willard house. Dave would like to thank all of you once again for making this trip possible by helping at the "Thomas the Tank Engine" and "Railfan Day" events, and to the CSRR for letting us ride the rails. See you in the spring for our second Notch ride. Regards to all. (JWM)

    CSRR Railfan Day

    (September 5, 2015) Arthur and Jon went up to the Conway Scenic Railroad to support their Railfans Day. With the handcar, they showed off roughly 80 years of evolution. Great weather, a fun crowd, and now only two weeks until we run up through Crawford Notch. (JWM)

    New England Southern Railroad

    (August 29, 2015) Today was a great day for a work ride on the White Mountain Branch. The six car crew set on at West Portsmouth Street (845416A) and patrolled north, clearing sight lines at each milepost. To improve safety, by spreading the crew out (ie, less people with power equipment working in the same spot) the crew was divided into two teams, and divided up the even and odd mileposts. Another benefit is that each team got to travel two miles between work sites. (JWM)

    Concord Model Railroad Club Show

    (August 23, 2015) Clif and James displayed their trackcars at the Concord Model Railroad Club's 30th Annual Show. (JWM)

    August Membership Meeting

    (August 9, 2015) Good turnout of members, about 25, for today's meeting. The sky was a little dark at first, with a drop or two of rain, but the weather turned out to be mostly sunny. The rail-trail was fairly busy today... with at least one lady stopping to tell us how much she appriciates our Club's efforts to maintain the entire trail.

    After the meeting, Bruce, Sean, and Jon went west with the hy-rail sickle mower; while Pete and Roy took their cars east toward the diner. The crew almost made it back with the mower, but fouled plugs on the main engine. Jon pulled it back to Fernald with his MT14.

    We've got a busy month ahead of us... check the calendar for upcoming events! (JWM)

    New England Southern

    (August 1, 2015) Quick track patrol this morning. We pulled up alot of the creaping vines and Concord grapes. Patrolled up to Canterbury, then ate lunch at the crew picnic table. Due to the expected hot temperatures, we planned a short day. From left to right, we see Tom, Jon, Frank, Pete (sitting) and David.

    We've developed a very good relationship with the New England Southern Railroad; our work ethic and safety record makes us a valuable asset maintaining this State of NH owned corridor. (JWM)

    Thomas the Tank Engine

    (July 26, 2015) All went well on the second week of Thomas. Despite weather, another good crowd.

    We started giving rides around 9:30 AM and ran till 4:30 PM each day. Except for lunch, all four cars ran nonstop carrying full cars of Thomas fans.

    Once again, Thank you to all the people that helped out for these two weekends. (JWM)

    Thomas the Tank Engine

    (July 19, 2015) All went well on the first week of Thomas. With the CSRR running Thomas as well as an extra Percy train this year, there seemed to be more people on the grounds.

    We started giving rides around 9:30 AM and ran till 4:30 PM each day. Except for lunch, all four cars ran nonstop carrying full cars of Thomas fans.

    Once again, Thank you to the people that helped out this past week and to our members who will be helping out next week. (DK)

    New England Southern Work Ride

    (June 27, 2015) After setting on in Canterbury, the crew patrolled to Winnisquam, surveying the trimming that had to be done on the return trip. These very rails used to host the Allouette as it ran between Montreal and Boston as a joint B&M and CP train. In the picture, from left to right: Ron, Tom, Frank, Nancy, James, Clif, Roy and Pete. Jon is behind the camera! Picture was taken just south of the NH-3 crossing, and the Winnisquam station is to the left of the picture. (JWM)

    June Meeting

    (June 14, 2015) The Club held it's June meeting under sunny skies. We discussed upcoming events and work to be done on the rail cooridors. One project will be the removal of the leaning pine trees, (in the treeline, above Ron's car) which are leaning over the Fernald station. We're also working on the interior of the station. (JWM)

    Annual Meeting

    (March 8, 2015) The Club's Annual Meeting and Election of Officers will be held on Sunday March 8th at the Lake Shore Park Club House in Lake Shore Park, Gilford NH. (The address is 2600 Lake Shore Road Gilford NH 03249). Park in front of the club house or up behind the club house. Pancakes, coffee, juice, and donuts will be served, starting at 8:30 AM. (JWM)

    Board of Directors Meeting

    (February 14, 2015) The Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club Board of Directors met at Dave Kotsonis', club treasurer, recently. The three hour meeting covered a lot of ground. Many items such as membership, trail work, grants and safety were discussed. The board also voted to renew its NARCOA Affiliate membership. The minutes will be published shortly. The traditional March meeting will be held at a new venue. Stay tuned for the announcement on the Yahoo Group or a call from Dennis, the Membership Secretary (JWM)

    In Memorial

    (November 22, 2014) It's with great sadness that the Cotton Valley Rail-Trail Club mourns the passing of John Rives. John was an enthusiastic member, and he and his wife Linda enjoyed volunteering during the "Thomas the Tank Engine" events at the Conway Scenic Railroad. It may be little known that John's skills at clock repair kept the station clock in North Conway ticking. (JWM)

    New England Southern Work Ride

    (October 19, 2014) Frank, Tommy, Pete, James and Ron joined up with Jon on a brisk Fall day for a nice track patrol for the New England Southern Railroad. We cut several leaning trees, as well as cutting up some which were blocking the track. Ron and Jon both fouled plugs... but everyone made it home on their own power. Teamwork and being prepared made it a safe day for all. Weather permitting... we'll get one more track patrol in this season. (JWM)


    (September 2014) The NARCOA Board votes to accept the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club as an NARCOA Affiliate. (JWM)

    Members Cookout

    (September 14, 2014) Great day for members to get together for a ride over the line and some great conversation and food. Roy captured the mood with some pictures of the event. (JWM)

    Crawford Notch Excursion

    (September 6, 2014) The club members who helped out this year at Thomas made the annual ride up through the Notch this Saturday. Except for having to change a couple of spark plugs we had no break downs and it was a very smooth ride. We also had great weather all day until we started to load our trailers for the ride home. At that point the skies opened up and we got soaked, and wouldn't you know it, as soon as the last car was loaded the rain stopped and we where treated to a gorgeous rainbow. We also did some work for the CSRR moving a very large rock that was close to the track near the Gateway. With the help of Jon's lining bar and the many hands of the male operators, we where able to get the rock moved. (JWM)

    Concord Model Railroad Club Show

    (August 17, 2014) Clif brought his trackcar down to Concord to promote the Club and the motorcar hobby at the 29th Annual Model Railroad Show. (JWM)

    Thursday Gang

    (August 14, 2014) This week's Thursday Gang included Clif, Don, Leroy, Russ, Sam and Harry (6 cars). Debris from Wednesday's storm was removed from Fernald to NH-16, including an 8 inch birch that had fallen on the walking path at Cotton Valley. Guests, one way to NH-16, included a State Legislator and his wife. Water extremely high and on return all four culverts were left flowing freely. Overhanging trees were also trimmed on the return trip. (JWM)

    Union Station

    (August 9, 2014) Leroy took a picture of CVRTC members displaying their trackcars at the Union Station. The New Hampshire Northcoast mainline is on the other side of the station, between the station platform and the white frieght house. Clif, Sam, Leroy and Bruce helped represent the CVRTC. (JWM)

    July Meeting

    (July 13, 2014) Early start to the day. Members met at 6am at Fernald to start moving equipment and supplies out to Clark Road. Several trees had recently fallen and had to be cleaned up. All told, 16 members were present today, with five motorcars, tractor and chipper. After the meeting, a crew headed west to mow into Wolfeboro. (JWM)

    June Meeting

    (June 8, 2014) Great weather day to be out on the rails, whether it was on foot, by bike, or patroling the line by trackcar. Roughly thirty members and guests attended the meeting, and afterwards half a dozen trackcars patrolled east to the diner, surveying the next section of the trail to be completed, checking the water depths of the various beaver ponds, and cutting low hanging limbs to improve sight lines around curves. (JWM)

    New England Southern Railroad Work Ride

    (May 24, 2014) Big thanks to Jon, Cliff, Connor, Cullen and Roy for trimming brush on Saturday. The weather cleared up for seton, and stayed sunny for most of the day while the group worked. Some brief, but heavy showers came in the afternoon, as the group headed back. To the left, Cliff took an picture after clearing out around milepost 18, and a picture of the group after crossing NH-140 and taking a break at McDonalds. (JWM)

    New England Southern Railroad Work Ride

    (April 19, 2014) We opened the White Mountain Branch on a beautiful spring day. Despite hearing that the line was clear, we found several downed trees along the way. The large crew made short work of cleaning the winter's debris out of the flangeways. JB Mentzer snapped a picture of our group, as we travelled south back into Tilton. How many of you knew the B&M logo was still on the bridge? We had several guests along with us, learning about railroad track inspections, and getting hooked on the hobby! (JWM)

    Annual Business Meeting and Elections

    (March 9, 2014) The Club's annual Business Meeting and Elections was held on Sunday, March 9th at the Corner Meetinghouse in Belmont, NH. Officers and Board members were elected as follows:
    President:Bruce Stuart
    Vice President:Sean McInerney
    Treasurer:Dave Kotsonis
    Recording Secretary:Jonathan Miner
    Membership Secretary:Dennis Heffernan
    Trail Master:Bruce Stuart
    Lock Master:Bill Catanesye
    Director (expiring 2015):Cliff Mills
    Director (expiring 2016):Bill Catanesye
    Doug Zukowski
    Russell Hoyt

    Clearing Trees in Wolfeboro

    (December 2, 2013) Sam, Clif and Leroy patrolled to the Miss Wakefield Diner today; specifically to take care of a big downed tree out past Cotton Valley Crossing. They found a few other surprises along the way including a big oak just past Bryant Road. There are some other "leaners" to be concerned about, and the crew stopped on the way back and picked up the picnic table and brought it back to the enginehouse. (JWM)

    NEGS Work Ride

    (November 24, 2013) Five members braved the cold weather for a day on the rails. The group patrolled all the way to C22, felling a large leaner to clear the line for a future equipment move. The strong winds brought down more trees, and five more blowdowns had to be cleared on the way back south. To the left, the group stopped at McDonalds for hot coffee and lunch! (JWM)

    November Meeting

    (November 10, 2013) Twenty-seven members were present at the November meeting. In the old Fernald Station, the Board of Directors held a short 30 minute meeting before the general meeting. Topics of membership and trail maintenance activity were covered. The general meeting began shortly after 10:00 AM where Bruce Stuart covered the agenda for the day. Many members were impressed with the new mower rig loaded with "Yankee Ingenuity". The machine has already been used to mow the east and west end of the line. It cuts an 18 foot wide path on the ROW with its long sickle bar. This greatly improves the sight lines for all trail users year round. The engine house was prepared for season shutdown. There will be a BOD meeting in January or February before the annual season opener meeting in March. (SPM)

    NEGS Work Ride

    (October 26, 2013) Five members and guests spent a crisp October day working along the White Mountain Branch. We cleared sightlines around mileposts and crossings. In the picture, the crew is working around milepost "C1", just outside Concord, and within sight of the former Page Belting company. This section of track was relocated, allowing for the development of Horseshoe Pond, and the Grapone Center. (JWM)

    October Meeting

    (October 13, 2013) About two dozen members and guests attended the October meeting. After a brief meeting, and updates on the trail conditions and upcoming efforts, a group of eight members headed out to patol to the diner. The sink hole was filled in, and the stop sign at Byrant Road was stood back up. A large amount of stone dust has been delivered at the end of the line, and in the process the State's end of track sign was snapped off. Be aware as you approach the end of the line that the sign is no longer there! (JWM)

    Family Day

    (September 8, 2013) Food must be ready... everyone is headed toward the enginehouse to grab a hotdog, burger, or chicken sandwich. Follow that up with coleslaw, potato salad, and several desserts! Great day for a meeting, 44 members and guests attended. After lunch people headed out for a ride on the line. (JWM)

    New England Southern Work Ride

    (August 24, 2013) Great day, and a SAFE day on the rails. From front to back, Jon, Peter, Ron and Clif did some light trimming. Here, they're picking up brush left by the State's trimmer, and improving the sight lines around MP C9, just south of Canterbury, NH. (JWM)

    August Meeting

    (August 11, 2013) Fernald Station; Two dozen members and guests were present for the Club's August meeting. Pictured are Ron, Jon, and Clif's trackcars as they get ready to patrol the line after the meeting. (JWM)

    Open House at Union

    (August 10, 2013) Several members had their trackcars on display at the Union, NH station. This restored station is on the Ossipee Line, next to active trackage used by the New Hampshire Northcoast Railroad. The former freighthouse now houses an HO Scale (1/87th) layout depicting the local stations. (JWM)

    NEGS Work Ride

    (July 28, 2013) Great day on the New England Southern. Nine members and guests worked to cut brush in several locations. Pictured to the far left is the Merrimack River bridge after the brush was cleared from the approaches, and a group picture as the group clears the brush from the east side of the track at Boyce. We patrolled 42 miles of track, and to the delight of the guys in the open cars, the rain held off! (JWM)

    Thomas the Tank Engine Go-Go Tour

    (July 20, 2013) This was second weekend of entertaining Thomas the Tank Engine fans up at North Conway. This had to be the hottest weekend ever! In this picture, taken on Saturday, we see John, Jon, Russ and the Mahr's trackcars. Cranmore ski area is in the background! The station looks empty, Thomas must be headed down to Hussy Farm, and the other train off to Bartlett. (JWM)

    July Meeting at Fernald

    (July 14, 2013) About a dozen members attended the July meeting, with an equal number up in North Conway supporting the Conway Scenic Railroad. After the meeting some members headed into town, while Jon and Tom headed to the diner for lunch, then trimmed mileposts on the return trip. (JWM)

    Working on the White Mountain Branch

    (June 22, 2013) The day after the Summer Soltice and the longest daylight of the year, we hosted the longest and best attended work ride this year. Seven trackcars, fifteen members, forty-four miles round-trip, and one meet with the southbound NEGS train. Most importantly we had a SAFE day and got a lot of trimming done. On behalf of New England Southern, Jon extends a big THANKS to everyone who attended.

    Dave captured the colorful group just north of the Sewells Falls crossing, just as they started working on the sight-lines. (JWM)

    June Meeting

    (June 9, 2013) Again, a good crew showed up for some early morning trimming and mowing on the west end,

    Nearly twenty members and guests were present for the meeting, with a similar sized group up at Conway Scenic.

    Roy's photo captures the group inside the enginehouse. (JWM)

    Wolfeboro Report

    (May 26, 2013) Jessie reports that the recent rains have produced high water along the line, but not yet on the rail. He also found one tree down east of Bryant Road, and took care of several leaners. (JWM)

    New England Southern Work Ride

    (May 25, 2013) Brief day on the rails today, after meeting at the seton location and discussing the weather we decided to chance it. We took care of the heavy trimming between MP3 and MP4, and patrolling to Sewells Falls Road and back. To the right, Jon snaps a quick picture of Pete and Clif, before moving TC-42 ahead. The weather held for the most part, with the heaviest spinkles falling as the group setoff. (JWM)

    May Meeting

    (May 19, 2013) A good crew showed up for some early morning trimming on the west end, preping the right of way for some mowing. The crew discovered a pile of gravel partially blocking a crossing, but Colin and Conner had already cleared enough of the pile so trackcars could get by. Thanks guys!

    Twenty two members and guests were present for the meeting, including two new members. Bruce, our newly elected President, outlined his ideas for trailwork, especially thanking everyone for their efforts.

    After the meeting, members headed out both to mow the west end, and patrol east. Jon, David and Pete headed for lunch at the Miss Wakefield Diner, and proactively cleared several "leaners". Due to the lack of rainfall, the beaver ponds were quite low. (JWM)

    New England Southern

    (April 27, 2013) Today was opening day for the White Mountain Branch. Fourteen members, guests, and railroad officals patrolled the line. Several trees had come down under the weight of the winter snow, and grade crossings flangeways had to be cleared out. To the left, Jon took a shot of the crew at the Merrimack River bridge. The hopper car was left on the bridge to block snowmobilers. From right to left... Roy, Chi, Frank, Peter, Jim, Jeff, Pete, Diane, Leroy, David, Linda, Clif and Norm. To our delight, the Dipsy Doodle was open for lunch! We had a safe day on the rails, and it was great to see everyone on the rails. (JWM)

    Opening Day at Fernald

    (April 14, 2013) Roy reports "It was overcast and cool but we had a good crowd at the meeting." Thirty-three members attended. Primary discussion was about the extention of the walking trail from Cotton Valley, east to NH-16. Gator and Deborah have made a beautiful picnic table to replace the old one out on the line. Linda donated a lawnmower that can used around the enginehouse. All the Club signs were put back up on the enginehouse, and members moved all the equipment was moved outside so the enginehouse could be given a spring cleaning. Annual maintenance work was done on the backhoe and other trail maintenance equipment. Members cleaned up leaves, and inspected rail heads and flangeways at grade crossings for sand, or any other winter snow plowing damage. Everyone was eager to get back out on the rails! (JWM)

    Spring Comes to New Hampshire

    (April 6, 2013) Jon reports that he swung by Mountain View and Fernald on his way from the Conway Scenic Railroad Rules Class. Spring has come, and the snow and ice are slowly receeding, revealing the ribbons of rails hidden below. The first picture is taken looking north at Mountain View, the passenger station is located just over the photographer's right shoulder. The former grain building (O.L. & C.A. White ?) still stands. This track is the former B&M Conway Branch. Next, Jon swings by Fernald, noting there is still ice and snow over the enginehouse leads. Fernald is on the former Wolfeboro Branch. Both lines are maintained by Cotton Valley members, and available for use at any time. Hopefully the warm New Hampshire days will be good for maple syrup and clearing the lines! (JWM)

    Annual Business Meeting

    (March 10, 2013) Roy reports that roughly 34 members attended the Annual Business Meeting. Newly elected officers are Bruce Stuart (President) and Dennis Heffernan (Membership Sec), while Leroy Tripp, Russell Hoyt and Doug Zukowski were elected as Directors. (JWM)

    Annual Business Meeting

    (March 10, 2013) Roy reports that the 2013 Renewal forms are in the mail. Dues for this year is $30.

    Roy is retiring as Membership Secretary after 10 years and so will not be on the Ballot for re-election. If you are interested in being the Membership Secretary please let him know and your name will be added to the Ballot. Presently, one member is interested in the position.

    As you will see in the Renewal letter Ron is retiring as President, and also there is an unfilled opening for a Director, and there could be a couple more openings depending on who we elect to fill these positions.

    In the past we have almost always re-elected the present management to continue on with their operation of the club. This time we will need some new candidates to step forward and serve. If you can be one of these individuals and would like your name on the Ballot, email me at by Friday March 8. (JWM)

    Forms Updated

    (Feburary 24, 2013) New Membership and Roster forms are now available. See the Membership Page to download the forms. (JWM)

    New Website In Progress!

    (Feburary 19, 2013) Working on a new design for this year... same look on the front, but easier to manage behind the scenes! (JWM)

    Roof Work Needed

    (Feburary 14, 2013) Two weeks ago, during a wind storm, the left front part of the roof was blown off the rafters and left a large hole in the roof. The roofing material is still on the roof, only folded up at a 90 degree angle. Bruce, Leroy, and I braved the snow this morning and met at the engine house to nail the roof down. Bruce did all the work, I held the ladder, and Leroy gave his moral support. The roof is fixed for the rest of the Winter, but will have to be looked at in the Spring to make further repairs.
    Dave provides two pictures of the enginehouse roof, taken before the repairs were made. (JWM)

    Wind Damage

    (Feburary 7, 2013) Dave reports that he was up in Wolfeboro today and swung by the engine house. He wanted a before and after picture of all the snow. After looking at the engine house he noticed the roof didn't look right. (JWM)

    Winter at Fernald

    (January 12, 2013) Jesse provides this picture of the snow softly falling on the depot at Fernald. (JWM)

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    Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.
    P.O. Box 417
    Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896

    ©2003 Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.