Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.

Established in 1992
NARCOA Affiliate Club 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.  Railway motorcar organizations now exist in most parts of the world.  Please contact one of your local organizations.  They have access to rail property, equipment information and SAFETY information.  They are always looking to promote the hobby/sport and would love to have your help.

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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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)

See the archives for postings from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019

P.O. Box 417
Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896

©2003 Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.