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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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!


See the archives for postings from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023

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

©2003 Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.