(December 20, 2006): The webmaster wants to take a momment during this busy Holiday season to thank everyone for thier contributions this year. As you scroll down through this page, reflect on all the projects that the club has accomplished and the fun that we had on various rides. (JWM)
(December 3, 2006): Jessie, Jon, and their guests enjoyed a mild December day as they performed a track patrol for the New England Southern Railroad on the the White Mountain Branch. The sun was fully out at 10:30am and the temperature rising toward the low 40s when they set on at West Portsmouth Street. The tasks were to check water flow through the culverts and clear any fallen trees from Friday's thunderstorm. Fortunately, all the culverts were clear, and the no trees had fallen across the line. A good day was had by all. Pictured to the left is Jessie's enclosed MT19 and Jon's MT14 while they took a lunch break at Sargent Street in Northfield.(JWM)
(November 30, 2006): Here is a recent picture of the Thursday Gang taking advantage of the rare warm weather at the end of November. As you can see we had nine cars and fifteen members and guests. The tracks were clear of debris, we had good weather, and no break downs. The workers on the line say they should be all done in about two weeks. Wish you could have joined us. Not too many of these days left. (JWM)
(November 12, 2006): Over a dozen members showed up under the overcast sky for the last meeting of the year. Roy reported that we ended the year with 93 members. The highlight of meeting was Bruce's Trail Report, where he listed off all the projects that got completed on both the Cotton Valley Trail and Ossippe Line. Thanks to everyone's efforts crossings were rebuilt and culverts repaired. And don't forget all the work on the enginehouse! After the meeting adjourned, members removed one of the semaphore blades for repainting, nailed down loose roofing, and covered the windows with plastic. Ian seton his Woodings and he and Roy took a ride to end the day, seen in Roy's picture is a newly opened multi-use section of the trail. (JWM)
(October 28, 2006): Len submitted a picture taken during the October 14th excursion that CVRTC Member Art Hawkes set up on the former Maine Central Mountain Division. The picture was taken just south of the Rt5 crossing in Hiram Maine; site of small model railroad museum and restored caboose. Ed, the owner, is always accommodating to the group. This track is owned by the State of Maine, and kept open by the efforts of Maine DOT, motorcar operators and snowmobile clubs.
(October 25, 2006): Several people have been out and about on both the Ossipee Line and Wolfeboro Branch. Jessie reports that the track is blocked at Fernald, so he couldn't go west. The line was clear to the east. From Fernald to Bryant Road the fill was well compacted; however from there to Cotton Valley the fill has not been compacted. Roy notes that this could be a problem for the lighter putt-putts. Except for the occasional tree, the rest of the branch was clear. Jessie also reports that the newly redone crossings on the Ossipee Line were in good shape, but there was some high water at the sand pit crossing. Ian provided a picture of the mowing along the Ossipee Line and Harvey expressed his thanks to club members for "the most enjoyable and productive year" (JWM)
(October 22, 2006): Work continued on the brush cutting in the Concord (NH) frieght yard. Several CVRTC members were present, along with some of the "Caboose Guys" from Tilton. After lunch, motorcars were seton at Exit 16 for an afternoon ride on the State of New Hampshire owned White Mountain Line. Anyone take any pictures of this event? (JWM)
(October 15, 2006): Ron, Jon and kids joined some of the NEGS crew to cut and chip brush in the Concord (NH) freight yard. Much of this area had been cut in past years, and had re-grown. After lunch, time was spent marking ties between N47 and N50 for a future tie replacement project. This was a good chance to see some late foliage, and to learn about how to inspect ties and determine which need to be replaced. Some brush cutting was done around the mileposts. To the left, Jon's motorcar is pictured just south of N50. (JWM)
(October 8, 2006): Ian, Roy, Art and Harvey worked on the Ossipee Line with the Ossipee Valley Snowmobile Club to replace culverts in Archers Marsh. Harvey's "A" car moved 36 yards of fill over the course of the day. Wet rail in the morning caused some traction issues, but by noon time they could move 2 yards of fill at a time. Franklin used his loader to load the dump car at the Rail Road crossing. Ian's picture shows the dump car unloading gravel at one of the culverts. (JWM)
Bruce Stuart wishes to thank everyone that worked on the Ossipee line crossing on Sunday. The homeowner is very happy with the result. We will be keeping an eye on the crossing as the ground settles during the next 4 or 5 weeks. Bruce wants to remind members not to dig out the flangeways, but to only sweep off the railhead, and let the flange make its own way through the sand. To the right, Harvey moves dirt with the tractor while Bruce and Franklin look on; in total nearly a dozen members helped out with this effort. (JWM)
September 9, 2006: Jessie reports that Glory Days of the Railroad at White River Junction was a great success. They were very busy, and had a cart full every time. This year's ride was much longer, going all the way up the hill to the blacktop plant. Plenty of smiles and happy faces. Over $60 was raised in donations. Pictured to the left, is Jessie's MT19 getting loaded up, and ready to push "South" up the hill on the former B&M Northern mainline. (JWM)
September 3, 2006: As the remnants of hurricane Ernesto blew through New Hampshire, the group headed north with three Fairmont MT-14 motorcars. The main focus was several leaning trees in the shallow cut known as the "Northfield Notch". A lunch break was taken at Sargent Street; in the picture to the right, we see Jon's kids posing in front of TC-42, while Paul, Roy and Ron swap stories and a bag of sweet cherry tomatoes. Although the skies started to lighten up near the Concord Monitor building, it was raining quite heavily by then! (JWM)
29, 2006: The progress on the rail trail continues.
Workers on site told me that they will work until the "snow flies" if
they must to finish the job. The
rail mounted swivel dump was working near Fernald station this
week. A roadbed has been established using processed
gravel. Then stone dust is spread over a weed barrier. The
picture to the
right shows how this special dump truck is utilized to take advantage
of the existing rail to distribute the new walking path surface. (SPM)
August 20, 2006: Ron Mitchell has been contacted by Tad Nunez, director of the Hartford Parks & Recreation Department regarding CVRTC participation in this year's Glory Days of the Railroad. Tad said that CVRTC members did a good job last year, and that trackage rights have been secured on the same tracks as last year. Any additional insurance costs will be paid by the Festival, and the CVRTC will be added to the over-all Festival insurance. Visit the Glory Days of the Railroad web site for more information. If you can help support the Festival, contact Ron Mitchell. (JWM)
August 13, 2006: Very productive day. Prior to the meeting, several members brushed out the end-of-track at Wolfboro Falls, as far back as the first crossing. After the meeting, painting continued on the enginehouse; by the end of the day, the southern wall was nearly covered. A half dozen members took Harvey's new A car and the tractor east to solve some drainage problems. At Fernald, the tractor was loaded sideways onto the depressed center flatcar, and towed out to the blocked culverts east of "Moxie Junction". In the picture to the left, Harvey operates the back-hoe while the rest of us look on in amazement as the water level started dropping. The stone headers of the original railroad granite box culverts were 2-3 feet below the original water levels.
Discussion at the meeting focused on the ongoing trail construction; TRAC's next meeting is this coming Thursday, and CVRTC Directors are urged to attend. Wayne reported that he is working on putting together a fall excursion for club members. Check back for updated information.
August 6, 2006: CVRTC members assisted NEGS with clearing brush from the Perini Spur in Bow NH. This 2000ft piece of track runs from the New Hampshire Mainline, into the Perini property and will be used to store their rail cranes and associated equipment. Thanks go out to Ron, Bill, Roy, Tiny, and Jon. To the right, we see Roy and Bill finishing up the weed whacking around the existing equipment. Note: As it turned out, Perini ran into difficulties having their equipment moved by rail, and it was scrapped instead. (JWM)
July 27, 2006: Harvey Simonds happened to run into the crew that is doing the work at Cotton Valley. They stated that the track crew has finished installing the ties and the tie inserter left today. There are still some spikes to be installed but that they may finish tomorrow or early next week. They still have a hi rail on the tracks in front of the station that is now blocking the trail contractor from loading his hi rail dump.
The trail contractor has agreed to park his hi rail dump truck near the NH-109 end of the enginehouse on the main when not in use. This should allow us to set on at the engine house and run towards Cotton Valley and if need be it also leaves the wooden pad available to set on to run towards Wolfboro. The trail contractor thought he would be there untill it snows.
July 23, 2006: Bill and I set our cars on at the Concord Tower, and were joined by Roy and Peter. Form-D in hand, we headed north to MP-C12 to examine the Canterbury III washout. On the return trip, we cleared brush from the inside of the "Canterbury Curve", improving the sight line. Lunch was held at the overlook, as we watched several kayaks and a canoe floated by. After lunch, we returned to Concord; then headed up the Northern, clearing some small brush near the C&C junction and MP-N46. In the picture, Bill and Roy prepare to cut through a major blowdown at MP-N50. We patroled all the way to Penacook.
July 20, 2006: Dave Kotsonis and The Thursday Group report that they continued their work on the Center Ossipee Switch. Dave continues, saying "We found a log between the rails and the switch open (switch stand not locked). We have no idea if this was done before or after the problem. We closed the switch and removed the log. We inspected the switch points and found nothing wrong with them. We did make some fine adjustments to the switch to make it easier to throw. To make sure we do not have any kids playing with the switch we have put a lock on it. The switch is set for the main. Our request for gravel to fill in around the switch can now be disregarded as we filled the area around the switch so you will not be underwater when you use it. We are going to make some more adjustments to the switch stand later next week. Just for your safety make sure you check the points and proceed with caution."
June 22, 2006: The Thursday Group reports that the Center Ossipee switch is working correctly... almost. Dave, Harry, and Bill worked on the switch today, and you can now set the switch to go on the main line and not have to have it spiked. To throw the switch to the siding they're are going to add a long piece of pipe to the handle (for added leverage). (JWM)
June 18, 2006: How did you spend Fathers Day? Several Cotton Valley members spent "their day" riding the rails. Jon Miner reports that he, his wife and kids got up to Fernald at 10am and started the day running the weed whacker, and clearing the area around the station and enginehouse, as far east as the mainline switch. While waiting for Harvey Simonds, they patroled east to Cotton Valley, reporting that no tie replacement has started yet, but many ties have been marked, and silt control fences are setup in some areas. Some new concrete bridge abutments have been poured just west of the Cotton Valley siding. Six bundles of ties have been delivered; thirty to a bundle.
With Harvey, family and friends, the group patroled west to Wolfeboro Falls. A lot of little stuff has grown up since the crossings were trimmed back, but the crossings only needed minor work. West of the causeways, the right-of-way is over grown, and needs some serious trimming and mowing. Not much activity on the trail today, about a dozen other trail users were seen, split between walkers and bike riders.(JWM)
June 12, 2006: What a great day! The Fernald Enginehouse was busy all day long; members started working around 8am, and continued on until the job was finished. The highlight of the day was re-sheathing and painting the east end of the building, and hanging the new doors. On the west end, facing NH-109, the door trim was painted white. And inside the building, members put the push brooms and shovels to work, cleaning out debris. Click on the pictures to view larger versions, and to see how the east doors looked one year ago, check out the front page of Jon's Motorcar Page. We feasted on a wonderful meal of hot dogs, hamburgers, pulled-pork, potato salad, macaroni salad, lemonade, chips, cookies, and much more. A big THANKS to everyone who contributed today, and especially to the crew that worked during the week to remove the old siding and re-frame the end of the building, and to build the new doors. There was no way we could have completed the job on Sunday without help from everyone! (JWM)
June 4, 2006: It was great to see so many club members attending the 18th track car meet. The Cotton Valley was well represented. Despite the weather, the meet went smoothly and safely. Jessie took a group picture on Sunday during our layover at Weirs Beach. (JWM)
May 21, 2006: As mentioned elsewhere on this website, the tie replacement project will be starting soon, and should be completed the first week of June. If you are riding East from Fernald, be aware that there might be construction equipment on, or fouling the tracks. Current membership is at 83, and Roy will be sending out updated rosters soon; contact Roy promptly with any updates. Check the events page for upcoming events. Draft copy of the minutes has been uploaded to our Yahoo! Groups Site.
Art Hawkes reported that there is a problem with the rail at the sandpit crossing on the former Maine Central Mountain Division. This is seven miles east of the Whistle Stop store where we have set-on in the past. Art is going to contact Maine DOT and the sand pit owner, and try to come up with a solution for everyone. There will be a work party scheduled. If any members have a railroad claw bar, that would be very useful. Contact Art for more information, or to volunteer.
After the meeting, several members headed west from Fernald with three push carts pushed by Bruce's A car. Sightlines were cleared at the crossings, chipping the brush on site. Work was completed, and the enginehouse closed up before the rain front moved through.(JWM)
May 17, 2006: It's been a wet week in New Hampshire. As a result of the heavy flooding, the Wakefield Pride Day has been postponed to June 3rd. This conflicts with the Hobo Run, but if you're available, see the Events page and give Bruce or Wes a call. It's a great chance to get out and promote the club.
This weekend, Bruce wants to get some brush cleared and chipped. He's going to cut trees on Saturday, and start chipping at 8am on Sunday before our membership meeting. Give Bruce a call if you can help out.
Dave Kotsonis reports that on the 18th, the Thursday Group inspected the tracks East of Fernald, finding them quite wet, as can be seen in the picture to the left. The culvert had been blocked by the local beavers. The culvert has been cleared, but will all this water it may take some time to dry out! (JWM, updated 5/23)
May 9, 2006: The Thursday Group has been busy. Dave Kotsonis reports that some of group got together last Thursday to continue working on the Ossipee Line. The two crosswalks that had been used on the Wolfeboro Line were relocated to the ends of the Ossipee Line, making it easier to turn cars at the end of the line. They also believe that they know what is wrong with the switch in Center Ossipee (Mountain View), and expect to have it fixed soon. Great Job! (JWM)
April 30, 2006: President Ron Mitchell wants to remind motorcar operators that TRAC is going to be replacing the ties real soon, so any members using the track should check before heading east on the line, as there might be rail equipment working. Also TRAC is going to be constructing the trail from Fernald Station to Cotton Valley. Members are encouraged to use the whiteboard in the enginehouse to alert others to their operation plans, and to leave notes regarding any possible hazzards on the line. As Fairmont says: "The best safety device is a carefull man." (JWM)
April 20, 2006: Dave Kotsonis, The Thursday Group, and friends took advantage of the great weather to continue spring cleaning on the Ossipee Line. The photo on the right shows the cars heading south, at "Mountain View". Dave reports:
April 13, 2006: Dave Kotsonis, CVRTC Treasurer, wants to remind all members that our current insurance policy is good until June 15th of this year. The Club is working right now to secure a policy for next year. Please do not send in any money for insurance at this time. Thanks! (JWM)
Dick Forde's CR7 and M14 (Late 2000)
Jon Miner's MT14 (December 2005)
©2003 Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.