The Eastport to Enfield Mainline - My fictional Enfield and Eastern


Trainzing since 12-2003
Here are some views of the Enfield & Eastern starting at the new Eastport passenger terminal. On this trip, we will be following the Boston & Maine branch built in the 1860s. The original Enfield to Eastport line was built in 1832 as a means of carrying goods from the textile mills in Enfield to the ocean port in Eastport. The railroad came into being because of the unreliable water supply for the river and canal transportation. During the winter months, the canals and river were shut down due to ice, during the summer there were drought conditions. Add to that was increased competition between the canal and portage-boat owners, and the various mills that sprang up along the river, for water resources. This eventually resulted in numerous riots with numerous boats burned and people killed.

The original line flourished, and a connection was built with the Eastern Railroad in 1850. By the 1860s, the Boston & Maine was busy buying up and building various branches, and saw this line as competition to Eastport because the owner would not sell out immediately. As a result, they built this more modern line that followed the highlands and crossed over the river line at various points. In the late 1890s, when the B&M controlled pretty much all of the rail routes in New England, the original line was merged in and became the River Line.

The River Line remained a successful freight branch with some commuter stops along it. There had been some abandonment, but not a lot and most of the main portions of the branch were still active. The B&M branch remained a pretty successful branch line, and the service lasted well up into the mid-1980s with twice daily Eastport bound freights. During this time, the passenger service was operated by the B&M and then eventually the "T".

When GRS took over, the freight service was cut back to a once a month, or as needed to Eastport, and nearly all of local service was cut completely from the branch. By 1991, there were talks of abandoning all of the trackage in the Eastport area. This included both the B&M and the River Line branches even though the MBTA was running passenger train service. The locals complained, and everything ended up in court. The MBTA purchased the B&M branch to save the passenger service, and the locals formed the Enfield & Eastern to run what was left of the freight.

Immediately as soon as everything had been resolved, and barely before the ink had dried on the paperwork, the new company started marketing their services. At first the companies were skeptical that there could really be freight service again in the area, but things are changing, albeit slowly.

Since the inception of the Enfield & Eastern, about 16 years ago, a lot has changed. They now run various branches along the former Eastern Railroad, and have been given control of the Northern Main. This is a direct extension up to Bristol from the Eastport area, and as a result there is now passenger service in eastern Maine once again. There have even been talks of returning "The Gull" to Halifax, NS. The last time this ran was in the 1960s.

The Eastport passenger station is new. The orginal was built closer to the river, but due to new development in the downtown area, the tracks were sent into a cut closer to the waterfront. There is a trolley service provided by the GEPTA, and runs around the city from Radford Gardens on the opposite shore of the river.

In addition to the local train service provided by the MBTA and GEPTA, Eastport now hosts 4 Amtrak trains to and from eastern Maine. These are the service up to Bristol, and as mentioned above, may eventually continue to Halifax. During the summer months, "The Beach Comber" runs out to Willows Point. This is an additional fancy passenger train for the summer vacationers.


Here we are crossing the bridge from Eastport to Radford Jct. At Radford Jct., there is a connection with the Riverline to the left. That passes under the terminal branch in a tunnel. The main line to Enfield to the center, and the Northern Extension to the right. This is a double-wye with a diamond in the middle where the tower is located.


After driving a short distance through a wooded area, we come to the first of many towns along the route. This is Radford with its pictureseque little downtown.


Rounding the bend after Radford just before we hit the second bridge over the River Line.


Crossing the River Line...

Not shown is yet another crossing as the River Line twists and follows the banks of the Enfield River. Just outside the picture below, of the train at Cottage Hill, is a long Warren Truss over the valley. The River Line, by this point is reduced to single track, but there are two roads that parallel the line and the river, thus the reason for the long crossing.


To the left of the train show above, are two more tracks in addition to the two-track mainline here. Those other tracks are the Cottage Hill to Bowman branch, and this line connects to and crosses the mainline we are on now at Pembroke (show a bit later). This line was recently upgraded, but for the longest time the tracks had completely rusted and weeded over. This branch like many of the others, will be followed at a later date.

Here's the train crossing the River Line again. Remember - we are heading westbound, or engine first. The Buddliners serve as passenger cars and cab-control cars. These were common trains one the commuter lines during the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. There will be one more coming up soon in Pembroke with a few others to follow.


Here we are pulling into Ashburn. The bridge crosses over the highway that followed along the river as well as a barely-used Brimely to Enfield frieght branch. Yes, I know about the kink in the track here! ;)

Asburn is a bit of a snooty town. The station is not open to the public like many of the stations along the line. The difference here, however, is that there's no commuter parking either! Cafe L'Expensif does not allow anyone except for patron parking only. This has created quite a mess since the commuter service has increased. Sadly the owners of the restaurant were a few that did not want the trains to come back along the line.


...and there's more

Crossing the lake outside of Ashburn on the very short single track section. There are only three single-track sections along the route.


We will be pulling into Pembroke next. Pembroke is a large city that grew up because of the mills closest to the river. We are looking back at the city from the old Cottage Hill branch yard (what's left of it anyway). A few freights stop here for local service. This yard, like many along line have seen better days. This area will be looked at in detail at sometime in the future as we go back and explore the various active branchlines along the B&M branch and the River Line.


A couple more views of Pembroke and the surroundings as our train speeds off towards Oak Hill and Parkdale.




We have skipped over the Oak Hill yard and commuter station. Sadly this was once a large hump yard used to sort the multitude of freights that used to run on this branch. (This is really is a U-make module I included). During the end of the B&M ownership, the hump was reduced to a small flat yard (due to framerate issues with my old computer), and the land sold off to an industrial park. The main skirts the yard with a passenger station on the northern-most end. The line then reduces foolishly to single track for a short distance again. There is a sharp curve through the state forest, but the line opens up again to double-track on its run to Parkdale.

Here we see a couple of cab-views on our way to Parkdale. Our counter-part driven by Geoff is heading inbound to Eastport.


and there's more...

Here we are approaching Parkdale. The line to Parkdale is picturesque as we fly along through the farmland. There are fields to the left and right of us as well as a stoney creek.


We are taking Track 1 into Parkdale station. There are two lines here. Tracks 1 & 2 (inbound and outbound) are for the Granby Branch. Tracks 3 & 4 serve Greenwood and then eventually the River line at South Acton, the current end of track. On this trip, we will follow the Granby Branch.

The Granby through North Granby is a unique line. This was the original B&M line built during the 1860s. There is a steep narrow tunnel on the Parkdale section and a short tunnel on the North Granby side. During the construction of the B&M branch, these two towns invested heavily in the branch. As a result, the line was built to serve them at the expense of easy running. This was all well and good until the early 1900s when trains were getting heavier and longer. At this time, the branch was reduced to passenger only turns, and a freight cut-off was built via Greenwood. The Greenwood line (not followed at this time) connects to the River line near Lynnewood, and there was a freight cut-off built between Greenwood and North Granby. This line is known as the Riverside cut-off because of the small station along the line. There is very little traffic here except for the occasional freight that isn't allowed through the tunnels.

During the period from 1910 through 1957, the Granby to North Granby line was served by a third-rail interurban service. This was successful, but the infrastructure was old, and as a result the electric service came out. From 1957 until recently, the line was closed and very weeded over. During this time, the residents fought for service but due to the investment in highways instead of rail, they languished on the side. This changed, due to increased road traffic during the late 1990s, when the line was reopened again after 40 years of grafitti, litter, and neglect. From the overhead picture taken outside of Granby, you'll notice an old branch. This once served the only industry on the line - a coal powerplant that is long gone. The powerplant supplied the power for the line, but when the power was cut, there was no reason for the line to continue its existance and closed. The powerplant was served through a reverse move from the North Granby end, which doesn't have the steep grade. The coal train would head up the branch towards Parkdal, and then back into the coal spur.

Track 1 all trains via Granby!

On the way to Granby from Parkdale. To the right is the Greenwood line.

Into the tunnel...

Coming out of the tunnel above the Greenwood Branch, which can be seen below along the river.

The abandoned spur along the curve near Granby.

Granby Station... There's really nothing spectacular about this town...

On to North Granby.

North Granby...This town has a nice place to watch trains - There's an Arby's next to the station with a nice view of the tunnel.

Granby Junction where we are back on the B&M mainline (branch) again. The bypass via Riverside is to the right. The old tower is hidden behind the trees.
More to come... really near the end!

From North Granby, we head into Epping, which is currently the last commuter stop on this line. The train continues to Pinehurst to wait on the line, and then head back to Eastport. We will view the line through Epping and on to the current end of track near South Acton. After passing through Pinehurst and Nutting Lake, we will again cross over the River Line twice. There are really two-sides to the River Line. The freight-only branch, and the newer competing line built by the B&M during the 1880s. The old line remained a freight only branch, and connects to the rest of the system just outside of West Boxford. There are mills at that end as well as few other industries along the line. The old freight line is being rebuilt as needed, or as industry moves back into the area. Right now there are a few industries near South Acton including a plastics company and a sand and gravel company near the old mills. Line continues along the river to West Boxford, however the track is in very poor condition.

The B&M River line is a different matter. This has remained a passenger line and still has commuter service. Right now the last stop is at South Acton via Lynnewood.

Heading into Epping. This is a very attractive area, which still has some old historic farms and open fields. The town is very picky about development, although sadly during the 1960s they allowed the destruction of some historic builds so they could be replaced by the garden apartments near the station.


At the crossover at Epping... Pretty far in the distance unfortunately...

Rounding the bend out of Epping and on to Pinehurst.


Waiting at Pinehurst for the radio call to return to Eastport. This currently the end of track for service even though the line continues on over near South Acton.


A view of the main, currently unused trackage.


Looking towards Nutting Lake. The track drops to a brief single track section here just after the cement plant.


Here we are looking back at Nutting Lake towards Pinehurst and Epping.

The cement plant here gets a bit of business on the B&M line.

Approaching South Acton... Current EOT

After going briefly to single-track, we are back on double-track again, and crossing the River Line. This time, we will cross both of them. The line below is the old freight line; very rusty and hardly used at this end.


More of the bridge across the Enfield River.

Over the currently active end of the River Line.

Just a view of the B&M line.

Outside of South Acton. This station is long closed on this line. The passenger service is on the River Line.


Looking back at South Acton. The freight branch can be seen to the left while the well maintained passenger line in South Acton proper is pristine.


A couple more crossings of the Enfield. The River Line (passenger side) cuts under and around, while the B&M line crosses the river here for the last time. This is the current real end of track. Just beyond the bridge around the corner is Tron-territory.



More to be uploaded as time permits. Eventually I will go back and give a tour of the various branch lines along the routes.
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is this a real life route. or is it based on someting or is it fake.

All a big fake based on real New England names in and about eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. :D

I originally built part of this in N-scale, but due to many reasons, I've since put the layout away and built it in Trainz. The Bristol end now makes the route 87 miles long end-to-end. When I develop a route, I come up with history behind it like you'd read if you took one of the rail tours offered by a museum. I could tell you a historical account for every branch along the way. ;)

wow thats um big.
no dont give a history for every branch!!!
thats what i do too by the way but the plan really never comes out right.
looks good
wow thats um big.
no dont give a history for every branch!!!
thats what i do too by the way but the plan really never comes out right.
looks good

I was just kidding when I said that about the history. ;) I could though if you want the detail. It's easy to do, and part of it is having a purpose for your rail line. The other part is understanding the history surrounding the area you're trying to model. For me it's eastern/central New England in and around the Merrimack Valley and Blackstone Valleys. In this area are numerous textile mills that once made everything from clothing to carpets. They were built in the early years of the 19th century, and did in fact have to fight for water rights. There's an article about this someone on the Blackstone Canal from Worcester to Providence, and this is the reason for the P&W Railroad.

So add the two together with a bit of imagination, and viola you have your railroad's history.

McGuirel - I'll upload the route eventuallym although I'm not sure if the DLS would accept it by then. It's pretty big now byte-size. If you want a copy, I'll give you a link to an FTP site where you can download it. I'll include my currently operating session as well. Use of the line is, well at your own risk, and I don't take responsibility for frying your computer, or releasing the computer demons unto the earth.

When will it be released???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!:D:D:D

I am glad you like my route so far princeedgewood. I don't have a timetable set for the release, but if you want a copy as it is now including my current operating session, I can put it up on my work FTP site. Email me, and I'll give you the login instructions.

Most of the items should be on the DLS, and anything else I can supply.

This of course comes with the usual warnings. I am not responsible if the computer demons are released, and a whirlwind comes out of your monitor, etc. ;)

I am glad you like my route so far princeedgewood. I don't have a timetable set for the release, but if you want a copy as it is now including my current operating session, I can put it up on my work FTP site. Email me, and I'll give you the login instructions.

Most of the items should be on the DLS, and anything else I can supply.

This of course comes with the usual warnings. I am not responsible if the computer demons are released, and a whirlwind comes out of your monitor, etc. ;)


Thanks for the info ...:p