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PEMIGEWASSET VALLEY RAILROAD.
Line. From Plymouth to North Woodstock, 20 miles.
History and Condition. Chartered in 1874; opened in 1883. Leased to the Boston, Concord & Montreal for ninety-nine years at 6 per cent upon its cost, which was $500,000.
The road is new and in fair condition for the business it receives, which is mainly in the summer. Considerable work was done upon it last year to repair damage by freshets, which cause much trouble and loss upon it every spring. An extension of this road is expected in the near future.
WHITEFIELD & JEFFERSON RAILROAD.
Line. From Whitefield to Jefferson, 10.68 miles. Branch: From Jefferson to Camp Carroll, 2.68 miles. The Brown Lumber Company, of Whitefield, encouraged and assisted by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, built this road in order to take lumber from the forests in and beyond Jefferson to the Whitefield mills and the tracks of the Boston, Concord & Montreal. It was chartered June 11, 1878, and constructed so as to be passable for log trains the next year. Subsequently it was so improved as to carry passenger trains, and is now in first-class condition. In the summer it carries large numbers of visitors to Jefferson, and does the general business of that town at all seasons, although the bulk of its business is still freighting logs. It is gradually being pushed up the valley, and will undoubtedly go through to Berlin, where it will form a junction with the Grand Trunk. It cost $189,504. Its capital stock, which is $170,000, is owned by the Brown Lumber Company and the Boston & Lowell, the lessee of the Boston, Concord & Montreal.
BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD SYSTEM.
Main Line. From Boston, Mass., to Portland, Me., 115.5 miles, of which 36.75 are in Massachusetts, 34.75 in New Hampshire, and 44 in Maine. Branches : Medford 2 miles, Methuen 3.75 miles, and Great Falls 2.75 miles. Leased : Eastern of Massachusetts, Eastern New Hampshire, Portland, Saco & Portsmouth, Portsmouth, Great Falls & Conway, Wolfeborough, Chelsea Beach, Newburyport City, Portsmouth, Dover, Danvers, Newburyport, Lowell & Andover, West Amesbury, Dover & Winnipesaukee, Kennebunk & Kennebunkport, Worcester, Nashua & Rochester. The Portland & Rochester is also in reality a part of the Boston & Maine system.
History and Condition. This immense corporation,which last year operated 583 miles of road, on which are 959 miles of track, carried 17,022,587 passengers and 2,703,201 tons of freight, and earned $7,543,691.30,— had its origin in the Andover & Wilmington Railroad chartered in Massachusetts March 15, 1833. The extent of the earliest project was a branch from the Lowell Railroad in Wilmington to Andover, a distance of less than 8 miles. This was opened for travel in August, 1836. It was continued to Bradford in 1837. In 1845 the connection with the Lowell road was broken, and the road was extended to Haymarket Square in Boston.
A charter was obtained in this State in 1835, and the road from the Massachusetts line was opened to Exeter in 1840, to Dover September 1, 1841, and to Great Falls in July, 1843. Portland was reached in 1847 over the rails of the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth road, the Boston & Maine having united with the Eastern in leasing that road for 99 years at $90,000 a year. But the rival interests of the two Massachusetts corporations were a constant strain upon their union in the Portland, Saco & Portsmouth, and in 1871 the Eastern terminated the lease, paying
$100,000 for the privilege and taking sole control of the road. To this the Boston & Maine responded by extending its rails to Portland, and in 1873 first went to that city on its own iron.
The Dover & Winnipesaukee Railroad from Dover to Alton was leased by the Boston & Maine November 1, 1863, for fifty years at $29,000 per year, and its rolling stock was purchased by the lessor for $40,075. The road has ever since been a part of the Boston & Maine system. The Boston & Maine, which was the first to cross the Merrimack River, has long been one of the great and growing railroad corporations in New England. It has had great advantages, and improved them to the utmost. Its management has always been strong and successful, and was never more so than now. Its gross receipts trebled between 1862 and 1878, and again between 1878 and 1887. In 1869 the capital stock was increased from $4,155,700 to $4,555,000; in 1871 to $5,000,000, and in 1872 to $7,000,000.
The stock has always paid large dividends, ranging from 6 to 10, and averaging 8 per cent. It sells now for more than twice its par value. That portion of the main line which is in New Hampshire is very near a model. The road-bed, roadway, rails, ties, and fences can hardly be improved. The stations are not only (with one or two exceptions) roomy, convenient, and wholesome, but they are tastily painted and kept scrupulously neat. The bridges deserve commendation. It is one of the theories of the manager of this road that a railway bridge should not only be strong enough to carry the heaviest trains when upon the track, but that the flooring should be so near a solid mass of heavy timber, and so protected by guardrails, as to afford a safe roadway in case of a derailment, and every new bridge put upon the line is an approach to this standard.
The practice peculiar to this road of giving prizes to
station-agents for the best floral display upon the grounds in their charge has been continued, and has added many attractions to the route. The improvements last year included a new iron bridge near Exeter, a new turn-table at that place, and new side tracks at Dover.
WORCESTER, NASHUA & ROCHESTER RAILROAD.
Line. From Worcester, Mass., via Nashua to Rochester, 94.08 miles.
History and Condition.* “ The Worcester & Nashua Railroad was chartered in New Ilampshire in 1845 ; in Massachusetts in 1842. Consolidated with the Groton & Nashua road June 26, 1845. The latter road had been chartered by the New Hampshire Legislature December 24, 1844. The road was opened from Groton Junction to Clintonville July 1, 1848; from Clintonville to Worcester November 22, 1848; from Groton Junction to Nashua December 18, 1848. The capital stock, authorized in both States, was $2,100,000. The original cost of the Worcester & Nashua road, including equipment, was $1,425,235, which was increased from time to time to $2,543,921.02. On the completion of the Nashua & Rochester road in 1874, that road passed, by lease for fifty years, into the hands of the Worcester & Nashua road, on a guarantee of 6 per cent upon the stock and bonds. The former road had its origin in the Nashua & Epping Railroad, chartered December 29, 1848. The road was opened November 24, 1874, under a lease to the Worcester & Nashua for fifty years, at an annual rental of 6 per cent upon the cost of the road, which was $2,000,000, or $41,300 per mile. The capital stock paid in amounted to $1,305,800; of which $200,000 was taken by the Worcester & Nashua, $200,000 by the city of Nashua, and $100,000 by the Port
* Report of 1886.
land & Rochester Railroad. Bonds were issued to the amount of $700,000. The Worcester & Nashua and Nashua & Rochester were consolidated in 1883, under the title of the Worcester, Nashua & Rochester Railroad. Eight and ten per cent dividends were paid by the Worcester & Nashua until the earnings were absorbed by the Nashua & Rochester lease. Dividends were suspended in 1877, and resumed in 1881 at 3 per cent. March 22, 1879, the rate on the Nashua & Rochester stock was also reduced to 3 per cent by the consent of the lessor to a modification of the lease. On the 1st of May, 1886, the road passed, by a long lease, into the control of the Boston & Maine Railroad, and now constitutes the Worcester, Nashua & Portland division of that system.”
This road was in excellent condition when the present lessors obtained possession of it, and it has since felt the strengthening influence of their ample means and vigorous management. Road-bed, ties, roadway, and fences are all commendable. The track is being put in steel, though that portion of it now in iron is in good shape. The stations, with one exception, are remarkably neat, commodious, and attractive in all their arrangements and appointments. Most of them are provided with water and modern water-closets, and in this respect they excel those on any other line in the State. A largely increased business, a reduction of fares, and an improved train service have followed the change of ownership. One thousand five hundred and fifty tons of steel rails and 47,612 new ties were laid last year, and new side tracks were put in at Rochester, Gonic, New Epping, and Nashua.
DOVER & WINNIPESAUKEE RAILROAD.
Line. From Dover to Alton Bay, 29 miles.