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Telling the story of 200 years  of White Mountain History
                       Rocky Branch Railroad

THE   ROCKY   BRANCH   RAILROAD -  CONWAY   COMPANY

1908-1914

 

A sawmill as large as the Conway Company operation in Conway, NH, consuming thirty million board feet annually, required a consistent supply of saw logs. Large acreages of timberland were acquired in the mountainous region of Jackson, NH, and in 1907 work began on construction of a logging railroad up into the remote valley drained by the Rocky Branch River.

Rocky Branch Railroad

        Rocky Branch Railroad, Conway Lumber Co.1908-13
                           Click on map for a larger image

Logging activity didn’t commence until the winter of 1908-09, and logs began to roll down the steep grades to the junction with the Maine Central Railroad at Glen. The grades were steep on the upper end of the twelve mile line, averaging 7.5 % on the last five miles with a grade on one section close to 9 %. Two geared 50 and 57 ton Cilmax locomotives were used to surmount the steep hills.

 

The first seven miles of the Rocky Branch Railroad were normally operated by Maine Central RR engines, hauling the loaded log cars from the Storehouse location down to the siding on the Maine Central, just west of the Glen station. About twenty-four cars loaded with sixty foot logs would be gathered at The Storehouse for each trainload. The two Climax locomotives operated the steep upper portion. From Glen the log cars were taken over the Maine Central tracks and then the Boston and Maine line to the Conway Company mill.


                Glen Station with Log Loading Decks

The Rocky Branch watershed was plagued by fires during the period 1912-1914 which brought an end to railroading in the valley. The rails were removed in the fall of 1914.

        Click here for photos of the Rocky Branch Railroad

          Bill Gove's Composite  Logging Railroad Map                     
                    


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