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73 minutes | Apr 27, 2022
High Green Episode 20: The Memories of Loyd MacNair, Part 2
n today’s episode of High Green, we continue the oral history memories of longtime employee Loyd MacNair, recorded October 1987. Additional topics of conversation include various incidents and wrecks, memories of firing steam locomotives and working with early diesels, railroad operations on the Connecticut River Line, and much more.
97 minutes | Feb 4, 2022
High Green Episode 19: The Memories of Loyd MacNair, Part 1
In today’s episode of High Green, we hear the oral history memories of longtime employee Loyd MacNair, recorded October 1987. MacNair describes the start of his B&M career as a fireman on the Conn River Line in the 1940s. Additional topics of conversation include firing stoker and hand-fired steam locomotives, the steam-to diesel-transition, the floods of 1955, recollections of various passenger and freight jobs, and many colorful stories of railroading on the Boston & Maine during this interesting period.
92 minutes | Jan 16, 2022
High Green Episode 18: "From Ashuelot to Ashes" with Scott Whitney
By 1982, the city of Keene, New Hampshire – once a rail major rail hub – had only one rail connection to the outside world left: the Boston & Maine's Ashuelot and Fort Hill Branches. Seeking to keep freight to the Elm City viable, the Boston & Maine leased these branches to the Green Mountain Railroad in 1982, who for just under two years provided the last gasp of revenue freight to the area. Join us as former GMRC employee Scott Whitney describes this colorful operation and his time as one of the last railroad employees to run freight to and from Keene.
76 minutes | Jan 4, 2022
High Green Episode 17: "Do You See What I See?" Milepost Archaeology w/ Ken Jackman
Have you ever noticed the granite and concrete mileposts lining rights of way on the Boston & Maine? As it turns out, these important artifacts have a fascinating story, as does their pursuit and documentation. Joining Andrew Riedl in this episode is teacher and Downeast Scenic Railroad volunteer Ken Jackman, who has made the documentation and research of railroad mileposts one of his railroad pursuits. Topics of discussion concern unique mileposts on various lines, what happens when a milepost “disappears”, and where you can look for them.
64 minutes | Dec 19, 2021
High Green Episode 16: Janet Shea, B&M Freight Agent
In this gem of an interview recorded by Brian Dame on September 6, 2001, we hear the story of Janet Shea (1928–2002). Janet worked as a freight agent for the Boston & Maine from 1945 to 1987 and talks of her career working nearly every station on the B&M’s Conway Branch, from Dover to North Conway.
48 minutes | Dec 12, 2021
High Green Episode 15: Jesse Mazzie, Part 2
In the conclusion of our interview with Jesse Mazzie. Topics of discussion include his work with the new England Southern Railroad on the former B&M White Mountain branch, the nature of freight rail today and the possibilities the former B&M might hold for future rail prospects, and the legacy of the B&M and its impacts, both for the railroad and railfan worlds.
72 minutes | Nov 26, 2021
High Green Episode 14: Jesse Mazzie, Part 1
For many younger people today, the Boston & Maine Railroad is "gone but not forgotten" — the railroad and its legacy influence our lives in many ways. Jesse Mazzie of Danvers, Massachusetts grew up alongside the former Boston & Maine Newburyport Branch, instilling in him a love for railroading. That love for railroading, and later the Boston & Maine, has followed him through his life, both as an enthusiast and eventually in a part-time freight railroading career on former B&M trackage. In part one of this interview, we talk to Jesse about the B&M, the Maine Central, and logging railroads of New Hampshire; his connections to the Wolfeboro Railroad; and his involvement in the motorcar enthusiast world and the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club.
43 minutes | Oct 9, 2021
High Green Episode 13: The Suncook Valley Railroad with Skip Clark (March 17, 1974)
The ever-popular Suncook Valley Railroad was perhaps New Hampshire’s quintessential steam-era shortline railroad. Constructed between 1869 and 1889 (and operated by the Boston & Maine from 1895 to 1924) the Suncook Valley Railroad again became an independent entity in 1924. From then until its abandonment in 1952, the route of the “Blueberry Express” became famous for bucolic scenery, mixed freight and passenger trains, and its dawdling trek into the deepest reaches of rural New Hampshire. For a time the Suncook Valley Railroad had its own historical society, and in today’s episode, we listen to its March 17, 1974 meeting. Well-known railroad enthusiast Norton D. “Skip” Clark (Sept. 23, 1932 – Mar. 15, 1992) describes his memories of the charming yankee shortline. We would like to dedicate this episode to the late Brent S. Michiels (April 26, 1948 – March 7, 2021) of Suncook who tape-recorded this 1974 meeting for us to enjoy forever.
42 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
High Green Episode 12: Bruce Davison, Part 2
In Part 2 of our interview with Bruce Davison, we continue to follow his shortline railroading career with the Wolfeboro Railroad’s Central Division, operating 1976 and 1977 on the state of New Hampshire-owned White Mountain Branch between Concord and Lincoln. Bruce also discusses his time with the New England Southern Railroad (July 1985 to December 8, 1994) operating on the White Mountain Branch as well as leased portions of the B&M-owned NH Division Mainline between Concord and Manchester, and the B&M-owned Northern Mainline to Penacook and Andover.
57 minutes | Aug 20, 2021
High Green Episode 11: Bruce Davison, Part 1
As the Boston & Maine Railroad sought to shed its lesser profitable lines, several shortline railroad companies were formed to pick up the slack. One such famed shortline was the Claremont & Concord Railway, whose territory included both the former B&M Claremont Branch and the Claremont Electric Railway's industrial trackage weaving through the streets of Claremont. We are joined by well-known railroad historian, enthusiast, and former railroader Bruce Davison who got his first taste of railroading on the C&C in the 1970s. Part 2 of this episode will include Bruce's recollections working for two other shortlines on former B&M trackage, the Wolfeboro Railroad Central Division, and the New England Southern Railroad.
58 minutes | May 9, 2021
High Green Episode 10: Bill Fletcher Interview, 1976
In today’s episode of High Green we hear a taped interview from 1976 in which well-known railroad enthusiasts Dana D. Goodwin and H. Arnold Wilder speak with former Boston & Maine fireman Bill Fletcher. Fletcher hired on with the Boston & Maine in 1910, working with the railroad until 1927. Topics of conversation include the Vermont & Massachusetts Railroad, Alvah Crocker, the Cheshire Railroad, the Stony Brook, and the perils of the early days of railroading.
97 minutes | Apr 11, 2021
High Green Episode 9: Brian Dame on the Wolfeboro Railroad
In the early 1970s, Donald Hallock of the Strasburg Railroad endeavored to start a tourist and freight railroad on the 12-mile Wolfeboro Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad. In doing so, he helped start a beloved institution wherein many railroaders cut their teeth. One such railroader was Brian Dame of Rochester, whose close affiliation with railroading began on the Wolfeboro; both at the operation in Wolfeboro and with the short-lived passenger and freight “Central Division” operating on the state-owned line between Concord and Lincoln. Follow along as Brian talks the people, equipment and stories of the gone, but not forgotten, Wolfeboro Railroad.
74 minutes | Mar 28, 2021
High Green Episode 8: Robert Willoughby Jones
Robert Willoughby Jones' three-volume series on the Boston & Maine, "Three Colorful Decades of New England Railroading" (1991), "City and Shore" (1999) and "Forest, River and Mountain" (2000) rank among the most informative, best illustrated and well-received books ever published on the B&M. In this episode we are joined by Mr. Jones as we discuss his own memories of the Boston & Maine, the story behind his books, and some of the interesting historical anecdotes he discovered while researching.
58 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
High Green Episode 7: Russell F. Munroe, Jr.
In this episode of High Green we interview longtime B&MRRHS member, former B&M employee and prolific railroad photographer Russell F. Munroe, Jr. Born on June 28, 1932, Russell was fascinated with trains at a young age and took his first photograph in and soon became one of the most recognized railroad photographers in New England. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1953-1954 and working in a machine shop, Russell hired out on the Boston & Maine in 1968, initially working freight. Some of his early freight jobs included including switchers in East Somerville and Lawrence, the North Conway local freight, and road freights up the Northern Mainline to White River Junction, VT. After an injury he transferred to passenger service and retired in 1998 after 30 years. Listen along as Russell recounts his long history with railroading, and some of the more colorful memories of his career!
54 minutes | Feb 14, 2021
High Green Episode 6: Reviving an "American Flyer"
In this episode, Adam Brower and Gerard Jewels of the Twin Forks Chapter NRHS (Riverhead, NY) discuss the restoration of their former B&M Osgood-Bradley "American Flyer" coach, #4590, which was sold to the Long Island Railroad in the late 1950s.
88 minutes | Feb 5, 2021
High Green Episode 5: Mager Greenough Interview, 1988
In this episode we feature an interview from 1988 conducted by B&MRRHS member Richard W. Symmes with retired conductor Mager Greenough, who worked for the Boston & Maine for 43 years starting in 1941. His stories focus mostly on his experiences working the Eastern Route between Boston, Salem, Portsmouth and Portland. Along the way Mager describes in great detail the life, humor, and everyday experiences of the railroad man during this last golden period of the B&M.
51 minutes | Jan 24, 2021
High Green Episode 4: On the Trail of the B&M
In this episode of High Green, B&MRRHS member and Online Committee member Andrew Riedl interviews author Charles Martin, whose book “New Hampshire Rail Trails” is a comprehensive guide to the railroad history and modern aspects of some of the B&M’s former rail lines.
39 minutes | Jan 17, 2021
High Green Episode 3: The Young Guns
The Boston & Maine ceased to be an independent corporation nearly forty years ago - but that isn't stopping a new generation of avid railfans, preservationists, modelers and explorers from keeping its history alive. We introduce the members of our online committee, and discuss the ways that this younger group is doing just that.
53 minutes | Jan 10, 2021
High Green Episode 2: Conn River Conversation
In this episode we talk to Mike Bump, an engineer for Pan Am Railways who grew up in Claremont, NH along the busy Conn River Line in the 1970s and 1980s. As a young railfan, Mike chased and tape recorded the nearly constant action on the Conn River, allowing us to close our eyes and travel back in time. Listen along as the sounds of 100+ car Boston & Maine and Central Vermont freights come alive!
44 minutes | Dec 17, 2020
High Green Episode 1: Rebirth of #1228
For the past 30 years, former Boston & Maine 1228 has been sitting in storage, owned by the Milford Bennington Railroad of New Hampshire. Now there is a plan - spearheaded by M-B employee Reuven Grehan - to restore the classic 1953 EMD SW-9 diesel locomotive for functional freight service on the M-B. Learn how that will become a reality, with a little help from volunteers like Zach Knutsen and Neil Rousseau - and how you can join the effort!
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