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 History of the Railroad

In 1846 Capt. Peter E. Hadley conceived the idea of a railroad from Manchester to Goffstown, and the following year the Goffstown and Manchester Railroad was incorporated, extending from Goffstown West Village to Manchester.

In 1848 the New Hampshire Central Railroad was incorporated, to extend from the city of Manchester through the towns of Bedford, Goffstown, Weare, Henniker, Bradford, Newbury, Wendell (now Sunapee), and Newport to Claremont.

The railroad was completed and cars ran to Riverdale in February, 1850. The following December, the line was opened to Henniker. This was only twenty-four years after the first railroad actually built in the United States was in operation. The original cost of the road was over one-half million dollars.

In 1853 it was consolidated with the Concord Railroad and became known as the North Weare Branch.

In 1858 the line was sold and reorganized as the Manchester & North Weare Railroad Company and rechartered by the legislature.

The spur to New Boston from Parker’s Station in Goffstown opened June 22, 1893.

On the 1st day of March, 1899, an act was passed by the legislature authorizing the Manchester Street Railway to extend and construct its railway to Goffstown Village. The road was formally opened July 24, 1900.

The line was severely damaged in a flood in 1936. Operation on the New Boston spur and everything beyond Goffstown ceased.

The covered bridge in downtown Goffstown burned on August 16, 1976.

Regular use of the line stopped in 1981.

A more detailed version of this history can be found here.


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