The last passenger train departed Keene, New Hampshire nearly
sixty-five years ago and all of the railroad branch lines that once
threaded their way through the river valleys and rugged hill country of
the Monadnock Region felt their last trains almost forty years ago.
Today, the old roadbeds that were once busy arteries of daily life and
commerce, resonant with the sounds of trains, are quiet places but for
the wind and the calls of birds. While a fascination with the region's
railroad past is almost tangible, the importance of railroads to the
region from the 1840's through the mid-twentieth century is just
unimaginable to most people today. In Iron Roads of the Monadnock Region Volumes
I and II, the authors presented the rich history of the formation and
operation of the Region's railroads from their glory years to their
abandonment, enriched by over 700 images, maps, and tables.
Iron Roads Volume III is a pictorial, carefully
prepared to complement and enrich the first two volumes. Thumbnail
historical reviews of the railroads discussed in the two earlier volumes
are included, as well as yet another 300 images (ninety-seven in
color). Selected pictures--the work of numerous photographers--represent
mostly newly-discovered, unpublished material, rich in historic
landscapes, railroad action, and people. An expanded look at the sole
remaining major line--the former Vermont & Massachusetts
Railroad--that runs across the southern edge of the Region is included.
Since Volumes I-III are intended to be an integrated work, Volume III
also contains both an errata and addenda for the first two volumes and a
consolidated index for all three volumes.
The remains of abandoned railroads, slowly fading away, grow fewer by
the year. Many former railroad structures and landscapes are scarcely
recognizable at all today. Images in Iron Roads bring "railroad
days" in the Monadnock Region back to life and come as close as possible
to transporting the reader back to those days.
Iron Roads is a ticket-to-ride. All aboard!