addition surviving roundhouses and turntables were altered to accommodate the diesel engine’s greater length. The fact that the line still transported considerable freight is reflected in the sizes of the sidings at the various stations in the late 1940s. The siding at Potter Place held 50 cars; Franklin’s siding had a capacity of 85 cars; Halycon’s held 95; Gale could hold 88; Grafton’s capacity was 117 cars and Canaan had one siding holding 85 cars with two more holding 18 each.54 Over the years, railroad grade crossings continued to be of concern. In 1957 two railroad grade crossings on NH Route 11 at Potter Place and NH Rt. 4 at West Andover were eliminated by 3.51 miles ofnew roadway and four bridges in Andover.55 A new traffic control system was installed on the line in the late 1950s. No longer was it necessary to stop to throw switches. These functions were now handled by an operator or dispatcher at a remote control station many miles away. By reducing the time required to get opposing trains out of the way, track capacity was also increased. The Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) was placed in service beginning in May 1958 and occurred in three phases – from Concord to Halcyon, Halcyon to Cardigan and Cardigan to Westboro. A hotbox detector was later installed at Danbury to monitor axle, wheel and brake temperatures. Telephones were located in stations, freight houses and in green-and-white striped phoneboxes along the right-of-way. 56

Former passenger stations began disappearing. In 1950 the former Cardigan depot (figure 31) was moved to Danbury (figure 28) to replace an aging station that was torn down. The Grafton depot (figures 29-30) was torn down in 1953, leaving Grafton a flag stop. The Enfield station (figure 42, photo 345, photo log pg. 59) was sold to the Lakeside Grange and to a local fuel oil dealer who converted it to a garage with overhead doors. It now houses the ambulance squad. The Town of Enfield bought the former Hood Creamery (photo 344, photo log pg. 59) in 1961.The Westboro Station (photos 429-430, photo log pg. 70, figure 52-53) was sold to an American Legion Post which moved it away from the tracks and onto the street. The station at Pattee (figure 39) was sold to a local feed store but gradually deteriorated and fell down by itself. The Canaan station was sold to a conductor who turned it into a Laundromat; a second story apartment was later added (photo 297, photo log pg. 52). The Franklin station served as a used furniture store for a time but later suffered a fire.57 In 1965 the former

Lebanon depot was razed to make way for an A & P grocery store. A small station was built to replace itwhich was also later moved away. A few years after the 1964 downtown fire in Lebanon in 1964 the streets were reconfigured near the station and the overpass bridge was altered to its present appearance (photo 397, photo log pg. 66).

In 1961 two passenger trains a day stopped at Franklin and Lebanon as well as at Potter Place, Canaan, and Enfield on demand. The last scheduled passenger train between Concord and White River Junction ran on January 3, 1965, leaving only two freight trains a day using the tracks. On April 13, 1975 the American Freedom Train traveled through as part of the nation’s bicentennial celebration. In the late 1970s the line was operating on a service-as-needed basis and the Westboro station was abandoned. In May 1982 after a train derailment in Brattleboro, Vermont, freight trains were temporarily detoured onto

NEXT PAGE    PREVIOUS PAGE


 

54. A green-and-white striped phone box (replica?) is still visible today near the Potter Place Depot.
55. Stearns, 26.