Iron Roads of the Monadnock Region
By Bradford G. Blodget, Richard R. Richards Jr.
Softcover, 8x11", 256 pages,
over 700 images, maps, and tables. 2019.
"Railroads of Southwestern New Hampshire and North-Central Massachusetts.
"Today, the sounds of steam whistles and trains are no longer heard among the mountains and valleys in most of Cheshire County, New Hampshire, though to the west and south in the Connecticut Valley and in north-central Massachusetts, steel rails are still very much alive.
"Following on the first volume, Volume II describes the construction and operational histories of railroads built after the Civil War. Railroad building euphoria swept the Region as the communities those left behind by the earliest roads, desperately sought connection to the rail network. Chapters 10–16 cover the Worcester and Hillsborough, Manchester and Keene, Ashburnham, and Ware River roads, as well as street railways and little-known quarry roads.
"These volumes of Iron Roads of the Monadnock Region bring to life the story of now largely forgotten railroads that once operated in the area, shining new light on the their stories from their beginnings to the present, tracing high and low points, glory days, times of struggles, disasters, and wrecks. This little-known history of the roads is loaded with hard-to-find historical information, indexed, and copiously illustrated and enriched by rare and unpublished photos - all right here, an essential reference for the serious rail fan.
"Growing up in Worcester, Massachusetts, in the 1950s, author Brad Blodget could often be found on his bicycle, trackside along the Boston and Maine Railroad, watching trains. After graduating from the Worcester public schools, he received his BA in biology from Clark University and later earned an MS in wildlife biology from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He moved on to a career with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, most of it as State Ornithologist, before retiring in 2002. Soon after that, released from his professional career, a long-suppressed passion for railroad history exploded. He acquired the train symbol nickname "WX-1" for his frequent research trips between Worcester, Keene, New Hampshire, and Bellows Falls, Vermont. Brad, is an active member of the Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society and the Railroad Locomotive and Historical Society. He resides in Holden, Massachusetts. His first book, Marium Foster's Boston & Maine Railroad, appeared in 2011."