Facebook Page

The Silver Lake Railroad Trip 6/23/2015

by Chris Guenzler

Robin and I pulled into the Silver Lake Railroad parking lot and saw something coming down the rails towards us.

The Silver Lake Railroad motor car was returning from a trip out on the railroad. When he stopped, I introduced myself and told him I was going to write a story about his railroad. Being pressed for time and having to take some other people back, he agreed to take Robin and I out on the railroad for a three mile ride north. While he talked with his other guests, we started to take our pictures.

Silver Lake Railroad History

Founded and owned by Neil Underwood, Silver Lake Railroad opened on July 7, 2007 operating from Madison Station (aka Silver Lake Depot) in the town of Madison. This station was a stop for the Boston and Maine Railroad from 1872 until passenger service ended on the line in 1961. The station has been restored over the period from 2002 to 2007 and much of its original features are intact. The original order boards and stationmaster office were undisturbed, as well as the interior of the station (now housing the Silver Lake post office), which displays its original varnished woodwork.

Silver Lake Railroad's rolling and display

1917 H. K. Porter, Inc 0-4-0 steam engine, Plymouth 24-ton locomotive, Vulcan 10-ton locomotive, 30 inch gauge Plymouth locomotive, mid-size Plymouth locomotive, Fairmont A8 Gang Car, three Fairmont A6 gang cars (used for power cars), Fairmont S2 railcar, Fairmont railcar converted to small trolley, and three 24-foot open passenger cars. There are Boston and Maine and Union Pacific baggage carts and a 1941 Sterling Diner.


The railroad operates on the historic Conway Branch (abandoned in October 1972), travelling northward past a chain of ponds in Madison, New Hampshire. Rides are approximately 40 minutes, aboard two 24-foot-long open-air passenger cars powered by a Fairmont A6 railcar. The line passes a series of lily ponds and beaver ponds which have beaver huts and dams in them. Scenery includes the Mt. Washington Valley and views of the White Mountains. Wildlife that can be seen along the line include but are not limited to moose, bears, deer and birds. Silver Lake Railroad is open weekends only, July through October, weather permitting.

Our Visit

Dragon Cement Company JLA2 10 ton switcher 3, nee Lawrence Portland Cement 3, built by Plymouth in 1929.

24 ton switcher 382 built by Plymouth.

Crotch Island 0-4-2T 2 built by H.K. Porter in 1917. It is a former granite hauling locomotive from one of the Maine islands. The engine ended up on display in Freeport, Maine at the Freeport Trading Post. It was sold to Ed Gilbert in New Hampshire in the late 1990;s and went into his collection, which included lots of former Edaville equipment. At some point, it was part of the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington collection then left before 2000, moved to Beaver Brook Farm in Hollis, New Hampshire and lastly to Madison.

Flagg Rail Corp 10 ton switcher 5 built by Vulcan that was part of the Edaville Railroad.

Open air passenger cars.

Maine Central speeder 564.

The two open air passenger cars used on this railroad.

Boston & Maine speeder 1551 which we boarded for our trip this late afternoon. Sit back and enjoy a trip on the Silver Lake Railroad.

What a beautiful trip on the Silver Lakes Railroad. We will continue down the railroad in the second part of this story.

Click here for Part 2 of this story!