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The Silver Lakes Railroad Trip 6/23/2015

by Chris Guenzler

We 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 2002-2007, 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 (7.3 m) 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), traveling 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

A Dragon Cement Company Plymouth switcher 3.

Mid size Plymouth locomotive 382.

1917 H. K. Porter, Inc 0-4-0 steam engine.

Flagg Rail Corp Vulcan switcher 5.

Open air passenger cars used on this unique railroad.

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!