Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad
|Headquarters||Lincoln, New Hampshire|
|Dates of operation||1986–present|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8+1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge|
Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad
The Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad is a class III shortline railroad operating on the Concord-Lincoln rail line in central New Hampshire, United States. The railroad consists of two distinct passenger operations, the Hobo Railroad, which offers passenger excursion trains in the White Mountains, and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, which operates passenger excursion trains along the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. In addition to passenger operations, the railroad owns the Lincoln Shops, a railroad equipment maintenance and repair facility located in Lincoln, New Hampshire.
In 1986 the Plymouth and Lincoln Railroad was formed with the purpose of operating a theme park and railroad out of Lincoln, New Hampshire. Edward Clark and his wife Brenda Reynolds Clark were the owners. Trains have been operating since then between Lincoln and Woodstock, a distance of 7 miles (11 km).
After a few years of operating the railroad in Lincoln under the "Hobo Railroad" name, the railroad was invited to bid on the lease for the state-owned trackage from Tilton to Plymouth. They won the bid, and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad was formed, with trains running from Meredith to Lakeport, with a stop in Weirs Beach.
The railroad now holds the passenger rights on the entire state of New Hampshire-owned track running from Tilton to Lincoln, a total of 54 miles (87 km). This additional mileage allows the operation of many special excursion trains. The state owns another 19 miles (31 km) of track from Tilton to Concord, which is used by the New England Southern Railroad for freight customers.
Edward Clark, founder of the railroad, died in the summer of 1998. Benjamin, his only son, assumed the post of President and promoted the business heavily.
The Lincoln Shops
From the mid-1990s, the Lincoln Shops have grown to be a major source of off-season revenue through its refurbishing and repair of numerous pieces of customer railroad equipment. Two Russell snowplows and some subway tampers were rebuilt for the MBTA. The privately owned ex-New Haven Railroad Roger Williams was in for major restoration to like-new condition, along with four or five caboose repaintings. The company's reputation increased the demand for the facility enough to make the business a 12-month operation. 2005 brought the three-car set of the Flying Yankee, under restoration, to the Lincoln Shops for completion.
The railroad has some of the most diverse and scenic fall foliage trains in New England, whether lakeside or on a journey along the Pemigewasset River to the mountains. Since 2003 the railroad has promoted heavily this important season for tourism. It also benefits from its 1+1⁄2-hour travel time from Boston. Bus groups, sometimes eight per day, converge in Meredith in the fall due to the town's location and to the offering of a full roast turkey dinner on the train catered by Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant, also located in Meredith.
In winter 2005, the "Believe in Books Literacy Foundation" contracted with the railroad to provide a "Polar Express" out of Lincoln, to supplement the growing demand from the North Conway operation run by the Conway Scenic Railroad. The Tom Hanks movie of the same name was released in the 2004/2005 season, sparking even further interest.
Three ALCO S1 switchers (two currently out of service; one switcher is from the Portland Terminal Company and two are from the Maine Central Railroad), an ALCO S3 switcher from the Boston and Maine Railroad, 2 EMD SW1000's, 1 EMD SW1001, and a former Rock Island Railroad EMD GP7 provide the motive power for the two railroads. Four former Erie Lackawanna Railroad cars and six former Budd RDCs from the MBTA in Boston comprise the railroad cars that they use for operations.
The Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad provides passenger service to the following stations:
|Silver Lake Road||Lochmere||No||N/A||NEGS moves only|
|Laconia Station||Laconia||No||C 27.59||N/A||Special events only|
|Lakeport Freight House||Lakeport (Laconia)||No||C 29.04||N/A||Special events and charters only|
|Lakeport Engine House||Lakeport (Laconia)||Yes||C 29.33||WSRR||Southern terminus for regular service (WSRR); no loading or unloading passengers; no station facilities|
|South Down Shores||Laconia||No||C 31.01||WSRR||Flag stop for South Down Shores Housing Community (WSRR)|
|Weirs Beach Station||Weirs Beach||Yes||C 33.77||WSRR||Regular service stop (WSRR)|
|Meredith Station||Meredith||Yes||C 37.65||WSRR||Regular service stop; northern terminus for regular service (WSRR)|
|Ashland Station||Ashland||Yes||C 45.78||WSRR||Limited service stop (WSRR); fall foliage tours only|
|Plymouth Station||Plymouth||No||C 51.26||N/A||Special events and charters only|
|Common Man Inn||Plymouth||Yes||P 0.87||WSRR||Limited service stop (WSRR); fall foliage tours only|
|Jack O'Lantern Resort||Woodstock||Yes||P 14.90||HRR||Southern terminus for regular service (HRR); no loading or unloading passengers; no station facilities|
|Hobo Junction||Lincoln||Yes||P 21.21||HRR||Regular service stop; northern terminus for regular service (HRR); Plymouth & Lincoln Railroad corporate headquarters|
|Locomotive||Type||Builder||Build date||Status||Former railroad service||Usage||Notes|
|958||S1||Alco||1949||Operational||ex. Maine Coast, exx. Maine Central||Currently main power for the Lincoln trains||Bought by the Hobo in 2003, this locomotive has pretty much never left the Hobo, except for events in Meredith such as the Capital Limited.|
|959||S1||Alco||1949||Out of service||ex. Maine Central||Currently out of service in Lakeport awaiting new wheel bearings||Bought by Hobo in 1999; used to be Winnipesaukee secondary backup. Last ran 2013 for the Foliage Train.|
|1008||S1||Alco||1949||Out of service||ex. Portland Terminal||Currently out of service in Lakeport awaiting major fixes||Second engine bought by Hobo in 1990; used to be main power for Winnipesaukee trains until suffering major problems during a train ride and came into Meredith in smoke.|
|1186 (Edward Clark)||S3||Alco||1949||Operational||ex. Wolfeboro RR, exx. Otter Valley RR, exxx. Boston and Maine||Currently third backup power for Lincoln trains||First engine bought by Hobo in 1986; used to be main power for the Lincoln trains until 958 arrived in 2003|
|1012||SW1000||EMD||1970||Operational||ex. Burlington Northern||Currently main power for the Winnipesaukee trains||Replacement for 1008 in 2014, not owned by Hobo; moved to Hobo in the winter for the Santa Trains|
|1590||SW1001||EMD||1973||Operational||ex. Norfolk Southern, exx. Conrail. exxx. Reading||Currently backup power for Hobo; moved to Winnipesaukee operation each fall||This locomotive was purchased in 2011, although not arriving until 2016. Most likely to see at special events.|
|1921||GP9||EMD||1957||Out of service||ex. MBTA, exx. Burlington Northern, exxx. Great Northern||Privately owned; currently out of service||This locomotive was drained in September of 2019, making it out of service. It is currently unknown when this unit will return to operation.|
|302||GP7||EMD||1950||Operational||ex. New England Southern, exx. Rock Island||Currently main backup power for the Winnipesaukee trains||This locomotive is operational but rarely runs.|
|2||44-Ton||GE||Out of service||ex. US Army, exx Wolfeboro, exxx Goodwin, exxxx North Stratford, exxxxx NEGS||Currently out of service in Lakeport||Originally built for the US Army Railroad, this switcher was sold to the state of New Hampshire in 1976 and was used by the Wolfeboro, Goodwin and North Stratford railroads and New England Southern. Sold to the Hobo Railroad in 1992, the engine has been out of service since the late 1990s.|
|105||SW1000||EMD||1971||Operational||ex. New Orleans Public Belt||Currently 2nd back-up for Lincoln trains.||Built in August of 1971, former 1001 spent the past years working in Louisiana until making its way to Lincoln in August 2020.|
|Car number||Car name||Type||Builder||Build date||Class||Status||Former railroad service||Usage|
|1001||"Deer Park"||Erie Lackawanna MU||Pullman Company||c.1920||Table coach/dining||Operational||ex. Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western 3562||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|1002||"Alpine"||Erie Lackawanna MU||Pullman Company||c.1920||Table coach/dining||Operational||ex. Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western 4617||Hobo Railroad|
|1003||"Waukewan"||Erie Lackawanna MU||Pullman Company||c.1920||Table coach/dining||Operational||ex. Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western 3538||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|1004||"Mountain View"||Erie Lackawanna MU||Pullman Company||c.1930||Table coach/dining||Operational||ex. Delaware, Lackawanna, & Western 2625||Hobo Railroad|
|103||"Determination"||Parlor car||Pullman Company||1954||Presidential class||Operational||ex. Bangor & Aroostook 103||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|1642||"Cold Harbor"||Parlor car||Pullman Company||Unknown||First class||Operational||ex. New York Central 1642||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|6148||"Fairview"||RDC-1||Budd Company||1955||Table coach||Operational||ex. B&M, MBTA 6148||Hobo Railroad|
|6105||"Winona"||RDC-1||Budd Company||1953||Coach||Operational||ex. B&M, MBTA 6105||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|6921||"Winnisquam"||RDC-9||Budd Company||1956||Coach||Operational||ex. B&M, MBTA 6921||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|9151||No name||RDC-1||Budd Company||1962||Coach||Operational||ex. Reading 9151, MBTA 51||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
|9154||"Mountain Park"||RDC-1||Budd Company||1962||Coach||Operational||ex. Reading 9154, MBTA 56||Hobo Railroad|
|9159||"Ice Cream Car"||RDC-1||Budd Company||1962||Table coach||Operational||ex. Reading 9159, MBTA 59||Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad|
- "Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad". www.hoborr.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- "New England Southern & Granite State Railroad". New England Southern.
- Kenson, George (December 2017). "History of the Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroads". www.hoborr.com. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
- Keenan, Bob (August 9, 2019). "Roger Williams at Hobo Junction (Lincoln NH)". Railroad Picture Archives.
- "Concord would love to see the Flying Yankee train return here – at least, if it's free". Concord Monitor.
- "New England Southern Railroad", Wikipedia, 2020-05-12, retrieved 2020-07-23
- Kenson, George. "Hobo Railroad Equipment Roster". Hobo & Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad.