"In the field" railroad history adventures...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

West River Trail - Brattleboro

Built in 1879, the West River Railroad was originally a narrow gauge that ran 36 miles linking the industrial communities of Brattleboro and Londonderry. It was later rebuilt to standard gauge but abandoned in 1936.

16 miles are now rail trails. I rode the short but scenic first 3 1/2 mile section out of Brattleboro.
Trail Head runs through a corn field
There is a slight detour up the riverbank hill to avoid construction on  the I-91 Bridge...
...but most of the rest of the trail is quite scenic
Peak upriver
Sections run a little further away from the riverbank
over slight embankments through marshy areas 

The first section ends at this road (ALL TOO SHORT!)
Apparently you could continue of this road for a few miles
to connect with the other section of the rail trail

Super Short One-Handed Riding Video

More Info

Did You Know?
New York’s Plaza Hotel was built from quarry brought from Dummerston on this rail line.

"Forgotten Rails" - The West River Railroad >
Great Video - Lots of History!

West River (Trail Link Info)

Abandoned Rails - The West River Railroad >

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Housatonic Rail Trail - Riding Video

Yes it's been ages since I posted here - I have been mountain biking instead (see Mountain Biking Blog) but today I had a really bad time on the mountain biking trails and opted finally to ride the rail trail across the river instead.
a.k.a. the Pequonnock River Valley
Heading south from the Whitney Ave parking lot - the weather was gorgeous (not too hot!) and there were quite a few people on the rail trail.

After a frustrating hour or so on the mountain biking trails across the river (details), riding the rail trail was super easy--even though I was on my mountain bike (rather than my much lighter road bike).

I took a one-handed video on my iPhone while bike riding! Normally when rail trail riding, I have a Canon camera that's easier to hold while riding with one hand but since I came straight from a mountain bike ride, I only had the iPhone. Thankfully it turned out OK!

Remnants of the old ice house are visible along the rail trail
This looks like an old carriage road that descended to the ice house
Right before your get to the Whitney parking lot ,
remnants of the Radcliffe Mill ruin are visible across the river
(Highlighted digitally)
Of all the Rail Trails I have ridden, this still is one of the most scenic!!