PARSONS VALE


PVRT route map

For a brief moment at the start of the 1900s, it seemed believable that the town of Parsons Vale (population 1030) was poised on the brink of greatness. After all, the PV&T had connected the town to Portland and Montréal, and the Ace & Acme Lumber Company had just been purchased by the Lincoln & Concord Railway as part of it’s plan to connect Parsons Vale and the rich lumberlands at the foot of the White Mountains to its Lincoln to Concord mainline. With these signs of greatness, a proposal to connect Parsons Vale to Concord by a direct interurban railway seemed like a sure bet. So, in 1909, the Parsons Vale Rapid Transit Company was formed to build an electric interurban railroad from Parsons Vale to Concord. Construction started soon thereafter, and the line was completed and saw its first passenger train in 1911.

As all of the other railroads into Parsons Vale discovered, there was no gold to be made in passengers. But, unlike the unfortunate L&C, the PVRT strengthened itself by courting online businesses and inking through traffic agreements with the PV&T, and, barring a few money-losing years during the great depression, settled into a steady profitable life.

When the LW&C was abandoned in 1936, the PRVT picked up three steeplecab locomotives, but otherwise didn’t change its initial locomotive roster until 1947, when it dealt with the damages caused by second world war traffic by converting the Parsons Vale to Concord mainline from 600VDC to 3000VDC. After this conversion, all PV&T bridge traffic was carried behind PV&T locomotives, while local traffic was carried behind engines 1018 and 980 (ex LW&C 21,22) which had been converted to 3000VDC. (The Laconia branch The Laconia branch was left at 600VDC, and engine 1040 was used to switch this branch until it was abandoned in 1961.)

After the war, local traffic was never extraordinarily healthy, and it eventually fell off to the point where, in 1955, only 1018 and 1040 were needed (980 was kept in reserve, but never saw service on the PVRT again.) In 1960, the Laconia branch lost its last customer. In 1964, 1018 was destroyed when the Merrimack river bridge collapsed under a gravel train, and by the time the span was replaced the remaining on-line shippers had converted to trucks. Since the PVRT wasn’t running any trains anymore, the management leased the railroad to the Parsons Vale Line for 999 years, then retired to the Carribean.

PVRT history

1911
First Parsons Vale Rapid Transit train from Concord.
1913
Laconia branch (Winnisquam to Laconia) opens.
1936
Engines 1040,1018,980 purchased from the PV&T.
1947
  • Parsons Vale to Concord reelectrified at 3000VDC.
  • PV&T starts running trains from Boston to Montréal via the PVRT.
1953
Last passenger train.
1961
Laconia branch abandoned.
1964
  • Merrimack bridge collapses, destroying 1018.
  • Last on-line customer stops shipping by rail.
1965
Leased to PV&T for 999 years.

All-time PVRT Roster

No. Type Builder Built Disposition
1-7 Passenger motor St Louis Car 1910 retired 1947
8-9 Baggage motor St Louis Car 1910 stored 1938,retired 1948
10-12 Boxcab Baldwin 1910 retired 1947
13 Rotary snowplow AC&F 1910 to PV&T M1006
14 caboose Montreal Carriage 1910 wrecked 1964
15 caboose Montreal Carriage 1910 stored 1964
1040 Steeplecab Baldwin 1937 from PV&T 280, to Seashore Trolley Museum 1961.
1018 Steeplecab Baldwin 1937 from PV&T 281, wrecked 1964
980 Steeplecab Baldwin 1937 PV&T 282, stored 1955
633 Boxcab American Car 1936 from Albany-Hudson Fast Line 30, stored 1948.
999 Passenger motor Brill 1947 stored 1955