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Location DB > United States > Rhode Island > Portsmouth > Colony Line
Colony Line
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 Database Info
created by blitz on 10/31/2007 2:45 PM
last modified by blitz on 5/20/2008 2:24 PM
Publically Viewable Publically Viewable
This location has been labeled as Demolished, and therefore can be viewed by anyone.

 Basic Information
Type: Outdoors
Status: Demolished
Accessibility: Easy
Recommendation: check it out if you're nearby
 Physical Information

Portsmouth, Rhode Island
United States
 Interesting Features
There are a couple of empty rail cars lying around if you're into that sort of stuff.
 Security Measures
 Historical Dates
Built: 0
Closed: 0
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 Recommended Equipment

The earliest predecessor of the Old Colony system was the Granite Railway, in fact the first chartered railroad in Massachusetts (and one of the first railroads in the United States), incorporated in 1826 and opened soon after. This however did not become part of the Old Colony system until 1871, when the Old Colony and Newport Railroad bought it.

The first major part of the system was the Boston and Providence Railroad, incorporated in 1831 and opened in 1834 and 1835 between Boston and Providence. As with the Granite Railway, this line however did not fall under Old Colony control until rather late, when it was leased by the Old Colony in 1888.

The first railroad known as the Old Colony Railroad was incorporated April 13, 1838 to run from the end of the Taunton Branch Railroad - which ran from the Boston and Providence to Taunton - to New Bedford. This however was renamed as the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad on March 26, 1839, before construction began, and only became part of the Old Colony system in 1879, when the Old Colony leased the Boston, Clinton, Fitchburg and New Bedford Railroad into which it had been merged.

The true origin of the Old Colony system was the second Old Colony Railroad, incorporated March 16, 1844 and organized June 25. Construction began immediately, and the main line from South Boston to Plymouth opened on November 10, 1845.

The Fall River Branch Railroad was incorporated March 14, 1844, and construction began soon after, on a line from Myricks on the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad southwest to Fall River. The Randolph and Bridgewater Railroad was incorporated March 25, 1845 as a branch from the Old Colony at Braintree via Randolph to Bridgewater, and the Middleborough Railroad was incorporated the next day to continue that line past Bridgewater through Middleborough to Myricks, to form a continuous line to Fall River. The three companies were consolidated August 8, 1845 into the Fall River Railroad (confirmed April 16, 1846 by the legislature), and the whole line was opened December 16, 1846, having opened previously in 1845 between Myricks and Fall River.

The Old Colony Railroad and Fall River Railroad merged on March 25, 1854 (effected July 1), forming the Old Colony and Fall River Railroad, which owned a two-pronged line from Boston to Plymouth and Fall River, splitting at Braintree.

The Newport and Fall River Railroad was incorporated in May 1846, opening on February 25, 1864 as a continuation of the Fall River line to Newport, Rhode Island. Prior to its opening, it was merged into the Old Colony, forming the Old Colony and Newport Railroad in July 1863. Additionally, a new shorter line to Fall River and Newport was completed by the Dighton and Somerset Railroad in 1866.

The Cape Cod Branch Railroad was incorporated April 8, 1846 and organized in July as a branch of the Fall River Railroad at Middleborough onto Cape Cod, ending at Hyannis. The first section to Onset opened January 31, 1848, with the section to Sandwich opening in May 29, and the rest to Hyannis in 1854 (with steamboat service to Nantucket). The Cape Cod Central Railroad was incorporated May 28, 1861 as a branch of the Cape Cod Branch Railroad, running from Yarmouth east and northeast to Orleans, and opening in 1865. The two companies were consolidated May 1, 1868 into the Cape Cod Railroad, and the line was later extended to Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, opening July 23, 1873.

The Old Colony and Newport Railroad bought the Cape Cod Railroad on May 1, 1872, and the two companies were consolidated on October 1, forming a new Old Colony Railroad. This formed a system with three branches, the original two splitting at Braintree to Plymouth and Newport (extended from Fall River), and a third splitting from the Newport branch at Middleborough to Provincetown, with a branch via the original Cape Cod Branch Railroad to Hyannis. Numerous other branch lines were leased or owned by the company (see below).

In 1874, Old Colony founded the Martha's Vineyard Railroad, built across nine miles of sand on the island of Martha's Vineyard, running from the Oak Bluffs steamer wharf to Mattakeeset Lodge in Katama, Edgartown. The locomotive Active (later renamed the South Beach) was the sole operating train. This branch existed until 1896.[1]

On March 1, 1893 the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad leased the massive Old Colony system, which by then included the Boston and Providence Railroad and everything substantially east of it, as well as long branches northwest to Fitchburg and Lowell. Along with the lease of the New England Railroad in 1898, this gave the New Haven a virtual monopoly on rail transport in New England south of the Boston and Albany Railroad.

The NYNH&H merged into Penn Central in 1969, which was in turn merged into Conrail in 1976.

Except on the Boston and Providence (which is not usually considered part of the Old Colony system), passenger service was eliminated in 1959. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority restored service on the Plymouth/Kingston Line and Middleborough/Lakeville Line in the 1990s, and the Greenbush Line (part of the South Shore Branch) is planned to open in 2007.

(From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedi...ld_Colony_Railroad)
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May 2007
Wed, Oct 31st, 2007
posted by blitz
5 pictures
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Summer 2010
Sat, Dec 3rd, 2011
posted by Morbidskull
6 pictures
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Such a shame it's gone now
Sun, Jun 9th, 2013
posted by gimpcat
17 pictures

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This location's validation is current. It was last validated by Steed on 6/25/2014 9:24 AM.

 Latest Changes
  • on Jun 25 14 at 9:24, Steed validated this location
  • on Aug 3 13 at 12:51, gimpcat updated gallery Such a shame it's gone now
  • on Jun 9 13 at 20:24, gimpcat updated gallery Such a damn shame it's gone now
  • on Jun 9 13 at 20:22, gimpcat added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Jun 9 13 at 20:22, gimpcat added some pictures to a gallery
  • on Jun 9 13 at 20:20, gimpcat updated gallery Photos are a few years old
  • on Jun 9 13 at 20:18, gimpcat created a new gallery
  • on May 30 13 at 20:03, gimpcat created a new gallery
  • on Dec 10 11 at 12:38, Opheliaism validated this location
  • on Dec 3 11 at 16:50, Morbidskull added some pictures to a gallery
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