Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad

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The Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad was a railroad based in northwestern Massachusetts. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_0

It was chartered in 1842 and was purchased by the Western Railroad of Massachusetts before construction was finished in 1846, then acquired by the Boston and Albany Railroad in 1870, only to face a gradual demise between the 1960s and 1990. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_1

It ran 18.539 mi (29.836 km) from North Adams Junction in Pittsfield to North Adams, where it connected to the Troy and Greenfield Railroad, an affiliate of the Fitchburg Railroad. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_2

History Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_section_0

The Pittsfield and North Adams was incorporated on March 3, 1842, by special act of the State of Massachusetts. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_3

The original owners of the P&NA developed this corridor with the goal of extending the Housatonic Railroad north to Rutland, Vermont. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_4

It was organized December 18, 1845 and opened for operation on December 1, 1846. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_5

Before the tracks were under construction, the company was acquired by the Western Railroad of Massachusetts, which allowed the Housatonic to use the line until the Western Railroad became part of the Boston and Albany Railroad (B&A) on November 2, 1870, as their North Adams Branch. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_6

Mineral traffic developed on the line and a number of limestone operations went into business. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_7

The New York Central Railroad took over the B&A in 1900, and upgraded the line, although it allowed the B&A and its branches to operate under its old name. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_8

Brochures and schedules of the New York Central made the North Adams Branch seem as if it were a segment of the Harlem Division, despite the fact that the aforementioned line terminated at Chatham Union Station in New York. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_9

Some brochures with this extension actually pre-date the purchase of the B&A by NYC. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_10

In 1961, the B&A name was officially phased out, making the North Adams Branch into a branch of the NYC. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_11

Along with the rest of the New York Central, the line was merged with the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1968 to form Penn Central Railroad, which faced bankruptcy within two years. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_12

Penn Central was bought out by Conrail in 1976, and kept the North Adams Branch intact, until they sold the branch to the Boston and Maine Corporation in 1981. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_13

Despite the connection to an existing track in North Adams, Boston and Maine ran the line with declining success. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_14

The 1983 purchase of B&M by Guilford Transportation Industries had no effect on the line, so it was abandoned in 1990. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_15

Seeing the potential for recreational use of the corridor, local citizens organized to preserve the right-of-way, eventually gaining the local and political support needed to convert much of the line into the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_16

Surviving structures along this branch include former stations in Cheshire, Adams, and North Adams. Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_17

Station list Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_section_1

The entire line was in Berkshire County, Massachusetts Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad_sentence_18


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pittsfield and North Adams Railroad.