Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Lowell, Massachusetts is an old mill town northeast of Boston.  Much of the center of the city has been preserved and is now under the aegis of the NPS.  There are many interesting historical sites, a couple of which are railroad-related.  We chose to take the canal tour.

 The tour starts by transporting you about half a mile in this open car, a 1983 Gomaco product.  The operating crew are NPS employees.  There are several grade crossings in downtown Lowell, each one of which must be flagged.

 There's also this B&M 0-6-0 on display, nicely maintained, and a combine with various displays, but it wasn't open.

The canal tour is quite interesting.  We pass through one of the original locks, still operated by hand by more NPS employees.

 After that, we took another ride, this time on car 966 from New Orleans, one of the Perley Thomas types, most of which are still operating on the St. Charles line.  This one belongs to the Seashore museum, which operates part of the line as a satellite facility.  The crew on this car are Seashore members.

The 966 is running on standard gauge trucks, of course.  This car takes you from the visitor's center to one of the big mills and other museums.  There are lines radiating in three directions from a central wye in the middle of the city.

The right-of-way is nicely maintained.  I could go on about Lowell, but you should visit the town for yourself.  It's not that hard to find.  We plan to go back there again sometime to see more of it. 

1 comment:

Stephen Karlson said...

The Boston and Maine Railroad Historical Society maintain an archive, including lots of corporate records, at the nearby library of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

Ted Anderson of your car department has probably alerted museum members to its presence. Consider my post an advisory to rail enthusiasts more generally.