Map from 1895 showing the Portsmouth Branch of the B&M which ran
from Portsmouth to Manchester.
The Portsmouth branch is the East-West line running between Manchester in the green on the left and Portsmouth on the right.
1918 Portsmouth Branch timetable.
One of the most interesting of the remains of the Portsmouth Branch is the
Rockingham Junction Station. This picture was taken in the summer of 2002.
The now abandoned portion of the Portsmouth Branch would have passed between the photographer in the above picture and the station. The tracks to the right of the station are the present Western Route which carries freight to and from Maine and also hosts the DownEaster.
Click here for a picture gallery of Rockingham Junction taken in the summer of 2002
Here is a picture gallery from fall 2004 - Junction Station now up for sale.
The Portsmouth Branch went through the following towns..
(East to West)
* = Still in use as of mid 2004
* = No longer in use, tracks torn up as of early 80's.
Lost Railroads of New England lists the abandonment date from East Manchester to Rockingham Jct as 1982 as distance of about 27 miles.
According to Steelways of New England. The Portsmouth Branch began it's life as a line from Portsmouth to Concord in 1852. In 1861 the main track between Suncook and Candia was taken up and the line relaid along it's present route to Manchester where connected with the M&L on the West side of Manchester.
Surprisingly for a 40 mile branch line there aren't more towns.
Fortunately there is a group trying to preserve the station. Below is a link to their site.
Rockingham Junction Revitalization Project