Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club

Established in 1992
NARCOA Affiliate since 2014

LEGAL NOTICE: Operation of railway equipment, including motorcars, is governed by Federal, State and Railroad authorities. All rail property is owned by someone.  Operation of any equipment on or around railroad property is only permitted with permission of the property owner or leasor.  CVRTC will assist local, State, and Federal authorities in prosecuting illegal operators of railway equipment. 

The Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club is an association of railway motorcar enthusiasts dedicated to preserving motorcar history and right-of-way maintenance through active operation and stewardship.
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About CVRTC Safety Events Calendar Trail News Membership
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CVRTC Christmas Wish Come True!

(December 30, 2022)

The State of New Hampshire contractor has begun work on the roof at Fernald Station! The old shingles (what was left of them!) are removed and they have begun to install the new roof decking. Work should commeence after the New Year holiday as weather permits. All the original gingerbread will be painted and affixed.

(R. Libby Photo) (SPM)

Last CVRTC Meeting for 2022 Goes Out with Flurry of Activity

(November 19, 2022)

There were several activities going on at once for the last meeting of 2022. The roof of the engine house got a temporary repair to seal some leaks for the winter. The Club worked in concert with the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Committee on the west end to clear the causeways of all the brush cut during the summer. Special, special thanks to 25 volunteers that made it happen! CVRTC members Aaron, Allen and James provided transportation with two motorcars and a large push cart. The volunteers also built two wildlife habitats near the lakefront. Thanks to Lovering Tree Care for chipping the brush pile on Sandbox Rd. Simultaneously other Club members were down at Clark Rd completing the parking lot guard rail. Many other small tasks were done before locking up for the season. We will see you all at the Annual March Business Meeting.

(N. McDonald Photos)


RTP Grant Work Continues with New Guard Rail at Clark Rd.

(November 12, 2022)

Aaron, Allen and Hayden volunteered to install the large posts in the ground for the new guard rail at the parking area at Clark Rd. This was required as trail users often parked their vehicles too close to the rail head. The parking lot is somewhat confined and the car bumpers often foul the line preventing our motorcars from passing. Aaron was kind enough to trailer his JD backhoe to the site and use it to dig the 36" deep holes to bury the posts. Final completion of the of the guard rail is scheduled for the last meeting of the year on 19 November. Thanks guys!

(A. Mansur Photos) (SPM)

The Operator and His Amazing Machine!

(November 11, 2022)

The canopy trim with the "Brontosaurus" has given the trail users an amazing new experience. The entire Cotton Valley Rail Trail is wide open! The benefits from this cut are many fold. Site lines in the curves are much improved for faster moving cyclists or motorcars for safety. No more tick laden branches hanging far into the walkways. Future regular trail maintenance with the mowing equipment will be completed much faster with fewer impediments. Snowfall on the trail will be more consistent for the winter ski and snowmobile activities. CVTC Chair, Noreen McDonald got this great photo of the operator, Chris, who so skillfully manicured our trail. Many Thanks!

(N. McDonald photo) (SPM)

Canopy Trim Is Complete!

(November 9, 2022)

The "Brontosaurus" has completed it's task! The entire Cotton Valley Rail Trail is now open. Thank you to all the trail volunteers who worked many many hours to keep up with the fast moving machine and open sections soon after it passed. We would like to thank Noreen MacDonald and the efforts of the Cotton Valley Trail Committee with organizing the cleanup days on the trail as the machine cleared each section. Enjoy the trail anyway you can. It's a great time of year to be out there.

(S McInerney photo) (SPM)

Late Fall Workday at Fernald

(November 5, 2022)

Some club members got together on a crisp fall day to complete a few tasks on the buildings and grounds at Fernald. Rick focused on maintenance to improve the drainage around the foundation of the engine house. John, Scott, Doug and Sean got busy wrapping our beloved Fernald Station roof with tarp #3 (hopefully the last!). Ron and Ken worked on replacing some rotted boards on the large doors at the east end of the engine house. Before leaving for the day Sean and John removed the semaphores from the signal mast. Ron has agreed to repair the spectacles and paint them anew. Ken also assisted CVTC with brush clearing down at Cotton Valley before joining us at Fernald.

(S. McInerney,N. McDonald Photos) (SPM)

Canopy Trim Is in Full Swing East of Cotton Valley

(October 20, 2022)

The canopy trim is moving along at nearly one mile per day with the "Brontosaurus". The Cotton Valley Trail Committee is organizing cleanup days on the trail as the machine clears a section. Please see the club mailing list or our Facebook page for notifications of these organized trail cleanup days for time and location. Currently, 20 October, it is working between Clark Rd and Cotton Valley. If you venture out to cleanup on your own, please do not forget to put the trail closure signs back up after you pass with the motorcar. Please communicate the work you have done to our Trail Master, Bruce Stuart, so we document the work days. Get out there!

(N McDonald photo) (SPM)

Ossipee Work after October Meeting - Ever Popular Polly's Crossing

(October 15, 2022)

After the business meeting some club members went over to do some maintenance on the Ossipee line. Aaron was kind enough to trailer his John Deere to help clear the culverts that keep clogging and flooding Polly's Crossing. After all the effort to re-open the crossing, it's inmportant that we put in the time and affort to keep the entire ROW clear. This is for our recreational enjoyment as well as the winter snowmobiles and the State of New Hampshire, the owner.

(A Mansur photo) (SPM)

October Meeting at Fernald - Beavers you say? What beavers?

(October 15, 2022)

After the business meeting the club set out to moving everything in the engine house! Ron needed the large platform pushcart to prepare for a paint project and the jig with the tall staked sides was needed to move the large diameter culvert pipe. Of course both were furthest in the engine house. After all the switching was done some remained to help Ron with the scaffolding arrangement and another crew set off with the culvert sections for an upcoming "beaver deceiver" upgrade project. The first 1.5 miles of the canopy trim looks great.

(S Fuller, S McInerney photos) (SPM)

Remembering long time club member Don Wendell

(September 24, 2022)

Message from President Bruce Stuart:

It is with heartfelt sorrow that I write about the passing of Don Wendell. Don has been a staple member of this club almost from its inception. Joining in 1996, both Don and Faith regularly attended meetings, gatherings and functions. Don was always available to contribute to an ongoing project or simply make the trip up and take care of it himself. Many times I would see him hand mowing the engine house area or the Cotton Valley siding. When we see our CVRTC sign hanging from the gable end of the engine house, we think of Don. In his later years, Dons car was not always present but his photo album was and he would thumb through it and explain all the photos to anyone who wanted to listen and learn. I will miss his presence immensely. Farewell my friend, you will be missed by all.

(B Stuart photo) (SPM)

The Cool Autumn Weather Is Here!

(September 18, 2022)

Get out there and enjoy the trail! You don't need a club meeting for an excuse to ride the Wolfeboro or the Conway Branch in Ossipee.

(B Stuart photo) (SPM)

Open House Was a Smash Hit

(August 18, 2022)

Wow! What a great day at Fernald station this year! The Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club would like to thank all those who took the time to discover what it is like to ride the rails in antique railroad work vehicles. Many of you took the time to see our historical displays in the old Fernald Depot too. Thank you for sharing your stories of riding the Wolfeboro train as a youth and of course many thanks for all the smiles. We truly appreciate your support. Watch a short vid on our YouTube channel.
YouTube Vid: Open House

(S McInerney photos) (SPM)

July Meeting on the Conway Branch

(Jule 16, 2022)

In addition to the Wolfeboro Branch, we also operate on the former Boston & Maine Portland Division main line with permission from NH DOT. Usually referred to locally as the Conway Branch. We maintain the track from approximately MP 111.5 to 118.9. This past Satruday we installed platforms at each end of the line to allow an easy way to turn the cars for the return trip back to seton. These are not so unlike the same motorcar platforms that the Boston & Maine would have installed for their MOW motorcar fleet. Lola seemed to be a bit disinterested in all the work. (S McInerney photos)


CVRTC Gandy Debuts with "The Ripper"

(June 28, 2022)

The former MOW tie inserter was converted to mowing duty by past members years ago. The tractor mounted sickle bar has made mowing with the Gandy obsolete. Scott Fuller wanted to put the Nordberg Gandy to good use to rip out the beaver dams that flood the track each Spring and throughout the year. This was it's first test run. Impressive! (S McInerney photos)


The Engine House Gets Some Attention

(June 18, 2022)

The June meeting was an Engine House Paint Party. The membership got to work after the business meeting. Most of the front of the building got a first coat. The BOD will schedule a couple of more paint days to complete the other three sides. (S McInerney photos)


Motoracaring Is Fun for All Ages

(May 13, 2022)

Any day is a good day to run the Wolfeboro Branch in a motorcar. As new members to the club, the Arnold's are really taking advantage of the Spring weather and the whole family jumps on their new MEC M19 for a ride down the line. (J Arnold photos)


2022 Begins with a Spring Cleaning

(April 16, 2022)

The first meeting of the year at Fernald was a Spring cleanup. All the members pitched in after the business meeting to spruce up the station and the engine house grounds. The second floor of Fernald was emptied to prepare for the new roof. The Board of Directors is hoping this is completed by the end of May. Many members took a ride out to Rt 16 after the work was done. (S McInerney photos)


Polly's Crossing Gets A Spring Cleaning

(April 10, 2022) The Mansur's and the Pepper's got an early start Spring running on the Conway Branch. They report removing some fallen trees and cleaning the flangeways especially at Polly's Crossing. The crossing fared well over the winter and they were able ride all the way up to Rt 16.(A Mansur photo). (SPM)

Annual Business Meeting

(April 2, 2022) The club held it's annual business meeting at the Tilton Freight House on Saturday, 2 April. Elections of club officers was carried out by the Board of Directors. Many topics were discussed including building maintenance (roofs), painting as well as major trail projects this year like the brush clearing.(S. McInerney photo). (SPM)

See the archives for postings from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023

Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.
P.O. Box 417
Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896

©2003 Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club, Inc.