Little seems to be available online about the Madison NH station in the 1960s. This small stop along the way north towards Osippee and North Conway now sits isolated on a stretch of track that is no longer reachable from either north or south. Instead, today the small station serves as the town post office and the home of the Silver Lake Railroad, a small family fun ride that covers a 3 mile stretch north and back through forested eskers and quiet marshland.
The location was never a consideration for the layout until a brief visit a few years back when the NNES was still on the drawing board. My wife and I were started north on a planned vacation in Vermont and we decided to stop in Madison to see what the railroad was about. By the time we left, there was no question this scenic spot would be featured on the route north between Dover and North Conway.
The station will be scratch built based upon these photos as well as google earth information.
Two other buildings on the site will also be included on the layout, though I am going to need to use some creative judgement regarding their likely appearance in the mid-1960s.The building shown in the photo to the left is a smallish T-shaped building set across the gravel yard away from the tracks. I do not have any idea what the use of this building was, but I am going to surmise it was some sort of workshop or perhaps even a storage building. I suspect in the mid-1960s it was probably not in the external visual condition it is today, but I will probably start with something approximating the current apearance and defer making weathering judgments for later.
The final building on the site shown in this photo on the right was a freight house located along the siding.Given the currently boarded-up state, I will probably model this as-is with the exception later of some weathering.
As my wife and I wandered about the grounds taking photographs, an older gentleman emerged from a newer small office and walked over towards us. He introduced himself and we chatted for a few minutes. Much to our pleasant surprise, he told us he was about to do a track inspection before the railroad opened for the day and asked if we would like to accompany him. Of course we said yes, thinking that we would be walking along the tracks with him. Then he walked us over to the speeder in the photo on the left that we would be riding in for the track inspection. In we went with the gentleman riding facing forward and my wife and I perched on either side of the rear facing raised section (seat so to speak…) The first stop on our little journey was the turnout where the siding holding the vehicle joined the mainline. We stopped, and our host asked me if I would like to throw the turnout. Yes!!! So I got out, he explained how to do it, and there I was for the only time in my life throwing a real railroad turnout. I was definitely having fun! Then it was back in the track inspection car and down the track. As we proceeded down the three miles of track, we would occasionally stop to pick up trash along the way. Our host explained all about eskers that we rode between and the beaver paths that could be noticed parting the grasses in the marshes. At one of the culverts, we stopped long enough for me to climb part way down the embankment to photograph the sides for my future modelling. Below are a few of the photos taken along this unexpected journey.