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Breaking News…October 2012…

October 21, 2012
Each purchase of The Silver Hill Boys and the Secret Railroad Club now includes The SRRC Classic Postcard Collection. Nine postcards highlighting major locations featured in the book. Rare B&W and Color photography from the 1940’s and 1960’s with detailed notes on the back of each card. Silver Hill Depot at various times…Steam and Diesel power on those Silver Hill tracks…a haunting shot of Silver Hill Bridge in winter…some trains passing by the location of the Silver Hill Boys’ “Place”. A peak into the town where the tracks bend to the right after the Green Signal Light highlighted in the book.  We suggest not opening your classic postcards before reading the book.
For even more pleasure…let your imagination picture Silver Hill for you…then…see it for real… open your postcards… and enjoy!
As always,
                                  Happy Rails!!

A Gem in Windham!

September 28, 2012


This C16 former B&M caboose moved from Lawrence, MA and was set up at the Windham, NH Depot. The Windham rail trail, part of the Salem, NH to Concord, NH rail trail presently features 8 miles of beautiful paved trail. More than any other deserted rail bed in New Hampshire. Onward to Concord!

Windham depot was built in 1849. You’ll see the depot in the background. First passenger train: Nov. 12, 1849. Last passenger train: July 10, 1953.

Happy Rails To You!

Students Become Train Enthusiasts

July 9, 2012

Hobo Railroad’s General Motors GP9 #1921 Former MBTA 1921, Burlington Northern 1921, (Great Northern 1921) Built in 1957.

In November of 2011, Shaun Hagan, Social Studies Teacher at Lin-Wood School in Lincoln, NH, brought his 8th Grade Class to the Hobo Railroad in New Hampshire to see and experience trains first hand.  They heard from Mike Goodin of the Hobo Railroad regarding trains, their operation, how they are used, etc.  At the same time, the class visited the Flying Yankee and were given a seminar on this particular unit.  Mr. Hagan highlighted trains and their development in the construction of the United States.

Mr. Hagan then asked his students to submit essays on what they had learned and their conception of trains.  The following excerpts are from four of his students.


“When Lincoln was settled it was split into two.  Henryville (which is now present day Lincoln), and Lincoln which is up by the Notch.  All the hotels like the Profile House would be up by the Notch.  The logging and timber industry would be in present day Lincoln town square.  Oxen or other animals would take awhile, but at the time it would get the job done.”

“Passenger trains like the Yankee would make travel faster.  The Yankee could go to Boston in about 1-2 hours, just like today.  Wagons would take much longer.  Other passenger trains would take longer than the Yankee but would still cut down the time compared to the wagons.  At a regular speed the Yankee could go about 75mph!”

“In Lincoln, other trains were used.  They were the logging trains.  The logging trains would take the wood that got cut and bring the wood to the mill.  Then at the mill they would be processed into different things.  Timber definitely grew in the north because of the trains.”

THE HISTORY OF TRAINS    By:  Kamryn Danley

“I know the title makes this report look really boring but please read on.  It may not be what it looks like.  Trains really helped the development of Lincoln.  I mean, I  owe a lot to trains.  If it weren’t for them, we would still be walking around or riding horses and in carriages.  I would go as far to say we wouldn’t have cars.  Furthermore, Lincoln would still be a small village with 12 families living in it.   And most of all I wouldn’t be living here.  Think about it.  You should be thankful too.”

“Trains were essential to the people of Lincoln.  First they brought in food.  Even if it wasn’t high quality, it was food.  Second they brought in supplies.  Toys, clothes, and tools were all shipped in by train.  This had complications.  If there was a flood or a white out, they had to wait until it cleared up to let the train through.  This was solved as the years went by.  The trains got better and better.  Not to mention snow houses, these helped both here and out west.”


“All throughout American History, trains have played a major role.  During the early Civil War reconstruction era all the way into the 1900’s trains transformed America.  They helped to expand into western territories, make day to day travel quicker and easier, and even help certain industries like timber, cattle, and mining grow.  Many cities were formed and changed for the better.  They were finally allowed to grow and create big business like mining and textile mills.  While most of the impact was positive for the United States, like anything there were some negatives.  The movement west interrupted Native Americans that had been living there for many generations.  This caused distress between natives and white settlers.  In this essay I will explain and prove to you how trains, like the Flying Yankee, changed America forever.”


“On May 10, 1869, Central Pacific and Union Pacific met at Promontory, Utah with their rail lines coming from different directions.  When their rail lines met, they formed the nation’s first Transcontinental Railroad.  The TCRR (Transcontinental Railroad) connected the East and the West. With the TCRR newly built, the West was settled and developed quickly.  Americans from the North and South all moved west because they wanted to build single-family farms and the American Government was giving pieces of western land to American people for free as long as they settled it for five years.  This law (the Homestead Act) was passed in 1862 and promised 160 acres.  The purpose was to settle the west and have poor easterners have a farm to work on.  Within 40 years, half a million people had set up farms in the West.  However the Homestead Act had its problems, too.”

“The trains improved quickly in the West with the TCRR being built.  The West was settled really fast with the TCRR cutting the West in half.  The new rail lines really affected the businesses along with companies in the whole nation.  The South during the Civil War and after the war (during reconstruction of the South) was affected greatly by the new trains that covered the now connected country.  Our region here in New Hampshire and New England was affected by the trains developing throughout the nation.  The Flying Yankee was a popular train in the early to mid 1900’s.  The trains in Lincoln, NH were the product of the West getting their rail lines.  The average person who lived in New Hampshire was affected by the trains greatly.  Trains are a huge part of our nation’s history and should never be forgotten.  “


New Hampshire currently owns 420 railroads
Train-cars would be named after hotels in order to keep our history alive
There are many different types of train-cars, including passenger and freight cars
The TCRR cost $50,000,000.00 to build which is equal to about $874,968,866.15 today”

For more information about the Hobo Railroad, visit 

For more information about the Flying Yankee Restoration, visit

It is a joy to share the history of trains and railroading with a youngsters.   The same spark that ignited in the Silver Hill Boys is now being lit in a new generation!

High Green!  Clear Tracks Ahead!


A Summer Vacation Destination!

June 7, 2012

In the years following 1929 rail passenger traffic had fallen by one half and railroads were seeking to discontinue unprofitable passenger service.

The Boston and Maine-Maine Central Railroads were in dire straits that reflected the times.

The tradition in America is that when we face adversity we bring technology and ingenuity to the fore. And so it was that the Boston and Maine-Maine Central Railroads undertook to order a new train that was truly revolutionary, The Flying Yankee.

Over the years the Yankee ran under different names as it served various parts of Northern New England. The Cheshire, The Minuteman, The Business Man.

The Yankee went to war in World War II continuing to provide fast consistent service. Following World War II, the streamline era, whose design was begun with the Yankee and the Zephyrs, had a glorious but brief time in our history. The Super Chief, The City of New Orleans, The Crescent, The Twentieth Century had their glory days.

In the early 1950’s President Eisenhower signed into law the National Defense Highway Act and with that began the building of the Interstate Highway System. For the first time in a century, America recast and rethought the way it would move people and freight. Bold new rights of way were carved across the nation from sea to sea. The last time we’d redone these paths of commerce was over 100 years before. Rails replacing canals.

So it was that on May 7, 1957, The Yankee’s service was discontinued. The train set was donated by the B and M to the Edaville Railroad in Carver, Massachusetts.

It sat there for almost 40 years until a visionary, Bob Morrell, determined to purchase the train, bring it to New Hampshire, restore it to operating condition, and provide for it to run again as an example of American ingenuity in the face of adversity.

The train was stored in Glen, NH until 1997 when it was moved over the road to the shops of the Claremont Concord Railroad at Claremont Junction, NH. From there, Phase I of the Flying Yankee’s restoration was completed which included structural restoration as well as some of the interior and exterior cosmetic work. In August of 2005, the Flying Yankee was moved over the roadways for one final time to the shops of the Plymouth & Lincoln (Hobo) Railroad in Lincoln, NH where the restoration of this historic streamliner will be completed.

The goal is for the Yankee to serve as an icon for education, tourism, and economic development. A tall ship for rail commerce.

Make this part of your summer vacation destinations!  Here are some dates of events at the Flying Yankee!  Enjoy!

Saturday June 30, 10AM – 4PM  –  Start of Hobo Railroad 25 th Anniversary
Saturday July 7 & July 21, 10AM – 4PM  –  Summer Vacation Hours
Saturday August 4 & August 18, 10AM – 4PM  –  Fun, Fun, and More Fun
Saturday September 1 and September 15, 10AM – 3PM  –  Back to School
Saturday October 10, 10AM – 3PM  –  Fall Foliage in the White Mountains, NH
Open House tours are free of charge.  Donations gratefully welcome.  The Flying Yankee Restoration Group is a 501(c)3 organization,  all volunteer personnel,  allowing all donations/funds  to be applied directly to the restoration.

Don’t see a date compatible with your visit/stay to this area.  Call us ahead of time  at 603-661-3317.  We will be happy to make arrangements to provide you with a tour of the Flying Yankee during your visit.

Spring in New England!

May 21, 2012
Silver Hill Boys, North Ave Pond, New England, spring in New England, Silver Hill, Weston MA, Joe Karas, railroads, train enthusiasts, train hobbyists, books for young people, books about trainsAll of us with “The Silver Hill Boys and the Secret Railroad Club” wish you a Happy Spring 2012 !! We’ve been enjoying New England spring evenings. Refreshing light rains. The woods are damp, everything lush. Wonderful! Perfect! The wondrous sounds of a train approaching Silver Hill. Bright lights rolling through the night. Oh the joy of walking and exploring these special spring evenings! Equally rewarding, slowly driving around town. On the radio: “Music for a Spring Night”.  Enjoy!
 Joe Karas.

Merriam Street Makeover

February 28, 2012
Silver Hill, Silver Hill Boys, Silver Hill Boys and the Secret Railroad Club, Joe Karas, Joseph Karas, railroad enthusiasts, train fans, train hobbyists, Weston MADear Passengers…..
Here it is! As it is!  February 2012.
Nice Job Weston!…we don’t even need a red carpet! Looking south… “up” Merriam Street… toward The Silver Hill Railroad Bridge.
      Joe K.

You Will Enjoy the New Merriam Street!

February 16, 2012
It’s February!  Here’s hoping you enjoyed a Happy Valentine’s Day 2012.
I look forward to taking a photo of Merriam Street… looking up the hill toward Silver Hill Bridge. The town did a wonderful job re-surfacing the road, marking the road with bright white paint, and replacing the broken guard rail along the sidewalk with a fresh, brand new one. Usually I have a camera in the car. The last several times…no camera. I just want you to see how nice things look at Silver Hill. I WILL take a photo for you. Thanks for your patience! Silver Hill, The Silver Hill Boys and the Secret Railroad Club, Railroad enthusiasts, books about trains, young people's book about trains, railroad hobbyists, growing up in the 50s, Joe Karas, Flying Yankee
I must say Peter’s special tuna sandwich receipe has been well received by those who have taken”The Silver Hill Boys and the Secret Railroad Club” Tour. Pete’s tuna sandwich has become a special part of the tour! Brings a lot of smiles! Great fun!
Happy Rails!