Old Colony Railroad

Railway and Locomotive Engineering


July, 1907.

Old-Time Engine.


There are few earlier subscribers than I for your excellent paper, and your uniform fairness to employer and employee is admirable. Your historical articles on the evolution of the locomotive are interesting to a "past master" throttle puller like myself, though I did not stop there, in railroad service.

In illustrations of old and curious locomotives, I do not remember to have seen one like the blue print I am mailing with this, but I can give you nothing of their history further than as I saw them as a young boy on the Old Colony and Newport R. R., now N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R. At that time they pulled suburban trains between Boston and stations south of there. This was in the early sixties, at the time of the Civil War, and to see one of these little engines and a big freight engine—a 16 x 24-in. cylinder engine was a big one then—double heading with a trainload of soldiers going to the war was a sight, to my youthful eyes. As is characteristic of railroad men, they were nicknamed "pups," and I then resolved that when "I was a man" I would run a "pup," or maybe a big "Blood" engine. I later realized my ambition to run an engine, but never ran a "pup" or a "Blood." By whom or where these engines were built I do not know. The print shows the end of machine shop and wall of roundhouse of the N. Y., N. H. & H. R. R. in South Boston. You can see that they were no mean engine when you read the name of the first governor of Plymouth colony, "Governor Bradford," on the side of the cab. You may be able to get the history of these little engines by writing to some old employee of the "Old Colony Railroad." We may say they (the "pups") were very small, but they no doubt filled their purpose in their day as we do ourselves. I am glad of your success and enjoyment of a long, useful life.

Dubuque, Iowa.


October, 1907.

Opening of the Old Colony Railroad.
[This article, which is complete in itself, forms so interesting an account of the opening ceremonies of the Old Colony Railroad in 1845, that it is printed as received from Mr. W. A. Hazelboom, of Boston, Mass. It is one of the many interesting reminiscences of early railroad days which have been sent to Angus Sinclair for use in his book on the "Development of the Locomotive Engine." -Ed.]

Regular daily train service commenced November 10, 1845, on the Old Colony Railroad, but it was on Saturday, November 8, that the directors and stockholders of this corporation with a large number of invited guests made an excursion to Plymouth to celebrate the official opening of the road, it being the first time that a train of cars had run the whole distance. The train left the station at South Boston drawn by two locomotives bearing the expressive names Miles Standish and The Mayflower, a third engine owned by the company bearing the honored name of Governor Carver, was on this day assigned to the humble but useful work of hauling gravel to complete unfinished places in the roadbed. The train consisted of thirteen cars, which were built by Bradley & Rice, of Worcester, and were described in the newspaper reports of the day as neat, beautiful and remarkably comfortable and easy. At the different stations along the line, other guests joined the company, and by the time they arrived in Plymouth the party consisted of about 800 in all. Notable among the guests were John Quincy Adams, ex-President of the United States; Hon. Daniel Webster, the venerable Judge Davis of Boston, John Davis of Worcester, several of the clergy and the officers of other railroad corporations.

At all the towns and settlements along the road flags were hoisted and the people were assembled to witness the novel procession and salute it with the roar of cannon, cheers, waving of flags and handkerchiefs and other demonstrations of satisfaction, the whole line of the railroad presenting a gala day appearance. At Abington a large number of children were drawn up in a line to greet the party, and at this place a band of music joined it. On arriving at Plymouth the whole company marched under escort of the band to Pilgrim Hall, which, in the language of a scribe of those days, "was opened and warmed with good fires for the occasion." After the excursionists had vacated the cars a large party of ladies, gentlemen and children of Plymouth, by invitation of the railroad officials, were taken on board the train and treated to short excursions.

At Pilgrim Hall, Jacob H. Loud, Esq., of Plymouth, made a short address of welcome, alluding to the, enterprise of the company which had in less than a year from the time of first breaking ground on the line of the road been able to complete it sufficiently to allow the commencement of regular service. He concluded his address by inviting the gentlemen present to partake of a light collation which had been prepared at almost a moment's notice and which was intended, without ostentation, as an expression of hearty welcome to that ancient town. The company then retired to the lower hall, where tables were spread and where they found cold meats and other refreshments, prominent among which was plenty of hot chowder made from cod fish and clams, famous Pilgrim, dishes which proved most acceptable and popular with these modern Pilgrims, judging from the energy with which they were attacked, as stated by the scribe already quoted.

Toasts were responded to and addresses made by the Hon. John Quincy Adams, Hon. Daniel Webster, Josiah Quincy, Jr., Esq., E. Haskett Derby, Esq., P. P. F. Degrand, Esq., Judge Davis, and others. Several of the speakers alluded in impressive language to the contrast between the festive occasion of their arrival in Plymouth and that of the Pilgrim fathers who 225 years before had first set foot upon the bleak and lonely sands of New England. After spending the remainder of the time at their disposal in strolling through the quaint streets of this ancient and most interesting town, every part of which is redolent with historic flavor, the visitors resumed their seats in the waiting train for their journey homewards.

On the trip to Boston, which was started at about 3:10 P. M., the train stopped at all the stations, where, as on the trip down in the forenoon, there were assembled crowds of enthusiastic people, who repeated their demonstrations with the added accompaniments of lanterns, fireworks and bonfires. The train reached South Boston at about 6 P. M. without experiencing the least mishap to mar the pleasure of the first trip over the new Old Colony Railroad, which Mr. Nathan Hale, of the Boston Advertiser, one of the speakers of the day, fittingly termed "A Band of Union Between the Rock of Plymouth and the Cradle of Liberty." 


November, 1907.

Old Colony Equipment of Old.


Referring to the short sketch of the little engines called pups, illustrated in the July number of RAILWAY AND LOCOMOTIVE ENGINEERING, I am much indebted to Mr. W. A. Hazelboom of Boston, Mass., for information in regard to these little engines which I was unable to give at that time. He sent me a list of the locomotive equipment of the Old Colony Railroad used in 1849, fifteen engines in all. The Gov. Bradford was one of three "pups," and was built by Hinkly & Drury in 1845, cylinders, 11 x 20-ins., weight 26,500 lbs., and some remained in service until 1878.

Dubuque, Ia.

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