Southern New England RR – The railroad that never was

Driving through Southbridge and surrounding communities you will see the ruins of the railroad that never was. Known locally as the “Grand Trunk Railroad” it’s real name was the Southern New England Railroad (SNE). Legend has it that it was abandoned soon after

Southern New England Railroad Abandoned Railroads
Hidden Culvert

it was begun due to the death of Charles Hayes, the president of the Grand Trunk railroad in Canada, who wanted to build a rail line connecting Providence, RI to Canada. Unfortunately for Mr. Hayes, he was a passenger on the ill-fated Titanic. This legend is just that, a legend. While Mr. Hayes did indeed perish on the Titanic in 1912, the building of the railroad wasn’t commenced until 1914.


Southern New England Railroad Abandoned Railroads
Bridge Abutment

Many of the bones of the SNE are still to be found although after 100 years many are beginning to deteriorate. Some have been torn down, others have been reclaimed by nature. But they can be found fairly easily.

No trains ever ran over the lines, no rails were ever laid other than those used by the work trains, and no permanent buildings were ever erected but much of the infrastructure is still in place. Much of the line has been turned into a multi-use recreational trail and makes for a pleasant outing.


SNE Abandoned railroad
Overgrown abutment


View a map of the SNE here: Map of the SNE

SNE railroad abandoned railroads
Two for one


Here is a link to the authoritative book on the SNE:

Titanic Railroad: The Southern New England.

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