By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — Aging railroad equipment could be used to teach residents and visitors some town history.
Old pieces of railroad track and a switch could end up as a permanent display at the Londonderry Historical Society on Pillsbury Road.
Londonderry Trailways president Bob Saur said crews from Iron Horse Preservation Society of Stoneham, Mass., are tearing up some of the historic railroad tracks and ties on a portion of the trail in North Londonderry through the end of this month.
Iron Horse helps communities with converting old rail beds and track areas into trail systems.
Ties are being pulled from the ground, along with pieces of old track. Ties already removed are piling up and will be disposed of properly, Trailways supporter Pollyann Winslow said.
A section of the track and a switch are being saved to donate to the town’s history archives.
“(A switch) would be kind of fun for people to look at,” Winslow said.
Making sure a portion of the historic rail area in town was preserved was something the trail group wanted to support.
“We wanted to make sure anything of historical significance is preserved and donated so the historical society can share it for generations to come,” she said.
How the museum chooses to accept the items and display them is up to them.
Winslow urged everyone to steer clear of any trail area where Iron Horse is working as it could be dangerous. Trail officials have walked the trail to check the conditions. Pulling out the ties produces deep divots in the ground and could be hazardous for trail enthusiasts.
People are also discouraged from taking any of the old ties that are piled up. They are soaked with creosote and need to be disposed of properly.
Work also continues with trail cleaning and other work underway to prepare portions of the trail for paving later this summer.
The town approved $227,000 earlier this year to support the paving of a portion of the trail system. The trail group also received a $6,383 recreational trails grant that would be matched with another $3,567 in funding to rejuvenate trails closer to the town center.
Winslow said Trailways appreciates the town’s support of the trails. Volunteers are always welcome to attend a work day.
The next cleanup effort is Saturday, May 4 ,from 9 to 11 a.m. Volunteers are asked to meet at Independence Drive. Work includes pulling an old sofa from a trail marsh, as well as basic brush and trash collection.