The original vestige of what eventually became the Boston and Maine Railroad's Portsmouth Branch started out as the Portsmouth and Concord Railroad in 1848, which constructed a railroad line between Portsmouth and Candia, in New Hampshire. The remainder of the line into Concord, via Suncook, was completed three years later. Financially troubled from the beginning, the P&C went into receivership and emerged as the Concord and Portsmouth Railroad in 1855, and operations over the route continued.

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