Category Archives: Connecticut

Great Movie of New York Central and New Haven Trains in 1961


If you like trains in the New York City and Connecticut area, like New York Central Railroad, and/or like New Haven Railroad, like “old” (well, 1961 was not “old” for a lot of us; then you cannot miss this movie.


Above: New Haven electric locomotive on Park Avenue viaduct.


Above: New Haven MU train at Stamford (the station before the old station)


Above: New Haven “Washboard Electrics” at Stamford


Mail train (called M&E for mail and express) on the West Side Freight Line headed for the General Post Office on 8th Avenue. Motive Power is RS3’s. The old R Motors that used to haul these went to the South Shore.


Above is a NY Central “P Motor” at the 125th Street Station.. These were the BIG electrics that came from Cleveland when they took out power into/out of Cleveland Union Terminal. None of these were preserved.


Above is…

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How Did CT Decline?

The Arts Mechanical

It’s simple really.  Too many people here started to get greedy and pushing for their piece of the pie rather than watching what was happening to the pie.

It didn’t help that the decline happened industry by industry, slowly over decades.  It was all to easy for state officials to convince themselves that the problems weren’t real, that nothing they did was causing the problems. This was compounded by CT’s economic diversity. It was easy to say that the state didn’t need a textile industry or a brass industry when they weren’t significant parts of the economy.  The problem was that the brass industry, the textile industry, the wire industry, the optics industry and all the other supported a bunch of supporting shops and small manufacturing companies that closed up too.  Bit by bit the pie just shrank.

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Deteriorating Westport RR span needs to be replaced

Metro-North Railroad commuters know what to expect when the 118-year-old Walk Bridge in Norwalk fails to close after boats pass underneath — long hours stuck on a train waiting for repairs.

A federal Northeast Corridor advisory commission says the Walk Bridge, and three other 100-year-old rail spans in Westport, Greenwich and between Stratford and Milford, are seriously deteriorated and in need of replacement.

“These aging infrastructure assets are unreliable, technologically obsolete and increasingly prone to failures that create delays for riders,” the Northeast Corridor Infrastructure and Operations Advisory Commission said in its first capital plan.

Established by Congress to develop recommendations for the rail corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston, the Northeast commission proposes spending billions of dollars over the next five years to replace bridges and improve the vital rail system.

All of the Connecticut bridges highlighted by the commission are beyond the definition of old. The Devon rail bridge, which spans the Housatonic River between Stratford and Milford, was completed in 1905 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Bridges built in the 1800s are, by definition, safety concerns,” said U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn, who, along with others, is calling on Congress to immediately allocate $555 million for rail safety projects.

“Many of these bridges can be labeled as structurally deficient,” Murphy said. “I think we have to show commuters we’re serious about putting money in safety upgrades. I worry accidents, in combination with Congressional inaction, is going to start chilling ridership.”

James Cameron, founder of the Commuter Action Group, said the bridges are a disaster waiting to happen.

“It’s not a matter of if those bridges will fail, but when,” Cameron said. “So their replacement shouldn’t be an issue for debate but funding immediately, if not a decade ago.”

Victorian-era bridges

The four largest rail bridges in Fairfield County — the Cos Cob Bridge in Greenwich, the Saugatuck River Bridge in Westport, the Norwalk Walk Bridge and the Devon Bridge over the Housatonic River — are remnants of another time.

Only the Walk Bridge, built in 1896, is now scheduled for replacement, at a cost of $465 million.

The Cos Cob Bridge over the Mianus River was completed in 1904, and is the busiest moveable bridge on the New Haven Line, which last year carried nearly 40 million passengers.

Estimates to replace the structure range up to $800 million.

“This bridge faces serious challenges caused by aging components and deferred maintenance,” the Northeast commission said in its report, noting there is no funding “available or programmed” for replacement over the next five years.

The commission said if $50 million was available now, Connecticut could begin designing a new bridge.

The Saugatuck River Bridge was completed in 1904 and carries a replacement price tag of $350 million.

“Age and deferred maintenance have caused deterioration affecting both its electrical and mechanical components,” the commission noted.

Connecticut plans to spend $20 million over the next five years for interim repairs on the bridge until a replacement can be funded.

The commission said the Devon Bridge, also known as the Housatonic River Rail Bridge, suffers from “serious deterioration” and requires $850 million to $1 billion to replace.

“Connecticut has initiated work on short-term repairs, but the entire structure needs to be replaced,” the Northeast commission said, noting the state has earmarked $45 million to design a replacement.

Connecticut owns the commuter rail infrastructure within the state, including bridges, and is responsible for maintenance and replacement.

The rail tracks are used by the Metro-North Railroad, for its commuter rail service, and Amtrak, for its regional service.

`New Deal’ for transit

Connecticut applies for $11.1 million TIGER grant for new rail station

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) applied for an $11.1 million federal grant to design a new commuter-rail station in Bridgeport, the agency announced Wednesday.

The application was submitted through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VII grant program.

The grant would pay for the design of a new station on the east side of Bridgeport, to be known as Barnum Station. Funding would be matched with $7.4 million previously authorized CTDOT bond funds, in addition to funds appropriated to transportation purposes in the biennium budget.
Including environmental review, design and construction, the Barnum Station project would cost about $146.1 million, CTDOT officials said. The station will feature two center island platforms, which are aimed at providing the flexibility to serve both local and express MTA Metro-North Railroad and Amtrak trains.

The Bridgeport Barnum Station Feasibility Study aims to discover whether it is possible to build a train station on Bridgeport’s East Side and to create a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) to create economic and housing opportunities.

Based on recent planning and development initiatives undertaken by the City of Bridgeport, as well as input received from area stakeholders, there is a strong desire for a new commuter rail station (“Barnum Station”) to be located along Barnum Avenue in East Bridgeport on the site of the former Remington factory. The new P. T. Barnum Station would improve transit and serve as a catalyst for redevelopment in the East Side, East End, and adjacent neighborhoods.

In order to respond to this challenge, the City of Bridgeport, in conjunction with the Greater Bridgeport Regional Council (GBRC) became a partner in the New York-Connecticut Sustainable Communities Consortium with a goal of developing livable communities with mixed-income housing and employment at key transit nodes.

The purpose of the Bridgeport Barnum Station Feasibility Study is to determine whether the construction and operation of a second train station is physically and operationally possible and compatible with the existing Metro-North Railroad (MNR) and Amtrak service and assess the redevelopment opportunities on adjacent parcels.

Results of the analysis indicate it is feasible to construct and operate a new Barnum Station on the site of the former Remington factory. Further, the Study shows that the station has the potential to be a catalyst for redevelopment and revitalization in East Bridgeport, including creating jobs and providing additional housing options close to transit.

Cedar Hill Yard In New Haven Today

Yes we have covered the old Cedar Hill Yard in New Haven.

But’s try and find what remains.

New York, New Haven & Hartford RR: East New Haven Shops with Roundhouse in foreground. East New Haven, New Haven Co., CT. (Not on NEC). – Northeast Railroad Corridor, Amtrak Route between New York/Connecticut & Connecticut/Rhode Island State Lines, New Haven, New Haven County, CT

Today it is hard to grasp how large Cedar Hill was — the aerial photo shows only a tiny fraction of the yard, maybe about 5 per cent.  The only part of the classification yards that shows in the photo is part of the old westbound departure yard along the top of the photo.  The two hump yards and the main classification, receiving and departure yards are well out of the picture to the northeast extending over five miles.  There was room for 11,000 cars on the 95 miles of yard track.

This map will show what is in place of the engine house, round house etc. 

That is the coal tower at the bottom of the picture.

Around 1925 when it was opened Cedar Hill was the largest complex of classification yards east of the Mississippi.  I don’t know for how long it enjoyed that distinction. Can you just imagine trying to build this today? On now protected wetlands etc. disturbing some turtle fish or lizard?

Can anyone shed some light on how the old electrics (0150s, 0350s, 0360s) were serviced at Cedar Hill, if at all?  I seem to recall photographs showing EF3s & EP4s on tracks near (north of) the roundhouse area.  Somewhere I read that there was a track going around the rear of the roundhouse(s) for electric locomotives.  If true, was this before or in conjunction with the motor storage facility west of NH Union Station? 

With regard to the question about servicing electric motors at Cedar Hill the Cedar Hill Motor Storage was closed about 1957 or so.  After that the remaining freight motors were operated light down to New Haven Motor Storage for sand and inspections.  Up until the time that the facility was closed they serviced all of the electric freight power at that location and that would include 150’s, jeeps and Westinghouse motors as well as any other motors that might have been used on a freight train during this period.

Around the horn

More of the Old Yard

New Haven Railroad Cedar Hill Yard


LCLatCedarHillDriving north from New Haven, Cedar Hill yard cannot be overlooked. Its still used, but not to the extent it was 50 year ago. Imagine, over 9,000 cars handled on one day! Cedar Hill was built between 1910 and 1920. Cedar Hill became in the 1920’s the keystone of the whole New Haven Railroad freight operation. It seems to have started out as a more local facility, then grown into that larger role. Or was the idea of making it the center part of the original intention?

Cedar Hill was built between 1910 and 1920. The roundhouses were built in 1911. The Shore Line Receiving Yard, New York/Maybrook Receiving Yard, the two humps, Eastbound Classification Yard, and Westbound Classification Yard were built in 1918. The Montowese Tie Plant was built in 1922. The LCL warehouse and terminal were built around 1930.

There is a lot of information about Cedar Hill…

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Newington Junction Railroad Station



We have several collections of railroad stations, the largest is Connecticut. One that was missing was Newington Junction.

Our friends at Tyler City Station, The most authoritative source for information on Connecticut railroad stations, donated pictures and information on Newington Junction. We would like to thank them very much.

Newington Junction is a section of the town of Newington, Connecticut. It is centered at the intersection of Willard Avenue (Route 173) and West Hill Road in the northwestern part of the town, in the area generally just south of the Hartford city line. The name of the area refers to the railroad junction where the railroad line from New Haven meets with the railroad line from Bristol and Waterbury. The depot on the left was built in 1891 by the New York & New England RR. The passenger station on the right and the freight depot behind it…

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