History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

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Noel Weaver
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History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by Noel Weaver » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:31 pm

Here is a history course about passenger trains of the past in Waterbury:
From a New Haven Railroad Lines West passenger timetable dated June 10, 1917 here are the Monday - Friday departures from Waterbury:

6:30 AM - Winsted
6:35 AM - New York
6:37 AM - Watertown
6:40 AM - Waterville (probably for Chase employees)
7:10 AM - Boston
7:50 AM - New York
8:28 AM - Poughkeepsie via Danbury
8:30 AM - Winsted
8:35 AM - Hartford
9:49 AM - Bridgeport
10:24 AM - Boston
10:35 AM - Winsted
12:12 PM - New York
12:25 PM - Boston
12:44 PM - Winsted
2:25 PM - Poughkeepsie via Danbury
2:51 PM - Bridgeport
3:50 PM - Bridgeport and New Haven (train might have split at Ansonia or Derby)
4:32 PM - Boston
4:37 PM - Winsted
4:45 PM - Hartford
5:10 PM - Meriden
5:18 PM - Watertown
6:22 PM - Watertown
6:23 PM - New York
6:32 PM - Bridgeport
7:12 PM - Danbury
7:14 PM - Winsted
7:20 PM - Hartford
8:04 PM - Hartford

This comes to a total of 30 trains 5 days a week, some did not run on Saturday and/or Sunday. The trains listed as New York or Boston meant that the entire train ran through to New York or Boston. One was a Poughkeepsie - Boston through train, one was a Waterbury - Boston through train and two were through New York - Boston trains via Waterbury and Willimantic. Bridgeport and Hartford trains terminated at those points. Each train on each line represented a round trip schedule.
Totals were:
New York - 4
Bridgeport - 4
Danbury -1
Poughkeepsie via Danbury - 2
Watertown -3
Winsted - 6
Waterville - 1
Hartford - 4
Boston - 4

Some of the above trains had parlor or broiler buffet parlor cars both to New York and to Boston.

Let's now fast forward to the summer of 1955 effective April 24, 1955 just before the fatal flood, here is what remained at that time:

5:26 AM - Winsted
6:38 AM - Boston
6:52 AM - Bridgeport
7:56 AM - Hartford
7:59 AM - New York (through train)
10:28 AM - Hartford
11:00 AM - Bridgeport
2:49 PM - Bridgeport
3:58 PM - Boston
5:05 PM - Bridgeport
6:28 PM - Winsted
10:03 PM - Bridgeport

Total of 12 trains broken down as follows:

Bridgeport - 5 all of which had more or less immediate connections for New York and/or Washington or both.
New York - 1
Hartford - 2
Boston - 2
Winsted - 2

In this schedule everything was RDC equipment except for the two trains to Winsted, one train to Bridgeport and the through train to New York which operated with an RS-3 RPO, express cars sometimes and coaches. One Boston train sometimes had an 0700, mail, baggage and a coach or maybe two coaches but this was not a given on this job. The gangsters were in full control of the New Haven Railroad by this time.
Not too many moons after the 1955 floods all that remained was four round trips with RDC equipment between Waterbury and Bridgeport with connecting service beyond Bridgeport.

Hope you all found this stuff of interest. Old timetables are great collector's items.
Noel Weaver

ExCon90
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Re: History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by ExCon90 » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:01 pm

I love seeing things like that--"then and later" all in one place.

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bellstbarn
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Re: History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by bellstbarn » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:44 pm

In the late 1940's, we had two options from New York City when visiting Dad's parents in Winsted. If we were spending the weekend there, we might leave GCT about 4:23 p.m. Or, for a while, the railroad offered a low-cost excursion ticket that allowed us to make it up and back to Winsted on a Sunday. At first, we were behind steam from Bridgeport. A few years later, a road switcher would be provided with an older coach and maybe one postwar coach.
---
I don't recall which options contained these scenarios: 1) Winsted cars would be uncoupled at Bridgeport, and a locomotive would appear out of a siding, back into us and couple. 2) The train would be split at Waterbury. Mom would alight for coffee in the station, and the Winsted cars would be moved to a further platform, scaring me that Mom would be left behind. 3) Returning home, sometimes we would have to change trains at Bridgeport, maybe to the Advanced Gilt Edge or Gilt Edge, which included a grill car. On a few occasions, we boarded a multiple-electric, and make additional stops and have a noticeable power break somewhere (Cos Cob?) as all pantographs would have to be dropped simultaneously. I enjoyed hiding behind Dad's coat, hung next to the window, so I could watch for the Life Savers at Port Chester.

Noel Weaver
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Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by Noel Weaver » Thu Feb 22, 2018 7:51 pm

bellstbarn wrote:In the late 1940's, we had two options from New York City when visiting Dad's parents in Winsted. If we were spending the weekend there, we might leave GCT about 4:23 p.m. Or, for a while, the railroad offered a low-cost excursion ticket that allowed us to make it up and back to Winsted on a Sunday. At first, we were behind steam from Bridgeport. A few years later, a road switcher would be provided with an older coach and maybe one postwar coach.
---
I don't recall which options contained these scenarios: 1) Winsted cars would be uncoupled at Bridgeport, and a locomotive would appear out of a siding, back into us and couple. 2) The train would be split at Waterbury. Mom would alight for coffee in the station, and the Winsted cars would be moved to a further platform, scaring me that Mom would be left behind. 3) Returning home, sometimes we would have to change trains at Bridgeport, maybe to the Advanced Gilt Edge or Gilt Edge, which included a grill car. On a few occasions, we boarded a multiple-electric, and make additional stops and have a noticeable power break somewhere (Cos Cob?) as all pantographs would have to be dropped simultaneously. I enjoyed hiding behind Dad's coat, hung next to the window, so I could watch for the Life Savers at Port Chester.
Thanks, maybe it was worth my time and work. I actually enjoy going through these old timetables, a lot of stuff in them.
Noel Weaver

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bellstbarn
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Re: History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by bellstbarn » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:31 pm

Another memory should be "Wash your face in Waterbury." I did not need eye glasses, but for a steam fan trip Dad purchased special glasses that had screened sides to keep cinders out. The fan trip was a counter-clockwise loop, but I don't recall its starting point, maybe New Haven or Cedar Hill. On the rear was a observation car with a rear platform (if memory is correct). I know we went through Bolton's Notch, because for Dad that was the most important part of the trip. When we entered the Terryville tunnel, I did not retreat from the platform. The cinders gave me a very dirty face and taught me a lesson.
---
Thanks, Noel, for the reports of service at Waterbury. In June, 1917, Dad was 19 and living with his parents and brothers in Winsted. I think he worked at the Winsted Evening Citizen then.

J.D. Lang
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Location: Between the Housy and Naugy

Re: History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by J.D. Lang » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:13 am

Great reading of the way things were back in the area where I am from. Wish I was around to witness things back in the forties and fifties in the Naugatuck Valley. Thanks Noel and Mr. Bellstbarn.

J. Lang
J. Lang

Noel Weaver
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Re: History course - passenger trains in Waterbury

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:26 pm

A couple more things to add here. The last train out of Waterbury for Boston was at 4:32 PM and after that there was no way to go from Waterbury to Boston by train using any route; Bridgeport, Hartford or otherwise. There was only one train out of New York after the Merchants at 5:00 PM and that left New York (GCT) at 5:10 PM and the next train after that was at 11:00 PM via Springfield and 12:00 MIDNIGHT via the Shore Line. In addition the last train out of Waterbury for New York was the 6:23 PM express from Boston to New York and the 6:32 PM train which required a change at Bridgeport. Having said that, a good examination of the services available shows a train to Danbury leavilng Waterbury at 7:12 PM (an all stops local) but this train offered a very good connection at Danbury with a Pittsfield train that made few stops and ran right through to New York, it even had a buffet parlor as well as through coaches and the connection at Danbury was a very reasonable 8:22 PM to 8:36 PM, 14 minutes. I wonder how many passengers used that connection which was the last way from Waterbury to New York for the day.
Noel Weaver

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