• Canal Line Info I have and requests for more

  • Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
Discussion relating to the NH and its subsidiaries (NYW&B, Union Freight Railroad, Connecticut Company, steamship lines, etc.). up until its 1969 inclusion into the Penn Central merger. This forum is also for the discussion of efforts to preserve former New Haven equipment, artifacts and its history. You may also wish to visit www.nhrhta.org for more information.
  by HSSRAIL
 
I have been doing some research on the Canal Line I am looking for track charts of it as it was in the 1940's.

I'll share what I have found out please correct any mistakes?

Although the predecessor railroad was the New Haven & Northampton Railroad this is not how the New Haven Operated the Line. Time Table No 132 effective Sept 26, 1937 shows the Line Operated Holyoke to New Haven and a branch up to Williamsburg serving Northampton. From reading an article in the book "The Railroaders's Leonard Dorman states he fired on the Canal Line and was based out of Northampton. As near as I can figure out the crew board was based out of Northampton but the overhead interchange business coming out of Eastern Canada and Maine was interchanged to the New Haven at Holyoke.

The New Haven had one Manifest freight running West by 1965 a YN-1 that departed Holyoke at 1745 and arrived Cedar Hill 2135 and NY-2 which ran East leaving Cedar Hill 0125 and Arriving Holyoke 0645.
both trains used the Canal Line from Plainville North. I believe however in the past the trains ran on the Canal Line South to New Haven but not by 1965.

Local Service consisted of NX-18 cf 0700 out of Plainville serving Southington, Plantsville, Milldale, Cheshire, Mt Carmel, Plasticrete, Highwood and return cars received and forwarded at Plainville which was a stop for YN-1 and NY-2.

NX-25 crf 0600 moved cars from Cedar Hill to Meriden, Berlin, New Britain and Plainville train also switched Plainville

NX-29 cf 0900 Easthampton, Northampton and return did Willaimsburg as required connected with NY-2 and YN-1 at Westfield Yard.

I have a question. Why did the New Haven Railroad go with Manual Block on this line verse train orders? Ie what about this operation was better suited to Manual Block System Rules verse Timetable Train Orders?


The image below is a spreadsheet that condenses the information from the
timetable. DSPR means manual block via the train dispatcher.

Image

  by Noel Weaver
 
This line in the NHRR days was rule 317 territory which meant manual
block and train orders. All trains were operated as extras and train
orders were needed for the train to operate outside of yard limits.
Manual block was also required and we operated on a clear block system
for the most part but if a train order called for a meat, we would get a
block occupied by (designation of the train we were to meet) and the
words "no other trains in block".
There was no major interchange at Holyoke, the NHRR interchanged with
the B&M at Springfield where the two railroads maintained a joint yard
and joint facilities. The main yard in Springfield was a B&M facility while
the engine terminal facilities were NHRR.
Hope this answers your questions.
Noel Weaver

  by HSSRAIL
 
This is a bigger picture of the spreadsheet I see it is unreadable


Image

A couple of thoughts at sometime in the past this line might have been an efficient funnel for traffic because it had no passenger traffic on it and it had a direct connection into Cedar Hill. Perhaps, even by the 1940's the New Haven was concentrating traffic via Springfield but I've heard that this line had heavy traffic at one point coming out of Canada and New England perhaps this was during the 1920's. Clearly the siding capacity on this route is limited there are only two sidings on the entire line suitable for meeting mainline freight trains even by 1920's standards.

  by Noel Weaver
 
The Canal Line was a decent route for freight but there was not much
interchanged with the B&M and only a limited amount with the B&A at
Westfield as well.
There was a lot of business in Holyoke at one time and the freight trains
YN-1 and NY-2 reflect the considerable freight business in and out of
Holyoke. There was also a decent amount of business at Westfield as well
as the north end.
Very little if any of the freight on NY-2 and YN-1 was interchanged with
either the B&A or B&M.
Noel Weaver
  by rghammill
 
According to most of the freight timetables I have there is a notation that specifically says that the Holyoke trains do not interchange with the B&M. They are listed as interchanging with the B&A, but only with extras (most likely a local freight) in Westfield, rather than a symbol train. So Noel's indication that there was little interchange traffic makes sense.

I'm pretty sure that there was a Patrick Cudahy distribution plant in Holyoke, so they would have received Cudahy meat reefers which adds some interesting traffic. I don't know how much if any of that traffic was left in the '60s though.

There's a Westfield valuation map updated to 1961 on eBay: http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trksid ... Categories

The seller has a lot of other maps, although none that I see for the Canal Line right now. I've purchased quite a few from her in the past and she's a very good seller.