• Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfield)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by Jeff Smith
 
Greg Moore wrote: Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:57 am Best of luck and hope you can make it!
I second that! I'm moving back to Stamford this year, so we can get together.

I understand your hesitation at commercial air travel. I've been doing it about once a month mid-pandemic, and it makes me nervous every time. But that is a long way to drive. You can always do the Late Shore Boston section!
  by J.D. Lang
 
Greg Moore wrote: ↑
Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:57 am
Best of luck and hope you can make it!
Same here hope you make the trip. If you have a rental car traveling the Housatonic river valley through the Cornwall's up to Canaan is very scenic. Like Jeff said take the LSL in a sleeper. :-) Maybe we could all meet at the Great Falls Brewery that's located in the restored Canaan RR station.
  by Greg Moore
 
What dates are we looking? It's been nearly 5 years since I was last there (my dad's memorial at the Falls in Falls Village). I may be up for a trip home. Maybe.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
It's usually 2nd Weekend of June; even if the Lums are welcome anytime (checkbook in hand, of course :P ) Classes come up every five years once you've been out for ten. I'm '61, so this would be my 60th.

I have held if there were to be a family emergency in Greenwich, I'd "do a nonstop" (well, two gasups en-route) and hope that the Greenwich Hyatt (Post Road and Laddin's Rock in Old G) knows how to sanitize rooms. Just like you, Mr. Smith, I'd be afraid to fly (even if it soulds like for whatever reason, you have no choice) - maybe I'll feel different after VAX-2 today (friends my age have reported no side effects from VAX-2; I only know of one case where a girl later 40's, and "connected" within the medical community, got VAX-2 and had "rather bad" side effects. Maybe that was her comeuppance for "cutting line", but I keep that to myself as she is a good friend), but keep me off airplanes (this girl need be on 'em all the time, COVID notwithstanding) . At least I'm in command of what goes on in my auto.

But honestly, with now less than three hours to go until its time to "roll it up", I'm starting to see "light at end of the tunnel" (Grand Central is the only one I can think of on the New Haven).
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Off, but close to, the rails, SKS has now set Alumni Weekend for Sep 24-26. That's of course COVID conditions permitting.

It will be my "60th", but I know one experience I'll gladly pass will be staying in the barracks (whoops, dorm).

Now we know #144 will be making a special stop at Woodrow!!!

Of course, back on planet earth, it will be interesting to see what's left of that sorry excuse for a railroad. I guess that they laid the CWR along Hatch Pond must be considered an "improvement".
  by shepaug
 
I've gotta say I am having trouble finding the Connecticut mentions talked about in a prior link. Just me ? Endless listings under that number left and I spent much time (really) trying to find the right one.

I do have severe interest in any rail freight in Connecticut and what is left. (not much right ?)

There is even the Naugatuck Railroad that seems to want to be into some type of freight business no matter how little.

The Housatonic Railroad of which I can't guess on it's survival. It gives up Pittsfield 'north' and the New York rights vanish with a bike trail. Newtown to Derby another bike trail ? (there is a customer in Newtown) It is totally possible they are totally broke. Maintain the tracks and pay taxes.

If you lived in SW Connecticut and dealt with the total daily grid lock on I-95 one could wonder maybe by delusional thought somebody might like a rail link to New York State and CSX. (vs. a bike trail forever)

Everything down this way is a pity. I can't believe a short-line railroad would never get a customer of some type.

I have strayed a little. Excuse me. Before Guilford there were even a few customers on Derby/Waterbury and not all have vanished. If you had a business ship anything over Guilford ? One more 'fall off the tracks' would make anybody go to trucks.

I even recall Guilford abandoning Avon with customers trying to object.


http://secter.org/Portals/0/pdfs/CT%20RR.pdf



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  by Gilbert B Norman
 
shepaug wrote: Thu May 20, 2021 3:47 pm The Housatonic Railroad of which I can't guess on it's survival. It gives up Pittsfield 'north' and the New York rights vanish with a bike trail. Newtown to Derby another bike trail ? (there is a customer in Newtown) It is totally possible they are totally broke. Maintain the tracks and pay taxes.

Everything down this way is a pity. I can't believe a short-line railroad would never get a customer of some type.

I have strayed a little. Excuse me.
...and everyone, please excuse my continued straying.

Mr. Shepaug, it will be quite "an education" to see what remains of that "sorry excuse" of a railroad come September.

Yes, SKS (South Kent School) is holding Alumni Weekend this September; it will be "my 60th" (graduated '61) and likely my last chance to walk upon "the Hill" (Spooner Hill). The '23 Centennary, for which you can be sure they will be holding a big bash; along with "reminders" to 'Lums; don't forget your checkbook, is simply too much for this rapidly deteriorating body to even think about.

From what I've read at the Housatonic topic here, the only on-line industry of any note is a Becton-Dickinson (medical equipment) facility in Canaan that has inbound shipments of plastic pellets. I guess BD considers "if that sorry excuse of a railroad spills them, well you just sweep 'em up". But I must wonder if Chessie is even interested in that, at best, FRA Class 2 piece of road from Pittsfield to keep that business.

The industry around New Milford the New Haven carefully cultivated, brass works such as Scovill Mfg. have all fled to Asia. That meant rail transportation and, again, if it spills, you just pick 'em up. Kimberly Clark (enjoy the go - with Cottonelle) remains, and I guess there are wood chips inbound. Out? probably highway (if you can call Rte US7 that).

"Native" to the area Mr. Moore may have differing/additional thoughts, but what keeps HRR in business between New Milford and Canaan escapes me. I understand there is still some garbage business, and if that spills it will only stink up the Housatonic Valley (and with all the New York $$$ up that way nowadays, bad boy, bad boy), and not render something like Chernobyl!!!
  by J.D. Lang
 
Yes they have the demolition waste out of Danbury and that has expanded in recent years. As far as other business south of Canaan they do have business with KC in New Milford, Pharmco in Brookfield, and the good size lumber reload facility in Hawlyville on the Maybrook. Also on the Maybrook there is Rand Whitney Container Co. in Newtown and a lumber Co. in Botsford. Although not a large sized train the Canaan to New Milford daily turn is usually in the 10-15 car range.

Specialty minerals in Canaan is by far their largest customer as they load 10-15 carloads of lime per day. There are also a few customers in Mass. also. The daily Canaan to Pittsfield turn usually drop 20 -30 cars for CSX in Pittsfield. Even with all of the cutbacks at CSX through PSR they seem to value those 20-30 cars a day as they provide good consistent service to HRRC.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Thanks for the update of present conditions, Mr. Lang.

"Back in my day", DN- 1&2 were some 75 cars each; they interchanged with the B&A at "physically more efficient" State Line.

10-15 cars by SKS, seems "sorry donkey" to me. But I should be thankful there will still be a railroad for me to see on what simply has to be this 80yo's final visit "back on The Hill" - if I can even make that!!!
  by shepaug
 
I never hear about that lime operation in Canaan so nice to hear it is still there and using some rail.

I must say it is a pity that they could never use their New York trackage and guess about Newtown(Botsford) eastbound.

I walked some of the trackage around that Danbury trash operation and hard to believe this was a major freight route at one time. No evidence of a new tie anywhere, etc.

What is left I try to find old spurs where the track used to go to customers and take a picture.(although obviously it could look like a picture from anywhere.)

The bike people are a big crowd begging to take over any railroad. Image a bike trail from New Milford to Pittsfield !!!!!!

I guess Connecticut owns the trackage but broke Connecticut has had zero support for any railroad freight. I think the new governor is literally 100% passenger..literally) What is rail freight ?
  by NaugyRR
 
The Housy sees plenty of traffic, the Naugatuck has the new C&D freight facility that was built with state aid, Wallingford and Branford both have TILCON railroads, P&W, CSX, CSO, Pan Am, and NECR are still active in the state, the CNZR Armory Branch is laying new track.

Connecticut may not be the freight powerhouse from the New Haven days, but it's not like all freight traffic in the state has dried up or been shunned by the state government. The freight's that active just moves at night or is in super rural areas that most people aren't running out to report on and photograph.
  by Greg Moore
 
From my dad's house, he could routinely see a train a day in each direction and easily 30 cars on a regular basis. This was south of the dam in Falls Village. So there's traffic someplace!
  by J.D. Lang
 
Although not as large as the state investment in passenger CT. does have a freight rail grant assistance program. HRRC has benefited from this in the past. Most recently they helped fund the rail and track upgrades from South Kent to Kent up to Kent falls. They also recently funded the replacement of a wooden trestle with a concrete and steel span in Falls Village near the intersection of Rt. 126 and Sand road so the RR could maintain their 286,000 lb. status. As was mentioned above they also gave grant assitance to the Naugy so they could connect to the new C&D facility in Watertown. That has generated a lot of new carload traffic. There have been others around the state also.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Belueve you of course, Mr. Lang, but gotta see it to believe it. Two SKS Reunions I have gone to - '11 and '16. and that welded rail was just laying there starting immediately North of Bulls Bridge Road.

It will be astounfing this Sep (my 60th).
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