• Middletown Branch - Wethersfield Secondary

  • Topics relating to the operation of the P&W Railroad, which is a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming. Regional freight railroad based in Worcester and operating in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
    Official Website
Topics relating to the operation of the P&W Railroad, which is a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming. Regional freight railroad based in Worcester and operating in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
Official Website

Moderator: MEC407

  by YamaOfParadise
While it's hardly anything new or novel as far as activity going on in Middletown, I figure now that my commute is taking me through the city on Route 9 that I might as well give a few notes. (Also to just bump the thread!)

Saw them taking a single load of lumber up the north half of the Valley Line, just about getting onto the causeway around 5 min after 11AM. P&W engine leading, G&W engine trailing... it's still amusing to see a push-pull operation for just a single load, and it certainly stands out more with both liveries.

Also, perhaps more daytime operations now? I admit I'm not sure how much their "schedule" has changed, it might just be an artifact of my schedule changing to be more in line with when there are things going on in Middletown. (...Definitely going to try and get photos whenever Spring actually arrives with warm(er) weather.)

Other than that, they seem to be leaving one of their engines in Middletown overnight near the wye; I suspect the other brings the crew back to Cedar Hill solo. Not sure if this is a new practice in G&W hands, but I don't remember ever seeing it there in the hours it is there prior to change in ownership.
  by ebtmikado
Most, if not all, switching in the Middletown area is in daylight, either by CT-1, or NH-1.
Often, a locomotive is kept at the diamond, and the NH-1 crew is brought up by taxi from Cedar Hill to do the work.
It takes a train about 2 hours to get to Middletown, while the taxi ride is less than 30 minutes.

Cars for Middletown are often left at Reeds Gap, and the Middletown engine comes down to pick them up.
Last Friday, CT-1 had 34 cars for Middletown, so half were left at Reeds, and half brought up by CT-1.
The other half were brought up on Monday, and both CT-1 and NH-1 worked Middletown.

Once stone starts running out of Reeds Gap (any day now), CT-1 will be very busy, and NH-1 will have to do more of the work on the days it does not have to work Belle Dock and Pine Orchard.

  by Mr rt
Since the G&W takeover I've noticed that the service to Middletown is less frequent, i.e. several lumber cars vs. 1 or 2, Portland once every couple of weeks, etc.
And yes, a G&W engine is frequently left in Middletown. Sometime there is security there, but mostly you can drive right up to it of Middletown Main Street.
  by bwparker1
This week, Some type of vehicle, I'm assuming a hi-rail truck, traveled through Wethersfield, CT on the line. Probably just some type of annual inspection but I found it interesting, first sign of any activity at all that I've noticed.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by Larry
I did hear that P&W line going to Middletown from Hartford was to be re-opened soon as clearing was done south through Wethersfield and Rocky Hill. Took a drive down to Middletown and along rte 9 just north of the diamond was a couple of bundles of ties. Drove North and in Wethersfield at rte 3 crossing P&W was with FRA testing the signals for the crossing there. Was told that starting tomorrow (Nov 1) that they are going to be working from Middletown all the way to Hartford yard putting in lots of new ties. Channel 3 stated yesterday some 12000 or so ties would be put in. Stay tuned.
  by bwparker1
The Town of Wethersfield sent an email through their messaging system last week about the project. They stated brush clearing would begin and then a tie installation project. There was no mention of the line being reactivated but you have to believe they are going to send trains over the line at some point these efforts.
  by BM6569
Is this the line that parallels 91 heading south out of Hartford? An alternate way to get to New Haven?
  by bwparker1
BM6569 wrote:Is this the line that parallels 91 heading south out of Hartford? An alternate way to get to New Haven?
Yes, it parallels I-91 southbound out of Hartford

It does terminate in New Haven.
  by Larry
Yes, this line should have been used a long time ago to bypass the Hartford viaduct as well as the Connecticut bridge in Windsor Locks to Enfield. In this way, rail cars of 286,000 lbs can be shipped to New Haven via the shoreline then up through Middletown to Hartford. If in the near future, they can go through Essex, that would be even better. Not sure why this has not been thought of.
  by shadyjay
One of the obstacles for through freight from New Haven to Hartford is the connection between the Air Line and Conn Valley Lines in Middletown. There's a diamond and one connecting track, which would result in a backup move and power on both ends. A train comes up from Cedar Hill (New Haven) into Middletown, then has to take the connecting track which heads south onto the Conn Valley Line. Once such train clears the switch, then they could head back north. In the process, there are several grade crossings that would be blocked, including two adjacent to Route 9. There's a cemetary located in the NW quadrant which would make fitting in a E->N direct connection track difficult. See:
https://www.google.com/maps/@41.5663545 ... a=!3m1!1e3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

But that's not to say it wouldn't be possible to run New Haven-Middletown-Hartford, especially at night when traffic is less.

As far as using the southern end of the Conn Valley through Essex, that's a whole other animal. There's a good 8 miles of track that hasn't seen a train since 1968 and another 4 miles of track on the eastern fringe of Middletown that's been out of service since the 90s. All would need a full reconstruction, as would probably most of the active track that the Valley Railroad uses. I believe a good amount of "light rail" still exists that would need to be changed, along with more ties, etc. And that's not even including the NIMBY factor and working around present excursion trains and other changes that would come with that.

But obviously, the P&W/G&W has something in mind if they're fixing up the track in Wethersfield.
  by ebtmikado
CT-2 changes direction at Norwalk, with dozens of cars, whenever it goes to Danbury.
  by Backshophoss
That local has units on both ends,change ends ,brake test and head to Danbury! :-)
  by ebtmikado
Yes. Just as Jay suggested would happen in Middletown.
  by Jeff Smith
News coverage on Wethersfield work to reactivate: wfsb.com

Sloppy article... do they still teach journalism in school?
Wethersfield residents upset over railroad work

WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) - If you live in Wethersfield or maybe you're just driving through, you might be stopping at more of these railroad crossings soon.

Some railroads that haven't been used in decades, will soon be put to use, and work is already underway for that to happen.
The state owns this land but P & W Railroad leases it from the state.

So, it's their job to maintain it, which is why they cleared all those trees and they'll also be replacing 12,000 railroad ties.

This railroad has always been considered active, but it hasn't been used in decades.

The mayor tells us the trains carrying freight will be heading from Middletown through Wethersfield and into Hartford.
  by Larry
I look at the TRAINS webcam of BNSF and Union Pacific in Rochelle IL Webcam and I see where a switch is put in for BNSF to head West on UP line in the top left corner. Why can't P&W (G&W) put a switch in just like that one so railcars coming from Hartford can go directly to New Haven. I know the cemetery is there but looking at the BNSF and Union Pacific in Rochelle IL webcam it looks to me there would be enough room to install such a switch at Middletown.