• NHRR spur at the old Bridgeport Station

  • 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 newkirk
Back in the late 70's, I was photographing the abandoned NHRR Bridgeport Station which was low level. If you remember, this station was on a curve.

By the westbound platform, there was a single track branching off and heading north east. There were catenary poles minus the wire which showed one time electrification. The rails looked long disused.

Anyone know what this branch was all about ?

I moved this post over from the MTA Metro North forum. My mistake.

  by DutchRailnut

The branch use to go up to Botsford on Maybrook line.

The brach was abandoned so route 8 could be built.
The lower mile and 1/2 was kept as an industrial track and went to HiHo(DiAdario) concrete. in Bridgeport.
  by Tom Curtin
You will hear this referred to as the "Housatonic Branch" as it was the original ROW of the Housatonic Railroad (built 1839-1840).

As tne previous post stated, it remained in service for quite a while as a spur to the D'Addario plant. The other end, from Botsford down to Stepney Depot remained in service until something like 1964. The rest, in the middle, was abandoned about 1939. Route 8/25, as far north as the Merritt Parkway is mostly built on the ROW.

  by newkirk

So this branch was electrified at one time ? It seems as though passenger trains connected to the NH at Bridgeport. Am I right ?

  by newkirk
David Telesha,

Thanks for the link to the NHRR map. Very interesting to see how vast the NH system was at one time.
  by Noel Weaver
David Telesha wrote:I don't know of any "connecting" passenger service on this line - that is after the NH owned and operated it. Passenger service on the Maybrook (where this line you're are inquiring about ended) - ended in the 1920's.

As far as I know, a EY class electric switcher would be used to switch the industries along this line in B'port.

Further on, I think there were one or two customers in Stepney but they were served by diesel.

This map might be of help to show the entire line. Look for Bridgeport and follow the line that goes north next to the number "6".

The line in question, the old branch to Botsford was NOT electrified beyond
the station area. Most likely yard power in the diesel age was an 0900
class Alco (S-1).
The last passenger trains on that branch were likely in the early to mid
1930's with maybe a gas electric car running between Bridgeport and
Have a Merry Christmas, all!!
Noel Weaver
  by Leo Sullivan
Back in the 50s, I was fascinated by the electrification so, the first time I was on the ground at Bridgeport, I walked up around the corner to see if it really was an electrified branch. The wire extended for only about 6-10 spans and clearly, never any farther. Presumably, in some archive, there is exact info.
  by Statkowski
The only section of the original Housatonic Railroad main at the old Bridgeport depot was in the station area itself. Electric engines could park here awaiting a steam/diesel-powered train coming down from Winsted and Waterbury and continuing on to Grand Central Terminal. Electric engines could also access the tracks to drop off or pick up mail & express cars.
  by trainsinmaine
The last time I traveled over the Merritt Parkway, the Housatonic Branch overpass over the Parkway was still there, nicely maintained but with no track over it (after 60+ years). I have no idea why it's still standing, but I must say it's a nice relic of the past.
  by Statkowski
When the original Merritt Parkway (two lanes only) was built, the rail line between Bridgeport and Botsford was still intact. True, it was only months away from abandonment, but it was still an "operating" rail line, hence Connecticut was obligated to build the bridge.

The bridge has not been removed for two simple reasons - necessity and money. If it isn't absolutely necessary to remove the bridge, then it would be extremely wasteful to spend the money on doing so. The bridge currently poses no traffic hazard to the parkway, so it still stands.
  by The Old Man
The siding was used for a number of purposes back in the early 60’s and some parts into the early 70’s only up as far as North St. It was used as a siding for the lower yard switcher. They came back there also to pick up switching manifests. The siding also was used may times for the Coleman Bros. and another circus outfit, because after about a half mile north on the branch it came down to street level and there they unloaded the flats cars and animals. Which then they paraded down to Seaside Park. After they couldn’t use the siding they moved the circus trains up along the main east of the East Yards.