ebtmikado wrote:Recently, on various sites, I saw the old HP&F Hartford-Waterbury line referred to as the Highland.
It was-- and is still-- very commonly used; I believe it was an official NYNH&H subdivision name at one point. The derivation is quite simple: the line physically traverses the western highlands of Connecticut between New Britain and the Naugatuck Valley. If you've ever driven from Hartford to Waterbury on I-84-- or, even better, from Hartford to Litchfield on CT-4-- you'll understand it immediately. In the 2.5 miles between the Farmington River and the center of Burlington, for instance, CT-4 gains close on 600' in elevation.
Was this name commonly used? Where did it come from?
Railroad tracks never went anywhere near the center of Burlington which is a few miles west of where the old Burlington Station once was on the Branch to New Hartford.
Having said that the Highland was the territory east of Hartford I believe although the trainmen had a roster for the Highland which included Hartford - Waterbury among its territory east of Hartford. The Highland Trainmen's Roster covered a few of the Cedar Hill - Maybrook Jobs as well as all of the work between Waterbury and Hartford except for the Cedar Hill - Holyoke jobs which belonged to the Air Line - Northampton Roster. The Highland Roster also covered the yard jobs in Waterbury and New Britain although Devon - Winsted was Naugatuck Roster work for the trainmen. This was another example of an excessive number of rosters back in the days. The railroad and its employees would all have been mcuh better off if all of these roster territories had been combined way back in maybe the late 20's when severe cuts began to take place.
The Highland was also somewhat known as the "High Dry and Dusty" or the Shiny Iron.