• Torrington Station Death Watch

  • 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 Allen Hazen
 
A friend, who lived in Torrington from the early 1980s until about two years ago asked me to post this:

"Truth be known the Torrington station is no real thing of beauty, but I always felt that Torrington was being very short sighted when it came to the station. For awhile there were grandiose plans to make downtown one big box outlet mall, and the Kelley property would have become a parking garage. Given all those years of this property being used as a bus depot serious remediation is necessary before it can be used for anything. It seemed to me that a four story underground garage topped with a nice park, and using the depot as a transportation hub would have been a great long range plan. Light rail from down the valley, and free trolleys around town and the depot as a waiting room/ticket centre would have been an excellent use and it would have eased the downtown parking situation. For those who don't know, the station is only two blocks from Main Street, prime real estate. But the Kelley family was greedy and the entire complex is more than an eyesore."
  by Noel Weaver
 
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and there was a certain amount of beauty in this old station in years past. The varnished ceilings and trim, tile walls and especially the brass rail in front of the ticket window which was removed or stolen during the McGinnis period, probably not long after the 1955 flood.
Two blocks from Main Street, yes but they were not short blocks and the station was/is not in a good location for any sort of transit terminal.
I have said this before on here and elsewhere but it bears repeating, once the Expressway was built between Waterbury and Winsted (currently Connecticut Route 8) there was no way that passenger service between Waterbury - Torrington and Winsted would continue to be a viable option. A bus on the expressway making the same stops as the train could make the trip in far less running time and make a decent connection with existing trains at Waterbury and at far less cost. The mail contract went to trucks after the flood and so did Railway Express and even using a single Budd Car with just an engineer and a conductor, the route lost big time.
Noel Weaver
  by chnhrr
 
Here is a picture of the station back in the day. It seems to be a simple prototypical New Haven masonry structure similar to ones found along the mainline. It’s a shame it can be transformed into an alternate use such as community/arts center. Judging by the satellite image, the tracks don’t appear to be used often. When were the tracks to Winsted removed?

(Photo courtesy Kinglyheirs)
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Noel Weaver wrote:The thing that made the mess much worse in the case of Torrington was that this station had/has a wood floor. Most of the old NHRR stations of this design had/have concrete floors and had that been the case at Torrington I don't think the damage would have been quite as bad as it is.
OH WELL, you can still visit the station at Berlin which is very much like the station at Torrington only a little bit bigger and with a concrete floor. I hope Connecticut can come up with the funding to do a nice restoration job on this interesting building.
Noel Weaver
There is a renovation/restoration planned for Berlin, and a $250K STEP grant was approved for it in October. Grant request was for $500K, and they anticipate that'll be fulfilled in a future grant. Building renovations will include masonry, roof, flooring, plumbing, electrical, heating/air conditioning, window/door restoration. Platform's going to get a completed canopy, and parking lot's going to be repaved with new lighting and landscaping. Grant kicks in this year and the EIS was completed awhile ago, so I think work ought to be starting pretty soon. Plans date back to 2002, so this renovation is independent of the NHHS commuter rail plans and includes no actual track work.
  by H.F.Malone
 
"It’s a shame it can be transformed into an alternate use such as community/arts center."

Owned by a greedy and uncaring old man for over 50 years-- that's the shame. Numerous offers to help that building were refused in nasty and insulting ways.

"Judging by the satellite image, the tracks don’t appear to be used often. When were the tracks to Winsted removed?"

You should do some simple research and you would easily find that the tracks are owned by CDOT and are part of the Naugatuck Railroad operation. The 9 miles north to Winsted were abandoned and removed in 1964 by the New Haven. More details are on RMNE's website. http://www.rmne.org

Naugatuck Railroad occasionally operates into Torrington; up until about 8 years ago, that operation was more frequent. Deterioration of the station (and the resulting debris falling onto the platform), the many grade crossings, the extreme unattractiveness of the route into Torrington, and the complete lack of interest by the city in anything rail-related, all combined to reduce NAUG's operations "up north". In spring 2009, a special passenger train did bring a group of historic re-enactors, including "Abe Lincoln" and "Mark Twain", to the Church St. crossing just north of the station.
Last edited by H.F.Malone on Tue Jan 04, 2011 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by H.F.Malone
 
As of Tuesday morning, demolition is well under way.
  by Otto Vondrak
 
H.F.Malone wrote:Owned by a greedy and uncaring old man for over 50 years-- that's the shame. Numerous offers to help that building were refused in nasty and insulting ways.
And that will be his legacy! King of Nothing!
  by CVRA7
 
Well stated - and I had it from a couple of different sources that the old man was a millionaire, so it's not like he couldn't afford it. He also let other buildings on his property literally cave in - the old vehicle maintenance garage was one.
The real shame was that his ancestors arrived in Torrington with the building of railroad and for many years worked on the Naugatuck and New Haven railroads, and later had a stage and wagon business that was based near the station, where they received much of their business. He certainly didn't do memories of his family any favors with his (in-)actions.
As stated, the Berlin station does live on, hopefully with restoration work to begin this spring. Not a moment too soon as its roof is also leaking and the floors are creaking! (they are wood, except for the top layer in the rest rooms)
  by Noel Weaver
 
Following is a link to an article in the Register Citizen from Torrington this AM. Lots of memories going with that job. Pretty sad for me to see this.

http://www.registercitizen.com/articles ... 936303.txt

I remember this place way back in the 40's.
Noel Weaver
  by Lincoln78
 
TV news this morning reported that the station was torn down. "The site will be developed".
  by chnhrr
 
Greedy and uncaring old men usually end up in the afterlife spinning around on Lucifer’s eternal spit.
  by 3rd Gen. Brakeman
 
As I understand it, the ticket booth and some of the ornamental pieces were salvaged for the Torrington Historical Society.
  by Noel Weaver
 
Does anybody on here know from their own observation whether anything remains today from this building?
Thanks,
Noel Weaver