• 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

  • 656 posts
  • 1
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44
  by highrail
 
Interesting feature piece in Railfan & Railroad on the Housatonic. Such a rosy picture, which may be true, but feels a bit puffy. I wonder how the folks feel at the Berkshire Scenic, given their struggles to deal with the Housatonic management.

Steve
  by Greg Moore
 
The son of friends of mine took the cover photo (and I presume others in the article.)
  by J.D. Lang
 
From what I've seen so far all of the welded rail from Stockbridge down to the CT. border is still just lying on the ground. No work at all that I can see. Will have been lying there for a year come this summer. Tie bundles have been sitting in various places for about the same time.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Who's supposed to install the rail? And pay for such installation? That could be your problem right there.

Here's the link to the piece: http://railfan.com/housatonic-today/

There's also a pretty good Facebook page, of which Mr. Jacobs I think is the admin: https://www.facebook.com/groups/fansofthehrrc/ and https://www.facebook.com/fansofhrrc/

Brief, fair-use quote per forum policy:
Nestled in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts and Connecticut is a hidden gem of railroading. Housatonic Railroad is a 120-mile short line, headquartered in Canaan, Conn., a small town 47 rail miles north of Danbury, Conn., and 37 rail miles south of Pittsfield, Mass. Canaan is the base of operations, home to the locomotive shops, dispatcher, clerk, main office, and maintainers, and is where most of the train crews report for duty.
...
The “new” Housatonic Railroad Company (HRRC) was chartered in July 1984 by entrepreneur John Hanlon, who began running passenger excursions from Canaan to Cornwall Bridge, Conn., a distance of approximately 15 miles. Enjoying modest success, the remainder of the line was reopened in 1989 all the way to New Milford, where HRRC could interchange with Conrail. It was then Housatonic began servicing its first freight customers in Canaan.
...
By the time Housatonic took over in 1993, the only remaining freight customers on the upper Harlem Line were King Lumber in Golden’s Bridge and a Grand Union warehouse in Mount Kisco. The warehouse was closed by 1995 when the supermarket chain went bankrupt, and King Lumber switched to truck delivery soon after HRRC began regular operations. Despite a lack of customers, freight rights remain active…
I thought MNRR terminated the freight rights, and MNRR now owns the portion west of the state line. AFAIK, the last train HRRC operated over the Beacon west of Danbury would have been Strates.

For subscriptions: https://shop.whiteriverproductions.com/ ... 1206957812 or https://www.amazon.com/White-River-Prod ... B00007B0ZZ

I know there's a fair amount of derision on here for the HRRC; certainly, some of it is justified. But without them, this route through the Berkshires would be a rail trail. Keep that in mind. I drove it a couple weeks ago as far as Canaan from Danbury. Stopped at a few old station, got some nice shots. I'll say this much: there's a WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING along the Housatonic River Valley! Very scenic though. Route 7 is in pretty bad shape.

At most, regular passenger service should be extended to New Milford, but I'd add that a weekend excursion train during spring/summer/fall up to Kent and back would be nice; very touristy type towns.
  by cjvrr
 
My limited understanding is the tie work done last fall was in preparation for installing the welded rail. This spring/ summer the rail is supposed to be installed along with the remaining ties.

Did they get their engines back from Maine yet?
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
So, if I'm still able to go back "for our 60th" June 2021 (the School scrubbed this year's Reunion), will I still see the welded rail along Hatch Pond waiting to be laid?

I'm betting it still be there "for 65th", but I'm not expecting to eye witness that.
  by J.D. Lang
 
I took a ride down that way last fall and the welded rail has been put in from the south side of Hatch Pond (boat launch area) all the way north to almost Kent Center. It definitely was laying there for a number of years. I'm wondering if HRRC has the ability to install the rail its self or if they need an outside contractor to do it. In Mass. it appears the welded rail that was dropped last summer goes all the way from Pittsfield to CT. state line except the sections that already have it. That's a lot of rail to install and who is going to do it and pay for it is the big question.
  by Jeff Smith
 
Glad to hear that about at least a portion of the CT ROW. I'll get some pictures up eventually, but one thing I noticed in my tour a couple of weeks ago was the poor condition of ties at the New Milford "station". The line needs investment no doubt, and if HRRC is cash-strapped, there should be a deal to be made here, perhaps similar to Mass. Say, deed CT the remaining Berkshire ROW it owns Danbury - New Milford in exchange for an upgrade to a certain class track. Can CT afford it right now? No. And it's likely HRRC would also want some cash.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Glad to hear it too, Mr. Lang. It's just too "iffy" to say I'll be at School next year for my "60th".

Who knows when the Googlemobile will next drive over Bull's Bridge and South Kent Roads to get a glympse of it.

Of course, never mind about the X-ties and ballast, which I'll bet haven't been renewed since I graduated. But I'm sure with whatever work is done HRR track will remain Class 2 ("back in my day"; freight 40 passenger 50 - FRA Class? Teacher, what's the FRA?)
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Wed Apr 29, 2020 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by cjvrr
 
J.D. Lang wrote: Tue Apr 28, 2020 11:49 am ..... I'm wondering if HRRC has the ability to install the rail its self or if they need an outside contractor to do it.....
The major rail and tie work is being done by an outside contractor.
  by Train60
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 4:09 pm Who's supposed to install the rail? And pay for such installation? That could be your problem right there.
The section of the Berkshire Line between Pittsfield and the CT/MA State Line is now owned by MassDOT. The rehab work on the line is being funded under MassDOT's Capital Investment Plan with work being performed over a number of years under multiple construction contracts.

The apparent low bidder for Phase II of the project is Railworks. More than you probably ever want to know about this project can be found on this COMMBUYS page -
https://www.commbuys.com/bso/external/b ... entUrl=bid
Last edited by Train60 on Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by njtmnrrbuff
 
What are the chances of tourist operations resuming on the Berkshire Scenic Railroad that ran from Lenox to Stockbridge? Are there also any chances of maybe having all day excursions-maybe run from Stockbridge or even Great Barrington to Adams?
  • 1
  • 40
  • 41
  • 42
  • 43
  • 44