Middletown Branch

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.
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Middletown Branch

Postby Pwrrfan » Sat Jan 24, 2015 10:07 am

I have some information pertaining to businesses on the Middletown Branch. A cement company is supposed go in on East Center Street in Wallingford where the old freight house used to be. United Concrete, which will receive cars on the old Dyno siding, is expected to do good business with the railroad. Red Technologies in Portland is scheduled to begin service with the railroad very soon, after almost 3 years. Finally,7D in Rocky Hill is going to make room for a 3rd car. CT-1 should be pretty busy in the coming months which will be good for the railroad.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby YamaOfParadise » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:43 pm

That's great news; it's good to see the area getting better and better. Good to see that the money put into the area by the State can be shown to not be a waste. And the more freight in the Middletown cluster area, the better prospects of seeing the Valley line in full operable again - since it's the only direct way to get freight originating east of the CT River to the Hartford area... but that's still far-off if ever.

Wonder if they're going to end up running any additional trains because of this, as I imagine that United Concrete is definitely going to be bringing in a number of additional cars.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby Pwrrfan » Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:29 pm

I'm thinking that with all the work at the Belle Dock and with the new work coming in on the Middletown Branch, there is a possibilty that another train may be put in service.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby Brendan » Tue Feb 09, 2016 9:16 pm

Does any one know anything about the string of hopper cars sitting on the valley line by river road on the south end of Middletown? Now that the pipe line work is done in front of the court house in Middletown, they have put the track back together, and within a week, a string of about 18 hopper cars traveled over the rebuild track, heading south of Middletown and are now parked down by river road.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby YamaOfParadise » Tue Feb 09, 2016 11:49 pm

What kind of hoppers? I wouldn't be surprised if it was related to the re-ballasting of that replaced track, and the cars are just parked there until they get around to bringing them back to where-ever. Can't even imagine what it'd be otherwise, though, only hoppers that are ever in the general area are from Tilcon... and 18 cars is a lot for any other one-time shipment. Only other idea is that perhaps it is related to the closing of Middletown's sewage facility now that the pipeline up to the Mattabassett facility is near completion; I don't know if construction/demolition debris goes by hopper, nor do I know what they're actually going to do with the old facility.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: unnecessary quoting
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby Brendan » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:21 pm

I did not think of the ballasting, but 18 cars seems excessive for that stretch of track. I would think one or two would have done it. and I don't know that they had the right doors for ballasting.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby ebtmikado » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:17 pm

Parked for winter storage, until stone season resumes at Reeds Gap.

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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby YamaOfParadise » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:23 pm

Figured I'd post this here instead of a completely new thread, and I know it isn't technically on the Middletown Branch, but: how is the bridge operated these days? I figure we're long past the days of there being a bridge operator, so I'm curious what the crew does when servicing Portland. (And when the transition between the bridge operator to whatever remote operation is done today, which I imagine was either in the late NH days or Conrail).
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby ebtmikado » Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:48 pm

There is a mechanic stationed in Middletown whenever the trains are to cross the river, or be fueled.
I have seen him operate the bridge from controls near the Middletown diamond.

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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby Brendan » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:00 pm

At the end of the Connecticut Central days Francis was trained to operate the bridge and then got hired on by P&W. I don't know if he is still the only one qualified to run the bridge or if he as trained another to do it. But I do see him still there operating it from time to time. There is a small both hanging on the south side of the end of the fixed span on the Middletown side. That both houses the controls. The operator has to walk out on the bridge to that both ahead of the trains arrival to swing the bridge.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby johnpbarlow » Sun Nov 19, 2017 7:34 am

As I drove up I-91 near North Haven yesterday 11/18/17 I observed a track gang of at least a half dozen machines doing tie replacement on the Middletown branch. Is there some likelihood that G&W will be increasing operations over this line?
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:31 am

Thanks for that info! Based on the Google Maps aerial photo of the P&W diamond at Middletown, it looks like the lumber distribution center (Seven D Wholesale?) gets serviced by P&W out of New Haven? If this Air Line - Valley Line routing between New Haven and Hartford eventually becomes G&W's through freight line, how will they cope with the Middletown diamond having a connection only in the SW quadrant? Looks like Riverside cemetery blocks construction of a NW quadrant connection and it doesn't look like there is any space along the current Valley RoW to build a runaround track. Plus it looks like a long freight would block quite a few grade crossings.
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P&W Seven D Wholesale.JPG
P&W Middletown CT.JPG
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby ebtmikado » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:44 am

P&W runs with engines on both ends, so a change of direction is not problematic.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:17 am

P&W-CSOR Hartford interchange was regularly used by CT-1 as late as early-'08 to exchange C&D cars, and there's plenty of NERail photo evidence of Wethersfield action through as late as Nov. '07. I don't know when the service ended...probably when Portland dried up for the first time and/or when they got sign-off from CSX to allow those loads to interchange at Cedar Hill instead.

It is still actively-maintained track that is not under an embargo or OOS designation because it's the designated emergency backup interchange in event of a catastrophic disruption to Cedar Hill. So they are required by their CDOT trackage rights to maintain it as active and be able to run a train to the division post as necessary, whether it presently resembles a jungle or not. They may not do much brush-cutting beyond the minimum, but it's most definitely not derelict track.
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Re: Middletown Branch

Postby bwparker1 » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:08 pm

The timeframe for the termination of service sounds accurate. Sometime in the first half of 2008. Photos on the photos.nerail website indicated the service resumed sometime around 2004-2005. So not very long...

I’ll try to get some photos and upload them here of the line in it’s current condition.
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