Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

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.

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby runningwithscalpels » Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:56 pm

Change at Bridgeport for service to Derby-Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and Waterbury
User avatar
runningwithscalpels
 
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:01 pm
Location: Waterbury Branch MP 22.0

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby khansingh » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:48 pm

khansingh
 
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:40 pm

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Sep 04, 2012 1:37 am

There was a reason for the 8600's to Winsted. They ran this train with one coach on weekdays and they could do that because the 8600's had the lounge area for smoking which fulfilled the requirement for a smoking and non smoking car. On weekends they ran the older coaches on the Naugy because all of the trains had more than one coach. As for the add on at Waterbury, usually 153 came in from Winsted with the RPO and one 8600 and at least two more and sometimes three or four more would be added on at Waterbury. The add on at Waterbury wasn't always all 8600's but sometimes older cars would be included too. The train picked up quite a few passengers at Bridgeport for the non-stop ride to New York at that time so it had to have enough cars out of Waterbury to take care of Bridgeport as well as the stations on the Naugy. On weekends train 153 was very heavy with two 500's and as many as 12 or more cars again to take care of not just the Naugy but Bridgeport as well. The difference between the Naugy north of Waterbury and the Berkshire north of Danbury was that the Berkshire had many more stations to serve and thus had heavier ridership and one coach would never do on any of those trains so the older cars were just fine there. When the 8600's first came to the Naugy they were only used on 153 from Waterbury to New York and 158 from New York back to Waterbury. The folks in Torrington raised hell over the new coaches coming off the train at Waterbury, I have clips from the newspaper regarding this and finally the railroad found a legitimate reason to run them to Winsted. The cars that came off at Waterbury were moved by the switcher to the coach yard which was at Meriden Junction by the engine house where they had ground steam as well as stand by electricity to keep the batteries charged which was important on the 8600's as they did use a lot of juice especially in the warm months of AC.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9330
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:08 pm

runningwithscalpels wrote:


Such a shame that what's there now is so run down :(

Be thankful it still exists at all. So many of the grand urban New England stations have been lost over the years-- the union stations in Portland, ME and Concord, NH come to mind.
Ridgefielder
 
Posts: 2299
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Otto Vondrak » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:31 pm

We might want to move this to the New Haven Forum...

-otto-
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At
User avatar
Otto Vondrak
 
Posts: 20141
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Tadman » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:38 am

I saw a boxcar on that time-lapse video, are there any on-line industries anymore?

Also, I'm under the impression that a lot of brass companies and bearing companies left the area between 1960 and 1990, leaving behind a serious lack of employment. Has this left the area in a position similar to Gary, Indiana, or Detroit, Michigan?
Tadman
 
Posts: 8388
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 10:21 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby TomNelligan » Wed Sep 05, 2012 11:59 am

I saw a boxcar on that time-lapse video, are there any on-line industries anymore?


There are no longer any regular freight customers south of Waterbury.

Also, I'm under the impression that a lot of brass companies and bearing companies left the area between 1960 and 1990, leaving behind a serious lack of employment. Has this left the area in a position similar to Gary, Indiana, or Detroit, Michigan?


It's not quite that bad. The traditional manufacturing industry in the Naugatuck Valley is almost entirely gone. As one small example, my father worked for 43 years for U.S. Rubber/Uniroyal in Naugatuck in a footware factory that employed roughly a thousand people on three shifts when I had a summer job there in the 1960s (and from a rail perspective, generated six or seven outbound carloads of shoes every day as well as receiving inbound supplies). By 1979 the plant was closed and a thousand jobs had vanished. The Ansonia/Derby/Shelton area, where I grew up, has benefited from real estate development that brought in a lot of white collar commuters who work in New Haven or Fairfield County as well as a lot of old but decent housing stock that has been affordable to people with lower incomes. Thus, populations in the lower Valley have remained stable or grown. But many of them drive somewhere else to work. Waterbury isn't nearly unpopulated like Detroit, but economically it's been pretty desolate since the brass mills that were its economic foundation for over a century shut down.
TomNelligan
 
Posts: 3180
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:43 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby TCurtin » Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:39 am

Noel Weaver wrote:There was a reason for the 8600's to Winsted. They ran this train with one coach on weekdays and they could do that because the 8600's had the lounge area for smoking which fulfilled the requirement for a smoking and non smoking car.
Noel Weaver

With all due respect for your encyclopedic knowledge (and I mean that sincerely), i doubt that the smoking lounge was the reason for taking an 8600 out of main line service for The Naugatuck. All the pre-war coaches in series 8500-8529 also had smoking lounges; and by the period after WWII I think even a few of the older 8200 series had been retrofitted with them too. There has to be some more interesting explanation for the assignment of an 8600.
TCurtin
 
Posts: 293
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:12 am

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:00 am

Believe me, Tom, that was the main reason they decided to run the 8600's through to Winsted, one car and rarely more than one either on 442/153 or on 158/465. It saved at least on the size of the train and I am not sure about the size of the crew. As to why they ran the 8600's on the Naugy in the first place, the only thing I can say and I do not know whether it is correct or not is that the railroad had a lot of big freight customers in the Naugatuck Valley and they wanted to impress them with good equipment on the passenger trains. I know it is very hard for anybody today especially if they had never been in Waterbury when things were good or are too young to even remember when things were good in Ansonia, Naugatuck, Waterbury and Torrington as well as the rest of the valley. Go there now and it is very difficult to imagine it when things were a lot different but they were a lot different back in the 40's and early 50's. When the Hartford - Bridgeport jobs and the Hartford - Maybrook jobs came off way back when the railroad was not as concerned about Hartford traffic as they were about Waterbury traffic which was heavy and hot at that time. We had a direct connection to NE-1 at Bridgeport and when the Hartford connection came off around the end of WW-II, they maintained the connection out of Waterbury, when AO-5 which was the last Maybrook train out of Hartford came off DN-3 also carried the Maybrook cars to Bridgeport to be added to NO-3's train at East Bridgeport. Waterbury was a good place to watch the activity too, the High Grade Yard was right next to the passenger station and all of the freight trains were generally seen there too. Even when there was a lull in the passenger activity, you would always see the High Grade Switcher and sometimes the Low Grade Switcher as well working around the station or not too far away. The "Big Three" in Waterbury were not only good freight customers but their management people traveled a lot and during the 40's and 50's much of that travel involved the railroad right out of Waterbury.
You raised a valid point as to the 8500's and I think the 8500's were already fully assigned to certain other trains during these years, I actually thought in many ways the 8500's were better to ride in then the 8600's at least in some ways, I remember the seats reclined further back in the 8500's then they did in the 8600's. Both classes of passenger cars rode well and were comfortable, both also had the overhead fluorescent lighting that provided a awlful glare to passengers. During these years there were a couple of members of the BOD whom were from Waterbury and that might have had something to do with the 8600's going to Waterbury. I have clilppings regarding the fuss that was made in Torrington because the 8600's were cut off the train at the beginning at Waterbury.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9330
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Ridgefielder » Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:39 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:The "Big Three" in Waterbury were not only good freight customers but their management people traveled a lot and during the 40's and 50's much of that travel involved the railroad right out of Waterbury...During these years there were a couple of members of the BOD whom were from Waterbury and that might have had something to do with the 8600's going to Waterbury. I have clilppings regarding the fuss that was made in Torrington because the 8600's were cut off the train at the beginning at Waterbury.
Noel Weaver

Just a thought of mine: there are more than a few very wealthy New Yorkers who had weekend/summer houses in Litchfield (still true today, in fact.) And even though the Litchfield Branch ran up from Hawleyville, the center of Litchfield is only 4-5 miles from the Naugy. Seems likely to me that the NH realized that these people or their weekend guests could very well include executives at important current and potential shippers, members of the board, Connecticut politicians, etc., and planned their service accordingly.
Ridgefielder
 
Posts: 2299
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:57 am

Ridgefielder wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:The "Big Three" in Waterbury were not only good freight customers but their management people traveled a lot and during the 40's and 50's much of that travel involved the railroad right out of Waterbury...During these years there were a couple of members of the BOD whom were from Waterbury and that might have had something to do with the 8600's going to Waterbury. I have clilppings regarding the fuss that was made in Torrington because the 8600's were cut off the train at the beginning at Waterbury.
Noel Weaver

Just a thought of mine: there are more than a few very wealthy New Yorkers who had weekend/summer houses in Litchfield (still true today, in fact.) And even though the Litchfield Branch ran up from Hawleyville, the center of Litchfield is only 4-5 miles from the Naugy. Seems likely to me that the NH realized that these people or their weekend guests could very well include executives at important current and potential shippers, members of the board, Connecticut politicians, etc., and planned their service accordingly.


When it came to wealthy travelers they rode the Berkshire and not the Naugy for the most part. Even with that the Berkshire still had parlor cars on weekends but the passengers with pull rode out of Waterbury and these folks were management people with the big industries traveling all over the country by rail, most of their trips started in the Naugatuck Valley. I think this is the main reason we had as much passenger service over the years as we did. Some of the Bridgeport trains were timed to connect with Washington trains as well as GCT trains at Bridgeport. Over the years the patronage out of Waterbury and the Naugatuck Valley was of a different sort than the patronage out of Danbury and the Berkshire as well. My father in his working days with American Brass in Torrington and especially Waterbury traveled to other American Brass facilities in Buffalo, Detroit, Toronto and Kenosha, Wis. Most of those trips were by train starting in Waterbury although in his later years of travel some of it was by air. Multiply this by loads of other management not only with American Brass but with the other industries in Waterbury, Naugatuck, Ansonia and Derby to destinations all over the US mostly by rail and you can see the importance of New Haven passenger service in Waterbury. Torrington was not nearly as big of a deal, the people with American Brass would be furnished transportation by company car to Waterbury or New Haven to get on a passenger train. American Brass people traveled so much that the company had a travel agent of sorts who arranged all transportation for people who travelled by company business. The New Haven Railroad had a reservations clerk in the ticket office at Waterbury who handled this for the railroad and this clerk made plenty of calls to Penn Pullman and the others off line to secure sleeping car reservations for people on the go. Some of the railroads that my father traveled included the New Haven, New York Central, Pennsylvania, Wabash, Chicago North Western, Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee (in this case his description was that they hitched a bunch of trolley cars together and went like a bat out of hell) and probably some other railroads as well. He also travelled the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo and both major Canadian Railways too. He usually brought me back some timetables from these trips.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9330
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:54 pm

khansingh wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnUylNzPVVs

You might like this Super 8 of the branch from the mid eighties, taken from the front end of a Budd SPV. As you can see, it's before they opened the station in Beacon Falls and when Track 1 still abutted the station. Since this time, it's been replaced by the new station and the parking lot.


Great video; I think I've seen it before, but it's still cool to see it every once in a while. Although Pan Am South has rights to the line, I don't think they have any customers.

TomNelligan wrote:As one who grew up in the Naugatuck Valley in the New Haven RR years, I really appreciates Mr. Weaver's historical notes here and elsewhere on the net. He's a little older than me and remembers a lot more! By the time I was old enough to pay attention in the late 1950s, there were four RDC round trips a day between Waterbury and Bridgeport, and that patten continued unchanged until service increased under Metro-North in the 1980s.


It could probably be adequately served by a a couple of DMU's today, albeit with more frequency. With the problems they have on the line with the Brookvilles, a couple of rehabbed Budd's could do the trick. Hell, CDOT has bought everyone else's leftovers for years!
Next stop, Willoughby
~Jeff Smith (fka "Sarge") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator
Jeff Smith
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7404
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: MP 67.2 Georgia Southern Railway

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby DutchRailnut » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:08 pm

DMU's are not as great a product as everyone here believes, but I have explained that a few times in other topics.
The Mini Bombs are way easier to maintain, are way better on fuel than any DMU, and are more dependable, even with a brookville.
as for Waterbury they do not run Brookvilles, but run a P32acdm.
If the DMU were so great how come Colorado Car Company went belly up and no other manufacturer is interested, just sayin..
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer
User avatar
DutchRailnut
 
Posts: 21174
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Last passenger trains at Danbury & Waterbury

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:07 pm

DMU's are equipment that I would like to like (get that?) but their track record here in Florida is not all that great. I have talked to one or two engineers whom have operated them and they prefer the locomotive hauled trains over the DMU's. One engineer flat out stated that they were junk. The best thing about them right now is that they are relatively new but the motor units vibrate more than the Budd RDC cars of the 50's did so the best ride has been in the non powered middle car. Last I knew Tri-Rail still found a way to keep a three car unit running of sorts, I don't know whether any of the other units are in use at present or not. I agree with "Dutch", they would not make good equipment on the Naugy nor anywhere else on Metro-North either.
Noel Weaver
Noel Weaver
 
Posts: 9330
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 9:33 pm
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida

PreviousNext

Return to New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad NYNH&HRR

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests