customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

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customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby FLRailFan1 » Sat May 17, 2014 9:00 am

Does anyone have info on freight customers from 1965 into today...I knew Farmington ReadiMix and a lumber yard in Avon were customers until the abandonment. Someone told me Bozzuto's was a customer at one time. I saw a rail spur into the Pratt Whitney complex, so I guess they were. Who else? I would like to know all the way to Westfield. Thanks...
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat May 17, 2014 11:06 pm

The biggest source of business anywhere on the Canal was in Holyoke. There was enough business there to warrant a yard engine and a through freight to Cedar Hill and both lasted right up until the end of the New Haven. Basically the only place today that has much is Holyoke as well although I think there might still be some business around Westfield too. The only other part of the line that is still active is a little bit right around Plainville but I don't know if there is any active business actually located on the Canal Line trackage in Plainville. The Canal Line was a nice ride and a good piece of railroad but financially it was a basket case for a long time, not enough revenue vs costs.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby Allen Hazen » Sun May 18, 2014 5:26 pm

From memory, from train-watching in the early 1970s: Cheshire had a lumber yard, just south of West Main Street, that got occasional boxcars. I think I was told there was a grocery distributor a bit further north.

At that time the track was… poor. I was told that, even with the short trains needed, the engineer (of an RS-3 or RS-3m) had to switch bcd and forth between Idle and Run-2 to keep to a safe speed: any continuous operation at even a low notch would accelerate the train dangerously.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby FLRailFan1 » Mon May 19, 2014 8:45 pm

Noel:

What I wonder is if anyone had a customer list from circa 1965, a customer list around the PC days then a customer list from when B & M days.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby FLRailFan1 » Mon May 19, 2014 8:48 pm

Allen Hazen wrote:From memory, from train-watching in the early 1970s: Cheshire had a lumber yard, just south of West Main Street, that got occasional boxcars. I think I was told there was a grocery distributor a bit further north.

At that time the track was… poor. I was told that, even with the short trains needed, the engineer (of an RS-3 or RS-3m) had to switch bcd and forth between Idle and Run-2 to keep to a safe speed: any continuous operation at even a low notch would accelerate the train dangerously.


Thanks...I knew Buzzoto's was there but didn't know about the lumberyard. Thanks... any others?
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby mfd1225 » Tue May 20, 2014 9:54 am

Just south of the lumber yard was Dalton Construction, they used to get box cars from the IC with clay.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby FLRailFan1 » Sun May 25, 2014 12:45 pm

mfd1225 wrote:Just south of the lumber yard was Dalton Construction, they used to get box cars from the IC with clay.


Clay? What did they use it for I wonder? When did Dalton go out of business? Any more?
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby Engineer Spike » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:27 pm

There was a post somewhere about the customers in the New Haven area, if you wish to find it. I thin it was here, but it could have been on the New Haven H&TS. I lived in Plainville , and my family's company was a customer. There were a few trips where I rode to Cheshire. The clay place used to get IC boxcars. Bozzuto grocery supply, Diamond Lumber, Country Kitchens, Suburban Propane, Forrestville Lumber, and Green's scrap yard were what I remember. I'm sure Pratt and Whitney would have been active before. Plainville had a lumber yard between W. Main and the Broad St. crossings. There was another old warehouse on Whiting St., which might have been a customer at some point. There was an old coal yard in Farmington, just south of the former New Hartford branch junction. Ensign Bickford, in Simsbury was active at one point too.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby Engineer Spike » Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:27 pm

What was the factory in Farmington, which had its dock on the second floor? It was that way because it was between the Farmington River bridge, and the "Big Bird" bridge over Route 4,
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby runningwithscalpels » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:24 pm

I work across the street from where Pratt and Whitney was on Knotter Drive in Cheshire - the ROW is too far away for that complex to have been served directly via rail unless there was some weird spur that has long since been ripped up. I don't see any hints of one around here though.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby csor2010 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:57 pm

Currently, PAR services JW Green (scrap metal), Forestville Lumber, and AmeriGas (formerly Suburban Propane) on their remaining stub of the Canal Line. Carl Weber Jr. has a great set of photos on NERail from the beginnings of B&M operations in CT which includes shots of the Canal Line locals on now-abandoned track. Among the customers on the now-abandoned portions were the Cheshire lumberyard, Bozzutos, Eastern Color Printing in Avon, and the auto parts warehouse in Farmington (the one with the trestle into the second floor).
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby highwayman » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:18 am

I know of one customer not previously mentioned in Cheshire. Fiorello's, a wholesale supplier of bakery products received an occasional boxcar of flour. It was located just south of the bridge over route 322. They eventually stopped receiving by rail before abandonment, due to unreliable service.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:32 am

I should have known about Fiorello because my uncle owned a bakery which was supplied by them. They weren't active at the time I was working for my uncle, which was about the same time I got my ride to Cheshire.

Sanford and Hawley lumber in Avon was the last and only customer on the north end of B&M's section of the Canal. The track ended short of Route 44, by O' Neal Buick, and the lumber yard was just south of it.
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby FLRailFan1 » Sun Jan 11, 2015 9:21 pm

Engineer Spike wrote:I should have known about Fiorello because my uncle owned a bakery which was supplied by them. They weren't active at the time I was working for my uncle, which was about the same time I got my ride to Cheshire.

Sanford and Hawley lumber in Avon was the last and only customer on the north end of B&M's section of the Canal. The track ended short of Route 44, by O' Neal Buick, and the lumber yard was just south of it.

Sanford and Hawley moved their lumber unloading to Manchester, I guess. Did Columbia Bikes get rail service? Any customers in Granby and Southwick?
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Re: customers on the Canal line from 1963 to today...

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:01 am

S&H moved when they abandoned the line. A. J. Belivieu (Central New England) was trying to buy it, but it didn't work out.

My mention of Pratt and Whitney was referring to Southington. I don't know if they did large enough parts there to require rail service.
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