The Highland

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The Highland

Postby ebtmikado » Wed Dec 23, 2015 9:39 am

Recently, on various sites, I saw the old HP&F Hartford-Waterbury line referred to as the Highland.
Was this name commonly used? Where did it come from?

Le
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Re: The Highland

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:51 pm

ebtmikado wrote:Recently, on various sites, I saw the old HP&F Hartford-Waterbury line referred to as the Highland.
Was this name commonly used? Where did it come from?

Le

It was-- and is still-- very commonly used; I believe it was an official NYNH&H subdivision name at one point. The derivation is quite simple: the line physically traverses the western highlands of Connecticut between New Britain and the Naugatuck Valley. If you've ever driven from Hartford to Waterbury on I-84-- or, even better, from Hartford to Litchfield on CT-4-- you'll understand it immediately. In the 2.5 miles between the Farmington River and the center of Burlington, for instance, CT-4 gains close on 600' in elevation.
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Re: The Highland

Postby YamaOfParadise » Wed Dec 23, 2015 3:50 pm

Yeah, the New Haven had a Highland Division once upon a time; something I've used as a source of reference for historical railroad line names is the 1903 Pathfinder Shipping and Mailing Guide; while it isn't perfect, as it was a third-party publication even then, I've found it in general to be one of the better sources. Note that there are a ton of divisions for such an average-sized railroad, consequent of J.P. Morgan's push to monopolize New England and buy the competition; the companies hadn't been formally (legally) consolidated into the New Haven yet (which I think happened sometime in mid-1910s? 1914/1915? I really forget when things started getting weened down into 4-5 divisions). Also note that 1903 is the same year Mellen went from being President of Northern Pacific to being the President of the New Haven.
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Re: The Highland

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Dec 23, 2015 8:32 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
ebtmikado wrote:Recently, on various sites, I saw the old HP&F Hartford-Waterbury line referred to as the Highland.
Was this name commonly used? Where did it come from?

Le

It was-- and is still-- very commonly used; I believe it was an official NYNH&H subdivision name at one point. The derivation is quite simple: the line physically traverses the western highlands of Connecticut between New Britain and the Naugatuck Valley. If you've ever driven from Hartford to Waterbury on I-84-- or, even better, from Hartford to Litchfield on CT-4-- you'll understand it immediately. In the 2.5 miles between the Farmington River and the center of Burlington, for instance, CT-4 gains close on 600' in elevation.


Railroad tracks never went anywhere near the center of Burlington which is a few miles west of where the old Burlington Station once was on the Branch to New Hartford.
Having said that the Highland was the territory east of Hartford I believe although the trainmen had a roster for the Highland which included Hartford - Waterbury among its territory east of Hartford. The Highland Trainmen's Roster covered a few of the Cedar Hill - Maybrook Jobs as well as all of the work between Waterbury and Hartford except for the Cedar Hill - Holyoke jobs which belonged to the Air Line - Northampton Roster. The Highland Roster also covered the yard jobs in Waterbury and New Britain although Devon - Winsted was Naugatuck Roster work for the trainmen. This was another example of an excessive number of rosters back in the days. The railroad and its employees would all have been mcuh better off if all of these roster territories had been combined way back in maybe the late 20's when severe cuts began to take place.
The Highland was also somewhat known as the "High Dry and Dusty" or the Shiny Iron.
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Re: The Highland

Postby TomNelligan » Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:13 pm

Adding a note to the discussion of the topography of the Highland line (which in the eastward direction began at Highland Jct. in Waterbury), in the early 20th century, prior to the digging of the Terryville Tunnel, the climb to the original line over the summit was a helper grade. Part of the long industrial track running north from Terryville station is a remnant of the original line and the loop used to turn helpers in the pre-tunnel days.
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Re: The Highland

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu Dec 24, 2015 10:13 pm

Actually I believe the Highland actually began at Hawleyville and followed the route to Waterbury via Southbury. This is how the Highland Trainmen got a share of the Cedar Hill - Maybrook jobs after the Hartford - Maybrook jobs came off in 1955.
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Re: The Highland

Postby Ridgefielder » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:07 am

Noel Weaver wrote:Actually I believe the Highland actually began at Hawleyville and followed the route to Waterbury via Southbury. This is how the Highland Trainmen got a share of the Cedar Hill - Maybrook jobs after the Hartford - Maybrook jobs came off in 1955.
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The climb up to Towantic summit from the Housatonic was a helper district too, wasn't it?
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Re: The Highland

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:57 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:Actually I believe the Highland actually began at Hawleyville and followed the route to Waterbury via Southbury. This is how the Highland Trainmen got a share of the Cedar Hill - Maybrook jobs after the Hartford - Maybrook jobs came off in 1955.
Noel Weaver

The climb up to Towantic summit from the Housatonic was a helper district too, wasn't it?


Yea it was although it was/is rhe Naugatuck Valley and not rhe Housatonic Valley. This grade was the reason for WB trains to run to Derby Junction before heading west. Three engine freights were quite common back in the days whem through trains went rhis way.
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