Meriden Branch, Waterbury

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Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Otto Vondrak » Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:44 pm

When was the Meriden Branch abandoned?
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby cnefan » Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:06 am

Otto, the last passenger service on the Meriden - Waterbury line was a mixed train roundtrip mornings to Waterbury and afternoons in the reverse and the timetable was dated June 10, 1917. Next issue I have is dated June 25, 1917 and this service is no longer shown. Maps indicating that the line was still open for freight service shown as late as March 1, 1924. The tt for April 1, 1924 no longer shows the map of this line.

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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Otto Vondrak » Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:18 am

Thanks, Lreoy, I appreciate it!
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby gawlikfj » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:49 pm

I know the Meriden,Waterbury & Cromwell ceased ops in 1922.
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Allen Hazen » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:54 am

Hmmm. Meriden and Waterbury are at about the same latitude, with Cheshire in between. Any idea where the brance in question crossed Cheshire? Back in the 1970s I walked along the Canal Line for a short distance north of West Main Street in Cheshire (= direct road from center of Cheshire to Waterbury) and, within a few hundred feet at most, came across what looked like a long-abandoned East-West right of way. Could this have been it?

(Also found, on the Canal line, cross ties with date nails!)
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby gawlikfj » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:13 am

In 1920 the Interstate Commerce Act was amended to require assent of the ICC for abandonment ,so that in 1924 when the New Haven RR decided it wanted to tear up the tracks ,permission of Washington was required. Application was filed to abandon that portion from East Farms Station Waterbury to a point west of West Main St. bridge No.2.69 Meriden,a distance of 11.78 miles. This left about 6 miles in Waterbury for switching purposes and all the track East of West Main St. Permission was granted Feb.25th,1924.
Hope this helps.
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby gawlikfj » Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:16 pm

Allen :
The Meriden,Waterbury & Connecticut River Railroad crossed the Canal Line between Milldale and Brooksvale, CT.
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:58 am

Gawlikfj--
Thank you! It's a start, but not sufficient to settle the identity of the abandoned right of way I remember. Milldale is in the town of Southington (the town north of Cheshire) and Brooksvale in Hamden (the town south of Cheshire), so it is consistent with your information that "my" track was the MW&CR, but the stretch from Milldale to Brooksvale is wide enough that it might have been something else. (There was once, I think, a trolley line connecting Cheshire and Waterbury -- the bus that went out West Main Street in the 1970s was still lettered "Connecicut Railway and Lighting," I think -- so that's another possibility.)

--

Counting at least interurban trolley lines, does anyone have a guess what Connecticut's TOTAL railroad mileage was in about 1920? It must, by modern standards, have been very high for such a small state!
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Allen Hazen » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:26 am

There is a historical article (30+pp, form an old issue of a Connecticut Electric Railway association magazine) about the Meriden, Waterbury and Connecticut River Railroad at
http://www.tapr.org/~wa1lou/whs/mwcrrr.html
The only map in it is somewhat lacking in detail, but... The MW&C's crossing of the Canal Line was some distance north of the Cheshire station of the Canal line. I have no idea where this station was, but given the topography of the town it might will have been a bit south of the center of town-- in which case it is still consistent that the abandoned line I found just north of West Main Street was it.
(Found by googling railroad name: thanks, Gawlifj!)
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby gawlikfj » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:57 am

The Canal Line went North & South. The Meriden Waterbury line went East & West. Cheshire Station was North of Brooksvale.
The line you found ,which way was it going ?
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby gawlikfj » Fri Jan 09, 2009 10:34 am

Meriden & Southington both had Trolley systems that went to Cheshire. Its possible they were leftover trolley tracks that weren't covered or taking out.
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby csor2010 » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:37 pm

Heading north out of Cheshire on the Canal Line, the first crossing (with the concrete pier) is the Meriden-Waterbury trolley route. Further north, somewhere near the prison, is the MW&CR crossing. Both can be seen on Live Maps and I think there's some pictures of the trolley crossing on NERails. In Waterbury, the extreme west end of the branch was used into the Conrail era to service Scovill. In addition, I remember reading that the segment between Scovill and East Farms wasn't abandoned until 1958. Most of this segment is now I-84. Also, if one follows the MW&CR route over the mountain to Cheshire, note that the trolley route follows closely and is much more intact, with even some stone-faced bridges remaining.
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:50 am

There is a New Haven system map from 1922 here:
http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canma ... HH-RY.html
It's the sort of advertising map many railroads produced, with too many geometrical/geographical distortions to help with my question... but it does show the Meriden to Waterbury line as still officially open in 1922.

There is a 1946 U.S. Geodetic Survey map of the relevant area here:
http://historical.mytopo.com/getImage.a ... g&state=CT
(The same WWWebsite will also give you the 1955 USGS map.)
For the immediate area I was talking about, scroll to the lower right-hand corner. The center of the village of Cheshire (village green, etc) is about an inch from the bottom. West Main Street is the red street heading off roughly in the 10 o'clock direction from just left of the "C" in the name "Cheshire" marking the village. (The village is just one neighborhood in the town, and there is another "Cheshire" -- in larger type -- elsewhere on the map marking the town: ignore it and look for the smaller name an inch from the bottom.) It slopes fairly steeply down to the place where it crosses the Canal Line: I think it would be surprising to have a steam railroad going East-West at this point, but a trolley line, maybe! The map does not show roadbeds of abandoned railways.

CSOR2010: you have solved my problem! The roadbed I found was only a very short distance north of West Main Street, so it has to have been the trolley line: the prison (labeled a reformatory) is shown on the map just linked, and is some distance further north.
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby Jeff Smith » Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:10 am

I believe there is a bridge remaining of this branch over the Hartford line. I think it was known as the Meriden, Waterbury & Connecticut River RR.

There's also a rail trail crossing 691 not far from Meriden; I stopped there once to get some pictures. The bridge crossing 691 is still intact. I remember stopping in that area when staying in the area a few years ago to get some pictures. It's very close to the intersection with 84, in between Peck Lane and Dickeman Road. I'm not sure if this is the same railroad. There's a trailhead somewhere around there; I came across it after some exploration.

Here are some resources for Meriden branches: http://doddcenter.uconn.edu/asc/findaid ... 70075.html

http://www.tapr.org/~wa1lou/whs/mwcrrr.html

http://thenhrhtanewhavenrailroadforum.y ... u66PeIrKM8

http://thenhrhtanewhavenrailroadforum.y ... u66PeIrKM8

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meriden_Linear_Trail

http://www.meridenlineartrail.org/
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Re: Meriden Branch, Waterbury

Postby TomNelligan » Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:25 am

Jeff Smith wrote:I believe there is a bridge remaining of this branch over the Hartford line. I think it was known as the Meriden, Waterbury & Connecticut River RR.


Yes, the bridge is still there at what the NH used to call Quarry Junction, along with some intact but extremely overgrown trackage (not used since the 1970s) that extended a couple miles to a quarry east of Meriden. That remnant crosses under the limited access stub of the Berlin Turnpike not far north of the I-691/I-91 junction, and it's visible from the highway overpass in the winter when there are no leaves.

There's also a rail trail crossing 691 not far from Meriden;


That's the former NH Canal Line, not the MW&CR.
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