CNE-NH Crew Districts

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CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sat May 14, 2011 11:18 pm

Recently having done some reading up on the history of the Maybrook Line I found some fascinating information about how operation of the line evolved in the early years.

In the early 1900s the New Haven acquired stock control of the Central New England and began to operate it as a part of the NH system but with CNE retaining its own identity and maintaining independent status (until 1927).

Prior to this time the CNE's part of the Maybrook Line extended from Maybrook to Hopewell Jct. New York & New England operated the line to the east of Hopewell. Then about 1899 the NH acquired both the NY&NE and the Maybrook Line between Danbury and Hopewell.

Under NH control CNE apparently had its territory expanded east from Hopewell to Danbury.

I read a wonderful story about Hopewell Jct written by Richard Teed in a Shoreliner issue. Mr. Teed wrote that in October 1912 the CNE was granted track rights to Danbury. A new division, the Danbury Division, was then established with headquarters at Danbury.

I read similiar comments by Bernard Rudberg -- quite an expert on the subject -- posted here in the NYS forum. Mr. Rudberg mentioned however that under a union agreement crews from the CNE and the NH Western District shared the runs on the Maybrook Line and crews operated through from Maybrook all the way to Cedar Hill Yard in New Haven, CT.

I'm wondering if maybe both statements are true? That some CNE crews operated through to Cedar Hill while other CNE crews ran Maybrook-Danbury. Maybe at least until 1927 when the CNE waa absorbed into the NYNH&H system and things probably changed again.

Can anyone add to this fascinating subject?
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon May 16, 2011 11:27 pm

In so far as Cedar Hill - Maybrook and Hartford - Maybrook the crews ran through. Regarding engine crews there were two rosters the Western and the CNE and they shared the work. I will have to dig to get the equity but the crews ran through on both the Hartford and the Cedar Hill end. The set up with the train crews was much more complicated as there were at least four different rosters involved: Highland, Naugatuck, Berkshire and the CNE and again they all shared with the work.
Most of the train crew work involved either the Highland or the CNE, I think the Berkshire and the Naugy each had one job at the most.
The original line west out of Hartford was all CNE territory although in last year or two of passenger service the trains were operated out of Plainville, I don't know how the equity was set up when that change took place.
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Tommy Meehan » Tue May 17, 2011 8:51 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:Mr. Teed wrote that in October 1912 the CNE [and their crews] was granted track rights to Danbury...


Thanks Noel that's fascinating. I know some of the crew rosters survived a long time after the original carrier was no more. How long were some of these separate rosters in existence?

Did they still have "CNE men" in the 1940s and 50s? Would they have continued to hire for that roster?
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed May 18, 2011 12:58 am

I don't know if the last CNE man has retired yet or not, he was working for Metro-North. I have been away from the railroad for some time now and have lost track of those who retired after me and those who are still working. The last hire on the CNE for engine service was probably in the early 60's. Again, I will have to dig for more on this and that will not happen this week.
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby TCurtin » Wed May 18, 2011 6:57 am

To add additional details to this fascinating item: the division post on the Maybrook line marking the end of the CNE was located slightly less than a mile west of Danbury station. For those who know Danbury it was right near Mallory's --- between Rose Hill Ave. underpass and Lake Ave. underpass. The headquarters of the CNE Ry was moved (from Hartford where I believe it originally was) to Danbury where it shared the building with Danbury Division HQ. The old division HQ building still stands beside the Maybrook line (Building has belonged to Leahy Fuel Co. for many years). When this building was a division HQ it was lettered "Headquarters Danbury Division --- Central New England Ry." This was before my time but my father once told me he remembered the signage.

Some number --- I forget how many, and I never did know which ones --- of the New Haven's 3200's (class L-1 2-10-2's) were leased to the CNE but never lettered CNE.
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Tommy Meehan » Wed May 18, 2011 6:14 pm

Noel did the separate crew rosters survive into Penn Central? Would someone from (or still on) the CNE roster have special rights on Metro-North, like on the Danbury Branch?

I read in Jack Swanberg's New Haven Power (a classic book) that many if not most of the 3200 series 2-10-2s were assigned to Maybrook service as soon as they began to arrive from Alco in 1918. Mr. Swanberg wrote that an August 1919 assignment sheet showed 37 of the 3200s assigned to the Maybrook line.

I guess the best known Central New England power on that route were the 15 Bull Moose F-5 2-8-0s acquired in 1912 (by which time the CNE had already come under NH control).
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu May 19, 2011 12:44 am

The CNE roster would be considered active as long as one or more engineers on the CNE roster were still working for Metro-North, Amtrak, CSX or NS. In so far as hiring was concerned, anybody hired on or after the takeover date of January 1, 1969 would have been a Penn Central person so far as senioriy was concerned. CNE prior rights and prior, prior rights people got the first shot at work on former CNE territory which included Poughkeepsie and Maybrook as well as Hopewell Junction. It even included Hartford for a long time. With no working remainin in the former CNE territory, the former CNE people had and still have PC or PC and Conrail rights on Metro-North and Amtrak. I seem to think that CSX went to a straight seniorty roster as of the original date of hire with no more prior or prior, prior rights.
Today I don't think there are many if any former New York Central or New Haven engineers still working so the seniority question today is moot anyway.
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Tommy Meehan » Sun May 22, 2011 3:53 pm

Thanks Noel for all the information.

If I understand it, the old rosters survived for people hired at a certain location for certain work. Maybe because of local work rules or agreements? Or to preserve the rights of those already on the roster?

Btw, in the Shoreliner article (Vol. 26 Issue 2) about Hopewell Jct., author Richard Teed mentioned his Grandfather was a CNE locomotive fireman and his father worked on the Hopewell Jct. track gang.

In his article Mr. Teed also mentions that the Danbury Division established in 1912 was a joint CNE-NH division with former CNE officials C. W. Cuineen and H. A. Christinger the Division Superintendent and Asst. Division Superintendent.

I guess the Danbury Division did not survive the CNE being absorbed into the NYNH&H in 1927. Some track charts of Hopewell Jct. from 1932 are labeled, "New Haven Division, Campbell Hall to Devon."
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby DutchRailnut » Mon May 23, 2011 8:42 pm

one CNE- NH guy left on Metro North, Herman Kaus
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Tommy Meehan » Mon May 23, 2011 10:43 pm

Wowee that's pretty cool.

He must have some serious seniority! :)
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby DutchRailnut » Tue May 24, 2011 5:28 am

yup no 1 on roster and over 70 years old ;-)
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed May 25, 2011 11:31 am

Tommy Meehan wrote:I guess the Danbury Division did not survive the CNE being absorbed into the NYNH&H in 1927. Some track charts of Hopewell Jct. from 1932 are labeled, "New Haven Division, Campbell Hall to Devon."

I thought the Danbury Division was actually a casualty of the Depression, as the New Haven was sliding toward a 1935 date with the bankruptcy court.
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Tommy Meehan » Thu May 26, 2011 11:36 am

Ridgefielder wrote:I thought the Danbury Division was actually a casualty of the Depression...


Sounds plausible, what makes you think it? Part of a division consolidation?
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Noel Weaver » Thu May 26, 2011 6:24 pm

Much of the stuff of these periods really doesn't make sense today. It seems that years ago they were always squabbleing between the Western (New Haven) and the Central New England (CNE) over division of work and equity. The engineers worked through between Maybrook and either Hartford/Waterbury or Cedar Hill. West of the west yard limit at Danbury was CNE territory and east of that point was Western territory. The firemen had a different set up, CNE firemen had 29.3 per cent of the work and the Western had 70.7 per cent of the work. There were two pages of rules in the firemen's agreement of 1955 on this set up. The engineer's agreement also of 1955 listed all of the abandoned trackage in the agreement. The arrangement for train crews was different than for engine crews and I do not know beyond the fact that there were four seniority districts involved for the trainmen but only two for engieers and firemen.
As for the Danbury Division and the CNE in the employee timetables, the last Lines West timetable that I have is 4-25-26 which shows the Danbury Division/CNE as one. The next timetable in my collection is a system timetable dated 9-25-27 which only shows the Danbury Division and the former CNE territory is divided up among the Hartford, New Haven and Danbury Divisions at that time. The last timetable that showed the Danbury Division was 9-27-31, the next timetable was dated 1-4-32 and the Danbury Division is no longer at that time.
Division limits changed a number of times during the late 20's and through the 30's until the lines were finally abandoned and torn up. Incidentally some of the timetables of the 30's still show the former CNE but portions of the lines were not actually in use during the period. This was especially so in Connecticut.
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Re: CNE-NH Crew Districts

Postby Ridgefielder » Tue May 31, 2011 8:09 pm

Tommy Meehan wrote:
Ridgefielder wrote:I thought the Danbury Division was actually a casualty of the Depression...


Sounds plausible, what makes you think it? Part of a division consolidation?

Yes, division consolidation, which in turn I think was a result of the abandonment of most of the trackage north of the Maybrook and west of the Berkshire, plus the discontinuance of all passenger service on the Danbury division save the South Norwalk-Danbury-Pittsfield services that outlasted the New Haven itself.
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