Penn Central in Torrington

Discussion relating to the Penn Central, up until its 1976 inclusion in Conrail. Visit the Penn Central Railroad Historical Society for more information.

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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat May 31, 2014 11:39 pm

Noel--
Thanks for the further information on Canal Line and RS3m usage!
I found some old diaries from 1973-1975: I visited family in Cheshire (on Canal Line) in those years, and recorded sightings of rail activity.
---Plain (Alco-engined) RS-3 was used a fair bit in the earlier year.
---Later I record seeing an RS3m and an RS-11 on the Canal Line freight.
---I was told that the RS3m that I had seen a few times had an overheating problem, and that on occasion it was parked INSIDE the Bozzuto's (Grocery wholesaler: warehouse probably air conditioned) for an hour or so to cool off before proceeding!
---The only sighting of an EMD switcher (no number, no model recorded: I don't know if it was an ex-New Haven SW1200) with a train (a short train: one freight car between engine and caboose) that I noted was at Falls Village (on the Pittsfield Line), not on the Canal Line.

Sorry-- didn't visit Cheshire except in the early 1970s, don't have much to report.
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby J.D. Lang » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:47 am

Because this subject is of interest to me I thought that I would finally register on RR.net so that I could offer my input on this. I worked for Penn Central as a brakeman on the Naugatuck roster in 1971-72. Although it was a long time ago and I only worked for the RR. for about a year here is what I can offer as best as I can remember as to customers that we serviced during that time.
NX-17 was the Waterbury-Torrington local and customers that were active at the time were: Waterville; Boise Cascade, Chase Brass, Thomaston; Diamond National (Chapman's Lumber), Plume-Atwood, Torrington; HK Webster Feeds (Blue Seal, Agway), Dwan Company (where the O&G warehouse fire was in April), Charter Oak Container (Stone), Hotchkiss Bros., Allied Groceries, and Iffland Lumber (team track).
NX-15 was a Naugatuck based local that worked from Union City to Seymour. We had a customer in Union City that I can't remember; Uniroyal Naugatuck Chemical in Naugatuck; The warehouse in Beacon Falls; a wire mill on the North side of the bridge in Seymour and the team track in Seymour. By far the biggest rail customer in the whole Naugatuck Valley at that time was Uniroyal Naugatuck Chemical. Because of that NX-15 was a 16 hr/day on 8 hr/off 13 days on 1 day off job most of the time. I spent a great deal of my time on that job because I was on the spare board and no one wanted a hold down on that job.
The Derby job handled the customers that Tom mentioned although I will add BF Goodrich on the Maybrook in Shelton as they were also a large customer.
I did not work Waterbury proper that often but I remember Waterbury Republican, Albert Bros., Alcort Industries (Sunfish, Sailfish trademark sailboats) and Scovill Brass. Scovill was lost as a major customer during my time on the RR. as Penn Central would not repair a small dike that held back the mill river on that branch and it would flood over and freeze in the winter so we could not get through. The RR. lost a big contract hauling Bunker C heating oil from Belle Dock to the factory because of that. Although manufacturing in the Naugatuck valley was starting the big decline there was quite a bit of railroad business still going on during that time.

John
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Noel Weaver » Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:51 pm

The local to Torrington was symbol NX-16 and had been for a long time. NX-17 was the Plainville Job. As for the loss of Scovill I think the issue here was that Scovill was already on the skids and maybe Penn Central was not getting enough business at the time out of Scovill from the Dublin Street Branch to warrant repairs. Historically American Brass was the biggest customer in Torrington but by 1971 I don't know if AB had any operations left in Torrington or not. The last two mills to close there were the Casting Shop along Prospect Street and the Rod Mill along High Street. My father would have had all that information but unfortunately he is long dearly departed and I don't remember all that he told me over the years. American Brass had a lot of inbound traffic as well as outbound freight and in Torrington they did not have their own switchers like they did in Waterbury so the railroad did all of their switching in Torrington. My father retired in 1969 and at that time Torrington was still in operation but I don't know how much longer it was.
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:27 pm

My family had a truck line based in Plainville. We leased out the freight house to transload and warehouse goods which came in by rail. The office portion was still used as a yard office. Although I didn't know about engines then, the distinctive shape of Alco RS3 shape. Likely the same pool of power served the area.
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby FLRailFan1 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:07 pm

J.D. Lang wrote:Because this subject is of interest to me I thought that I would finally register on RR.net so that I could offer my input on this. I worked for Penn Central as a brakeman on the Naugatuck roster in 1971-72. Although it was a long time ago and I only worked for the RR. for about a year here is what I can offer as best as I can remember as to customers that we serviced during that time.
NX-17 was the Waterbury-Torrington local and customers that were active at the time were: Waterville; Boise Cascade, Chase Brass, Thomaston; Diamond National (Chapman's Lumber), Plume-Atwood, Torrington; HK Webster Feeds (Blue Seal, Agway), Dwan Company (where the O&G warehouse fire was in April), Charter Oak Container (Stone), Hotchkiss Bros., Allied Groceries, and Iffland Lumber (team track).
NX-15 was a Naugatuck based local that worked from Union City to Seymour. We had a customer in Union City that I can't remember; Uniroyal Naugatuck Chemical in Naugatuck; The warehouse in Beacon Falls; a wire mill on the North side of the bridge in Seymour and the team track in Seymour. By far the biggest rail customer in the whole Naugatuck Valley at that time was Uniroyal Naugatuck Chemical. Because of that NX-15 was a 16 hr/day on 8 hr/off 13 days on 1 day off job most of the time. I spent a great deal of my time on that job because I was on the spare board and no one wanted a hold down on that job.
The Derby job handled the customers that Tom mentioned although I will add BF Goodrich on the Maybrook in Shelton as they were also a large customer.
I did not work Waterbury proper that often but I remember Waterbury Republican, Albert Bros., Alcort Industries (Sunfish, Sailfish trademark sailboats) and Scovill Brass. Scovill was lost as a major customer during my time on the RR. as Penn Central would not repair a small dike that held back the mill river on that branch and it would flood over and freeze in the winter so we could not get through. The RR. lost a big contract hauling Bunker C heating oil from Belle Dock to the factory because of that. Although manufacturing in the Naugatuck valley was starting the big decline there was quite a bit of railroad business still going on during that time.

John


What was shipped to Uniroyal Naughatuck Chemical...did they really have those cover hoppers? I have 3 of those cars. Also was was shipped to Alcott? I am thinking of building the Torrington branch from Derby to Winsted. Iffland Lumber on my layout (which will be based on a business friendly Connecticut) will get center same and Peter Paul will get cars of corn syrup and hoppers of sugar and boxcars of cocoa beans...
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby J.D. Lang » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:24 am

What was shipped to Uniroyal Naughatuck Chemical...did they really have those cover hoppers? I have 3 of those cars. Also was was shipped to Alcott? I am thinking of building the Torrington branch from Derby to Winsted. Iffland Lumber on my layout (which will be based on a business friendly Connecticut) will get center same and Peter Paul will get cars of corn syrup and hoppers of sugar and boxcars of cocoa beans...

As I posted up in my first thread it was a long time ago that I worked for PC and I only worked there for a short period of time and I got the Torrington local name wrong but I'll take a shot at some of these questions. When I worked NX-15 much of the stuff that came in to Uniroyal Naugatuck Chemical was a liquid called Naugatex used to make Naugahide. This came in numerous tank cars and was the main traffic. The covered hoppers probably carried carbon black which was used in the tire making process. We would ship out boxcars of tires and Naugahide. Alcott Industries used to get tank cars of resin used in the fiberglass process for their boats. In 71-72 time frame that I was there Iffland lumber would get maybe one boxcar of lumber a week on the team track in downtown Torrington. They probably got both dimensional lumber and plywood that way. During that time there was no transload facility in Beacon Falls for Peter & Paul. That either came about by Conrail or when Springfield Terminal took over the freight operations on the Naugatuck and Highland and believe that those were tank cars of corn syrup. Best that I can remember.

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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Ruzbasan » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:03 pm

Mr. Lang,

Do you remember what type of lcomotives were used on NX-15 going to Torrington and the other locals in the Waterbury/Derby/Plainville area during the time you worked on Penn Central?
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby J.D. Lang » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:54 am

Ruzbasan wrote:Mr. Lang,

Do you remember what type of lcomotives were used on NX-15 going to Torrington and the other locals in the Waterbury/Derby/Plainville area during the time you worked on Penn Central?


During 71-72 the power was pretty much the same that Noel and Tom mentioned on the New Haven thread. NX-15 was the Naugatuck local that covered the territory between Union City and Seymour but we spent most of our time switching and spotting cars at the Uniroyal Naugatuck Chemical complex. We always had a GP-9. NX- 16 was the Torrington turn and that also was a GP-9 during my time. When I worked on the Naugy roster in 71-72 the Derby Switch was still a three trick job and we probably had the SW1200 switcher that Tom mentioned. During that time I probably didn't know the difference between an Alco S-1 and an EMD but I did like working with them as a head end brakeman because the visibility between me and the engineer was much better. DN1/ND2 were usually GP-9s but occasionally we would get an RS-3 in the mix. I only worked the Dublin St. branch a few times and I don't remember what we had for power but most likely it was one of the yard switcher S-1s because the wooden trestle over the south end of Waterbury was pretty rickety. I never worked to Plainville as that was a different territory. About all I can remember though.

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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Ruzbasan » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:25 am

Thanks J.D. and Noel, and the others that contributed to this thread. Those are the answers I have been searching for.
Now if I can find all those Penn Central locos in HO !

Thanks Again!
Gary
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:46 pm

Gary--
If you can't find one in Penn Central "colours," get one in the livery of the New Haven (or other predecessor railroad): it takes time to repaint a locomotive fleet (and I recall that at the time of the PC merger, some spokesman said they weren't going to waste resources on things like repainting locomotives…), and the paint jobs didn't alway wear well(*): there are lots of photos of Penn Central locomotives with (e.g.) New Haven orange showing through the supposed black. Obviously you'd need a dated photo of a particular locomotive if you wanted to be super-accurate, but I suspect a model would be accurate IN SPIRIT representing a Penn Central locomotive with a VERY DIRTY New Haven unit (but with Penn Central numbers on the cab side).

(*) I think the only time I ever saw an Alco C-425 in the flesh was at the locomotive terminal just west of the New Haven passenger station: it was black, but there were places where its original New Haven paint was showing through.
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Backshophoss » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:16 pm

If it was not painted BLACK,it was patched with the road number and small PC lettering,best example of patch paint were the FL-9's
After the"shotgun" merger,most NH power was patched to their PC road numbers.
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby TomNelligan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:07 am

One note to add about Naugatuck back then... I had a summer job with Uniroyal in the summers of 1969 and 1970 and in addition to the chemical plant, the adjacent footware plant was also a big rail customer that was switched daily. Boxcars full of Keds sneakers and rubber boots came out of the warehouse that was adjacent to the freight house, and additionally the local ventured up a different siding that ran deep into the manufacturing area of the footware plant switching out more boxcars carrying I'm not sure what.
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Ruzbasan » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:45 pm

This is a list I compiled from forum posts and photos of locomotives on the Naugatuck Line (and the Highland to Plainville) from 1969-1995:

Penn Central (1969-1976): RS-3, RS-3M, RS-11, GP9, U-25B, U-33B, GP38, S-1, SW-1200, RDC-1
Conrail (1976-1982): RS-3M, GP9, GP15-1, SW-1500
Boston & Maine (1982-1987): GP9, GP18, GP38-2, GP40-2
Guilford (1987-1995): GP38-2, GP40

I end at 1995 because that is when freight service ended to my home town, Torrington.

Did I leave out any locomotive type that was used on the Naugatuck Line and up to Plainville from 1969-1995? Is the list complete ?
Did the Boston & Maine use RS-3's on the Naugatuck Line or in Plainville?
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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby J.D. Lang » Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:43 pm

TomNelligan wrote:One note to add about Naugatuck back then... I had a summer job with Uniroyal in the summers of 1969 and 1970 and in addition to the chemical plant, the adjacent footware plant was also a big rail customer that was switched daily. Boxcars full of Keds sneakers and rubber boots came out of the warehouse that was adjacent to the freight house, and additionally the local ventured up a different siding that ran deep into the manufacturing area of the footware plant switching out more boxcars carrying I'm not sure what.


When I started in the fall of 71 the footware division had been shut down. The two hold down men on the job (the engineer & conductor) said that it had closed down about 6 months earlier IIRC. Since you worked there a few years earlier you may have known these men as both were from the NH. Days; the conductor who was an older tough as nails guy was named Gronski and the engineer was named Gavin. Our little yard started under the Rte. 63 overpass and ran right up to the footware building with a grown over siding running along the west side of the building and the freighthouse next to the yard. That rundown freighthouse was my home away from home on a few occasions when my old Ford Econoline van wouldn't start late at night after coming off of 16hrs duty and having to go back on in 8 Hrs. Also I’ve enjoyed the pictures that you have posted in NE. Rails lately of the NH, PC, and B&M. Did you ever get any pictures of NX-15 or know of a publication that might have some? I’d love to see a picture of the local during that time.

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Re: Penn Central in Torrington

Postby Noel Weaver » Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:29 pm

mainetrain wrote:Found this 1980 Waterbury http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=2557222


The big red brick building to the right was the headquarters of American Brass until they completely pulled out of the Naugatuck Valley after whoch the building was sols to the city. They had a staircase inside rhe Meadow Street entrance with a beautiful solid braas handrail. The Chase Brass headquarters wasn't far away on Grand Street and was also saved..
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