Danbury Branch Extension Study

Discussion relating to the operations of MTA MetroNorth Railroad including west of Hudson operations and discussion of CtDOT sponsored rail operations such as Shore Line East and the Springfield to New Haven Hartford Line

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, Jeff Smith, FL9AC

SystemsConsciousness

North of New Milford?

Post by SystemsConsciousness » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:57 am

Are there tracks north of New Milford? How far do they go?

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8549
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by Jeff Smith » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:15 am

All the way to Pittsfield, MA I think. Freight only provided by Housatonic Railroad Company (HRRC).
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

User avatar
Otto Vondrak
Posts: 20285
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re: North of New Milford?

Post by Otto Vondrak » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:55 am

SystemsConsciousness wrote:Are there tracks north of New Milford? How far do they go?
You clearly have done your research, sir! Hey don't worry, I did a Google search for "connecticut rail map" and got you this:

http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents ... ils2x3.pdf

http://homepage.mac.com/housatonic/HRRCmap1.1.jpg

-otto-
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At

User avatar
Otto Vondrak
Posts: 20285
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re:

Post by Otto Vondrak » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:57 am

DutchRailnut wrote:Super 7 north of Brookfield has been apropriated by Gov Rell and construction will start in spring.
Touche. I was of course referencing the stillborn Super 7 between Norwalk and Danbury! But the Brookfield Extension will be nice as well.

-otto-
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At

SystemsConsciousness

Re: North of New Milford?

Post by SystemsConsciousness » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:13 am

Otto-

You are a true gentleman in the White Plains tradition. Thank you for the info.

sC

checkthedoorlight
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:11 am

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by checkthedoorlight » Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:31 pm

Last week I was expanding the Housatonic Berkshire line on my track map. There is NOTHING between New Milford and North Canaan, CT. It's literally just 1 track with 0 sidings (and a couple of abandoned station sites...Kent and Merwinsville being the only ones that are still standing) for about 30 miles! I believe I heard that up until a couple years ago, the trackage between New Milford and North Canaan was completely out of service. Are there any through freight trains that regularly use that section of line now?

Erie-Lackawanna
Posts: 1128
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: Where the Tropics Begin, FL

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by Erie-Lackawanna » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:02 pm

There's a siding north of Kent, at Belsprings (MP 32.3). As I recall, it's located on the east side of the main track, and my last timetable station page shows its length at 1400 feet.

As for stations, the West Cornwall station is still there, and occupied by a nice couple who graciously let us overrun their house with about 350 foaming railfans about 3 years ago. ;-) Cornwall Bridge is also still there; it's also a private residence.

The line was restored to service in the mid-90's; it sees through service at least several times a week.

Jim

checkthedoorlight
Posts: 1254
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 11:11 am

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by checkthedoorlight » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:44 pm

oh I remember seeing that track when I was placing Cornwell Bridge station. It had an old train sitting on it, and the track didn't look like it was connected to the main track, so I thought it was a museum. Upon much closer inspection, there is a connection just south of where the old station is. Thanks for the heads up.

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22271
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by DutchRailnut » Mon Jun 16, 2008 8:51 pm

Just as a note on how badly service to New Milford is needed ??? When we finish at Danbury with train 1868 there are about 14 passengers left of which 3 are going further north.
Hardly worth running a Budd car for.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8549
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:08 am

Erie-Lackawanna wrote:As for stations, the West Cornwall station is still there, and occupied by a nice couple who graciously let us overrun their house with about 350 foaming railfans about 3 years ago. ;-) Cornwall Bridge is also still there; it's also a private residence.Jim
Ok, ok, I promise next time to take my rabies pills before leaving the house and wipe my mouth! :wink:

Seriously, it's beautiful country up there. I wish the DRM would run excursion trips up that way like the Naugy does above Waterbury.

More on topic; Dutch, I commuted for a few months from New Milford way back in the early 90's. Route 7 was a nightmare, although I realize they are expanding it beyond Brookfield now. I don't know how many super-commuters there are, and what their final destination is (Danbury, Norwalk, Stamford, WP, points in between?), but I think the market is there for some type of limited service. I think your experience indicates a frustration with the lack of service or speed as the branch is currently set up; if CDOT ever stops spending money on studies and actually does some implementation you might see more people consider this as an option.

I don't see why they can't just run a "demo" service if they can get some dedicated funds. They have enough coaches, why not use the remaining two FL-9's? As for HART (bus) service, there's a good amount of distance involved, and with the multiple stops, I don't think that's a viable service. As a feeder to new stations in Brookfield and New Milford it would be.

I think the true destinations up that way are the office parks along 684 in Somers, and White Plains. I'm sure I've said this earlier in the thread, but I think a service over the Beacon to Brewster with a connection to the Harlem would take many cars of 684, the Saw Mill, and 84. Put a stop at Danbury Fair. The problem, of course, is the connection to the Upper Harlem is round-a-bout and out of the way.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22271
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:12 am

The DRM has no equipment that is FRA compliant, non of its equipment is allowed outside the gate.
Also the DRM has no certified locomotive engineers and no trackage rights, so unless they rent a MNCR boimbardier train and crew or the Berkshire Scenic equiument its not gone happen.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8549
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:27 am

Thanks Dutch. I always wondered why they didn't operate excursions. Maybe that will change with the retirement of the FL-9's, although I'm sure the cost would be tremendous.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22271
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:53 am

DRM had a choice of FL-9 before , they chose poorly and asked for the one burned out at HEP compartment while the working units went to Thomaston and Williamantic.
Even if they got a working FL-9 it would take about $50 000 per year or more to keep it in good repair and within date for airbrakes and Cab signal.
and that would be a low figure.

now lets go back to Metro North and goofy plans
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

User avatar
Otto Vondrak
Posts: 20285
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 6:47 pm
Location: New York

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by Otto Vondrak » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:24 am

Sarge wrote:Seriously, it's beautiful country up there. I wish the DRM would run excursion trips up that way like the Naugy does above Waterbury.
No one is debating the beauty of the line and I would also like to see more regular excursions, but Dutch pointed out the reasons there are none. Let's stick to Metro-North and the plausible extension to New Milford. Please.

-otto-
----------------------------------------------
Moderator: New York State Railfan :: New York Central :: Toy Trains
NYW&B Fan Site :: A Magazine I Read Often :: A Museum I Volunteer At

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8549
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: CDOT to study service to New Milford, CT?

Post by Jeff Smith » Tue Jun 17, 2008 9:34 am

DutchRailnut wrote:it would take about $50 000 per year or more to keep it in good repair and within date for airbrakes and Cab signal. and that would be a low figure. now lets go back to Metro North and goofy plans
LOL. Back to New Milford and the Danbury branch, you mentioned cab signals. I thought Danbury branch was manual block? If I understand that term correctly, that is. Or are you just referring to the portion where Danbury branch hits the main line at South Norwalk?

Couldn't CDOT keep the FL-9's and run a "demo" service to New Milford from Danbury only? Would it need to be MNRR crews due to labor contract? Could they use the old SLE coaches? I assume the end doors still have traps for steps? Or are we running into ADA requirements there? I guess you could throw up some temporary platforms with ramps......

How's that for goofy? :wink:
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Return to “MTA Metro-North Railroad and CtDOT Passenger Rail”