New Haven Line Questions

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

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lilbluefoxie
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New Haven Line Questions

Post by lilbluefoxie » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:58 pm

I have a few questions about the New Haven Line:

- on the Waterbury branch, is it possible to get a photo of the whole train, i know the locomotive sticks out a bit. Is it possible to walk by the END OF BLOCK area and snap a photo, not sure if that's technically off limits or not.

- on the Danbury and Waterbury branches, which end is the locomotive on? I know the upper Hudson line diesels have the locomotive face north. Which paint scheme shows up more often, the MTA one or the Connecticut one?

- on the New Canaan branch, how long are the trains on the weekends? I saw a 5 car set last year at Stamford, was a M4 and a M2. how long is the platform at New Canaan?

- Are there any regular diesel trains that go to New Haven and are not branch line service or to do with Shore Line East?

7express
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by 7express » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:35 am

Not sure about Waterbury. Since the platforms only can fit 2 cars at most, and most of the time it's a 3 car train, they leave the last car closed off
It varies which end. If the Danbury trains that come from GCT obviously their on the north, but if it just comes from the yard most of the time I've noticed it on the south end
Platform at New Canaan is 6 IIRC, if not something around there, possibly 5. On the weekend they won't all be open, probably just 2. Remember it's just a shuttle.


Are there any regular diesel trains that go to New Haven and are not branch line service or to do with Shore Line East?
No. Only diesel service is on the branch and SLE, diesel's can't run into GCT. There are a couple of genny's that run from GCT to New Haven, the 4:35 and 5:44 most of the time.

lilbluefoxie
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by lilbluefoxie » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:20 am

im mostly refering to weekend trains, since a majority of my photo trips, especially metro north ones are on Sunday.

also what kinda neighborhood is Waterbury? i hear its a dump, but it cant be as bad as the hood stations like Melrose, Tremont, University Heights, etc.

Clean Cab
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by Clean Cab » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:44 am

The platform in New Canaan is 5 1/2 cars long. The usual consist for a weekend "Dink" is 5 or 6 cars.

On the Danbury Branch, the locomotive is usually on the north end, except during leaf season. On the Waterbury Branch, it's a toss up as to which end the locomotive is on. Generally it's on the south end, but that changes quite often.

There are a couple of Bomb trains that run from GCT to New Haven and Stamford, although I do not know exactly which ones since the schedule change.
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DutchRailnut
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by DutchRailnut » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:59 am

in General all locomotives on East of Hudson service are north, the Waterbury is odd ball in this statement.
In leaf season , those managers with no running experience , believe that by turning the two Danbury zippers with Engine south it will solve the slip slide.
they do not want to hear from those that operate the branch for last few decades.
other than those two exceptions seeing a engine at south end of a passenger train means its a equipment move, or a rescue.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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lilbluefoxie
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by lilbluefoxie » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:45 pm

also, at Croton-Harman station, when trains stop at track 1 and track 2, do they open both doors to give access to the middle platform? I'm talking about middays on the weekend, not late night or rush hours. I'm planning a photo trip up there and im trying to reduce how many times I have to go up those tall stairs.

njt/mnrrbuff
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by njt/mnrrbuff » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:50 pm

The area around the Waterbury Station isn't the worst, but at the same time, it's not the best. It's along the edge of downtown. It's okay during the daytime.

Noel Weaver
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by Noel Weaver » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:03 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:The area around the Waterbury Station isn't the worst, but at the same time, it's not the best. It's along the edge of downtown. It's okay during the daytime.
Last year while I was in the Albany area I took a ride down to Connecticut and what I saw in Waterbury was pretty sad to say the least. A once beautiful station with three station tracks was down to one main track although it was in very good shape but the rest of the facility was in more or less a state of decay. I did not park in the parking lot because of the shady characters around there even in the daylight. There was a lot of remains of broken glass in the parking lot and I suspect a lot of vehicles have been damaged or broken in to there too. I would be very careful if I was carrying or using a decent camera or recording equipment, in fact I would avoid such practice even in the daytime. I think Derby or Naugatuck would probably be better places on this line, I also stopped at Derby last year and I found it at least reasonably safe if not particularly attractive. If you go to Waterbury and I think you should, you will find it rather interesting to explore from the platform. The remaining active platform is short but the remains of this platform are very long and it would accomodate a very long passenger train in its day. At the north end of the platform there are the remains of a stairway down to Freight Street although this stairway is blocked. Although it is probably hard for most to figure out, I remember this place when the station was big, had displays from the area inside, a full restaurant, newstand, shoeshine, four ticket windows of which at least one and often more were open from very early morning until the last train out at night after 10:00 PM. They had a second set of windows for Western Union but by my days in Waterbury they were closed. They also had several people working in the ticket office including ticket agent, operator, a couple of clerks and a telephone operator. They also had a full tme baggagemaster there as well who doubled as a janitor when train traffic was light.
When the station was first built the railroad had the offices upstairs for the Waterbury Division which included the Superintendent as well as train dispatchers and support personnel. This went before my time and by the early 50's I don't think the upstairs was used much if at all. Unfortunately I never got up in the tower although I might have been able to pull some strings to accomplish it. Today, physically, I doubt if I could handle the stairs.
I could tell more but it might be criticized as off topic on here.
Noel Weaver

lilbluefoxie
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by lilbluefoxie » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:58 am

njt/mnrrbuff wrote:The area around the Waterbury Station isn't the worst, but at the same time, it's not the best. It's along the edge of downtown. It's okay during the daytime.
how bad could it be compared to some of the Subway stations in the South Bronx or around East New York, Brooklyn?

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:38 am

Waterbury station itself is fairly safe. The courthouse is across the street as is a police precinct so there is permanent law enforcement presence in eyesight, and the huge former station building houses the city's daily newspaper so the adjoining property is staffed at all hours. The dodgy part is the disused Pan Am freight yard which has open access to/from a very scuzzy industrial area on the other side. That's where the vagrants come from, not the station side where any access point requires walking within a block of the cops. If they merely put a dirt cheap chain-link fence separating the mainline track from the yard between the Freight St. bridge and the edge of the parking lot under the I-84 overpass it would dramatically improve the cleanliness and perceived safety of the station.

CDOT's Waterbury Line improvements study has part of the freight yard being repurposed as a smallish layover yard with several tracks pending completion of the eventual signalization project, installation of a couple passing sidings, and platform lengthenings to increase frequencies and consist size on the line. Signalization will have to be done at some point after the Danbury Line is finished and the rest is pretty minor performance uptick work, so decent chance that ugly yard will get cleaned up and get MNRR security presence by decade's end when they achieve the need to layover a couple sets there.


Best time to visit is when Naugatuck RR tourist train is running to the station. Good day trip to catch the station, then switch onto Naugy for the scenery and see the RR Museum in Thomaston where they have a bunch of vintage NYNHH equipment. Naugatuck Valley north of Waterbury to Torrington is some of the most beautiful scenery in the state.

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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by railmason357 » Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:52 am

F-Line - Only time I have ever seen the Naugy at Waterbury station is when they had their Thomas the Train gig going on, other than that it was just picking up equipment from the MNRR. I would think for them to enter the station area would be a problem with MNRR?
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DutchRailnut
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:44 pm

for Naugy to come on MNCR property they not only need a permission from MNCR RTC they need a MNCR pilot crew.
The Naugy or any other railroad is prohibited to run passenger trains on MNCR.
only exception being Amtrak as part of core services.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by Otto Vondrak » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:37 pm

railmason357 wrote:F-Line - Only time I have ever seen the Naugy at Waterbury station is when they had their Thomas the Train gig going on, other than that it was just picking up equipment from the MNRR. I would think for them to enter the station area would be a problem with MNRR?

No reason to run Naugatuck Railroad passenger trains to Waterbury, that is not where our customers are boarding, nor is it a destination. The parking situation is also questionable at best. Freight interchange is with Pan Am Railways, though that interchange takes place about a mile north at Highland Jct., if I recall correctly.

If you want to learn more about RMNE/Naugatuck Railroad, please visit our web site: http://rmne.org/

There's also a whole discussion thread on the Naugatuck Railroad/RMNE on the New England Railfan Forum: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 26&t=78061
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Ridgefielder
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by Ridgefielder » Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:02 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:
railmason357 wrote:F-Line - Only time I have ever seen the Naugy at Waterbury station is when they had their Thomas the Train gig going on, other than that it was just picking up equipment from the MNRR. I would think for them to enter the station area would be a problem with MNRR?

No reason to run Naugatuck Railroad passenger trains to Waterbury, that is not where our customers are boarding, nor is it a destination. The parking situation is also questionable at best. Freight interchange is with Pan Am Railways, though that interchange takes place about a mile north at Highland Jct., if I recall correctly.

If you want to learn more about RMNE/Naugatuck Railroad, please visit our web site: http://rmne.org/

There's also a whole discussion thread on the Naugatuck Railroad/RMNE on the New England Railfan Forum: http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 26&t=78061
Have to admit, I do sometimes wish we here in the US were more like the UK, where an across-the-platform transfer from a standard network train to a "heritage railway" is the rule rather than the exception.

amm in ny
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Re: New Haven Line Questions

Post by amm in ny » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:14 am

Ridgefielder wrote:Have to admit, I do sometimes wish we here in the US were more like the UK, where an across-the-platform transfer from a standard network train to a "heritage railway" is the rule rather than the exception.
I'm sure it could be done here, with enough money.

The question is: does it make sense?

My guess is that even if a direct transfer between Metro-North and Naugatuck RR were available, most of Naugatuck's customers would drive, anyway. Most probably don't live near the New Haven main line or Waterbury branch, and if they have to drive anyway, why not drive to wherever the train leaves from? (Thomaston, Waterbury, or wherever.)

The situation in the UK is different, because (a) the cross-platform transfer probably predates the line becoming a "heritage" operation and (b) the rail network in the UK is a lot denser, so taking the train there is practical for more people.

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