Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

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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Noel Weaver
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Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Noel Weaver » Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:34 am

The map of Penn Central as of 1969 in the February, 2010 Trains Magazine is quite interesting.
There is one really good error in it, on the former New Haven Branch between Stamford and New Canaan in Connecticut they
show the line as 5 to 19 million gross tons. This line is an 8 mile mostly passenger branch off the main line at Stamford and
even in 1969 it did not and never had really heavy freight tonnage. At the time the local went up from Stamford with a yard
engine or maybe an SW-1200 or RS-3 with a handful of cars for maybe seven or eight local customers at the time. Within a
year about half of the business was gone as outfits closed or relocated. There is no way that this branch carried more
freight than the main line did. There may be other errors regarding the former New Haven territory but I can't be sure.
I am sure about this one.
Incidentally CSX still has the freight rights on this branch but there hasn't been a freight movement on it in the past few
years, no more customers and maybe no more sidings either for freight.
Noel Weaver

Allen Hazen
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Allen Hazen » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:50 pm

I haven't seen that issue, but I think I may have seen the map: back in the early 1970s "Trains" published a traffic density map of the Penn Central. I'm not sure what the source for it was: I thinjk it may have been Penn Central itself. (The U.S.R.A. (not the one that tried to standardize steam locomotive designs in WW I, but the agency with the same initials that planned for Conrail in the 1970s) published very detailed maps of traffic density for Penn Central and the other bankrupts a bit later.)

Station Aficionado
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Station Aficionado » Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:05 pm

Very interesting, indeed. I was interested to see that even at that date, there was no a lot of freight traffice on the former Michigan Central (now Amtrak's Michigan Line); likewise for the ex-NYC route between Chicago and Indy. Also, as noted in the text accompanying the map, PC sure had a lot of short branchlines.

ATK
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by ATK » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:26 am

Noel Weaver wrote:At the time the local went up from Stamford with a yard engine or maybe an SW-1200 or RS-3 with a handful of cars for maybe seven or eight local customers at the time.
Wow, 7 or 8?!? That's certainly more than I would have ever guessed. All of those customers were in Glenbrook and Springdale? Were there ever any freight customers in New Canaan? I think the siding into the lumber yard just north of Springdale Station still exists, but not 100% sure.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Noel Weaver » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:54 am

ATK wrote:
Noel Weaver wrote:At the time the local went up from Stamford with a yard engine or maybe an SW-1200 or RS-3 with a handful of cars for maybe seven or eight local customers at the time.
Wow, 7 or 8?!? That's certainly more than I would have ever guessed. All of those customers were in Glenbrook and Springdale? Were there ever any freight customers in New Canaan? I think the siding into the lumber yard just north of Springdale Station still exists, but not 100% sure.
There were two customers in New Canaan in my early years on that branch, Weed and Duryea and New Canaan something,
In Springdale there was an outfit that got freight via the bulk track and that was the last freight customer on the branch.
Old Glenbrook had two or maybe three customers at one time but they have all been gone for a long time. The Rolling
Mills in Springdale also had a siding. There was also a siding for Phillips and one for Isis both between Glenbrook and
Springdale and both gone for a long time.
Even with what I just listed, they did not add up to the tonnage that was hauled by the wayfreight on this line, no way.
As far as I know and going back a long, long time this line was always worked by freight at night after the last dink.
Noel Weaver

Buffalobillho
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Buffalobillho » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:02 pm

Noel:
I believe this map combines both ton miles, and revenue passenger miles. I do not know if 1 passenger mile = a ton mile or what. Probably designed to show revenue density rather than freight traffic density. The later US DOT issuewd Zone maps, issued during the USRA Era (yes, the Planning agency which preceded Conrail) show this line as a less than 1MM Gross ton miles. I seam to remember Glenbook Laboritories as the largest customer, and they were like a 100 cars a year. Map shows the New Haven main trough Stamford CT as fifty to 100 MM GTM, it was like a trenth of that from a freight perspective when I was on the Metro region 10 years later.

Noel Weaver
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Noel Weaver » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:02 am

The map in Trains is labeled "tonnage and trackage" and I don't think it has anything to do with passenger service on this line. They may have used as a guideline the set of maps that the US DOT put out in 1974 for the entire US in many pages.
I have a full set of these maps in a huge bound volume and there were errors in them as well.
Noel Weaver

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Penn Central map in February, 2010 Trains

Post by Otto Vondrak » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:32 pm

Noel Weaver wrote:The map of Penn Central as of 1969 in the February, 2010 Trains Magazine is quite interesting. There is one really good error in it, on the former New Haven Branch between Stamford and New Canaan in Connecticut they show the line as 5 to 19 million gross tons. This line is an 8 mile mostly passenger branch off the main line at Stamford and even in 1969 it did not and never had really heavy freight tonnage.
Noel- maybe commuters were heavier in 1969? :-)

-otto-
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