Danbury Branch - History, Electrification, Studies

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

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22300
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by DutchRailnut » Mon May 14, 2018 6:30 pm

They own what they got , for cDOT to now claim ownership would be nothing short of Marxism.
CDOT had chance to own Danbury cluster but found it not in their interest , so it pretty much puts them outside the loop.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

andrewjw
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 am

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by andrewjw » Tue May 15, 2018 1:04 am

You know Kelo v. New London was right here in this state, right?

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22300
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue May 15, 2018 7:50 am

yes but you can't use eminent domain after state and CDOT declined to buy the property at Conrail sale , it was offered to them at about 1/10 of price it would fetch now.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

andrewjw
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 am

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by andrewjw » Tue May 15, 2018 2:22 pm

Explain to me again why you can't use eminent domain?

DutchRailnut
Posts: 22300
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 8:02 pm
Location: released from Stalag 13

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by DutchRailnut » Tue May 15, 2018 3:43 pm

state would loose in court cause they refused the same property only a few years ago. guaranteed.
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

Retired Triebfahrzeugführer. I am not a moderator.

andrewjw
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:48 am

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by andrewjw » Tue May 15, 2018 6:24 pm

Is there precedent which supports your claim that they would lose?

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2740
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by Ridgefielder » Thu May 17, 2018 11:27 am

DutchRailnut wrote:state would loose in court cause they refused the same property only a few years ago. guaranteed.
I'm not too sure about that. Conrail sold the Danbury cluster in 1992. That's closer to a few decades than a few years in the past. And the physical plant has been allowed to decay to an alarming degree.

Bigger problem is prob. that the State of Conn. is flat broke and has no money to spend on this, whether through forced sale or not. It's more likely in my opinion that the Housy goes bust and P&W swoops in with Genesee & Wyoming's checkbook and buys the whole thing.

Jeff Smith
Site Admin
Posts: 8592
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2006 9:28 am
Location: If it's Tuesday, It Must Be Belgium

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by Jeff Smith » Thu May 17, 2018 11:33 am

I think certainly, HRRC, outside of the one transload facility, would do well to be rid of the Maybrook. No customers west, and to the east they can negotiate within the sale, i.e. forecast future revenue, or get (ironically) trackage rights to the east, etc.
Next stop, Willoughby
~el Jefe ("Jeff Smith Rules") :: RAILROAD.NET Site Administrator/Co-Owner

Backshophoss
Posts: 6359
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by Backshophoss » Thu May 17, 2018 9:46 pm

Good time for HRRC to sell off to P&W(G&W),settle out of court and retreat to north of New Milford town line.
OR have P&W file for adverse abandonment to force the HRRC out of Danbury.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

User avatar
BandA
Posts: 2885
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:47 am

Re: Danbury Branch Extension Study

Post by BandA » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:55 pm

You want the state to NOT have a study, and say they don't really want it, but are willing to buy it for pennies on the dollar just to get it off their hands. THEN do the study.

It's not that HRRC is passenger unfriendly, rather they are derailment-friendly!

R36 Combine Coach
Posts: 5487
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:01 pm

Traingeek3629 wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:08 pm
Danbury Branch has relatively low ridership and when you think of all the NIMBYs who would pitch a fit, it makes it worthless.
The wire shouldn't have been deactivated in 1961, in retrospect.
Since my friend continues to chain smoke nonstop, she is probably an Alco.

Backshophoss
Posts: 6359
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:58 pm

Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Backshophoss » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm

The Catenary to Danbury was feed off of the mainline Substations,had only 1 feederline to the end,passenger service to Pittsfield
was down to weekend service(Fri NB/Sat RT by RDC/Sun SB back to NYC) and covered by the FL-9's.
The reason was to not do a power change at S Norwalk,so that's why Danbury branch got wire back in the day.
Remember the NH was Bankrupt when the wire was removed.

Voltage drop on the branch might have been an issue,as Cos Cob was the only generating station(Van Nest was gone)
could have been 9 kv 25hz. at Danbury.
The Land of Enchantment is not Flyover country!

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2740
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Ridgefielder » Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:17 pm

Backshophoss wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm
The Catenary to Danbury was feed off of the mainline Substations,had only 1 feederline to the end,passenger service to Pittsfield
was down to weekend service(Fri NB/Sat RT by RDC/Sun SB back to NYC) and covered by the FL-9's.
The reason was to not do a power change at S Norwalk,so that's why Danbury branch got wire back in the day.
Remember the NH was Bankrupt when the wire was removed.

Voltage drop on the branch might have been an issue,as Cos Cob was the only generating station(Van Nest was gone)
could have been 9 kv 25hz. at Danbury.
Going to reinforce what was said here, as someone who grew up along the Danbury Branch and knows the area well.

The only reason the Danbury Branch was electrified back in 1923 was to eliminate an engine change for the Danbury through trains, and move the changeover for Pittsfield service. After the wire went up on the Danbury they were able to consolidate steam locomotive servicing and shut down facilities in Stamford. Unlike on the rest of the West End of the New Haven, the yards and sidings on the Danbury were never wired, nor was the short branch up the hill from Branchville to Ridgefield Center. Freight remained under steam. It was an economy move for passenger service, pure and simple.

If it had never been electrified, nobody would be talking about electrifying it today. Instead half the locals who know zero about railroad operations see the old Cat poles, see the old pictures, hear stories about how the Berkshire carried a diner and parlor cars "back in grandpa's day" and think stringing up 20 miles of 12.5kV wire will magically give us the Danbury Acela. [end of rant]

EuroStar
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:26 pm
Location: Middle of Nowhere

Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by EuroStar » Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:11 pm

This got me thinking why the same argument does not apply today in respect to diesels the way it applied back then in respect to steam. Why isn't it cheaper to just make use of electrics to Danbury and avoid maintaining diesels on the New Haven Line? The answer is obvious: for the foreseable future ConnDOT cannot drop the diesels as they are needed for the Waterbury Branch, the Hartford Line and the Shore Line East. As long as they need to buy/maintain diesel fleets for those lines, buying/maintaining a few more for the Danbury Branch is not that big of a deal (I am leaving aside the issue that Waterbury and Danbury are part of Metro-North while the others are not). The question then is, why was it cheaper back then for NHRR to string the wire and close the facilities in Stamford? Didn't NHRR need to maintain diesels/steam for those other lines too including for any trains going north to Boston? Why didn't they use whatever they had in New Haven for that purpose?

Ridgefielder
Posts: 2740
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 7:22 pm
Location: Harlem Division MP 15

Re: Metro-North Hudson Line Electrification

Post by Ridgefielder » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:11 pm

EuroStar wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 2:11 pm
This got me thinking why the same argument does not apply today in respect to diesels the way it applied back then in respect to steam. Why isn't it cheaper to just make use of electrics to Danbury and avoid maintaining diesels on the New Haven Line? The answer is obvious: for the foreseable future ConnDOT cannot drop the diesels as they are needed for the Waterbury Branch, the Hartford Line and the Shore Line East. As long as they need to buy/maintain diesel fleets for those lines, buying/maintaining a few more for the Danbury Branch is not that big of a deal (I am leaving aside the issue that Waterbury and Danbury are part of Metro-North while the others are not). The question then is, why was it cheaper back then for NHRR to string the wire and close the facilities in Stamford? Didn't NHRR need to maintain diesels/steam for those other lines too including for any trains going north to Boston? Why didn't they use whatever they had in New Haven for that purpose?
By the mid-1920's the only steam locomotives left based in Stamford were those used as power on the Danbury through trains. Electrification was extended from Stamford to New Haven in 1914, and all through service N/E of New Haven swapped power there. The New Canaan branch, from Stamford to New Canaan, was electrified even earlier, in the mid 1890's. By wiring to Danbury the NH was able to outright close the Stamford facility and consolidate operations at the Danbury engine terminal, which in addition to the Danbury and Berkshire lines served the (very busy) E-W Maybrook freight line from Devon to the Poughkeepsie Bridge. Classic efficiency move, really.

And the reason the argument no longer applies-- and the reason the wire came down in '61-- was the development of dual-mode Electric/Diesel-Electric locomotives that could operate off 3rd rail power in the Park Avenue tunnel and Grand Central yards. No engine change needed anymore, period.

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