• Naugatuck Branch Passenger Service-PC and Later

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

Moderator: JJMDiMunno

  by Ruzbasan
I also am researching Naugatuck Branch passenger service during the Penn Central Era to 1995.

It appears Penn Central ran only one striped RDC-1 several times a day from Bridgeport to Waterbury, CT during 1969-1976. Is this correct?

Who took over passenger service to Waterbury after Penn Central? (CDOT? Metro North? Amtrak? ) When did Metro North take over passenger service on the Waterbury Branch?

From photos, it looks like the same lone striped Penn Central RDC-1, now marked with a MTA seal on the front, appears to have continued the service after Penn Central.

For what years did the striped RDC continue service up the Naugatuck Branch after Penn Central?

Next came an Amtrak/CDOT SPV-2000 ? For what years did the SPV-2000 run on the Naugatuck Branch?

Did Metro North go back to using RDC's after the SPV-2000?

In what year on the Naugatuck Branch did Metro North change away from one car service to the diesel locomotive/multiple car service we see today? What motive power and passenger car types were used by what railroad?

Please accept my apologies for so many questions, but passenger service to Waterbury after the New Haven is very confusing.
  by Noel Weaver
I will answer some of these questions.
I don't know the colors of all of the RDC's that ran to Waterbury nor do I know when the SPV's ran to Waterbury, I doubt if they lasted very long there, they could not be considered a success in any respect.
I think Conrail or Metro-North went back to conventional RDC's after the SPV's finally crapped out for their last time. They built things better in the 1950's.
I think it was after Metro-North took over that the RDC's were finally replaced by push/pull equipment but again, I can't tell you exactly when this took place. It was part of the signal change when they went to cab signal operation between Devon and Bridgeport as the RDC's at the time did not have up-dated cab signal equipment on them.
Incidentally the line had only four round trips a day after about 1958 or so, I[ll have to check my timetables for the exact dates, until Metro-North and the State of Connecticut increased the service to a more reasonable level.
I can still remember the 15 plus car trains every Saturday and Sunday morning out of Waterbury through to New York in two hours, round trip excursion fare was $2.49 later increased to $2.60. Power change at Bridgeport (engine came down light from New Haven) and over to track one at Burr Road, next stop 125th Street. Two hours from Waterbury!!
Noel Weaver
  by Backshophoss
At one time MN had a B23-7 and 2 Comet(Shoreliner) coaches and a Cab Car fitted with gensets to run the heat/AC and lights.
Now a BL20GH (in MN or NH colors) 2 coaches and cab car are the norm on the Waterbury branch.
CDOT 50(aka Lizzy),a SPV-2000 did do some turns on the Waterbury Branch,but required special handling while on the New Haven Mainline
Between Devon-Bridgeport,due to it being a single car(the RDC's were handled the same way as well).
There had to be positive block in front of and behind the single car movement.
Both the RDC's and SPV's did not always shunt signals.
  by Noel Weaver
At least in my time a single RDC required rear end manual block protection but not head end manual block protection. I don't know if the rules were ever changed but if they were, it was after my retirement in October, 1997.
Noel Weaver
  by TomNelligan
I'm traveling at the moment and don't have access to my photos and notes at home, but I'll add that in addition to the former NH Budds with PC lettering that MN ran to Waterbury in its early days, in the early 1980s you'd see ex-Amtrak via PC Budds with red/blue ends. And in addition to CDOT SPV 50 (Lizzie), the 990-series SPVs that the state had purchased for Hartford line service also ran there after Amtrak dumped them. I posted some photos of the latter at http://www.railpictures.net" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; that you should be able to find through that site's search function. Both the RDCs and SPVs ran as single cars only. The last two-car trains on the line were around the end of NH operation, on the first southbound train of the morning and the roughly 5 PM departure from Bridgeport in the afternoon.
  by JimBoylan
I can remember 1 evening, probably a Sunday, between 1982 and 1996, seeing a single RDC sneak out of New Haven after dark heading West. When my ConDot train got to Bridgeport, there was a similar car sitting on an Eastbound track in the station. So, I probably saw a Waterbury branch shuttle deadheading from its servicing location.
  by Engineer Spike
I attended Waterbury State Technical College, in the early 1990s. At first, the RDC was used. Later the Bombardier coaches were used. Some were just 2-3 car sets. As mentioned, some had a coach with a generator, and were drawn by the B23-7. Other sets were longer, and continued to New York. These sometimes had pairs of FL9s. One through train was around noon, and I’d eat my lunch, while watching them come and go. It was funny because when the FL9s would not notch out, all the car alarms would go off.

The B23-7 drawn trains didn’t last too long. The GP35M fleet didn’t replace them, and a single FL9 did the job. Around that time i went to the Croton Harmon Shop open house. One of the employees said that the B23 fleet was going to be replaced, since there was no parts commonality with all the EMD FL9, and F10 fleet. This is when the rebuilt GP35 fleet came.

After that, my connection to Waterbury faded. I moved to Massachusetts, and got my bachelor degree. About a year later, I ended up on BN. The Metro North B23-7s ended up there. They were used as trail only. I saw them sometimes, and had one in the consist, as a conductor. I don’t remember having one after promotion.