CNE Connecticut Connection

A trip along the Central New England Railway (CNE) from Canaan, Connecticut to the New York State Line.


Posed in Canaan right where our CNE 2004 tours began, the CNE’s crack “Mountain Express” for Hartford is ready to head east on a summer morning in 1900, with engineer Bill Ahearn (left) and Conductor Frank Smith (third left). Barely visible in far right background is the skipjack coal tipple, with the water tank behind it. Posed in Canaan right where our CNE 2004 tours began, the CNE’s crack “Mountain Express” for Hartford is ready to head east on a summer morning in 1900, with engineer Bill Ahearn (left) and Conductor Frank Smith (third left). Barely visible in far right background is the skipjack coal tipple, with the water tank behind it.


1935 0500 canaan cw uconn (96)



This is an enlargement of the right hand edge of the above photo. It shows the location of the coal tipple and water tank behind the last train car at the right edge of the picture.

Photo from the J. W. Swanberg collection.



Topo map of the area from Canaan to Twin Lakes CT dated 1946.
The Canaan yard area was between Canaan and the Blackberry River.
The station is the L shape in the middle of the wye on the south side of Canaan.



PR&NE #1254 in the Canaan yard in 1893

Lee Beaujon collection



Canaan Station in the 1940’s

Lee Beaujon collection

Sadly, the right half of this historic building burned. It was torched by teenagers. They were caught and now there is a restoration program underway.

At Canaan, the Central New England Railway crossed the Housatonic Railroad.

Both became part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.



Canaan Station in the 1940’s

Lee Beaujon collection

The tower and the section at right burned. It is now being restored.



Canaan Station looking north in 1968.

Photo by Roger Liller



Canaan water tower in 1968

Photo by Roger Liller



East Main Street Canaan looking west in the summer of 1924.

Lee Beaujon collection

Locomotive in the center is on first class #906 eastbound to Hartford ready to depart at 7:30 AM. In the distance is mixed train #913 headed west to Beacon NY departing at 7:15 AM. At left is PUC inspection train with CNE business car #100 waiting to head south to Danbury. East Main Street Canaan looking west in the summer of 1924.



CNE 4-4-0 #202 on train #8 due to leave for Hartford at 8:45 AM about 1905.

Lee Beaujon collection



H&CW #3

Fran Donovan collection





PH&B RR #2 “Hartford”. Formerly NY&M #2, P&E #2

Roger Liller collection



Westbound train at Canaan station.

CNE 2004 tour guide book



2-4-4 built by Rogers in 1848

Fran Donovan collection

CW RR #1 “State Line”, H&CW #1, CNE&W #1, PR&NE #1, Scrapped 1899



Eastbound train at Canaan station.

Fran Donovan collection



Hartford to State Line Track Chart



View westbound from Canaan station diamond 1938.

Nimke Volume 3, Page 70

Looking toward Church street the building to the right of the tracks is the former ice house.



Church street crossing in Canaan 1925.

Nimke Volume 3, Page 71



Church Street Canaan looking east – 19 October 1927

Lee Beaujon collection

This was only 2 months before passenger service ended between Millerton and Hartford.




PR&NE #11 in the east end of the Canaan yard 1893

Lee Beaujon collection



View westbound from the Church street crossing in Canaan in 1927.

Nimke Volume 3 Page 72

Canaan yard complex is in the background.



Westbound view of the Canaan yard in 1893.

Nimke Volume 3, Page 72

The coaling tower is to the left of the tracks in the distance.



Canaan coal tipple in the 1890’s

CNE 2004 tour guide book



View eastbound toward Church street from the top of the coal tower.

Nimke Volume 3 Page 72



Eastbound toward Church street from the middle of the Canaan yard.

Nimke Volume 3, page 73


Join the New York & New England/Central New England Forum



This is the bridge over the Blackberry River at the west end of the Canaan yard.



Wreck of CNE&W #11 in the Canaan yard 27 July 1892

Lee Beaujon collection

This wreck happened at 3:00 AM at the west end of the yard near the coal loader.



Wreck of CNE&W #11 in the Canaan yard 27 July 1892

Lee Beaujon collection




Story of the July 1892 wreck in Canaan yard

Lee Beaujon collection



PR&NE yard in Canaan 1893

Lee Beaujon collection

Note the coal loader in the left background.
Yard wye track to the right.



Canaan coal tower, boiler house and water tower in 1891.

Lee Beaujon collection



Canaan yard looking west from Church St. 1940s.

Lee Beaujon collection



CNE&W engine house in Canaan 1891
Lee Beaujon collection

Unused by the mid 1890’s.
Blew down in a storm in the late 1890’s.



NH Flanger S-54 on the ashpit track in the Canaan yard.
Lee Beaujon collection



CNE&W Canaan coal tower built in 1891 – torn down 1906.

Lee Beaujon collection

View looking west across the Blackberry River bridge



Looking west over the Housatonic River.

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Topo map of Twin Lakes and Chapinville which later became Taconic station.
Survey of 1884-5

The following was typed by Austin McEntee from an old newspaper clipping.

The morning mail today brings a message from a Canaan banker who is an authority on the CNE railway and its history. Read on:
In regard to the Washining station west of Canaan, about 1910 the east shore of Twin Lakes experienced a building boom and several influential men built quite elaborate cottages and landscaped their grounds. Among them were two wholesale druggists from Philadelphia and an insurance executive from Hartford, Charles S. Blake. During the construction these men persuaded the railroad to install a siding and many cars of materials were unloaded at this point, which was adjacent to the highway leading to the east shore of Twin Lakes from Canaan at the crossing. A roofed passenger shelter was built and a name selected – Blake’s Summit. With the renaming of the stations on the line, Chapinville became Taconic and Blake’s Summit was given the Indian name for the larger of the Twin Lakes — Washining. The writer well remembers it as he had occasion to use this station stop one Sunday afternoon. The conductor was Mr. Simmons and he neglected to pull the bell cord to signal the engineer to stop. His disposition was not the best, as I recall, and he made the engineer back the train several hundred yards rather than let me drop off as they slowed down, which incidentally was near my destination.



View east at Washining station October 1927
Bob Lord photo

This station was formerly called Blake’s Summit.



Taconic CT
Bob Lord postcard

This station was formerly called Chapinville.


Find out about KC Jones’s story on the last train to Lakeville



Twin Lakes station

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Washining Station looking east

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Topo map of the Twin Lakes CT area dated 1949.



Twin lakes station



Twin Lakes causeway looking west

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Twin Lakes Station looking east in 1927

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Taconic Station in October 1927

Note the former turntable span used as a bridge at left.



Taconic Station

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Topo map of Salisbury, Lakeville, Ore Hill and State Line c. 1900



CNE&W head on wreck at Moores Brook east of Salisbury 24 October 1890.
Locomotives were 4-4-0 #21 and 2-6-0 #23. Brakeman James Higgins, age 18, was killed.



Lee Beaujon collection






Salisbury Station with the library in the background

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Salisbury station east view late 1920’s
Lee Beaujon collection

Now part of a home at 54 Library St. In Salisbury.



Salisbury station west view late 1920’s

Lee Beaujon collection

Foundation of the water tower still exists. Station is now part of a home at 54 Library St.



Salisbury freight house complete with a cattle ramp April 1938.

Nimke Volume 3, Page 94



Eastbound view of Salisbury with the freight house to the left. April 1938.

Nimke Volume 3, Page 95



Train approaching the Salisbury wreck on 1 April 1918

Lee Beaujon collection

Photographer snapped the above photo just before the derailment.



Salisbury wreck 1 April 1918

Lee Beaujon collection

After the crash he ran along the tracks to take these wreck photos.



Salisbury wreck 1 April 1918

Lee Beaujon collection

The photographer happened to be taking pictures when the train derailed.

From The Lakeville Journal issue of Thursday, April 4,1918
Freight Wrecked
An eastbound freight train came to grief in what is known as Hutchinson’s Cut just in the rear of Charles Renshaw’s summer home at Salisbury. The train was making fast time when eight of the cars in the center of the train left the rails and piled up on both sides of the track. Fortunately none of the train crew were hurt. The wrecked cars consisted of four box cars and 4 steel cars loaded with soft coal which was spilled in heaps on the sides of the embankment. The track was badly torn up for some distance, the rails being bent and twisted in various shapes and the ties reduced to kindling wood. Traffic was blocked until Tuesday noon but passenger trains maintained fairly good schedules by transferring passengers.



Drawing of Salisbury station by Victor Westman

Lee Beaujon collection

Victor Westman is an engineer retired from the Harlem line and living in Danbury CT. His drawings were intended for a book which Robert Adams was writing about the CNE and ND&C. Unfortunately Adams passed away before the manuscript was completed and the book was never published. Some of these pictures have been used previously in Christmas card illustrations.



 Lakeville station
Lee Beaujon collection



PR&NE #14 at Lakeville 1890s

Lee Beaujon collection



Topo of Lakeville to State Line dated 1948.

The tracks from Lakeville to State Line are gone but you can follow the ROW in the topo lines.
The end of the tracks is visible north of the lake in the upper right corner by Lakeville.
The outline of the wye at State Line is visible near the left edge.



Lakeville trestle about 1947

Lee Beaujon collection

This trestle was not strong enough for “Bull Moose” type locomotives.



Lakeville in the 1930’s

CNE 2004 tour guide book

This bridge in Lakeville was the reason that heavier “Bull Moose” type locomotives could not use parts of this line.



Lakeville Station

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Ore Hill Station

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Ore Hill in 1924 looking east

CNE 2004 tour guide book



Ore Hill trestle near State Line

CNE 2004 tour guide book


A New Hudson Bridge, Revived Beacon Line, HYPERLOOP and More

The Maybrook Line was a line of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad which connected with its Waterbury Branch in Derby, Connecticut, and its Maybrook Yard in Maybrook, New York, where it interchanged with other carriers.

If one looks at the most popular Pages on our WebSite, over half directly reference the Maybrook Line. Lot’s of folks have an interest in it. The “Maybrook Line” was important to New England before the advent of Penn Central and before the Poughkeepsie Bridge burned. This piece of the railroad carried freight from Maybrook Yard, across the Poughkeepsie Bridge to Hopewell Junction where it joined a line from Beacon. The railroad then went to Brewster, then Danbury, and finally to Cedar Hill Yard in New Haven.

WHY and How To Fix The “MAYBROOK LINE”?

Container port/intermodal facility/rail bridge

The construction of a railroad bridge between New Hamburg and Marlboro is likely the least expensive place to build a Hudson River crossing between Manhattan and Albany.    The stone for ramps, sand and gravel for concrete and a steel beam assembly and storage area would be right on sight.  All materials and equipment could be transported by barge or boat.  The bridge itself would have only four or five piers (the most costly part to build) since the Hudson River is about the same width as it is in Poughkeepsie.

The Hudson River component connects Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties to the world economy (finished goods, spare parts, components parts, raw materials, food stuffs) and the railroad and interstate road components connect these NY counties to the rest of North America (US, Mexico, Canada).

With the container port/intermodal facility/rail bridge, the flow in and out of raw materials, spare parts, partially finished goods, foodstuffs and components will allow for new industries and businesses to locate near this facility and add to the tax base of these three NY counties: Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties.

Although the Dutchess County Airport is a tiny regional airport with a 5,000 foot runway, it has some big potential. The airport land extends a mile Northeast of the present runway end at New Hackensack Road and borders on the former New Haven Maybrook Line/Dutchess Rail Trail. As the NY Air National Guard gets crowded out by international air traffic at Stewart International Airport their operation could be moved over to Dutchess Airport without disrupting the lives of the guard members and their families through forced relocation.

Beacon itself is exploding with “developer” activity, and it needs a trolley or light rail for the city only to transform back into a pedestrian oriented city.

Other activities include: Solidization of rail links in Connecticut to handle increased traffic; a possible HYPERLINK for improved service along the Beacon Line and in/out of New York City 

Now you are going to ask. What does the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority have to do with the “BEACON LINE”? IT OWNS IT! Must realize that NYCMTA is a “regional” organization. With all that went on with Penn-Central and CONRAIL somebody had to own it!


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