This is what it looked like 100 years ago
There is no “brrreeeport” in Connecticut, but there are plenty of towns that are served by freight railroads. Search them out!
Who Do I Call to Move My Freight?
For Connecticut Towns Over 15,000 Population
(CLICK HERE for WebSite)
| New Haven
||123,626||CSX||Serves North Haven to New York State line|
|New Haven||123,626||Providence & Worcester||Belle Dock Branch|
||121,578||Providence & Worcester||Valley Line Middletown to Hartford|
|Hartford||121,578||Connecticut Southern (CSO)||Springfield Line (trackage rights on Amtrak)|
|Hartford||121,578||Central New England||Some trackage not covered by Connecticut Southern|
|Norwalk||82,951||Providence & Worcester||Danbury line|
|Danbury||74,848||Providence & Worcester||Tilcon stone only|
| New Britain
||71,538||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||Connection to Waterbury only|
|New Britain||71,538||Connecticut Southern||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
| West Hartford
||63,589||Connecticut Southern Railroad|
||60,062||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||New Britain Waterbury Line|
||58,244||Connecticut Southern Railroad||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
||54,740||Connecticut Southern Railroad|
| West Haven
| East Hartford
||49,575||Connecticut Southern Railroad|
||43,167||Providence & Worcester|
||43,026||Connecticut Southern Railroad||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
||39,907||Providence & Worcester||Groton-Norwich-Worcester Line New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||39,728||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||New Britain to Waterbury including Canal Line|
||38,101||Housatonic Railroad||Danbury to Derby Junction|
||36,117||Providence & Worcester||Groton-Norwich-Worcester Line|
|Norwich||36,117||New England Central Railroad||New London/Palmer line|
||35,202||Naugatuck Railroad||Connection to Guilford/Springfield Terminal at Watertown Junction|
||30,989||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||Trackage rights on Metro-North|
||29,306||Connecticut Southern Railroad||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
||28,683||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||28,237||Connecticut Southern Railroad||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
| East Haven
||28,129||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
| New Milford
||27,121||Housatonic||Danbury to Massachusetts line|
||26,271||Providence & Worcester||Valley Line Middletown to Hartford|
| New London
||25,671||New England Central Railroad||New London/Palmer line|
|New London||25,671||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||25,031||Housatonic||Danbury to Derby Junction line|
| South Windsor
||24,412||Central New England||Connection to Connecticut Southern|
||23,641||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||New Britain to Waterbury including Canal Line|
| North Haven
||23,035||Connecticut Southern Railroad||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
||22,857||New England Central Railroad||New London/Palmer line|
||21,398||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||19,587||Connecticut Southern Railroad|
| New Canaan
||19,247||Housatonic Railroad||Danbury to Derby Junction|
||19,152||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||18,567||Housatonic Railroad||Danbury to Derby Junction|
||18,554||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||Trackage rights on Metro-North|
||18,546||New England Central Railroad||New London/Palmer line|
||18,215||Connecticut Southern||Trackage rights on Amtrak|
| East Lyme
||18,118||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||18,067||Providence & Worcester||Danbury line|
| Rocky Hill
||17,966||Providence & Worcester||Valley Line Middletown to Hartford|
||17,906||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||17,858||Providence & Worcester||New Haven to Rhode Island line|
||17,633||Providence & Worcester||Danbury line|
||17,328||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||New Britain Waterbury Line|
||15,664||Housatonic||Danbury to Massachusetts line|
||15,454||Guilford/Springfield Terminal||Trackage rights on Metro-North|
Freight Returns to Connecticut
The August 26 Merdien Record-Journal ran a story on an old bridge over Gracy avenue in Meriden. This was part of the old “Merdien, Waterbury, & CT River RR, which is currently owned by the York Hill quarry on the east side of Meriden. I guess the quarry had purchased the right of way when the line was abandoned, in case they ever wanted to use rail service again.
Local residents want the bridge taken down, but the owner stated that with the rising cost of fuel in shipping traprock by truck, they are looking into the possibility of shipping by rail again. This would of course require a lot of logging and tie replacement, and building a bridge over North Colony street that was taken down about a year ago. If this all happend the quarry would be a new customer stop for Connecticut Southern RR, with the lead to that line being right near Quarry interlocking on Amtrak.
A different bridge than just mentioned, and crosses over the Amtrak mains, can be seen just to the north from the Amtrak crossing at North Colony street. The lead up to this “York Hill” line would be up near Quarry interlocking on the west side of the tracks, and would go south and then west through the woods to clear a switch on the west side of the bridge.
The bridge mentioned in the newspaper article is to the west of the bridge over the Amtrak main, and this lead would give them about 40-50 cars worth of headroom past the switch to get in and out of there.
A little premature, but I wonder if the quarry would use their own switcher to drop cars near Amtrak, or CSO-2 would have to go all the way to the east side of Meriden to the quarry.
The rails are still visible but are now choked by some 35 years of forest growth. Last railcars at the quarry in the were in the 1960s.
Still, it’s interesting to learn that the quarry was far-sighted enough to buy the roughly 3.5 miles of right-of-way to the Amtrak main line and is fighting to keep it. Maybe the tide is slowing turning?
If high speed freight were available, businesses would adapt to use it.
Sears and Roebuck located in Chicago because of the rail system. Order through their catalog and they would ship it anywhere in the country by rail. You could even buy a house from Sears and they would pack up all of the lumber, nails, etc. into one boxcar and send it out.
Columbus is within 500 miles of half of the population of the United States. Columbus could host a giant warehouse full of sheet metal parts for every car sold in America. That way, when someone wrecks a Mini Cooper in Hartford or a Scion in New Haven, the parts could be on their way and delivered to the body shop within 24 hours.
Norfolk is a deep water port that will soon be handling more ships from the far east through the new Panama Canal. Imagine warehouses in Norfolk full of furniture in every color and pattern imaginable. So if you’re shopping in Providence and really want that recliner in green plaid, they can ship it up to you from the warehouse that serves the entire eastern half of the country.
Now a fender here or a couch there may not seem like much. But the right delivery system allows a business to grow volume. It was no coincidence that Sears’ use of the railroads in Chicago enabled it to become the world’s largest store. With reliable overnight service, a shipping container here and there can rapidly become hundreds of shipping containers per day going to retail outlets with low inventories and just-in-time delivery to their anxious customers.