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I was wondering about a name myself. Was thinking of sticking with Housatonic because of the history of that road but if the Rutland was folded in then that might have changed things name wise.rfranzosa wrote:This is such an interesting topic. When I was still doing model railroading, I had a lot of equipment lettered for the fictional "Northern Berkshire". I'll have to see if I have any photos ;-)
Mr. Rick. Your mentioning the "Northern Berkshire" reminded me of an article in Railroad Model Craftsman (RMC) many years ago, and wondering if it was your railroad in the magazine. I just finished searching my separates pile of magazines based on modeling articles and New haven themed articles and found RMC, vol.58, no. 9, for February 1990. In it was an article by Mr. Dave Messer titled "The Pennsylvania Northern R.R." The four page article has eight pictures, six are New Haven RR themed with locomotives, cabooses, and Wethersfield. The three cities on the layout are Wethersfield, Branford, and Ellisburg (a Pennsy town), and a local called Lyon Jct. Mr. Messer started the article with, "The HO scale Pennsylvania Northern was chartered as a bridge line railroad connecting the Pennsylvania and New Haven roads and interchanging freight and passenger traffic with each."rfranzosa wrote: This is such an interesting topic. When I was still doing model railroading, I had a lot of equipment lettered for the fictional "Northern Berkshire". I'll have to see if I have any photos ;-)
I see your point. It would be slower but steady freight. When I was working New England Central our southbound freights would be 20-25 cars out of Palmer Ma many days with only a handful winding up on the P&W in New London. The rest were online loads. I was kind of thinking the same thing for this route. Non time sensitive freight. Steady enough to justify. Also, if the line had developed as my hypothetical scenario there’s no telling how much more online business there would be.Statkowski wrote:Looking at a rail map of the area, although the Central's Harlem Division had a direct connection with the Rutland at Chatham, N.Y. for any north-south traffic, anything coming north on the Berkshire would be difficult at best. Once again, as always, geography interferes, and the line north to Pittsfield is on the wrong side of the mountains to easily get to the Rutland.
Certainly one could pop northward from Pittsfield to North Adams, and thence westward through the Hoosac Tunnel to Petersburgh Junction on the B&M before making a right turn onto the Rutland. Not exactly a high speed route, but one that is/was possible. Any new route, however, would have to deal with the geography.
Looking back thru history it seems like a few smart moves could have put this in play. There are several cases where something was almost done bet fell thru. One thing that sticks in my head with this plan is Bellows Falls. At NECR we had a meeting over double stacks. They couldn't run them because Bellows Falls tunnel was too short and they had already lowered it some. I ran trains thru there a few times and the track was always in water. They couldn't raise the tunnel because buildings were sitting over it. The route I'm "what iffing" would have better clearance. While I think I'm set with the 1970's era that clearance ability would give the line an edge over the then CV.ChristopherParker wrote: The New Haven did make moves to pursue the Rutland. Of course the NYC countered and ended up with control.
Your imagined scenario does make sense though. In fact there was a time when the Vermont Transit trunk line buses from Burlington and Rutland went down to Bennington, then Pittsfied and Danbury. That was before the interstate sucked traffic west into New York State.
If this was all New Haven and got wrapped up into Penn Central it might have all ended up abandoned. But one can imagine alternate paths. Suppose there was a Providence & Worcester like outcome . . . Or what if the New Haven itself had stayed independent taking the steps necessary to survive and act more like an independent regional? Or if the Rutland (owned by NH) was abandoned in the sixties and taken over by the state, became VTR but then bought the line all the way into New York?