bridgeport,ct

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bridgeport,ct

zz4
Member
Joined: 05 Oct 2003, 03:30

09 Aug 2009, 07:52 #1

I think I was surfing railroad.net ? and saw a post with Noel Weaver seeming to know much about the Bridgeport,Ct. area. I sent a private message but--




I do not live in Bridgeport but a surrounding town.






As people get older and older I hate to see history get lost forever.






I think Bridgeport was in some Shoreliner but it was not too complete as to all the branch lines/spurs. (if I remember right)






On the east side there was Remington Arms that still has track to there but segmented and I don't know why it is not all pulled up as all other rail in
Bridgeport has been pulled like it were a disease.




There was another industry on same line and one of its locos sits in nowhere in Canaan,Ct. ?






There was the Seaview Avenue line to the south to Carpenter Steel, etc. Not a trace of that left.






The line south to UI. They were dead but I think the new stadium sits over what was there now.






Various industries along Railroad Avenue.




One interest....(1) When was the last service on the line to Sikorsky out on the harbor and does anybody remember when the tracks were laid and removed ??
They ended at some business south of Railroad Avenue up to some years ago. Further north they went down to that garbage processing plant. (all rail gone gone
gone as to 2009)










The old Housatonic interest (2) To the north the tracks went to the Parkway bridge but to north of that were abandoned about 1938 ? (kinda odd as they had
the bridge and tracks coming south from Newtown and segmenting it ?) I think the south Housatonic was last used for materials to help build the Parkway ?




---- but much later in time the tracks still went north to the Parkway area. I have seen the tracks stopping at a quarry on one map. Anybody remember how long
the line was there and serviced after 1938 ? (of coarse all track gone now down to Metro-North/Amtrack)




I know rt 8 segmented things but that was year _______?




North Bridgeport Railroad Station ? I don't think anybody knows anything about it except where is was. No pictures.




(hey..I've seen a pictures of a regular size loco/train on a Boston Avenue railroad line. It was actually doing Trolley work)




I don't want to switch subjects/areas but last industry on Wilson Point ?? The tracks were in place for a couple of miles up to some years ago.
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Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

10 Aug 2009, 02:48 #2


I don't remember too much about Wilson Point although I did work the yard job at South Norwalk a good number of times


and of course went down that branch quite a few times. We had to go to the end to run around the train to go back to the


yard but there wasn't any business at the end at least in the 60's. Nash Engineering was a customer on that line although I do


not know if they were the last. There was also a customer that received tank cars but I don't remember the details.


As for Bridgeport, I put a good idea of my memories in Bridgeport on railroaddotnet and I don't really have the time to do it


again on here right now.


Noel Weaver
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zz4
Member
Joined: 05 Oct 2003, 03:30

10 Aug 2009, 11:59 #3

I meant nothing by bringing up Bridgeport here.






I seldom post on that other site and I don't know if I ever posted in the New Haven section.






I saw some reference to Bridgeport over there but it did not cover the branches and spurs I have questions on.
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Tom Curtin
Member
Joined: 29 Mar 2003, 03:44

10 Aug 2009, 13:26 #4

A few comments on this from a layman . . .




"Wilson Point branch" is a misnomer from a couple of points of view


1. It did not go to Wilson Point for many years. I do not know when it ceased going there, it was some time after WW I although I have never seen a date.
Wilson Point became a ritzy waterfront residential community and is so today.


2. It was not really a "branch," just an industrial track servicing industries in far South Norwalk.




The most consistent operation was a passenger switching move that occurred every weekday for many years, when train 358 would back onto the branch after
discharging passengers at South Norwalk station. Then, after #386 arrived and left the station, 358 would come back into the station and pick up passengers
for the run up to Danbury.




When I was about 17 or 18 I rode 358 out of GCT one night (enroute to Danbury) solely for the purpose of riding this switching move on to the Wilson Point
track. Naturally I got the crew's OK on this, and they were only too happy to accommodate me. I rode the last car --- 358 was normally a 13 car train ---
so I could ride the maximum distance down the Wilson Point track. Today they call this kind of nonsense "rare mileage collecting" although the term
hadn't been invented at that time!
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Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

10 Aug 2009, 16:48 #5

Tom, I was going to argue this point but after looking at my trusty 1957 timetable (this is the one that is a bit beat up from a lot of use) I find it referred
to both as the "Wilson Point Track" and "Wilson Point Branch" so I guess we can take our pick.


Among the troops, it was generally considered the Wilson Point Branch.


On the schedule page for first class trains the footnote for train 358 refers to it as the Wilson Point Track while special


instruction 1824 regarding the use of this trackage states: "Obtain permission from operator at S.S. 44 to use Wilson Point


Branch",


Special instruction no. 1713 referring to public crossings at grade also refers to this as the Wilson Point Branch. All crossings were a stop and protect
status and also the eastbound platform at South Norwalk Station. To my knowledge there is nothing


else in the 1957 timetable regarding this territory. It was considered yard limits.


Noel Weaver
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Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

12 Aug 2009, 07:55 #6

After my remarks concerning the Wilson Point Branch/track or whatever, I decided to look through my trusty 1957 employee


timetable to try to come up with some more trackage that could fit the same category.


Dublin Street Branch, Waterbury also referred to as Dublin Street Route in the same timetable.


Canaan, the line to New England Lime which is a little section of the former CNE was referred to as the lead to New England


Lime.


Meriden, Quarry Junction to West Main Street and to York Hill Qurray was not referred to a branch.


New Haven, Belle Dock had very little reference in 1957 but in 1968 the last NHRR timetable referred to it as the Belle


Dock Branch with reference to the grade crossing at Grand Avenue. The street trackage at both Belle Dock and River


Street was referred to as the "Manufacturers Railroad". There was quite a bit of trackage in this area at one time.


East Haven, referred to as Shore Line Old Main. This is one of the lines that I was never over, In all of my time firing in New


Haven I never covered the Shore Line Local which worked this line. Got called for it once but then the regular fireman worked and I got sent home with a
day's pay and went to the bottom of the list.


Groton, referred to as the Old Main to Pfizer and Electric Boat.


Providence had quite a bit of trackage that I knew little about but the only line that I ever worked was the line down to the


UAC facility at Fields Point with a "tin can" for the shop there.


Poughkeepsie had the Hospital and the River Branches. This was the last remaining NHRR trackage in Poughkeepsie plus a


little bit of the Maybrook Line which was torn up by CSX.


Over east the line to Marion Pit was simply referred to as track, a remanant of the Fairhaven Branch from Tremont.


Davisville, government railroad in the yard and to Quonset Point. I never got in to this area either.


Williams (North Falmouth), government railroad to Camp Edwards/Otis AF Base. I rode this on a Bay Colony fantrip


sponsored by the Mass Bay RRE some years ago, good trip doing all of the remaining cape trackage at the time.


I am sure that others on here can add to this listing.


Noel Weaver
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fredmcain
Member
Joined: 14 Dec 2004, 01:26

26 Feb 2014, 15:15 #7

Noel Weaver wrote:
Tom, I was going to argue this point but after looking at my trusty 1957 timetable (this is the one that is a bit beat up from a lot of use) I find it referred
to both as the "Wilson Point Track" and "Wilson Point Branch" so I guess we can take our pick.

Among the troops, it was generally considered the Wilson Point Branch.

On the schedule page for first class trains the footnote for train 358 refers to it as the Wilson Point Track while special

instruction 1824 regarding the use of this trackage states: "Obtain permission from operator at S.S. 44 to use Wilson Point

Branch",

Special instruction no. 1713 referring to public crossings at grade also refers to this as the Wilson Point Branch. All crossings were a stop and protect
status and also the eastbound platform at South Norwalk Station. To my knowledge there is nothing

else in the 1957 timetable regarding this territory. It was considered yard limits.

Noel Weaver
Noel & Tom,



I have distinct memories of the “Wilson Point” branch or
whatever it was called from my childhood years. 
I would like to say that there is a little bit of history of the branch
documented in the enjoyable book, In The
Shore Line’s Shadow, The Six Lives of The Danbury & Norwalk Railroad
by
L. Peter Cornwall.



The branch actually predated the New Haven Railroad as we
knew it by several decades! Trains would come in from Hartford or Boston, I
think, and head down to Wilson’s Point where the passengers would then transfer
to ferries to complete their trip to New York City.



As a kid, I was somewhat mystified by the branch, where
it went and what it’s purpose was.  As a
young kid, we would often drive down there on the way to Rowayton.  I remember the branch coming down off the mainline
on a large fill and I *THINK* it
crossed over South Main Street in South Norwalk on an overpass to the east side
of the road where it then continued to descend to ground level.  It then ran alongside the east side of South
Main in front of a large factory.  I
cannot remember what this factory was or what they did there but I don’t think
they used the rail line.



Then, proceeding southward, the branch crossed South Main
again at grade this time to attain the west side of the road.  It continued to follow South Main but was
obscured by vegetation and stuff.  Then
it came back and crossed the road at grade again returning to the east side of
the road where it ran into some kind of an oil dump or something.  I distinctly recall that that particular
facility was still receiving tank car loads of some kind of product well into
the mid 1960’s.



In the mid-1980s I drove along there exploring one fine
Sunday afternoon and I saw that the rails were still there at that time but they were badly rusted and had obviously
been out of service for some time.  The
grade crossings had been paved over and the crossbucks removed.  The branch might’ve been rail banked but I
don’t know that.  If it was rail banked, I cannot possibly
imagine what they would/could ever use if for.



It’s amusing to add that on that particular day in the
1980s, I discovered just how dangerous ex-New Haven tracks and facilities can
be – at least to me!  I was driving along Tokeneka Road (I think it
was) in Rowayton and admiring the magnificent, quadruple-tracked, electrified
mainline on the north side of the street. 
Unfortunately, I became too engrossed in my subject and was jolted back
to reality by a loud, honking horn. 
Turns out I’d wandered left-of-center and damn near caused a bad
accident!
 That’s when I learned that New Haven fans have
to watch what the heck they’re doing around their favorite subject!



My whole point of that outing was to find a way to drive
along and observe the ex-New Haven mainline. 
But it was in doing so that I stumbled upon the abandoned Wilson Point
Secondary completely by accident that day.



Getting back to Cornwall’s book, it is a good read.  There are some nice pictures in there
including a few of the Danbury Branch under wire.  As of today (02/26/14) there is still a copy
for sale on ABE’s books although maybe the NHRHTA has some too, I don’t know.




 


Regards,



Fred M. Cain



  
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DBrion
Member
Joined: 21 Jun 2006, 05:52

26 Feb 2014, 16:58 #8

Fred,


I too recall and observed the Wilson Point Branch.  In the mid-70s I actually witnessed a yard switcher
(SW-1200) poking its nose along the overpass. 
That big factory building was Nash Engineering I believe, right near Route 136.  I even walked the ROW one day to discover
sand all over the roadbed.  The NHRR was
a very interesting enterprise!
Reply

fredmcain
Member
Joined: 14 Dec 2004, 01:26

26 Feb 2014, 17:17 #9

O.K., so we know that the track was in service at least up until 1974 - 76, then, which was later than I would've guessed.
I wondered what the oil terminal was that I remembered?
Not sure where your sand came from.  Maybe there was a cement company back in there somewhere?
-Fred
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Rick Abramson
Member
Joined: 09 Mar 2003, 07:00

26 Feb 2014, 21:17 #10

In the mid 60's, I got to ride the Dock Local in S. Norwalk with the 651. Several times we went down the Wilson Pt. Branch to service Nash Engineering. I remember us coming up to S.S.44 from the yard and being held for a Bay Ridge job with a pair of EF-4s. As luck would have it, I had my 8mm movie camera and got shots of the Virginians.
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