Canal Line in New Haven - end of service?

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Canal Line in New Haven - end of service?

frn1963
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Joined: August 29th, 2003, 4:15 pm

May 7th, 2018, 7:53 am #1

When did Service end on the Canal Line in the area of Yale University (south of Webster Street)?


Fred Nangle
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TomNelligan
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:57 am

May 7th, 2018, 9:16 am #2

I can't help with an exact date, but it was some years before the Boston & Maine took over the Canal Line in 1982. As far as I know the B&M never regularly operated south of Cheshire, although they did acquire the line as far as New Haven. Official abandonment of the New Haven-Cheshire segment didn't come until 1987, but by that time the line through Yale was a trash-filled ditch.
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Marcus Ruef
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Joined: February 2nd, 2008, 10:47 pm

May 10th, 2018, 11:15 pm #3

I grew up in the Dixwell neighborhood adjacent to the Webster St crossing during the 1960s, and kept a close eye on that wonderful branch line. We moved out of that neighborhood in 1972, but I went back frequently for many more years to visit friends and check on the lower Canal. As I recall, Winchester's  shift to larger boxcars that could not fit through the quasi-tunnel adjacent to the Register and the Arena were the reason that in the early seventies the yard engine from Water St. stopped ferrying cars, and the freight was staged for them at Highwood siding in Hamden by the local freight out of Plainville. The yard engine still came through the cut, but usually light, and picked up and set off at Highwood. Of course, Winchesters went down, as did G&O Radiator, and that was pretty much the end of any reason to service the line that far south. At some point, the yard engine stopped going up there even light, and the negligible freight that was left was peddled by the local. I believe that by the time of the B&M assumption of service there was absolutely no business left south of Hamden. But in the mid sixties, that was still a very busy area, and we saw many days when the plants were switched more than once on different shifts. I believe several of the guys on this site are retired New Haven yardmen who may have worked the lower canal, and they may have better info than what I can dredge from distant childhood memories.
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frn1963
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Joined: August 29th, 2003, 4:15 pm

May 11th, 2018, 8:42 am #4

Thanks very much for your recollection! How often did the yard engine come up through the cut?

The reason I asked was because my wife tells me that in the seventies while her mother gave piano lessons at Neighborhood Music School on Audubon between Whitney and Orange, she and her friends would play near and sometimes IN the cut behind the school, which seemed abandoned to them, but seems dangerous to me! I wanted to have an idea of just HOW lucky I am to have her ...

(Also, decades earlier, my dad and his drinking buddies used, after a night of carousing, to enjoy puzzling the nerds heading up Hillhouse to their early morning science classes by pretending to lay charges and then blow up the bridge ... nowadays they would have gotten arrested or worse ... )

Thanks


Fred Nangle
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