A place to prevent old postings from the "New Haven Railroad Discussions" forum from being wiped out by the "20 page" rule.

danbury question / norwalk track fire

rrtrax2
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Joined: July 16th, 2007, 3:27 pm

August 6th, 2007, 9:38 am #1

i took the danbury line to south norwalk yesterday just for fun as we are wont to do, and, while waiting there for the 3:11 return trip, i noticed a thin wisp of smoke coming from a tie on track one in the station area. a few minutes later it had increased two or three times in volume. no flame, just smoke or steam rising from a single tie. i reported it to the danbury train conductor who radioed m-n hq, grabbed an extinguisher from the train, hopped off the platform, scooted across tracks four and two safely, and had it out in a jif. the white chemical actually made the scene look like a fire a hundred times worse. i had my camera. nice shot! i wonder if something like this really could have gotten out of hand. perhaps we saved the entire northeast corridor from disruption!
danbury question: at the museum they have an official 1918 map of the danbury station area. in the lower right ownership block it says nynhhrr, but ... operated by the central new england railway. i never remember hearing anything about cne in danbury. was this a jurisdictional thing until the cne was merged in 1927, like the maybrook line as far as danbury was "run" by the cne?
also the nyne division building and the nyne cannondale-style country depot are still on the leahy oil property north of the tracks. there is an 1884 birdseye map in the museum that shows the d&n main st. depot as well as the nyne and housatonic depots on white st. the housatonic depot was where the present station is and the nyne depot was right across the track to the north. it looks like leahy moved the nyne depot a little farther back and it is now sandwiched in between two other storage structures. i wonder if the housatonic depot was moved or just torn down.
what an exciting day!
bob
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Tom Curtin
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Joined: March 28th, 2003, 10:44 pm

August 6th, 2007, 10:48 am #2

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but ... operated by the central new england railway. i never remember hearing anything about cne in danbury. was this a jurisdictional thing until the cne was merged in 1927, like the maybrook line as far as danbury was "run" by the cne?
Your supposition if generally right. The old division HQ building was the "Headquarters Danbury Division AND Central New England Railway. The "diviaion post" marking the demarcation of the CNE was not quite there, it was west of Danbury, approximately between Main Street crossing and Mallory's (The val map I own is too recent to show the exact spot, bet older val maps do show it).
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rrtrax2
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Joined: July 16th, 2007, 3:27 pm

August 6th, 2007, 12:57 pm #3

the division bldg was not nyne, but rather new haven. i misspoke.
there is an interesting photo in the 'in the shoreline's shadow' book on p. 73 showing the site excavation for the 1903 station. the nyne depot is across the track from it. in the distance behind the site of the new depot appears to be another station. perhaps the housatonic depot, which the birdseye map shows located where the new station is going, was moved further east? do we know what happened to it?
do we know when the loop was actually put in? in 1886 when the housatonic leased the d&n and wanted to connect directly to it or shortly thereafter? it is certainly in before 1892 when the new haven leased everything in danbury and before 1893 when cornwall says new haven bought the land on white st. i don't think the loop shows on the 1884 birdseye map but now i'm not completely sure either.
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Tom Curtin
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Joined: March 28th, 2003, 10:44 pm

August 6th, 2007, 1:22 pm #4

You were right the first time!!! It was CNE
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joemato
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Joined: September 9th, 2003, 1:57 pm

August 12th, 2007, 10:40 am #5

After shutting down thru service from Pou to HFD in 1919, the NH had to do something with the CNE crews. I just wonder if there was a crew change in Danbury or how this was handled
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joemato
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Joined: September 9th, 2003, 1:57 pm

August 12th, 2007, 10:52 am #6

I don't think there was a Housatonic depot in Danbury, the D&N depot was located on Main st where the present Post office is. in back of the depot/post office there was a freight yard where the park/clamshell is now. There are pictures of the old depot at DRM. There was a housatonic freight yard where Leahey Gas is with a water tower but I don't recall a passenger depot there other than the NY&NE.
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rrtrax2
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Joined: July 16th, 2007, 3:27 pm

August 12th, 2007, 11:38 am #7

hi joe:
www.cthistoryonline.org/c...DMROTATE=0
look at this map (if this link works). it's an 1884 birdseye map of danbury, possibly the same one that is at the drm. it shows no nyne yet (when did they come through danbury? 1888?) and it does show a depot building where the present drm/station is now. there was no loop until the 90s. where did ny,hous,andnorthern and later housatonic passengers disembark prior to the 1890s?
bob
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rrtrax2
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Joined: July 16th, 2007, 3:27 pm

August 12th, 2007, 10:17 pm #8

i looked a little closer at the map key at the bottom and discovered that the date of the map is 1875, not 1884 as the cataloging information indicates. that explains why there is no nyne track yet. it came in 1881. the notes also unhelpfully and inaccurately indicate that three railroads "figure prominently", those being the nyne, the d&n, and the housy. only the d&n and the housy are on the map.
the housy came into danbury from brookfield in 1874 by way of its lease of the ny, housy, and northern so the birdseye guy got that right when doing this map in 1875.
the piece of the map that my link takes you to shows the little depot on white st. west of granville ave.
(where the current drm is) at the end of the housy line. the lower track is the d&n. if you pan to the left you'll see the d&n station on main st and train shed behind it.
so, it appears likely that housy passengers to danbury de-trained at the housy's white st depot from 1874 until at least 1881 when they may have used the new nyne station across the track, or all the way until the new haven built the 1903 station to replace the three older ones: the d&n depot on main st, and the nyne and housy depots on white st. the loop was in by 1896 and possibly as early as the 1892 new haven lease of the housy, but it doesn't seem like that would have affected this.
any other theories? my head is starting to spin.
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Bill Chapin
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Joined: June 16th, 2006, 5:12 am

August 13th, 2007, 10:44 pm #9

According to my Stanford book, the D&N was aquired by the Housy in 1886. The NH aquired the Housy in 1992. I would think the loop would have been built in that period to consolidate Housy operations in the Danbury area.
Bill
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rrtrax2
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Joined: July 16th, 2007, 3:27 pm

August 14th, 2007, 12:49 am #10

bill, 1886 or thereafter under the housy also makes a lot of sense as a starting point for the loop. i'm surprised cornwall doesn't talk about this in his book or did i miss it?
we need some danbury maps from 1886 to 1896 to clarify this. maps from price and lee city directories at the danbury library? or tts before 1896 showing stops at both main and white sts. a poster at railroad.net says he has an 1896 tt that shows stops at both places, indicating that the loop was in by then. -bob
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