History of Railroad Line Serving Webster, Massachusetts

PMunch22
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PMunch22
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Joined: 9:09 AM - Oct 02, 2018

9:18 AM - Oct 02, 2018 #1

I am trying to gather some historical information on a passenger railway that operated in the late 1960s.  It ran periodically from New London, CT to Webster, Massachusetts, including several other stops along the route and terminated, I believe, in Worcester, Massachusetts.  I am specifically interested learning:

- Years during which it operated
- Passenger stations along the line
- Reasons why the service terminated

Finding photos of the trains that ran on that line, or any pictures of the Webster, MA station during that era would be fantastic.

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to help!

Paul Munch
Richmond, VA
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Bill Reidy
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Joined: 3:22 AM - Jun 01, 2003

8:25 PM - Oct 03, 2018 #2

I don't know if this issue answers all your questions, but it appears Shoreliner Volume 21 Issue 2 included an extensive article on Webster, plus companion articles:

Volume 21 Issue 2 1990
  • "Webster, on the Norwich & Worcester Branch" -- The history of the rail lines serving Webster, MA. 24 pages with photos (some color including the front cover and centerspread) and maps.
  • "The Southern New England -- 'The Old Grand Trunk'" -- The story of the Grand Trunk Railway's planned line between it's subsidiary Central Vermont line in Palmer, MA, and waterfront facilities in Providence, RI. Includes construction photos in Webster and Southbridge. 6 pages with photos and maps.
  • "Trolley Stop: The Street Railways of Webster" -- The history of trolley service in and about Webster, MA. 4 pages with photos and map.
It looks like the issue is still in stock:  http://nhrhta.org/htdocs/order.htm
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PMunch22
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PMunch22
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10:13 PM - Oct 03, 2018 #3

Thanks Bill!
Sounds like that's exactly what I need.  I'll order it right away!

Regards,
Paul
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rrtrax2
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Joined: 3:27 PM - Jul 16, 2007

5:50 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #4

John Mrazik, member of NHRHTA, is authority on Webster railroads...
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TomNelligan
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Joined: 4:57 AM - Jan 23, 2004

9:20 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #5

Mr. Munch, others have already suggested sources of detailed information for you, but to add a couple quick notes, here is the New Haven's schedule for New London-Webster-Worcester service as of October 30, 1966, consisting of two trains a day making the listed stops, plus a supplementary bus run. These trains ran with Budd RDC equipment and the basic schedule remained the same until the end of service under Penn Central on April 30, 1971. The reason for termination was the coming of Amtrak. The route was considered intercity but it was not included in Amtrak's startup system, and thus PC had the right to discontinue it and did.
worcester schedule.jpg
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Ron High
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Joined: 4:08 PM - Jun 06, 2003

9:52 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #6

Go to the NHRHTA home page  http://www.nhrhta.org/   on the right is a column of links , scroll down and click on MAP OF THE NEW HAVEN RR/NHRHTA PUBLICATIONS BY LINE then on the new page click on the Map Link   A larger map of the New Haven Railroad, from a 1929 train schedule, can also be viewed.  This will bring up a map that allows you click a location that will list all NHRHTA publications and Shoreliners that have material on that location,in your case click on Webster..There is a long list of links you can look through on the page that the map link is on. There is also a link to the page that list all currently available back issues it is the publications sale page.
The Budd car service started around 1952 for a year or 2 the service was 3 round trips  Worcester  New London . The service was cut back to 2 round trips for the remainder of the time until Amtrak which did not chose to keep this service running.
I watched and heard these trains many time in the 1950s and 1960s as it operated through Oxford Mass many times as a young railfan. I also remember my parents taking the Budd Car to New York and back to Webster about 1960.
Ron High

If you find an issue you want is not available post a request on the forum you may find someone that can help you.
Last edited by Ron High on 11:00 AM - Oct 04, 2018, edited 1 time in total.
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BX10
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BX10
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10:34 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #7

There is also another book called "The Quickest Route" The History of the Norwich and Worcester by Elmer F. Farnham it was  published in 1973.
 It took me awhile to find my copy some years ago. Try EBAY or a used book seller, you may never know

 Bill
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Ron High
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Joined: 4:08 PM - Jun 06, 2003

10:37 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #8

A few pictures Southbridge st.jpg Hope AVE with Budd.jpg 83-in a Rock cut near Oxford MA.jpg auburn budd car1955.jpg budd union station.jpg NH RDC depot road oxford.jpg websterbudd.JPG
From the top  for the last few years to save money the NH moved the Budd car service out of Union Station Worcester to their Southbridge st and Madison st Worcester freight house, When PC took over thr New Haven it was moved back to Union Station until Amtrak
Photo 2 Hope ave was a train order station near the Worcester Auburn line credit the photo as shown I purchased a copy from this person on Ebay.
Photo 3 I don't know who took the photo but this was my favorite train watching spot a furious pedal from my house 3/4 mile away would get me there to see the freight and Budd cars go through.
Photo 4 this is Auburn about 1/2 mile south of Hope ave I purchased this from ebay a few years ago
Photo5 Worcester Union Station same source as #4
Photo 6 a dup? of photo 3
Photo 7 Webster not sure exactly where

Also look at this site the Al and Tad Arnold collections have many Worcester area photos including a few shots in Webster.  https://www.nerailroadphotos.com/
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Statkowski
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Joined: 4:39 AM - Mar 05, 2003

10:48 AM - Oct 04, 2018 #9


Back when one dressed properly for a journey.  
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