Modelling the NH and CV in the 1950's

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Modelling the NH and CV in the 1950's

joneschmidt
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Joined: June 19th, 2018, 11:05 am

June 19th, 2018, 11:13 am #1

We're a group in Northern California which is building a model of the Central Vermont Palmer Division, in and north from New London.

Does anyone have knowledge of the interaction between the NHRR and the CV in New London?  We know about the NM1 and NM4 trains (transfers?) between NL and East NL, but were there other runs? How often did the NH and CV transfer cars in NL?  Were they named trains, or just occasional transfer runs? With caboose or transfer platform? I believe that we have a reference that said the originating RR used its crew to deliver cars and then return empty. Is that right?

Any help will be welcome.

Jon Schmidt
CV in Norcal
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

June 20th, 2018, 11:45 am #2

NH - 721.jpg The photo shows Central Vermont N-5-a 2-8-0 467 on the interchange between the New Haven and the CV in New London.  The CV yard is only a short walk away and the passenger station is close behind me.  I took the shot on a fan trip during the engine exchange on October 14, 1956 at a time when steam was still common on the CV.  The NH ALCOs powered the train from New Haven and 467 took it to Amherst and back.
I have some interchange data for New London but unfortunately it is not for your era  --- it is from 1921 but might still be of interest even though operations in the 1950's were certainly different.
New London was not a major interchange for the New Haven in 1921.
LOADED CARS INTERCHANGED
BY NYNH&H --  received from and delivered to CV
NEW LONDON  -- 4018 received      4423 delivered
WILLIMANTIC  --  3528 received       3223 delivered
NORWICH  --    283 received           510 delivered
For comparison 237,563 cars were received in New York City and 176,408 in Maybrook in 1921.
Even relatively small places had larger loads interchanged  ---- Springfield 38,174 cars received; Northampton 27,815; Lowell 23,162, Framingham 22,965. 
The 8,441 loaded cars interchanged in 1921 in New London is roughly the same as the 8,423 interchanged at Fitchburg or the 8,034 interchanged at Concord Junction. Although the New London numbers for 1921 are not large, for a model railroad they are large since the loaded cars represent about 23 cars interchanged every day of the year and that doesn't include empties.
Last edited by NH746EJO on June 24th, 2018, 11:41 am, edited 3 times in total.
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sauced2007
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Joined: March 21st, 2018, 2:15 pm

June 20th, 2018, 7:44 pm #3

I worked out of Palmer in the late 90’s. There’s a book on the southern end called The Banana Belt or something close to that. After browsing through that book I realized not much has changed on the line other than some tracks being removed. It’s a great book that might help your endeavors. Information will start rolling in here as well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Ron High
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Joined: June 6th, 2003, 4:08 pm

June 20th, 2018, 9:58 pm #4

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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

June 21st, 2018, 12:20 pm #5

 NYNH&H ENGINE ASSIGNMENTS - NEW LONDON 1955
IMG_0018-001.jpg New Haven DEY-5 610 (Alco S-2) was assigned to the New London yard in 1955.  
I shot the back-up move from a NH train door at the New London station on June 26, 1955.  I'm not sure but it may be backing to the Central Vermont interchange since it is on the track that leads to the CV yard.  I believe that track was owned by the CV as was the station building.  Note the classification lamps. Also note how the foot bridge barely clears the brakeman on the car.
New Haven Locomotives assigned to New London freights or yard in 1955
DERS-2c  (Alco RS-3)
517  -  Train NX-34   New London - Norwich local freight - also worked west to Old Saybrook and Essex
540 and 541  -  Train NM-4  and MN-1    New London/Cedar Hill  (Handles freight to/from CV or New London) 

DEY-5 (Alco S-2)
610  -- New London Yard -- equipped with Shore Line cab signals.

517 and 610 were based in New London;  540 and 541 were based in Cedar Hill.

NOTE :  M stood for Midway which was the large classification yard/engine terminal on the east side of the Thames River in Groton.  The M was also used for New London since Midway was closed.in the 1930s. M was also used for the "Maine Bullet" as in M-6 or M-7.    N stands for New Haven/Cedar Hill. 
              In 1955 there was a local freight which worked out of Providence toward New London but it may not have worked as far as N.L.
Last edited by NH746EJO on June 23rd, 2018, 9:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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joneschmidt
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Joined: June 19th, 2018, 11:05 am

June 21st, 2018, 6:00 pm #6

Thanks, ya'll.  We have the books you've recommended, including the Banana Belt and the 5-volume Central Vermont by Jones.

You've confirmed what we suspected, that there wasn't a lot of interchange (since they were competitors).  We're still trying to get our arms around what was left of the manifest freight schedule that was on the CV, running between NY and Montreal or Chicago.  We know about the Newsboy, the Inchworm, and the Rockets.  But we're trying to get a clearer picture of 1956.
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

June 22nd, 2018, 10:32 am #7

VIEW FROM A NEW HAVEN TRAIN
         I crossed the Thames River on New Haven trains well over a hundred times but only once did I take a photo of the Central Vermont down below -- May 20, 1956.  Unfortunately, the sun was setting and caught my lense and coach window and spoiled the slide.  Nevertheless, the slide records what I saw well enough for me.  Two N-5 2-8-0s are being prepared for a northbound freight: they'll probably doublehead.  Eleven months later 2-8-0 451 took the last steam freight out of New London.  The roundhouse and turntable, ash conveyor and coaling tower can be made out.  Notice the Alco switcher which was the yard power; although steam powered the main line into 1957, the relatively small yard was switched by diesel at an early date.  A classic CV caboose is also in the picture and notice the Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo box car.  I-95 is overhead and two of the concrete supports can be seen. 
Steam0033.jpg
Last edited by NH746EJO on June 22nd, 2018, 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

June 22nd, 2018, 10:49 am #8

ANOTHER FAN TRIP PHOTO
On May 22, 1955 I rode the fan trip to Brattleboro, VT and shot the engine change at New London.  N-5-a 2-8-0 472 replaced the New Haven Alco PAs which brought the train from New Haven.  No. 472 is backing from the Central Vermont engine yard a short walk away.  The CV's N-5 class could move a heavy passenger train at a good speed on the 242 mile round trip.  Running time to Brattleboro was 3 hours which meant the 2-8-0 had to average 40 mph  -- not bad for a 2-8-0 on a single track, freight only line.
IMG_0001-004.jpg  
Last edited by NH746EJO on June 22nd, 2018, 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

June 22nd, 2018, 12:00 pm #9

NEW HAVEN FREIGHT TRAIN SCHEDULES
       The New Haven's September 28, 1947 issue of "Freight Train and Package Car Schedules" (I don't have anything from the 50s) has some Central Vermont information, particularly CV's Train 429, 430, 490 and 491 which are shown with potential connections either eastward or westward.
        CV Train 430 is shown as a daily Montreal - New London freight.  It left Montreal at 10 AM and arrived at New London at 4:15 PM the next day with times at St. Albans, White River Jct., and Willimantic also given.  Apparently there was a good amount of switching at the two major CV yards.
        CV Train 429 was the northbound counterpart which left New London at 5:30 AM daily and arrived Montreal about noon the next day. (429 and 491 were the same train with different end destinations.) 
        CV Train 490 was a daily Chicago to New London freight which left Chicago at 8:30 PM and arrived in New London around midnight on the third day.  Times are given for Toronto, St Albans, White River Jct and Willimantic.  (I remember an issue of TRAINS that had a story about a ride in the caboose of this train from Chicago to Boston.)
        CV Train 491 was the northbound counterpart.  It left New London at 5:30 AM daily and reached Chicago on the second day around midnight
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NH746EJO
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Joined: November 24th, 2007, 7:18 pm

June 23rd, 2018, 10:34 am #10

NEW HAVEN INTERCHANGE AND TRAIN SCHEDULES

The number of loaded cars interchanged at New London I posted above should be read taking into account that the Central Vermont had steamships to carry New London/New York City freight.  That is, until boat service ended in 1946, considerable traffic over the CV would have moved partly by water rather than be interchanged with the NH.  However, after 1946 it is likely that interchange with the New Haven increased.

Following are some additional information from the New Haven's 1947 Freight Train Schedules.
MN-1  -- Lv. New London 9:10 PM,  Arr. Cedar Hill  11:40 PM  (Handles freight from CV)
NM-4  -- Lv. Cedar Hill 2:00 AM, Arr. New London 3:45 AM  (Connects to CV 491 and Extras)
In 1947 the New Haven operated three local freights out of New London, one to Cedar Hill, one to Providence and one to Plainfield.  There was also a local out of Providence that turned at New London.

The difficulty in trying to model the CV and NH trains at New London is that most operated in the dark, e.g. MN-1 and NM- 4, CV 490 and 491.

If you don't have Edward H. Beaudette's CENTRAL VERMONT RAILWAY  Carstens 1982, you should read it.  Beaudette mentions that NM-1 sometimes left from the CV yard in New London while cars from NM-4 went to the CV yard by switcher.   Beaudette also points out that rate differentials made it rational to ship via Canada which helps explain why some traffic to or from the Chicago did not take what seems to be more direct routng.  

Regarding train nicknames, Beaudette says 430 was the "Newsboy" because it carried much newsprint, 490 was "The Dairy" because much freight was feed, farm produce and meat.  He writes that the northbound 429 and 491 were called "Rockets".
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