Naugatuck Branch in the 1970's

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Naugatuck Branch in the 1970's

Ruzbasan
Member
Joined: 06 Nov 2004, 00:06

09 Aug 2017, 18:13 #1

I am researching the Naugatuck Line and have a question. 

From 1969-1976, what types of locomotives were used by Penn Central on the Naugatuck Branch?

What types of locomotives were used from Derby-Waterbury-Torrington, from Waterbury-Plainville, and from Waterbury to Watertown?

Please excuse me for asking about Penn Central on a New Haven forum but many former New Haven engineers worked for Penn Central and may be able to shed some light on this question. 

Any info is greatly appreciated.
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NHRHTA1
Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2003, 09:17

15 Aug 2017, 01:19 #2

😞 PENN CENTRAL????? Arrrrrrgggghhh!
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DBrion
Member
Joined: 21 Jun 2006, 05:52

15 Aug 2017, 13:36 #3

Ruzbasan wrote: I am researching the Naugatuck Line and have a question. 

From 1969-1976, what types of locomotives were used by Penn Central on the Naugatuck Branch?

What types of locomotives were used from Derby-Waterbury-Torrington, from Waterbury-Plainville, and from Waterbury to Watertown?

Please excuse me for asking about Penn Central on a New Haven forum but many former New Haven engineers worked for Penn Central and may be able to shed some light on this question. 

Any info is greatly appreciated.
Not to belabor any transgressions, but most of the time I was around Bridgeport I recall seeing the Waterbury pocket (track 6) with RDC-1's waiting to depart for the Naugatuck branch communities.  Perhaps the Penn Central website could shed more information.
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Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

15 Aug 2017, 23:18 #4

DBrion wrote:
Ruzbasan wrote: I am researching the Naugatuck Line and have a question. 

From 1969-1976, what types of locomotives were used by Penn Central on the Naugatuck Branch?

What types of locomotives were used from Derby-Waterbury-Torrington, from Waterbury-Plainville, and from Waterbury to Watertown?

Please excuse me for asking about Penn Central on a New Haven forum but many former New Haven engineers worked for Penn Central and may be able to shed some light on this question. 

Any info is greatly appreciated.
Not to belabor any transgressions, but most of the time I was around Bridgeport I recall seeing the Waterbury pocket (track 6) with RDC-1's waiting to depart for the Naugatuck branch communities.  Perhaps the Penn Central website could shed more information.
Arg Penn Central all you want but the former New Haven Railroad would not have existed today had the Penn Central not taken over in 1969 when they did.  It was that bad from the mis-management of the McGinnis/Alpert period which bled the railroad dry.  The trustees inherited a mess and there was too much damage done for them to effect a rebound.  The key was the departure of virtually all of the heavy industry in Southern New England during these terrible years.  Penn Central made a lot of changes that a more alert management could have and should have effected durilng their periods with the New Haven.  They had ample opportunities to effect labor savings but elected to waste money on un-needed diesels, paint, lightweight trains that were flops and other waste and plunged the dear old New Haven to ruin.  YES Penn Central made cuts, a lot of them, but some of them probably should have come during the New Haven years but the powers to be would not spend a few thousand to save a million several times over.  So be it.  Penn Central did not destroy the New Haven but Penn Central saved the remains of the New Haven, at least most of it.
I had to get this off my chest, end.
Noel Weaver
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Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

15 Aug 2017, 23:21 #5

Noel Weaver wrote:
DBrion wrote:
Ruzbasan wrote: I am researching the Naugatuck Line and have a question. 

From 1969-1976, what types of locomotives were used by Penn Central on the Naugatuck Branch?

What types of locomotives were used from Derby-Waterbury-Torrington, from Waterbury-Plainville, and from Waterbury to Watertown?

Please excuse me for asking about Penn Central on a New Haven forum but many former New Haven engineers worked for Penn Central and may be able to shed some light on this question. 

Any info is greatly appreciated.
Not to belabor any transgressions, but most of the time I was around Bridgeport I recall seeing the Waterbury pocket (track 6) with RDC-1's waiting to depart for the Naugatuck branch communities.  Perhaps the Penn Central website could shed more information.
Arg Penn Central all you want but the former New Haven Railroad would not have existed today had the Penn Central not taken over in 1969 when they did.  It was that bad from the mis-management of the McGinnis/Alpert period which bled the railroad dry.  The trustees inherited a mess and there was too much damage done for them to effect a rebound.  The key was the departure of virtually all of the heavy industry in Southern New England during these terrible years.  Penn Central made a lot of changes that a more alert management could have and should have effected durilng their periods with the New Haven.  They had ample opportunities to effect labor savings but elected to waste money on un-needed diesels, paint, lightweight trains that were flops and other waste and plunged the dear old New Haven to ruin.  YES Penn Central made cuts, a lot of them, but some of them probably should have come during the New Haven years but the powers to be would not spend a few thousand to save a million several times over.  So be it.  Penn Central did not destroy the New Haven but Penn Central saved the remains of the New Haven, at least most of it.
I had to get this off my chest, end.
Noel Weaver
OH - By the way the Naugy was all Budd Cars after the floods in 1955 except for a period in 1956 and 1957 when 465 and 442 were running between Waterbury and Bridgeport.  These two trains existed mostly for Railway Express, the mail was gone after August 19, 1955.  Trains 465 and 442 had a 500, several baggage cars and a combo.  They connected at Bridgeport with 97 WB and 186 EB on weekdays.  
Noel Weaver
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Ron High
Member
Joined: 06 Jun 2003, 20:08

16 Aug 2017, 01:31 #6

Ruzbasan wrote: I am researching the Naugatuck Line and have a question. 

From 1969-1976, what types of locomotives were used by Penn Central on the Naugatuck Branch?

What types of locomotives were used from Derby-Waterbury-Torrington, from Waterbury-Plainville, and from Waterbury to Watertown?

Please excuse me for asking about Penn Central on a New Haven forum but many former New Haven engineers worked for Penn Central and may be able to shed some light on this question. 

Any info is greatly appreciated.
I never got down to the Naugatuck . I can tell what happened on the Norwich and Worcester,Providence and Worcester and the Old Colony Fitchburg lines. In Worcester at the end the operation were about what they had been through the 1960s 2 sets of symbol freights M6 M7 ,N1 P2 with road engines sets some times FAs, Alco RS3s, any of the 1956 road switchers GP9s,RS11s, H-16-44s or U25Bs and C425s . One set of the road was broken up for the dayto use as power for the locals out of Worcester.
For about the first 6 months to a year nothings seemed to change until the NH power received PC numbers, large white numbers often on the cab .  Then some engines started showing up in repainted PC black, Some NH units disappeared like the H-16-44s. In the 1970s PRR NYC  road engines GP9s GP7s EMD F units later model Alco  RS units and Century units of course GE 4 axle  units then 6 axle U boats and different model of diesels  like GP 30s GP 35s GP  40s . I remember seeing the PC Dewitt rebuilt RS3s In the early1970s .All of a sudden it seemed like PC SW1500s started showing up every where.
I saw the Fitchburg line in the late 1960s the Fitchburg symbol ran with RS3s and the same in early  PC days then a mix of NH road switchers gradually changing to PC Paint. I believe the Lowell line was the last stand of the former NH FAs first PC renumbers and the PC repaints.
I would guess similar things happened on the Naugatuck.
I remember a chase of the Cedar Hill- South Braintree from Attleboro to Taunton in the 1974 or 1975 time frame PC Gp 30s and GP35s 4 or five units.about 100 cars.
 I worked  for MA Bell in those days and we were doing a round the clock cable job in downtown Worcester on a 12 hour night shift. They had started rerouting a lot of NH Boston and eastern New England traffic onto the B&A so there was a big increase in freight on the B&A as traffic was shifted to Selkirk yard.  We were set up about 100 yards from the track near Union Station I saw a number of trains with PC renumbered former NH units.
Ron High
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Ruzbasan
Member
Joined: 06 Nov 2004, 00:06

16 Aug 2017, 01:49 #7

This is a list I compiled from forum posts and photos of locomotives on the Naugatuck Line (and the Highland to Plainville) from 1969-1995:

Penn Central (1969-1976): RS-3, RS-3M, RS-11, GP9, U-25B, U-33B, GP38, S-1, SW-1200, RDC-1
Conrail (1976-1982): RS-3M, GP9, GP15-1, SW-1500
Boston & Maine (1982-1987): GP9, GP18, GP38-2, GP40-2
Guilford (1987-1995): GP38-2, GP40

I end at 1995 because that is when freight service ended to my home town, Torrington.

Did I leave out any locomotive type that was used on the Naugatuck Line and up to Plainville from 1969-1995? Is the list complete ?
Did the Boston & Maine use RS-3's on the Naugatuck Line or in Plainville?
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BX10
Member
Joined: 15 Jan 2010, 05:40

16 Aug 2017, 12:00 #8

I think by the time the B&M took over the line the RS-3s were long gone. Any picture that I have seen from those days shows a GP-9 or a GP-7.
 
And I agree with Noel's last comment that Penn Central did not destroy the New Haven.
 
 If the New Haven didn't get included in the PC merger would  it have gone away like the Rock Island, the LNE, or even the O&W, with motive power, that worked and rolling stock being sold off to anyone and everyone at bargain prices.
 
Would the PC have taken over the Shoreline passenger service until the arrival of AMTRAK or some commuter operator if the New Haven wasn't included in the merger.
 Would the FL-9s, U-25B # 2525, RS-3 #529, the RS-11, & the FA's at Danbury, and the RMNE, etc. still be around if the PC hadn't been in the picture. Would the PC have purchased the EF-4s, or would they have gone to scrap.
 
The only sad part was that the PC offered PP716 to anyone but there were no takers.
 
And if you look at the PC era, like Ron says nothing much changed in the first 6 months, other than new road numbers, and the H-16-44 s that disappeared (to Chicago) the majority of the  New Haven fleet of motive power and rolling stock stayed in New England. 

 Just my 2+ cents worth.

    Bill 
  
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DBrion
Member
Joined: 21 Jun 2006, 05:52

16 Aug 2017, 16:57 #9

Bill and Noel, good thoughts.  Anyone who has ever held employment with a company that has been overtaken by another, be it merger, acquisition, leverage buyout, whatever, their FIRST concern would be for continued employment and income, NOT the logo on their firm's letterhead, products or equipment.  I went through many of these ... my preference was a continued paycheck with benefits as opposed to old memories with no income.  Nothing is forever. and bills must be paid.  Just my 3 + cents worth.
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Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: 18 Feb 2003, 07:23

16 Aug 2017, 18:01 #10

DBrion wrote: Bill and Noel, good thoughts.  Anyone who has ever held employment with a company that has been overtaken by another, be it merger, acquisition, leverage buyout, whatever, their FIRST concern would be for continued employment and income, NOT the logo on their firm's letterhead, products or equipment.  I went through many of these ... my preference was a continued paycheck with benefits as opposed to old memories with no income.  Nothing is forever. and bills must be paid.  Just my 3 + cents worth.
Penn Central made a lot of changes some of which I totally agreed with and some of which I did not like.  Nobody likes to see their pet tower closed, their pet local freight gone, their favorite coaches gone or something else changed but changes have been a part of the industry since its inception and will continue to be for a long time. 
Something that I don't think has been discussed too much on here but where did the New Haven locomotives end up after Penn Central took over?  The FM's were banished to the Chicago area and I was very happy about that, they were not missed.  The 1200's and 1400's for the most part stayed close to the New Haven if not on the New Haven itself.  The east started out as Alco territory, not exclusive but still Alco territory. The 500's also pretty much stayed around our parts in local freight service although some of them gravitated to former New York Central and Pennsylvania territory as well.  I remember driving home from the south early on in the PC period and seeing a New Haven RS-3 on the Delmarva (former PRR) and they were fairly common on former NYC territory once they were equipped with agreement seats.  Until an engine had agreement seats it could not be used as a lead unit in New York Central territory and until they did away with the train stop system no NHRR engine could lead on the NYC as no New Haven engines were ever equipped with train stop to my knowledge.  Maybe one or two of the FL-9's were partially equipped but I don't think any were able to run on the Hudson or the B & A until ;the train stop was done away with.  As for the yard power, the 640's that did not remain on the New Haven were not far from the New Haven.  Only some of the 640's were equipped with cab signals and without cab signals they were pretty much restricted in where they could run.  The RS-1's stayed in the Boston area until replaced with newer units after which they ended up in former PRR territory,  The S-1 and S-2 (0931-0995 series and the 0600-series stayed on the New Haven for the most part at least at the start but before too long most of the ones that would still run finally ended up mostly on former PRR territory in New Jersey.  There was a huge bunch of them working in the Meadows, Waverly and Weehawken areas and they lasted for quite a while after they were bansihed from their former NHRR territory.  The remaining 0400's were renumbered and remained on former NHRR until they were finally retired.  I had them once or twice on BG-1 in the early 1970's, they were still in fairly decent shape then too.  The U-25-b's and C-425's could be found almost anywhere in freight service, they were equipped with agreement seats, ATS was not ;required on the River Line or the branches in New York State.  Biggest drawback with the former NHRR road freight units was that they were not equipped with dynamic brake equipment and if one of them was in your consist you could not use the dynamic brake on the remaining units either.  Final home for the C-425's was Mingo Junction, Ohio and they lasted there until Conrail finally retired and sold them off, one still runs.
One big change that Penn Central made was on the New York end of the railroad when they replaced nearly all of the locomotive hauled trains with MU equipment.  This move made a huge amount of sense, the New Haven was running the FL-9's back and forth between New Haven and New York in local service burning up diesel oil under live overhead wires.  Operating costs were less with MU equipment and in many cases they were in better shape than the coaches were as well.
I may think up some more on this later on.
Noel Weaver
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