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October 14th, 2003, 5:33 pm #11

How 'bout the grade up and over the Thomaston Dam?
David

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October 14th, 2003, 9:30 pm #12

Let's see....
Watertown Jct. south to Highland Jct. is 2.10%-- not very long (1/2 mile), but steep.
North end of Thomaston (Plume) up to Thomaston Dam is 1%-1.16%; it eases off to .96% across the face of the dam, then back to 1.20%-1.17%-1.06% up to "Summit" overlook. A total of about 3 1/2 miles of good heavy grade to climb on the "new line".
North of Thomaston, the line has various ups and downs, .30% -.60% -.75% to East Litchfield. Keeps the Engineer For an Hour participants on their toes.
Back on the old line, pretty much a steady .67-.73%, with 1.20% from the Torrington station to end of track.

nynhrr43
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Joined: June 6th, 2003, 6:03 am

October 14th, 2003, 11:04 pm #13

Henry: There were a few times on the Oak Point to Long Island up the Hell Gate Bridge with Three U-23-Bs and 40-50 cars trying to climb the grade, and eventually grinding to a halt. there were flat spots all over the rails somewhere between the Little Hell Gate and the main span. OP to Oak Point, were stuck. Helpers are on the way! And here come the yard switchers, SW-1500s, tie on the back and give a push. Thank you very much.
Charles
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

October 15th, 2003, 8:02 am #14

Long Island bound freights going over Hell Gate Bridge that stopped at Oak Point to pick up or drop off cars did so east of S.S. 4, not between the two towers at each end of the yard like the New Haven bound freights did. After the engines backed out of the yard to get back onto their train, they'd couple up and then continue backing up the entire train until it was out of sight, around the curve, close to the Hunts Point station. The operator at S.S. 4 would clear off his signals after making sure S.S. 3's signals were cleared off, and he would then walk up the tracks with a green flag or green lantern to signal the engine it was okay to go. Only with a running start would a full-size freight make it over the bridge without stalling. Can't comment on what problems a train like HG-1 (Oak Point to Bay Ridge) would have had starting out from S.S. 3, right at the foot of the grade. That might have routinely operated with a pusher to Little Hell Gate, complete with train orders for the return of the pusher engine. When Penn Central came on board, their idea to eliminate the need for train orders for the pusher's return was to create a Block Limit Station at Little Hell Gate, thus giving the S.S. 3 operator total control of the trackage. The Block Limit Station's name, given Penn Central's fixation on single syllable names for such, would have been "Hell." They eliminated the freight traffic instead, and didn't need the Block Limit Station.
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: February 18th, 2003, 2:23 am

October 15th, 2003, 2:15 pm #15

I worked a lot of jobs to Bay Ridge and I do not ever
remember backing up way east of SS-4. We often did
cut at SS-4 and head into the yard with the Oak Points
or go down to Harlem River with the Harlem River cars
but usually make the cut with just enough room for the
locomotives to clear behind the signal when we couple
back up to the remainder of the train. Occasionally,
we would pick up cars at Oak Point in which case, we
would work at Tower 3 and shove the head end east far
enough to make a run. In that case, the remainder of
the train would be east of Tower 4 but we could usually
get enough run to make the hill. Most of the westbound
cars were empties except for the LIRR cars.
Once the Virginian's came, there was never any question
about making the bridge. They would just hum and pull.
I remember in my firing days, I had a regular job out
of Bay Ridge and was running the train west. Our engines were on the big span when we went into emergency. Upon walking the train, the crew found a
separation caused by a slip by, (high/low). We put the
train back together and the two motors pulled the train
out of there with absolutely no problem at all. The
conductor and head brakeman were both on the second
motor and they both bet the engineer and myself that we
would need a push out of there. We each won a dollar
from them over that one. Two of the Virginian's had
incredible power to pull and run a train.
Sometimes and in some places, we had to be kind of
careful with these engines, one notch more on a diesel
would result in an increase of power when the engine
got around to in eventually in some cases, one notch
advanced on the motors gave an instant response and
most of the time, we had to advance the controller
very slowly and one notch at a time or we could tear
the train apart.
The Virginians were by far the best freight locomotives
to ever run on the New Haven Railroad and I will
challenge anyone to disagree with me.
Noel Weaver
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Guest
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October 15th, 2003, 4:53 pm #16

How were the grades on the Ridgefield Branch? Did they have problems operating on that branch? Thanks in advance...

Noel Weaver
Member
Joined: February 18th, 2003, 2:23 am

October 15th, 2003, 10:57 pm #17

It was generally uphill from Branchville to Ridgefield
but I only worked the line once on a light engine in a
major snowstorm. They had a derail on the main track
to prevent a car from getting away and going all the
way down the hill if it became unsecured. Having said
that, the volume of freight going up that branch was
probably easily handled by an RS-3. The only problem
I see would be leaves on the rail and wet rail
conditions in the fall.
Noel Weaver
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Tom Curtin
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Joined: March 28th, 2003, 10:44 pm

October 16th, 2003, 7:04 am #18

It has been claimed --- and could be right --- that the Ridgefield Branch was New Haven's steepest grade. The claim is plausible: the elevation at Branchville is about 370, and at Ridgefield about 710 feet! All that in slightly less than 4 miles . . . .
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northeast45.e
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Joined: May 20th, 2003, 3:57 am

October 16th, 2003, 9:33 am #19

Hey Noel,
How is the grade from the East River tunnel (eastbound) up to Harold tower, and even beyond that up to the Hell Gate approach ?
It always seemed fairly steep to me (sitting in the back).....even when I was heading out to Woodside and Jamaica....or to NH
Bob Tracy Dunnellon, FL
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

October 16th, 2003, 10:45 am #20

From the tunnel bottom eastward to the Long Island City portal, the data I have shows the uphill grade as 1.3%, no worse than going from tunnel bottom westward to Penn. Station.
The uphill grades vary between Harold, Sunnyside Junction, Bowery Bay Junction, and Hell Gate Bridge, but the steepest portion only shows as 0.72%.
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