track grades

Guest
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October 13th, 2003, 8:50 am #1

What are some of the steepest track grades in connecticut,i heard that the line from bridgeport to waterbury is,is this measured by elevation from one point to another? do you think that there are any NHRR records adressing this. thanks d'street.

Jaap
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Jaap
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Joined: May 23rd, 2003, 2:55 pm

October 13th, 2003, 9:29 am #2

The Waterbury is actualy relativly flat. from Ansonia to Waterbury there is a steady climb but not steep.
The Danbury Branch and New Canaan Branch are far steeper.
The Maybrook line other than near Stevenson Dam has some big grades but most of them in New York.
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: February 18th, 2003, 2:23 am

October 13th, 2003, 9:59 am #3

Only really nasty grade between Devon and Waterbury is
probably the stretch leading up to old Bank Street
Junction going toward Waterbury. I have heard that in
steam days, that spot could be a little bit nasty.
By far heavier grades were encountered going east from
Waterbury to Terryville on the Waterbury - Hartford
line. In steam days, some of the trains on that stretch needed helper power.
Let's not forget dear old West Haven Hill on the main
line and while it is nowhere as steep as the ones
mentioned in an earlier post, the New York bound freight trains in the diesel days did not get that much
power. The New Haven between New York and Boston was
not as flat as some would believe. There are grades all over the place that while they would not usually
cause us to stall, they still affected the way a train
was handled.
On a westbound freight train going to New York or for
that matter Maybrook, we would usually know by the time
we got to Woodmont whether we had good power or not
unless the train had way more tonnage than we knew
about which also happened occasionally.
After we got the Virginians, it was much less of a
problem, those engines generally ran very good and
would haul anything they could put behind them.
Noel Weaver
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northeast45.e
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Joined: May 20th, 2003, 3:57 am

October 13th, 2003, 10:46 am #4

How about that steep little grade at Woodlawn, Eastbound....where the NH cut off the Harlem Line.
A long commuter with a full load on a rainy day ??
With 1500 passengers @ 165 lbs. each equals an additional 247,500 pounds of people ! The 459PM to New Haven?
How about any freight on that stretch aside from local switching?
Bob Tracy Dunnellon, FL
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Tom Curtin
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Joined: March 28th, 2003, 10:44 pm

October 13th, 2003, 11:13 am #5

I asume this discussion applies to lines in service today (because if we include abandoned lines there are a couple of horrors).
The Norwalk-Danbury line is a steady uphill pull from "Dock" (approximately where it goes under I-95), elevation about 11, to Topstone, elevation 471. This is about 14 miles. The steepest sustained grade is the 2.2 miles of 1.12% grade from Branchville to Topstone. That is a shade more than the old Maybrook Line helper district between Hopewell and West Pawling, but of course this line was not much of a big tonnage route. There are blips here and there on The Danbury line that are even steeper, but they're short.
Note: from Topstone it is essentially downhill to Danbury, elevation 376.
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nynhrr43
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Joined: June 6th, 2003, 6:03 am

October 13th, 2003, 8:06 pm #6

Although this has no revelance to the New haven, I just wanted to include this short line. Just a little south of Hudson station there was a hill that used to serve a small town with a flour mill. This was called the Claverack, not sure about spelling. The first time I saw this hill on my way to Selkirk I could not believe that anything could climb this hill. It had to be something like at least 30-35 degrees.
Noel: you must remember this hill. Care to elaborate.
Charles
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Noel Weaver
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Joined: February 18th, 2003, 2:23 am

October 13th, 2003, 8:49 pm #7

I have never even been up that trackage, know that it
is still active and that there is a little bit of street running involved too.
Noel Weaver
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Guest
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October 13th, 2003, 9:26 pm #8

Tom, Please also tell us about the "horror" grades on the now out of service sections. All of the New Haven is interesting.

Tom Curtin
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Joined: March 28th, 2003, 10:44 pm

October 14th, 2003, 7:50 am #9

Well, let's see what comes to mind about abandoned grades . . .
The most infamous was the CNE route over Norfolk summit, from Canaan (elev. 669) to Norfolk Summit (elev. 1334 --- the absolute highest point on the NH or any predecessor road). I can't recall the elevation of Winsted, but it is possible the eastern slope of that grade may have been even steeper.
The Litchfield Branch climbed from about 250 (bridge over Housatonic River) to 993 at Litchfield, in about 27 or 28 miles.
Sandy Hook to Towantic (original NY&NE route) --- I forget the elevations involved, but I once calculated that there was a piece of about 1.6% grade here. There is also the eastern slope of that grade, Towantic down to Bank St. Jct.
A couple of other comments:
Even though Pittsfield, 1015 feet, is the highest non-CNE elevation on the railroad, the grades are mostly gentle getting up there. There's a piece of 0.86% around Falls Village, CT and something comparable around Glendale, Mass, but it never hits 1%.
It's interesting that the NH's most famous grade, on the Maybrook, only hits the rather modest altitude of 744 at Reynolds. A little detail some people forget about this is that the westbound climb is actually steeper, but was never a helper district --- this because tonnage was always predominately eastbound.
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Statkowski
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Joined: March 5th, 2003, 4:39 am

October 14th, 2003, 5:03 pm #10

It's not on the New Haven, nor is it in Connecticut, but the grade climbing up Hell Gate Bridge heading towards Bay Ridge or Penn. Station is supposedly 1.2% The grade from the bottom of the tunnel up to Penn. Station itself is supposedly 1.3%
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