Watertown Branch

A place to prevent old postings from the "New Haven Railroad Discussions" forum from being wiped out by the "20 page" rule.

Watertown Branch

Ruzbasan
Member
Joined: November 5th, 2004, 7:06 pm

November 16th, 2007, 9:26 pm #1

I am modeling the Naugatuck Line during the 1940's. I have included the Watertown Branch from Waterbury to Watertown,CT. I want to be as historically accurate as possible. I am at a loss on whether to include telegraph poles on the Watertown Branch.
All the photos I have seen of the Watertown Branch do not show any telegraph poles. However, these photos are few, of poor quality and do not show a large enough view to conclude accurately whether or not the telegraph poles were present along the row in the 1940's.
Although Watertown continued to have freight service until the early 1970's, passenger service to Watertown Branch ended in the 1920's. In a 1944 railroad atlas, no telegraph symbol was present for Watertown. Thus the need to maintain a telegraph line along the Watertown row would be doubtful.
But often the telegraph poles and lines were left standing long after their last use.
Does anyone know if telegraph poles were still standing along the Watertown Branch row in the 1940's?
And if so, what type of telegraph pole were they...single cross bar, double cross bar?
Quote
Like
Share

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

November 16th, 2007, 9:45 pm #2

I don't remember just what the telephone line along the
Watertown Branch was but I do remember that the ticket
office in Watebury in the "crank and cuss" days prior to
about 1963 or early 1964 had a jack box labeled for the
Watertown Branch. It only had two or three connections to
it so I suspect that the only line on the branch was a
block line to Waterbury which by 1955 was the ticket office
after Bank Street Junction tower was ruined after the
flood.
After the bell system phones were installed in either 1963
or early 1964 there was no need to maintain wayside phone
lines anywhere in the Hartford, Springfield or Waterbury
territory as this was the very first part of the NHRR to
be converted to bell system dial phones. Unattended
switchboards were installed at Hartford, Springfield and
Waterbury to handle all calls in this territory.
The rest of the railroad followed a year or so later,
probably in 1965.
Noel Weaver
Quote
Like
Share

Charlie Dunn
Member
Joined: March 29th, 2003, 4:17 am

November 16th, 2007, 9:49 pm #3

I've seen pictures in Oakville with triple cross bar poles.
Charlie
Quote
Like
Share

Ruzbasan
Member
Joined: November 5th, 2004, 7:06 pm

November 17th, 2007, 12:36 am #4

Charlie,
I have a photo of the Oakville trestle going over Watertown Avenue at the Oakville Pin Company. A triple cross bar pole is standing in the upper left of the photo. It shows trolley tracks on Watertown Ave and is stamped "Main Street, Oakville, Conn." It is from the Raymond Kennedy collection and dates from 1909.
Is that the photo you are describing?
If it is, in that photo I can't tell if the triple cross bar pole is a railroad telegraph pole or a regular street pole. In the foreground of the photo it looks like the street poles have crossed to the side of the street where the triple cross bar pole is located, making me think it might be just a power pole.
Also,three cross bars seems like a lot for a telegraph line to just two small stations (Watertown and Oakville).
For the several pictures that you have seen the telegraph poles in Oakville, do you have an idea of what years they may have been taken?
Quote
Like
Share

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

November 17th, 2007, 3:43 am #5

In some cases there were a lot more wires along the track
than the railroad needed to use. The rest of the wires
were generally Western Union lines. The old right of way
going west out of Waterbury to Southbury and Hawleyville
had a pole line with a lot of wires and the railroad still
maintained this line even long after the line was abandoned
and torn up. I even remember seeing a D and/or M on some
of the poles which indicated the NHRR dispatcher or
message line.
Most likely the pole line along the Watertown Branch had
only one set (two wires) of wires for railroad use and
any other wires were Western Union or something else.
Noel Weaver
Quote
Like
Share