New Haven in the 90's

I had lived in the state of Connecticut between March of 1997 and April of 1998. In that time period of railfanning and exploration I had uncovered a plethora of relics from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad still in existence, many of which still wearing or repainted back into New Haven schemes. This "New Haven" presence keeps drawing me back into the state to explore more relics and photo opportunities. Both Amtrak and Metro-North handle commuter rail operations for the Connecticut Department of Transportation which, along with influence from the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association, has revived the former New Haven railroad's McGiniss geometric scheme to this commuter equipment. Metro-North has the honors of handling ConnDOT trains west of the city of New Haven, while Amtrak handles "Shore Line East" trains to the east. Equipment is frequently pooled, so it is not uncommon to find a Metro-North F-10 trundling up the Naugatuck Valley on the Waterbury Branch, or to find a CDOT FL-9 racing along the Hudson River.

RELATED LINKS - Historical & Museum
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Below is evidence of the New Haven Railroad existence during this decade. Check back with this gallery frequently, as I will be rotating in new images on an irregular basis.



A Shore Line East train had just received the signal to pass through Branford Interlocking after waiting about 8 minutes for an Amtrak tamper to clear. Now late, 6694 briefly stops at the station before taking off to New Haven. The conductor radios the Shore Line dispatcher to ask Metro North to hold its connecting train to GCT.
The right town, the wrong track - two clean CDOT FL9's rest at Poughkeepsie station during a Danbury Railway Museum excursion in September 1995. The former New Haven units sit on the former New York Central, while the old bridge that carried New Haven's Maybrook line across the Hudson River looms in the background. EMD wanted to sell FL9's to NYC, but they never sprung for any. Ironically, Metro-North's FL9's run regularly on the Hudson River Line today.
The Railroad Museum of New England's New Haven U25B and RS-3 (with ditch lights digitally removed) pose side-by-side at the Watertown station in November of 1998 for Railfan Day.
A pair of CDOT FL9's lay over for the weekend at the Danbury yard on a cold Sunday evening in January 1998.
Several CDOT FL9's are tied up for the weekend in the Danbury Yard adjacent to the Danbury Railway Museum. If it weren't for ditch lights and Bombardier coaches, this could easily have been 1968 instead of 1998.
Just as strong of a New Haven Railroad icon as the FL-9's are none other than the Roger Williams RDC trainset. Only three of the six cars remain today, and hopes are strong that the survivors will be brought back together again. For now, the 140 waits for interior work to be completed as it rests by an NH caboose in Danbury.
An anonymous friend and I decided to take a closer look at Metro North's Waterbury Branch operation on a mid-summer Saturday afternoon. Armed with the red timetable, we traced the line along route 8 from Ansonia to Waterbury, stopping here in the town of Naugatuck to record its activity onto Kodachrome.
The northernmost terminus of this shuttle is at the famous clock-towered Waterbury station. The train lays over for about an hour, then heads south back to Bridgeport. The crew was doing some work on the head-end generator in FL-9 #2014, and have fired it back up in a smoky splendor.
Observing the Waterbury Branch's uniqueness inspired me to go out the next day to record more activity. An excellent scene with an excellent afternoon sun is captured as the train heads north across the Naugatuck River and into the station at Ansonia.
About a month later I capture a Shore Line East GP40PH-2 working on its weekend off with a northbound Waterbury train north of Ansonia.
A return to the Danbury Railway museum during the Fall Open house in October found this Metro North trainset being used for excursions on the Maybrook Line to Brewster, New York.
The same trainset is seen crossing the Connecticut/New York State border outside of Danbury. It became apparent to me that the fall seasons in New England live up to their reputation.
During the Danbury Railway Museum's open house in October 1998, an RS-1 switches some freight and passenger equipment as CDOT FL-9's wait patiently for the weekend to expire before they start turning their own wheels again.
A Shore Line East GP40PH-2 and former SPV2000 coaches zips westbound alongside construction on Interstate 95 near Branford. The city of New Haven is only a couple of minutes away.
Enroute to my place, a friend was severely distracted by a deviation from the norm at Waterbury station one Sunday afternoon this past December. He had stumbled upon an excursion being conducted by the Naugatuck Railroad, utilizing surplus Shore Line East equipment. I hustle over to meet him just as F7 #6691 gets ready to push northward towards Thomaston Dam.
Shore Line East GP40PH-2 #6694 stops at Westbrook station before continuing to shove its train eastward towards Old Saybrook. Amtrak's electrification of the Shore Line progresses, as new concrete bases for catenary poles have already been put in place.
One last look at Danbury. The NYC E-9 and Roger Williams car are privately owned, and the FL-9 is owned by the State of Connecticut, and together they create a scene reminiscent of the mid-sixties.

Site established 11/20/97
Last updated 11/13/98
wurstm@comcast.net

Entire contents of this website are Copyright 1999 Mark S. Wurst Photography, unless otherwise noted. Photos, images, and graphics viewed within the "Idiot Railfan!" and "Mark's World" websites are for personal use only, and are not to be redistributed electronically or in printed format without the written consent of Mark S. Wurst. Dammit.