The New Haven's Maybrook Line and Connections

The New Haven's Maybrook Line and Connections

Welcome to our Maybrook WebSite

Here's a preview of some of the exciting projects we have put together for you:

Our feature article is "The Alphabet Route: Maybrook Connections" .

We have a story on Maybrook Line: purchase by Metro North as well as a great reference section on the Maybrook Line .

You can see the Maybrook area on Google Earth and other maps .

Find out about freight on the Maybrook and what's up with the Maybrook today .

Did you know that the Poughkeepsie Bridge got off to a slow start ?

Some other interesting features we have include Derby Junction , and a great picture of Maybrook Yard in January 1948 .

History of Rail in the Region .

Do not miss New England Gateway, The New "Alphabet Route" .

Take a quiz on Which One of These People Hurt New York City the Worst?

We hope you enjoy your visit to our WebSite. We offer a wide range of great sites. We have a great "Portal to the World", excellent weather, reference, golf and tourist sites. As well as great WebSites on trains run for the President of the United States (and for Royalty too). We are not "FLASHy" like many WebSites, but we offer you, among other things authentic railroad history material. Much of this material is not available elsewhere on the Internet. It was painstakingly collected over many years from such sources as Yale University. We never knowingly link you to any WebSites that contain a virus, collect your personal information, or are those machine-generated sites rampant with "Ads by Google". For some of our material, there is a small nominal charge.
1937 Fan Trip Brochure
See our poster and brochure about a fan trip on the New Haven RR in 1937. It ran from NY City to Bridgeport, Danbury, Poughkeepsie, Maybrook, and Campbell Hall to Warwick NY. The brochure contains a description of the route including the big bridge in Pok plus a map. The fare was $3.50 round trip.

How much would you pay to ride that trip today ?
The Central New England Railway (later New Haven RR) Maybrook Yard connected to other railroads: Lackawanna, Pennsylvania, New York Central, Lehigh & Hudson River, Lehigh & New England, Erie, Ontario & Western, Lehigh Valley

The Central New England Railway Yard at Maybrook, New York

We have a really new and really cool feature about the Central New England Railway / New Haven Railroad. It is a Journal of the Maybrook Yard. All kinds of previously unpublished and fascinating things!

The Maybrook Line across Dutchess County The "Maybrook Line" was important to New England before the advent of Penn Central and before the Poughkeepsie Bridge burned. This piece of the railroad carried freight from Maybrook Yard, across the Poughkeepsie Bridge to Hopewell Junction where it joined a line from Beacon. The railroad then went to Brewster, then Danbury, and finally to Cedar Hill Yard in New Haven.

The New Haven's Maybrook Line and connections to other railroads

Railroad History of Maybrook Region
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Maybrook Connections

Alphabet Route

From Boston over New Haven RR, then either the DL&W/NKP route or the Erie route to Chicago were faster than the routing over the Pennsylvania RR via Bay Ridge/Creenville float service.) The L&HR also ran two round trips to Allentown, PA, using trackage rights on the Belvidere-Delaware branch of the PRR and the Central of New Jersey RR. This was referred to as the "Alphabet Route" to and from the west.

Campbell Hall connection

The history of the Campbell Hall - Maybrook connection is extremely complicated. "BK" cabin was a L&HR facility, and it's where the only line to enter Maybrook Yard proper on its own rails terminated. This marks another New Haven failure. The NH had a theory that it was going to control the L&HR, which when built was controlled by the Lehigh Coal & navigation Company. A consortium: the Pennsylvania, the Reading, the Lehigh Valley, the Erie and the O&W jointly acquired the L&HR instead, to thwart the New Haven's attempt to get into the anthracite fields. This happened in 1905, and, as a result, the NH went out and acquired control of the O&W. In the 1990's, Campbell Hall was a very active yard. Conrails' come through everyday and several NYS&W stack trains. Locals were running almost everyday down to Warwick on the LH&R; NY,S&W ran down the LH&R (Hudson Secondary) also. Metro-North (NJT) is the other big user. The past history of Campbell Hall is very interesting. In 1890 the Central New England & Western RR arrived in Campbell Hall. In 1904 the CNE&W was absorbed into the New Haven RR. The giant railroad bridge at Poughkeepsie opened in 1888. The connection at CH allowed traffic to flow to New England. Passenger service ended on the New Haven Danbury to Campbell Hall in 1928. CH junction was also very important to the O&W traffic as well. Up until 1957 or so there were five RR's in CH! The New York Central entered the area via Erie RR trackage rights at Montgomery NY. Between all the Buffalo -Maybrook traffic on the Erie and the Lehigh New England hauling coal and cement into Maybrook. Campbell Hall was a busy place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Early rail service between Campbell Hall and Highland was first called the Hudson Connecting Railroad and construction began in 1887 with completion made in 1890. The line was financed by Pennsylvania interests who were behind the building of the bridge between Highland and Poughkeepsie. The Central New England & Western was formed in July of 1889 and consisted of not only the Hudson Connecting but the Poughkeepsie Bridge Railroad Co., the Poughkeepsie & Connecticut Railroad and the Hartford & Connecticut Western Railroad. The CNE&W only lasted up until August of 1892 when the Philadelphia & Reading Railway took over it's operation and named it the Philadelphia, Reading & New England Railroad. Unfortunately the financial crash of 1893 played havoc with the P&R's far flung empire and the PR&NE went in to receivership which lasted up until 1899 when the Central New England Railway was formed. The CNE at the time was still controlled by Pennsylvania interests (not the Reading, however) but they seem to have lost interest in the line and sold out to the New Haven in early 1904. Passenger service by the CNE between Poughkeepsie and Campbell Hall ended as early as the Spring of 1922; however, a shuttle service between Maybrook and Campbell Hall lasted up until the late 20's. This was primarily run for workers in the yards at Maybrook. A similar shuttle called the "Scoot" ran between Poughkeepsie and Maybrook until December, 1930 and this too was primarily for the benefit of workers in the yard at Maybrook. In Campbell Hall; at the far west end of the Campbell Hall yard, the former Erie's Graham Line bridge over the old NYO&W's main (plainly visible from NY 207 and NY 416 intersection) is still called O&W bridge by Conrail.

Central of New England

In 1907, the Central of New England, probably under instructions from the New Haven, which was about to absorb it started construction of Maybrook Yard. The New Haven, of course, rebuilt the whole line, gauntletting the Bridge so that 2-10-2s and 4 -8-2s could haul trains on it, block signaled the line and generally made it a highly competitive route to the Hell Gate Bridge one. Maybrook was not the Headquarters for the CNE. There was a rather large brick building at the north end of the Maybrook Yard called "XC" office. It was the heart of the Maybrook operations for many years. The CNE has its origins in the 1870's, when a rail line running west from Hartford, Ct. into New York State was built. The railroad was know by several names before setting on Central New England by the 1890's. By then it had acquired ownership of a bridge over the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and a rail line leading west to the vicinity of Maybrook and Campbell Hall, N.Y. Much of the area that the CNE ran through was rural and didn't generate much traffic, and overall it was not a very important or profitable railroad. Its ownership of the massive Poughkeepsie Bridge, completed in 1888, was where its importance lie. At the time that the bridge was completed, it was the only railroad bridge over the Hudson south of Albany. Even after the Pennsylvania Railroad completed its tunnel from New Jersey to Penn Station in Manhattan around 1910, it remained a very important route; the Pennsylvania tunnel was used pretty much exclusively for passenger trains, and the Poughkeepsie Bridge could be used as a freight bypass to avoid New York City congestion. Any freight moving from southern New England for points west or south (unless it really NEEDED to go to the New York City area for some reason) came over the bridge and went through Maybrook. In the late 1800s, the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad became the dominant railroad in southern New England, taking over several other railroads. In 1904, the New Haven bought the CNE in the last of its major acquisitions. The New Haven mainly wanted the CNE for the bridge and the Maybrook line. For a while the New Haven operated the CNE as a subsidiary; according to legend, the New Haven did not want to directly take over the CNE because they were afraid that the CNE (other than the bridge and the Maybrook line) would lose so much money that it would hurt the New Haven's profits. In 1927, the New Haven finally absorbed the CNE. By 1938, most of its line east of Poughkeepsie had been abandoned. From Poughkeepsie west, over the bridge and on to Maybrook, the line continued to see heavy use. Until 1957, six different railroads all converged in the Maybrook/Campbell Hall area, with the CNE/NH having the most important operations there. Manufactured goods from New England came into Maybrook on the New Haven, then were handed off to other railroads for shipment to points west and south. Coal from Pennsylvania went in the other direction (a lot of people used coal as a home heating fuel in those days). Some passenger trains went through Maybrook, too. After World War II, the railroad industry went into decline. Airplanes and interstate highways took traffic away. Demand for coal dropped, and most of New England's manufacturing shut down or moved away. Maybrook wasn't as busy as it once was. By 1961, two of the six railroads in that area had gone out of business, and the New Haven followed them on December 31, 1968. Some activity still went on in Maybrook, but it was less and less, especially after the Poughkeepsie bridge burned in 1974 (it's still standing but hasn't been used since). CONRAIL/Norfolk Southern still has an active rail line into Maybrook, as well as an area just south of Walden,NY. The line runs from "MQ" on the Southern Tier line through Campbell Hall. At Campbell hall it branches to Maybrook over old NH trackage and into Montgomery, NY on the old Erie trackage. It goes about a mile or so beyond Montgomery on the old NYC Wallkill Valley line.

Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W)

The Erie and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (DL&W) around 1910 decided that because of the great length of their carfloat hauls up the East River to the Harlem River, later Oak Point, to reroute all of their freight via Maybrook.

Erie RR

The Erie Railroad originally reached Campbell Hall on the Montgomery branch from Goshen (on the original Erie main line). When the Graham line was constructed, a junction was constructed at the crossing of the Graham line with the Montgomery branch ("MQ" Tower). The Erie Montgomery branch crossed the NYO&W main line immediately west of the NH junction and the NYO&W Campbell Hall station. The Erie's junction with the NH was less than a mile north of its NYO&W crossing. The Erie ran two round trips in and out of Maybrook in the late 1940's and 1950's, In 1942, the Erie was running four eastbounds and three westbounds to and from Maybrook. Of these, one eastbound and two westbounds were through freights from points west of Port Jervis, the others being connected with symbol freights at Port Jervis. The Erie routes were changed with the Erie-Lackawanna merger, eliminating most of the EL service over the L&HR.

Lehigh & Hudson River RR

The only line other than the New Haven that actually ran into the Maybrook yard on its own rails was the Lehigh & Hudson River RR. It had a junction with the New Haven at the west end of the Maybrook yard at "BK" cabin. The NH trackage ended at the New York, Ontario & Western RR main line at Campbell Hall, which is where all of the rest of the connections theoretically took place. In the NH employee timetable, Maybrook is 74.08 miles from Danbury, and Campbell Hall is 76.93 miles from Danbury. The L&HR ran four round trips in and out of Maybrook. Two of these connected with the DL&W at Port Morris, NJ, via trackage rights of the DL&W from Andover Jet. to Port Morris. This gave the DL&W a connection to the NH, (In the l947 NH freight schedule, the Maybrook to Chicago time on the DL&W to Buffalo and the NKP to Chicago was faster than the Erie. The L&HR interchanged with the PRR at Hudson yard, Phillipsburg, NJ. During most of the existence of the Maybrook line, this interchange was not used as part of any scheduled through freight route. However, after the PC merger, as part of the elimination of the New York float service, a symbol freight service from Maybrook via the L&HR and the Belvidere-Delaware branch from Hudson yard to the former PRR main line at Trenton was established. Also, the abandonment of the NYO&W, and the later assumption of CNJ operations in Pennsylvania by the LV brought through service to and from the LV into Maybrook via the L&HR, (The NH freight timetable of 15 April 1968 shows both of these route changes). The L&HR had their own main into Maybrook, about a mile east of the Erie/L&NE line; it wasn't directly part of the Campbell Hall 'complex'. It passed under the former Erie Graham Line at E&J Bridge, between Day Road and Shea Road (in the area of the current 'HJ').

Lehigh & New England

The Montgomery branch reached the Erie main line at Goshen. South of Goshen, the Erie had another branch to Pine Island, NY. Pine Island was the Erie's junction with the Lehigh & New England. The L&NE reached Campbell Hall through trackage rights over the southern portion of the Montgomery branch (16 miles). After the Erie Graham line was built, all Erie freight service to and from Maybrook was routed on this line from Port Jervis to "MQ" leaving the action on the Montgomery branch south of "MQ" to the L&NE. The L&NE participated in no through freight routings. Its service into Maybrook was confined to one daily round trip from Pen Argyle, PA, handling coal and cement eastbound and empties westbound.

Lehigh Valley

The Lehigh Valley didn't eliminate it's East River carfloat operation until 1937 when they began an O&W run-through from Coxton via mine branches and Mayfield. In 1947, the LV connection was from Suspension Bridge, meaning cars on the Pere Marquette and the Wabash via Canada, and cars from Buffalo connections. The O&W connection to the New Haven arriving in Boston three days out of Chicago. Not all of Lehigh Valley tonnage went to the O&W at Coxton. Another train went on to Jersey City, where they were floated to Oak Point, and arrived in Boston one hour later than if they had gone via the O&W and Maybrook.

Maybrook today

With the exception of the NYC, all of the Maybrook connections, not just the L&NE, carried large amounts of coal. Even after the decline of anthracite shipments in the 1920's, a large amount of bituminous was shipped through Maybrook. Today the L&NE and the NYO&W routes no longer exist, having been abandoned and ripped up. A similar fate has befallen the Erie Montgomery branch between Goshen and Campbell Hall. The only service into Maybrook now is by Conrail over the ex-L&HR. Local service through Maybrook as far east as Highland, NY, close to the west side of the fire ravaged Poughkeepsie Bridge no longer exists. In Maybrook itself, there's a small but nice museum (staffed by old-timers) dedicated to the former Maybrook yard complex. It's on NY 208, in the same building as the Maybrook Library (at the blinking light). Open weekend afternoons, April-October. A few blocks north in Maybrook, on Jewell St., the CNE Maybrook station (not it's original location) is in use as a residence.

New York Central

The Erie's Montgomery branch continued north to Montgomery, NY, where it connected with the Wallkill Valley branch of the New York Central, from Kingston. The NYC had trackage rights on the Erie as far south as Campbell Hall, thus a connection with the NH. The NYC (Wallkill Valley) interchange with the NH was not a through route. The Conrail Wallkill line runs from Campbell Hall junction to Walden. The line was originally the WallKill valley railroad, then was subsequently owned by the Erie railroad, then the West Shore Railroad. The line eventually became the New York Central's Wallkill Valley Branch. The line ran from Kingston to Goshen. The last regular run over the Wallkill line was in 1977 southbound out of Kingston. There are 3 active industries in Walden requiring as needed service. Steam on the line was a mix of 10 wheelers and consolidations, most built by Alco of Schenectady. First generation diesels consisted mainly of Fairbanks-Morse switchers and Alco RS2's and 3's. Towards the end of regular operation the most commonly seen type of engine on the line were gp35's. Conrail had a plan to save the line by having Lehigh and Hudson River traffic funneled onto the Wallkill line after the famed Poughkeepsie bridge burned in 1974. The plan failed though because of the rickety Rosendale trestle. Conrail tore up most of the Wallkill track in 1983.

New York, Ontario & Western

The New York, Ontario & Western ran two scheduled freights in each direction in and out of Maybrook. These trains ran down the Scranton division of the NYO&W to Mayfield yard (near Carbondale, PA). One round trip continued on to the Croxton yard of the Lehigh Valley RR, and during the existence of the NYO&W, this gave the LV scheduled access to Maybrook. The NYO&W also participated in an alternate Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR through freight route to and from the Scranton gateway. As a reality check, however, the DL&W had another train which left Buffalo about an hour earlier than the O&W connection, running via Port Morris NJ and the L&HR, and arrived in Boston at 11:55 PM Wednesday. There was another DL&W connecting eastbound service, which was probably made up of local cars from Binghamton and Elmira, as well as Buffalo, which connected with the O&W. The CNJ is also shown as a Scranton connection for the O&W, but this was to and from Allentown.

Pennsylvania Railroad

About 1910, Samuel Rea, of the Pennsylvania RR, investigated the Maybrook line to see if it could be an alternative to the Greenville - Bay Ridge - Hell Gate Bridge route then under construction from PRR New England traffic. This would, of course, have been a routing from Trenton to the L&HR to Maybrook via the Belvedere & Delaware. Rea's appraisal was "No" because of the limited capacity of the line, in particular because of the low capacity of the Bridge. The Pennsylvania Railroad's Bel-Del (Belvedere-Delaware) division was used by the L&HR via a trackage rights agreement to access Hudson Yard in Phillipsburg, N.J. and it's bridge over the Delaware River- and connections to the west at Easton, Pennsylvania and beyond.

Poughkeepsie Bridge
The reason why it took from 1875 until 1888 to get trains running over the Poughkeepsie Bridge had nothing to do with construction problems; it was because of problems with the financing. Ultimately, the construction was finished, and operation began by an entity called the Central of New England Western. This road established the connection at Campbell Hall.

By Ken Kinlock at
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Poughkeepsie Bridge at Night

Trains ran across the Great Bridge at Poughkeepsie from 1888 until a fire in 1974. Over 30 years later, a walkway was constructed across the bridge.

Bernie Rudberg took this great nighttime shot. See more about the Great Bridge at Poughkeepsie.
Maybrook Approach
Maybrook Approach
Campbell Hall Approach
Campbell Hall Approach
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Erie At Maybrook

An old postcard purchased from Charlie Gunn
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From the collection of the late Austin McEntee

This view of the deck on top of the finished bridge shows the City of Poughkeepsie in the background.

Click here to see more about the Poughkeepsie Bridge..
Maybrook Yard January 1948

Maybrook Yard in January 1948

Courtesy of Bernie Rudberg
Click on photo to see more about the CNE in New York State

It shows the Maybrook yard in winter just after the diesels had taken over the main line freight work. By that time it was NH and the Maybrook Line and the yard were in a slow decline which ended with the big Poughkeepsie RR Bridge fire in 1974. The yard is now a terminal for the Yellow Freight trucking company.

This shot is from the collection of a former Hopewell Junction resident, the late George Bailey. ( cousin of the Barnum and Bailey circus fame. ) He had a very nice collection of mostly RR photos from around this part of New York.
Skiing Skiing
New England Gateway, The New
See another "Alphabet Route" that used the Ontario & Western to connect Maybrook to the DL&W and Lehigh Valley.
Anthracite Coal


Maybrook Remnants Campbell Hall: Then and Now
Lehigh & Hudson River RR New Haven Railroad Forum
Coming Into Maybrook Lehigh & Hudson River and other anthracite railroads
Follow a new railroad into the Adirondack Mountains of New York State.
They run tourist trains, dinner trains, and even a ski train from Saratoga to North Creek.
They want to reactivate the railroad to a mine that was closed over 20 years ago.
New technology and a new attitude maybe just the right combination.
Interesting Railway Stations
Our favorite Short Lines TrainWeb Weekly Updates
Railroad history The following railroads utilized a Maybrook connection:
DL&W Railroad
Erie Railroad
Erie-Lackawanna Railroad
Jersey Central
Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad
Lehigh and New England Railroad
Lehigh Valley
New Haven Railroad
New York Central Railroad
Ontario & Western Railroad
Pennsylvania Railroad

Maybrook Line: Purchase by Metro-North

Maybrook Line and Danbury Branch purchased by Metro North Commuter Railroad. It also will be available for special train operations. Regular service over parts of the line will be studied for the future. A planning organization presently is studying service from the New Milford area to Danbury and New York. MNCR would have to deal the Danbury Terminal RR [Housatonic RR family] to bring that about.

That portion of the Maybrook Line between CP 58 (on Hudson Line) and State Line (NY/CT), MP 71.2 now operated by MNCR is designated the "Beacon Line." MNCR Rules of the operating department in effect. Rail Traffic Controller District B is in charge of the Beacon Line.

Rules in effect for the Beacon Line between CP 58 and CT/NY State Line are single track with MBS (manual block)

SPEEDS- Passenger trains and freight trains maximum speeds, unless otherwise specified.

Beacon Line Miles per Hour
Between Passenger Freight
MP 0.0 and MP 33.6 10 10
MP 33.6 and MP 40.9 30 10

The main track between MP 0.0 and MP 33.6, Beacon Line, is designated as excepted track and must be inspected prior to movement. There are 50 grade crossings; 9 of them have flashing lights, and another 10 have both flashing lights and gates. At the 19 public crossings at grade on the Beacon Line, trains and engines must stop before passing over highway crossing and a member of the crew must protect the crossing in advance of each movement.

Car and load restrictions - Beacon Line: Cars with gross weight of 263,000 lbs. are restricted on the Beacon Line unless authorized by the Operations Control Center.

In the 1959 New Haven employee timetable the line was 2 track with long passing sidings at Brewster and West Pawling. There was a connection with the New York Central's Harlem line at Towners but both lines passed within shouting distance through Brewster. Danbury to Hopewell Junction speed was 40 m.p.h. Speed restrictions existed at Brewster, Towners, Holmes, Poughquag and Stormville. Hopewell Junction to Beacon speed was 25 m.p.h. with restrictions at Glenham and Beacon.

Those passengers who are traveling the branches would probably not use the Beacon Line main much for interline transfer because generally the commuters live near a specific branch. It would make more sense if MNCR attempted to raise traffic on the other part of the ex-NH Maybrook Line, that being Danbury to Cedar Hill. There commuter traffic could go toward New Haven as well as passengers desiring to take trains up the Hudson without having to go through New York.

The Poughkeepsie bridge has been a topic of debate as well in considerations for the uses of the Maybrook Line. Many reports show it as falling apart, however, many feel the bridge does not seem irreparable and considering it has been abandoned for over 20 years, it is not in terrible condition. The big questions to answer if the Maybrook Line were to be rebuild over the bridge would be: Who owns the ROW? Who owns the bridge? Most of all, who would pay for both? The economic benefits are there for both MNCR or a freight carrier. For 20 years, the benefits have not outweighed the initial cost. However, passengers west of the Hudson would have a direct line into New York City and freight shippers would have an alternate entry into New England. It would be great to have a train originate in Port Jervis, cross the Poughkeepsie Bridge, and run down the Harlem Line into Grand Central Terminal! Any chance they'd go mainline...via Poughkeepsie bridge? Most unlikely as rails are gone from the east and west sides of bridge (except for short stretch on the east side approach)...and the bridge itself is slowly falling down. Conrail sold it for $1.00 back in the 80's.

Now that MNCR has purchased the Maybrook Line from Danbury to Beacon, what kind of rehabilitation will MNCR need to do to bring the line up to passenger train standards and speed? The line itself is not exactly laid with "light rail", but at the same time it doesn't appear to be ready for passenger trains either. Furthermore, what kind of facilities would be necessary in Beacon and Danbury for the locomotives? Danbury is actually building a railroad museum in the old New Haven yards, so facilities there would probably be limited. If this line is to connect with the ex-NYC Harlem line, would a connection be put in by the North Brewster shops? Other than that, the only place the Maybrook and Harlem lines meet are at Towners.

While we are on the topic of MNCR expansion, has MNCR considered the possibility of extending passenger traffic north of Danbury into Brookfield and New Milford? These places also have a great deal of commuters, who either drive into the city, or drive to Danbury or over to a stop on the Harlem line to take the train into the city.

It will definitely be an interesting sight to see FL9s crossing through such places as Poughquag and Hopewell Junction. In 1959 Alco FA's were the primary power on the route but the huge and powerful Santa Fe's were not that distant a memory.

MNCR's goal is to link their Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines thus saving passengers the need to go into Grand Central Terminal to continue on a journey on MNCR's lines. If this works this would put passenger service back on the Maybrook Line for the first time (excluding excursions) in about 70 years.

This new service will allow a ride from New Haven to Beacon. From Beacon one can ride to Albany. So now consider early morning trains from New Haven to Albany. For freight, restoring the closer Poughkeepsie high bridge would cost a lot but better local car-float service via Staten Island is likely to cost less. New York State once offered to pay for the repair of the Poughkeepsie Bridge after it burned but Penn Central said it would not use the bridge if it was repaired. Hence it was left in its damaged condition. There was a rumor going around that the Providence & Worchester was interested in having the bridge rebuilt and offering service across it.

By Ken Kinlock at
Cedar Hill Yard Driving north from New Haven, Cedar Hill yard cannot be overlooked. Its still used, but not to the extent it was 50 year ago. Imagine, over 9,000 cars handled on one day! Cedar Hill was built between 1910 and 1920. Cedar Hill became in the 1920's the keystone of the whole New Haven Railroad freight operation. It seems to have started out as a more local facility, then grown into that larger role. Or was the idea of making it the center part of the original intention?
Penn Central New Haven Railroad New York Central Railroad
Interested in Penn Central? New York Central? Pennsylvania Railroad? New Haven Railroad? or in the smaller Eastern US railroads? Then you will be interested in "What if the Penn Central Merger Did Not Happen". You will also enjoy "Could George Alpert have saved the New Haven?" as well as "What if the New Haven never merged with Penn Central?"
Postcard view of Maybrook yard dated 1928

Postcard view of Maybrook yard dated 1928

Richard Teed collection

Click HERE or on picture above for more on the Maybrook Yard
These articles were published several years apart. One was published in the CALLBOARD of the Mohawk and Hudson Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
Another was published in the BRIDGE LINE BULLETIN of the Bridge Line Historical Society.
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Old Lyme bridge

See our special section on New Haven Railroad Bridges along the Shore Line
and New Haven Signal Stations

Includes New Haven Railroad history from 1844 to 1967. How the Farmington Canal was converted to a railroad. Naugatuck Line and other abandoned railroads in Connecticut. The Essex Steam Train. Story of the 'Pullmans on a hill'
Niantic bridge

Maybrook Yard Today

Only one track is left - the Norfolk Southern branch from Campbell Hall - and Yellow Freight occupies the former westbound classification yard.

The hump yards become inactive and the New Haven resorted to flat yard switching around 1960. After the humps were shut down, the NHRR had a couple of yard jobs on each trick. They were called the Westbound Pullout and the Eastbound Pullout. The Westbound Hump remained until Penn Central era, but it was NOT used as a humping operation any longer. The eastbound hump was gone altogether.

There is an office building and remains of water tower that is still standing between the former West and Eastbound classification tracks. Back in the late sixties there was a walkin safe in it with "Central New England" in fancy scroll work on the door. There was not much left in the office by 1960 as most of the yard office was in the office part of the roundhouse facility. The roof was taken off the administrative building so the RR wouldn't have to pay taxes on it. Next to it is a concrete water tank foundation which is unusual.

One of the large yard lite posts is still working, now for Yellow Freight as well as the rectangular western part of the roundhouse.

Farther north, west of the westbound hump arrival tracks there was a grounded wooden open platform coach. Right up till PC takeover the switch stands had oil lamps. And they were lit.

There are remnants of the car icing facility with a wooden conveyor system as well as the concrete and brick foundation. The ice house began to decline when more and more mechanical reefers began to show up in the 1960's and stage icing became antiquated. There was also a livestock yard where animals traveling the rails, were allowed to get out and eat and water.

There used to be a small pond in the East Yard that was once used as a water supply for the steamers in the old days. The pond is still there although the pumphouse was removed.
Although Maybrook is history, you can still go three directions at Derby Junction in Connecticut:

1. To Devon and connect with the New Haven main line via a wye to go east to New Haven or west to Bridgeport and beyond.

2. NHRR east but actually north to Waterbury and Hartford. New Britain to Hartford is history but the line to Berlin is still in use and at Berlin, you can go north to Hartford.

3. West to Danbury, Hopewell Junction and Beacon but the line between Hopewell Junction and Maybrook Terminal is history.

Once upon a time, you used to be able to take the New Haven & Derby Railroad.
St. Elmo station in 1936

St. Elmo station in 1936

From the Austin McEntee collection
This station was along the double track Maybrook Line between the Poughkeepsie railroad bridge and the big yard at Maybrook.

The depot still exists today! See more about the connection from Maybrook, over the great bridge at Poughkeepsie, to Cedar Hill Yard and New England.
LCL freight
The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad

See some historic photographs of the New Haven Railroad, Steam along the shore line, electrics through Connecticut, passenger runs into Grand Central, and much more.

George Alpert. Last President of the New Haven Railroad. Talking with Albert Einstein at Brandeis University
Canaan Station

Canaan Station in the 1940's

Lee Beaujon collection

Sadly, the right half of this historic building burned. It was torched by teenagers. They were caught and now there is a restoration program underway.

At Canaan, the Central New England Railway crossed the Housatonic Railroad.

Both became part of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.
NY Ontario & Western Connecticut Freight Railroads

There is no "brrreeeport" in Connecticut, but there are plenty of towns that are served by freight railroads.

Search them out!
Lackawanna logo
milk train

Once upon a time, milk trains were important

New York Central Milk Business
Creamery in South Columbia, New York
There were two basic types of milk trains – the very slow all-stops local that picked up milk cans from rural platforms and delivered them to a local creamery, and those that moved consolidated carloads from these creameries to big city bottling plants. Individual cars sometimes moved on lesser trains. These were dedicated trains of purpose-built cars carrying milk. Early on, all milk was shipped in cans, which lead to specialized "can cars" with larger side doors to facilitate loading and unloading (some roads just used baggage cars). In later years, bulk carriers with glass-lined tanks were used. Speed was the key to preventing spoilage, so milk cars were set up for high speed service, featuring the same types of trucks, brakes, communication & steam lines as found on passenger cars.
Lehigh and Hudson River map

New Jersey's Answer To Tehachapi. Route that the Sealand container trains take from Buffalo to New York. I've got an old stock certificate from the Warwick Valley Rail Road Company which became the Lehigh & Hudson River RR. The L&NE carried both anthracite and cement; but declines in the traffic caused the parent Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company to abandon the still-solvent road in 1960.

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