Our next stop
was in Willimantic, CT. at the,
Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
is situated on the original site of the New
York, New Haven & Hartford's Columbia
Junction, where the NYNH &H's Air Line
and Midland Route and Central Vermont's
Railroad's Southern Division all met. Hours
of Operation: Saturdays and Sundays from May
through October, 10:00am - 4:00pm.
The six stall Columbia Junction Roundhouse
along with a 1892 Boston Bridge Works 60'
Chris about to enter the roundhouse with
docent and our guide, Jean.
Baldwin steam engine 0-4-0T 10.
Dual trucks on the Trackmobile.
View of undercarriage and axles over pit.
1892 60' Armstrong Turntable.
Central Vermont S-1
The unique Gallows Signal that once governed
movements of both Central Vermont and New
Haven trains near Bridge Street has been
reconstructed from historical plans and
photos. Also the Niantic River Bridge tender
shack next to Gallows Signal.
Pfizer SW 8 2.
The original Chaplin Station, built around
1872, was moved to the museum in 1991 and is
Chaplin Crossing Shanty.
Engineer's stand in cab of NH 2023.
Fireman's seat in NH 2023.
View out of fireman's window.
After exploring the museum grounds, Chris and
I were offered a ride in their switcher.
We will travel on the museum trackage
approximately 1.25 mile of the original Air
Engineer's stand and operation gauges.
Railway Express Station.
End of line. New England Central Railroad
tracks at upper left. We then proceeded back
to the museum.
Freight traffic on New England Central
c. 1900 Groton Freight House.
now time to leave the Connecticut Eastern
Railroad Museum. We thanked the staff for
their hospitality and making our visit
informative and enjoyable.
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Leaving Willimantic we drove to our next
stop in Essex, CT. We were really
short of time trying to get to Essex for
the 11:00 AM Train. Chris decided we
would have to cut off some of the
distance. So when we left Willimantic,
we took CT Highway 66 west then took CT
149 south to CT Highway 82 then CT 9
south to Essex. We parked with ten
minutes left before train time. Luckily,
Chris found the conductor who had our
tickets in hand and we boarded the last
coach on the train, with five minutes to
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat.
The Valley Railroad History
Railroad is a heritage railroad based in
Connecticut on tracks of the Connecticut
Valley Railroad originally founded in 1868.
It is best known for operating the Essex
Steam Train and the Essex Clipper Dinner
Essex Steam Train
Railroad Company operates the Essex Steam
Train & Riverboat. This excursion starts
with a 12 mile ride aboard the historic
Essex Steam Train from the Essex Station
with scenic views of the Connecticut River
up to Chester. The train reverses direction
back to the Deep River Station/Landing.
Passengers who have purchase the riverboat
tickets can board the Becky Thatcher at this
station. The Thatcher will bring you on a
1.25 hour trip on the Connecticut River up
to the East Haddam Swing Bridge and back to
Deep River Landing. The train then pickups
passengers to bring them back to Essex
Depot. The whole trip takes about 3.5 hours.
The historic 1892 Essex Station.
captains' houses still line Main Street in
Essex, as they did during the height of the
town's shipbuilding prosperity in 1815.
Among the historic buildings are Hill's
Academy, one of the earliest educational
facilities in this part of the state, and
Pratt House, built by one of Essex's early
settlers. America's first warship, the Oliver
Cromwell, was built in Essex during
the Revolutionary War.
My ticket for 11:00am trip. Due to time
constraints we would not be able to take the
Riverboat ride portion today.
Connecticut Valley Coach 601.
Our train prepared and ready to depart on
time at 11:00 am.
Ads inside our coach car.
News boy with an Extra hot off the press.
Deep River Marina.
Deep River Marina on the Connecticut River.
Sitting in the last car gives you a great view
of where you came from.
Overlooking the Connecticut River was the
estate of William Gillette, noted actor and
playwright renowned for his portrayal of
Sherlock Holmes. The focal point of the
184-acre estate is the 24-room,
8,500-square-foot mansion, which sits upon a
rock formation know as the "Seventh Sister."
to look like a medieval ruin, the field
stone castle was built 1914-19.
Intricate woodwork in the interior includes
47 hand-carved doors, each with a different
carved latch. Woodland trails on the grounds
cross the stone bridges and trestles of
Gillette's narrow gauge railroad
at the Hadlyme flag stop, where you'll ride
the Chester-Hadlyme Ferry, Selden III,
across the Connecticut River. Explore nature
up close on a 3/8-mile hike to Gillette
Thatcher, a triple deck
Mississippi-style riverboat boards at Deep
River Landing for a 1 1/4-hour cruise along
the Connecticut River- bursting with lush
scenery and historic sights, as Gillette
Castle and the Goodspeed Opera House. Upon Becky's
return to Deep River Landing, the steam
train welcomes you for the return trip back
At Deep River the train's power is switch for
the return to Essex.
Engine 3025 begins its run around form the
head to the end of the train.
The engine will run backwards pulling us into
The smoking, fire breathing one-eye monster is
I see you too.
Valley RR 0900.
Valley RR 0901.
Pennsylvania RR 477449 FVRR - Friends of
the Valley Rail Road.
Loco 3025 back on the front of the train and
ready for its 12:30 pm trip.
Loco 3025 leaving station. Click Back button
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Coming in July, the The Valley Railroad
Circus Train & Big Top Show.
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A caboose under wraps.
would like to thank the Essex Steam Train
for having us today. It was a great trip and
we had a fantastic time here visiting it. We
took CN 9 south to Interstate 95 to East New
Haven and our next stop of this trip.
Shore Line Trolley Museum
Shore Line Trolley Museum is off I-95 exit
51 northbound or exit 52 southbound. The
museum contains a large collection of
antique U.S. and Canadian streetcars,
inter-urban and rapid transit cars. A scenic
3-mile ride aboard an antique trolley car is
included with admission.
We will be riding 850 today.
Approaching the car barns.
We are located adjacent the shore of Long
Branford salt marshes.
trolley stop we were able to get off and
walk around the barns and shops looking at
the equipment and exploring the cars.
New Jersey trailer 4584
car is just what its name implies – a car
which is coupled and towed along,
trailing behind a powered streetcar.
This was a cost-effective way to
double capacity during peak rush times.
Trailer cars were popular in the 1910s
and 1920s before the ridership crash of the
Great Depression. From 1936-2004, this
carbody was used as the office of a local
iron works in Union, NJ, a form of adaptive
reuse which saved many trolley cars from
destruction. The car is now being stabilized
complete with reinstalled windows, a
repaired roof, reinstalled trucks, and new
paint job. Built in: 1921 by
Montreal Tramways work snow plow 3152 built
Georgia Power Co in Atlanta 948 built 1926.
ConnCo of New Haven 865 built 1906.
Montreal Tramways 2001 built 1929.
ConnCo of New Haven CT 775 built 1905.
Third Avenue Railroad of New York City 220
Inside Third Ave RR Co. Car 220.
In Bound Car Stop.
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We boarded the waiting car 850 which carried
us back to the starting point at the museum.
From here we drove to our next stop and a new
This building sans walls on some floors
fascinated and captivated me.
leaving the Shore Line Trolley Museum, we
were to ride the new Metro-North New Canaan
line. But we we were soon aware of the
weather turning for the worst. Blue skies
turning dark with major threat of a
downpour. So we made a plan B and went with
that. The original plan was to ride the new
branch line from New Canaan to Stamford and
back since Chris needed this segment to help
complete his riding all of Metro-North
trackage. Afterwards we would go to our
motel in Waterbury then tomorrow ride from
Waterbury to Bridgeport and pick up the last
leg of Chris' needed trackage to complete
all of the Metro-North system. Now, after
checking schedules and times for weekend
travel and the stars aligning to make it
work, we had a Plan B. We would drive to
Waterbury and take the train to Stamford,
transfer to the New Canaan line and then
back to Waterbury. This would complete all
segments at once. It would all be new
trackage for me and also provide the
opportunity to ride part of the Northwest
corridor segment of Metro-North's Grand
Central Terminal to New Haven. This would be
my second time on riding Metro-North. The
first was from Wassiac to Grand Central
Terminal on 6/12/15.
Our train will arrive from this direction.
Our train 6949 from Waterbury to Devon
A forsaken station.
Our train will go from Waterbury to Devon
Bridge, the final phase of a $5.8 million
priority-repair project gets underway to
maintain safe operation of the structure
until it can replaced. A new, temporary
transfer point (Devon Transfer) has been
built where the branch and the main line
meet, with a walkway connecting two four-car
Our train left Waterbury
on time at 4:10pm and I was able to purchase
my ticket from the conductor with a credit
card as there was no ticket machines at the
station. My off peak senior ticket from
Waterbury to New Canaan was $3.50 one way.
Devon Transfer Point.
We arrive at 4:58 and board the 6549 at 5:02
Metro-North train # 6549 on approach.
Inside the new cars. Very nice.
arrived at Stamford at 5:55 and quickly ran
to our New Canaan train for a 5:58
departure, arriving in New Canaan at 6:15.
There we purchased the return ticket to
Waterbury. Our returning train left at 6:28
with arrival at Stamford at 6:45.
Stamford Station with our New Canaan train
train #6554 to Waterbury was not due for an
hour at 7:52, we found a Subway shop on the
lower level and then brought our subs up to
the main waiting room of the station and ate
them while people watching.
eating we went out to the platforms looking
for a dry spot to watch the trains. We
didn't see any Acela Express trains as they
are as rare as hen's teeth on Saturdays.
we boarded train # 6554 arriving at Devon
Transfer Point at 8:47. It was raining as we
crossed over the walkway to train # 6954
which was waiting for us. We departed 8:52
and arrived in Waterbury 9:39. From there it
was a rainy drive to our motel in Waterbury.
Our plan B worked well as we traveled and
covered a lot of Metro-North's New Haven