Train-Related Places or Things in Connecticut

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Train-Related Places or Things in Connecticut

Two train-related places in Connecticut to visit that children would enjoy are the Stamford Model Rail Road Club's Annual Open House and Pizza Works, which is housed in a replica train station. The history of trains in Connecticut begins in 1838, when the 20-mile Hartford & New Haven line was completed and opened.

Train-Related Places in Connecticut to Visit

Stamford Model Rail Road Club Annual Open House

Pizza Works

History of Trains in Connecticut

Origins

  • The railroad came to Connecticut in 1838 upon the completion of the Hartford & New Haven line that ran for about 20 miles between Meriden and New Haven.
  • Originally, the line was supposed to open in 1833, but due to budget shortfalls, the completion was delayed by five years.
  • Eventually, in 1872, the Hartford & New Haven line merged with the New York & New Haven line to form the "now classic New York, New Haven & Hartford system."
  • There were other railroads in Connecticut, but the New Haven is the best known and had nearly a monopoly in the area.

The Central Vermont Railway

  • The Central Vermont Railway opened in 1849 after being chartered in 1845 to connect Burlington, Vermont with Windsor, Connecticut.
  • In 1898, amid bankruptcies, the Central Vermont Railway was taken over by the Grand Trunk Railway, which would eventually become part of the Canadian National Railway in 1923.
  • The railroad's main line between New London and Stafford was 49.7 miles long.

Connecticut's Rail System

Terrain

  • Initially, trains were built along Connecticut's north-south river valleys because they were well-traveled, had flat grades, and few stream crossings.
  • Eventually, construction of the state's railroads continued along its east-west routes, but these were harder to build because they had to pass over numerous hills.
  • As a result, the east-west railroad lines took longer to build because they were often constructed in smaller sections.

The General Railroad Commission

  • In 1853, the Connecticut General Assembly established the General Railroad Commission, whose responsibility it was to "monitor the operations of all railroads in the state."
  • A primary goal of this commission was to reduce the number of train accidents in Connecticut.
  • The General Railroad Commission was also "charged with approving the locations of new lines and certifying them as safe to open; inspecting all the railroads periodically; investigating accidents that involved personal injury; holding hearings in response to petitions and complaints; researching newer safety technologies; and, reporting back to the legislature."
  • Eventually, in 1911, when the need came to expand the commission's duties beyond train safety, it was renamed the Public Utilities Commission.
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