Posts

The Melrose Trolley Trestle

Image
 As I was building my map of the Connecticut Central Railroad for our last blog, I stumbled upon an abandoned right of way that was too interesting to not share! More accurately, a trestle of the Hartford and Springfield Street Railway that once ran over the former Melrose Station on the Connecticut Central Line. ( Present-day satellite view ) The interurban line ran from Windsor Locks, CT to Rockville, CT along what is mostly present day CT-140 and CT-83.  Melrose Trolley Trestle in the foreground with the Melrose Station in the background. University of Connecticut Archives. The bridge is described as follows by Cecil Donahue in East Windsor, " The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad tracks running through Melrose hindered a trolley line to Rockville. A 500-foot-long trestle, known as a "roller coaster” trestle, was installed to span the tracks, and on May 20, 1906, the Rockville line was open. Although the trestle was of lightweight construction, built by the Be

The Original Connecticut Central Railroad (1871)

Image
In 1871, at nearly the apex of the railroad boom created out of competition, a group of investors sought to challenge the success of the  Hartford and New Haven Railroad  between the fledgling cities of Hartford, CT and Springfield, MA, by building their own railway on the opposite site of the Connecticut River between the two cities.  The group would call the line the "Connecticut Central Railroad", and would attempt to secure financing and construction for the road in spite of the challenges to the company's existence brought forth by the New York New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Nonetheless, the company was able to secure funding for the line, and begin construction in 1874, opening two years later in 1876. For the Massachusetts segment of the line, the company secured the earlier, still unbuilt, right of way of the  Springfield & Longmeadow Railroad , which would be re-chartered as the Springfield and New London Railroad to meet the Connecticut Central at the stat

Model Railroads and Freight Cars

Image
Hello again after a bit of a break! Recently, I received an email from a Boy Scout named Noah Miller who was interested in model railroading, and asked if I could link to an article on the subject that he had found especially useful. I decided to do one better and ask for permission to reproduce the article on my site! I've since received approval from the author and the result is below! For anyone who has frequented the site for as long as it's been online, you'll know I've done very little in the way of model railroading, as I find my time learning our history and building maps much more fulfilling, but that isn't to say that there isn't a huge community devoted to the subject that I would be foolish to ignore. Furthermore, upon reading the article, I learned about the Scottsdale Railroad Park , who has a small-gauge railway in operation in addition to a museum devoted to the railroad history of the area. Fun fact: Members of the McCormick Family, very activ

Why is a short road in Will County named the Chicago-Bloomington Trail?

Image
There's a mystery I've been wanting to solve each time I venture down Cedar Rd in central Will County. A slightly-over one mile stretch of road extends from Cedar Road to Hadley Road in unincorporated Will County, near the similarly named settlement of the same name . Were it not named the Chicago Bloomington Trail, it wouldn't bear much though, but given how it's quite far from Chicago, and very far from Bloomington, IL, the nearest Bloomington that comes to mind, one has to wonder if it is a surviving relic that was once part of a much longer road/trail? Chicago-Bloomington Rd at Meader Rd. ( Google Maps Street View ) The answer, like with many roads in the US, is yes, or more accurately, perhaps . It has its origins in old Indian trails , but was plowed as a singular route between Chicago and Bloomington in 1831-34 by new settlers looking  to connect their claims on bodies of water and provide easy access to trade amongst themselves and within the two cities. The or

The Tennessee Alabama & Georgia Railway

Image
The Tennessee Alabama & Georgia Railway, often simplified as the TAG Route, which also was its reporting mark, was a short line railroad running from Chattanooga, TN southwest to Gadsden, AL for a distance of roughly 90 miles. Tennessee Alabama & Georgia 602 Steam Engine The railroad began operations in 1891 under the name of the Chattanooga Southern Railway, nicknamed the Pigeon Mountain Route, as it followed the area of Pigeon Mountain, which was the basis for its freight haul - namely coal, timber and iron. 1893 Timetable. Image: HawkinsRails An 1892 map shows that the ultimate plan of the road was to extend southwesterly from Gadsden to Birmingham, but this never came to fruition for the company - although the two cities were already connected by rail via Attalla, AL. "Map showing the proposed Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia Railroad connecting and extending the Chattanooga Southern Railway, Marietta and North Georgia Railway, Knoxville, Cumberland Gap and Louisville

Another LiDAR Find: The Oklahoma & Arkansas Railway

Image
The Oklahoma and Arkansas Railway was a short line railway roughly twenty miles in length, running from Salina, OK eastward to a point referred to as Day, OK. Despite its name, it operated exclusively in the state of Oklahoma in both Mayes and Delaware County.  Construction began in 1921, with the line wholly owned by the  National Hardwood Company  in pursuit of timber interests. Neither Salina Junction (or Kenwood Junction), nor Day, Oklahoma exist on maps anymore, and for us to find the line, it took numerous resources to find the track of the railway. The line is among the more obscure lines, and it only ran between 1921-1926 between the aforementioned points. Having such a short life meant that the remaining track of the line was invisible on satellite imagery, which can also be attributed to the terrain of the area. It also meant that it managed to avoid being on USGS Topo Maps, since it was too late to be included on the 1904 Siloam Springs Quad, and had been long abandoned by t

L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway: A Short Lived Short Railway

Image
Guest blogger Alain Bernier returns to discuss some of Quebec's abandoned railways. If you'd be interested in doing a guest blog yourself, feel free to reach out, we always appreciate those willing to help add relevant content to our site! With that said, here's Bernier's post about the short line L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway. L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway: A short lived short railway 1886-1903 © Alain Bernier, 2021  The L’Epiphanie & L’Assomption Railway (also known as the L’Assomption Railway Company) was a very short 3.33-mile (i) line connecting the villages of L’Assomption and L’Épiphanie, both located  some 30 miles from Montréal in the Lanaudière region of the province of Quebec, Canada. It was as short lived as it was short and its history is closely linked to the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and  Occidental Railway (QMO&OR).  Photo 1 : The steam locomotive and the passenger carriage at the terminus in L’Assomption (Source: Fonds de la vi