The Berlin branch is a 2.46 mile long single-track branch with a 1% ruling grade. It meets the Springfield mainline at a wye in Berlin, CT and is freight only during this era. There is a passenger connecting service between Berlin and New Britain stations via bus.

In addition to several industries along the line in New Britain, the major point of interest is the Whiting Street Yard.

There are five grade crossings east of New Britain junction:

  • Church St. (0.20 mile)
  • Chestnut St. (0.27 mile)
  • Park St. (0.35 mile)
  • Whiting St. (0.60 mile)
  • Ellis St. (0.63 mile)

Whiting Street Yard

The Whiting Street Yard is located between Whiting Street and Ellis Street. Although not a large yard in terms of total capacity, the layout of the tracks takes up considerable space.
The double-ended yard consists of three major sections, a nine-track yard with an additional two tracks for runarounds; the NYNH&HRR Freight Depot with three adjacent tracks, and 6 team tracks.
The New Haven Railroad Freight Depot is 270' long and built in two sections. The older 9 loading bay section is of wood construction. The northern section is of brick cronstruction and consists of 8 unloading bays.
The team tracks are arranged in two pairs of tracks, plus two additional single tracks.
While New Britain Yard was also used to store Circus and Carnival trains, there are more pictures of these trains being stored at Whiting Street Yard while in town.

Yard Tracks - from west to east

  • 573'
  • 658'
  • 853'
  • 1049'
  • 1302'
  • 1212'
  • 1221'
  • 1213'
  • 1227'

Freight Depot Tracks - from west to east 

  • 845'
  • 775'
  • 715'
Team Tracks - from west to east
  • ??? - approx. 1000' with two unloading platforms
  • 962'
  • 747'
  • 548'
  • 608'
  • 535' - with 15 ton hand-operated pillar crane

The Layout at a Glance

Operationally, the Berlin branch is an important element due to the New Haven Freight House at the Whiting Street Yard. All LCL traffic was handled at the freight house, and the closing time was noted on timetables to allow time to delivery to ANE-1 and later one of the Holyoke freights for connection to the Speed Witch fast freight.

Early plans allowed for a second deck for this branch. However, the amount of time spent in the helix was essentially the same as the prototypical distance between New Britain junction and the Whiting Street Yard. So the industries would be in hidden track, and the yard itself is large enough to be difficult to model without access from both sides.

Instead, the Berlin branch is represented by a small yard for operating purposes. From New Britain junction the line descends immediately into hidden trackage to a small yard in the entry hall to the basement. There is also a connection to the helix for the Holyoke freights.

I designed the yard to allow some limited switching funcitonality with tracks representing the New Haven Freight House, two team tracks, and a storage track. I am also prepared to use it as a fiddle yard to represent additional traffic to the Berlin branch industries if needed.

I believe the Holyoke freights actually dropped off and picked up cars directly at Whiting Street Yard. But the timetables all specify New Britain Yard which is where they will stop on my layout for operational interest.