This 1920's postcard view shows the third (and final) New Britain Station with the unique Railroad Arcade facing New Britain Yard.

New Britain Station

The Passenger station is located between Main Street and Elm Street. It is the the center of the block, and the center of the layout, located about 3/4 of a mile from both East Main Street and Curtis Street. From this point I've separated the layout and this site to The Highland Line east and west, although these are my own designations.
In addition to passenger service, it also housed the Railway Express Agency. There is a great series of pictures on the American Memory page of the Library of Congress showing women working for the Railway Express Agency at the station in June, 1943. A few of the pictures show a little of the surrounding area, including rebuilding of the canopy over the rear doors. Search for 'New Britain Railway Express'.
Passenger service to Berlin was replaced by buses from New Britain Station in 1935. The Station was torn down in 1956 as part of New Britain's 'urban renewal'. Passenger service continued until 1960.

New Britain Yard

New Britain Yard is situated right in front of the station between Main and Elm Streets and bordered on the north by Commercial Street. The Yard Limits extend in both directions on the Highland line almost to Jerome Street to the west and Allen Street to the east, both of which are past the extent of the layout.
Side tracks are numbered on the valuation maps that I have, yard tracks are not.

Yard Tracks - from south to north

  • #7 - 862'
  • #9 - 878'
  • #11 - 687'
  • #13 - 1585' (includes Swift and Armour)
  • #17 - 1024'
  • #15 - 1115'
In addition, there is a short side track (6B on the Berlin Line) just east of the Station that is part of the Stanley Tool & Level Company and receives tank cars.

Railroad Arcade

The new station completed in early 1887 included the unique Railroad Arcade extending from the station toward, although not directly adjacent, to Main Street. The station platform canopy extended the entire length of the Arcade until about 1937. The back of the buildings on Main Street face the side of the Arcade.
The original design called for retail businesses at street level and apartments on the second floor. By the era modeled, the apartments were all listed as vacant.
On the layout the Station and Arcade are just off of the front edge. I plan to build a model in the future that will attach to the front of the layout to allow me to replicate the many photos taken that look down the Arcade.

In the Town Directories, the Railroad Arcade is listed as a street. There are 16 addresses for the main Arcade building, with #5 the entrance for the second floor apartments.

I've compiled the the tenant listing starting in 1948, with any changes noted for each year through 1954. If a street number is not listed in the directory I assumed that one of the adjacent stores occupied two spaces. There is no #13, it is noted as #12a.

Paul's Beauty Shop is listed with no street number and occupies the back half of one of the Main Street buildings, and continues eastward with #1.


-Paul's Beauty Shop (no street number)
1. L.P. Suzio Tavern
2. vacant store
3. A.A. Goldberg Cigars
4. A.H. Enoch, Jeweler
5. Stairs to second floor
6. vacant store
7. M. Zucker Furniture
8. not listed; presumably part of M. Zucker Furniture
9. not listed; presumably part of M. Zucker Furniture
10. H.F. Graham Hugh Associates adv (I have not determined what "adv" stands for)
11. not listed; Presumably part of Arcade Billiard Parlor
12. Arcade Billiard Parlor
12a. Leslie Albert Inc., Shirt Manufacturers
14. Jartman Heating & Cooling Company
15. L. Croll, Plumber
16. not listed; Presumably part of L. Croll, Plumber


2. Baran & Co. Electrical Contractors
12a. M.P. French Signs 


1. Arcade Restaurant 


3. vacant store
6. Dolores' Dance Studios
7. Flomar Inc. Clothing
8. Stifel-Kufta Display & Machine Company
9. The House of Plastics
12a. not listed 


3. Machine, Tool & Design Company
7. Salvation Army Clothing
10. not listed; Presumably part of The House of Plastics
14. vacant store 


2. vacant store
3. Spano Printing
14. Moore H L Drug Exchange 


2. Fashionette Inc, Clothing

Layout at a Glance

This section of the layout is most prototypical and the closest to scale. If I were to model from the Station to Main Street to scale it would be about 7' 9" long. On the layout it is about 6' long.

New Britain Yard

Modeled Capacity:
Track #7: 6 cars
Track #9: 7 cars
Track #11: 4 cars
Track #13: 2 cars
Track #15: 7 cars
Track #17: 7 cars
The rules indicate that the main track on the right when facing west in double-track territory is identified as Track #1. The next track to the right is Track #3, then Track #5, and so on. I'm assuming this numbering is based on the town (that is, there is a Track #3 in Hartford, and another one in New Britain).
One track is numbered on the valuation map (Track #13, for Armour and Swift), the others are not, but the numbering scheme works as expected because the next track beyond the yard is the Landers, Frary & Clark track, which is Track #19.

The only track I've eliminated is Track #11, due to space constraints. By the 1955 aerial photo most of track #13 had been removed, connecting where there used to be a crossover to Track #11.

Instead, I've renumbered the first portion of Track #13 as Track #11, and the Swift and Armour portion of the track as Track #13.

While this did eliminate the only runaround in the yard, it is apparent through operations testing that it was unnecessary, a point made evident by the elimination of it by the railroad.


Armour & Company

Norwood Clothes, Armour and Swift meat packing distribution centers circa 1962.
21 Commercial Street
Track(s): #13
Modeled Capacity: 1 car
Inbound: Meat (sides of beef, etc.)
Outbound: None
This is a local distribution center for Armour and only receives inbound shipments.

Landers, Frary & Clark

Commercial Street
Track(s): #19, 23, 25, 27
Modeled Capacity: 6 cars
Inbound: ?
Outbound: ? 
The Landers, Frary & Clark company is located across Commercial Street. It's a large factory with several tracks inside the complex. I don't have room to model the complex and its tracks prototypically, but thanks to my buddy John Grosner I did put a track inside the building. Due to the mainline curving the opposite direction, the lead is also longer than on the prototype and we can use that track for spotting cars if needed. 

Norwood Clothes

317 Main Street
Norwood Clothes is located at the end of the yard on Main Street, and adjacent to the Armour company. It does not receive rail service. I've seen pictures of it painted a dark color with light colored lettering, or a light color with dark lettering as seen in the picture in the Armour distributor above.

Swift & Company

29 Commercial Street
Track(s): #13
Modeled Capacity: 1 car
Inbound: Meat (sides of beef, etc.)
Outbound: None
This is a local distribution center like Armour and is located next door. At the end of the building is a huge red Swift sign, that ended up partially obscured by billboards. The sign above the loading dock says, "Swifts" and has three additional lines of text. I've seen the same exact sign in a photograph of another location. But I can't remember where, and haven't been able to find it again. If anybody has a picture or knows where one can be found, please let me know.