Whiting St. Yard

J-1 class 2-8-2 mikado (No, 3019?) at south end of Whiting St. Yard on Holyoke freight. Date and photographer unknown.

Taken from Ellis St. overpass. Note caboose at the end of the long cut of cars on Track no. 1.

Note the PRR X24 box car with horizontal sheathing and Youngstown doors.

Whiting Street Yard

This yard is located between Whiting Street and Ellis Street. It was a decent size yard with a capacity of around 178 cars. The double-ended yard consists of three major sections which, by 1947, included an eight-track yard with an additional two tracks for runarounds; plus three house tracks, and 6 bulk tracks. This was down from 12 yard tracks in 1915.

If you look closely at the photo at the top of the page, and the valuation maps below, all twelve yard tracks are still in place in the photo. The four tracks to the right of the locomotive were the ones removed. But the bulk track lead has already been moved too, that's the track curving off to the left. The 1951 aerial photo shows they have been removed by then.

Track numbering usually remained consistent when tracks were removed. For example, in New Britain Yard, when part of track no. 13 and all of no. 15 and 17 were removed, the first track in Landers, Frary, and Clark would still be no. 19. In practice, crews usually had names for tracks, typically related to the commodity or industry. Track 13 in New Britain may have been the "Swift track," or "reefer track."

Yard Tracks - from west to east

    • No. 10 - 1227' (25 cars)

    • No. 12 - 1213' (25 cars)

    • No. 14 - 1221' (25 cars)

    • No. 16 - 1212' (25 cars)

    • No. 18 - 1302' (27 cars)

    • No. 20 - 1049' (21 cars)

    • No. 22 - 853' (17 cars)

    • No. 24 - 655' (13 cars)

Aside from the yard tracks is a connecting track/runaround and track scale

    • No. 26 - Runaround

    • No. 28 - Runaround

    • No. 30 - 573' - Track Scale

House Tracks and Bulk Tracks

The freight house and bulk tracks are adjacent to the yard.


The Holyoke freights dropped off and picked up cars at Whiting St., and once the Maybrook freights were annulled this is the primary place where cuts were dropped off and picked up.

Track Scale

There was a 42' 100-ton track scale for weighing cars. This could be cars loaded on the bulk tracks, but I suspect a lot of the cars that may have been weighed were hoppers full of stone from Cook's Quarry in Plainville.

Fairchild Aerial Survey 1934

1951 Aerial Survey

1915 Valuation map

Note that the bulk tracks are accessed via a lead from the house tracks. Also note the "old roundhouse" which indicates there was probably a turntable here at one point. Access to the bulk tracks was changed at some point to connect to the yard lead at Ellis St. I don't have a year, but it was prior to the 1934 Fairchild Aerial Survey.

Valuation map updated through 1952.

This was the arrangement in my era to the end of the New Haven in 1968.

t-2-a No. 2327 switching at south end of Whiting St. Yard. Photographer and date unknown

The photo at the top of the page and this one are from the same afternoon. You can see a plume of steam from 2327 behind the cut that 3019(?) is moving in the first photo. The cut on track no. 1 is YN-3, heading back to Cedar Hill. The photos have the look of early Kent Cochrane photos, and I have some dated ones from 1940. That's my best guess at the date. Can we confirm or narrow that down?

  • The Reading box car was built in 1930.

  • The PRR X31-class double-door car (first car in the cut on the Landers' track) was built between 1934 and 1935.

  • Some of the PRR X23 and X24 classes of cars received replacement horizontal sheathing in "the late '30s."

  • We can't read a road number on the Cambria & Indiana (C&I) hopper just above the tender, but it does look like it has a four-digit road number, instead of three. That would be the 4400-4699 series built 1936-1937, getting closer. There's an Erie hopper in the sea of PRR ones too, but it could have been built between 1934 and 1941 since we can't see the details.

  • T-2-a No. 2327 was retired in 1945.

That narrows the potential window from 1936-1945. I'm not sure I'll be able to find out when Landers, Frary and Clark was building/repairing that smoke stack, but that would help too.