Maybrook Freights

Heavy Freights on the Highland

DER-2a/b/a nos. 0408/0454/0409 with 113 car AO-3 at Tuttle and Bailey near Corbin Ave., New Britain.  Kent Cochrane, November 11, 1947.

Maybrook (including the nearby Campbell Hall) was a major interchange for the New Haven and New England. With direct interchange with the ERIE, Lehigh & Hudson River, and Ontario & Western, plus indirect connections B&O, DL&W, CNJ, RDG, and WM (via L&H) and DL&W, and LV (via O&W), the New Haven could bring freight to New England on an all-rail route over the Poughkeepsie Bridge. At its peak, there were two daily freights in each direction between Maybrook and Hartford via the Highland. Aside from being a more direct route, the main advantage was to reduce congestion on the Shoreline by routing freight that didn't need to go through Cedar Hill.

In 1947 this was reduced to a single pair of trains and eliminated altogether in 1949. However, due to an increase in freight traffic during the Korean War, they were reinstated from 1951 to 1953 before they were annulled permanently.

In 1945 the NO/ON (Maybrook-Cedar Hill) and BO/OB (Maybrook-Boston) freights would be hauled by DER-1 (Alco DL-109) locomotives for testing, a pair of which was 4,000 hp. In addition to being able to eliminate helpers on the run, the diesels were found to be capable of maintaining the fast schedules held by the R-class mountain 4-8-2 locomotives. But speed wasn't a requirement for the Highland Line, and the L-1 2-10-2 Santa Fe class of locomotives still dominated this Maybrook-Hartford run. 

The DER-1 tests were successful, and the New Haven was already rapidly dieselizing post-WWII. In 1947 the DER-2 (Alco FA-1/FB-1) locomotives in 4,500 hp A/B/A sets were delivered, dieselizing the Maybrook line entirely. 

Kent Cochrane and Tom McNamara

Kent Cochrane and Tom McNamara, both New Britain natives, documented the New Haven extensively in photos in the late '40s. Tom upgraded to a Kodak Tourist camera in 1947 and purchased a second-hand Kodak Retina 35 mm color camera in 1952. But Kent was using a Speed Graphic large format camera by 1946. Kent passed away in 1967 and left his photo, slide, and 16 mm film collection to Tom. As a result, Kent and Tom's photographs were merged into a single collection.

The large format black & white photos would have been taken by Kent. He took a great number of photos from 1946-1948, and the majority of the photos on this site are Kent's. He definitely focused on capturing the last few years of steam on the New Haven; there are far fewer pictures of the new diesels. 

Of course, when I settled on modeling New Britain, I had no idea that there was such a trove of fantastic photos taken at this time. What follows is a series of photos taken by Kent from 1946-7 capturing the L-1 class 2-10-2 locomotives (known across North America as the "Santa Fe" class) hauling Maybrook freights on the Highland.

AO-3 at Newington

L-1 no. 3228 with AO-3 at Newington Jct.

L-1 3206 with AO-3 at Wethersfield Rd, Newington.

AO-3 at New Britain

L-1 2-10-2 Santa Fe no. 3228 with AO-3 crossing Main St, New Britain. March 1947.

L-1 3223 with 3332 helper (out of frame) with 116-car AO-3. August 1946.

L-1 3332 or 3336 with an R-1-b on AO-3 at Tuttle & Bailey, New Britain.

L-1 3208 entering Plainville.

OA-3 at Terryville Tunnel

L-1 3203 at west portal of Terryville tunnel

L-1 3209 with AO-3 at west portal of Terryville tunnel.

These are west of Plainville, probably west of Terryville Tunnel.

L-1 3208 with AO-3 on the Highland

L-1 3208 with AO-3 on the Highland

AO-3 (September 1946)

Leaves Hartford 12.30 pm (does not stop in New Britain)

Blocks entering New Britain:

Service Objective: None. Train should be annulled whenever volume permits.

AO-3 (September 1951)

Leave Hartford 12.05 pm (does not stop in New Britain)

Blocks entering New Britain

Connects at Maybrook to:

Provides advertised service from Hartford, Waterbury and Poughkeepsie for LCL and Forwarder Traffic for Chicago (and via) or St. Louis (and via) routed Erie to destination or Erie connection at Marion, Ohio or beyond. LCL and Forwarder Traffic routed L&HR-DL&W Buffalo and beyond.

AO-5 (September 1946)

Arrives in New Britain 8.25 pm; leaves 8.40 pm.

Classifications entering New Britain:

Classifications Leaving New Britain:

*Picks up to Berkshire classification at New Britain, Waterbury, and Ansonia for B&A RR via State Line to points west.

This is an interesting move. Car Routing Rules indicate that for cars with direct connections, they should be routed to the nearest interchange. The B&A has connections to the New Haven at Springfield and Westfield, both closer to New Britain than routing to State Line.

Connects at Maybrook to

Provides advertised service from Hartford, Waterbury and intermediate points to Maybrook and State Line connections. Should not be annulled without permission except on Sunday and holiday nights.

Picks up loads only at Ansonia. C.T.D. at Hartford should determine available loads at Ansonia to avoid excessive empty fill from Hartford and Waterbury.

This is also interesting - only empties are picked up at New Britain.

OA-4 (September 1946)

Passes through New Britain by 7.30 am (does not stop)

Classification entering New Britain

Connects at Maybrook from:

To avoid pursher from Waterbury, Hartford block should be reduced at that point and overflow held for OA-6 or EA-2 if practicable.

Provides advertised service from Maybrook to Harlem River, Waterbury, Hartford, Springfield, Willimantic and Franklin.

(OA-4  April 1948)

Now dropping cars at Plainville and New Britain.

Arrive in New Britain 12.40 am, leave 1.00 am.

Blocks entering New Britain:

Connects at Maybrook from:

Hartford Block includes Springfield cars ready after OB-4 departs.

OA-6  April 1946

Arrives New Britain 12.55 am, leaves 1.10 am

Blocks entering New Britain:

Connects at Maybrook from:

Hartford Block includes Springfield cars ready after 1/OB-4 departure.

Provides advertised service from Maybrook to Waterbury and Hartford. Should not be annulled without permission except on Saturdays and days preceeding holidays.