In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall
In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall
In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall
In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall
In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall

In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall

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In The Shore Lines Shadow Six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad Cornwall
 
In The Shore Line's Shadow The six lives of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad by L Peter Cornwall
Hard Cover with dust jacket
Copyright  1987.      Reflections from the lights on some photos
132 pages.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS v
FOREWORD    vii
ABOUT THE AUTHOR viii
INTRODUCTION  ix
CHAPTER I-TRAILS AND TURNPIKES: 1680-1830  1
CHAPTER II-A NEW WAY TO GO: 1830-1864  5
CHAPTER III-THE LOCKWOODS IN CHARGE: 1864-1872  25
CHAPTER IV-YEARS OF GROWTH: 1872-1886 39
CHAPTER V-THE HOUSATONIC SYSTEM: 1886-1892 53
CHAPTER VI-MONOPOLY: 1892-1929 69
CHAPTER VII-HARD TIMES AND CHANGE: 1929-1987  89
D&N HIGHLIGHTS 100
BIBLIOGRAPHY  123
APPENDIX
Appendix A: D&N HAPPENINGS-A Chronology Of Key Events in D&N History  124
Appendix B: DANBURY & NORWALK LOCOMOTIVES 127

The history of the rail line connecting Danbury and Norwalk in Connecticut is unique in a number of respects. To begin with, it was the first rail project chartered to build in Fairfield County-well before the shoreline route from New York to New Haven. In fact, it was chartered so early that, unlike other railroads of those first decades, its promoters planned to have its "trains" drawn by horses. That concept soon changed, but by the middle of the 19th century the company did become the first operator of horse cars in Fairfield County, successfully running them on a single track intermingled with its steam trains. The line's primary branch, running from Branchville up to Ridgefield's center, appears to have had the steepest grade on the entire New Haven System - a punishing 400-foot rise in just under four miles that required working steam all the way up and using the brakes all the way down. No bankruptcy marred the corporate life of the Danbury & Norwalk Railroad for it was a money-maker from the outset and paid good dividends in nearly every year of its independent life. That, indeed, was a unique record among small railroads of the 19th century since many had an alarming tendency to go broke not long after completion, often sooner.
In 1886 the line began a new existence as a division of the Housatonic Railroad. Soon thereafter it briefly formed a link in a noteworthy route between Boston and Brooklyn for overnight sleeper trains and fast day expresses ferried between Wilson's Point and Oyster Bay, Long Island, aboard a specially equipped steamer. Imagine boarding in Wilton and climbing out of your berth at a station along Boston's Summer Street or riding a parlor car from Brooklyn home to Ridgefield!
After a few short, frenetic years, the line was swallowed by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, known locally as the "Consolidated" and more recently simply as the New Haven. It then settled into a supporting role for the next half century as part of that main artery of southern New England commerce. During that period it became the New Haven's last electrification project, sharing for over 35 years the Shore Line's heavy electric locomotives which moved the Pittsfield and Housatonic expresses between New York and Danbury. By the 1960's, with the arrival of harder times and the custom-built FL-9 diesel locomotives, the line was de-energized and is still operated with these diesels some of which have been modified to handle Connecticut's first "push-pull" trains.
With the demise of the New Haven in 1968, Connecticut's rail lines became part of the Penn Central, an unwieldy giant company neither interested in nor financially capable of returning them to profitability. Then came Conrail which absorbed the Penn Central and more only to be followed in 1983 by Metro North Commuter Railroad, the line's sixth (and present) operator since track was laid in 1851. The Danbury Line of today may well have more potential in the movement of Fairfield County's commuters and travellers than ever before, and is a thoroughly alive piece of railroad. It's story is unique among early American short lines for unlike so many, it continues to have a future.

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