New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Small Format Photograph and Postcard Collection
1991.0133

Summary Information

Repository
Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries
Creator
Unknown.
Title
New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Small Format Photograph and Postcard Collection
ID
1991.0133
Date
ca. 1870s-1960s
Extent
0.5 Linear feet
Language of Materials
English
Abstract
For almost one hundred years the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, better known as the New Haven Railroad, was the primary means of passenger and freight transportation in Southern New England. Chartered in 1872, this merger between the New York & New Haven and Hartford & New Haven railroads later included the long desired rail link between Boston and New York.

Preferred Citation

[Item description, #:#], New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Small Format Photograph And Postcard Collection.  Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center,  University of Connecticut Libraries.

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History

For almost one hundred years the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, better known as the  New Haven Railroad, was the primary means of passenger and freight transportation in southern  New England. Chartered in 1872, this merger between the New York & New Haven and Hartford & New Haven railroads later included the long desired rail link between Boston and  New York. Approximately one hundred small independent railroads were built in southern  New England between 1826 and the 1880s. By 1904, the majority were absorbed into the vast New Haven system. At its peak in 1929, the  New Haven Railroad owned and operated 2,131 miles of track throughout eastern  New York,  Connecticut,  Massachusetts, and  Rhode Island.

The local railroad lines that eventually became part of the New Haven system developed in response to local business and transportation needs. Unlike the Western states, where railroads preceded and shaped settlement, in the Northeast they served primarily to link existing towns, businesses, and markets. The New Haven system thus developed as a result of numerous consolidations and mergers. The New Haven traced its founding to 1826, when one of its predecessor companies originated, but the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad was not chartered until 1872. The company followed the pattern of consolidation established by the  Pennsylvania Railroad and other companies, particularly after 1889, when major lines in  Connecticut,  Rhode Island, and southern  Massachusetts provided a strong network linking  New York and Boston. By 1890, company revenue exceeded $100,000,000 per year, and the New Haven employed 4,000 people to serve twelve million passengers annually.

This success led a wealthy group of New York investors, headed by  J. P. Morgan, to seek and gain control of the New Haven's board. In 1903, Morgan installed  Charles Mellen as president of the railroad. Together Morgan and Mellen set out to achieve a complete monopoly of transportation in  New England. Substantial improvements to the system were made during the Mellen years, including electrification of rail lines between  Woodlawn, New York, and  New Haven, Connecticut, and construction of a power generating plant in  Cos Cob, Connecticut. These accomplishments, however, were overshadowed by Morgan's ambitious schemes to dominate all modes of transportation in  New England. Steamboat lines, trolley companies, and other railroad lines were purchased regardless of price and incorporated into the New Haven system.

An investigation of the New Haven's activities by Louis Brandeis in 1907 revealed the overextended railroad was on the verge of financial collapse. Morgan's death in 1913 and Mellen's subsequent resignation brought to a close a stormy period in the New Haven's history.

During the First World War, all of the railroads in the United States, including the  New Haven Railroad, were operated by the federal government. After the war, under  Edward Pearson, President through 1928, the railroad was able to recover partially, despite increasing competition from automobiles, by sharing in the national economic growth of the 1920s. The company tried to meet this transportation competition by forming the  New England Transportation Company, which operated a fleet of trucks and buses. Recovery of the New Haven, however, was cut short by the Depression of the 1930s, and in 1935 the New Haven plunged into bankruptcy. The company remained in trusteeship until 1947, when it returned to private ownership.

A series of struggles for control of the company in the post World War II period severely weakened the management of the company and its ability to adapt to changes in the transportation industry. The completion of the Connecticut Turnpike and other superhighways and the start of air shuttle service between Boston and New York intensified competition. The company's historic liability as a railroad overburdened with many short, costly branch lines further accelerated its decline.

On 7 July 1961, the New Haven Railroad once again went into receivership. A seven year trusteeship period followed, culminating in the absorption of the New Haven in the Penn Central system on 1 January 1969. Three years later the Penn Central itself collapsed into bankruptcy. The former components of the  New Haven Railroad were divided among several entities. Freight service was assumed by Conrail when it was formed in 1976, although the Providence & Worcester also provided freight service on portions of the former New Haven, as did a few other operators. Passenger commuter service was funded by the  New York Metropolitan Transit Authority and the  Connecticut Department of Transportation. Long-haul passenger service was provided by  Amtrak beginning in 1971. After 1976 passenger commuter service was operated by  Conrail. In 1982, the United States Congress passed legislation that forced  Conrail to divest itself of its commuter rail lines. On 1 January 1983,  Metro-North Commuter Railroad, under joint ownership of the states of  New York and  Connecticut, took over all commuter passenger service.  Amtrak continued to handle all long-haul passenger service.

The history of the New Haven Railroad reveals a company formed by one of the classic merger and consolidation patterns of the late 19th century, which was later unable to respond effectively to major changes in the transportation industry. The company's rapid growth, collapse, temporary recovery, and final dissolution offer a dramatic story, with government regulation, internal management decisions, and market competition playing important roles in the company's history.

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Scope and Content

The NY, NH & H Railroad Small format Photographs/Postcards Collection is a portion of the  New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad archives. This collection is distinguished from the New Haven Railroad Photograph Collection by virtue of the fact that the prints in the Photographs collection are 8 × 10′ in size and prints in the Small Format collection do not exceed a measurement of 5.5 × 3.5′. This display has led to the practical necessity of housing the two collections in different size boxes.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries January 1998

University of Connecticut Libraries
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs, Connecticut, 06269-1205
860.486.2524
archives@uconn.edu

Access

The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to Archives & Special Collections with the larger New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Records.

Location of Copies or Alternate Formats

Digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to the railroads of southern New England, particularly the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.

Genre(s)

  • Photographs
  • Postcards

Geographic Name(s)

  • New England

Subject(s)

  • Locomotives
  • Railroads

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Collection, ca. 1870s-1960s 

Envelope 1-Cars & Trains 

Car, Meriden, Waterbury & Connecticut River Railroad Combination 10 

Car, NH Baggage 5317 

Car, NH Baggage 5578 

Car, NH Parlor 2156 

Car, NH Passenger 1798 

Car, NH Passenger 1263 (2 prints) 

Car, NH Passenger 1263, “At Franklin” 

Car, NH Passenger 1476 

Car, NH Passenger 1530 

Car, NH Passenger 1823 

Car, NH Passenger 7804 

Car, NH Passenger 8100 

Car, NH Passenger, 1476 and 1479 

Train, “Sp.-NY. #65 at Meriden, Conn.”, September 26, 1925 

Train, N&W Centennial Extra, Locomotive NH 1407, Norwich, CT, May 12, 1940 

Train, NH “East Wind”, Putnam, CT, July 19, 1953 

Train wreck, P&E Locomotives 1, “Russel Sage”, and 7. (Postcard) 

Envelope 2-Locomotives-Not New Haven 

Gas car, Central New England Railroad 9023 on train 906, Winsted, CT 

Locomotive, Central New England Railway 126, Hartford, CT 

Locomotive, Central New England Railway 14, Simsbury, Ct, 1904 

Locomotive, Central New England Railway 1585, Train 909, Winsted, CT, Spring, 1927 

Locomotive, Central New England Railway 37, Hartford, CT 

Locomotive, Connecticut & Passumpsic Railroad 27, “Montreal”, late 1872 

Locomotive, Connecticut & Passumpsic Railroad,: W.K. Blodgett”, late 1800's 

Locomotive, Hanover Branch Railroad, “Spark”, circa 1870's (post Card) 

Locomotive, Hartford and New Haven Railroad 26, “Taurus”. 1867 

Locomotive, Old Colony 243, at Mansfield, MA, 1893 (Postcard) 

Envelope 3-Locomotives-New Haven 

Locomotive, NH 016, New Haven, CT, 1928 

Locomotive, NH 0353 & 0316, New Haven, CT, 1935 

Locomotive, NH 0365, New Haven, CT, July, 1949 

Locomotive, NH 0700 & 0728, Putnam, CT, May 20, 1956 

Locomotive, NH 0738, “Built 1944” 

Locomotive, NH 1280, 1932 

Locomotive, NH 1352, At New London, CT 

Locomotive, NH 1390 

Locomotive, NH 1500 

Envelope 3-Locomotives-New Haven 

Locomotive, NH1503, 1930 

Locomotive, NH 1538 

Locomotive, NH 1589 As Rebuilt, June, 1936 (#1) 

Locomotive, NH 1589 As Rebuilt, June, 1936 (#2) 

Locomotive, NH 1918, “Formerly 806” (Post Card) 

Locomotive, NH 2316 

Locomotive, NH 3007 

Locomotive, NH 3016, Putnam, CT, July 19, 1953 (#1) 

Locomotive, NH 3016, Putnam, CT, July 19, 1953 (#2) 

Locomotive, NH 202, New Haven, CT, May, 1950 

Locomotive, NH 304, New Haven CT, about 1950 

Locomotive, NH 307, 1930 

Locomotive, NH 3106, Waterbury, CT, 1935 

Locomotive, NH 3203 

Locomotive, NH 340 

Locomotive, NH 340, “Old Numbering” 

Locomotive, NH 341, “Built 1923” 

Locomotive, NH 3555 

Locomotive, NH 416 

Locomotive, NH 416 and 3210 

Locomotive, NH 470 

Locomotive, NH 502, Morris, CT, 1904 

Locomotive, NH 9, New Haven, CT, July, 1949 

Envelope 4-Stations 

General note

Note: Stations are assumed to be New Haven Railroad unless otherwise indicated

Station, Berlin-New Britain, CT, September, 1967 

Station, Bethel, CT, 1966 

Station, Branchville, CT, May, 1965 

Station, Bridgeport, CT, “Old Bridgeport Station Torn Down 1904” 

Station, Brookfield, CT, 1932 

Station, Cannondale, CT, October, 1965 

Station, Canton, CT (Central New England Railroad) 

Station, Chaplin “in Paul Revere Gordon's Yard, 1965” 

Station, Cos Cob, CT 

Station, Crecent Beach and Black Point, CT, June 23, 1929 

Station, Danbury, CT “and Diesel 2050”, 1963 

Station, East Derby, CT, “Built 1848, Torn Down 1903” (Postcard) 

Station, Georgetown, CT 

Station, Grant's, CT, 1928 (Central New England Railway) 

Station, Greenwich, CT, about 1870 (Postcard) 

Station, Greenwich, CT, Eastbound Station, November 20, 1928 

Station, Greenwich, CT, November 20, 1928 

Envelope 4-Stations 

Station, Lawrence's, CT, 1928 (Central New England Railway) 

Station, Meriden, CT, November, 1968 

Station, New Canaan, CT, 1940 

Station, New Canaan, CT, September, 1967 

Station, New Haven, “Old”...Station-1876-1918” 

Station, New Haven, CT, “Old Station” (Postcard) 

Station, New Haven, CT, circa 1851 (Postcard) 

Station, New London, CT, “Locos 3107 and 1317”, March 22, 1936 

Station, Putnam, CT, “The Old Depot” (Postcard) 

Station, Rockland, 1905, (Postcard) 

Station, Ramford, CT, “Shepaug or Shepaug Valley RR” (Postcard) 

Station, Springdale, CT, April, 1966 

Station, Stamford, CT, “old Depot” (postcard) 

Station, Stamford, CT, 1894 

Station, Stamford, CT, with “TR. 175 Electric Engine”, May 27, 1950 

Station, Stonington, CT 

Station, Talcotville, CT, June 24, 1928 

Station, Thomaston, CT, June 24, 1928 

Station, Thompsonville, CT, September, 1967 

Station, Wallingford, CT, 1949 

Station, Waterbury, CT, September 21, 1963 

Station, West Willington, CT, October, 1973 

Station, Wilton, CT, “From Under Bridge” 

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