- Railroad History Explorations -

Tracing Remnants of the NY&NE Railroad

North of Newtown, CT

While in the area exploring the Hawleyville Tunnels I made the most of my time and scouted out other vestiges of abandoned railroads nearby. Half overgrown ROWs and decades-old bridge abutments lured me in the vicinity and—despite the overcast weather—a few photos at select locations were taken.

About the NY&NE

It operated from 1873 to 1893, After bankruptcy in 1893, it was briefly reorganized but by 1898, the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad took over the line. In the early 1900s the NYNH&H upgraded the line but competition from the automobile and trucks led to its abandonment in 1939.

The section of the NY&NE that ran from Hawleyville to Waterbury was abandoned in favor of roads running to the south of it, and according to historians, it was dismantled in 1948 (although it may have been as early as 1943).


New York and New England Railroad (NY&NE) was a major railroad connecting southern New York State with Hartford, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Boston Massachusetts. It was envisioned as a direct route between New York City and Boston and built to bypass the shoreline route of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NYNH&H). The ROW traversed through mountains, valleys, and numerous rivers and its curves and steep grades were both expensive and controversial to build.


The NY&NE was a fierce competitor to the NYNH&H, whom at the time, held a virtual near-monopoly of Connecticut rail traffic. Once the Poughkeepsie Bridge was built, through it's connectons at Hopewell Junction, the connecting line (known as the Maybrook line) would become part of the NY&NE's mainline from Poughkeepsie, NY and Boston but the NY&NE ’s more difficult-to-maintain ROW lead to its eventual downfall and abandonment.

The map below indicates the section I explored. Much of the ROW further east is now Rails Trails. (the Larkin Trail, etc.)

Photo Trek - Dec 6th, 2014

The map below indicates where the photos were shot.
NY& & NE ROW - ITO Historic Railways Map

Pomperaug River Railroad Bridge

My first stop was the bridge abutments at Pomperaug River. I knew from Bing exactly where to look. Even on a crappy overcast day it was impressive and I imagine—on a nice sunny day—this spot on the river is quite picturesque.

Housatonic River Railroad Bridge - Southbury CT

Googe Street View > | Bing Bird's Eye View >

Next I headed up River Road and crawled around and photographed the Housatonic River crossing abutments. The last photo in the series is the ROW looking back eastward.

Housatonic River Railroad Bridge1

Housatonic River Railroad Bridge2 Housatonic River Railroad Bridge3 Housatonic River Railroad Bridge4 Housatonic River Railroad Bridge5

Following the ROW (Up Walnut Hill Road and Cc, etc.)

I continued the trek, crossing the Housatonic River and referred to the ITO map to sniff out the ROW wherever possible.

Hidden from view on aerial maps, I was surprised to see the ROW so easily. The ROW stays high as it turns north and parallels Walnut Hill Road and can be seen behind the houses, up the hill...

There's a gas line where the ROW crosses Walnut Hill Road

An isolated abutment can be seen at Echo Valley Road next to Cavanaugh Pond.
A small kiosk resides behind it. The detailed map is from that kiosk (color details added).
Strangely, it would appear the orginal embankment has been carted away (rollover last photo in series)...
Cavanaugh Pond Abutment

Cavanaugh Pond Kiosk Sign

Cavanaugh Pond Embankment

At this point in my trek, I drove north to photograph the Shepaug ROW...

Further Info