About the New Canaan Branch Line

To understand what an important role the railroad plays in this community, it is useful to know how the railroad developed in New Canaan and its influence on land developments and institutions that are so cherished by its residents today. Much of the ambiance of the area is due to the presence of the train.

The First Train

Choosing a date of historic significance, on July 4, 1868 the railroad's incorporators ran the first train from Stamford to New Canaan. The very prospect of the railroad to New Canaan caused an increase in real estate values and New Canaan along with its neighboring towns, became a summer haven for the families of New York businessmen--the area's first commuters. Eventually, many of the summer visitors settled year-round, commuting to their jobs in New York City.

The tradition continues until today as many of New York City's wealthy residents (everyone from business executives to TV celebrities) have discovered this quiet, peaceful area and built magnificent homes. The area has flourished due in no small part to the New Canaan Branch providing convenient access to New York. Though much of the much of the rest of America is plagued by increasing traffic and commuter congestion, New Canaan and it environs are blessed by the peace and tranquility a commuter railroad provides.

Although today, New Canaan still draws weekend and summer visitors from New York City, Metro-North service in New Canaan is primarily used by New York City bound commuters.

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