The New Haven Line

THE NEW HAVEN LINE BEGAN AS THE NEW YORK & NEW HAVEN RAILROAD in the early 1800s. In 1872, the NY&NH was merged with the Hartford and New Haven Railroad to form the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. The New Haven Line is unique because it operates with two types of electric delivery systems. From Grand Central to Pelham, New York, the trains operate on the New York Central style of 700v DC third-rail with shoes that slide beneath the rail. From Pelham to New Haven, the trains switch to overhead wire that supplies 13,000v AC. The New Haven Line is the only Metro-North line with branches. These include the New Cannan, Danbury, and Waterbury branches.

...Amtrak trains enter the New Haven Line just east of Pelham at New Rochelle, New York where the Hell Gate Line joins Metro-North. There are connections with Amtrak on the New Haven Line at New Rochelle, Stamford, Bridgeport and New Haven. Providence & Worcester and CSX freights service the New Haven area. The Housatonic Railroad connects at Danbury, bringing freight to Pittsfield, Mass. The Boston & Maine interchanges at Devon and Waterbury.

  In New Haven, you can transfer to an Amtrak train to Hartford, Springfield and Vermont, or go east to New London, Providence and Boston. You can also connect to a Shoreline East train for local stops east of New Haven.

...For many years, the New Haven generated its own 25 cycle, 11,000 volt electric power at Cos Cob, Connecticut. Power was also purchased from Con Edison in New York. There were constant problems with the power. This contributed to the decision by New Haven Railroad President Patrick McGuiness to purchase the FL9 dual mode locomotive that is able to operate on both third rail and diesel power. Although McGuiness recommended the purchase, he was off the railroad board by the time the engines arrived. Many people felt that it was ridiculous to operate diesel locomotives on tracks served by overhead catenary. You can no longer ride to South Norwalk from Danbury with the power of an FL9 locomotive, as Metro-North has retired all the FL9s. The shuttle trains are now powered by Brookville BL20GH engines. All through trains to Grand Central have Genesis power.

The New Haven Line carries more passengers than any other line on Metro-North, with over 90,000 customers per day (as of January 2007).

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Last updated November 10, 2010