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Railroad
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Willimantic's First Railroad Depot
Note that this first depot sits between sets of tracks. Several people were badly hurt over the years and one passenger from Coventry was killed after being caught between trains. This led to the new ststion being built. The RR roundhouse can also be seen in this sketch.
 
Willimantic's First RR Depot

Willimantic’s first railroad station. It was built around 1850 and was used by at least two of the railroads serving the city at various times. However, because it was located between several sets of tracks, it posed a danger to passengers who had to cross the tracks to get to the depot. It was replaced by a new station in 1885.

Union Railroad DepotWillimantic's Union Railroad Depot, pictured here in 1898, was built in 1882. It replaced the original 1849 station built by the New London and Northern Railroad. Note the water container, the New England RR car, the gas light and the Hooker Hotel cab waiting to take passengers to Willimantic's finest hostelry. The Union Station was demolished in 1955
 Union Station, Willimantic, pictured in 1910. Willimantic was also widely known as the central rail hub of New England. All trains passed through here! During the 1890s, Willimantic became the only stop on the famed New England Air Line express between New York City and Boston -- a journey undertaken in just over four hours. Rudyard Kipling mentioned Willimantic in a poem. He often passed through the city en route from New York to Boston. This poem has been set to music by former CT State Troubador, Sally Rogers on her CD, "Songs of the Heritage Corridor."
 Willimantic Railroad DepotThe Willimantic Railroad Depot building was also known as the Union station. It appears here in H. W. Rich's 1894 photograph. It was demolished shortly after the flood of 1955.
 Willimantic Depot 1929This beautiful photo of the Willimantic Station is from the TylerCityStation collection. The building with carts in front of it has a sign that says, "Baggage". Much more RR history can be found at www.tylercitystation.info . ( Photo used with permission of TylerCityStation Collection).


  
 
Willimantic DepotThis depot was actually the second depot built at Willimantic. The first was between the tracks and became quite unsafe.






 
 
Photo courtesy of Jamie Eves


1955
 

 
 

 

   
 
 
 

 

       
   
 
1909 
 
1910 
   
 

 

 

 
NY NH & H RR  Train #45

 


 




 

 







 

 
 
NY&NE  #122 
September, 1894

 
CVRR Yard - Willimantic


 













 


















 
 

 

 

 
Footbridge   
     



   
Bridge Street crossing
 Bridge Street CrossingThis photo was taken in 1955 by photographer Charles Palmer, whose parents are in the shot, wearing coats. They are on the concrete island that "replaced" the station. The gallows signal is visible. Much more RR history can be found at www.tylercitystation.info . (Charles Palmer photo, Bob LaMay Collection - Photo used with permission of TylerCityStation Collection).




 

 













 

 



 

 



 

 




 


 

 

 




   




 
Photos courtesy of Joe DeFranco


 

Photos courtesy of Joe DeFranco







 
Photos courtesy of Joe DeFranco



Photos courtesy of Joe DeFranco
       
   

NY&NE RR Engine 58




   








Hartford bound New Haven P.S.&R train roars through Andover. Andover Library is in background.





 
Bolton Notch






 






 




       
Railroad Stations

North Windham

North Windham


Bolton

Amston
 
Camp Meeting Station
Camp Meeting Station was a stop for both trolleys and trains.

Camp Meeting Station

Lebanon

South Windham


Lebanon






Chestnut Hill
name was changed from "Liberty Hill" in 1884

 
Chestnut Hill


Scotland

















 


Hop River 
   



Locomotives "Thames" and "montville met head-on in South Windham in 1891. Disregard of train orders and schedule was the cause.


On April 1, 1976, after almost 90 years of leasing its trackage to other railroads, the Providence and Worcester Railroad resumed its own freight operations in Willimantic and the eastern Connecticut region. That day was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting, a champagne christening, and (for some) an open-air locomotive ride through town. Today the P&W operates as part of the Genesee & Wyoming short line holding company which has headquarters in Darien CT. Engine #2004 is a model M-420R(W) built by the Montreal Locomotive Works and continues to operate today for the short line Thunder Rail in Saskatchewan with its original roster number and paint scheme (except for the railroad’s name).
Photos and caption courtesy of Joe DeFranco

 



 

 


 



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