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Mogul 2-6-0

Dad had photos of the 460, a Mogul that worked out of State Line, when he worked on the Berkshire. A long time ago I bought a brass B&M Mogul, because there were no models of the New Haven ones. Is this close to being made into a New Haven model? If not what has to be done to it? Is there a New Haven Mogul available now?

New England Rail Service imported the K-1-b and K-1-d Moguls back in the mid-80's. *Beautiful* models, well worth the time and effort to locate. The Caboose in Wolcott gets them in from time to time. Happy hunting,

George, if you mean the Pacific Fast Mail B&M brass Mogul, it's pretty close to the New Haven K class if you replace the tender trucks with the correct ones. I have one too

Thanks Tom! I do believe it's a PFM. Where do I get the tender trucks? I was more of a train collector than a modeler and haven't kept up with the latest stuff that's out there.

Gee, I don't know what the correct tender trucks are, let alone where to get them in HO. We need a response from somebody who's an authority on trucks!

For eqivalent quality suitable for a brass import model, consider these-- Click on "Trucks", then "HO/HOn3 Scale", then "HO Steam Trucks", and scroll to bottom for No. 31542 -- 66" wheelbase. Railworks also offers similar brass arch-bars as used on their NH cabooses.

A collision between freight trains on the Housatonic road occurred at the Iron Ledge, between Trumbull Church and North Bridgeport, at 4:10 o'clock yesterday morning. The employees of the road are very reticent about the affair and it is impossible to get full particulars of the accident, but the following are substantially correct. The train known as the Wilson Point freight has been running from Bridgeport since the recent fire at Wilson Point. Yesterday morning it left Bridgeport on time and was running at the rate of 25 miles per hour, when rounding the curve at the Iron Ledge it met the so called Night Freight, which was running late and running rapidly to make up time. In a instant both engines and many cars were demolished. William Look of Pittsfield, engineer of the Wilson Point freight, and Charles Olds, of West Stockbridge, head brakeman of the same train, were instantly killed. M. K. Beldon fireman of the same train, leaped from the engine just as the crash came. He alighted on one foot and one hand, but escaped injury, save a severe jarring. James McDermott, engineer of the Night Freight escaped unhurt, but his fireman John Lamont of West Stockbridge, was quite badly injured. The other brakeman on each trains were more or less injured, but none of them seriously. At this writing it is impossible to locate the blame for the accident, but it is rumored that the Night Freight had orders to wait at Stepney for the Wilson Point freight. The track was not cleared until afternoon and all trains on the line were delayed. It is also rumored that the operator at Stepney was directed to stop the Night Freight , but neglected to display the signals, and that the Wilson Point freight was running on orders. Be that as it may, it would not seem that the train dispatcher would give the Wilson Point freight the right of way to Stepney until he received a reply from the conductor and engineer of the Night Freight that they had understood they were to wait at Stepney for the Wilson Point freight. (Connecticut Western News June 5 1889)

Collision at Iron Ledge

For those of you that have the book (Connecticut Railroads) by Gregg M Turner & M W Jacobus. There is a photo of this crash on page 55. I have two other views of it.

Re: West Stockbridge Iron Mine

Thanks to the aerial photo site, one can now see where this branch went off just North/West of Baker Street. The tracks were removed prior to 1915 and the landscape has changed since the Mass Turnpike went through this area in the late 50's. The tracks went up to the pond ( this was the Iron Mine ) next to State Line Road. I have heard that when the mine was working, that they struck water and the pit filled in rapidly, the machinery is still there, as the men left in a hurry. It was a good fishing spot, but scary as kids as we were told the pond only had a small shore, then dropped off into the pit.

West Stockbridge (WQ)

Station hours in the 40's was 6am to 3pm Mon-Sat. Station was closed on Sunday. Telegraph call letter WQ.

Coal Trestle Rising Paper Mill

The coal trestle was washed out in Jan 1949, account floods from a very bad rain storm. There were hopper cars on it at the time and one was lost in the muck below, they never removed it. It was a wooden pile trestle.

State Line Branch Psgr Service

The Railway and Steam Navagation Guide in December 1870. Housatonic Railway November 1, 1870. D. Leavitt President, Great Barrington, Mass. H. W. Franklin Superintendent, Bridgeport, Conn. Passenger trains leave West Stockbridge at 7:50am, arrive State Line 8:05am. leave State Line 8:10am, West Stockbridge 8:20am, arrive Van Deusenville 8:40am. Northbound leave Van Deusenville 2:14pm, West Stockbridge 2:34pm, arrive State Line 2:39pm, leave State Line 2:45pm, arrive West Stockbridge 3:00pm. On the morning train, it took 15 min's up to State Line and 10 min's back to West Stockbridge? The afternoon train took 5 min's up to State Line and 15 min's back to West Stockbridge? Wonder if they shoved the train up or was the engine backwards to save time turning the engine? The train was kept at West Stockbridge where the roundhouse was, Van Deusenville and State Line only had a turntable. The morning train's arrival at Van Duesenville had no good connection for Pittsfield, but the train for Bridgeport left at 10:08am, a 1 hour and 28 min wait for the passengers. The crew had over 5 hours to turn the engine, I wonder what else they did? The northbound connecting train was 2:14pm, they must have (crossed platform) with both trains leaving at the same time, the line was double track to Dalys, where the branch went off to Williamsville, Rockdale Mills, West Stockbridge and State Line. Wonder if there were some early races between the two trains as they proceeded north from Van Deusenville? The President of the Road must have liked the Berkshires?

State Line Branch

Last passenger train 1928, Last Steam Powered EI-2 freight train, Sunday Jan 4, 1948, engine 3209 an L-1 class. Last freight train IR-1 May 7, 1959, RS-3's, Last local NX-12 March 9, 1964, 1 RS-3. Interchange closed July 1, 1959, State Line-West Stockbridge abandoned 1961, track removed fall 1961? West stockbridge-Rising abandoned April 6, 1964, track removed June-Sept 1964.

State Line Branch (crossing watchman)

Before electric crossing protection, Bill Arnold was the crossing watchman on the branch at North Plain Road. This is the first crossing north of Van Deusenville (Rising). There must have been one at Rt 41 Rockdale and Rt 41 just north of West Stockbridge station? I have Bill's NYNH&H rule book. Anybody have a list of these on the branch?

Head On Collision

In 1911 a southbound train from State Line with engine 490 a K-1-a 2-6-0 with engineer Warren Stanley met head on with a northbound train with another K-1-a with engineer George (Silver) Smith in Great Barrington, The cornfield meet was just north of the Rt 41 underpass? The locomotive's whistle cords were tied down to let the steam escape from the boilers.

Stone Border Marker

At State Line there is large stone engraved marker that says MASS. This is the site of the old State Line House, built purposely straddling the line between New York and Mass. It functioned as an Inn, but the bar was placed on rollers to move between states during liquor licensing disputes. This was also a popular spot for a quick matrimonial ceremonies, requiring officiating from one state for the benefit of the couple from the other. Sometimes witnesses were snatched from the station platform. Engineers resurveying the boundry determined that an error was made in the original benchmark, and relocated it 20 feet to the west. His lucrative business threatened, the proprietor of the State Line House reputedly removed and buried the offending marker. Then it was found, exhumed, and replaced, touching off a tit for tat resulting in a much larger boundry marker and an extension on the State Line House so that it once again straddled the line. Unfortunately time and the Volstead Act were unkind to the old Inn and it closed in 1924. This marker has been moved slightly from where it was in the 50's. My grandparents both from Mass. ran off one night in the late 1800's and got married in New York state.

Berkshire Rail Road

Berkshire Railroad was incorporated in Massachusetts on April 13, 1837, and opened in 1842 as a leased line of the Housatonic Railroad between West Stockbridge and Sheffield. At that time it formed part of the fastest route between Albany and New York, using sound steamers and rail to Bridgeport. Its lease was assumed by the New Haven Railroad on April 1, 1893. In July, 1905, the Berkshire absorbed the Stockbridge & Pittsfield and the West Stockbridge Railroad, although all three were practically part of the New Haven at the time. Later it was merged with the New Haven RR.

The other end of the Line

Van Deusenville. This tiny hamlet once supported two textile mills, a rope factory, an iron ore blast furnace, a chair manufacturer, a wagon maker, a post office, a tavern (now I know where the crew from West Stockbridge spent some of their layover time) a church, three stores, and a sizable train station. In fact by the 1840's the prosperous village was competing with Great Barrington to open the first bank. (Barrington won.) The train depot was torn down in the 1940's? (must have been late 40's, as I was born in 1945 and seem to remember this station), my father's uncle Henry E. Fuller, tore it down. The station was across from the Trinity Episcopal Church, site of the 1969 movie Alice's Restaurant.

State Line Branch

And don't forget to mention, George, that that church was purchased by Arlo Guthrie a few years back and now functions as the headquarters of the Guthrie Center. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the "railroad tracks" mentioned in the song Alice's Restaurant the current ROW of the Housatonic RR?

Alice's Restaurant

Yes! You can get almost anything you want just about half a mile down from the Railroad Track, At Alice's Restaurant!


There was a bell? at Tanglewood that they rang when the shows are to begin? I was told it was from a NYNH&H engine. Can anybody verify this?

Re: The bell

It was on the end of the building that faced the main road. I remember looking at it. I don't remember how it sounded. I was told this was a locomotive bell by Peter Mclachlan.

The bell

Having heard that bell many times and having never seen it I can only say it sounded to me more like a church bell than a locomotive bell

The Housatonic RR today stores covered hoppers for a customer on the remaining portion of the branch which runs from the Berk main to Van Deusenville Rd. At least a small portion exists and is used.

The first rail taken out.

In 1964 when the first piece of rail was taken out on the branch, it was very close to the swtich for Home Gas. Later on it was put back in and a piece was removed several yards north, so Home Gas tank cars could be stored there.

An early President of the HRR 1850's

Railroad tycoon, David Leavitt was a Banker and President of the Housatonic Rail Road. He resided at the magnificent Brookside Estate in Great Barrington, Mass. Around 1855 Leavitt built a hugh barn into a hillside. It had three levels, plus a brook running through the building that powered saw and gristmills. The barn burned to the ground in 1885. Brookside was landscaped by Italian architects and a multitude of assistants, who created gorgeous gardens with statues of gods, goddesses, and children were showcased among marble pillars and an astounding array of exotic paintings. Ornate walls and fancy gates featured the faces of gargoyals, monks, and supposedly, the stone masons who worked on the property. In the 1890's? Leavitt sold Brookside to William Stanley, an electrical engineering genius.

The mansion

George, your post reminded me that the history of Great Barrington, Stockbridge, and Lenox is loaded with stories like this one. A number of wealthy people, mostly New Yorkers, built magnificent "summer cottages" in that area. Brookside, which you're talking about, is one of them. A surprisingly large number of them survive today, some as luxury country inns, others as private schools, a couple of historic sites you can visit, and so on.

For those interested in this subject there is a really excellent book The Berkshire Cottages - A Vanishing Era, by Carole Owens. This was written about 23 years ago and I was amazed to learn recently that it is still in print.