Hartford and New Haven Railroad
The Hartford and New Haven Railroad (H&NH) was an important direct predecessor of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Its railroad commenced service in 1844 and ended independent operations in 1872. The main line from New Haven, Connecticut to Springfield, Massachusetts remains in Amtrak service.
The Hartford and New Haven Railroad of Connecticut was chartered in 1833 to build a railroad between Hartford and New Haven. The grandfather of J. P. Morgan was an original investor, laying the foundation for the long association between Morgan and the railroads of New England. It commenced full operation in 1839, with half of the line opening the prior year. The Hartford and Springfield Railroad was incorporated April 5, 1839. It built the Massachusetts portion of the Hartford-Springfield route, which opened in 1844. In 1847, it was united with the Hartford and New Haven Railroad.
The H&NH was consolidated into the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad in 1872.
The steamship lines of Long Island Sound had the capability of offering all-water service to Hartford via the Connecticut River. The New Haven and Northampton Company had the right to build from New Haven to Springfield on an old canal and completed construction from New Haven to Plainville, Connecticut. In cooperation with the New York and New Haven Railroad it would have been able to offer all-rail service parallel to the H&NH. It was this threat that led to 18 years of controversy and litigation, culminating in the consolidation of the two lines in 1872. For some years, the resulting line was known as "the Consolidated".
The original focus of the line was to provide a link between the interior cities of the Connecticut River valley, especially Hartford and Springfield with New York through connections to steamship service on Long Island Sound to New York City. From Springfield it offered connections toward Albany, Worcester, and Boston. In addition to the New Haven-Springfield route it also served Berlin, New Britain, and Middletown, Connecticut.
- Weller, John L. The New Haven Railroad: Its Rise and Fall. New York: Hastings House, 1969 p. 37
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