New York and New Haven Railroad
|New York and New Haven Railroad|
|Locale||New York, New York-New Haven, Connecticut|
|Dates of operation||1849–1872|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)|
The New York and New Haven Railroad (NY&NH) was a railroad connecting New York City to New Haven, Connecticut along the shore of Long Island Sound. It opened in 1849, and in 1872 it merged with the Hartford and New Haven Railroad to form the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. The line is now the Metro-North Railroad New Haven Line and part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
In the early days of railroads, building a line along the north shore of the Long Island Sound was considered difficult due to the many rivers that fed into it. Thus, the first all-rail New York City-Boston lines ran north via the predecessors to the New York Central and the Boston and Albany Railroad). Other routes involved combined water and rail routes, some going east via the Long Island Rail Road, other departing the East River waterfront of New York for ports in Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts. However, railroad technology soon improved, and the New York and New Haven Railroad was chartered June 20, 1844 to build such a line from New York to New Haven, where it would connect to the Hartford and New Haven Railroad, which itself connected to the future Boston and Albany Railroad at Springfield.
The NY&NH was organized May 19, 1846, and construction began September 1847; the line opened January 1849. A March 17, 1848 agreement gave the NY&NH trackage rights over the New York and Harlem Railroad from Williamsbridge (now part of the Bronx) south into New York City (along the line that now ends at Grand Central Terminal).
On July 11, 1848, the recently opened New Haven and Northampton Company, running north from New Haven to Plainville (known as the "Canal Line"), was leased to the NY&NH. On February 16, 1850, the second part of the line to Granby was also leased; the rest of the line north into Massachusetts was never leased. Both leases expired June 30, 1869, and the company operated independently until 1887, when the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad (NH) leased it.
The first superintendent of the railroad was R.B. Mason (who later worked with the Illinois Central Railway). He was succeeded by George W. Whistler Jr. In 1854, James Henry Hoyt of Stamford, Connecticut became the third superintendent. When the railroad's first track was built in the 1840s, Hoyt had been a contractor grading portions of it, building bridges, and supplying ties. He then supplied the railroad with fuel and was again a heavy contractor when the second track was built.
The eastern half of the north shore line, from New Haven east to New London, was chartered in 1848 as the New Haven and New London Railroad, opening in 1852. In 1856 it was consolidated with the unbuilt New London and Stonington Railroad to form the New Haven, New London and Stonington Railroad, which was leased by the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad (NYP&B) in 1859. The line east to Stonington was never built (instead being built by the NYP&B), and the company was reorganized as the Shore Line Railway in 1865. The NY&NH leased it on November 1, 1870 as an eastern extension of its line.
On September 7, 1870 the NY&NH and Hartford and New Haven Railroad agreed to consolidate into one continuous line from New York to Springfield, Massachusetts. This merger happened on July 24, 1872, forming the NH. The line has since passed into Penn Central, Conrail and is now mostly part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, with additional passenger service provided by Metro-North Railroad. The state of Connecticut currently owns the line from New Haven to the Connecticut border, and Metro-North controls the line from New Rochelle to New Haven. Just as in 1849, the line still merges with the current Harlem Line in the Williams Bridge section of the Bronx to get to Grand Central.
-  Web page titled "James Henry Hoyt" at the Stamford Historical Society Web site, accessed March 24, 2007, a reprint from pages 398 ff. of A History of Stamford, Connecticut, 1641-1868, Including Darien Until 1820, by the Rev. E.B. Huntington (a corrected reprint of the 1868 edition), Harrison, N.Y.: Harbor Hill Books, 1979