Railroad Museum of New England
The Railroad Museum of New England operates the Naugatuck Railroad between Waterville and Thomaston, Connecticut. The Railroad Museum of New England name and trademark was adopted in 1987, as a result of reassessing the Connecticut Valley Railroad Museum's goals and visions (CVRM was originally founded in the mid-1960s).
The CVRM (and predecessor organization - the Connecticut Valley Railroad Association [CVRA]) was responsible for organizing steam train excursions within Connecticut during the late 1960s and was instrumental in founding the Valley Railroad (Essex Steam Train) in Essex, Connecticut.
In early 1995, the RMNE was offered the opportunity to develop the ex-New Haven line from Waterbury to Torrington line, owned by Connecticut DOT. RMNE chartered a "new" Naugatuck Railroad Company in June 1995 (150 years to the month after the original Naugatuck Railroad charter in 1845) and worked with CDOT Rail Operations to get the new railroad into operation during the 1996 season.
Efforts came to fruition in September 1996 when the current Naugatuck Railroad commenced a tourist scenic train over the 19.6 miles (31.5 km) of the original Naugatuck Railroad's right-of-way that had originally opened for service in September 1849.
Tourist excursions are run several days a week between May and December from the historic Thomaston Station. Thomaston Station was built in 1881. The 75-minute trip runs between Thomaston Dam and Waterville, covering about 18 miles (29 km) total. Occasional passenger shuttles operate from East Litchfield to Torrington.
Special event trains are run during fall and winter months. The railroad participated in the Day out with Thomas program during the 2003 to 2009 seasons.
RMNE has an extensive collection of locomotives and rolling stock of New England heritage, with over 80 pieces of full-sized railroad equipment. The New Haven, Boston & Maine, Maine Central, Rutland, and Bangor & Aroostook railroads are represented. Numerous smaller items, from signals to railroad corporate records, are also part of RMNE's artifact holdings.
Volunteers operate the trains and maintain the locomotives and other rolling stock. The museum at one time operated a program called "Engineer for an Hour", which for a fee allows members of the public over 18 years of age to operate a locomotive under the guidance of a qualified engineer. This program is currently (2013) suspended, and may resume in 2014.
- "RMNE About Us page". Retrieved 2008-03-11.