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A Brief History

The rail line now operated by the HRRC has a colorful history. This page will touch on some of it. For more detailed history check out some of the sites on our Interlocking page.

1836 The original Housatonic Railroad was chartered as the Ousatonic Railroad Company.

1837 Construction North from Bridgeport Connecticut begins.

1840 Rails reach New Milford, CT in February.

1841Rails reach Canaan, CT in December.

1843 Rails reach the Massachusetts state line.

1851 Rails reach Pittsfield Mass and join with the Western Railroad of Massachusetts (to become the Boston and Albany RR)

1892 The Housatonic is leased to and eventually taken over by the New York, New Haven and Harford Railroad.

1969 PennCentral Assumes the line from the bankrupt New Haven.

1972 PennCentral abandons the Berkshire Line between New Milford to Canaan.

1976 Conrail assumes the line from the bankrupt Penn Central.

1983 The Housatonic RailRoad Company is chartered as a Scenic Tourist Line and  and rehabilitates the. abandon rails from Canaan to New Milford, CT.

1989 The Housatonic RailRoad Company becomes a Common Carrier.

1991 HRRC purchases the line North to Pittsfield, MA.

1992 HRRC purchases the line South from New Milford to Danbury.

2001 Shepaug Reload Center  opens in Hawleyville, CT. GP-9 1802 is purchased from P&W.