The collection consists of papers, records and collections of a variety of archival materials related to southern New England’s railroad heritage, dating from the 1830s and the birth of railroad transportation in the United States to the 1980s. The materials are particularly strong in representing the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad, better known as the New Haven Railroad, which was the predominant railroad in the region from 1872 to 1969. Coverage is strong for the New Haven Railroad’s predecessor lines, particularly the Central New England Railway, the New York & New England Railroad, and the Old Colony Railroad.
The largest and most significant railroad collection is the corporate records of the New Haven Railroad, which consist of administrative, real estate, legal and financial files as well as an extensive array of financial ledgers and board of director’s minutes for virtually every predecessor railroad, including street railways, that merged with or were leased by the New Haven Railroad. The collection also holds an almost complete collection of right-of-way track maps of the NHRR system and other maps and railroad station drawings of properties and land owned by the railroad. Also included are many thousands of photographs of locomotives, railroad stations, crossings, equipment and personnel. There are several collections of research files compiled by railroad fans and historians.
- Railroad History collections
- Railroad valuation maps from 1915 of the New Haven Railroad system, encompassing right-of-way in Connecticut, Massachusetts, eastern New York and New York City, and Rhode Island with a "mashup" presentation of the maps overlaid on top of a current map: https://connecticut.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=b7b336d42e5241f6bb7756efc5914008
- Annual reports of the New Haven Railroad
- Annual reports of the Connecticut Railroad Commissioners
- Photographs and postcards of Connecticut's railroad stations in the Leroy Roberts Railroad Collection
- Issues of Along the Line, the employee magazine of the New Haven Railroad
- Issues of the New Haven Railroad Rider's Digest, produced by the railroad from 1942 to 1947
- The Lady Edith Society...and the Lengths Some will Go to Save a Steam Locomotive
- Online exhibition -- "The Era of Streamlined Trains: The New Haven Railroad's Comet"
- The Famous Ghost Train of the New York & New England Railroad
Accessing These Materials
All materials are available for use in the John P. McDonald Reading Room. For additional information, please see Using our Materials. Some collections are available in our digital repository.
Archivist for Business, Railroad, Labor and Organizational Collections