To Danbury

Doing Metro-North's Danbury and New Canaan Branches

By Jeremiah Cox, 20 June, 2005

For PhotosWhite Plains|Brewster|South Norwalk|New Canaan|Stamford|Darien|Rowayton

Today I went on a long Metro-North trip, finishing up the New Haven Line Branches that I haven't done yet. Now to say I have ridden all of Metro-North all I need to ride is the Wassaic shuttle.

My trip didn't start very well on a crowded Bx36 Orien-V CNG. The bus was very slow and crowded and I just made my train at Tremont by running from the bus to the station, Luckily I had an unused ticket which I bought an extension for on the train, I wouldn't have had time to buy a ticket at the station. I boarded M7a # 4024 on a local to North White Plains, we left on time at 11:39.

The local trip up to White Plains basically uneventful except for a moment at Fleetwood, where the doors closed, we didn't start moving, the doors then re-opened. After leaving the conductor made an announcement "Late arriving passengers please pick up a schedule with the new times". We arrived at White Plains at 12:16, 4 minutes late, due to slow running by incidents like the one mentioned above. I got off and waited for my continuing train up to Brewster, which came in after my local left. The Southeast Express (it made all stops except for Mt. Pleasant North of here) left White Plains one minute late at 12:20, I boarded M7a #4006, the first car was closed, on the door someone had cut out a very clean sign that said "This Car is closed". We arrived Brewster at 1:06, 3 minutes early. I photographed my train leaving and then a southbound entering from a grade crossing just north of the station. I then went outside and waited for HART Bus (Housatonic Area Regional Transit, not Huntington Area Rapid Transit) Route 3.

At 1:30 my HART bus arrived Orien-V (I think) #304, the driver seemed annoyed at me when I asked "Does this bus go to Danbury" (The sign still said "3-Brewster"). The interior of the bus was unusual with all seats being longitudinal except for 3 sets of two seaters in the middle of the bus; the bus did have a back door where the wheelchair lift was. The bus was empty during the ride to Danbury with the maximum number of people onboard at once 8 (3 others got on with me at Brewster, only one other person got off before Pulse Point). The bus ride though fast was not smooth. The bus kept jerking and stopping suddenly for 4-way stop signs as we made our way through the hills and down the narrow streets of suburban Connecticut. We Arrived in downtown Danbury at Pulse Point at 1:56, Pulse Point is the Hart bus transfer point, all buses serve it and most which run hourly (more frequent during peak times), leave it on the hour. Transfers are given here while getting off; I get a transfer for my collection.

I then look at the map I had printed out from map quest from the Bus Station to the Railroad station. I find the railroad tracks and the Danbury Railroad museum, which is unfortunately closed since it is a Monday (it's open every other day of the weeks). I then hear a whistle and the digs of a railroad crossing I jog over and find a Housatonic Railroad train passing, I photograph it. I then photograph it as the two locomotives pulling the train uncouple from each other. I then walk into the parking lot of the rail museum and see a Metro-North train of Two Shoreliners and a P32AC-DM locomotive, I then look around and notice that this can't be where the station is since the Metro-North train is behind a gate and the parking lot has a sign that says "Parking for Museum Patrons only." I wonder where the hell is the station. I walk out of the parking lot and notice a gas station across the street. I go into the gas station and ask, I am told that its just around the corner of the rail yards, I continue walking around the perimeter of the rail yards and find it, there is a two train tracks that also go around the perimeter, I realize that this must be the track Metro-North uses from it's little lay-up point. I reach another parking lot and a building that's the train station. I buy my ticket for $4.50 from a vending machine on the platform for New Canaan; I walk down to the level crossing near the station and photograph my train entering, from a grade crossing that's the entrance to the parking lot. I go back up to the platform and get on my train their. I'm in CDOT Shoreliner Cab Car #6203 fittingly "The Danbury Hatter". There's also Trailer Car #6202 "The Harriet Beecher Stowe", which is closed and Metro-North Dual Mode Genesis P32AC-DM #202. I get on the train we leave Danbury at 2:38.

The Danbury line is at a grade, we go through the industrial portion of town and pass the Sperry Rail Service plant. Sperry makes equipment and tests the upkeep of rails, looking for broken ones. Website .

I then waited, and got on a M2 #8562, at 3:37 This train also had a portion sectioned off, but instead of a nice neat had ridden sign, it had a sign that was hard to read scribbled in ballpoint pen. I took this train three stops back to Stamford, and hopped on a New Canaan shuttle train, this train was not the normal two car train used by the shuttle but six cars, this was due to the fact that train would return by running from New Canaan, all the way to Grand Central. Only two cars though were open unfortunately in the center of the train, no railfan window. The short ride to New Canaan along the one-track line at grade I found boring, and I don't have any plans to ride up their again. I got up to New Canaan at 4:14.

The New Canaan station had one track, and I knew I would be back on the same train back with the same crew (I saw them talking on the platform). I bought a ticket to Rowayton for $2.25. I got back on the train, we left at 4:27 I was in M4 #8921, now 3 cars were open. We left New Canaan at 4:27, the conductor recognized me. I explained to him that I had ridden up there just ride, he understood. Just making sure I wasn't lost. We got back to Stamfordon time at 4:46. I hopped on a East Norwalk-bound train at 4:55, my ticket was never punched the second time, I got off at Darien at 5:03, for a photo stop, I photographed passing Amtrak, Shore Line East, and Metro-North trains. I got on another East Norwalk-bound train at 5:30, took that one stop to Rowayton, (arrived 5:33, no ticket collector), and photographed the station turned around, bought a ticket back to Fordham for $4.75, and took the 5:41 train to Fordham. I stood at the front window of this M2 #8531, which was extremely crowded. Got off at Fordham and took the Bx12 to 207th Street to the A train and home.



Last Updated: 14 May, 2005

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