The New Haven RR in 1959                 
                                                   ...gone but not forgotten

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Pre-production Alpine Division Models sample kit assembled by John Pryke.

HO Scale New Haven Rural Passenger Station Alpine Division Models, LLC., PO Box 6, Artesia, CA. 90722. Phone: 562-860-6060Fax: 562-860-7800 Kit #5904 MSRP :TBD


The prototype of this structure was located on the Old Colony Division of the New Haven in the town of Orleans, MA on Cape Cod. In 1861 the Cape Cod Central Railroad was formed to build a rail line to Orleans reaching there in 1865 after delays caused by the Civil War. Later, The Cape Cod Central was y the Cape Cod Railroad which merged with the Old Colony and Newport in 1872 to Become the Old Colony Railroad.

Built in the 1860’s, the station consisted of a Railway Express Office, Mens and Ladies Waiting Rooms and a Ticket Office. The Old Colony, headquartered in Boston, served southeastern Massachusetts. At Middleboro, a line ran to Attleboro for an interchange with the New Haven.

Orleans passenger station, 1916. The freight house is to the left. H.H. Snow’s is a few hundred feet down the tracks beyond the boxcar. Photo from Cape Cod Railroads by Robert H Farson; P.R. Ness collection.


Even though the kit represents a New Haven structure similar stations could be found throughout the Northeast on branch lines belonging the NYC, B&M and MEC to mention a few.


The kit consists of detailed matt board walls with pre-cut door and window openings, plastic windows and doors, shingled roofs and more. The model photo depicts a pre-production sample. The final version of the kit will include two chimneys as show in the prototype photo(s). The Freight Station will be introduced as a separate kit by Alpine in the near future.

Orleans passenger station, rear side. Photographer unknown, undated. P. R. Ness collection 

In 1899 the New Haven bought the Old Colony. By then Orleans had become a center of commerce on the outer Cape, and a passing siding had been added through Orleans. The passenger station sat on the East side of the line while a Freight Station was across the mainline on the West side. There were three freight sidings; two that served the Nickerson Lumber Company while a trestle fuel siding was used by H. H. Snow, where tank cars could be unloaded at one end while hoppers could be unloaded at the other.


In 1939, the New Haven ceased all passenger service beyond Hyannis and the Orleans passenger station was demolished. The freight station lasted until the late 1950’s when all service from Dennis to Provincetown was abandoned and the line was torn up.

HO Scale 3800-3946 Series New Haven Wood Baggage Car Sparrow's Point Division of The Bethlehem Car Works, Inc., P.O. Box 325 Telford, PA 18969, Phone: 215-721-3006 Fax: 215-723-2542 Item #SP-61 Price: $59.95


Between 1926 to 1929 the New Haven Railroad converted 147 wooden horse and carriage cars to steel underframe baggage cars at Readville Shops. These cars were numbered in the 3800-3946 Series and operated in revenue service into the late 1950’s. Some cars lasted longer in non-revenue service on New Haven wreck or tool trains. Because many of these cars were out of revenue service, in August 1962, a group of five 60-foot steel baggage mail cars (15’ apartment, 45’ baggage compartment) built in 1930 by Bethlehem were converted to messenger cars and renumbered from the 2790-2794 series into this number series as car numbers 3900-3904.


When converted, cars were equipped with five interior lamps powered by a 3kW Safety Company generator, double wood flooring throughout the car with extra hardwood flooring installed at the door openings. Also included were floor sockets for storage mail, steam heating with Vapor regulators and hand-controlled valves. Insulation was hair felt with wood lining throughout the car. Cars were equipped with hand brakes at both ends and either composite wood and steel or General Steel Castings 4-wheel trucks as shown in the following table.

* Car 3882 assigned as T-78 Sept. 25, 1942


About June 1940, door chains and staples were removed. In September 1942, car 3882 was renumbered to T-78 when placed in tool train service. In June 1944, car 3810 was equipped with a Royal slack adjuster. Finally, about January 1951 the upper grabs on the car ends were removed. In addition to T-78, several of these cars ended up continuing to serve the New Haven in tool and wire train service.


The model consists of a laser cut wood body, a three-piece roof with wood center and plastic end caps. The brake wheels are laser cut hardboard. The fishbelly under frame is brass and underbody brake system parts are injection molded plastic. Steps and hand grabs are metal. The kit is supplied with decals and is less trucks & couplers. Bethlehem Car Works #95a trucks are recommended.


HO Scale Osgood Bradley 8500-series Smoker-Coaches - Rapido Trains Inc., 140 Applewood Crescent, Unit A, Concord, Ontario L4K 4E2 Canada; MSRP $79.95, Available Fall, 2012. Reservation deadline June 16, 2012.


New Haven’s Osgood Bradley Lightweight coaches #8500-8529 were unique. Each of these 10 window coaches included a separate smoking section at one end of the car for the use of those passengers who chose to “light up” in those less health conscious times! To help clear the air a special ventilation system was installed over the smoker’s lounge with a unique, large vent on the roof above.


Rapido Trains Inc is now happy to announce the upcoming arrival of their HO scale versions of the 8500 Smokers, complete with a new interior, roof hatch and vent. All cars also include full underbody detail, “Easy-Peasy” lighting, free rolling trucks, separate grab irons & details and accurate paint and lettering. Sorry, stale cigar and cigarette smell is not included….


All cars will be produced to order, so be sure to get your reservations in right away!


HO Osgood Bradley Lightweight Smokers

To fill out your consists Rapido will also be bringing in a limited number of New Haven Osgood Bradley Lightweight coaches in all new car numbers.

N and HO Scale New Haven Piggyback Trailer Decals Highball Graphics, PO Box 57 West Ossipee, NH 03890; Tel (603) 367-8637; Fax:(603) 356-0118; HO Scale Item F-294, MSRP $7.00; N Scale Item FN-294, MSRP $6.00.  

Highball Graphics has produced a set of decals in HO and N scale for New Haven owned and leased piggyback trailers covering 35’ and 40’ trailers in use between late 1955 and about 1964. The decals are available in HO and N scale and one set will decal four to eight trailers from all eras, or at least two trailers in each era.

Highball Graphics Decals are printed using a Kodak Polychrome Graphics First Check proofer. This uses the same Micro Dry Technology as the Alps MD Series printers. They use a high quality Water Slide decal paper from Microscale Industries.

In addition to this new set, New Haven modelers in N, HO and O scales may find these other products from Highball Graphics useful (contact Highball Graphics for price and availability);

N and HO Scale New Haven DL-109 The Cranberry” Decals Streamstyle Graphics, 9462 Thunderbird Place, San Ramon, California 94583 Tel 925-413-0117. Item NH-02. MSRP $20.00

Streamstyle Graphics has produced a set of decals in HO and N scale for DL-109 0722 when adorned in the colorful “Cranberry” paint scheme. No. 0722 was painted in a variation of a one of the New Haven schemes, but with the usual dulux gold striping done in white on bright red paint. This special lettering and logos was applied from 1949 until 1953 to promote the New Haven’s seasonal Boston to Hyannis passenger service. The unit traveled many New Haven lines promoting the service during this period and was also equipped with Hancock air whistles which remained on the unit much longer than the paint scheme.

HO Scale and HOn3 PCC Diesel Railbus HO New Haven Diesel Railbus; Stock Number 0001-093065; MSRP; $169.98. HOn3 New Haven Diesel Railbus; Stock Number 0001- 093085; MSRP; $169.98. All models Ready To Run and DCC Ready.


While I try to include only information about prototypically correct New Haven models, it seems necessary on occasion to include information on totally incorrect models in order to allow New Haven Modelers to make informed choices about some products.

While Con-Cor strives to painstakingly produce an accurate model of the Comet, they are offering a series of New Haven “PCC Diesel Railbus” models that are completely inaccurate models for the New Haven. To be clear; the New Haven Railroad at no time in its existence rostered anything like this model. Con-Cor has employed their “modelers’ license” to apply a paint scheme and lettering that was used by the New Haven Railroad on Mack-built “FCD” (for Frederick C. Dulmaine) railbusses.


To Con-Cor’s credit, they prominently display a prototype photo of a New Haven FCD on their website where this product is listed, so the prudent purchaser can compare the “fidelity” of the offered model to the prototype. In addition, just to be sure the New Haven Modeler has no question this is not a correct model, Con-Cor includes the following statements in the descriptive text about these models;


“So while we have actual photos of the New Haven units and the "Maintenance of Way" is based on a railbus that is at the St. Louis Transportation Museum, the others are more of less "what could have been", but hey this is supposed to be a fun Hobby, if you like the idea then buy one and have some fun on your layout, or the club layout with it... it will be a "conversation" starter every time you run it on the layout.


Just like the railroads often did, we took our existing "HO" model of the Pre- WW II "PCC car" made it ready for standard 2-rail operation.


For this new series of railbus models, we chose some of the most famous of Railroad paint Schemes over time. So just run one on your layout, and if anyone makes a negative comment, just say, Hey, that's from the Rail Museum, they are doing a special Railfan charter run today.”

HO Scale North Cohasset Station Bollinger Edgerly Scale Trains (B.E.S.T.) 375 Bean Hill Road, Belmont, NH 03220 603.267.1818 Kit 1082 MSRP: 64.95

Before passenger train service stopped in 1959, commuter trains had been using parts of the Greenbush line for over 100 years. Train service was first started by the South Shore Railroad which built tracks from Braintree to Cohasset in 1849 on which trains operated by the Old Colony Railroad. In 1867 expansion of the line south of Cohasset was started, eventually extending to Kingston in 1874. In March 1893 the Old Colony Railroad, was taken over by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.

Under the control of the New Haven Railroad the rail lines set all-time records for number of passengers. The popularity of the train was short-lived, however. Cutbacks in service due to World War I were not restored afterwards due to the increasing popularity of the automobile. The New Haven Railroad went bankrupt in 1935 and kept only a few passenger trains running due to a court order. Service south of Greenbush was discontinued in 1939. The railroad enjoyed a brief uptick in traffic in World War II with the construction of the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot and the Hingham Naval Ammunition Depot Annex. The number of daily trips was increased after World War II, and modern diesel trains were introduced in the 1950s. Freight trains continued to use the line as far south as the Hingham Lumber Yard located, where the new Nantasket Junction station has just been built, until 1979. The original New Haven passenger depot at North Cohasset, MA still stands, having been moved to a nearby location and is now used as a garage.


Kit Dimensions: Length: 4" Width: 2 1/4". This kit features: Laser cut wood for easy assembly, Peel-and-stick shingles, Mold injected doors and windows, Simple step by step instructions, Proudly made in the USA.


Like the above-mentioned Con-Cor “PCC Railbus” that didn’t exist, neither did this model version of North Cohasset Station. While the model has the overall “feel” of the station, the design of the kit uses window castings that are too tall compared to prototype photos shown on the website with the model. The excessive height of the windows results in incorrect representation of the lower wall trim of the station as well.

B.E.S.T. has a reputation of producing quality kits, many of which are accurate reproductions of the prototype structure in miniature. In this case, B.E.S.T. misses the mark for accuracy.


Unlike motive power and rolling stock, New Haven modelers have not been flooded with inaccurate structure models - and, also unlike motive power and rolling stock, New Haven Modelers have had a steady diet of prototypically accurate structure kits for several decades. The first prototype kits I’m aware of were the Cumberland Freight Station from Crow River Models and Clinton Station produced by New England Structures, both available way back in the 1980’s. Crow River continued to produce a number of prototypically correct New Haven structures for a number of years and the product line is now owned by B.E.S.T. The Hobby Gallery has retained production and sale of New Haven-specific model kits. Hodgdon Models, described below, also began to offer accurate New Haven structures about the same time as Crow River. Trainstuff LLC was another manufacturer of New Haven structure kits that some long time New Haven Modelers may remember. More recent offerings have come from Branchline Trains, N Scale Architect, American Model Builders and Swiderville Woodworking.


Over all the years, from all these manufacturers providing model kits in a variety of media, the kits have resulted in reasonably accurate models of New Haven structures; so, there is quite a bit of precedent when it comes to any manufacturer producing a New Haven structure kit. B.E.S.T. should be aware of this heritage. Because they are a quality kit manufacturer, I hope they will not be discouraged by poor reception from prototype New Haven Modelers. I would be pleased to see them take on another New Haven structure project with more attention to detail.


HO Scale Structures Hodgdon Scale Models PO Box 180 Oakdale CT., 06370   All products are available by mail, Hodgdon accepts Paypal, checks or money orders.  Please make out checks or money orders to:  Hodgdon. 

Hodgdon Scale models has been in business since 1987, producing craftsman quality structure kits for the model railroad market and those who are interested in New England architecture. Of note for the New Haven Modeler are two kits in particular which are presented below. In fact, The first kit Hodgdon Scale Models produced was the station at Essex, CT.

For those modelers who looked at these kits years ago and were hesitant to start in on a craftsman kit, you should be aware that whereas Hodgdon Scale Models at one point added color photographs to the directions, this has evolved to the current photo CD included in their kits. Similarly, cutting the wood parts has evolved from some very crude early hand cut kits to today's Laser cut kits.

Essex Station

The kit is based on the Valley Railroad's station at Essex CT, formerly used by the New Haven Railroad.  Easily backdated to it's original use as a freight house, the finished model has a footprint of approximately 13.5" x 5.25", or 97x 38' HO scale feet.  The kit includes laser cut wood, Tichy windows, B.E.S.T. peel and stick roofing shingles, and an assortment of resin detail castings. MSRP:$44.99

Interlocking Tower

This interlocking tower is based on a New Haven Railroad design located at Saybrook.  The kit includes many black and white and color photos of the actual prototype, including some interior photos of the tower mechanism, laser cut windows, roof former, and walls.  Resin detail castings add interest to this easy to build model. The model footprint is approximately 5.5"x3.5" or scale 37'x28', including the roof overhang and enclosed stairway. MSRP: $44.99

N Scale 5500-Series Baggage-Express Car Wheels of Time P.O. Box 846 Mountain View, CA 94042-0846; Fax 1-866-737-9654 (toll-free in U.S. & Canada) 


Wheels of Time has produced a model of a 70’ Clerestory Roof Baggage-Express Car painted and lettered in the McGinnis scheme for New Haven 5500-series cars. The prototype 5500-5569 series cars were built as baggage cars by Osgood Bradely in 1914, 1916 and 1917. The cars featured two doors per side; one 8’ wide door and one 5’6” wide door with a spacing between the doors of 17’7”. The cars rode on pressed steel 4-axle trucks built by the Standard Motor Truck Company with 52’10” truck center spacing and were 73’ 5 3/8” in length over the end sills. Cars in this series were converted Baggage Express service by installation of express messenger facilities at Readville Shops in 1952. Changes included the installation of a saloon equipped with hopper, lavatory, mirror and water cooler as well as installation of interior lighting, a drop desk with letter rack and a switchboard cabinet. The Wheels of Time model represents a car converted to Baggage Express service in 1952.


The model features extra fine details, crisp paint & printing, sliding baggage doors, nicely weighted for the runner, new adjustable draft gear and while most Wheels of Time Baggage-Express Cars are equipped with a 6-wheel truck with 36" metal wheelsets, the New Haven version is presented with 4-wheel trucks. All cars are equipped with MT Couplers. While the car dimensions are not accurate according to New Haven Equipment drawings, the model is well designed and very suitable as a stand-in baggage-express car.


The car is available in two road numbers as item #259 (road number 5507) and #260 (road number 5519) with an MSRP of $44.49 per car. A two-car set is listed as item #261TS and includes two different road numbers; 5500 & 5538. The MSRP of the two-car set is$83.99. Orders are due Jan. 31, 2012 and delivery is expected about April-May 2012.


N SCALE BACHMANN NEW HAVEN BOXCAR Bachmann Industries; 1400 East Erie Avenue Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19124; Telephone: 215-533-1600; Fax: 215-744-4699; Item 17054; MSRP $17.95


(Submitted by Brad Smith)The good news! N-scalers have a new boxcar in New Haven colors. The bad news-read on. Bachmann is priding themselves on their accuracy, per information directly from Bachmann. They have completely retooled their 40’ AAR boxcar and their 36’ tank car, N-scale models. Both are beautiful cars. The boxcar has doors that open and the side and end ladders are separate pieces, not cast-on. The grabs, however are cast on and that is okay, because separate plastic grabs have a tendency to break off. The car has metal wheels, fine sill steps and very nice body-mounted E-Z Mate® Mark II couplers. The underbody detail is very well done and looks to be separate detail parts, even though they are not.


The boxcar matches dimensions for typical AAR boxcars and would make a nice model, except for the color scheme. For those of you old enough to remember the Athearn HO, New Haven boxcar, this is almost an exact copy of that color scheme which is red-orange with a black door and black N over a white H. The Bachmann model is even only one digit off of the Athearn car! It is numbered 39289, while the Athearn car is numbered 39288. The color is the same as the Athearn car– too red when compared to the NHRHTA color chip book–way too red. Then there is the black door, like on the Athearn model. There is no known McGinnis orange boxcar to have a black door. Of course, the car lacks the triangle which signifies a rebuilt boxcar, of which these cars were. Finally, the number, which is neatly on the ends and sides is 39289. From what I have found, the NH rebuilt boxcars in the orange scheme were in the 31000, 32000 and 36000 series. (Note: in New Haven Equipment Summaries from December 1956 to December 1968 boxcars in 37000-series and 38000-series are listed. There is photographic evidence of red-orange boxcars in McGinnis livery, however there was not a 39000-series or an approved paint scheme of red-orange car body with black door. – Peter)


In closing, Bachmann produced a very nice car, but perpetuated the “Non Haven” toy look that was so prevalent in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. Sorry, Bachmann. You should have contacted the NHRHTA before designing a paint scheme.