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Railroad History Archive

About the Archive

The Railroad History Collections in Archives & Special Collections at the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, University of Connecticut Libraries, are comprised of individual collections of administrative records, photographs, maps, timetables, ephemera and many other types of archival materials. The collections focus almost exclusively on the history of the railroads of southern New England, particularly the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad. This railroad, better known as the New Haven Railroad, controlled most of the rail lines in the region from 1872, through the merger of the Hartford and New Haven Railroad and the New York and New Haven Railroad, to 1969, when it was absorbed into Penn Central after a series of bankruptcies.

The premier collection of the archive is the corporate records of the New Haven Railroad which, at over 2,000 linear feet, comprises the largest single compilation of the railroad's records available at a single location. These corporate records are supplemented by several related collections, the largest of which is on deposit at the University by the New Haven Railroad Historical and Technical Association (NHRHTA). Through the years following the desolution of the New Haven Railroad and Penn Central's subsequent financial problems, the railroad's archival materials were spread far and wide. As a result, the University's collections are hardly complete but other important New Haven Railroad materials, including some which once existed as part of the original corporate set, can also be found in many of the other collections which appear in the collections list. For more information about the New Haven Railroad, see this brief history.

Researchers will also find records and other materials associated with the predecessor railroad lines of the New Haven Railroad, including the Central New England Railway, the Boston and New York Airline Railroad, the Old Colony Railroad, and the Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad.

The archive also holds an extensive serial and print collection related to publications of the New Haven Railroad, including their employee magazine Along the Line, and the NHRHTA's magazine Shoreliner. Many other books and journals illuminate the extensive history of the New Haven Railroad and other railroads in southern New England.

For more information, see our brochure.

A Message to Genealogists

Genealogists frequently contact Archives & Special Collections for railroad personnel information. Unfortunately, personnel records and worker files were not included in the donation of the corporate records and there is virtually no personal information about the company's workers in the archive.

This page is maintained by L. Smith.