Run-by at Gaylordsville, CT
Photos by Doug Scott

The Housatonic Flyer

May 16, 2009

Trip Report by John Reading
Photos by Doug Scott

Gaylordsville, nestled deep in Connecticut's Housatonic River valley, hadn't had a passenger train stop there since a Penn Central Budd RDC pulled out on the "Day Before Amtrak" - April 30, 1971. Before that, the town was only a ghostly flagstop; bankrupt-and-desperate New Haven even sold off its wood-frame depot, which became a private home. The town's first station along the original Housatonic Railroad, the crumbling white Merwinsville Hotel (named, as once the town was, for the entrepreneur who built it in 1843), was still at trackside, but vacant and decaying. A single Budd RDC did wander anonymously through town twice on May 7, 1967, making an up-and back round trip to Pittsfield with a group of "railroad enthusiasts" from Boston aboard.

But on May 16, Gaylordsville saw perhaps its largest passenger crowd since the hotel was a meal stop on the Housatonic. Most of the 265 riders and staff aboard Mass Bay RRE's Housatonic Flyer got off there to watch our special back up and make a photo runby. "New" Housatonic Railroad RS3m 9935, leading Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum SW9 9128 in Conrail-blue paint, blared by the partly restored hotel - trimmed for the occasion with a vintage automobile - and the waiting cameras. The hotel's current owners watched with pride and awe at the attention their building suddenly was receiving.

Ten minutes later, the Flyer headed south for Danbury, and Gaylordsville settled back into spring slumber. It might be a long time before another passenger train stopped there ...

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