Mile 99: New Britain, Connecticut
A snippet of 1890s USGS quadrangles for Granby, Meriden, Hartford, and Middletown, Conn showing HP&F stations from New Britain to Burnside

The section of the Hartford, Providence, & Fishkill/ New York & New England right of way between Hartford and New Britain was pressed into service as the CTfastrak Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in 2015. At present, this is one of only two places on the entire line (the other being a small portion of the Northeast Corridor) where one can actually ride mass transit on the line, albeit on a bus.

The busway has been controversial among railfans for the loss of railroad miles and among taxpayers for its cost. Personally, I think this op-ed by a UCONN student, Thess Johnson, gets it right. The busway exists, and for whatever trouble went on in building it, it works pretty well. My wife and I recently decided it would be fun to eat at a number of places in Downtown Hartford on a weekend afternoon, and parking in the suburbs and taking the bus in made it very hassle free. I'd rather have a train, but I like having good public transit.

All of the station sites listed on the map above were sited with information from the Tyler City Station site. To see what the New Britain Depot looked like and where it was located, visit Tyler City station and see pictures of it, and then check out photo 06504 of the 1934 Connecticut Aerial Survey- you will see it about halfway between Elm St. and Main St.

Click on the thumbnail for the full resolution image
A picture of a 1910s era conductor's cash ticket listing stations along the former NY&NE/HP&F
An early 20th century New Haven Railroad conductor's cash form 32 ticket, sold between New York and New Haven. It was not used on this line, but does list station stops along it. The ticket is undated but was with a collection of similarly weathered New Haven tickets with November 26, 1918 penciled on their backs.
A mid-20th century conductor's cash ticket, sold between New Britain and Hartford
A mid-20th century conductor's cash form 3 ticket, sold between New Britain and Hartford and thus an artifact linked to this branch. It is undated, but does not list Crescent Beach, Sound View, or South Lyme as local stops along the Shore Line, so based on their dates of abandonment on the Tyler City Station site, this suggests this ticket is from the 1930s or later. Note that compared to the earlier form 32 ticket above, there are more local stops listed between Waterbury and New Britain.
A busway ticket as it appeared in 2023, defaced
A busway digital ticket as it appeared in 2023, defaced
A busway ticket as it appeared in 2023, defaced
A busway digital child's ticket as it appeared in 2023, defaced
West of Newington Junction, the CTfastrak right of way has a walking path
West of Newington Junction, the CTfastrak right of way has a walking path (10/2023)
East Street BRT stop on CTfastrak
East Street BRT stop on CTfastrak. One advantage of BRT is that multiple close-together stops are an option without messing up the timetable much. (10/2023)
Stopped at East Street BRT stop on CTfastrak
Stopped at East Street BRT stop on CTfastrak (10/2023)
Much of the HPF/NY&NE Route in New Britain is through cemeteries
Much of the HPF/NY&NE Route in New Britain is through St. Mary's and Fairview Cemeteries (10/2023)
New Britain CTfastrak Station
New Britain CTfastrak Station (10/2023)
New Britain CTfastrak Station. Behind the bushes are active tracks
New Britain CTfastrak Station. Behind the bushes is active rail- trains running to the right of this image would be on the old HPF/NY&NE to Bristol and Waterbury. Trains running to the left would be headed to Berlin on what used to be a different branch. (10/2023)
New Britain CTfastrak Station
New Britain CTfastrak Station. This is on a Sunday afternoon, and service reflects that. Bus 102, which runs from Bristol on local roads before entering the busway here, roughly duplicates the Sunday service seen in the NY,NH&H timetable seen below. Bus 101 is the dedicated busway bus, and runs much more frequently. For folks living, working, or going to school along the busway (which includes Central Connecticut State University) it is a convenient and frequent service (10/2023)
A CTfastrak bus as it appeared in October, 2023 at New Britain
A CTfastrak bus as it appeared in October, 2023 at New Britain
New Britain CTfastrak Station
New Britain CTfastrak Station. This is facing towards Hartford and Providence. The active rails are behind the bushes at far right, but from this point forward they now head towards Berlin. The entire route to Newington is taken up by the busway and walking path. (10/2023)
New Britain CTfastrak Station looking west towards Waterbury
New Britain CTfastrak Station. From about the same location as above, but looking west towards Waterbury. Note the active railroad crossings- from this point forward the HPF/NY&NE is active rail (as of 2024 operated by Berkshire & Eastern) to Waterbury. (10/2023)
A portion of Bus 102's Sunday timetable from 2023
A portion of Bus 102's Sunday timetable from 2023. It appears very similar to the Sunday Service seen in the vintage 1913 timetable, below, but it must be noted that Bus 102 is only one of several busses that use the HPF/NY&NE right of way. Bus 101 runs much more frequently.
A vintage 1913 NY, NH&H timetable from the section of HPF now run as the CTfastrak
A vintage 1913 NY, NH&H timetable from the section of HPF now run as the CTfastrak. It appears very similar to Bus 102's Sunday Service today,but it must be noted that Bus 102 is only one of several busses that use the HPF/NY&NE right of way. Bus 101 runs much more frequently.

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(c) 2016-2024 Timothy M Dowd. Last Modified @ 11:22 EST on 2024-01-07
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