Snow Was a Hazard: (Pine Plains and the Railroads)
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Vol. 4: Pine Plains and the Railroads

Bicentennial Publication


By: Lyndon A. Haight
1976

§13 Snow Was a Hazard


Snowstorms were another hazard which raised havoc with railroading. Trainmen were well aware of three bad areas: one at Winchells, one at Boston Corners and one at Summit, Connecticut. Villagers were often recruited to help shovel out stalled trains while passengers took refuge in nearby homes. The Pine Plains Register had this comment in a March 23 1838 issue:

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Snowbound at Winchell Mountain. (V04-45.GIF)

The ND&C did not run any trains over Winchell Mountain from Wednesday until Sunday while more than a hundred men were engaged nearly all day digging through the drifts." A March, 1920 Winsted Citizen had this report on a snowstorm:

"Through traffic was resumed on the Central New England Railroad Monday, but trains are operating several hours behind schedule time. The road having been cleared over Norfolk Mountains, gangs of men Monday attacked the snowdrifts on the Tariffville-Springfield branch which has been closed for nearly two weeks.

"The New Haven road wrecker, which was called to Canaan Saturday by the derailment of two locomotives and a snowplow, had the road open to traffic at 1 o'clock Monday morning. The wrecked snowplow was burned.

"Seven locomotives arrived here from Norfolk late Saturday night, also about 120 snow shovelers. Some of the workmen had been on duty 72 hours. Two engines drawing three cars loaded with milk, due here last Wednesday afternoon, left for Hartford at 2:30 Sunday morning, followed at 4 A.M. by three locomotives and coaches containing six score workmen."



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