The Railroad Museum of New England’s Speaker Series continues this month with a presentation on the Central New England Railway by historian Joe Mato, at Thomaston Station, 242 East Main Street, Thomaston, on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 4:00PM. The presentation is free and open to the public.
The Central New England originally operated from Hartford, Connecticut, north to Springfield, Massachusetts, and west through northwestern Connecticut to Maybrook, N.Y., crossing the Hudson River on a massive bridge at Poughkeepsie. The New Haven, New York & Hartford Railroad purchased the CNE in 1906 as part of financier J.P. Morgan's effort to consolidate and monopolize transportation in Southern New England.
Mr. Mato grew up by the New Haven Railroad in Danbury, and at age 3 started running to the tracks to chase passing trains. Beginning in 1999 he worked in train service at the Danbury Railway Museum as a conductor and locomotive engineer. Starting in 2005, Mr. Mato, along with the late Bernie Rudberg, organized annual bus tours of sections of the former CNE tracks for rail enthusiasts to learn about the history of the CNE and see where the trains once carried passengers and freight. This year’s bus tour will follow the CNE from Simsbury to Norfolk on Sunday, April 7, 2019. Mr. Mato states that RMNE’s Thomaston Station is a twin of the now-razed Winsted station, which served both the Naugatuck Railroad and the Central New England.
The Railroad Museum of New England is a Section 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, all volunteer, educational and historical organization that dates back to January 1968. The museum concept is more than artifacts: It is also a story of the region and the development of society around the railroad. Our home is located at the landmark Thomaston Train Station. The RMNE and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Naugatuck Railroad, operate on 19.6 miles of track from Waterbury to Torrington leased from the State of Connecticut.
More information about the Railroad Museum of New England and its many train rides can be found at: www.rmne.org.