Previous day's deadhead run of power, seen at Glendale Bridge and Stockbridge.
Photos by Doug Scott

The Housatonic Flyer

Above Falls Village, the Berkshire Line swings around Point of Rocks, overlooking the Housatonic River. We looked down on the 1914 hydroelectric dam that partly flooded out the "Great Falls," and with them, most traces of the long-abandoned Ames Iron Works across the river. After 1866, the Ames buildings became the original Housatonic Railroad's repair shops, which closed after the expanding New Haven leased the HRR in 1892. Right-side riders had the best river views, including the covered bridge at West Cornwall and the 1930s concrete-arch US 7 road bridge at Cornwall Bridge.

North of Kent, we glimpsed the Connecticut Antique Machinery Association museum at trackside, with its preserved three-foot gauge Oahu Railway 2-6-2 and a cabbage-stacked, wood-burning Argent Lumber Co. 2-8-0 (formerly at Edaville). We swung away from the river above Kent, passing its nicely preserved downtown depot, and ran inland through woods to Gaylordsville for our first photo stop of the day.

Once the crowd was back aboard, we continued south, breaking out of the woods at Boardman's Bridge, where the 1888 iron bridge on our right has become a pedestrian footway. We were back in industrial territory, passing between closed and open manufacturing plants (though the open ones don't ship by rail any longer). We soon saw the first U.S. "pumped-storage" hydropower plant at Rocky River, above New Milford, whose out-of-view reservoir, Candlewood Lake, is the largest lake in Connecticut. Beyond downtown New Milford, we crossed the Housatonic for the last time and headed up Still River valley, beside the Kimberly-Clark paper-products plant that is still a railroad customer. A long slow order from KC Siding to Brookfield delayed our arrival at Berkshire Junction, three miles east of Danbury, where the Berkshire Line meets the former New Haven Maybrook Line.

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