Could George have saved the New Haven???

George Alpert had it right. He said that the government must be involved to save the New Haven Railroad.

In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the railroad was considered old fashion and the government was putting all its monies into air and highway travel. The tendency to want to bail out a railroad was pretty low, although that did happen with the Long Island. The Long Island had the advantage of being entirely within NY State.

The trustees had to either return the railroad to profitability, palm it off on the government or other group seeking to lose money or liquidate. Yes the trustees could have pushed for government take over, but that would have been tough. Essentially 4 states would have to agree to purchase, own and operate in a climate that was still more capitalistically oriented for solutions and not enamoured with railroads.

If the liquidation route were taken, the states of Connecticut and New York might have acquired the NY City commuter routes with no interest in running freights, the P&W would have come about 4 years earlier and MAYBE the MBTA would have acquired the 3 non-Old Colony lines. I suspect that there would be shut-downs of lines like happened with the Rutland, with some routes not returning to service. If things happened quick enough, the shoreline could have been abandoned between New Haven and the Massachusetts line, not to mention others.

Perhaps there could have been operations assigned to other railroads (designated operators): B&M, CV, PC, LHR & EL. Now there’s a bunch of power houses! Everybody was in bad shape. Who would pay for DO’s and how much interest would there be?

What might have worked would have been cutting the NH into logical chunks and selling off the portions outside of the passenger mains. Package deals with the railroad, rolling stock and employees readily available. It might have been interesting. Looking at the outcome, that’s essentially what happened.

Find out more about George Alpert and the New Haven Railroad


Please Check Out Our New Haven Railroad Page

A half-century ago, everything in Connecticut was under the New Haven Railroad. Today is a lot different, Amtrak, Metro-North., several freight-only railroads and even some abandoned lines that could be re-started. Check out the best available map of all these with the Connecticut CDOT rail map.

Check out the New Haven Railroad Page