On Friday March 30th, the Providence & Worcester Railroad ran an extra from Worcester, MA to Willimantic, CT to handle the interchange traffic to and from the New England Central Railroad. It turned out to be a very nice day, weather-wise, and with summer hours upon us here at work, I decided to take advantage of the open afternoon and chase the train between Plainfield, CT and Willimantic, making many stops along the way – some familiar, and some more experimental. Overall, I think they all worked rather well.
The chase started just after lunch when I made my way towards Plainfield, CT to intercept the train on the P&W’s Norwich Branch before they headed west over the Willimantic Branch. I got to the junction of the two lines near the P&W’s Plainfield Terminal a few minutes before the extra’s arrival. As it turned out, they had to make a pickup in Plainfield before heading west towards Willimantic, so I grabbed a few shots there before starting the chase west.
The westward trek included stops at familiar spots – like Packer’s Pond, Versailles, Baltic and Scotland Dam – along with a few new angles in Canterbury, Versailles and near the Scotland Dam. Of course, the chase was wrapped up with a series of shots around Willimantic yard – including views of the former American Thread mills, and a few shots up by Bridge Street with the Windham Court House serving as a colorful backdrop.
Not much else to say – a pretty uneventful chase, so here’s the pictures.
Willimantic Extra in Plainfield
A Providence & Worcester Railroad extra from Worcester, MA to the New England Central Railroad in Willimantic, CT appears in the distance at the P&W's Plainfield, CT terminal.
Extra coming to a stop in Plainfield
The P&W Willimantic Extra slows down in Plainfield, CT to make a pickup before heading west over the P&W's Willimantic Branch.
Cut off the power for a pickup
The P&W Willimantic Extra cuts off their power to pick up the cars visible in the background to the right for a trip to Willimantic, CT where they will perform the interchange with the New England Central Railroad.
Going to get a cut
The P&W Willi Extra heads towards the engine house to pick up a cut of cars destined for the NECR in Willimantic.
Pulling the cars out
The P&W Willi Extra pulls the cars headed for Willimantic out.
Pulling the cars out - 2
As the conductor verifies the cars against his manifest, the locomotive pulls them out preparing to head west to Willimantic.
Ford vs. GM
A P&W company pickup sits nearby as the EMD SD60 pulls the cars out towards the main.
Putting the train together
With all the cars on the train, the crew prepares to head west over the Willimantic Branch.
Over Packer's Pond
The P&W Willimantic Extra heads west over the Willimantic Branch in Plainfield, CT. Here the train is crossing over the stream leading out of Packer's Pond.
Crossing the Shetucket
The P&W Willimantic Extra crosses the Shetucket River in Canterbury, CT
In the woods of Lisbon
The P&W Willimantic Extra comes into view in Lisbon, CT near Ross Hill Road.
The P&W Willi Extra stretches out on a straightaway near Ross Hill Road in Lisbon, CT
Blue locomotive, blue skies
The P&W Willi Extra ducks under Ross Hill Road in Lisbon, CT under some mostly blue skies
In the woods of Versailles
The P&W Willi Extra comes into view in Versailles, CT
Over the Arch
A Providence & Worcester extra to Willimantic, CT heads over Kinsman Hill Road in Versailles, CT on the P&W's Willimantic Branch on 3/30/12
At the Baltic Curves
The P&W Willimantic Extra pulls through the double curves at Baltic, CT
Along the Shetucket
The P&W Willi Extra skirts along the Shetucket River on the Scotland/Windham town line.
Along the Shetucket 2
Continuing west along the Shetucket River, now in Windham, CT and upriver of the Scotland Dam
The P&W Willi Extra pulls into the NECR interchange yard in Willimantic, CT
By the Mills
The P&W Willi Extra rolls past the former American Thread mills in Willimantic, CT - now home to apartments and offices.
Frogs and Freight
The P&W Willi Extra heads towards Willimantic's famous Frog Bridge, spanning the two railroads, along with the Willimantic River
Working Willimantic 1
The extra works the NECR interchange yard in Willimantic, CT
Working Willimantic 2
The extra continues to work the interchange in Willimantic. The cars to the right will be headed back to Plainfield with the extra.
The extra and the courthouse
The Willimantic extra shoves cars back across Bridge Street in Willimantic, and the Windham Court House serves as a backdrop
The Willimantic extra, with cars headed for Plainfield in tow, heads past Pleasant Street in Willimantic, CT
By the Mills 2
The now eastbound P&W Willimantic Extra passes by the former American Thread mills and the Willimantic River.
Thanks for looking!