Friday, 5 June 2015

Collinsville, Ct. - Railway Prototype Meet

This large structure is The Collins Co. which made axes, hatchets, machetes and adzes up till the mid 1960's.
Don and I attended portions of both days of this years RPM Collinsville meet. We got to see many old friends and made a few new ones. The first day we arrived late as we spent the morning photographing the huge local mill (which could make a great South River Works kit) and the railroad station's we found in town. I was told there are four, but we could only find two and possibly a third. Hard to believe a small town like this had two railroads through town with their own stations. We took in clinics by Wayne Sittner, Mike Rose and Jim Dufour in the afternoon followed by evening clinics by Pete McLachlan and movies of TJ Donahue by John Garafalo.

As one can see I did not make it home empty handed. Only a small portion of this pile is from Collinsville. Don and I seemed to find one or two hobby shops a day to stop in at.
Don and I got a few sheets of laser cut pallets in both N and HO scale. These are actually David's seconds sheets which are offered at a great price. Check out Bergen National Laser for his kit offering in HO and N scale.
Friday night a gang of us that were staying at the Hillside Motel got together for a few brews. Jim took some interesting photos with his phone. Day two we spent the morning at the Railroad Museum of New England a 30 minute drive away. We did return in time to watch a nice clinic by Rick Abramson on NH FL9's which Rapido will be releasing. In the evening we attended clinics by Tony Koester and Tom Namos. We actually missed some other clinics we wished we could attend due to overlaps and our outings. Most times there was two or three clinics running to choose from. Don and I will fill you in on our trip next week...George Dutka

A late evening get together. Wayne Sittner and I are caught at the table...don't ask about the train balloon.
The gang gathers for Wayne Sittner's clinic. Wayne is located behind Don in the maroon tee shirt.
Another view of the Collinsville mill.


  1. Hi, George -

    I'm a bit behind on my blog reading. I didn't realize you were heading to the Collinsville meet, I would have loved to meet you in person. And I could have helped with the train stations - I live a half mile from the meet.

    There's only one passenger station still standing. It's the green (not the original color) shed down the street from the meet. It's been moved slightly. The rail trail is the north end of a wye, with the third base line of the softball field across the street where the south leg was. The station used to sit inside the wye, and was a passenger station, although I think it also took freight. That particular building was built in 1896 by the Hartford & Connecticut Western, later CNE, (replacing an earlier one) and is now used by the town for storage.

    The NYNH&H freight station is now the Crown and Hammer restaurant. There was a passenger station across the tracks (now street) at a diagonal. That was torn down after being heavily damaged in the 1955 flood since passenger service had ended in the '30's.

    The third station was to the east of the Collinsville Canoe and Kayak (formerly Miner lumber). That station was built because people complained that they had to walk or ride an open carriage all the way up to the CNE station on Dyer Avenue (the green building). So they built a station in town, and installed the wye. Trains would back down to this station so people wouldn't have to walk to the other one.

    The fourth station was east of the green station. I'm not sure if you headed that direction, the location where the station used to be is now one of the fire stations. It's on a side street off of Dowd Ave, near the shopping center with the McDonald's and before you get to the gazebo. I've heard a rumor that a nearby business is this old station building. I've only looked at it in passing, but I'm not sure it's a good match for that building.

    North of the wye, a bit further north of Saybrook Fish House was Cherry Brook 'station' which was a whistle stop - so really there were 5 stations, 4 of which were eventually CNE tracks, one on the New Haven. Note that the CNE tracks are on the east side of the Farmington River, the New Haven on the west. The CNE crossed over to the west at Satan's Kingdom north of Cherry Brook.

    The best resource for info on CT Train Stations is Bob Belletzkie's Tyler City Station.
    This page has info on Canton and Cherry Brook:

    And this one has Collinsville:

    Collinsville 2 is the green shed (there's a recent picture of it there too). If you look closely under the roof overhang you can see where the small peaked portions were.

    Incidentally, the old CNE track was connect to the NH track in Collinsville behind Miner Lumber c1928.

    Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954

  2. Thanks Randy for information about the structures...Don and I was wondering about the one at the old Wye location...if did not seem to line up. We saw another building on the way to dinner that looked like an old station. Will try to attend next year...George