Branford Steam Railroad

The Branford Steam Railroad (reporting mark BSRR) is a 7.2-mile (11.6 km) standard-gauge industrial railroad that serves the Tilcon Connecticut stone quarry in North Branford, Connecticut, in the United States. It was founded in 1903 by Louis A. Fisk, a businessman from Branford, Connecticut, to transport passengers to a trotting park for horses. Fisk also chartered the Damascus Railroad in 1905 to extend the route of the Branford Steam Railroad to North Branford to serve quarries. The Damascus Railroad's charter was amended in 1907 to allow a further extension to the site of a new quarry adjacent to Totoket Mountain.[1] The Branford Steam Railroad took control of the Damascus Railroad in 1909, and has been the operator since.

Branford Steam Railroad
A railroad bridge with one track crossing a road. The bridge is made of blue girders, with stone block abutments. The seal of the state of Connecticut is visible on the closer abutment.
Bridge over Route 80 in North Branford just outside the quarry
Parent companyTilcon Connecticut
HeadquartersNorth Branford, Connecticut
Reporting markBSRR
LocaleNorth Branford to Stony Creek, Connecticut, U.S.
Dates of operation1903present
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length7.2 miles (11.6 km)
WebsiteOfficial website

By 1916, the Branford Steam Railroad had ended passenger business in favor of freight transport. The company has hauled trap rock from the Totoket Mountain quarry in North Branford continuously since 1914. That year, Fisk sold the railroad to a group seeking to develop a quarry, including Hayden, Stone & Co. and the Blakeslee family of New Haven, who in turn formed the New Haven Trap Rock Company, which became operator of both the quarry and the Branford Steam Railroad. Following a route dispute with the Shore Line Electric Railway, the Branford Steam Railroad built an extension southward to a dock at Pine Orchard[2] on Long Island Sound, which remains in use today to transfer stone to barges for distribution. Trap rock is also transported by rail to an interchange[3] with the Providence and Worcester Railroad.

In 1954, the Branford Steam Railroad purchased its first diesel locomotive; its last steam locomotive was retired in 1960, leaving the company a steam railroad only in name. The name has been retained to distinguish the company from the Branford Electric Railway, a museum dedicated to streetcars also located in Branford.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Branford Steam Railroad, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.