Tracking the Light February 10, 2016 Mystery Photo: Location Revealed!

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I was surprised to learn that I managed to stump most of the viewers with my February 2016 Mystery Photo! I thought for sure that someone would instantly recognize this exceptionally obscure section of line.

Tracks in the Snow_DSCF0849

Another versions of Wednesday's Tracking the Light mystery photo. CAN YOU GUESS Where this is? Remember be specific!
Melrose.

I had many very good guesses from many informed readers.

(Those of you viewing on Facebook/Tumbler/Google Plus etc, you will probably need to click on Tracking the Light to see the full post with answers!)

The most popular guesses were focused on the Mass-Central.

(By the way, thanks for the tips on locations!)

I’m sorry, but these answers and many of the other were incorrect.

I opted for a snow covered scene that obscured many clues. I thought this would be an added challenge.

The tracks are in Connecticut. They are not on the former Central Vermont.

Norbert Shacklette correctly guessed the predecessor railroad and the correct current operator but could not guess the specific location.

The only truly correct detailed guess was supplied by an exempt viewer. (I felt it was unfair to allow people whom I pointed out this location in the past to participate).

In the future I will try to supply juicier clues.

I made this photograph on February 6, 2016 at the Connecticut Route 140 crossing of the old New Haven Armory Branch in Melrose.

Historically this line was part of the New York & New England system, which was among the lines absorbed by the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad.

Today the line is under the administration/operation of a short line titled Central New England Railroad. However, confusingly this segment was not operated by the historic New Haven component company known as the Central New England.

During the late Penn-Central and Conrail periods, this section of trackage was not shown on many maps and was largely overgrown. It has been cleared in recent years. To date, I’ve never seen a train here, although I’ve crossed the tracks dozens of times.

The maps below show the specific location and the angle of the photograph. It is my hope that the arrows clearly indicate to you where I made the image.

Thanks for participating!

The RED arrow points at Melrose, Connecticut. The photo was made in the morning looking in a southeasterly direction on the old New Haven Armory Branch immediately south of the Route 140 crossing near St. Mary's Cemetery.
The RED arrow points at Melrose, Connecticut. The photo was made in the morning looking in a southeasterly direction on the old New Haven Armory Branch immediately south of the Route 140 crossing near St. Mary’s Cemetery.
A detail view of the 1946 New Haven Railroad system map with a red arrow pointing to Melrose.
A detailed view of the 1946 New Haven Railroad system map with a orange arrow pointing in the direction I made the photo. The tip of the arrow is approximately where the photo was made. The end of the arrow is irrelevant.
Period USGS Topographical map showing Route 140 in Melrose. I've circle the location of the photo with an arrow to show the direction I was pointing.
Period USGS Topographical map showing Route 140 in Melrose. I’ve circle the location of the photo with an arrow to show the direction I was pointing. (only the point and the angle of the arrow are relevant, the unpointed-end is not important.)

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5 thoughts on “Tracking the Light February 10, 2016 Mystery Photo: Location Revealed!”

  1. Pretty obscure even for US enthusiasts, so what hope has anyone overseas! The “empire” clue did however suggest a line taken over by the New Haven in its years of expansion, but that didn’t really narrow the field greatly.

    The Melrose line had a curious passenger service in a 1932 Official Guide. It appeared to be a mixed train daily from East Hartford to Shaker Station, but working from East Longmeadow in the return direction.

  2. While I was incorrect in my guess as to your mystery photo challenge , I thoroughly enjoyed it ! Great idea ! I’d also like to say what a fantastic site you manage on the net. I always look forward to your new posts as they brighten my day. Thank you for all your efforts!

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