Tag Archives: ghost train

Ghost of the route of the Ghost Train; When ‘Airline’ meant Railroad!


The old Boston New York Airline Railroad was a 54-mile line that connected Willimantic and New Haven, Connecticut.

This was built decades before the first aeroplane made its first flight. In theory it offered a direct route between its namesake points, but in practice it wasn’t really all that straight and itself never reached Boston or New York.

It did however, serve as part of a through route for New York & New England’s premier Boston-New York Express, which in its heyday in the 1880s-1890s was famous for its use of passenger cars that were painted gloss-white.

It was known as the ‘White Train’ or to residents along the line that saw it pass in the night as the ‘Ghost Train.’

Exposed digitally with a FujiFilm X-T1.
Exposed digitally with a FujiFilm X-T1.

Today the old Airline is a hiking trail. I made this photo west of Willimantic.

Maybe there’s a true ghost train that passes on windless winter nights?

Tracking the Light Posts Daily!

I Thought I Saw A Ghost Train at Metro-North’s West Haven Station.

Sometime last summer, I read a press release proclaiming something to effect that Metro-North’s New Haven Line electric service was now completely operated with the new Kawasaki M8 multiple units, and that all of old Metropolitan cars had been withdrawn.

I thought I did.

Recent trips along the old New Haven seemed to have confirmed this transformation.

So, I was quite surprised the other day when a ghost train arrived at Metro-North’s West Haven Station!

This is great contrast: old cars at the new station. Notice that I carefully included the date in the sign. Lumix LX7 photograph.
This is great contrast: old Metropolitan cars at the new station. Notice that I carefully included the date in the sign. Lumix LX7 photograph.


Real passengers boarded and it whizzed away toward Grand Central.


My father and I were supposed to have boarded, as we were on our way to New York. ‘Why didn’t you get on?’

‘What? Ride a ghost train?!’ I’ll wait for the M-8.’ (In truth I was so surprised, my primary thought was to take a photo.)

For my next trick, I’m heading out the Boston & Albany west-end to catch some of the A1 Berkshires on the move. I’ll report back.

Tracking the Light Sees Ghosts!