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.’
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?
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was now completely operated with the new Kawasaki M8 multiple units, and that all of old Metropolitan cars had been withdrawn.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!
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.