Shortline Inspiration: Update on North Stratford

I have previously mentioned the North Stratford Railroad Corporation, and in a discussion on interchanges on RMWeb, I posted an abbreviated history plus a diagrammatic view of the station.


Although this represents a specific location, there are general principles at play here. Although the interchange track appears to be of limited length, only coping with 6 cars, that figure refers to the unencumbered track, clear of any turnouts. In practice, the CNR can drop off more cars (empty 40′ box cars and some feed in hoppers for Agway at Coleford), pushing them down the tail end of the former MEC trackage, as long as their own power does not go off its own track. Any local traffic for the short spur near the depot needs to be switched by the NSRC.

Similarly, an arriving NSRC train can come in on the main, run round, then push its full loads onto the empties, and pull them clear of the interchange, putting them into the NSRC loop if necessary, before placing its train of full boxcars (and any empty hoppers) onto the interchange road. If necessary, it may need to use the recently acquired train to push the loads clear of the turnout for the CNR to collect, without going onto the track itself (I am sure blind eyes were turned at times!)

The NSRC ran once a week, but on two days. I know that sounds odd, but on a Tuesday, the loaded boxcars were switched away from the plant, and replaced with empties that were waiting. On Wednesday, they took the loads down to North Stratford, coming back with empties which were placed ready for the next week.

In MEC days it was simpler, as the branch train came up the CNR making use of trackage rights.

In any era, this presents interesting operating potential, and with the CNR served by storage loops and the NSRC by a couple of storage roads, it would make for an interesting oval layout in its own right, whether for the prototype roads, era and location or for anything else.

2 thoughts on “Shortline Inspiration: Update on North Stratford

  1. Chris Mears

    Thank you for the follow up post.

    It’s nice having a post like this to supplement the other data on the line, to describe the railway in terms of its operations.

    That turnout that divided CN and NSRC, I expect crossing it would require permissions that might prevent going too far.


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