For many years, the NHRHTA offered for sale New Haven Railroad books produced by various publishers. We currently have one of these books available for sale:
New Haven Railroad's Streamline Passenger Fleet
The story of the New Haven Railroad's streamlined passenger equipment of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Hardcover, 160 pages, profusely illustrated.
Special NHRHTA Price $23.00
add $7.00 S&H per book
A documentary filmed in 1970-71 and released for public showing in 1976 and at many regional film festivals in 2008-2011. A flowing history of “The Berkshire Line”, as told by Producer-Director Tom Barry and veteran New Haven engineer Pete McLachlan, in the cab of an RDC-1. The film takes the viewer on an interesting journey through Connecticut and Massachusetts, as the camera lovingly follows the passenger train ride from Danbury to Pittsfield, along the tracks that parallel the mesmerizing Housatonic River. A wonderful film, with a sensitive approach to the sadness of the demise of passenger trains in New England. Original film restoration and digital re-mastering by Paul Beck of the NHRHTA. 36 minutes DVD-R Format. NTSC color.
In 2005, The New Haven Historical and Technical Association, Inc, became aware of two rare 16mm motion picture films - "Riding The Maybrook Line" and "NBC White Paper - RAILROADS: End of the Line?" Through the kind auspices of noted motion picture film authority and archivist Mitchell Dakelman, both surviving 16mm prints were obtained and digitally re-mastered for the NHRHTA, Inc., using the finest digital video transfer and recording technology to preserve the inherent high-quality images in these films.
"Riding The Maybrook Line", produced by ALCO & GE as a 15-minute promotional film for the then-new Alco FA freight locomotives, is a remarkably well executed promotional film, produced by a Syracuse-based production company, in much the same spirit and flavor of that wonderful epic New Haven film, “A Great Railroad at Work.” The film not only documents the Alco/GE FA & FB locomotives on the Maybrook line, there are high-quality images of DL-109s in several paint schemes, and New Haven class I-4, I-5, L-1, R-1, R-3, J-1 and Y-4 steam locomotives circa 1947, all in vivid color. 15:00 length in Color.
The "NBC White Paper - RAILROADS: End of the Line?" was produced by NBC News in 1961 just months before the New Haven Railroad filed for it’s second and last bankruptcy. This 58:30-minute black & white program is an unusually well-presented documentary, hosted by NBC’s Chet Huntley, himself a rail fan and outspoken advocate for rail transportation, and delves into the issues and problems of passenger train service at that time. The film opens with a morning commuter run from New Haven to New York City with three long suffering commuters being interviewed along the way, and segues into a speech by the New Haven’s last President, George Alpert, before moving on to other railroads. 58:30 length in B&W.
This 1 hour 50 minute video features a collection of 13 B&W and color films from the 1950s and '60s.
FILM #1: PUSH BUTTON TRAIN AT LARCHMONT. Creative use of newsreel media to promote NHRR business. Pat McGinnis cameo. Length 2:30.
FILM #2: HARWICH CRANBERRY FESTIVAL. Very short filler newsreel with the NHRR promoting this Cape Cod festival. Length 00:30
FILM #3: SANTA CLAUS AT SOUTH STATION. Festive greetings. Length 1:00.
FILM #4: LABOR CONTRACT SPEECH at the American Association of Railroads press conference and formal hearing. Length 4:45.
FILM #5: NEWSREEL OF PATRICK MCGINNIS ADDRESSING THE NEW HAVEN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. McGinnis speaking in his most frank and candid manner to the Chamber at the Towne House in New Haven. A rare insight into his thinking and unique self-expression. Length 33:00.
FILM #6: TALGO NEWSREELS. Rare 35mm theatrical newsreel films, seen here for the first time since their inception in 1954, with excerpts of a speech Patrick McGinnis made aboard the Talgo Train, in an informal "rolling press conference" for the newsreel cameras. Length 9:00.
FILM #7: ROUTE 128 RAILROAD STATION. 1955 color films. Length 5:20
FILM #8: FIVE RARE FILMED TV COMMERCIALS. Experimentally filmed TV commercials of the 1960s, with actual radio commercials used as sound track. Five 60-second spot announcements. Length 5:00. Length 5:00
FILM #9: 1955 FLOOD. Shoreline overflight footage. Patrick McGinnis seen in the left seat of the helicopter. Length 1:00
FILM #10: GENERAL ELECTRIC EP-5 LOCOMOTIVES under construction at the GE plant and running on the test track, UNPAINTED and PAINTED. Length 2:10
FILM #11: BROADCAST OF THE NBC HOME SHOW featuring EP-5 #370 in a special LIVE telecast from New Rochelle, NY. With Arlene Francis. National live broadcast from 1955. Length 9:00
FILM #12: ZOO TRAIN COLOR FILM, with sound. The New Haven pioneered an innovative effort to bring groups of children to the world-famous Bronx Zoo in New York City. Length 23:00
FILM #13: AMERICAN FLYERS BOYS CLUB FILM. Broadcast television of the 1950s has a special visit to the American Flyers Boys Club by Tommy Lyons, senior locomotive engineer for the New Haven Railroad. A classic infomercial of the 1950s with adventures about circus train and night-time operations on the layout. Length 14:30
Restored 16mm prints of "This is New England" and "New England Yesterday and Today."
"This is New England" and "New England Yesterday and Today" are a pair of films which were commissioned for promotional purposes by the New Haven Railroad, just prior to World War II.
"This is New England" presents the story of COMMERCE and INDUSTRY in New England, along with the important supporting role played by the New Haven Railroad's freight service.
"New England Yesterday and Today" is a trvelogue that presents scenes of popular travel destinations across New England, which were served, either directly or indirectly via connections with other railroads, by the New Haven's passenger trains.
Both films were made available on loan to schools, civic groups, clubs, libraries, and other intrested parties, by the New Haven Railroad's Public Relations Department, which maintained offices in New York City, New Haven, Connecticut, and Boston, Massachusetts.
"This is New England" was primarily aimed at students of junior high and high school age and was intended to impart an appreciation of the New Haven's contribution to the regional economy.
"New England Yesterday and Today", though also widely distributed to schools, was also shown to adult audiences at screenings presented by the railroad or travel agencies, to build interest in recreational travel.
"This is New England" and "New England Yesterday and Today present an interesting window into aspects of New England that are more than a half-century in the past, as well as rare glimpses of "modern" railroad operations that now seem as remote and antiquated as the building of the pyramids.
47:15 length in B&W.
In 1999, The New Haven Historical and Technical Association, Inc. became aware of a rare 8mm motion picture film which had been produced as a home movie by Mabel and Harold Lange. Through the kind auspices of noted national author and scholar of The New Haven Railroad, Jack Swanberg, the actual original 8mm film was obtained through the Lange family, now residing on the West Coast, and generously provided to the NHRHTA in December 2000.
The film was remarkably well-preserved and required minimal restoration. Many months during 2001 were spent researching appropriate musical selections and natural sounds to accompany what was produced as a silent film. The finest digital video transfer and recording technology was employed, to preserve the inherent high-quality images of steam locomotives and branch line passenger trains.
As you will see, this film is FAR from being any ordinary home movie produced by an amateur. It is an exemplary effort at documenting a Naugatuck Branch Line daily commuter train, using the typical Light Pacific steam engines used on the New Haven in 1946. There are scenes of classic New Haven I-1 and I-2 steam locomotives on the move, and one breathtaking scene in Waterbury with a massive double-headed R-1 drag freight pulling out of the yard, just as the local passenger train enters the station area.
The skill and attention to detail in the cinematography is superb, and the continuity of action is particularly noteworthy. Every stop along the Naugatuck Line is depicted, in the correct sequence and order. The action was photographed over a series of weeks, so the actual consist of the trains changes from scene to scene, as did the daily trains. The viewer will enjoy seeing the great variety of cars and locomotives that were so much a part of the New Haven System and its myriad of short branch lines.
Special thanks are in order for NHRHTA member and historian Bill Sample, for his excellent compilation of text for the narrative script, and to Chris Adams as well, for assistance in the development of the video treatment for this project.
Lastly, the viewer is in for an auditory treat as well, with a cleverly-crafted soundtrack which blends the narration with orchestral instrumental music from a wide array of sources, and carefully-recorded natural sounds of steam engines.
Videotape digitally mastered from original 8mm color film provided through the kindness of Charles Lange, in memory of Mabel & Harold Lange. 35 minutes, with musical sound track and narration.
This is the first in a new series of full-length videotapes which offer historic motion pictures and still images which have been adapted for television, and which feature the broad and rich history of the New Haven Railroad and it's almost limitless variety of passenger cars. This Treasures-on-Film presentation features films on four type of New Haven passenger equipment:
SELF-PROPELLED STEAM CAR (1897)
A special one-of-a-kind steam coach which was called "The Composite Car."
THE BESLER STEAM TRAIN (1936)
Another one-of-a-kind steam coach created jointly by the Besler Company and the Budd Company. Rare factory footage and scenes in revenue service.
THE EXPERIMENTAL TALGO TRAIN (1954)
The first of several "Experimental Lightweight Trains" endorsed by New Haven President Patrick B. McGinnis in the beginning years of his presidency. This tape includes rare sound films of McGinnis holding a "Rolling Press Conference" aboard the ACF Talgo articulated lightweight passenger train. Also included are rare color films of the Talgo inaugural run from New Haven to Boston, shot from a helicopter which was pacing the fast-moving train along the Shoreline. See fabulous aerial scenes, and some rare publicity still shots related to the public demonstrations.
THE BUDD COMPANY RDC (1949)
The tape includes the entire 15-minute Budd Company promotional film "Clear Iron" which was released nationally for motion picture theater and television distribution in 1952, and one of the world's first "Infomercials," presented as a documentary. This marvelous film has been recently restored and re-mastered onto videotape with all the clarity and sharpness of the original film in 1952.
While not solely New Haven, the NH is prominently featured in "Clear Iron." The film starts out with aerial shots of trains along the New Haven's electrified line between New Haven and New York. An RDC train is shown on the Woods Hole branch and meeting a ferry at Woods Hole, and there are shots in New Haven shops. Construction and servicing shots are included, with one showing an engine being removed from under a car.
"Special Passenger Trains, Part 1" has been created from original motion picture films and high quality stills, and re-mastered to digital-format videotape for optimum picture & sound quality. 62 minutes, with musical sound track and narration.
For years the New Haven called itself "The Aristocrat of New England Transportation". While this slogan pampered its Boston Brahmin and Wall Street commuting clientele, it hardly defined the NYNH&H.
"A Great Railroad At Work", sponsored by the New Haven in 1942, shows the railroad as a brawny, fleet-footed freight and passenger system that combined class with clockwork service (sometimes timed to the quarter-minute). It also had the most diverse roster of equipment of any railroad in the United States and probably the world: electric locomotives, steamers, buses, trolleys, self-powered MU cars, tugs, barges, and ferries.
"A Great Railroad At Work" was produced by the leading industrial filmmaker of that time, Jam Handy. The 16mm black & white images are as sharp today as they were when the film was first shown in theaters and to community audiences over 50 years ago.
Among the many highlights are archival views of the legendary passenger express, "The Yankee Clipper", driven by an elegantly-liveried 4-6-4 Hudson; New Haven's high-speed electric and steam corridors; Park Avenue Viaduct, one of the greatest feats of railroad engineering, and Grand Central Terminal, the grandest terminal of them all.
You'll discover what luxury travel, New Haven-style, was all about when you board its sleek commuter coaches, Pullmans, lounge cars, parlor cars, and diners – where a full-course New England dinner cost 40 cents (clam chowder 10 cents extra!).
You'll meet The New Haven's workhorses: 2-C+C-2 electrics with pantographs riding high, mighty 4-8-2 Mountains, awesome 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, busy electric switchers, and the first-generation diesels that would soon sound the final whistle on New Haven steam.
It's all here, in this marvelous "rediscovered" record of a GREAT Railroad at Work, the NYNH&H, The Aristocrat of Fallen Flags, lives again in this vintage video. Catch the glory!
Narrated by Lowell Thomas. Length: 45 minutes. Videotape re-mastered from an original 16mm film print, generously provided by ANTIQUARY VIDEO, Milltown, NJ.
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