Biking

This blog highlights some of my adventures with the focus on railroad history. Originally intended as a blog of my rail trail rides, it now also includes hikes, railroad trips and even stop-and-go car trips if they are railroad history related...

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Cheney Rail Trail

It was a beautiful day on Saturday and I finally had time to go for a bike ride replete with railroad history exploration. The Cheney Rail Trail in Manchester was a short privately-owned spur to the Cheney Silk Factory complex (Historical detail below) 

I started from the site of the old Manchester Trail Station  - see previous posting.

Once on the trail, on the right are the railroad tracks and remnants of a trestle for the second set of tracks.

Trail on left - Track on right
Pier remnants
There were two tracks here
The official start was a block south of where I started!

 The Bike Ride 
(Short Video)

Former Cheney Silk Factory

The Factory buildings have been converted into loft apartments - very nice!

Ah - maybe this is a spot for a Native American Flute concert :-)

Historical Details

South Manchester Railroad (also known as the Cheney Railroad) was a short-line railroad, operating in Manchester, Connecticut. It was in operation from 1869 to the 1980s. The two-mile-long railroad was the only line in the United States to be owned by a family rather than a company. It was used as a method to send silk products from their mill in Manchester to the other mill, based in Hartford. Some of the workers also used the rail as a way to get to the mills for a low fare, but most lived in houses located on the property.
Source
Maps

1944

Links
In 2005, one mile of the railroad was purchased by the Manchester Land Conservation Trust and converted into a Rail Trail.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Manchester Train Station (Remnants)

Ever on the lookout for traces of vanished railroad history. I checked out the very sparse remnants of the former Manchester CT Railroad Station.

Looking West

Looking East

It doesn't look like this has seen a train in a long time!


Historic Photos of the Station

Depot Square

Note: Tracks on the left are the South Manchester Cheney Railroad