The New Haven Railroad in the McGinnis Era

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The New Haven Railroad, though relatively small in size, was an operation that truly had it all. The New Haven's 225-mile-long Shore Line Route" main line linked Boston and New York City while its many branches served southern New England, in its day one of the most densely populated and heavily industrialized regions of the United States. To satisfy the broad service requirements of its territory, the New Haven maintained a diversity of passenger and freight equipment completely out of proportion to its size. The New Haven was one the few railroads that could boast of having operated steam, diesel, and electric locomotives (simultaneously) during the modern era.

Although the New Haven was always an interesting railroad, it took on a larger than life character after Patrick B. McGinnis became its president on April 14, 1954. Unquestionably the most outspoken and controversial railroad executive of his time, McGinnis believed that the ailing railroad industy's greatest handicap was its lack of modern thinking and that his ideas, if universally adopted, could lead railroading into the future. McGinnis used the New Haven as a laboratory to test his many bold ideas for revitalizing the railroad industry. As a result of his experiments and flair for publicity, the New Haven remained fixed in the public spotlight throughout the 22 months of his administration as no other railroad has ever been, before or since.

With the help of over 500 illustrations, author Marc Frattasio tells the full story of the New Haven under Patrick McGinnis, from the bitter battle to wrest the railroad away from Frederic C. Dumaine, Jr., through the financial chicanery and turmoil that ultimately forced McGinnis to step down. In between are the details of experiments with high speed passenger trains, the colorful corporate image and architectural design programs, new locomotives and equipment, the commuter insurrection, efforts to merge the New Haven with the Boston & Maine, the hurricanes and floods of 1954 and 1955, the General Motos pla, and many other interesting aspects of the New Haven in the McGinnis era.

The events of the McGonnis era are framed with in the broader context of the New Haven's overall history and a look at Patrick McGinnis' tumultuous careers on the Norfolk & Southern, the Central of Georgia, and the Boston & Maine.


Chapter 1: A History of the New Haven Railroad

Chapter 2: Patrick B. McGinnis

Chapter 3: The New Haven Under McGinnis

Chapter 4: Finis McGinnis

Chapter 5: McGinnis Goes to the Boston & Maine

Chapter 6: The New Haven After McGinnis

Chapter 7: The End of the New Haven Railroad