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Providence and Worcester Railroad

Providence and Worcester Railroad Reporting marksPW Locale Connecticut, Massachusettsand Rhode Island; New York Cityand Long Islandvia trackage rightsDates of operation 1847 – 1892
1973–present Track gaugeft8½ in(1435 mm) (standard gauge) Headquarters Worcester, Massachusetts

The Providence and Worcester Railroad (AAR reporting marks PW) is a Class II railroad in the United States. The railroad connects from Gardner in central Massachusetts, south through its namesake cities of Worcester and Providence, Rhode Island, and west from Rhode Island through Connecticut and into New York City. The railroad's connection between New Haven, Connecticut and New York City and onto Long Island is via trackage rights over the Hell Gate Bridge.


Current lines

In addition to the original main line between Providence and Worcester. and the East Providence Branch, the P&W owns or provides freight service on the following lines, identified by their original companies:

P&W operates over the following lines with overhead trackage rights, meaning it cannot serve on-line customers:


The P&W was incorporated in Massachusetts on March 12, 1844, and in Rhode Island in May 1844, the two companies being merged November 25, 1845. The company bought the Blackstone Canal, also running between Providence and Worcester, and began construction, partly on its banks, in 1845. The line opened in two sections, the part south of Millville on September 27, 1847, and the rest on October 20. The line from Providence to Central Falls was shared with the Boston and Providence Railroad, which at the same time built a connection from its old line (ending in East Providence) over to the P&W.

On July 1, 1892, the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad leased the P&W for 99 years. The New Haven merged into Penn Central on January 1, 1969. On April 6, 1970 the P&W announced its intention to separate from the merger. After a legal battle, the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the request on August 25, 1972, and on November 2, Penn Central signed the agreement effective December 30. The P&W cancelled the lease on February 3, 1973. Since then, the P&W has taken over many other lines from the former Penn Central and Boston and Maine Railroad.


The East Providence Branch Railroad was the only branch built by the P&W. Chartered in 1874 and opened in 1875, it split from the main line at Valley Falls and ran southeast and south, clipping the corner of Attleboro, Massachusetts and running through Pawtucket, ending in East Providence at the Boston and Providence Railroad and the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad.

The East Providence Branch was also the P&W's only branch when it was leased to the NYNH&H, but previously it had leased several other railroads.

The Milford and Woonsocket Railroad was incorporated in 1855 and opened in 1868 from Milford to Bellingham. Soon after, the P&W leased it, despite it not being connected directly to the P&W. The Hopkinton Railway was leased in 1870 and opened in 1872, continuing the M&W north from Milford to Ashland. It too was leased to the P&W, on completion. Both leases expired in 1883 and were not renewed. The M&W bought the Hopkinton in 1884, and in 1897 the New England Railroad leased them, with a direct connection at Milford.

See also

External links


v • d • eNew York, New Haven and Hartford Railroadsubsidiaries New York and New Haven/ Hartford and New Haven/ Shore Line(1872) Harlem River(1873) · Air Line (1879) · Connecticut Valley (1882) · New Canaan(1884) · Naugatuck(1887) · New Haven and Northampton(1887) · New York, Providence and Boston(1892) · Housatonic(1892) · Providence and Worcester (1892) · Old Colony(1893) · New York and New England(1898) · Shepaug, Litchfield and Northern(1898) · Meriden, Waterbury and Connecticut River (1898) · Central New England(1904) · Newburg, Dutchess and Connecticut(1905) · Poughkeepsie and Eastern(1907) · New York Connecting(1917) · Union Freight Preceded by
Texas Mexican RailwayRegional Railroad of the Year
1999Succeeded by
Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad
v • d • eClass II railroadsof the United States Current (operating) ARR, BPRR, CSS, DME, EJE, FEC, IAIS, ICE, IHB, INRD, ISG, LIRR, MMA, MRL, PAL, PAR, PW, TMTC, TM, WE, WSORFormer or fallen flagBOCT, BLE, CC, CMNW, CRN, DMIR, GWWR, IMRL, MAA, MGA, MNS, OKKT, SI, WCSee also: List of U.S. Class II railroads Categories: Class II railroads in the United States | Connecticut railroads | Massachusetts railroads | New York railroads | Rhode Island railroads | Companies affiliated with the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad

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