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Electricity on the High Iron: Cos Cob Powers the New Haven Railroad

Robert C. Stewart
IA. The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology
Vol. 23, No. 1, DOCUMENTING COMPLEXITY: THE HISTORIC AMERICAN ENGINEERING RECORD AND AMERICA'S TECHNOLOGICAL HISTORY (1997), pp. 43-60
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40968382
Page Count: 18
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Electricity on the High Iron: Cos Cob Powers the New Haven Railroad
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Abstract

The Cos Cob Power Plant of the New Haven Railroad, constructed between 1905 and 1907, was the first generating station built to supply railroad traction power in the United States. Besides powering a major trunk-line railroad, it served as an advanced experimental facility where creative engineers from Westinghouse and the New Haven developed the standards for electrification of major American Railroads. The systems developed at Cos Cob were technologically innovative and reliably powered the railroad for almost 80 years. Mismanagement and lack of funds for replacement and modernization of capital machinery resulted in utilization of early-20th century generating equipment long after its obsolescence. Ironically, the New Haven's financial problems preserved the site and provided the opportunity for HAER recordation.

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