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Hop Brook Railroad Culvert


The Waterbury to Danbury section of Hartford, Providence, and Fishkill railroad was constructed between 1866 and 1881, while the railroad was under the control of the Boston , Hartford, & Erie Railroad. The route provided a direct route between the two cities, albeit via an arduous alignment over hilly terrain.

With the railroad having gained significant elevation in its climb out of the Naugatuck River Valley, the crossing of Hop Brook involved 300' long and 90' tall trestle, with a 30' tall stone arch structure allowing passage of the brook below. The arch was completed in 1869 and the trestle later filled in during the 1890s. Adjacent to the massive trestle (and later embankment) was a 25' tall by 16.5' wide arch over Church Street, which allowed for one lane of roadway traffic to pass beneath.

In 1937, the New York, New Haven & Hartford abandoned the route over Towantic Hill in favor of a longer, but lower-grade, route via Derby. Three years later, the highway arch was demolished.

Following the devastating 1955 floods, the Hop Brook Dam was one of several flood control structures to be built in the Naugatuck Valley. As part of the dam construction, the railroad embankment was lowered and now carries a dam access road, with Hop Brook still rushing through the nearly 150-year old culvert beneath.


Stone arch bridge over Hop Brook on NYNH&H Towantic Hill Route
Naugatuck, New Haven County, Connecticut
Embankment cut down; dam service road runs over culvert
Built 1869; RR abandoned 1937; embankment lowered during construction of Hop Brook Dam
- Boston, Hartford & Erie Railroad (BH&E)
- Hartford, Providence & Fishkill Railroad (HP&F)
- New York & New England Railroad (NYNE)
- New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH)
Stone arch
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.51305, -73.06518   (decimal degrees)
41°30'47" N, 73°03'55" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/661457/4597520 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 68144 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2015: Added by Ian Martin



Hop Brook Railroad Culvert
Posted June 17, 2019, by David (d [dot] carusellojr [at] att [dot] net)

A small correction. The rr trestle was taken down long after the flood dam was constructed. We use to walk over the wooden trestle which was filled in as you reported. It was covered in dark black coal cinders. It was something to be ninety feet up. Someone suggested that the Georgia pine timbers were rotting underneath. I know we were there into the seventies. Lowering came later. The whole area was ruined with the new dam.