The old towpath

The old towpath and railroad bed through campus as it passes under a street, now converted to a walking and biking pathThe New Haven Railroad had a single-track line that ran through the campus, on its way to Northampton, Massachusetts. The line was built on the towpath of the abandoned Farmington Canal, which I believe was constructed to bypass rapids on the Connecticut River above Hartford. By the late 1960’s, the rail line was seeing very little traffic or may have been abandoned altogether, although I recall that the rails were still in place. I used to find walking along the old, overgrown towpath very calming in the midst of the urban noise and congestion of New Haven. I’m told that it is now a very popular rail-trail, although I do not believe that the sections along the Yale Campus were saved. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.

Paul Ceruzzi