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The New York and New England Railroad was a major railroad connecting southern New York State with Hartford, Connecticut, Providence, Rhode Island, and Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to 1873 it was known as the Boston, Hartford and Erie Railroad, which had been formed by several smaller railroads dating back to 1846.
After bankruptcy in 1893, the New York and New England Railroad was reorganized and became known as the New England Railroad before its 1898 lease to the competing New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.
On May 1, 1849 the Southbridge and Blackstone Railroad was incorporated to extend the line west from Blackstone to Southbridge.
On its way to Douglas, this railroad passed through Ironstone, where there was a factory that made Kentucky Blue Jeans, and a nearby iron forge.
The Midland Railroad was incorporated May 2, 1850 to build a new entrance to Boston, merging with the existing one south of Dedham.