Last Run on the Central Mass

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Last Run on the Central Mass

Postby Tom coughlin » Sat Jan 15, 2005 8:43 pm

I visited the Hudson, MA historical society today to see a special railroad exhibit they had. They had nice pictures and models by a gentleman from Marlborogh. The folks from the society that were there today would love some more info on the railroads in town. Here are my questions:

1. What was the date of the last run? I've heard sometime in June, 1980.
Does anybody know the names of the crew and the engine and cabose no. I've heard that the train had no work west of S. Sudbury that day and went light w/ cab to Hudson to have one last lunch at the Bar Lunch restaurant. What was the train symbol?

2. When did passenger service end west of Hudson to Clinton? When did passaenger service to Hudson end. Between these two dates, was it true that the Hudson stop was moved to the Marlborough Branch yard on Main Street?

3. When did passenger service end on the Marlborough Branch? How about freight service?

Thanks in advance.
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Postby NRGeep » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:15 pm

Not answering any of your questions but it is my understanding that the Central Mass featured the last steam trains on the B&M up till late 50's.
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Re: Last Run on the Central Mass

Postby Noel Weaver » Sat Jan 15, 2005 11:58 pm

Tom coughlin wrote:I visited the Hudson, MA historical society today to see a special railroad exhibit they had. They had nice pictures and models by a gentleman from Marlborogh. The folks from the society that were there today would love some more info on the railroads in town. Here are my questions:

1. What was the date of the last run? I've heard sometime in June, 1980.
Does anybody know the names of the crew and the engine and cabose no. I've heard that the train had no work west of S. Sudbury that day and went light w/ cab to Hudson to have one last lunch at the Bar Lunch restaurant. What was the train symbol?

2. When did passenger service end west of Hudson to Clinton? When did passaenger service to Hudson end. Between these two dates, was it true that the Hudson stop was moved to the Marlborough Branch yard on Main Street?

3. When did passenger service end on the Marlborough Branch? How about freight service?

Thanks in advance.


Most of my answers come from the Central Mass book put out by the
B&MRRHS in 1975. I do not know whether this fine book is still in print but
it is well worth the money and effort to obtain a copy.
Last steam run appears to be May 5, 1956. I rode the line on April 21,
1956 with mogul 1455 in charge.
On August 11, 1958 the line between Berlin and Clinton was taken out of
service.
Passenger service was cut back to South Sudbury on Jan. 15, 1965,
forty years ago today!!.
Will have to check my timetables for the rest of the information that you
are looking for.
Noel Weaver
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Postby kwf » Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:40 am

I would've loved to have seen that presentation. Is it over with, or is it still ongoing?

ps...next time drop us a line, so we can get in on the action!
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Postby Tom coughlin » Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:50 am

The exhibit is running Saturday's 10-noon, and Tuesdays (not sure of the time) during the month of January. They have a lot of great non-railroad artifacts as well. The Hudson Historical Society is located on the 3rd floor of the town hall on Main Street.
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Last Run on the Central Mass.

Postby eddiebear » Tue Jan 18, 2005 8:33 am

The last passenger trains west of Hudson would have run on Saturday, May 17, 1958. There were four Mon-Fri trips on the line. Westbound two through to Clinton, two to Hudson. Eastbound, three from Clinton, one from Hudson. No equipment was kept at Hudson, so the equipment for the Hudson trains deadheaded to and from Boston. No equipment was kept at Clinton after the end of steam and during the two years or so that the operation was 100% diesel, the Clinton equipment was deadheaded to or from Lowell or the Middlesex Enginehouse via Ayer.
There was one Clinton-Boston round-trip on Saturdays.
Starting on Monday, 5/19/58, there were two Hudson-Boston round-trips using RDC equipment only deadheading out of Boston in the early morning and deadheading back in the evening.
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Postby MrB » Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:39 am

I grew up in Hudson and remember seeing only 1 train some time in either 1976 or 1977 actually using the old CM running thru the North side of town heading west towards Berlin. I'm not sure just how far it may have gone done the line from there, as I did not stay around long enough to see it return. I do remember a few trains sitting on what was the Marlboro Branch on the Fitchburg Div. on the south side of Main St. Did these trains arrive in Hudson via the old CM coming thru Wayland and Sudbury or the Marlboro branch via Maynard and Acton. As best I can remember it was usually just an engine and caboose, seemed like they would be there for quite a while, must have taken them all night just to get back into Boston if the line speed had been reduced to 5 mph as I have read in one book.
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Postby ewh » Tue Feb 22, 2005 11:46 am

The last time I saw a delivery to Berlin was in 1978 with two boxcars for the lumber yard.

From 1958 to 1965 the B&M parked a couple RDC's on the Marlborough Branch in Hudson overnight. I think passengers boarded the trains here rather than at the Hudson station on the CM, which was a couple blocks north. There was a small yard to the west of Hudson station on the CM.

The last passenger train to Marlborough was in 1939. The last freight was in the late 1960's. Sometime in the 1970's somebody illegally ripped up sections of the Marlborough Branch in Hudson for scrap and it took weeks/months for the B&M to find out it had been ripped off.
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