Customers in Boston-proper

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BostonUrbEx
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Customers in Boston-proper

Post by BostonUrbEx » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:10 am

AFAIK, the only remaining active rail customers in Boston-proper would be Ameri-Cold Logistics at Widdett Circle and the Boston Globe facility. Is that correct? And does anyone know how often and what time these guys are switched out?

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:22 am

Globe's done as a customer. They ended their freight rail contract when they outsourced most of their printing to the 'burbs. Shortly before they put the Morrissey Blvd. HQ for sale.

Widett's an overnighter inbound from Readville after commuter rail shuts down. Once a week, but don't think the day-of-week is all that consistent.

Houghton Chemical is still alive and kicking at Beacon Park until the BRA and Harvard can make a sweet enough relocation offer for their property. The CSX Everett job still visits their siding once a week.

I guess you could count the ex- Stop & Shop warehouse at Readville as "Boston" since there's 6 cars x 2 tracks' worth of storage on that siding that does indeed cross the city line into Hyde Park...and it's usually occupied with cars. M.S. Walker is moving there from Somerville so that's a pending net gain of +1 customers at that site.

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BostonUrbEx
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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by BostonUrbEx » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:26 am

Yeah, just checked streetview on I-93 and the frog for the Globe's siding was cut out and left between the rails of their siding... damn...

Also, though Beacon Park was all dried up. That customer on Rotterdam St is gone, right? Will Houghton be relocating and utilizing rail?

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by trainsinmaine » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:55 am

This is really amazing. So . . . there is no longer any freight running on the MBTA (ex-B&M, Fitchburg) line east of Ayer? What about on the old Eastern up through Beverly to Ipswich? I assume that is solely a commuter line nowadays as well.

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:58 am

BostonUrbEx wrote:Yeah, just checked streetview on I-93 and the frog for the Globe's siding was cut out and left between the rails of their siding... damn...

Also, though Beacon Park was all dried up. That customer on Rotterdam St is gone, right? Will Houghton be relocating and utilizing rail?
Globe newsprint deliveries were extremely infrequent before the end of service, so not much lost there.

Romar Transportation went to Hopedale and is now served by G&U in the yard; CSX brokered that relocation with Harvard et al. to keep Romar's loads captive-by-proxy. Siding was completely torn up in mid-summer 2014.

Houghton's land, unlike Romars, is not Harvard-owned. And since the powers-that-be want that parcel in the worst way the company is driving a hard bargain (as they should). Readville and Eastie were floated, but HC's saying neither site offers the combination of rail + highway + proximity that they desire. Though I'm sure that's just a negotiating tactic to wring maximum value out of the property. They'll go somewhere local, it'll have rail, and it won't go eminent-domain nuclear (weak case for that to begin with since the Pike relocation doesn't affect that parcel). BRA and Harvard just have to offer them a sweet-enough package for the new facility, so TBD on the where and when of HC's move.


Pretty much the only possible net gains for new Boston-proper customers are:
-- Massport Marine Terminal when that Track 61 spur's construction gets started (definite).
-- More tenants at Readville / ex-S&S warehouse (but never trust the BRA and Town of Dedham to not screw that up 9 ways to Sunday)
-- Global Petroleum in Eastie if they take another stab around the NIMBY's (ethanol isn't their only potential source of rail traffic)
-- Other Eastie miscellany at the mini-yard by Global (dependent on Global for re-activating the track, but PAR sees other upside)
-- Moran Terminal/Autoport (way lower-priority than Southie, unclear whether NS even wants to handle double-deck autoracks here when it handles triple-decks everywhere else, the GLX clearance hullabaloo throwing everything into chaos)

So...yard/terminal-centric. We've probably seen the last single-customer sidings in town. And that includes the cold storage warehouse at Widett because the owners want to nuke it and build a giant recycling center that the neighborhood and Food Market are opposing with the fury of a thousand suns.

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:28 am

trainsinmaine wrote:This is really amazing. So . . . there is no longer any freight running on the MBTA (ex-B&M, Fitchburg) line east of Ayer? What about on the old Eastern up through Beverly to Ipswich? I assume that is solely a commuter line nowadays as well.
Oh, definitely freight jobs. Just not a lot of freight sidings.
-- Boston Sand & Gravel in Somerville is a daily job unto itself via Lawrence and the Lowell Line. I believe that is still Pan Am's largest single customer in Massachusetts. Pretty much the entire existence of New Hampshire Northcoast RR is predicated on serving BS&G out of NH's sand quarries.
-- Everett Terminal gets dailies from both PAR via Lawrence/Lowell Line and CSX via Worcester Line/Grand Junction
-- Readville Yard very much active, CSX daily round-trip + miscellaneous run-as-directeds via Framingham Secondary/Franklin Line
-- Home Depot warehouse in Norwood in the industrial park behind Route 128 station gets a 3-day-a-week CSX out of Readville via short jaunt on NEC.
-- Lowell Line very much thriving with on-line customers north of Winchester Center, with Tighe Warehouse @ the Montvale siding a huge newer one. NH Main's usually served by an overnight local.
-- The sewage treatment plant at Quincy Shipyard still has Fore River Transportation packing Braintree Yard full of tankers every day for CSX to pick up out of Middleboro on the overnight.

Much spottier after that:
-- 2-3 day-a-week local to Salem/Peabody to serve Eastman Gelatin on the PAR South Peabody Branch (business is booming of late), occasionally Univar next to old Castle Hill Yard in Salem, and once every couple years a boxcar to some mysterious customer across the Eastern Route ROW from Univar.
-- The Home Depot warehouse local extends to Stoughton to serve 1 remaining customer about once a week. CSX negotiated to get the second Stoughton customer next door relocated to Middleboro Yard, however, so you wonder how much longer this last Stoughton holdout is going to be there.
-- One-a-week out of Readville to East Walpole via the remnant of the Wrentham Branch south of Norwood Central to serve a customer there (although that's gotten way spottier of late, so it's not healthy business)
-- The Widett weekly. Which will turn into a nightly when Massport gets something going at Marine Terminal.
-- *Technically* the Medford Branch off the Western Route is still active with a cold storage warehouse advertised on PAR's website. But they haven't taken a load since Summer 2010. The Budweiser brewery at the same siding has been hemming and hawing with PAR for 3 years now about resuming service at pretty decent carloads...but the clearance restrictions on the Western Route in Medford have negotiations at a standstill.
-- M.S. Walker is still there at BET for the time being, although obviously they'll be moving southside pretty soon.


That's it, though.

-- Nothing on the Eastern north of Salem. Guilford abandoned all their freight rights in 1984. And no potential biz.
-- Nothing on the Eastern between Everett Terminal and Salem. GE plant in Lynn always a potential customer if they start manufacturing something conducive to rail, and the East Boston Branch always a possibility. But unless Town of Peabody attracts a new industrial park customer on the OOS portion of the South Peabody Branch that's the northernmost extent of the new potential.
-- Nothing on the Western between Somerville and Wilmington Jct. No potential online biz, except for if any of that Medford Branch stuff shakes out. Maybe some overhead freight traffic, though, if GLX wrecks PAR's Lowell Line access thoroughly enough.
-- Nothing on the Fitchburg Line east of Willows Jct. Ocean Spray/Veryfine's siding has been dead for 4 years now. No potential biz.
-- No sidings on the Franklin Line...just the steady overhead traffic to/from Readville.
-- No sidings on the Worcester Line east of Framingham to--for the time being--Houghton Chemical. Just the steady overhead job from Framingham to Everett via the Grand Junction.
-- No Lowell Line sidings between Winchester and Somerville, just the steady overhead traffic.
-- Nobody whatsoever has freight rights on the Needham Line, Plymouth Line, or Greenbush Line east of Fore River Transportation's branch in East Braintree.
-- Nothing on the NEC between the Stoughton weekly's poke to Canton Jct. and the daily to the Mansfield-Attleboro daily.
-- Nothing on the Fairmount Line except for the weekly overnight Widett Circle job and the future daily overnight overhead traffic to Marine Terminal.

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by GP40MC1118 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:09 am

A couple of things:

Fore River - Most of that traffic is for Twin River Technologies, not the MWRA (I think they
don't much at all).

Somerville - Boston Paperboard still has its siding, but hasn't gotten anything in about two
years after a brief fling with rail again. Even if they do, they will be another victim of
GLXess and Somerville's vision to remake the whole Cobblehill area into a some tony
residential district.

DOBO is not daily, but 3-4 times a week, less in the winter.

Billerica Shop complex - PAR has a few customers here and the car counts are way up.

D

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by newpylong » Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:51 am

GP40MC1118 wrote:A couple of things:

Fore River - Most of that traffic is for Twin River Technologies, not the MWRA (I think they
don't much at all).

Somerville - Boston Paperboard still has its siding, but hasn't gotten anything in about two
years after a brief fling with rail again. Even if they do, they will be another victim of
GLXess and Somerville's vision to remake the whole Cobblehill area into a some tony
residential district.

DOBO is not daily, but 3-4 times a week, less in the winter.

Billerica Shop complex - PAR has a few customers here and the car counts are way up.

D
Cobble Hill/Yard 10 lead is going to be Pan Am's only access to Somerville. Are you saying Boston Paperboard goes away entirely due to the redevelopment of the area? Their rail access won't be going away.

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by BostonUrbEx » Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:07 pm

newpylong wrote:Cobble Hill/Yard 10 lead is going to be Pan Am's only access to Somerville. Are you saying Boston Paperboard goes away entirely due to the redevelopment of the area? Their rail access won't be going away.
Supposedly Yard 10 is *not* part of GLX. There is no planning or funding in place for a rehab of Yard 10, and I'm doubting it is usable in its current state.

My guess is Boston Paperboard relies on Plate F boxcars? In about a month or so, Plate F cars will no longer be able to access Boston from the north. Thanks to GLX.

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by Tracer » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:49 pm

F - line said ms walker is moving, anyone know where?

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by BostonUrbEx » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:15 pm

As I recall from what I've read, MS Walker is moving to the largest building shown here: https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=42.2305 ... 2&t=h&z=17" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by B&M 1227 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 10:55 pm

I was told from an employee this past summer that yard 10 is a serious consideration for replacing yard 8. I don't know where this stands on the company radar, but the "plan" at the time was to have 3 tracks through there again.
Did we ever hear a music sweeter than the one that thrills, as it floats along the Deerfield, as it echoes o'er the hills.
How we watch that little engine as it stalks across the plain; was there ever music sweeter, was there ever sight completer, than the coming of the train?
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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by GP40MC1118 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 12:34 am

Boston Paperboard's switch is off the Yard 9/10 Lead on the east side of the Innerbelt Rd
grade crossing. It passes through the MBTA T-Pad yard. Like I said, they haven't
gotten anything for a while. I suppose as long as Yard 9/10 lead is in existence, they
would have access. But forget about Plate F cars here!

It's still unclear about using the Yard 9/10 lead as a PAR track. Yes, there was plans to
upgrade it with a passing or storage siding. However, there are beau-coup issues:

1) At the north end, it will pass through another MBTA MW facility (the pale green building).
Clearances are very close, but worse is where to move the MBTA MW stuff given the lack
of space GLXess is gobbling up.

2) You would have two grade crossings to deal with - Cobblehill Road and Innerbelt.

3) Then its which way to go when you get to FX. As mentioned over and over again, you
can't swing it directly out the Eastern Route mainline due to the Orange Line flyover and
I-93 support columns. Not only that, you would be crossing at grade the 3rd & 4th Iron
leads.

4) Somerville has intentions to transform the whole Cobblehill area, leaving little in the way
industry. I'll have to try and find the link to a plan for the area. It's a stunner in respect
for the lack of transportation considerations. Not to mention the current residents of the
area probably couldn't afford to live there anymore.

5) GLXess is taking up to 10 tracks from commuter rail and not giving one damn one back.
Commuter Rail is taking it on the chin big time for this and the lack of room is going to
haunt them for a long time - probably forever. It's jaw-dropping to see how this is going!

Understand Yard 8 may be severed by this weekend. So much for July or mid-May.

D

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by newpylong » Thu Apr 23, 2015 7:43 am

Thanks Dave, that does provide more insight. I do remember switching their cars in Deerfield before back when we actually blocked for Boston and had a BO-1 rather than all Lawrences. They did get both plate E and F so if they wanted service again they still could get it via the Western. As I have been told it isn't a matter of if but when Yard 10 gets put back in to a small extent. As to what Pan Am will do once Yard 8 is severed and until this can be done is anyone's guess. Using the Western won't be fun for crews.

It actually is mindboggling that Pan Am went along with everything - they must have gotten a pretty penny. Chalk it up with the rest of the ill-conceived decisions.

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Re: Customers in Boston-proper

Post by hh660 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 9:02 am

I'm sorry, but what is GLX?
S

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