Saxonville Industrial Track

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Jedijk88
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by Jedijk88 »

Anyone know the status of the CSX Saxonville Industrial Track? Last I knew they were still serving the cold storage warehouse at the end of the line, but rail trail advocates were interested in the ROW.

CSX Conductor
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Post by CSX Conductor »

The freezer hasn't gotten any cars in the last week or two, but that doesn't mean that they are gone for good. The freezer in Boston, which is owned by the saem family, is sporatic as well and just when you think there won't be another car one seems to turn up. :wink:

Jedijk88
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Post by Jedijk88 »

thanks, good to hear it's still been in use.

johnpbarlow
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Post by johnpbarlow »

The Saxonville line would be a good line for MBTA to use for commuter rail if they could use the RoW that formerly served the Wonderbread factory on Speen Street to access the Natick Mall. Plenty of room parking, good proximity to the Mass Pike interchange, tons of car traffic...

CSX Conductor
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Post by CSX Conductor »

They would have to sink too much money into it. (i.e. grade crossings). Also the rail has been removed at Speen Street, I believe.

Agent at Clicquot
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End of Track ...

Post by Agent at Clicquot »

CSX Conductor wrote:They would have to sink too much money into it. (i.e. grade crossings). Also the rail has been removed at Speen Street, I believe.
This crossing just about came out before the smell of fresh baked bread faded. For some time, it was possible to see rail just to the east side of the crossing. As there was a significant grade running downhill toward the 'main', there was no need for a bumper here.

As for the industrial track itself, it ends behind Home Depot, at least 100 feet south of Route 30 in dense brush. For a time several years ago, there were a coupla CR cabese stored here ... but they've since gone the way of the B60B that loitered around Framingham for a generation.

For those that use the Natick exit/entrance to the MassPike, this crosses over the industrial track a few feet from the toll booth closer to the highway. I walked through it a coupla months back (t'was an easy walk while my Suby was at the vet: aka, Speen Street Auto). From the clearance under the roadway, I bet double stacks could roll through there, on double track.

One can only wonder at the millions that've been spent building (and maintaining) bridges over railroad that have seen their final train.

* JB *

eddiebehr
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Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by eddiebehr »

The MBTA certainly had plans to build a Transportation Center at Speen St.-Route 30-Mass. Pike intersection.
At site of Home Depot was a large, suburban Trailways bus terminal on the design of the Greyhound-Peter Pan set up at Riverside. It was probably built in late 1960s and lasted until Trailways rolled its last bus into the garage (mid-1980s maybe?). The terminal facility sat vacant for quite a few years until the HD was constructed there.

roberttosh
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Post by roberttosh »

Sadly, I think the Freezer warehouse has seen it's last car.

Jedijk88
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Post by Jedijk88 »

what gives you that impression?

CSX Conductor
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Post by CSX Conductor »

roberttosh wrote:Sadly, I think the Freezer warehouse has seen it's last car.
Based on not seeing any cars in the computer for the last week or so I get that impression as well, but I am remaining optimistic because as I mentioned before the freezer downtown hadn't gotten any cars in a couple months but got one this week. :-)

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A320
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Post by A320 »

You guys are bringing back a lot of childhood memories.

Growing up just over the hill (west) of the former Carousel Theatre property (long since an office park), the Saxonville Branch was our "superhighway" to everywhere.

We would "walk the tracks" to the Round-Up Supermarket and the Pizza Wagon; to CCD classes at St. George's Church; and almost all the way to Saxonville School.

In the other direction, it led us to fishing in Lake Cochituate, and, of course, to the Natick Mall.

Needless to say, we also planted our share of pennies on the tracks, in the hopes of coming back and finding them flattened.

CSX Engineer 98
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Post by CSX Engineer 98 »

I owned and worked the Very last runs as a Conductor to wonder bread With Engineer Lee Fuller. the last Box car and pulled the last tank cars to see service at the location. Almost got run over several times at the crossing to....Dont miss that.

roberttosh
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Post by roberttosh »

Jedijk88 wrote:what gives you that impression?
I know people that used that warehouse and they said it's closing.

CSX Conductor
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Post by CSX Conductor »

Hopefully the other locations will get some of that business, in Medford and Boston, preferably Boston of course. :-)

eddiebehr
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Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by eddiebehr »

A320 brought back some more memories. I think I'm a little older. After World War II, Boston suburbs boomed and certainly gave the appearance of commercial and industrial growth, although a lot of what happened was merely shifts of some business from the immediate Boston area out to where the population was growing, not declining.
The Saxonville Branch as we called it generated a lot of carloads for the Boston & Albany/New York Central in the postwar era up into the 1970s.
The biggest customer was the Carling Brewery on the banks of Lake Cochituate. I suspect some of the building materials were even brought in by rail. This Canadian brewer opened its brewery about 1956 and it functioned for about 15 years. However, in the end Budweiser finished it off. Prime Computer and now Boston Scientific occupies the facilities and those operations were distinctly non-rail. Ford Motor had a parts facility in the Sam's Club site and it was in use from about 1951/52 to early 1980s anyway. Wonder Bread came in in early 1960s and lasted about 35 years. There was a Chrysler parts warehouse near Home Depot site but it was kind of far off the road and wasn't there all that many years for me to explore. New England Sand and Gravel at Route 30 xing regularly took covered hoppers on cement at their site. New England Trading (Zayre stores) had a good sized facility where TJX offices are now and took regular deliveries of merchandise for probably 20 years or so. There was an abandoned gravel pit just north of Old Connecticut Path which crossed on a spindly overpass. OCP was a narrow country road until mid-1960s. The pit was on west side of tracks in the area now occupied by Mass. Pike and Carousel property which I think was Prime Computer for a while and now an office park. The trackage had long been removed and there were bundles of gnarly ties stacked up and strewn about and looked like they had been there for many years prior to 1952 or 1953. In Saxonville, just before School Street was a run-around track. Roxbury Carpet had two tracks into their facility and Saxonville Lumber leased the B & A station for an office. Saxonville Coal was taking hoppers of coal into early 1950s. Their office was where Mechanic Street makes is right angle turn.
When the apartments were constructed on Concord Street at the site of the station and lumber yard, either the turntable and pit or just pit (more likely) was uncovered and a subject for write up in the Framingham paper.
School Street crossing was a veritable transportation hub into early 1920s. Boston & Worcester Saxonville Branch trolleys operated on Concord Street to the square, the Middlesex & Boston Natick-Cochituate-Wayland-Saxonville Branch came down School Street to the railroad track which separated the two never connected trolley lines.
I remember only one instance of seeing steam on the branch on Speen St. right where the tracks are right beside the road. We were at the dump which was right under where the Mass. Pike Exit 13 toll booths are today. Everything else was diesel. I saw the RDCs on the 4/27/58 branch line fan trip and bought some photos of it from Bob's Photos. I also came across some slides of this trip and have them too.
My brothers, friends and I also fished at the overflow on Lake Cochituate. I was christened at St. George's in January, 1945 (old church) and still attend.

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