Saxonville Industrial Track

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A320
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Post by A320 » Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:05 am

Thanks for the wonderful info, eddiebehr.

Ah, the smell of freshly-baking bread from the Wonder Bread plant. When the wind was just right, it wafted right through my neighborhood.

And a big part of the holiday experience was seeing the waterfall that ran from the Carling plant into Lake Cochituate strung with Christmas lights. (In retrospect, who in their right mind would drink beer made from the waters of Lake Cochituate? Ugh! I stopped swimming in it after contracting a staph infection at New Beach in 1963.)

Having accompanied my dad to Saxonville Lumber many times, I had no idea that was the old station. I remember standing in that building, surrounded by the smell of freshly-cut lumber.

I wish I had been more interested in railroad history when it was right there in my back yard. Instead, I was too occupied with going to the Pizza Wagon or the Mall in search of the fairer sex.

I just Google Earthed the old neighborhood. My God, I hardly recognize it.

I recall there was an old factory building where the tracks parallelled Rte. 27 in Natick, which was the home to a company called something like "Grandmother's", that made jelly or something. I'm guessing that building may have seen rail service at one time.

I would have also thought that there would have been a turnout into the US Army Natick Labs (where I believe the packaged food for our early astronauts was developed).

I remember the old "Townies" talking about taking the streetcars. My late great-uncle played basketball for BC (he was Class of '09), and recalled that their "western road trip" to play Holy Cross was riding the streetcar from Boston all the way to Worcester on what is now Rte. 9.

If you, or anybody else, has any old pictures or articles regarding the Saxonville Branch that you would be willing to share -- and that can be e-mailed without too much trouble -- I would be delighted to see them.

My address is: aviprodu@comcast.net

My thanks to all of you on this thread for bringing up this nostalgic subject.

CSX Conductor
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Post by CSX Conductor » Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:57 am

Unfortunately the trainmaster in Framingham was heard stating that the last car had gone to the freezer in Natick a few weeks ago. :(

JAJ

Saxonville and also the Bay Colony's Newton Upper Falls line

Post by JAJ » Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:21 pm

Great thread, I'm from a few towns away (Dover) but always liked this branch. Enjoyed watching the B23-7s switch at Wonderbread in the early 1990s. So it sounds like the branch is still in service up to that warehouse just east of where Wonderbread used to be? Cool...I never really explored this branch beyond watching the Wonderbread operation and then driving along it when on Rte 27 approaching downtown Natick.

Since there see to be some pretty knowledgeable people here, can anyone tell me if the Bay Colony has stopped working the Newton branch for Ivex in Newton Upper Falls? I run the BayColony yahoo list but there's been no mention of this branch, either it becoming inactive or trains on it either. My parents still live along the ROW and haven't seen anything since summer-fall '05 (off the top of my head) so I am starting to worry that the last carloads have already traversed this line.

At least the old #1061 is up in Newton still...

JAJ

frrc
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Saxonville

Post by frrc » Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:11 pm

The cold storage company has closed and moved on, the building has been put up for rent. In regards to the Saxonville station, once saw the station sign for said station for sale at a flea market in Rowley, seller said it was from England. I always thought the B&A used cast iron signs instead of white letters / blue background as on the Saxonville sign.

Oh, let's not forget the infamous "Sax gang" who used to cause all kinds of problems for the Framingham Police back in the late 60's.
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A320
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Post by A320 » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:20 am

I went to school with members of the "Sax Gang". I believe some of them actually went on to become Framingham Police.

Earlier in the thread, we mentioned how the old station had been used as the office for Saxonville Lumber. Now that I think of it, wasn't the name of that company State Lumber?

Adding to my confusion is the fact that there was a Saxonville Lumber up here in Hampton, NH. It had its own siding off of the Eastern Branch, and until it went out of business several years ago, was a rail customer of GRS.

margofromsaxonville

sax gang - saxonville

Post by margofromsaxonville » Fri May 16, 2008 2:13 pm

I also remember Sax Gang - they were my friends older brothers/sisters etc.... our town was pretty vanilla back then, and they gave us kids a little excitement when they were discussed, or they showed up at someone's house party. We never hung out with the kids on the "other side of the tracks "- South Framingham (how silly are kids). It was serious business in those days - you wouldnt even want to admit that you dated someone from over there. I remember all of the infamous - that shall remain nameless - just for giggles.

I do remember Saxonville Lumber and the trains that used to pass through - waxing nostalgic. Havent been back to the old neighborhood in 30 years - perhaps I should. Only through Google earth.

stvigi
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Post by stvigi » Fri May 16, 2008 6:19 pm

Now you got me nostalgic! I lived on Concord Street near Cherry until 1969. I remeber the trains idling at School street before going on to Roxbury Carpet. Was Saxonville Lumber, the same company as State Lumber or a different company? I remember Saxonville lumber being farther up on Concord Street passed the junkyard.

margofromsaxonville

waxing nostalgic

Post by margofromsaxonville » Fri May 16, 2008 6:47 pm

It was Saxonville lumber as long as I can remember. funny, there is a Strait lumber where I live now in Colorado. I lived on Joseph Rd. and I remember having to walk over the bridge and being afraid of the waterfall - like it would sweep me in. I heard about kids trying to skate on the reserviour and drowning when I was just very little and I guess it scared me. I'm homesick now though. I even went to Saxonville elementary before Potter Rd School was built

stvigi
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Post by stvigi » Fri May 16, 2008 8:10 pm

This should help the nostalgia http://framingham.wordpress.com/

In the book "Images of America - Framingham" on page 16 there is a photograph of Saxonville station. I am told that this building still exists someplace in Saxonville as a house? The book also lists that when the Saxonville Villiage Apartments were built in 1979 that they uncovered the old turntable.

frrc
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Post by frrc » Sat May 17, 2008 7:14 am

stvigi wrote:This should help the nostalgia http://framingham.wordpress.com/

In the book "Images of America - Framingham" on page 16 there is a photograph of Saxonville station. I am told that this building still exists someplace in Saxonville as a house? The book also lists that when the Saxonville Villiage Apartments were built in 1979 that they uncovered the old turntable.
When the apartments were being built, they had a difficult time ripping up all the concrete around the timetable. In the process of ripping up the concrete, they found an old pocket watch that had been dropped by mistake when the concrete was poured many years ago. Far as the former station, there is a building about 1/2 mile North of the Mills complex that resembles a train station. Manyyears ago I purchased the station sign at a yard sale, the people selling it thought "Saxonville" was some RR station in England.

I remember in the late 1960's when a few boxcars derailed from the Hostess Cake factory, people got free twinkies and cupcakes for a few months :-D

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Jedijk88
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by Jedijk88 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:50 pm

I take it this branch is now completely done? Are the tracks still in place to Natick?

moth
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by moth » Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:25 pm

I think the tracks by the Natick Army Labs are now gone. There are plans to open a rail trail from Natick Center to Saxonville with connecting trails to the Natick mall.

NHN503
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by NHN503 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:29 pm

Here are the CR ZTS maps from my CR 1998 ZTS book for the Saxonville IT for those who want it.

Map:
http://www.amoskeagnorthern.com/trackch ... m/73-2.pdf

Track Info:
http://www.amoskeagnorthern.com/trackch ... 20Info.pdf

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A320
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by A320 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:14 pm

Pardon me for resurrecting this topic, but this is driving me nuts:

On the linked 1889 map of the Felchville section of Natick, a depot is shown to the east of the tracks just off what is now Fisher St. However, I can find no mention of this stop on any timetable or map that I have been able to find on-line of the Saxonville Branch. (And, unfortunately, I haven't found many.)

Also, in Dr. Karr's book, the first point north of the where the branch begins in downtown Natick is listed as "Worcester St.", where the line would have crossed what is now Rte. 9, yet I cannot find any evidence that there was any kind of station or tower there. (I'm also assuming that although the line crossed Rte. 9 on a bridge in later years, it may have originally been a grade crossing.)

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment.

http://www.historicmapworks.com/Map/US/ ... achusetts/#

The EGE
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by The EGE » Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:39 pm

1875 map shows a depot at Felchville in the inset, bottom left.

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