Saxonville Industrial Track

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TomNelligan
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by TomNelligan » Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:17 pm

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 have a 1905 Boston & Albany passenger timetable that shows no stops between Framingham and Saxonville. Worcester Street is listed in my 1947 B&A employee timetable, but in employee timetable terms that simply means a point listed in the timetable and does not necessarily imply the presence of a building.

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A320
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by A320 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:09 pm

Thanks, EGE.

I knew there was another map source that I had used before, but had forgotten. It was Ward Maps. I'm indebted to you for jogging my fading memory.

And thanks, Tom.

Actually, there was a Cochituate Station along the line at one time, at the intersection of Speen St. and Cochituate Rd. (Rte. 30). I did see it appear on the branch on at least one B&A system map, but I recall neither where I saw it on-line, nor what year it was printed. (According to Dr. Karr, passenger service ended on the branch in 1936.)

If you look at the linked picture, it does appear on the 1918 topo map; and if you select the 1957 aerial photo on the same picture, there appears to be a shadow hard by the west side of the track on the north side of Cochituate Rd. that could have been a structure.

All the years I lived in that area, there were gas stations on that site, with a sand and gravel company behind them.

As for the depicted Felchville depot, that one's still a mystery to me...

http://www.historicaerials.com/aerials. ... year=T1918

BTW, what is the proper railroad terminology for a location such as "Worcester St." on the Saxonville Branch, that has no station, junction, switch, or tower, but appears on an employee timetable?

TomNelligan
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by TomNelligan » Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:24 pm

BTW, what is the proper railroad terminology for a location such as "Worcester St." on the Saxonville Branch, that has no station, junction, switch, or tower, but appears on an employee timetable?
Traditionally, it's a "station". As I wrote above, you don't need a building. I don't have any vintage B&A rulebooks, but this definition from the 1956 edition of the New Haven RR rulebook was fairly universal:

"STATION: A place designated on the timetable by name."

And obviously in that sense a station isn't necessarily a place where trains stop, just a reference point.

frrc
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by frrc » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:28 pm

Picture of Saxonville Station Sign, collection of Renaissance Restorations LLC

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neman2
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Re:

Post by neman2 » Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:36 pm

frrc wrote:
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

JoeF
Wow! Does anybody know where this derailment was? Considering what has happend to Hostess and the shelf life of Twinkies is so long maybe we can find some Twinkies still there to sell on E-Bay!

Kevin N
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by Kevin N » Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:53 pm

I found several photos of the Saxonville station. There appear to have been 2 stations. I have 2 photos of the first station taken in 1875 and 1880 that show a relatively simple single story wood structure with a gable end roof that has large overhangs and a single wood platform. There are tracks on both sides of the building. B&A Locomotive # 205 in the 1875 photo has "Saxonville" written on the cab.

A third photo shows the new stone station built in 1893-1894. It is a mirror image copy of the B&A Faneuil Depot in Brighton, MA, designed by Shepley Rutan and Coolidge (SRC). Another copy of Faneuil Depot was built in Millbury, MA for the B&A at around the same time. In the background of the new 1894 station is a siding with part of a single story wood building showing that has a loading dock door facing the siding track. I have a hunch that this could be the side of the old station.

The new station was most likely part of the beautification project the B&A instituted in 1881 with one of America's most famous and influential architects, H. H. Richardson. Richardson worked with SRC and one of the greatest landscape architects of all time, Fredrick Law Olmsted. Richardson lead the design of the first 9 or possibly 11 stations between 1881 and 1886. All of these stations shared a common design aesthetic of heavy stone walls and large overhanging roofs. This style became the basis for railroad station design across the country. Unfortunately, Richardson died in his mid-40s in 1886. SRC continued designing stations using the design and detailing Richardson developed and Saxonville is an excellent example of this work.

The 1894 photo of Saxonville is a rear and side 3/4 view. The building looks like it is about 36 feet long (facing a single track) x 18 feet wide. It has two-tone stone walls and a slate 12 in 12 pitch hip roof over the building that extends out about 7 feet beyond the exterior walls at a shallower pitch on all 4 sides of the building. Centered on the track facing side of Faneuil and Millbury stations is a large, approximately 11 to 12 foot wide, semi-circular stone bay with 4 windows and a large eyebrow dormer with an arched top window in the roof directly above the bay. Since Saxonville appears to be a copy of these stations, I assume it has the same ticket office, bay window and roof dormer.

Olmsted's contribution was the creation of landscapes and gardens around the stations. The Saxonville photo shows grass and a young sapling deciduous tree close to the building.

This is my first time posting on RRnet and I can't upload the station photos without being bumped from the site. I would likely have to get permission to post the 1894 SRC station because I found it in the book "Architecture for the Boston & Albany Railroad: 1881-1894" by Jeffery Karl Ochsner written in the 1980s (see figure 31). The book can be viewed in the Newton, MA Public Library.

I live very close to Saxonville and am considering building a 1:87 scale model of Saxonville/Faneuil station. Any info folks have on Faneuil, Saxonville or Millbury stations would be helpful.

stvigi
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by stvigi » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:28 pm

I also have read the book Images of America Framingham, and a similar photograph can be found on google at

http://books.google.com/books?id=bgNTg9 ... am&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I believe the house which is said to be the railroad station is located on Elm Street.
If you go up Elm Street towards Sudbury it is on the left side of the street, between Central St. and Pinewood Drive.
I saw it about a month ago, you can't mistake the window. The web site calls it a carriage house, but it sure looks like a railroad station the eyebrow window sure looks the same
.
Here is a link to the house as it currently looks http://www.vistadome.com/sax/saxb.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

Steve

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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by edbear » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:44 pm

The building on Elm Street that looks like a station wasn't a station. In the 1950s it was a building on the grounds of the Pinewood Golf Course. The first street beyond it going towards Sudbury is Pinewood Drive! At one time Michael Simpson who was one of the businessmen involved with the Roxbury Carpet Co. had a mansion right around there so it could have been a carriage house before it wound up on the grounds of the golf course.

stvigi
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by stvigi » Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:21 pm

Edbear,

You could be correct and they just look alike.

I did some further research (http://www.saxonville.org/docs/SaxBrochure.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) Mr. Simpson's house "Chestnut Cottage" was formerly located at 50 Elm street.
Through Zillow.com, I was able to trace the "Carriage house" to #109 Elm Street. Zillow lists the house as being built in 1900; Mr. Simpson took over the Saxonville Mills in 1859, and died in 1884. The house was taken down in 1930.

That roof does look a lot like the station roof, I wonder when the station was taken down if the roof may have been salvaged and used in the building of the Carriage house? There is more than one house in Saxonville which was either moved or converted from another use. I have no idea?

I suppose someone w/ sometime could either look up the B&A records and/or copies of the Framingham News from 1900 to see if there was a connection. The Framingham Historical Society may also have some information.

Steve

Balerion
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by Balerion » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:34 am

Natick: Agreement reached on rail trail land acquisition

Natick and CSX reached an agreement on the purchase price for the ROW in Natick, though the sale will not go through until and unless Natick comes up with the funding.

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BandA
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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by BandA » Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:11 pm

Wow, $6.3M for 22 acres. Seems expensive for a ROW, but prices for land usually go up rather than down.

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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:13 pm

BandA wrote:Wow, $6.3M for 22 acres. Seems expensive for a ROW, but prices for land usually go up rather than down.
CSX held out for ransom for years and years. And years more when things got shouty with Natick. I'm not really sure what they're thinking here. They admit up-front they don't have the money, and there's an expiration date on this deal that puts them right back where they started if the money doesn't appear. And I doubt the state's in a giving mood at this very moment. So maybe it's just a ploy to bait DCR into maybe making a contribution, and see where it gets them? Then no-harm/no-foul/no-change if it doesn't work out?


There's 3 ex-CSX ROW's held hostage exactly this same way: Saxonville, the South Sudbury Industrial, and the Holliston Industrial.

Holliston was supposed to have DCR come in and do a nice paved trail, but that got dropped from the state Transportation Improvements Plan. The town had to negotiate direct with CSX, where they cut a tenant deal: $300 a month 'rent' for permission to spread a barebones crushed-stone surface and get the trail extended contigously from the Milford town line (where it's paved) to Whitney St. at the Ashland/Sherborn town line...the furthest they can go before the tracks go active again for the CP Yard runaround. DCR really boned them over there, and doesn't seem to be in any hurry to rectify that situation and do the originally planned outright buy. Which means Holliston is going to be shelling out $300/mo. to CSX indefinitely and putting up with a substandard "interim" trail surface.

Framingham and Sudbury are spinning in space over the south extension of the Bruce Freeman Trail to Route 9/Framingham State U. There CSX's asking price is even higher because the completed Bruce Freeman is such a showcase trail more valuable than the others. And that one has had ugly flare-ups with the Sudbury Board of Selectmen sniping at CSX. Can't for the life of me explain MassDOT's and DCR's passivity there, since the rest of the trail on MassDOT-owned ROW (including the new segment about to go under construction) is a high-profile DCR project. Yet they're throwing a couple (rather unreliable temperament) towns to the wolves on the next critical segment to lock up? Huh?


I don't get it. If everyone agrees on the asking price and the state is so hot to lock down all other ROW's active and inactive under public ownership, why have they gone AWOL here? All 3 are pretty big-deal trails...Bruce Freeman and Upper Charles (i.e. Holliston) a couple high-profile DCR long-range targets. And CSX is not the kind of firm you want local-yokel selectmen with occasionally big mouths left to their own devices negotiating with. It's been a baffling 8 years this trio of negotiations has been allowed to drag on. And unless Natick's got some serious coin under the couch cushions...probably no end in sight for any of those efforts.

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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by YamaOfParadise » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:58 pm

I imagine the extra price for the Saxonville I.T. might also just have to do with local property prices — Natick is pretty ritzy, so perhaps CSX is trying to squeeze a bit more out of them. Besides from MA being inconsistent at getting these kinds of RoWs into public ownership for towns/cities, and the aforementioned blunders from the town officials in neighboring towns, CSX definitely still seems to be milking these properties for all they are worth.
Consider contributing detailed railway data to OpenStreetMap for use in OpenRailwayMap!

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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:49 am

YamaOfParadise wrote:I imagine the extra price for the Saxonville I.T. might also just have to do with local property prices — Natick is pretty ritzy, so perhaps CSX is trying to squeeze a bit more out of them. Besides from MA being inconsistent at getting these kinds of RoWs into public ownership for towns/cities, and the aforementioned blunders from the town officials in neighboring towns, CSX definitely still seems to be milking these properties for all they are worth.
Doubly baffling because final design of the rebuilt Natick commuter rail station has been approved and is just waiting (and will be waiting a long time) for construction funds. That rebooted station bakes in the Saxonville trail head right at North Ave. and the new ADA station entrance for getting down to the full-high island platform scheduled to replace the non-ADA side platforms. With bike cage planned. South extension of the trail will only have 3 minor residential grade crossings and recycle the rail bridge over Route 9, creating a safe route straight from Natick Mall to the CR station. North segment just finished construction to the new trail head at Route 30 right by TJX world headquarters and makes use of the grade separation under the Pike for getting between Saxonville center and TJX/Shopper's World. So except for the somewhat hairy crosswalk at Route 30 that might benefit from a ped overpass when they get the money, this is going to be a bona fide high-utilization commuter route for TJX employees, Mall employees, and FedEx distro center employees. As well as a residential commuter route for some decent-density neighborhoods and a great way to get to the Mall from the train without needing to beat head against dashboard in Route 9/30 traffic.


Yeah...this is worth a little giddayup from the state to end this stalemate. Money well-spent for what it would do to tangibly goose up visitors to the nice little squares, all that retail, some massive employment centers, and a CR stop that already does >1000 daily boardings...and now carries mostly bi-level coaches that all feature couple bike racks per car. This is hands-down a winner of a trail. So, for damn sure, is the Bruce Freeman south extension (BTW...they haven't purchased the abandoned PAR Lowell Industrial Track either, which would bring the Freeman from its north trail head in Billerica straight into downtown Lowell down the street from the CR station/bus depot). And if Framingham can find an alternate route from Whitney St. to center of town bypassing active CSX CP Yard...Holliston trail ends up a contiguous connector from the CR station to downtown Milford. If that then includes town effort at upgraded Farm Pond path system, plus some streetscaping through Framingham State U. campus with better sidewalks and bike lanes, and ropes in state help with the Route 9 crossing (footbridge badly needed)...they have a safe on/off-street connection between the Freeman and the Holliston/Upper Charles networks. Pretty much the best access they'll ever get since the active Fitchburg Secondary isn't going anywhere and thus FSU campus needs a little bit of on-street to bridge the gap. A near-contiguous route from downtown Lowell to downtown Framingham to downtown Milford when all parties get their act together, tie up those delayed expansion segments, and troubleshoot the FSU/downtown Framingham gap closure.


Baffling. They pounce on ROW's in some parts of the state the very second they come available, show a full decade's indifference with others. With that behavior counterintuitive to priority level/upside of the trail proposal in question. Something's a little screwy here with this one-hand-doesn't-know-what-the-other's-doing behavior.

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Re: Saxonville Industrial Track

Post by johnpbarlow » Fri Jan 08, 2016 8:56 am

FWIW, residential land value in MetroWest Boston can reach $2M/acre. Wellesley, the town adjacent to Natick to the east, just bought approx 47 undeveloped acres from Wellesley College for $35M or approx $645K per acre. Natick's per acre purchase price for these 22 acres is about $286,000 so it doesn't seem like an unreasonable amount.

Sidebar note re: the rail trail that Holliston put together from B&A's ex-Milford Branch indeed has a stone dust surface but it is very easy to ride using conventional road bikes. And lots of people walk it. Maybe it will require more surface maintenance than a paved trail going forward but it is a good compromise for a municipality that doesn't have a lot spare change lying around.

On a different note, I wonder if Saxonville IT should have been used to construct and operate a MBTA commuter rail stub that would terminate at Speen St at the Natick & Cloverleaf Malls, Mathworks future HQ, Home Depot, and the relatively new Nouvelle condos/Avalon condos. Seems like there will be growing commercial and residential traffic congestion in this area.

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