Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

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newpylong
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by newpylong »

I can't wait to see what they have come up with on this one. I wish them the best but there are a lot of obstacles to this happening in my mind.

-I can't see Pan Am sharing the row from North Adams down to MP4, especially with the Chemical plant active.
-Speciality Minerals has a lease on the track and yard from Lime Street to end of track at Renfrew so they can come down with their trackmobile and do what they need to do.
-Who is going to pay to fix the track?
-Who is going to pay to put the track back in from MP4 to Adams Center? Some is dirt, some is already paved and part of the rail trail.
-How are people going to get to the train from Heritage State Park in North Adams? They would need to open up off the branch onto the #1 Track to get close, and even then people will need to cross the #2 track (30 mph), which I can't see Pan Am allowing.

More importantly? Who is going to ride a train from North Adams to Adams? There is a scrap yard, oil companies, a cemetary, propane tanks, limestone dumps, and a water treatment plant. That's one hell of a scenic trip.

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by Otto Vondrak »

BERKSHIRE SCENIC RAILWAY SEEKS TO BRING TRAIN RIDES TO NORTHERN BERKSHIRE COUNTY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 18, 2013


Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) is proud to announce that it plans to expand to Northern Berkshire County. In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the City of North Adams and the Town of Adams, the BSRM seeks to operate train rides between North Adams and Adams as its new “Hoosac Valley Service” over 5 miles of rail line known as the “Adams Branch” which runs along the Hoosic River.

The region has a rich railroad history and the train rides will complement the many cultural and recreational attractions located in the area. North Adams is home to Western Gateway Heritage State Park, a former rail yard and features educational exhibits on the Hoosac Tunnel and Mount Greylock, whose summit can be reached from the Park. The concept of the project is to connect downtown North Adams with downtown Adams at the Adams Visitors Center, which also offers exhibits relating to the history of the Town of Adams. The right of way was built in 1846 as the North Adams Branch of the New York Central Railroad (NYC) connecting North Adams with Grand Central Terminal via Pittsfield and Chatham, New York over the NYC’s Boston & Albany and Harlem Lines. Successor Conrail sold the northern portion of the line to Boston & Maine in 1991. Regular passenger service ended in the mid 1950’s and the last passenger excursion was offered in 1984.

Today, only 4 miles of track remains south from North Adams owned by Pan Am Railways of North Billerica, MA who has responded favorably to MassDOT’s request to purchase the infrastructure. The project plans to restore one mile of track for passenger trains to reach downtown Adams and will feature an innovative shared right of way for 6/10th of that mile with the Ashwillticook Rail Trail extension. Local freight service on the line will be preserved. Engineering design, construction and planning will occur throughout 2013 with train service anticipated to begin in 2014.

BSRM is a non-profit organization founded in 1984. BSRM carried over 100,000 passengers between 2003-2011 on its Lenox-Stockbridge operation; estimated to have contributed over $4 million to the local economy. BSRM will now have a county- wide presence, with its museum in Lenox along with events and exhibits at BSRM’s newly acquired historic Stockbridge Railroad Station.

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Inc. - http://www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org
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newpylong
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by newpylong »

There we have it. Line sold to the state.

There is a graphic on the city's Facebook page, looks like they will load down in the yard where the runaround is.

jaymac
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by jaymac »

...another MassDOT/T presence along and west of the Connecticut...
"A gray crossover is not company transportation."

JRG
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by JRG »

A couple of comments here:

The line will be preserved for freight use in addition to tourist passenger service.

There are many factors which go into making a tourist operation successful and the presence or absence of them do not always predict success or failure. The Strasburg RR is 4 1/2 miles long.

Sometimes you have to look out the window and see beyond the junkyards, oil farms, quarries and industrial infrastructure to appreciate the view; sometimes you have to call attention to the ugly industrial building because that's the reason those tracks exsist. Sometimes it's just the ride; sometimes it's the destination.

At any rate, this project will put passenger trains on this track for the first time since 1984; it will install 1 mile of track once removed for the purpose of being paved over and 6/10th of a mile of that new track will share its right-of-way with a trail and the track will connect two downtowns filled with restaurants, shops and other destinations.

When other tourist railroads have to fight to put the track back or even keep it and constantly have to prove thier value to the community, BSRM is going to do it with the full assistance of our DOT and communities we will service. Maybe this project can be a model for those other communities who doubt the value of what we do as tourist railroads and the positive affects tourist trains bring to those communities.

As always, BSRM appreciates your support and interest!
~Jay R. Green, J.D.
President & General Superintendent
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Inc.
Lenox & North Adams, Massachusetts
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
BSRM's Hoosac Valley Service

newpylong
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by newpylong »

Jay, best of luck. I used to work for the B&M and the Adams Branch was my home for a long time. I also from North Adams so I think it will be wonderful to see passenger service return of any type, and I hope it does well.

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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by CVRA7 »

Regarding the scenery, check out the line via Bing Maps (less foliage showing than Google) and it really isn't as bad as some have said. Pasture and fields abound, sometimes adjacent to the relatively few industrial areas. As Jay said look beyond the trainside and see such things as the highest peak in Massachusetts.
For the record (According to "Lost Railroads of New England" by R D Karr) the line was built as the Pittsfield & North Adams RR but always operated by their connection at North Adams Jct. in Pittsfield - Western, Boston & Albany, New York Central, Penn Central , and Conrail until sale to the B&M in 1981.

newpylong
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by newpylong »

Some more recent history, Conrail operated the branch out of the North Adams Junction yard in Pittsfield (that's the yard the Housatonic shares with CSX now). They usually has a GP8 and a buggy. They would come all the way up to Adams to serve Hoosac Valley Coal and Grain, Pjizer (now Speciality Minerals), Arnold Print works (the huge mill complex that sat between Renfrew and Lime Street, there is still a small trestle across a creek by Lime Street for the north spur and the south spur is mostly intact). They also went up to Holland chemical, James River Packaging and The Lane at Zylonite. There was also I believe a customer just north of Hoosac Street (present day end of rail trail) but I forgot the name. When they sold the track to the B&M in spring '82 the B&M operated a local out of the yard in Pittsfield for the Canaan branch south if Pittsfield, and the PNA itself was for the most part put out of service between Pittsfield and Adams outside of equipment moves. The locals out of Deerfield served the customers from the north end as they do now.

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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by Jeff Smith »

Outstanding news! Now, we just need to get CDOT to buy HRRC's right of way.
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JRG
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by JRG »

BSRM will host a volunteer informational session in North Adams on Saturday, May 4th at 9AM. This will be tailored to explain volunteer opportunities and needs including train and engine service requirements for the new Hoosac Valley Service.

The session should last no more than 2 hours and will be held in North Adams City Hall. Anyone interested in volunteering in any capacity with BSRM is encouraged to attend.
~Jay R. Green, J.D.
President & General Superintendent
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Inc.
Lenox & North Adams, Massachusetts
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
BSRM's Hoosac Valley Service

thebigham
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by thebigham »

Nice pic:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=208984" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

...And They're Off!

The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum shuttle train and the southbound Housatonic RR freight train are seen running side-by-side at Lenox, Mass. on Sunday, May 26, 2013. The BSRM shuttle is running in reverse. It runs on its own independent track within the museum grounds. The HRRC refused to allow the BSRM to run on its track this year.

Photographed by John Bazan, May 26, 2013.

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by Otto Vondrak »

thebigham wrote:The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum shuttle train and the southbound Housatonic RR freight train are seen running side-by-side at Lenox, Mass. on Sunday, May 26, 2013. The BSRM shuttle is running in reverse. It runs on its own independent track within the museum grounds. The HRRC refused to allow the BSRM to run on its track this year...
There's something you don't see every day... A Housatonic Railroad freight train that is actually moving! ;-)

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DutchRailnut
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by DutchRailnut »

and on rails for that matter ;-)
If Conductors are in charge, why are they promoted to be Engineer???

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JRG
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by JRG »

http://www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org/ ... rience.php

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum is proud to launch its "Locomotive Experience" - an educational program designed to give participants a behind the scenes look at how a locomotive works and what it takes to be a locomotive engineer. The all day program begins with a classroom session exploring the mechanical operation of a diesel-electric locomotive, safety rules, operating rules and FRA regulations and how they have developed the profession. The program culminates with a hands-on session with our EMD SW-8 and the student operating the locomotive.

The Locomotive Experience will be offered every Sunday from June 30 through the end of October. The program is limited to 4 students per class.

Please spread the word; all proceeds will help BSRM maintain its fleet and prepare for the launch of our Hoosac Valley Service in 2014!
~Jay R. Green, J.D.
President & General Superintendent
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, Inc.
Lenox & North Adams, Massachusetts
Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
BSRM's Hoosac Valley Service

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Otto Vondrak
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Re: Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) Thread

Post by Otto Vondrak »

The first date for The Locomotive Experience has sold out! Additional dates have been added. Support the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum!

http://www.berkshirescenicrailroad.org/ ... rience.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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