• CSX Track Upgrades & Infrastructure of Pan Am

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  by F74265A
I’ll guess if it is new rail, 115 RE. If relay, whatever they can scrounge up.
Rail doesn’t have to be super heavy to last and that won’t be a high tonnage route.
On the way to work today in down town Washington DC, I observed 122 CB rolled by Lackawanna in 1974 on the csx metropolitan sub mainline. That rail has seen a LOT of tonnage over the past 48 years. I occasionally still see 10,000 foot loaded coal trains.
  by johnpbarlow
I asked my question re: the status of CRISI grant supported work that Pan Am has been performing between Royal Junction and Waterville on CSX Northern New England + G&W Berkshire & Eastern Railfans (Former Pan Am) FaceBook page and was told some ties had been replaced and some stone had been dropped but apparently the rest of the work has yet to be completed:
Project Highlights
1. Install 37 track miles of new continuously welded rail (CWR) – replace the remaining old jointed rail that is at the end of its useful life in the corridor with modern welded rail to complement the 38 miles of existing CWR in the corridor previously installed by Pan Am. This will improve RR safety and reliability.
2. Replace 25 mainline switches- replace all the rail switches in the corridor (most of these are at the end of their life) with modern switches improving RR safety and efficiency. Some switches will be upgraded to power switches that allows control of the switch by the dispatcher as opposed to manual hand-throw switches.
3. Reconstruct and modernize 47 highway/rail grade crossings- Signal modernization at all 47 grade crossings and surface reconstruction at 23 of these crossings. This will bring modern constant warning signals to each crossing with modern 12” LED signal flashers replacing outdated highway signal systems in the corridor, some dating back to the 1950’s. This will improve both rail safety and highway safety in the corridor.
4. Extend New Gloucester Siding-This will extend an existing siding by 4800’ and modernize the remainder of the siding so that longer trains can meet and pass in the corridor, improving efficiency by allowing more trains in the corridor in a shorter time frame as well as longer more efficient trains in the corridor.
5. Wayside Track Signal improvements- install wayside signals at Leeds Jct. and complete signal systems between Danville Jct. and Royal Jct. This will improve rail safety and efficiency and fill in the gaps where track signals do not currently exist in the corridor. Improving safety and efficiency.
6. Bridge Deck Replacements-Replace bridge deck timbers on 8 bridges. This will improve safety and increase speeds over these bridges.
7. Private Crossing rehabilitations- replace planking and install modern signage at 42 private rail crossings resulting in increased safety at these crossings.
Last edited by johnpbarlow on Mon Aug 15, 2022 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by BobbyT
Are there any plans to redesign the interchange tracks/yard at Keag? Looking at google maps, there doesn't appear to be an easy way to interchange cars there, especially since traffic being interchanged there is heading both East to SJ as well as West to Brownville Jct for the MNR. Not sure how the physical interchange actually takes place, but with lots of short tracks, tracks that appear to be OOS and road crossing all over the place, it's a wonder they can make it work up there and it is only going to get more complicated as interchange traffic grows.
  by F74265A
Yes, if traffic is sufficient, more infrastructure would need to be added back. If volumes were to become high and the grade crossings, bridges and other space constraints become a barrier, in theory nbsr could allow csx to run through to mcadam, where there is lots of space
  by CN9634
It was never a problem in the past.... ST side has a few shorter tracks along the mainline just west of the interchange but the Kirby siding on the NBSR side has been what was primarily used. Usually ST would park a train right west of the crossing or break one down at the various tracks and pull the power off to the east side of the yard. Then NBSR 908 (used to run earlier in the day) would drop their train on the main at Kirby, run out lite to pull the ST train and then shove back onto their side to Kirby siding. The opposite move could be done with NBSR shoving interchange traffic down onto the ST Main or into their yard tracks. I suspect 208 could do the same thing, or CSX could operate to Kirby for purposes of interchange. There was quite a bit of interchange traffic too, so I don't think at the onset you'd need to do much other than probably fix up the existing yard tracks.
  by F74265A
I ran into the rumor last night of restoring the connection at clinton MA between the worcester main and the NH Ag branch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyH3YVNg6hY

At first I thought it was just crazy. What purpose could that have? And that connection is on a stiff grade. But on reflection, maybe it is not so crazy. Restoring the connection would allow CSX to serve the customers north of Clinton--Bestway, Teknor and the C&D outfit-- from the north side, say Nashua, Lowell or Lawrence. Ayer would be better, but I think PAS will own the Hill Yard. This would allow CSX to stop service on the Ag branch between the last customer in Northboro, either NewCorr or Ken's dressing, and Clinton. There are no customers, or prospects that I'm aware of, on that stretch of track. That track stretch is also in relatively poor condition and I'm guessing around 15 miles. Once the speeds are up on the Worcester main, the stoneybrook and between Lowell and the Western Route, this would not be all that crazy. And it would provide a reason for the keeping the Clinton siding. I have no idea if there is any truth whatsoever to the rumor, but the potential to drop 15+ miles of poor track with no customers might outweigh the operational issues of connecting in Clinton.
  by newpylong
CSX and MassDOT have been talking about, but that's the entirety of it, just talks.

There is little operational value to the connection, doubt it will happen.
  by F74265A
Did Mass dot buy the ag branch? I can not remember.

It is interesting to me that the idea has even been discussed. I too would be very surprised if it happens but don’t know how high the maintenance costs are between northboro and Clinton or the condition of the surprisingly high Nashua river bridge east of downtown Clinton. I’m guessing that there would be enough headroom if the connection were to be rebuilt and that bridge were to be taken out of service
  by BobbyT
I can't imagine that CSX would give up one of their few trains slots that NS is allowing them to use through Ayer for a local move like that. Plus, that isn't an easy move going from Lawrence yard, all the way to Ayer, then down the Worcester main and up to Leominster, all while having to deal with the T, Amtrak, PAS and other CSX freights/locals.
  by F74265A
I agree that serving leominster out of lawrence is not ideal. Nashua would make more sense, but even then there is all the T traffic to squeeze through. Regarding trains through PAS territory, I have a recollection that CSX was allowed local moves in addition to the two overhead train pairs through Ayer. I could easily be wrong on this, but I thought csx also got the right to send a local down to Worcester--which I thought puzzling given the total absence of customers on the Worcester route.

Among the many improvements that are supposed to happen include a reconfiguration of the Hill Yard to more easily allow CSX to pass through.
  by newpylong
Yes, their locals would be allowed to pass through PAS to get to the Worcester Main. They still have rights to Saint Gobain in Worcester off the P&W.
  by F74265A
I don't know what St. Gobain does on that property anymore and whether any of the present functions could use rail service. Some of the complex looks repurposed into other facilities. Online maps show the rail infrastructure in there being moribund. It may have been more than 20 years since rail service was in there. After the plastic factories in Clinton stopped taking covered hoppers directly, I remember seeing a few 1-2 car locals heading south from Ayer to St. Gobain in the early 1990s.
  by newpylong
It doesn't really matter what they currently do, the rights exist and always will to pass through the Hill Yard/over PAS for local service on the Worcester Main. Also, for example, the warehouse alongside the Clinton siding is marketed as being rail served, and would fall under the same category should they ever need service. In all likelihood both would likely be better served from the Worcester end though.

Nortons/St. Gobains still got sporadic service when I joined the RR in 2005.
  by neman2
Another field trip to the Clinton area today, here are my observations-----
1)South Meadow Rd. Clinton crossing, there were several CSX signal maintainer type vehicles parked with work ongoing. CWR still laying to the side with tie plates between rails.
2) Sterling St Clinton crossing. A hi rail mobile flash welding truck , hi rail Corman dump, a loader,a CSX hi-rail pickup , hi rail Corman grapple truck on siding with what I believe were car loads of ties behind it .All vehicles were parked with no workers in sight. Again tie plates between rails and CWR off to the side.

So after seeing no RJ Corman activity and hearing a radio transmission late Monday night between D3 and M427 about " contractors working on the Worcester Main" and" the chief want's to know if you can go to MPX 11 and do ???? " I wonder if they are working at night?

Also I have been seeing a lot of CSX trucks around lately, new trucks not Pan Am'ers with decals slapped on them.
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