• Grafton & Upton Railroad (G&U) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by 0SCAR1
 
A few legal losses this week for 10 citizens - lost on motion to intervene in land court and lost on injunction to stop land clearing while appeal is processed. Judge in the Superior court denied the injunction citing that the appeal was unlikely to succeed. That judge was unhappy with the railroad and the tone of her ruling was reluctant. She closed with a note about seeing grounds for the Settlement Agreement to be revoked - which means we'll likely see fresh lawsuits coming.

One interesting bit in the flurry of filings was this warehouse plan from GURR. It shows how they intend to use the land in Hopedale to create on line storage, and cited Georgia Pacific as a customer. I can't get a better resolution on the drawing. This is part of a 300 page filing by 10 citizens. I found the track arrangement interesting... reminded me of shunting games you can get on your phone.
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  by elecuyer
 
Thanks for the plans. Even at low resolution, they do provide some insight as to what the G&U is planning.

The track layout is necessitated by the topography - this new industrial complex is basically being built on a hillside. Here are the plans overlaid on a USGS contour map. (Contour interval is 3 meters - roughly 10 feet.)

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  by bostontrainguy
 
Kind of reminds me of "The Hill" in Framingham which Conrail/CSX used to serve via a switchback due to the topography.

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  by johnpbarlow
 
Bumping this thread with a Boston Globe article showing progress G&U has made clearing its land at Hopedale and the resulting backlash from Hopedale residents. Q: didn't Hopedale exhaust all of its legal options in trying to stop the G&U?
Interesting excerpt:
With the shipping industry booming, company executives say they need more room to maintain locomotives, store rail cars, and unload and warehouse commodities they transport, which include chemicals, propane, lumber, gravel, and wax.

The railroad bought nearly 200 acres of forested land in this town southwest of Boston near Rhode Island and plans to build 1.5 million square feet of warehouses — more than 20 buildings — and a network of roads and other paved surfaces. The track-side location is ideal for the company, near two interstate highways.

“With double-digit growth year over year, and 20 percent growth in rail car volume, our customers have needs,” said Michael Milanoski, president of the company, known as GURR.

But it’s unclear whether the company can develop the land, which it hopes to complete next year.
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2022/09/05/ ... er-supply/
  by bostontrainguy
 
Yeah reading the comments it is clear most people don't understand the laws and the optics are visually horrible. If these "arcane" laws didn't exist we would get nothing done. G&U does move fast and goes for it. Other projects like Woburn's New England Transail have struggled for years trying to get traction. Perhaps they should hire the G&U legal team?
  by 0SCAR1
 
Did you catch the bit where the article claims a court has nullified the Settlement Agreement? That hasn't happened. The current appeals (there are two) are probably the groundwork needed to challenge the settlement agreement formally as a next step. The RR has been clear that they are operating under the terms of that agreement and are therefore justified in using their land.
  by johnpbarlow
 
I just finished driving all around the Hopedale transload/warehouse area that G&U cleared on rte 140, Chestnut St, Mendon St, and Hopedale St and except for this driveway off Rte 140 at West St (see attached) one can’t see any clearing/development from the public roads. And I think a substantial part of the so-called Hopedale Parklands remains intact if not pristine. I will say that G&U/First Colony have their work cut out for themselves given much of the area to be developed looks to be on the side of a significant hill.
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  by bostontrainguy
 
Wow that does look a bit slanted. Swithbacks and terraces are in order I guess. Looking at the plans they got seven buildings directly served by rail. That's impressive. No doubt G&U can pull it off.
  by BandA
 
Mr. Priscoli is first a real estate developer. Apparently they are going to build 20 rail served warehouses. If that doesn't work out, once they are built he can pretty much do anything he wants - they can be rail served but not receive any cars.
“It’s bogus to say that we’re going to contaminate the watershed,” Milanoski said. “The town is trying to deflect its own problems.”
Is it possible to operate a rail yard long-term and not contaminate the groundwater? Do idling diesel engines not drip fuel & oil?
  by MEC407
 
That can be prevented to a certain extent by drip pans, drip pads and other types of containment systems... but those systems have to be maintained, and if they fail, groundwater contamination is possible. Rigby Yard, for example, has a number of containment measures in place, but those things can fail, and one such failure resulted in hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel ending up in a nearby cemetery. Not a good look.
  by jamoldover
 
There's also a difference between a rail yard used for storing/servicing locomotives and a rail yard that's a collection of industrial sidings providing spots for freight car loading/unloading. Locomotives tend to not spend as much time hanging around dripping things at the latter type.
  by Ridgefielder
 
MEC407 wrote: Sun Sep 11, 2022 3:25 pm That can be prevented to a certain extent by drip pans, drip pads and other types of containment systems... but those systems have to be maintained, and if they fail, groundwater contamination is possible. Rigby Yard, for example, has a number of containment measures in place, but those things can fail, and one such failure resulted in hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel ending up in a nearby cemetery. Not a good look.
Rigby is also a hundred years old, if not more. I'm guessing there's plenty of nastiness in the subsoil there regardless-- I mean, they used to use cinders as ballast. Doubt you'd have the same issues in a small yard constructed using the techniques of 2022.
  by Ken Rice
 
I was going a little google satellite view railfanning recently and noticed what seems to be something like sand being unloaded at the very end of the same track the fly ash unloading happens on in Hopedale. (https://goo.gl/maps/5jQdEHexuQ4UH5naA, see attached screen shot.) Does anyone know more about that? Is it really sand? Is it for the same cement operation as the fly ash?

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  by 0SCAR1
 
I wonder if that's an outbound cullet loading area. G&U is/was experimenting with glass recycling in Hopedale, which consists of pulversizing waste glass to powder and shipping the powder out to places like fiberglass insulation manufacturers.

Just a guess.
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