• Hampton branch activity tracker

  • 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

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  by A320
 
thebigham wrote:Too bad.

The pics posted are near here?

http://binged.it/ZVGSQ7

Yes.

Just above where you see the school bus parked next to the track is the grade crossing.

They were working there yesterday, and I saw an open semi-trailer depart with a load of tie plates, rail connectors, and other hardware (but I didn't see any rails in the load).

I'm sure somebody on here knows exactly when the last hopper car was picked up at Foss. I want to say it was at least five years ago.
  by b&m 1566
 
truman wrote:I ran into one of my trackside spy's yesterday and this is what he told me;
Foss Mfg. is a self contained industry in that they make their own power with a multi-fuel generating plant, they are not dependent on the local power grid, the only thing they need is a fuel source. ( I believe they have their own sewer and water as well) Evidently someone down there watches rates for the best deal, and figured out it is cheaper at the moment to buy fuel in bulk than it is to buy it from the local gas company. This is why, a few days ago, an engine snuck down to Hampton in the evening with a tank of LNG, spotted it at Foss, and while the crew went to dinner, Fosses people pumped the car out, the crew then returned to Portsmouth with the empty.
This would account for the recently shined rails. Anyone who lives down that way (Mr. Bolt?) could keep an eye on the place. Maybe do a drive by once in a while in the evening to see if anything is going on.
It appears the last train in Hampton was in September of 2008.

You don't suppose this could be someone stealing the hardware from the Hampton Branch?
  by newpylong
 
If the last train was only 5 years or so ago that is one quick abandonment. There must be zero potential on the line? Then again it was done in Fink 1.0 who knows what would happen now - I don't know the area well.
  by Hux
 
b&m 1566 wrote:
truman wrote:I ran into one of my trackside spy's yesterday and this is what he told me;
Foss Mfg. is a self contained industry in that they make their own power with a multi-fuel generating plant, they are not dependent on the local power grid, the only thing they need is a fuel source. ( I believe they have their own sewer and water as well) Evidently someone down there watches rates for the best deal, and figured out it is cheaper at the moment to buy fuel in bulk than it is to buy it from the local gas company. This is why, a few days ago, an engine snuck down to Hampton in the evening with a tank of LNG, spotted it at Foss, and while the crew went to dinner, Fosses people pumped the car out, the crew then returned to Portsmouth with the empty.
This would account for the recently shined rails. Anyone who lives down that way (Mr. Bolt?) could keep an eye on the place. Maybe do a drive by once in a while in the evening to see if anything is going on.
It appears the last train in Hampton was in September of 2008.

You don't suppose this could be someone stealing the hardware from the Hampton Branch?


That was what I thought until I got up close and saw a magnet equipped loader sucking all the hardware up. A closer inspection revealed the work was being done by crews from A & K Rail Enterprises.

Hux

Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:46 pm
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Is NH one of those states that has a law on the books saying the hardware must come up promptly in the event of a landbanking? Because this is awfully fast after closing the books on the abandonment filing to start ripping it out. They don't even have a firm trail plan yet, much less funding for it, for this ROW.
  by joshg1
 
Pan Am hired the scrappers. The Rockingham Registry of Deeds website isn't working, but I'm fairly certain the State hasn't bought the land yet. They were granted money by the Feds for a trail, but may not have received it. NH RSA 228:60a,b, +c is railbanking, 216-F is the trail system.
  by artman
 
joshg1 wrote:Pan Am hired the scrappers. The Rockingham Registry of Deeds website isn't working, but I'm fairly certain the State hasn't bought the land yet. They were granted money by the Feds for a trail, but may not have received it. NH RSA 228:60a,b, +c is railbanking, 216-F is the trail system.
Saw lots of walkers yesterday on the (former) rail bed just south of the Route 27 bridge in Hampton. Ties stacked off to one side, conversion moving quickly. Hampton has expressed an interest in turning the ROW into a two lane road to access more potential industrial/commercial land. Local groups want to make sure there is room for a bike trail adjacent to whatever happens.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
artman wrote:
joshg1 wrote:Pan Am hired the scrappers. The Rockingham Registry of Deeds website isn't working, but I'm fairly certain the State hasn't bought the land yet. They were granted money by the Feds for a trail, but may not have received it. NH RSA 228:60a,b, +c is railbanking, 216-F is the trail system.
Saw lots of walkers yesterday on the (former) rail bed just south of the Route 27 bridge in Hampton. Ties stacked off to one side, conversion moving quickly. Hampton has expressed an interest in turning the ROW into a two lane road to access more potential industrial/commercial land. Local groups want to make sure there is room for a bike trail adjacent to whatever happens.
I believe that was some low- brain-celled local pol who suggested that one, and the idea was roundly panned by the locals.


Seacoast really wants passenger rail back...or at least prevention against it not coming back...so the meetings about interim trailing have been careful to stress rail-with-trail compatibility for whatever they do. They really don't want to blow it because the East Coast Greenway national org is targeting this ROW and there might be a funding source to do something nice with it. Goes through so much uninhabited land it's a pretty ideal one for rail-with-trail should it ever be reactivated. Not like it's really going to need more than single track + a siding or two north of Newburyport.
  by artman
 
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
artman wrote:
joshg1 wrote:Pan Am hired the scrappers. The Rockingham Registry of Deeds website isn't working, but I'm fairly certain the State hasn't bought the land yet. They were granted money by the Feds for a trail, but may not have received it. NH RSA 228:60a,b, +c is railbanking, 216-F is the trail system.
Saw lots of walkers yesterday on the (former) rail bed just south of the Route 27 bridge in Hampton. Ties stacked off to one side, conversion moving quickly. Hampton has expressed an interest in turning the ROW into a two lane road to access more potential industrial/commercial land. Local groups want to make sure there is room for a bike trail adjacent to whatever happens.
I believe that was some low- brain-celled local pol who suggested that one, and the idea was roundly panned by the locals.


Seacoast really wants passenger rail back...or at least prevention against it not coming back...so the meetings about interim trailing have been careful to stress rail-with-trail compatibility for whatever they do. They really don't want to blow it because the East Coast Greenway national org is targeting this ROW and there might be a funding source to do something nice with it. Goes through so much uninhabited land it's a pretty ideal one for rail-with-trail should it ever be reactivated. Not like it's really going to need more than single track + a siding or two north of Newburyport.
I live near Portsmouth and I just don't ever see it happening. The population density is just too low. Dover is proximate to four cites totaling 5 times as many people (Dover, Somersworth, Rochester, Portsmouth) and it is only a ten minute drive. Durham is maybe 15.

There was a plan a few years back for a ferry connection to Provincetown from Portsmouth. Now, that would bring the people in.
  by joshg1
 
There was a plan a few years back for a ferry connection to Provincetown from Portsmouth. Now, that would bring the people in.
artman

Off topic, but really? You haven't made a typo? Boston of Portland to Ports, a cruise along the coast, I can see. Neither Portsmouth (NH+ME) nor Provincetown are going to provide much traffic to the other. I have a cousin who has parents in Newington and works in Eastham, she might be the passenger.

Also- is running passenger trains to Portsmouth via Rock Jct that much worse than going via Newburyport? Exeter and Newburyport aren't that far away.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
joshg1 wrote:
There was a plan a few years back for a ferry connection to Provincetown from Portsmouth. Now, that would bring the people in.
artman
Also- is running passenger trains to Portsmouth via Rock Jct that much worse than going via Newburyport? Exeter and Newburyport aren't that far away.
Western Route to Haverhill is slower than Eastern Route to Newburyport because of the curves, freight congestion, and lower speeds. A Newburyport train making all 12 stops takes about 1:05-1:10, and does a full 79 MPH north of North Beverly. An Anderson-Haverhill express making only 8 stops takes the same amount of time, but is much more frequently delayed. I'm not as familiar with current avg. speeds from Plaistow to Newfields other than there probably isn't a much higher gear than the Downeaster currently does. And yes the sluggish Lowell Line bottleneck can be mitigated quite a bit with some signal modernization. But there's not a lot they can do that's going to lift speeds from Wilmington Jct. to the border even if they resignaled it to Class 4 spec. The track geometry is what it is.

the Eastern Route is already a full Class 4/79 MPH from North Beverly to Newburyport where it only takes 22-25 mins. for 5 stops and 17 miles on almost entirely tangent track. And the ER main could get a lot zippier out to Beverly if they fixed the excruciating speed restrictions over the two decrepit movable bridges and either went full quad-gate or outright eliminated a couple of the problematic Chelsea grade crossings to lift that from 25 MPH to the 60 it used to be a few decades ago. The abandoned segment is tangent for even longer stretches than in MA, and would be a continuous 79 MPH. It would hands-down beat the Western Route + Portsmouth Branch to Portsmouth.

It would also beat it on ridership. Intermediate stops in downtown Newburyport, Seabrook, Hampton, and/or North Hampton hit higher pop density and more convenient highway access (95, 1, 1A, NH 101) than Plaistow + Exeter. Plaistow is doubled-up by Haverhill Line service, and there is too sparse population and highway access in Newton, East Kingston, or Newfields to merit new intermediates there. Nor does a Pease park-and-ride intermediate on the Portsmouth Branch offer a whole lot above-and-beyond the primary downtown stop. Plus by peeling out before the WR hits Durham and Dover it induces risk of fragmenting the schedule serving those two cities + Portsmouth enough that all 3 destinations get punished by inadequate service...because the traffic density in MA on the MBTA out to Haverhill/Plaistow won't allow two NH branches of dense commuter schedules. It's a routing you do to get some/any limited rail service to Portsmouth as a stopgap until they can fund an Eastern Route rebuild. Or as a last resort if Eastern Route restoration is a never-will impossibility and they have to take the best they can get. But it's a meh routing for scooping up intermediate ridership, a lousy schedule, and the service fragmentation to the only NH population areas accessible via that routing--Durham/Dover and Portsmouth--is problematic for achieving meaningful service density to all 3.
  by artman
 
joshg1 wrote:
There was a plan a few years back for a ferry connection to Provincetown from Portsmouth. Now, that would bring the people in.
artman

Off topic, but really? You haven't made a typo? Boston of Portland to Ports, a cruise along the coast, I can see. Neither Portsmouth (NH+ME) nor Provincetown are going to provide much traffic to the other. I have a cousin who has parents in Newington and works in Eastham, she might be the passenger.

Also- is running passenger trains to Portsmouth via Rock Jct that much worse than going via Newburyport? Exeter and Newburyport aren't that far away.
Nope - the plans were all in place for a summer ferry connection until the ferry owner got a better offer. Daytrip summer traffic would be good be those two.
  by NH2060
 
Having ridden the Eastern Route between Beverly and Boston frequently over the past year and up to Newburyport on one occasion completely I agree with F-line on this. The trip north of Beverly is so incredibly short that another 20 miles in each direction to Portsmouth could easily be done in 20 mins. or less, the number of additional stations depending. I walked the length of the rail trail (which i had no idea even existed until then) from just beyond the station at Newburyport to just before the drawbridge and there's definitely enough room for at least one track. Obviously the drawbridge is a whole other story but at least the ROW is still intact and kept up at least on the MA side which would make restoring service a whole lot easier than before hand since Newburyport isn't desolate by any means. Not to say there wouldn't be NIMBY opposition from those living in the new condo developments right near the ROW if they heard even a whiff about diesels roaring past their back porch. The sound of route 1A is already music to their ears afterall ;-)
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