Jeff Smith wrote: ↑Wed Sep 09, 2020 1:22 pm
2 hours from Canaan to New Milford. Wow.
I agree about PAS. And once, and if, PAR gets sold, it will be interesting to see what happens to their rights across from Berlin to Waterbury and Derby.
Not sure why you think it doesn't make sense for P&W to take the southern portion below the "Dead Zone". They're already running up to Tilcon, just beyond Oak Ridge. If HRRC could sell off that 15 miles or so north of Danbury, or even the Maybrook down to Derby, I think they'd jump at it. More questions:
1. Would P&W want the rights?
2. Would they buy that portion of the ROW above Danbury?
3. They already pay for overhead rights southeast of Danbury on the Maybrook; could they come up with a deal for the couple customers down there?
4. Would HRRC part with that business in order to forego maintenance of the CtDOT portion, which basically is, the "Dead Zone".
5. And what of their portions of the Maybrook, which they own, and could no longer access?
Jeff, just my thoughts on some of those questions:
1) Yes I would definitely think that P&W would love to have rights over the Maybrook from Derby to Danbury.
2) I would think that they would buy that portion IF HRRC wanted to sell but see my thoughts on #4
3) The only customer that I’m aware of is/was Rings End Lumber down in Bethel
4) I don’t think that HRRC would want to lose those southern customers. They actually own the reload center in Hawllyville and there are other customers besides Oak Ridge. Pharmco in Brookfield, Rand Whitney Container in Newtown, and a lumber yard in Botsford come to mind. As for maintaining the “dead Zone” the state helped upgrade the track from South Kent to just north of Kent center. That area now has welded rain and the track appears to be at least Class II or possibly Class III. There was a wooden trestle in Falls Village that was just replaced with a steel and concrete bridge which I would think was a state founded project. I’ve also seen HRRC crews do spot tie replacements along River Rd. in West Cornwall although a lot of that area still is rough track
As has been talked about in the past here and in the MN forum the ideal solution in the south end would be for the state to buy the whole Danbury cluster and the Maybrook. HRRC would be able to keep their customers and P&W would be able to get to Danbury from Derby. Of course that would allow MN to bring badly needed commuter rail to New Milford.
More regarding the "Dead Zone". What happens to it if HRRC truncates at BD below Canaan? Could BSRM run excursions again? Would weekend service be worth it, say, up to Kent? For the portions in MA, I'd expect that to run south from Pittsfield, not north from Danbury.
I would think the BSRM would be able to return to the Mass portion because Mass DOT now owns the track from state line to Pittsfield. Their plan is to upgrade that whole route to Class III. New welded rail has been dropped on most of that area with lots of new ties dropped. This spring they awarded the first phase of the rehab to a company called Railworks to do the section from just south of GT. Barrington up to Lee. I don’t think HRRC would have any kind of say whether BSRM runs the Mass portion. If the state were to buyout the HRRC’s south end and do some more upgrades to the line up to Kent then I think MN could run some experimental weekend runs up to Kent once they’ve established commuter rail to New Milford