• P&W Newport Secondary

  • Topics relating to the operation of the P&W Railroad, which is a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming. Regional freight railroad based in Worcester and operating in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
    Official Website
Topics relating to the operation of the P&W Railroad, which is a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming. Regional freight railroad based in Worcester and operating in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
Official Website

Moderator: MEC407

  by Mass Coastal 2010
Hello, I am a Fall River resident and for the past couple years I have been researching the area's local rail lines. Right now I am looking for information on the PW's Newport Secondary. I know that PW acquired freight rights from Tiverton to Newport in 1982 and that the Sakonnet Bridge went OOS in February 1988. From research I have found that the P&W did several moves to Newport but until about 1985, Conrail still provided regular freight service to Portsmouth. The train was WNMI-2 and served a lumber yard at Tiverton bridge as well as Kaiser in Portsmouth until around 1985. There was also a weed-spray train that came yearly in the late 70's/80's operated by Conrail. Other moves included runs to Newport to take Old Colony & Newport equipment on/off the island.

Here are several moves that PW ran to Newport in the 80's:
C. 1982- Ballast train, PW 2006, about 10 blue PW ballast hoppers, and a caboose
C. 1983- PW 2008 lite engine to Newport to pick up the OCN gas car (doodlebug) and to bring it over to Conrail.
C. 1984- Leyland Railbus was brought over to be used by the OCN. It later left by rail.
- Unknown power, picked up a P70 coach from the OCN and brought it to Fall River for the newly formed Old Colony & Fall River RR Museum.
- CR B23-7 w/ a flatcar with a military tank to General Dynamics. Unless the engine stayed on the island till the tank was unloaded, this would be a two-part move.

Other moves that may have happened:
C. 1982 possible PW engine sent down to take over local freight duties from Conrail? If this happened, the PW later decided it would be easier for Conrail to switch the cutomers on the RI side of the Newport Secondary.
C. 1985 arrival of wooden coaches for the OCN by rail
Possible military moves?

If anybody has more information on the PW's Newport Secondary, please reply to this forum.
-Michael from Fall River
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
All I can add is that it's still on their system map as a paper hold, and that will never change. Abstaining from abandonment was a requested favor from RIDOT to keep an easy reactivation option in-pocket should the state decide to rebuild the bridge and bring the Dinner Train into Tiverton and Fall River (officially a long-term study item in the current State Rail Plan, though it runs hot-and-cold with the fortunes of South Coast Rail in MA). Technically as long as P&W's freight rights are extant the line retains perpetual out-of-service designation, protected by interstate commerce. That means if RIDOT instructs P&W to file the reactivation notice, it goes through the FRA not STB and only requires giving the residential abutters X days notice that it's unilaterally happening and to clear their junk off the tracks. Then RIDOT would be free to proceed with construction for passenger reactivation. It's a quid pro quo to sidestep the usual NIMBY Operation Chaos blockers that bog down reactivation attempts of abandoned of railbanked lines and give openings for STB adjudication of counter-claims. RIDOT would still have to fight the NIMBY's for upgrading the track above-and-beyond its former Class 1 operating condition to useful passenger operating speed, but they are powerless to stop a train/any train from running again through Tiverton. Since the paper hold is not costing P&W anything and they've gotten 25 years of sweet freight upgrades out of RIDOT, Newport will always be a phantom hold on their system map until the end of time. Even if a P&W train never visits Newport again, and even if passenger plans never materialize. It's strictly "fun with paper barriers" for preserving the full spread of future options with their public partners at the state.
  by Mass Coastal 2010
Here is more information on CR/PW operations on the island:

Customers as of 1987:

Important Footnote: "CR operates for PW via a per car rate. No demurrage collected)

Mass/RI Border - Wyatt Fuel

Tiverton - Tiverton Team Track

Portsmouth - Weyerhauser (VACANT)
Kaiser Aluminum

Melville - At least five sidings listed as/or US Naval Base or US Naval Base DFSP Melville

Newport - More multiple USN sidings including Buildings 14,15 & 63; USNB Publishing & Printing Service and Robert E. Derecktor of RI.
Bethlehem Steel Corp (5 siding at Bridge St)
  by hrcoleman3
Found this picture and post on Flickr from 1982...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/128942754 ... ist-pRRZzd" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.flickr.com/photos/128942754 ... otostream/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
PR4 with the engine 2006 pass Attleboro Commuter Station on track 4 on, its way to Newport, RI , shortly after taking over all Conrail operations in Rhode Island. In consist is coach from Davisville to the Cape for tourist railroad. Train traveled via industrial highway & East Junction Secondary to avoid Amtrak charges.
  by Mass Coastal 2010
Wow! These are VERY rare! Thank you for sharing!