MaineCentral252 wrote:What possibilities exist for new traffic/customers on PAR, realistic or not? What is out there in D1 or D2 if, hypothetically, a new owner were to go up and down the line knocking on doors to solicit business?
I think business on MBTA trackage has much more potential, and all without any fees for using well-maintained track!
Oil-related products in East Boston/Everett/Chelsea/Revere should be looked into as high volumes may be possible. Moderate volumes of materials for Necco in Revere may be feasible -- it seems glaring obvious as an observer to add a customer track off the Eastern Route. There surely must be some low- or moderate-volume business with GE in Lynn despite the shrinking facility. Durkee Mower in Lynn (famous for marshmallow fluff) is right along the Eastern Route with a forlorn siding -- this would likely be low-volume inbound products. Historically there used to be a track off the Eastern Route to the adjacent gravel pit, and there might be moderate levels of outbound gravel. I can easily see a non-time sensitive transload operation revitalizing the Castle Hill Yard in Salem, serving the North Shore and Cape Anne -- perhaps some home heating oil or propane specifically. There's potential for Marketing to make some low-volume magic happen around Centennial Drive in Peabody along the South Reading Industrial Track.
I think the sale of North Point wasn't handled well and a sliver of land for transloading should have been retained for transloading. I'm particularly thinking food products like cooking oils, flours, grains, etc to feed the core of the region and building materials for all the construction. I don't know where the bulk food stuffs suppliers are, though. Need someone to receive the transload and then dole it out to smaller businesses. The Mystic Wharf should not be squandered so readily. Anything to preserve the possibility of autorack traffic should anyone decide to pony up the money for clearances. The Western Route is pretty well dried up, although I'd like to see more business to the MBTA's Charlestown shop and Wellington shop if possible. The Medford Industrial Track ain't dead yet, and has potential, particularly if clearances with the Fellsway are resolved. The Fitchburg Route is also pretty dried out except the area around Alewife which is rapidly churning over into condos, apartments, and corporate offices.
There's plenty of potential along the Lowell Line, notable in Winchester, Woburn, and Wilmington, but I'll leave it to someone else to pick apart all of the possibilities there.