• "Official" Hoosac Valley Railroad Service (BSRM) Topic

  • 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 JRG
Train Operations Schedule through end of OCT:

SAT/SUN: 10A, 1130A, 1P, 2:30P

All Trains Depart from Renfrew/Adams. Follow signs and detour signs for parking lot coming from north or south on RTE 8.

Above is subject to change (but not anticipated); check Facebook. (Sorry, but that's the way it is as Otto explained).

RDC developed small electrical glitch late last Friday night. We erred on side of caution and had the SW8 do the honors. Everyone loved it.

We anticipate the RDC operating under own power this weekend. Electrical glitch was solved last night.

PILOT/TEST trains continue.


  by JRG
That is correct. The agreement needs to be renewed weekly, post Columbus Day pending STB decision being issued. It just didn't happen in time for this weekend.

Last weekend's operation was a success and provided BSRM & our project partners with important operational, marketing and other needed data.

Thank you for your support!
  by YamaOfParadise
While negotiating with Pan Am is arguably better than doing the same with the Housy... still, godspeed. I cannot imagine Pan Am being the easiest to negotiate with.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
YamaOfParadise wrote:While negotiating with Pan Am is arguably better than doing the same with the Housy... still, godspeed. I cannot imagine Pan Am being the easiest to negotiate with.
Only until the sale of the branch to MassDOT gets consumated. I forget what the date is that the ownership transfer takes place, but the only PAR wrangling that'll need to happen after that is if there's a conflict with a North Adams freight job. Otherwise they have the line to themselves.
  by JRG
Until the Surface Transportation Board publishes its decision on the transfer of ownership from Pan Am to the Commonwealth, Pan Am retains ownership and retains control of the track. Other than our successful Columbus Day weekend, Pan Am has chosen not to permit access.

Although MassDOT respectfully requested an expedited review of its motion before the STB within 45 days of filing, that window of time has come and gone. MassDOT requested a decision no later than December 15, so we remain hopeful that a favorable decision will come in time to permit Christmas operations.
  by YamaOfParadise
Senator Elizabeth Warren sent a letter to the STB today in support of BSRM:
I am writing in support of the Town of Adams in relation to the MassDOT's acquisition of the Adams Branch. MassDOT's acquisition of the Adams Branch would allow the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum (BSRM) to host a passenger excursion operation which would serve as a crucial cultural and recreational resource to the Town of Adams and surrounding towns.

This acquisition has the ability to significantly attract tourism and revenue for the Town of Adams and the region as a whole; a region whose economy is largely tourism-based. The BRSM and Town of Adams is looking for expedited decision to be made for several reasons, which include the opportunity to being advertising for the upcoming holidays, and so that they can begin to benefit from the increased economic activity that it will bring.

It is important to note that a detailed Operating Agreement is in place to ensure that there is a balance between freight operations and passenger excursion service. It has been agreed upon that these two services will occur in specific operating times, with the BSRM operating Friday nights and weekends. This acquisition will provide great benefit to the Town of Adams and Berkshire County as a whole, and I ask that you use careful consideration when making this decision. I thank you in advance for your time and consideration in reviewing this transaction as expeditiously as possible.
  by BandA
Why is panam being difficult and not allowing bsrm to operate? Why did they allow them one week but not the next? I assume the STB delays have been normal bureaucracy.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Because until the line ownership gets handed off they bear the most liability cost for the track and any incidents on the track. That burden is lifted when MassDOT gains control.

It's not really about PAS being difficult; they want this done quickly too, and assumed it would be done in time for this train to start running so the liability wouldn't be a consideration. The STB is just backed up to hell in processing the paperwork because it's so short-staffed, so the timetable didn't work out that way. Sen. Warren is in the best position of anyone as MA's Senior Senator to poke them with a stick to get on with it, but everyone--BSRM, PAS, MassDOT--is stuck in a holding pattern for as long as the STB remains bogged down.
  by Jeff Smith
Developments: Berkshire Eagle
eal made to construct temporary Berkshire Scenic Railway platform

NORTH ADAMS — Landmark Federal Credit Union and the city of North Adams have reached a lease agreement for the land that will become the Berkshire Scenic Railway's northern platform.

The agreement, finalized earlier this week, will allow for construction of a temporary platform that abuts the rail line and sits behind the Brien Center's parking lot accessed via American Legion Drive.

The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum, a registered nonprofit, will be on the hook for the $3,000 payment of the lease. The city will construct the platform using its Department of Public Works and material leftover from renovating the rail line and other construction, according to Mayor Richard Alcombright.

Construction of the platform, which is seen as a temporary solution to allow a North Adams terminus to the Hoosac Valley Service's rides between Adams and North Adams, is expected to begin within the week and last three to four days.
Despite this marked progress, the Hoosac Valley Service will not resume rides until the state officially acquires the existing rail lines from PanAm Railways or another temporary agreement is struck between the two parties. An agreement between the MassDOT and PanAm for transfer of the railroad ownership is currently under federal review, according to Michael Verseckes, a spokesman for MassDOT.

"The transfer of the rail line's ownership from PanAm to MassDOT is now before the Surface Transportation Board, which is the federal entity that authorizes the transfer of railroad properties," Verseckes said. "The process to gain the STB's signoff on a sale can be lengthy."

Green said the Scenic Railway and MassDOT hope to have a final decision from the board by Dec. 15. If approved, Green said the Hoosac Valley Service could squeeze in a weekend of scaled-down holiday rides, which would help restore the Scenic Railway's dwindling coffers.
  by Jeff Smith
Fantastic news! Hoosac was able to schedule rides for the Christmas holidays!

http://hoosacvalleytrainride.com/schedule.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

2015 Departure Schedule
December 19 - December 20, 2015
1:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by Jeff Smith
Guess it went well yesterday! iBerkshires.com
Berkshire Scenic Railway Holds Holiday Rides

ADAMS, Mass. — Santa finally arrived for the Berkshire Scenic Railway.

The museum's Hoosac Valley Service has been sidetracked for months as the state Department of Transportation completed its purchase of the line between North Adams and Adams.

On Saturday, the railroad boarded passengers for weekend runs for only the second tim in nearly three years.

Jay Green, the museum's railway director, said the rides were nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

"It was timing and a little bit of the Christmas spirit I guess you could say," Green said. "Everything that we have been working on with the project, all the legal matters and all of the procedural stuff all came together at the same time in December... I guess you could say it's a Christmas gift for the community."

The 1955 Budd Rail Diesel Passenger Car was strung with Christmas lights and Christmas music played during the hourlong ride from Adams to North Adams and back.

Upon reaching the North Adams terminus Santa boarded the train and handed out gifts to children on the ride back to Adams.