• Grafton & Upton Railroad (G&U) Discussion

  • 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

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  by jamoldover
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:43 pm Maybe I am missing something but how has Framingham been so successful at curtailing, harassing and probably killing off any potential future use of CSX property there but Grafton, Upton and Hopedale are seemingly unable to do the same? I am sure they must have considered similar actions like truck bans.
It's probably more a question of how determined the railroad is. When it comes to drumming up local business, most of the Class I's don't really care unless it's likely to be a significant amount. What this means is that CSX probably decided that Framingham wasn't worth the battle. For a smaller railroad like the G&U, even a few cars can make a significant difference in operating revenue. They're a lot more willing to push back.

Joshua
  by johnpbarlow
 
I think G&U may have a strong case playing the preemption card ie, state and local laws have little relevance wrt intended use of commercially zoned property for rail transit.

As an aside I found this excerpt unrelated to the proposed new yard to be interesting, especially the text that I have bolded/italicized:
GU has experienced significant traffic growth over recent years. In 2010, GU interchanged approximately 200 cars with CSX, and by 2019 the number of cars interchanged was approximately 3000. A steady growth in business is expected to continue into the future. For calendar year 2021, GU anticipates moving 3500 carloads.

A recent acquisition transaction guarantees that GU will move a minimum of an additional 400 carloads per year of new business. CSX and GU have recently entered into a lease and related agreements pursuant to which GU will operate an 8.4 mile CSX line between the terminus of the GU-owned line in Milford and Franklin, Massachusetts, where GU will have a new, second interchange with CSX. ... The traffic over the line leased from CSX will move between the interchange with CSX in Franklin, through Hopedale, Upton and the CSX-GU interchange in North Grafton.
The excerpt above suggests G&U's lease of the CSX Milford Secondary is to haul CSX overhead traffic but I thought the reason for leasing this CSX line was to service the BlueLynx building materials and Garelick Farms plastic pellet traffic. 400 cars per year is 1-2 cars per weekday so I'm guessing G&U service will be a few times/week?
  by Trinnau
 
I think what this segment is referring to is that the current interchange on that end of the line is in Milford and is moving to Franklin as a result of the new operation where G&U will serve those customers instead of CSX. It's just a technicality. The Grafton end will still remain the primary point of interchange.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Q: Has anyone witnessed a G&U freight move on the ex-CSX Milford to Franklin line for which the STB granted authorization to operate about 30 days ago? Thanks.
  by craven
 
The refurbished Ardagh bottle plant is now occupied by Amazon. It appears that Amazon is leasing more than half of the warehouse.
Now it is the time for theG&U Sales team to sell them on
  by johnpbarlow
 
I checked out this warehouse about a month ago when there was a frenzy of construction/paving/landscaping activity going on to prep the facility for use and the former Ardagh siding tracks into the area had been buried under six feet of embankment to support a driveway for access to the rear of the warehouse. Not to say new siding tracks couldn't be built but I doubt Amazon has much interest in delivery by rail here given its focus on time sensitive delivery. Maybe Amazon Prime trailers railed into Worcester by CSX could be part of this warehouse's supply chain though.
  by Knucklehead
 
Amazon just occupied two brand new 300,000 square foot (each) warehouses in Northborough that are adjacent to CSXT's Fitchburg Running Track....I doubt one tie or rail will be laid into the facility because as John said, Amazon's time-sensitive nature of their business...
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:10 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: UNNECESSARY QUOTING
  by BandA
 
woodeen wrote: Mon Nov 23, 2020 11:37 am New filing today regarding the Hopedale property
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301307.pdf
I don't see how the STB has jurisdiction. The Chapter 61 state forest restriction has to be lifted before the property can be used for anything else, including a railroad. STB doesn't have authority over forests, so federal preemption should not apply until the restriction is lifted. Just because the trust owning the property was transferred to the owner of the G&U doesn't lift the Ch 61 restriction. Mr Pricolli now owns a forest and a railroad which are two separate entities. The owner of the forest got a benefit in exchange for the town getting a right of first refusal; That is essentially a contract, and the STB doesn't have jurisdiction (I hope) to break contracts that are voluntarily entered into. They could argue that the town didn't exercise their right to purchase correctly within 120 days, that the owner's original notice was not defective. But that is state law, should go through the state courts not the STB. The town could purchase the forest, then the railroad could try to take what would be town conservation land by eminent domain. But the railroad hasn't done that.

Noticed in the filing that the president of the G&U is not the same person as the owner.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
BandA wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:19 pm The Chapter 61 state forest restriction has to be lifted before the property can be used for anything else, including a railroad.
Reading the Chapter tells me that I must respectfully disagree. The land use may most certainly change as this "Forest" designation is solely for taxation purposes. I may be wrong, but it would appear to me that if the town has any action available to it, it would be seeking damages from the previous trustees. I think the G&U actually has a decent chance here.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, do not play one on TV or have a radio call-in show. Anyone following legal advice from me does so at their peril.
  by Ridgefielder
 
Maybe now the G&U owns a forest they should buy a Shay and start logging. :wink: :-D
Last edited by MEC407 on Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: UNNECESSARY QUOTING
  by troffey
 
MaineCoonCat wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 7:36 pm
BandA wrote: Fri Nov 27, 2020 6:19 pm The Chapter 61 state forest restriction has to be lifted before the property can be used for anything else, including a railroad.
Reading the Chapter tells me that I must respectfully disagree. The land use may most certainly change as this "Forest" designation is solely for taxation purposes. I may be wrong, but it would appear to me that if the town has any action available to it, it would be seeking damages from the previous trustees. I think the G&U actually has a decent chance here.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a lawyer, do not play one on TV or have a radio call-in show. Anyone following legal advice from me does so at their peril.
The chapter 61 classification is created or removed at the behest of the owner. If they remove the chapter 61 designation, they have to pay the difference between the lower chapter 61 rate and the normal property tax rate.

If the town did not exercise it's right of first refusal within the 120 days, the property owner is allowed to complete the previously agreed upon purchase and sale.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
Yup. That's how I read it..
  by johnpbarlow
 
G&U requests an abeyance to its previous Declaratory Order filing with the STB re: Hopedale transload yard development. Positive news, I think (we'll see...)
Grafton and Upton Railroad Company ("GU") hereby requests the Board to hold this proceeding in abeyance. GU and the Town of Hopedale, Massachusetts (the "Town") have engaged in discussions concerning the possible resolution of the issues described in the Verified Petition for Declaratory Order filed by GU with the Board on November 23 , 2020. These issues include matters raised by the Town in the litigation it has filed in the Land Court in Massachusetts and the preemption issues raised by GU in the Verified Petition. In order to afford GU and the Town time within which to explore an amicable resolution, the Board is requested to hold the proceeding in abeyance until January 31 , 2021. GU will file astatus report with the Board on or before January 31 , 2021.
https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301335.pdf
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