• Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

  • 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 MikeB
 
where exactly is baker commodities?

  by l008com
 
OK this was the coolest railfaning night I've ever had. It was supposed to be a 30+ mile bike ride, and I didn't even come close because I spend most of the night chasing trains :-)

So I started in winchester and headed north and didn't see much of anything till I got to mishuam, and I saw the gravel train go by. Then I got to the cement plant on the wilmington woburn line and they were switching it out. I've never gotten to see them switching that place before. It was very interesting. The crossing lights on the old woburn loop don't go on until the train is practically on top of the crossing. And you gotta figure people that drive that road often probably have never seen a train going across the street. So this car slammed on its brakes as it almost got side swiped by a train. So that whole thing was very cool. I even got a wave from the guy on the back of the hopper, who must of that I was some kind of wierdo -he was right- anyway.

So then the train headed south. I was going to keep heading north but i had a change of plans. So I followed it south to the lights right before anderson station. It waiting there for maybe 20 minutes until an mbta train came and passed it. So no activity in wilmington cold storage. Plus large piles of sand, so no activity anytime recently either. So once it started moving, I followed it further and it picked up one box car at the plywood place. Didn't drop anything off though. Also for some strange reason, the little white security pickups were ignoring me even though i was "seanking" around behind all the offices.

Then it headed up to tighe/rhostiens, pulled a bunch of cars out of rhostiens, and then dropped off a bunch at both places.

Meanwhile another pair of MBTA trains flew by. At this point I started to get cold so I took off, plus I don't think there are any more customers, so it would be running straight to... boston i guess.

So the whole train was about 25 or so cars I'd say. It had maybe 8 filled with scrap metal, including lots of car wheels. (it was parked under olympia ave for a while :-) ) Any idea where these were off to?

This was pretty fricken sweet! Hopfully next time I go out for an urban ride, hopefully I won't have as much train luck so I can actually get some biking in :-)

  by rb
 
Sounds like a cool ride. Are you riding along the ROW or what?

Here is Baker Commodities:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2& ... &encType=1
There's a boxcar all the way at the end of the spur. Wonder what they bring in.



Where is the plywood place?

The scrap metal was probably going to Prolerizer in Everett, for export (usually to Turkey).

  by l008com
 
That site you linked to apparently only works with internet explorer. Could you bring up a google map link to who you are talking to? As far as me, no I don't ride on the ROW, just on streets near it. The plywood place is at the end of a very short road coming off of new boston street. They get a boxcar or two pretty often.
rb wrote:Sounds like a cool ride. Are you riding along the ROW or what?

Here is Baker Commodities:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2& ... &encType=1
There's a boxcar all the way at the end of the spur. Wonder what they bring in.



Where is the plywood place?

The scrap metal was probably going to Prolerizer in Everett, for export (usually to Turkey).

  by l008com
 
Yup that IS the plywood place.

And i didn't realize the baker place was so far north. Thats north of G HQ. Is that place also switched by LOSA, the same train that does the Woburn area?

  by l008com
 
So I found an interesting abandoned branch off the Lowell line tonight. It served about 4 or 5 warehouses off of commerce way, along the north edge of the power lines that are just north of the Woburn mall.

Heres a google maps image of the area:
http://maps.google.com/maps?client=safa ... &z=17&om=1

You can see the way the parking lot for anderson station curves. Thats what first clued me in. Then after I stared for a while, it became obvious. I checked it out in person tonight and yup there are definitely tracks there, everyplace there looks like there are tracks on the satellite image. Theres got to be at least 20 warehouses in woburn that have unused spurs off the main line. All these customers going to waste, what a shame.

  by l008com
 
Had a fun night tonight shooting video with my new camera. Mostly of me jumping my bike off stuff, but I did get one really cool video of an MBTA train hauling ass through mishuam station. If/when I post it to youtube, I'll link to it.

Meanwhile, no cars at Wilmington Cold Storage. Looks like none have been there for a very long time. Anyone know the scoup?

Also, I'm curious how often the cement place (Lehigh Cement) in wilmington gets switched? Like, on average how many days a week?

Thats about all. I didn't see LOSA, there might not have been one today. I think I saw the gravel train but a truck was in my way.

Oh one other thing thats kind of odd. I've been doing these bike rides every thursday night, and I don't think I've seen a single Downeaster all year. I'm KNOW I would have heard if the downeaster was discontinued, or if it was permanently going through reading these days. So I guess I must just have bad luck with that train then? Its just odd that I've seen more LOSAs and DOBOs and commuter trains than I've ever seen at night, yet no amtraks. Odd.

  by Dick H
 
Last November, the Downeaster schedule was changed to provide two early evening departures out of Boston at 5:00PM and 6:20PM. Since there are only two train sets, they eliminated the 11:00PM departure from Boston during the week and are using buses instead. In order to add a fifth round trip, which would restore the late night Boston departure, GRS/PAR got several million dollars to upgrade sidings at Dover, Wells and Scarborough. Also, some older rail in the Exeter area that was not replaced during the original rebuild job, has been replaced. Most of the rail and switch work has been completed this month, but more work needs to be done to get the signals up and running and the new switches controlled from Billerica. The Downeaster powers that be want to get the fifth round trip up and running as soon as possible.

Your BNSF loco symbol is eye catching.

Dick H

  by l008com
 
Thanks. Its Lego :-)

Heres that youtube from Mishawum. It was so much louder in person than it seems in this video!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xeJpowgMtGs

  by l008com
 
I took a spin tonight. I saw nothing moving, but it must have been a busy week. There was a single blue panam boxcar at wilmington cold storage. Hooray they're not dead! That puts them on a fairly steady 1-car-per-quarter. There also seemed to be a lot of cars at the cement place. Thats actually all I saw. Still made me happy.

Does anyone know if they are really going to rebuilt the bridge at the end of New Boston Rd? I read they were on the caption of an NERAIL photo last summer, but I haven't seen or heard of it again. Also, does anyone know anything about the siding that serves 5 warehouses directly south of Anderson RTC? It doesn't served them now, its abandoned, but there is still a lot of track left. I'm wondering if it had a name, when it was abandoned etc. And of course I wonder why they don't bring it back to life but I suspect I know the answer to that question.

  by Finch
 
Hey just letting you know I've been enjoying your updates to this thread. I live in Reading and I get out to snoop around the Haverhill and Lowell Lines sometimes, either on my bike or sometimes by car. I don't go nearly as far as you (partly because I don't know where to look for action), but nonetheless I feel we have a shared interest. :P

  by l008com
 
Finch wrote:Hey just letting you know I've been enjoying your updates to this thread. I live in Reading and I get out to snoop around the Haverhill and Lowell Lines sometimes, either on my bike or sometimes by car. I don't go nearly as far as you (partly because I don't know where to look for action), but nonetheless I feel we have a shared interest. :P
Hey, glad this thread isn't JUST for my benefit. Its too bad theres no more freight on the reading line, otherwise I could be going up the lowell then coming back down the reading line with twice the updates for ya :-)
oh well

  by Finch
 
Cool, do you have any "hot spots" you could recommend? Not much time left in this summer for me, but at some point I'd like to get out more and discover what's been happening right under my nose for years before I got into railfanning. I've been to Eames St. in Wilmington, Lowell Jct. (got politely asked to leave by a security dude from a nearby business...said Gillette Way isn't a public road even though there's a baseball field at the end of it?), Ballardvale, Wilmington center, and out to the old Guilford shops in Billerica (apparently I'd have to follow a trail though the woods to actually see much around there though). If I ever see a freight train, it's completely by luck!

  by l008com
 
Finally got back on the streets tonight. Its sunday so I didn't see much, unfortunately. But I did observe a few things. Only one tanker car at Rhostien and nada at the siding directly parallel to it. Also no cars at the plywood place, no cars are wilmington cold storage... must have been a slow week? Wilmington cold storage had a car a few weeks ago but its long gone, no sign of any recent activity. Also no rail trains up at the NE Resigns siding. BUT I did go all the way up to wilmington station. Just past the station is this old siding that I wouldn't even have guessed was still connected. But it is cause there was a whole string of MOW equipment on it. It was dark so I couldn't really get a good look at it all. There are a lot of interesting half buried tracks in the junction area at Wilmington station. Also something I thought was kind of cool. On the east track, if you are at the end of the handicap platform, and look down at the switch for the wildcat, someone actually scribbled 'wildcat branch' on the switch box. I thought this was cool.
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