• 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

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  by MaineCoonCat
 
BandA wrote: Sat Jul 06, 2019 3:16 pm That's a really big ask to take 155 acres. Are the current owners like a family trust that has owned it for hundreds of years, or just some real estate speculator that would be willing to sell but is holding out because it is a key parcel? Generally these things should be done on a voluntary basis or not at all. It's not like "hey we need a couple of feet so we can add a second track". G&U already has transload yards, and they have or had the Draper property available. Even in a rural areas, 155 acre lots are precious things.

Government agencies are not good at making these sort of decisions wisely.
I'd say the latter..
hopedale devel1.png
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  by Hux
 
A lot of land {no pun intended} to be sure, but it contains wetlands. Which means buffers etc. so it could easily be substantially less useable land. {Imagine the hurdles the wetlands will create in the aquisition and use of this parcel)
  by MaineCoonCat
 
Whereas that is basically my job in another town, I'm wondering about whether or not they would be exempt from the Wetlands Protection Act (310 CMR 10.00).
  by BandA
 
There was an article about this in the T&G??? a year or so ago, the developers and I think the town?? railroad?? having different ideas about how to redevelop the old Draper property. Which apparently was sold separately from the railroad. So this developer has been sitting on this property since 1981???
  by johnpbarlow
 
G&U Rail laying Hopedale 070719.jpg
Here's a photo from Sunday 7/7/19 showing new rail in the process of being laid at Hopedale across the Hopedale St bridge toward current end of track at rte 16 grade crossing. Looks like experienced ties are being re-used to support the rails on the new stone.
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  by bostontrainguy
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:39 am G&U Rail laying Hopedale 070719.jpgHere's a photo from Sunday 7/7/19 showing new rail in the process of being laid at Hopedale across the Hopedale St bridge toward current end of track at rte 16 grade crossing. Looks like experienced ties are being re-used to support the rails on the new stone.
I read somewhere that the bridge (10' 6") was raised 18". Doesn't look like it from that picture. It would need to go a long way to get to the 14' minimum standard.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
BandA wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:38 am https://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/ ... xt=ggulrev Says that state & local permitting for environment is preempted. Only federal environmental laws need apply, apparently.
Kind of what I thought.. I don't think the Feds would factor in much unless it involved a navigable waterway as far as siting is concerned..
  by BandA
 
Yeah... would federal preemption apply if this were an interstate highway? Federal preemption is based on Interstate Commerce clause, right? But don't all the railroads have to have a state charter allowing them to build in each state?
  by Ridgefielder
 
BandA wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:49 am There was an article about this in the T&G??? a year or so ago, the developers and I think the town?? railroad?? having different ideas about how to redevelop the old Draper property. Which apparently was sold separately from the railroad. So this developer has been sitting on this property since 1981???
Developers can be very, very patient, particularly if its a family concern. I've been told of one such organisation here in New York that spent 80 years assembling a full-block parcel for a skyscraper.
  by MaineCoonCat
 
Ridgefielder wrote: Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:42 pm
BandA wrote: Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:49 am There was an article about this in the T&G??? a year or so ago, the developers and I think the town?? railroad?? having different ideas about how to redevelop the old Draper property. Which apparently was sold separately from the railroad. So this developer has been sitting on this property since 1981???
Developers can be very, very patient, particularly if its a family concern. I've been told of one such organisation here in New York that spent 80 years assembling a full-block parcel for a skyscraper.
Actually, there's a fight between the town and the property owner, with a lawsuit filed in November, 2018.
At 4:52 pm on December 6, 2018 In an article entitled "For decades, this old Mass. factory has sat empty. Now there’s a battle over its future", Christopher Gavin of the Boston.com staff wrote:
For decades, this old Mass. factory has sat empty. Now there’s a battle over its future.

Image

Christopher Gavin --- Boston.com staff

December 6, 2018 4:52 pm


In the heart of Hopedale, the sights and sounds that brought the Draper Corp. factory to life went still and silent decades ago.

In their absence, shattered windowpanes and chipped paint, boarded windows and dark hallways are mainstays at the expansive, 1,000,000-square-foot former industrial powerhouse that once churned out textile machinery used around the globe.

ADVERTISING

Since its doors shuttered in 1980, plans to revitalize the massive, 77-acre property in the small town’s center — also a central piece of local history at the core of the town’s identity — have followed the same fate as the building’s storied past: They have come and they have gone.

But the latest pitch from town officials, a nearly $50 million Urban Renewal Plan dubbed “Draper Falls” that calls for potentially 565 housing units and 175,000 square feet of commercial space on the property and others under private-public partnership, has now pit them against the property owner, Worcester developer Philip Shwachman, in a battle that could take years to play out.


Windows of the former Draper Corp. factory look out onto scenic Hopedale Pond.
In a lawsuit filed in Worcester Superior Court last month, Shwachman — who has acquired properties that make up the site over the last three decades — alleges the town, notably selectmen, conspired in closed-door meetings to take it all from him through eminent domain — without giving him any compensation.

The lengthy and biting civil complaint demands that officials drop their plan on the basis that they violated Shwachman’s rights with disregard. Other allegations say officials repeatedly violated Open Meeting Law and deceitfully rammed the renewal plan through the local approval process, aided by the Grafton & Upton Railroad, which operates on adjacent property.

“The town has acted behind closed doors in a rush to push through a poorly-conceived plan that proposes taking all of Mr. Shwachman’s property, and nobody else’s property, by eminent domain, and paying him nothing for it,” David Lurie, Shwachman’s attorney, told Boston.com in a statement.

The Urban Renewal Plan, unveiled this summer, states however that the redevelopment of the property wouldn’t be possible without government support, since after 30 years of Shwachman’s private ownership, little has changed.

The town worked with Shwachman in 2007 to form a reuse plan — one that outlined how the site could become a mixed-use development filled with offices, shops, and homes — but it was never put in motion.

The current Board of Selectmen told residents last year about a renewed effort they were spearheading to build upon that plan with new additions that would consider the use of the adjacent Grafton & Upton Railroad rail yard. The railroad, which was dormant before returning to local service in 2013, would be a key component of Hopedale’s future, Selectman Thomas Wesley said at the time.

He told The Boston Globe in August that Shwachman has “put a stranglehold on the development of the town” as his property, a stone’s throw away from downtown Hopedale, sits empty and undisturbed. Officials have said redevelopment would additionally provide a major boost to tax revenue, potentially joining an effort the town, currently with limited commercial tax revenue, has undertaken in recent years to grow its tax base.
Read more of this story at Boston.Com's web site
  by johnpbarlow
 
The safety train was videoed at the Rte 30 crossing in N Grafton apparently a few day ago. The pick-up truck is sitting on the new access road to the new engine shop.
  by SkiScorcher88
 
What is a safety train? I know Keilos runs the MBTA. Why would they be on the G&U? Perhaps just to use it as a siding and they had to back the cars up through this intersection in order to move onto one of the G&Us sidings?
  by GP40MC1118
 
So-Called Safety Train is for joint PD/FD/EMT training for railroad emergencies. Amtrak
was in on this one because the communities participating in the drill are along the CSX
Boston Line - which Amtrak runs on.

G&U was hosting the event. Can't do this kind of thing on the mainline.

D
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