• 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 Knucklehead
 
QB 52.32 wrote: Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:10 am That local, Mr. Barlow, appears to be out of Westborough, likely heading west to run around their train and work back east (B723? -I thought the Worcester-Westborough-Framingham road turn was B722?) What would be telling is whether the springs on those cars were compressed, indicating they were loads.

In terms of describing the Milford branch, it is "used", (not moribund) with a coupla-few hundred annual carloads for the two remaining receivers.
I believe up until recently, B722 went on duty in Framingham and ran to Westborough between commuter trains to make up its train for the night. After the commuter rush, they would run west to Worcester, runaround their train, and hit customers on the return (used to be Regency warehouse in Worcester, the G&U, and Dana Films in Westborough, he run back to Framingham. I heard they recently changed the origination of 722 to Worcester, but I have not confirmed that yet.
  by QB 52.32
 
Since the pandemic, the local serving Regency, the G&U and Dana has been working in the afternoon usually ending up switching Dana right around 5pm. Of course, with re-opening's affect upon the commuter rail schedule and to the extent CSX changes their PSR operating plan, further change could be in the wings.
  by johnpbarlow
 
The attached table of CSX B7XX locals was snipped from the CSX Train Symbol Wiki list at railroadfan.com site which, if not 100% accurate is at least frequently curated. It shows B722 as currently being Westborough based and running to Worcester and return with connections at Westborough to Q436/Q437, which still apparently serve Framingham as destination/origin (although I personally can't vouch for the the table's accuracy I did see a 3 unit road power set at Framingham North Yard making up what I believe to be a westbound manifest at 0830 last Wednesday that should have been Q437).

To return to the topic of G&U's superb rehab of the long missing Hopedale to Milford track, from an eyeball observation perspective, G&U invested quite a bit to create this connection to the CSX Milford branch whose last 5 miles have had no revenue freight since the Ardagh Mfg bottle plant closed over 2 years ago in Spring of 2018. CSX services the 2 remaining customers (via B735? perhaps?) using less than a mile of this branch from the MBTA end of track at Forge Park. If BlueLinx and Garelick Farms only receive a few hundred carloads/year, I'm guessing the G&U has additional business development in mind to justify its significant investment in the CSX connection at Milford.

http://railroadfan.com/wiki/index.php/CSX_Train_Symbols
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  by QB 52.32
 
I'd say it's more than a guess, fitting in with the owner's first-and-foremost business, the strategy of developing rail distribution sites in the I-495 corridor, and, the on-going pressure of rising land values to move rail distribution away from Boston, as has been the case for much of this G&U revival. And, the Blue Lynx and Garelick traffic provides a starting point.
  by diburning
 
buddydog wrote: Thu May 28, 2020 7:25 am Garelick farms declared bankruptcy in 2019. evidently they're hanging in there.
I work in an adjacent industry. The parent company of Garelick declared bankruptcy and got thrown a lifeline by investors. If Garelick goes under, Guida's (under the Oakhurst brand) will take over distribution, and will most likely bid on the facility (but will not buy the Garelick brand).
  by BandA
 
Bankrupt Dean Dairy (Garelick's parent) closed the Lynn plant (ex West Lynn Creamery) causing significant distribution problems, which I think they have mostly recovered from - Franklin basically only made 1/2 gal & gal of milk, so they had to haul "specialty" products from places like NJ. The bankruptcy sale to FFA seems to be done. In MA they own Garelick (25-100) and Friendly's Ice Cream in Wilbraham(25-26) (but not the restaurants and only leasing the Ice Cream factory).

http://www.deanfoods.com/newsroom/news/ ... f-america/
The Company also announced that as part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) approval of Dean Foods’ transaction with DFA, DFA has entered into a Consent Decree with the DOJ under which DFA has committed to hold separate and ultimately divest the dairy processing plants located in DePere, WI, Franklin, MA and Harvard, IL together with certain assets related to the operations at each plant.
So the Garelick plant in Franklin (25-100) which holds most of the supermarket contracts in MA will be sold.

Guida and Oakhurst (including 33-08) are already owned by DFA, so they won't be allowed to take over Franklin. The other two companies in the area are Hood and Agrimark (which also owns Cabot and McAdam), so I assume one of them will end up owning the Franklin plant. In any case Franklin bottles a lot of milk so I assume that will continue.
  by johnpbarlow
 
When I look at the Google Aerial photo of the Garelick Farms plant at Forge Park, I see four covered hoppers on the short stub siding there - would these be inbound loads of plastic pellets from which GF milk containers are made? If so, if Hood or Agrimark buys the Forge Park plant, would the new owner necessarily continue to fabricate milk cartons at Forge Park or could they brought in from another nearby Hood/Agrimark plant? IOW, is this potential business at risk for G&U?

Also, BandA, what is meant by the #s in the parentheses when you say "Franklin (25-100)"? Thanks.
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  by jaymac
 
30+ years ago, I went on a short tour of the plant, and they did manufacture their own containers from railed-in pellets. Dunno if the facilities have been updated in the meanwhile, but if Hood or Agrimark buys Garelick and if bottling still takes place in Franklin, it would seem sensible to keep manufacturing the containers there instead of trucking in whole lots of plastic-enclosed air.
  by BandA
 
25-100 is the USDA milk plant number, with 25 being the state code for Massachusetts. [OT] plug that number in to https://whereismymilkfrom.com

I assume manufacturing the HDPE plastic jugs (including microplastic particles mixed into the milk) themselves & on-site is a major competitive advantage. According to wikipedia, Garelick was big into plastic container manufacturing before they were bought by Suiza.

Risk to new owner is land is separately owned & they might not get a favorable lease.
  by b&m 1566
 
I just saw pictures of an MBTA extra on the Grafton & Upton from yesterday. The train came off the Worcester main in route to Franklin. It was the first train to run the entire length of the G&U since 1983(?) It looked like the train was made up of two different commuter rail trainsets, put together.
  by bostontrainguy
 
b&m 1566 wrote: Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:31 am I just saw pictures of an MBTA extra on the Grafton & Upton from yesterday. The train came off the Worcester main in route to Franklin. It was the first train to run the entire length of the G&U since 1983(?) It looked like the train was made up of two different commuter rail trainsets, put together.
Now that's pretty awesome!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nJbh-3S1iU
  by g-and-u-watcher
 
Cool - thanks for posting the video!

One question: I was surprised to see it cross South Main Street in Milford (by Pinz) without a flagger protecting the crossing. I was under the impression that a flagger is required for crossings without automated crossing lights?

Thanks again!
  by MaineCoonCat
 
Now begs the question(s)..

Was this just an equipment move?
or
A test/"proof of concept" for future traffic by the
tlogo small.png
??
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