• 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
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:47 am Finally the moment we've all been waiting for - G&U files with the STB to acquire operating rights via a 10 year lease of the CSX Milford Secondary 8.4 miles from Milford to Franklin. Mileage includes a couple of miles used by MBTA trains between Forge Park and the junction with the Franklin line (?) at Union St. The little twig to the left south of QVG 8 is the newly constructed G&U connection at S Cedar St in Milford. This provision in the filing is provocative:
G&U certifies that the proposed acquisition of the Line does not involve a provision or
agreement that may limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier.
I wonder if this somehow involves linking up to Mass Coastal RR or whatever RR entity might in the future operate freight service to SE Massachusetts and the Cape assuming CSX seeks to reduce its operating footprint in Massachusetts?

https://dcms-external.s3.amazonaws.com/ ... 301126.pdf
A couple of notes -
1) The "twig" you mention isn't the G&U connection - it's the lead and siding for the former Foster Forbes/St Gobain glass plant. The G&U connection is about a 1/2 mile closer to the end of the line in Milford.
2) The clause you highlight ("G&U certifies that the proposed acquisition of the Line does not involve a provision or agreement that may limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier. ") has nothing to do with any potential linking to someone else - it's simply a statement that CSX hasn't insisted on any paper barriers to interchange with other railroads as part of the deal (unlike what they tried to do with the sale of the Massena line to CP).

Also, to answer the question raised by mrj1981, CSX assigns a line code to every route they operate over. That code is used as a prefix to mileposts when issuing track warrants and other documents, and used to identify the route in the railroad's files. "QVG" is the code assigned to the Milford line. All of the ex-Conrail lines operated by CSX have a code that starts with Q. The second letter (V) seems to be used on lines originally owned by the New Haven Railroad. I suspect that the "G" comes from the fact that the Milford line is an extension of the Franklin Branch, which has a code of "QVF" (although I could be wrong).

Joshua
  by MaineCoonCat
 
Thank you for the clarification on the QVG designation. That was driving me buggy!

Melissa
  by johnpbarlow
 
Agreed the Milford area "twig" on the map is the switch and track into the former Ardagh Bottle Mfg plant. However, given the plant is being converted to a warehouse, much demo and rebuilding have gone on here in the past several months. As a consequence, only about 100 feet of track from the turnout on the Milford Secondary remains - the twig has become a stub! The rest of the track that served the bottle mfg plant has been covered up by fill used to create a roadway to the rear of the refurbed building. It's not obvious to me that the new warehouse will be rail served unless track on a new RoW is laid. Hopefully G&U is not paying CSX for a lease on unusable buried track!
  by elecuyer
 
I'm a bit surprised that this agreement does not (appear to?) include operating rights to the end of track on the Midland division from Franklin Junction down to Grove Street street in Franklin. The G&U is masterful at acquiring and developing business - and the industries and parcels in that area seem ripe for such traffic.

Also this phrase is interesting and significant:
G&U also certifies that the proposed transaction does not involve a provision or agreement that may limit future interchange with a third-party connecting carrier.

While not currently the case, it is possible that Mass Coastal could take over freight service the Framingham-Mansfield secondary (which could, potentially, interchange with the G&U in Walpole.) Also, extension of the Midland route for commuter train service from Woonsocket to Boston (via Bellingham or Blackstone) has been discussed. These proposals are currently dead (the "preferred" option being a southern run to Pawtucket, then up the Corridor), but if they became reality could allow the G&U potential interchange with the P&W (and the rest of the the G&W system.)

Both of these are far-fetched, (especially a P&W connection) but given the fact that the G&U has already done the seemingly impossible - I wouldn't be completely shocked if I see this occur in my lifetime.
  by jamoldover
 
Given that right now the only existing (and most potential) customers are outside of the T's operating area, I think before Mr. Priscoli starts going after more track that's currently out of service with no customers, he's going to see how much business he can build up on the existing territory. How many years did it take between when he purchased the railroad initially and even this first expansion beyond the G&U's original line? Remember that while he may be a bit of a railroad buff, he's a businessman and a developer first. If it doesn't make economic sense in the long run, he's not going to do it.

Joshua
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:01 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by elecuyer
 
How many years did it take between when he purchased the railroad initially and even this first expansion beyond the G&U's original line?
When Priscoli purchased the G&U, all that was in-service was a yard and short section of track in North Grafton. It was only a few years before he opened to Grafton, Upton, then Hopedale. The extension to Milford took much longer.

Does anyone know when the Midland south/west of Franklin Jct. went out of service? I'm surprised that business dried up - but I haven't been down that way in at least a decade.
  by The EGE
 
Blackstone–Franklin Junction (except for the short stretch to Grove Street) was abandoned in 1969. I doubt there was much if any online business at that point, given how quickly they abandoned it after passenger service ended. I'm not sure whether there's still any traffic on the Franklin Junction–Grove Street stub, or if not when it ended.
  by elecuyer
 
The stub from Franklin Jct. to Grove Street was active until relatively recently (if reports that it is no longer active are accurate.) There are at least two buildings with well-maintained sidings on the line, south/west of 495.

Back in the late 1980s (when I lived in the area) there was only one shipper at Grove Street (a Paper Box company IIRC.) Sometime later a second industry was added, along with a run-around track.

I maintain that the Grove St.-Franklin Jct stub is a line that the G&U will likely explore, and I remain surprised it was not included as part of this initial lease agreement.
  by johnpbarlow
 
The ball is now in Hopedale's Selectmen's court re: the G&U land purchase: Town has until 11/7/20 to come up with sufficient money to exercise its option to buy the 100 acres, even though G&U now holds the deed. I'd like to think that somehow a compromise might be worked out as G&U previously talked about making some of the 100 acres available to the town.

https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/2 ... e-buy-land
  by johnpbarlow
 
Per Milford Gazette article of 10/30/20, G&U is starting to clear brush along access road into the newly purchased Hopedale property, much to the chagrin of some Hopedale residents. I think this quote by G&U President Michael Milanoski is interesting:
″...it is of great disappoint(ment) to the railroad that due to the interference of external groups the Board of Selectmen were not allowed to complete their due diligence and finalize a public private partnership with the railroad that would have benefited the town in the long-run,” Milanoski wrote.

He is referring to a proposal in which the railroad would have promised to steer clear of potential wellheads and negotiate land swaps to expand the town’s 280-acre Parklands, if selectmen gave up their right to buy the land.
https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/2 ... -land-case
  by jaymac
 
Seen in a 0840/10-31-2020 driveby on Westboro Road, N. Grafton -- 2 MBTX loaded stone hoppers on the stub west of and parallel to the CSXT lead, that lead having been run through since the 10-30 snow stopped.
  by bostontrainguy
 
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.
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