• Mass Coastal Railroad (MC) 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 Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Railworks continued cleaning off the tracks and dropping ties on the ROW today as they have passed the Red Brook Harbor crossing in Cataumet,MA heading north towards Pocasset,MA. Work crews were also out today along the entire line remarking ties to be replaced. Barely seen are new rails off to the right as this RR road crossing is scheduled to be completely replaced as well. New signals / controls were already replaced last October 2019
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  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Railworks continuing tie deliveries along the Falmouth Secondary as Sunday is just another work day for some of the crew. At least they had a strong wind today to somewhat cool things off.
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  by BandA
 
Great photos!

By the time the tie has turned soft as mulch, most of the creosote or other toxic chemicals have already leached into the soil so cleanup would be superfluous.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
7/13/20 @ 5:30 PM as 2 Railworks crews are working late to wrap up setting new ties today on the Falmouth Secondary ROW. Have reached Evergreen Hill Rd crossing MP 1.57 in Monument Beach, MA as they are getting close to Canal Junction at Canal RR Bridge. At this pace they should finish up by tomorrow as the project from what I have heard is starting this Thursday 7/16/20
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  by Trainman101
 
I saw a mass coastal press release on facebook announcing that there lines are now 286k. I wonder if it includes the cape cod canal bridge?

From the Mass coastal facebook page:

"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

To our Customers and Rail Partners, please see below information. Additionally please communicate with your Shippers and Origination Points to allow then to update the date bases for your traffic.


The Mass Coastal Railroad is issuing a System-Wide declaration that the lines support 286,000 Lb Gross Weight on Rail. The final piece of the puzzle was the verification and official declaration of the North East Corridor between Mansfield and Attleboro MA. This project has been over 5 years in the making and Mass Coastal has worked with its partners MASSDOT-Rail, MBTA, and CSXT.

Background

In the United States, the ability for Class I freight railroads to carry 286K Lb gross weight (286 kip) traffic is the industry standard. In order for Mass Coastal to maintain an efficient, economical service on the South Coast rail lines the infrastructure must be consistent with this standard.
In the past 12 years, all new rail cars have been constructed to 286K capacity, and more recently 315K. An unfortunate by product of the newer cars is that they will be transported “light-loaded”, wasting valuable potential shipping volume. In most cases, the transportation costs to move the light loaded cars often do not consider the decrease in carried weight.
Many of our customers have expressed the need to accept the more-modern 286K cars. Obviously the entire industry is shifting to the larger rail cars and hopefully the national rail system has been making further changes nation-wide. Unfortunately we are seemingly on the “periphery” of the national rail system, yet recognize that the key to our mutual success rests on this subject. Additional cost savings are offered by large rail cars simply from their ability to carry more tons of the commodity. This results in a reduction in car ownership and repair costs, and an increase in system capacity due to an ability to handle more payload at side track locations.
The restriction on these lines to loads not exceeding 263,000 pounds is primarily a restriction dictated by two elements, track & bridge conditions on rail lines between Framingham, MA and Mansfield, MA and timetable restrictions over MBTA-owned and Amtrak controlled properties.

Economic Benefit

Freight Rail

1. Shipper cost savings which result from shifts to less expensive per ton/mile modes (e.g. truck to rail) and/or improved service on existing routes.
2. Congestion relief benefits to freight trucking as highways are improved or freight traffic volumes are diverted to other modes.
3. Freight logistics benefits which result from improved reliability of travel times and supply chain logistics.
4. Highway maintenance costs are reduced in scenarios with greater freight volume traveling by rail.

STRACNET
The United States Government has reaffirmed that the Otis Air Base/MMR remains part of the Strategic Rail Access Network (2018).


EXAMPLE
A quick comparison of a standard 53' dry cargo semi-trailer van against a 60' Hi Cube railroad box car shows us the following:

Semi-Trailer:

length: 53'
width: 8.5'
Interior height: 9.2'
Interior volume: ~4085 cu. ft
empty weight: varies, but assume and average 32,000 lbs
max allowable weight with load: 80,000 lbs (in "18 wheeler" configuration)
max cargo weight: ~48,000 lbs (24 tons) per "truckload"

Hi Cube (High Cubic Volume) railroad box car:

length: 60' 9"
Width: 9' 6"
interior height: 13' 1"
Interior volume: ~7580 cu. ft
empty weight: 79,500 lbs
max allowable weight with load: 286,000 lbs
max cargo weight: 206,500 lbs (103.25 tons) per "car load"

So on a volume and weight basis, each railroad box car can carry twice the volume or over 4 times the weight of a single 18 wheeler semi-trailer. It is also drastically more fuel efficient to pull a fully loaded string of box cars in a train than to move the equivalent load by over-the-road truck.
Some of the customers on the MC that have communicated the need to support 286K handle to following commodities;

Frozen Seafood
Flour
Feed Ingredients (corn, canola, soybeans)
Scrap Metal
Chemicals
Lubricating Oil
New Bedford Harbor-PCB Project"
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Railworks finished setting out ties up to Bell Rd MP .40 just short of Canal Junction which is behind me in this photo today. A few more tie bundles to go to reach the Canal path RR crossing and will be ready for the work to begin !
Also Monument Neck Rd crossing at MP .82 is scheduled to be replaced soon as signals / controls were already replaced in October 2019
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Last edited by Falmouth Secondary to Otis on Tue Jul 14, 2020 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Trainman101 wrote: Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:41 pm I saw a mass coastal press release on facebook announcing that there lines are now 286k. I wonder if it includes the cape cod canal bridge?


The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge which cost $ 1.56 million dollars to build in 1935 was rehabilitated in 2002 -2003 at a cost of $30 Million dollars. Does anyone know what the actual bridge specifications are for current weight carrying capacity & rail type being used.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Railworks has commenced replacing ties on the Falmouth Secondary this morning beginning at Canal junction at the Canal RR Bridge. No activity seen at the other end in North Falmouth yet as I had heard there were to be 2 separate crews working towards each other.
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  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Railworks has moved right along today continuing it's first pass on the Falmouth Secondary as it started at Worcester Ave MP 1.79 and stopped for the day at Cataumet Station MP 5.50
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  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
MassDOT bid estimates were $ 6,900,000 for tie installation and the lowest qualified bidder was Railworks being awarded the installation contract at $ 5,519,800 for the Cape Main - BAY to Buzzards Bay 12,275 ties over 18.42 miles, Falmouth Secondary - 12,225 ties over 6.8 miles and the Middleborough subdivision - 2,500 ties over 3.43 miles . In addition to the cost of installing the ties MassDOT awarded the lowest qualified bid tie supply contract to Stella Jones Corp in Pittsburgh, PA for 25,000 ties at a cost of $ 1,679,868 with additional ties needed in excess of that to be supplied by Railworks. So a total cost of $ 7,199,668 ( $ 251,297.31 average cost per mile ) for the ties and there installation on the designated RR lines.
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
Railworks finished the first pass on the Falmouth Secondary to Otis Junction today and will be ready to restart at Canal Junction next to finish installing the rest of the ties. Was talking to one of the crew of Mass Coastal RR today and the siding out on Otis by the transfer station has been repaired along with switch upgrades and is back in service now. No Train runarounds needed anymore in North Falmouth to push out loads to the station, which certainly will speed up the trip for sure.
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  by BandA
 
So, $67 per tie + $199 per tie for installation & disposal. Are those good prices? I'm surprised they are having Railworks supply the last 2000 ties, must have needed more ties than originally thought.

Where is Control Point BAY on the Cape Main? (is it near COVE? :wink: )

Assuming 1625 ties/mi for FRA class 4/5 "tangent" track (60/80MPH freight or 80/90MPH passenger), it looks like they are replacing:
666 ties/mi on Cape Main or ~41%
1798 ties/mi on Falmouth Secondary ~111% (i.e. all the ties)
729 ties/mi on Middleborough Subdivision ~45%

These are substantial upgrades for the trash train, Cape Flyer, dinner trains, and would "pave the way" for Commuter Rail extension to Buzzards Bay.
  by GP40MC1118
 
Bay is/was the property line between Conrail and Bay Colony way back when. It remains as block limit point going into and out of dark territory into the signaled Middleboro main. It is located just south of the Wood Street overhead bridge in S. Middleboro (where the Ocean Spray plant is).
  by Falmouth Secondary to Otis
 
According to the Railway Tie association in the US there are on average 3249 wood ties per mile. Based on that statement the Falmouth Secondary has 22,093 ties total for the 6.8 miles and 12,225 are being replaced, so only around 55 % are being changed out. There are still plenty of old ties still in place at varying stages of decay to change out into the future.
https://www.rta.org/faqs
Last edited by Falmouth Secondary to Otis on Mon Jul 20, 2020 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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