• North Brookfield RR

  • 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 MEC407
 
Sir Ray wrote:
MEC407 wrote:Moderator Note:I'm not omnipotent
Well, there's your problem - you need to be omniscient (all knowing), not omnipotent (all powerful).
I'd like to think I'm pretty good with words, but I always get those two mixed up! :-D
  by b&m 1566
 
I came across this interesting article about this railroad.
http://m.telegram.com/article/20150730/NEWS/150739887" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
NORTH BROOKFIELD – Three years might seem like a long time to wait for a train, especially when there are no tracks on the long-dormant, 4.2-mile rail bed that runs from the town center to the CSX main line in East Brookfield.

The town-owned North Brookfield Railroad was established in 1876 and Conrail abandoned freight service in the 1970s. The three members of the Board of Selectmen serve as the NBRR’s board of directors. There has been no activity and minimal public discussion of the North Brookfield Railroad since spring 2012.
Anymore info on this; thoughts?

I find it interesting that even when Conrail pulled out and rails removed in the 1970's, this railroad is still alive legally on paper and has been since it was constructed.
  by leviramsey
 
Existing thread... particularly entertaining was the bluster from an encroaching abutter in East Brookfield.

I grew up in the area and took some walks along most of the RoW in my youth.
  by BandA
 
Looks like someone merged the threads.

http://m.telegram.com/article/20150730/NEWS/150739887" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Mr. Smith suggested 40 hours of community development and planning services evaluation that would include the documentation of the NBRR ownership and management; existing land use conditions of the right-of-way; existing condition of rail crossings; alternative railroad management and financing options; and economic development pluses and minuses.

The planner estimated an assessment report could be generated for $3,260.

In 2014 Mr. Smith and two other CMRPC planners, along with the Providence and Worcester Railroad and the towns of Auburn and Oxford, worked on a Freight Rail Planning Study and Feasibility Analysis.
The article is from last year, and it looks like a shakedown from a planning commission. They already know who owns the ROW (the Town of North Brookfield). They know the existing conditions and conditions of the crossings. They probably need help corralling enough industrial customers/distributors that are willing to to relocate and need rail service. In Leicester there are 3-4 empty distribution center buildings a mile from railroad track and only 10 minutes from the Mass Pike and 290/395. Unclear what "alternative railroad management" is.

I assume Mr. Bigda has some sort of an option on the railroad. At this point I assume the option has to expire before anything real happens, and that it will be someone other than Mr Bigda. I hope I am wrong. Remember that this started with a rail trail proposal, with volunteers starting to clear the ROW which the NIMBYs in North Brookfield didn't want, they would prefer an active railroad to a rail trail. Hey, great idea! North Brookfield has two significant industrial parcels, Vibram USA owned Quabog Rubber which is at the very end of the line and Techno Bloc (formerly Chase Precast (concrete) ), which appears to be quite underutilized. The apple orchard seems more interested in growing solar panels than sending out unit trains of Macintosh apples. It's quite rural, about 1/2 an hour from the nearest interstate highway.
  by YamaOfParadise
 
BandA wrote: Unclear what "alternative railroad management" is.
My assumption was interpreting it as "alternatives to the current railroad management"; in other words privatizing the railroad, or at the very least changing the board of directors in some way (getting new non-town people on, etc).
BandA wrote:North Brookfield has two significant industrial parcels, Vibram USA owned Quabog Rubber which is at the very end of the line and Techno Bloc (formerly Chase Precast (concrete) ), which appears to be quite underutilized. The apple orchard seems more interested in growing solar panels than sending out unit trains of Macintosh apples. It's quite rural, about 1/2 an hour from the nearest interstate highway.
Being a distance from the interstate could work in the railroad's favor, really, if the Town is willing to make zoning changes+other incentives to business. It seems to be the kind of area where it's just disconnected enough to give railroad service a good advantage, but still close enough by highways that it would have an issue of attracting business period. Plus, the area has some charm to it: to satisfy my college general education requirements I took a course on Economic Geography, and one of the takeaways I got from it that business locations are sometimes chosen for "irrational" (economically speaking) reasons... like one having a personal preference/attachment to an area.
  by FLRailFan1
 
That is why rail trails are not our friends. A train will take about 10 trucks off the road.
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by ProRail
 
No shock here. I was questioning the economics of this back at the early stages of this post in 2011.

Lots of talk and speculation....not much else.
  by CVRA7
 
I wonder how happy the NIMBYs that complained about the proposed rail return will be about the Trail/road concept.
  by eustis22
 
>I find it interesting that even when Conrail pulled out and rails removed in the 1970's, this railroad is still alive legally on paper and has been since it was constructed

Hey, the Norway RR in Norway, Maine is still a corporate entity.
  by NHV 669
 
Although SLR finally removed the switch to the mainline just last week. Rails are due to be pulled soon, no timetable there.
  by eustis22
 
Switch is gone but theres a good 1/4-1/2 mile of rail still down, plus a partially buried...siding out to the athletic fields, I guess.
  by NHV 669
 
The playing fields are on the site of what was once Wilner Wood Products Company. Recent photos on the FB sightings page still show it in service as of 1992, not sure when they shut down and the building was dismantled.
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