• New London - Worcester Passenger Service

  • 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

  by QB 52.32
 
What's more important and relevant to understanding the possibility and impact of new Boston-NY inland access/route passenger rail service, even to those things that may or may not be beyond old rumor, misunderstanding or rhetoric, is the scale of CSX and P&W freight activities' economic value vs. the potential economic value of this new service. In this light, CSX's Worcester-Springfield direct economic value is some 40-85 times the potential value of this new passenger service while the P&W some 5-15 times the potential value.
  by newpylong
 
QB 52.32 wrote:Total mis-read of CSX to suggest pressing for return of the Inland Route service. There's no retreat from Boston metro area freight service but instead the biggest and most valuable freight franchise by multiples than the next guy. The problem is that without double-tracking Worcester-Springfield, inland route passenger service interferes with CSX's high-value, service-sensitive trains. That's why the service was suspended back in the early 2000's. As recently as in an 8/18/18 Worcester Telegram article their area government affairs officer made clear new passenger service west of Worcester without capacity improvements is a non-starter.
That is right, they are not retreating, they HAVE retreated. The move to East Brookfield was the first nail, then Beacon, and finally handing the Inner Boston freight over to Pan Am. If that inst a retreat I don't know what is.
  by QB 52.32
 
Well, where do you think the freight that uses CSX's Boston Line Springfield-Worcester, whether un/loaded in E. Brookfield instead of Westborough or Framingham, Worcester instead of Beacon Park, or elsewhere besides Chelsea is going, not to mention the daily train pair serving Framingham? No different than Ayer instead of East Cambridge. No retreat, re-structured for sure just like all rail freight service to major metropolitan areas, but still the most valuable freight franchise by multiples than the next guy with CSX unwilling to jeopardize that value for passenger service without additional capacity. Thinking otherwise is just a total mis-read of the situation.
  by BandA
 
I would think WOR-PVD would be more successful near-term than WOR-New London. But either could be implemented as a pilot project pretty much immediately. Why hasn't BSRR moved forward? Why the radio silence?

WOR-SPG absolutely should involve restoring double tracking to support Amtrak Inland & Commuter Rail. But will CSX give MassDOT favorable terms & dispatching control?

Question is how to configure the platforms at Worcester. Fixing up the P&W platform should be easy, putting in new platforms/layovers on the CSX line is problematic as discussed elsewhere.
  by Ridgefielder
 
BandA wrote:Looking at https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=12/4 ... 8&layers=T looks like today you would have to go from Plainfield to Willimantic to cross the Thames River other than the NEC. Or you would have to build something through downtown Norwich, or a new bridge.
Going way back, there was a connection between the N&W and the CV at Norwich. The CV station was built on a bridge over the Yantic River and the track curved around along the Norwich waterfront and joined the N&W somewhere near where the current ex-NH stands. When the connection was built, the south end of the N&W was at a wharf at Allyn's Point. After the New Haven acquired the N&W in the mid-1890's they extended the line on the east bank of the Thames down to Groton and a connection with the Shore Line, rendering the Norwich connection redundant. I have no idea when it was actually closed but there's no trace whatever of it today-- the area was pretty thoroughly scoured by the floods of 1938 and 1955.

Building a bridge downstream of Norwich is a complete nonstarter. The Thames is a wide and deep river, navigable by ocean-going vessels as far as Norwich itself. The Coast Guard would require either a moveable span or a high-clearance fixed span like the Route 2A bridge down near Mohegan Sun.
shadyjay wrote:...you'd eliminate having to go through the sub base (which is most likely troublesome for regular passenger op's)
I don't see why the Navy would object to running passenger trains through the Base. The New Haven did so right through both the Second World War and the Cold War. It's not like the place is hidden or something. If anything you'd get a better view of it from the CV.
  by Backshophoss
 
After 9/11 the base access is now restricted in some cases rail was removes to isolate the base's trackage from the national network.
Would be a nonstarter to run thru the base now
  by The EGE
 
The base does not have any trackage of its own, save for a single long-abandoned siding. Access to the base for civilians is not heavily limited; I've been on base for several civilian events (a high school graduation part among them) post-9/11, and I believe family members are able to go on base for purposes like going to the commissary. Last I heard, the golf course (which parallels the tracks for half their length in the base) can be played by civilians if they're with a military person. While the Navy might choose to put up a fence or two, there's nothing actually security sensitive to be seen from a train (it's all inside the subs), and I doubt the Navy would have serious objections.

As for the Norwich Connection, zero chance it ever gets rebuilt. While some of the ROW is intact (if probably not in good structural condition), tearing up a park and building two new bridges just to serve the casino is a total nonstarter. It'd be orders of magnitude cheaper to just run a shuttle train from NLC (or extend a few SLE runs).
  by Jeff Smith
 
I like the SLE idea, if they can get Mohegan to pony up a contribution.
  by shadyjay
 
I figured the "CV-NH" connection at Norwich was long gone. I have been through the sub base on a P&W excursion, which prior to G&W ownership, they ran more frequently, especially on this line. I was just thinking hypothetically, if a connection could be built. I'm sure it could with a lot of $$$$, land taking, etc, and probably wouldn't be worth it. Let's just hope that G&W doesn't realize that they have potentially excess track on both sides of the Thames and decides to remove one line or the other. If there was a connection at Norwich, you could dump the N&W below Allyn's Point (where Dow chemical is, are they still served by P&W?) and transfer a half mile of track north of the wye to Amtrak for work trains and such.

Sure, right now, the sub base isn't off limits to passenger trains, but if something with any regularity came a'calling, would the Fed's flip about it, or just deal with it?

(of course, just speaking hypothetically, here)
  by Backshophoss
 
You have to figure DOD will find a way to get paranoid if this becomes regular service,most likely to fence the ROW high enough to
make pics of the base from the train useless. :wink:
  by Boatsmate75
 
I don't for see GW dumping eihter side of the river, beacuse ther are differnt customers on both sides to the river. NECR has New London City Pier and P and W has Tilcon and a gas company on the groton side. to give up one or the other woud nessitate several moves over amtrak as the siding into NECR is off of the station track in NL which would require a move throuogh the station and back over the bridge or vice versa. and GW is looking to cut costs on AMtrak thats part of the reason they are reactivating the Hartford line
  by gokeefe
 
This possibility has been discussed ... Specifically via Groton. The track arrangements in Worcester are very favorable to multiple options. It's a clear alternative to CSX and in my estimate it is likely a financially viable route for state supported operations. The quality of the interlocking arrangement at Groton was a significant plus along with station options in Norwich (multiple sites).

The possibilities beyond Worcester were astonishing if you were creative enough with track moves.
  by jxzz
 
First time heard of this line. This is very low profile and nobody talked about. It is unlikely to get funded by either state.