• CSX Boston and Albany Line

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

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  by johnpbarlow
 
Thanks for the detailed response, QB. Q: what do you make of G&U's slow build-out of the long abandoned track between Hopedale, MA and the connection to the largely moribund CSX branch at Milford, MA? Do you see CSX ceding its Blue Lynx/Garelick Farms traffic at Forge Park to G&U? Or any moving of CSX SE Mass traffic to G&U operations over largely MassDOT/MBTA owned track? Just curious what G&U's ultimate goal is in connecting its meandering cow path of a line to CSX at Milford...
  by Knucklehead
 
QB 52.32 wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 7:56 am Mr. Barlow, it was my understanding that Selkirk made a G&U block for Q436 at least a couple of times last week, but the situation is so dynamic that might not have been the case with the G&U's moving on the pre-Covid-19 but recent PSR change to move that traffic for the most part on a Q436 Westboro block. True to the saying that "the only thing that is constant is change", already how traffic is moving once again has changed. So, really, the only generalities that can be taken away are that Worcester is the hub for a number of iterations on how Barbers, Framingham, Westboro, G&U, and P&W traffic is handled, intermodal traffic might be combined amongst different intermodal trains, intermodal trains eastbound and westbound are handling carload traffic to a varying extent and in different combinations, and the auto trains have been discontinued. Obviously, CSX is being very focused and nimble in how they are moving traffic day-to-day. And, while many folks express disinterest and boredom not only with PSR, but now the impact of Covid-19, I find it fascinating.

Also fascinating is the impact of Covid-19 on CSX's intermodal business as played out on the B&A: relative uptick in some MLB traffic likely related to rushing Chinese product to market once they re-opened and an uptick and increased 28-foot pup trailer usage at times within the small-shipment segment of business.
QB 52.32, the North Framingham Yard Master controls both that yard, and the East Worcester Yard from Framingham. Where the road trains now terminate in Worcester, and only two locals now originate out of North Framingham (B724 & B725), any word if the North Framingham Yard Master will be relocated to East Worcester?
  by QB 52.32
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 9:23 am Q: what do you make of G&U's slow build-out of the long abandoned track between Hopedale, MA and the connection to the largely moribund CSX branch at Milford, MA? Do you see CSX ceding its Blue Lynx/Garelick Farms traffic at Forge Park to G&U? Or any moving of CSX SE Mass traffic to G&U operations over largely MassDOT/MBTA owned track? Just curious what G&U's ultimate goal is in connecting its meandering cow path of a line to CSX at Milford...
Mr. Barlow, I would think that G&U's activity suggests movement toward execution of the plan to buy or lease CSX's rights on the Milford branch and assuming operations to serve Blue Lynx and Garelick. Besides turning over the operation over to G&U, it also gives them more opportunity to develop rail-oriented sites within the larger context of freight rail moving westward out of metro Boston as land values continue to rise. Because the Milford branch also has some hill-and-dale characteristics like the G&U itself, plus the apparent inability to make a southward connection from the G&U onto the branch, I don't see this moving much beyond what it is. And, like any carrier in the game, while the G&U probably wouldn't mind a 2nd class 1 connection, I don't see that in the context of this move (I believe CSX still owns the Franklin I.T. due to a remediation issue and most likely CSX will be very careful to handle that in their agreement) as has been speculated.
Knucklehead wrote: Sun May 03, 2020 6:58 pm The North Framingham Yard Master controls both that yard, and the East Worcester Yard from Framingham. Where the road trains now terminate in Worcester, and only two locals now originate out of North Framingham (B724 & B725), any word if the North Framingham Yard Master will be relocated to East Worcester?
Knucklehead, I haven't heard anything about that and would think the position will stay in Framingham, but I guess you never know. That question also might go to the permanence of this change.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Wasn't there a plan to build a new engine house just west of Worcester yard as part of the Beacon Park relocation? I don't believe it ever happened. Are there any engine facilities in Worcester for CSX?
  by Backshophoss
 
All the power cycles thru Selkirk,might have a truck based Mech dept at Worcester
  by cd2434
 
Took advantage of the nice weather yesterday and spent the afternoon by the tracks near Chester. Saw a Herzog ballast train earlier on and two manifests pass each other later in the day.

Video here if you'd like to watch: https://youtu.be/SLAVzjssEO0
  by expbusop
 
Nice video cd2434,especially train with DPU, too bad we have to look at all the graffiti.
  by cd2434
 
expbusop wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 2:34 pm Nice video cd2434,especially train with DPU, too bad we have to look at all the graffiti.
Thanks! Yeah I could do without it, but I’ll take graffiti & a train over a quiet line any day.
  by bostontrainguy
 
expbusop wrote: Mon May 25, 2020 2:34 pm Nice video cd2434,especially train with DPU, too bad we have to look at all the graffiti.
Yeah I thought that with the use of DPUs and PSR the flexibility and efficiencies would be greatly improved. You could combine two trains into one long one and then when you get to a yard somewhere the front half of the train could simply go in one direction and the back half go in another. What simplicity. What efficiency.

But almost every time I see a DPU it is facing backwards for some reason! So it just ain't happening the way I thought.
  by QB 52.32
 
Selkirk is one place that lends itself conceptually to the use of DPU's as you imagined and in practice did pre-Covid-19 with Q019 off the B&A tying onto the rear of Q003 off the River Line for the run out to Chicago.

Good to see some increased intermodal volume on the B&A this past week, indicative of strong small-shipment demand derived from the rise in on-line retail demand, economic re-opening, perhaps some reported spot truck shortages, and probably some from the closure of UP's Railex Rotterdam service.
Last edited by QB 52.32 on Sat May 30, 2020 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by urr304
 
I recall i the 1960s seeing double freights on the NYC in Conneaut, just not mid-train engines, but a caboose where the two trains had been joined and where they would separate at some point.
  by cd2434
 
Was out hiking on the KAB trail and saw the Sperry truck making its way west yesterday. Right on his heels was a westbound manifest on the other track. Didn't have my scanner so I didn't get the symbol but it was pretty good sized.
  by QB 52.32
 
urr304 wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 10:02 am I recall i the 1960s seeing double freights on the NYC in Conneaut, just not mid-train engines, but a caboose where the two trains had been joined and where they would separate at some point.
urr304, that practice was also done in pretty limited fashion on the B&A during Conrail's early tenure, if I recall correctly, with Selkirk-Boston (Beacon Park) BA-2 or BA-4 built with a "cut caboose" for a Framingham, MA Nevins yard setout, presumably traffic destined to either the Readville or Middleboro, MA yards.
  by Lincoln78
 
I've been enjoying the cameras in Chester, Westfield and West Springfield. The West Springfield crossing is particularly interesting since the gates are triggered frequently by yard operations. My favorite is when people see the gates go down and do a u-turn and it turns out to be the Lakeshore Limited.

I'm less enthused by the people who drive around the gates. Saw a car beat a freight by a six count last week. This morning I saw a jogger go between cars of a stopped train. Tempting natural selection is not a winning strategy.
  by Plate C
 
Lincoln78 wrote: Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:37 pm I've been enjoying the cameras in Chester, Westfield and West Springfield. The West Springfield crossing is particularly interesting since the gates are triggered frequently by yard operations. My favorite is when people see the gates go down and do a u-turn and it turns out to be the Lakeshore Limited.

I'm less enthused by the people who drive around the gates. Saw a car beat a freight by a six count last week. This morning I saw a jogger go between cars of a stopped train. Tempting natural selection is not a winning strategy.
That crossing, or really people's behavior around it, is horrible. Keep your fingers crossed for train crews around there, I've witnessed the above and more often enough. Another move I've seen there is someone gets tired of waiting for a train blocking the crossing, the lead engine is backing through the crossing, gates still down, and people will try to go around it with no thought that another train may be coming along the other track. Also once saw a truck carrying autos pull up to the next crossing down as the lights started flashing, gate comes down on top of the truck, guy backs it up in time to narrowly avoid being a hood ornament for a passing intermodal.
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