• 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

  by bostontrainguy
There are many on here who can elaborate on this issue better than I but a quick response is that CSX wants to give up serving the area since it is a long trip for only a couple of customers. G&U would be happy to pick up the business from their end and add these customers to their revenue stream.

Additionally, the reports are saying that G&U wants to build a wye at the CSX end so the connection will not be as awkward as you mentioned.
  by johnpbarlow
In one of your Flick photos in the Keolis rail delivery series, there are a few flats of Heritage covered waste containers. Is this new business for G&U at their Hopedale transload? I haven't seen these cars on G&U previously. Interesting!
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by GU1001
The crossings at Waterville & East St in N. Grafton were replaced based on a couple pics sent to me this past Sunday.
  by johnpbarlow
G&U Update for 9/1/19:
  • The two long out-of-service GP9Rs 1750 & 1751 are no longer stashed at the north end of the yard at North Grafton. Don't know where the units are - perhaps at the newly built and well hidden engine shop?
  • The crossing reconstruction at N Grafton is complete with the installation of virgin 115 lb rail and new ties.
  • Freight cars are now being stored on the newly laid track extension to the G&U main south of rte 16 crossing at Hopedale. Dana covered hoppers sit near the rte 16 crossing and MBTA flat cars that recently brought in strings of rail for G&U sit on the Hopedale St bridge.
  • Hopedale track was filled to capacity thanks to a recent influx of Heritage Dirty Dirt container cars that are being loaded.
  • New track construction is proceeding slowly at Hopedale.
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  by BandA
“Because these laws were most likely implemented in the 1800s, when railroads were the dominant commercial entities,” Lonzana said, “there would most likely be a strong public policy argument against invoking these laws, which are arguably antiquated and not applicable to today’s world.”
What's the town's position on eminent domain of this parcel? And the town's conservation commission? In a situation like this the state should go along with whatever the town wants unless it will compromise the wetlands protection or snail darters. Then there is the unaddressed problem that most rail yards end up contaminated by chemicals. So if the town wants development give it to them, if they want to protect the nimbys allow it in this case. Since it is already owned by a developer, if the railroad doesn't get this parcel I imagine it will eventually end up as residential development, which is usually negative for a town's tax base.

It may be critical for the G&U to have this yard, but there are plenty of other spots to place yards in the 495 belt.
johnpbarlow wrote: Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:36 amhttps://milford.wickedlocal.com/news/20 ... es-of-land
  by b&m 1566
BandA - There maybe other areas on the 495 belt but none of it has to do with the G&U. This expansion of the G&U is in essence a direct result of all the railyard closures in the greater Boston area, what they are trying to accomplish, Beacon Park could have handled, but times have changed the rail yards are gone and this is the result, there's no room to grow, so now they have to find new ways to expand. If I understand that article and what the lawyer was saying, the state can't just deny eminent domain because the town and the NIMBY's don't want it, the state has to follow their current laws that govern eminent domain, the railroad had to prove to the state the need for the land for the greater good, which they have done, they had to prove they tried to negotiate with the current land owner, which they have done. It may suck for the people of that town but the state has to abide by their own laws. If the town had their way the railroad would be gone altogether and people would be enjoying a rail-trail right now (there was a grass routes effort to build one on this line) but that's not the case anymore.
  by Ridgefielder
BandA wrote: Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:25 pm Then there is the unaddressed problem that most rail yards end up contaminated by chemicals.
My impression is that most rail yards are contaminated by chemicals because most rail yards-- especially in New England-- have been on the same site since the days before environmental legislation, when it was common to dispose of stuff like waste oil (and human waste, for that matter) by dumping it on the ground, and coal cinders and ash were used as ballast. I don't think a yard constructed on a greenfield site in 2019 would be anywhere near as contaminated as a yard that dates to 1919.
  by b&m 1566
Correct me if I'm wrong but federal laws give railroads the right to take land by eminent domain but allows each state to manage how that is done correct? There are no houses on the land in question, so nobody is going to lose there home right? The land is slatted for future development right, so you can toss the land conservation argument out the window. It seems to me the cards are stacked against the NIMBY's and the town on this one. Hopefully all parties involved can sit down and work something out, where all parties are pleased in some fashion with the outcome.
  by craven
Update 14 Sep.

Four bricks of Ties in the Upton Yard.

Grader has worked the row and welded rail dropped from the bridge to Green St.

Looks like a new switch being installed in the Upton yard.
  by BandA
b&m 1566 wrote: Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:10 pm Correct me if I'm wrong but federal laws give railroads the right to take land by eminent domain but allows each state to manage how that is done correct? ...
I'm assuming the railroad has a state charter that allows eminent domain. Just like the electric company, Verizon or Columbia Gas. I don't see anywhere what criteria the state is supposed to consider. Can anyone point to criteria, besides undefined "public good". Most cases in recent decades in MA have been withdrawn - the threat of eminent domain leads to a settlement.

Can the state attach requirements (deed restrictions) to the eminent domain process, such as "we will allow the eminent domain to proceed if you 'voluntarily' agree to comply with state wetlands laws? i.e. can a railroad waive some preemption rights through a contractual process?
  by BandA
b&m 1566 wrote: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:28 am... (there was a grass routes effort to build one on this line) but that's not the case anymore.
Amazingly a website last updated in 2003, on the Tripod domain, that is still up!
  by johnpbarlow
Craven, when you say Upton Yard do you mean Hopedale Yard? Given at least one new siding is being constructed at Hopedale, there should be some material stockpiling there as well as at least one new turnout going in. Thanks.
  by MaineCoonCat
Well, I found this..
General Laws Part I Title XXII Chapter 161 Section 58: Eminent domain
Section 58. A domestic company may apply to the board of aldermen of a city or to the selectmen of a town where it desires to take land, for an adjudication that public necessity and convenience require that certain land, or interests in land, as described in its petition, and for the specific purpose therein stated, be taken by such company, to enable it, in constructing its street railway, or extension thereof, to avoid dangerous curves or grades existing in the highways, or for other similar purposes incident to and not inconsistent with its corporate franchise of operating a railway to accommodate public travel in public ways. If the board to which such application is made finds in favor of the petitioner, after the notice and hearing required by law in the case of the grant of locations for street railways in public ways, the company may, upon complying with the provisions prescribed for railroad corporations by section eighteen of chapter one hundred and sixty, apply to the department for a certificate that public necessity and convenience require the construction of the railway between the termini and substantially upon the route fixed by the agreement of association in case of a company organized under the general laws and by the charter of a company created by special statute, or of the extension substantially on the locations already granted therefor, and for approval of the adjudication of the board of aldermen or of the selectmen as to the necessity and reasons for taking land or rights in land in every city or town where such adjudication has been made. If the department, after public notice and a hearing, at which all persons or corporations alleging that they would be injured by the construction of the railway shall be deemed to be interested parties and entitled to be heard, grants the certificate as prayed for, the petitioner may take by eminent domain under chapter seventy-nine any land or rights in land the taking of which has so been approved by the department.
https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralL ... /Section58
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