• Winchester residents vs. PAR & Tighe Trucking

  • Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.
Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

  by newpylong
You know, I really can understand these people's frustration. My wife and I went through something similar here. The difference was, the entities was breaking local by-laws. The recycling/refuse companies for a supermarket/plaza about 1/6 mile from our house were coming throughout the night and emptying the dumpsters. The people in the neighborhood were kept awake. The plaza is zoned commercial (not industrial) and our bylaws do not allow businesses to empty their dumpsters after 7 pm or before 7 am. Furthermore, there are sound level bylaws during this same time period. They were clearly in violation of both and after being sent copies of the bylaws they were all fined and now had to provide the Board of Health with their pickup schedules.

Winchester is a different story. These people live right next to an active, busy mainline. There are no state sound laws that I can recollect, so they most likely are looking at the ZBA and other local entities for relief. Unfortunately (for them), they do not apply to railroads. I hate to say it, but if it's that big of a problem they need to move (people in Winchester can afford it).

Lastly, I'm not sure how loud the switching really can be at that location. Yes, coupling and decoupling make noise. But, that warehouse requires each car to be spotted seperately at the doors, it isn't like they are kicking cars. They also all have cushioned drawbars as they are in paper service. The most I can picture is the air dumping in the cars when they are spotted, hand brakes being applied and released and minimal coupling/decoupling noise. They probably don't like the diesel as well.

It is weird that they had to ask Tighe why they can't use the Woburn warehouse instead. There were multiple articles in the paper two years ago stating they have outgrown that facility (and the one in Ayer at GMX).
  by MBTA F40PH-2C 1050
railroad was there first, don't buy a house near the tracks...simple as that. This mainline has been in service for a very long time, the trains didn't start running out of the blue
  by rovetherr
I just noticed something interesting in the Daily Times Chronicle "article" (seemed to be moving off into an opinion piece instead of news) that MEC407 posted. The special counsil for the ZBA in this case, is the same lawyer who is representing the fine citizens in the GU wood pellet trans-load case. I think I might be starting to see a pattern develop.
  by MEC407
Brief fair-use quote from the above article (which, similar to the previous article, reads more like a blog post or an op-ed):
Daily Times Chronicle wrote:Last night, petitioners Susan Busher and Lorraine Malloy, and residents of the Holton Street/Baldwin Street neighborhood, were victorious in their fight against Tighe Trucking and Pan Am Railway over the use of tracks on Holton Street. The Zoning Board of Appeals upheld a ruling they made previously that Tighe and Pan Am can't claim an exemption and, therefore, can no longer run freight service in the area.

Though it's a victory for the neighborhood, it may be short-lived. Tighe and/or Pan Am could return to Superior Court to make another appeal or somehow continue the fight. But for now, the neighborhood can breathe a little easier.
  by ferroequinarchaeologist
I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but the last time I checked, neighborhood residents had no say in interstate commerce.
  by newpylong
Oddly enough, only one boxcar at the warehouse this morning, and it was not spotted.

Like I said, I feel these people's pain, but they live next to railroad tracks that have been there hundreds of years. Obviously they haven't been there since the warehouse was last active in the early 90's. It isn't like this is a new switch or a new facility. Oh how Winchester this quote is: "She argued that her neighborhood has been treated poorly. "We're not a dump," she proclaimed."

I highly doubt any court will uphold a local ZBA decision. Of course those are going to rule in favor of the town.
  by BostonUrbEx
I bet these same people would bitch and moan, "Why on earth is the cost of living so high?!"
  by TPR37777
This issue has been rehashed in courts across the country for almost 200 years, with the exception of "quiet zones" which was a power conferred upon local and state governments by statute, a local board has no authority to regulate the daily operations of a railroad. The ironic thing is when I was looking for a house a few years ago, I tried to find one adjacent to a main line and could not. Life is funny like that.
  by MEC343
NIMBY's have no common sense. Don't buy a house next to railroad tracks and expect there to be no noise, whistles, etc. I have absolutely no sympathy for them.
  by octr202
And in some of those cases, not just a house close to the railroad tracks, but also on the edge of a fairly good sized commercial/light industrial area. While most of Winchester may be quiet, leafy suburbs, there's a lot of commercial space that starts just a block away across the town line.

It'd be interesting to know how accurate the Google Maps town line is - which makes it look like the town line passes through the warehouse. I can't see the challenges to the railroad activity being successful, but the town could try to make life hard on them on the highway side. Almost makes me wonder if they could purchase a driveway easement out via the Woburn end of the property to further bypass Winchester!

And, for the record, passing on train 358 this morning, counted approximately 14 boxcars on the two sidings. I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled!
  by JBConn
Quite a few years ago, my company had a client who was located (IIRC) on the other side of that same industrial park. We were helping him, a landscaper, clean up some not very hazardous environmental issues. His property was typical of landscaper/light construction yard (i.e., unsightly piles of material, punctuated by equipment and trailers.

One day, he recieved a phone call from a new neighbor in a brand new house overlooking his property from across the town line in Winchester. She introduced herself and politely inquired just when he was going to be closing up his shop and cleaning up all that unsightly stuff she could see from her fabulous new deck. You see, her realtor *promised* that he was going to do that any day now.

When he finally managed to convince her that the realtor had lied to her, she sued (the landscaper, not the realtor).

I have no doubt she ultimately lost, but it probably wasn't cheap or pleasant for anyone.

There is no limit to the self-delusion potential of the average human where real estate is involved.