Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby l008com » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:01 pm

Last night I caught a delivery being made to the Tighe Warehouse on the Winchester Woburn line. This was interesting because it was late late Sunday night (Monday morning) at about 2am. It was MORE interesting because the train was a MILE long. Other than the gravel train, I'm not sure I've ever seen a freight train that long in this area. And it was SO loud. We all talk smack about NIMBY's, but I can see how these 2am deliveries could be annoying, especially with all the brake squealing. But while the noise level was very loud for 2am, it would have been find during the day, why not schedule deliveries on this line earlier? They used to run down here around 9-10pm. So I didn't stick around for the whole delivery because it was super late and getting cold so I had to head home.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:27 pm

Tighe's trucks are out and about making deliveries on weekday day shift, so the rail deliveries have to come on the previous night's graveyard shift in order to get transloaded into the trucks. That includes Sunday nights so the trucks can run on Mondays. Any warehouse that does day-only instead of 24-hour trucking is going to be locked into a schedule like that as their whole means of doing business.

If Tighe's carloads really are exploding the train probably had to be broken apart and shunted back and forth during unloading on their somewhat limited siding space. Montvale Yard was at one point much bigger than it is today with track extending another ~1500 ft. northward to the tip of the cemetery and couple more storage tracks splitting off after the NE corner of the Tighe building. Disconnected tracks are still there buried in the new-growth trees. Idea's been casually tossed around by MassDOT of rebuilding the yard as a means of offsetting the extreme storage crunch in Somerville, something PAR is probably interested in as well since they're suffering immediate buyer's remorse from selling way too much of their Somerville storage on the eve of carloads to Everett and Peabody spiking up. That's a good enough idea in isolation because that space crunch is so acute, but a developing overflow situation with the Tighe deliveries could spur some greater urgency for acting on Montvale. Longer siding next to Tighe via restored yard means they don't have to spend excess time breaking apart the train on the siding and can get in and out with less shunting, less squealing, and less disturbance.


Also...don't discount the effect of PAR's crap-awful maint standards for the excess squealing. They're infamous enough for what sorry condition their locos are in. I can only imagine what duct tape and baling wire is holding together the boxcar fleet these days. Earplugs aren't necessarily required for sleeping through switching activity down the street. If the equipment is making godawful noise well above-and-beyond what's normal, that's an equipment maintenance problem above all else...not something the neighbors necessarily have to suck up and live with every single night.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby B&M 1227 » Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:24 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Also...don't discount the effect of PAR's crap-awful maint standards for the excess squealing. They're infamous enough for what sorry condition their locos are in. I can only imagine what duct tape and baling wire is holding together the boxcar fleet these days. Earplugs aren't necessarily required for sleeping through switching activity down the street. If the equipment is making godawful noise well above-and-beyond what's normal, that's an equipment maintenance problem above all else...not something the neighbors necessarily have to suck up and live with every single night.


Yeah, or T&E crews dragging cars with handbrakes on, tight gauge on the curve, the curvature of the curve, etc etc etc. I don't think we're going to see a rail greaser put in at Montvale, but I guess if Winchester is willing to pay...

Or maybe they'll buy Pan Am a 1HP eco unit that can spot cars without the hard hitches.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby newpylong » Wed Sep 14, 2016 8:05 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Tighe's trucks are out and about making deliveries on weekday day shift, so the rail deliveries have to come on the previous night's graveyard shift in order to get transloaded into the trucks. That includes Sunday nights so the trucks can run on Mondays. Any warehouse that does day-only instead of 24-hour trucking is going to be locked into a schedule like that as their whole means of doing business.

If Tighe's carloads really are exploding the train probably had to be broken apart and shunted back and forth during unloading on their somewhat limited siding space. Montvale Yard was at one point much bigger than it is today with track extending another ~1500 ft. northward to the tip of the cemetery and couple more storage tracks splitting off after the NE corner of the Tighe building. Disconnected tracks are still there buried in the new-growth trees. Idea's been casually tossed around by MassDOT of rebuilding the yard as a means of offsetting the extreme storage crunch in Somerville, something PAR is probably interested in as well since they're suffering immediate buyer's remorse from selling way too much of their Somerville storage on the eve of carloads to Everett and Peabody spiking up. That's a good enough idea in isolation because that space crunch is so acute, but a developing overflow situation with the Tighe deliveries could spur some greater urgency for acting on Montvale. Longer siding next to Tighe via restored yard means they don't have to spend excess time breaking apart the train on the siding and can get in and out with less shunting, less squealing, and less disturbance.


Also...don't discount the effect of PAR's crap-awful maint standards for the excess squealing. They're infamous enough for what sorry condition their locos are in. I can only imagine what duct tape and baling wire is holding together the boxcar fleet these days. Earplugs aren't necessarily required for sleeping through switching activity down the street. If the equipment is making godawful noise well above-and-beyond what's normal, that's an equipment maintenance problem above all else...not something the neighbors necessarily have to suck up and live with every single night.


Car maintenance would have little effect on noise and not every load in Tighe is a Pan Am box. More likely the gauge is tight or cars are being spotted with the the brakes set, which is standard practice to ensure accurate spotting. Brakes set either by hand or by air are going to be loud, either the shoes or the shaking rigging.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby tomytuna » Thu Feb 09, 2017 4:15 am

Hellow all! feb 25, I will be attening a train function in Lowell. That's a saturday. Is there any known freight traffic that I can get a peek at. Need some help on where to go to view. Station best? or somewhere better viewing? know freight not on a timetable,,,,but any info would be a great help. thanks! tommy :-)
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Feb 09, 2017 8:01 am

tomytuna wrote:Hellow all! feb 25, I will be attening a train function in Lowell. That's a saturday. Is there any known freight traffic that I can get a peek at. Need some help on where to go to view. Station best? or somewhere better viewing? know freight not on a timetable,,,,but any info would be a great help. thanks! tommy :-)


Pan Am is usually parked right next to the station, so there and the few blocks south where the freight main co-mingles with the NH Main before splitting off are the prime viewing spots. If you follow Thorndike & Gorham St.'s (Route 3A) straight down from the station about 2/3-mile you can also get good views of what's left of Bleachery Yard right where the Lowell Branch peels off from the NH Main. Moore Ave. is where the yard opens up wide; take 3A to the Moore St. intersection where Trolley Pizza is, go 1 block down Moore St., hang right on Moore Ave. and follow it to where it bends back.


Since it's the freight main there'll be fairly regular daytime activity passing through there on Saturday en route from Ayer to Lawrence. Not sure if any Sat. locals are staged specifically from Lowell, though.


Also be sure to check out the historic trolleys a few blocks up 3A from the station, across the Canal. The trolley museum @ corner of Dutton & Broadway may not be running if there's too much snow still on the ground, but the exhibits at the main carhouse should be open. Follow the tracks alongside Dutton St. and the Canal and it's right there only about 2000 ft. north of the commuter rail station.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby l008com » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:38 am

Greetings my favorite thread! I've got a super on-topic question.

Tonight I was on Eames St in Wilmington, and I noticed that the crossing looks like it hasn't been used in months! The cement place has cars in place, so clearly they are getting deliveries. But the crossing had dirt completely filling in the gap next to the trails. And in the street, it looks like the rubber material that keeps the asphalt from encroaching on the rails as completely squished flush against the rails. If a train had gone through, it would have gotten crush down and if nothing else, made it clear a train has been by.

But that said, I'm not sure how the cement place is getting these deliveries if they can't run around the train by going over Eames Street. Are they doing some crazy 10 mile run around on the main line to get behind the train and put the cars in that way? It doesn't look like there's any other way to get them in there.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby jaymac » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:12 am

Just guessing, but with the recent rains, there coulda been a good amount of road-treatment wash-down, especially from the elevated approaches to the Eames Street OHB on the Lowell Line. As long as the in-fill stays unfrozen or doesn't pick up too much concrete powder, flanges should be able to squeeze the flange-ways clear.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby Shack » Tue May 30, 2017 7:19 am

Just fyi, all of those cement cars at Eames St are gone. Not sure when they left, possibly mid-May?. Also, they definitely crossed Eames St
to run around, as the flangeways are freshly grooved.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby b&m 1566 » Tue May 30, 2017 11:57 am

As of last week (with the cement plant closed) the remaining section of the Woburn Loop was officially taken out of service, from what I gather the switch on the main line was spiked shut by Keolis.
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby GP40MC1118 » Tue May 30, 2017 12:15 pm

The cars left last week.

The switch at North Woburn Jct was spiked normal and out of service. No official retirement as yet.

Ditto Woburn Public Delivery down at Salem Street.

D
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby l008com » Tue May 30, 2017 1:30 pm

Oh I didn't know the cement plant went out of business, that's a bummer. Also seems odd they would go out of business with 10 hoppers sitting on their siding.

Woburn Public Delivery? What/where is that?
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby GP40MC1118 » Tue May 30, 2017 5:57 pm

Woburn Public Delivery was a team track of sorts. Mostly got boxcars of bricks/building
supplies.

Those cars at the cement plant had been there for a long time according to reliable sources.
Like almost a year...

D
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby Shack » Tue May 30, 2017 7:02 pm

They were there thru January and February for sure...
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Re: Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

Postby l008com » Tue May 30, 2017 10:22 pm

GP40MC1118 wrote:Woburn Public Delivery was a team track of sorts. Mostly got boxcars of bricks/building
supplies.

Those cars at the cement plant had been there for a long time according to reliable sources.
Like almost a year...

D


I wonder how many times i've seen those cars and just assumed cars = activity, not noticing they were the SAME cars.
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