Abandoned RR tracks in Sudbury (MA) State Forest

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Abandoned RR tracks in Sudbury (MA) State Forest

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Dec 31, 2007 6:08 am

While waiting for trains to appear along the CSX B&A line yesterday, I was studying my Delorme atlas for Massachusetts. On page 39, just nw of Sudbury, there is a depiction of Sudbury State Forest with what looks like a good sized RR yard. It looks like the yard was connected to the B&M Central Mass branch at a point between S Sudbury and Hudson. MS Live Local mapping site shows that Sudbury State Forest was the US Army Training Facility in Sudbury. The attached aerial photo clearly shows the outline of the abandoned yard trackage. My question is what were these tracks used for and when was this trackage abandoned (I'm guessing well before 1980)? Thanks.

http://maps.live.com/#JnE9eXAuc3VkYnVyeSUyYyttYSU3ZXNzdC4wJTdlcGcuMSZiYj01OC4yMTcwMjQ5NDk2MDE5JTdlLTM5LjAyMzQzNzUlN2UxMi43MjYwODQyOTY5NDgyJTdlLTExNS42NjQwNjI1
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Postby truman » Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:12 am

If its the same place I'm thinking of, I remember quizzing an old gentleman I once knew, who passed in 2003, but he was an officer in some historical society and according to him, this was a quarry operation.
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Postby TomNelligan » Mon Dec 31, 2007 10:14 am

That network of B&M trackage off the Central Mass Branch served a once very active US Army munitions and stores depot that was built during World War II as an annex to Fort Devens. It was huge -- 2250 acres -- and later became part of the Natick Laboratories Military Reservation. The point at which the base trackage connected with the Central Mass was known as Ordway.
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Postby RussNelson » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:17 am

The specific point you've linked to is indeed near the Natick Labs site formerly an ammo depot. However it's the
New Haven Railroad Framingham & Lowell line that you're pointing to. They've finally started to pull up the tracks and turn it into the http://www.brucefreemanrailtrail.org/
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Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Dec 31, 2007 11:27 am

Sorry about the MS Live Local URL not pointing to right place. Try this aerial photo link. The lines in the forest are apparently the old siding RoWs. The body of water on the right is Puffer Pond.

http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=42.405603~-71.467052&style=a&lvl=15&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=2827497&encType=1

And here's a URL to a 1950 topo map that shows the Military Reservation due south of Maynard and RR trackage with connection to the B&M

http://docs.unh.edu/MA/mayn50sw.jpg
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Postby CarterB » Mon Dec 31, 2007 12:15 pm

That entire area is part of a Superfund site:
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/pha/ftdeve ... ta_p3.html



"In 1942 the US Army built a 2,251 acre wartime ammunition depot in Sudbury, MA. This became the Natick Labs' Sudbury annex. It is a superfund site in its own right. The annex was used for burial of chemical weapons research wastes from the Natick Labs as well as for uncontrolled disposal of solvent, pesticide, animal, and other wastes." " Threats and Contaminants


Portions of the Annex groundwater has been found to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), pesticides, and inorganics above drinking water standards, however this contamination is contained under a landfill cap. Other areas of the Annex contained contaminated soil, but have been cleaned up.

Cleanup Approach


The site has been addressed in two phases: initial actions and long-term remedial actions focusing on cleanup of the A7 Old Gravel Pit Landfill, A9, and other smaller areas containing limited volumes of contaminated soil."
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Postby truman » Wed Jan 02, 2008 5:55 am

truman wrote:If its the same place I'm thinking of, I remember quizzing an old gentleman I once knew, who passed in 2003, but he was an officer in some historical society and according to him, this was a quarry operation.



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Postby Joe Fox » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:38 am

Does anybody know what size the rails are?
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Postby boatsmate » Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:09 pm

Not Very big as I recall, ConRail kept putting engines on the ground on the Sudbury branch when they used to run out to Zayres wharehouse. but that was a few yrs ago..... at least 20.....
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Postby TomNelligan » Wed Jan 02, 2008 4:55 pm

boatsmate wrote:Not Very big as I recall, ConRail kept putting engines on the ground on the Sudbury branch when they used to run out to Zayres wharehouse. but that was a few yrs ago..... at least 20.....


And not the same line if you're thinking of Conrail. The Conrail trackage in the Sudbury area was the former New Haven RR Framingham-Lowell branch. The munitions depot trackage was B&M (or at least connected to the B&M Central Mass Branch; it was probably actually owned by the Army). The ex-NH line crossed the B&M at South Sudbury station.
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Postby bigbronco85 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 2:15 am

I've actually walked a large portion of the site down by the Mass Central, and the old ammo dump itself behind the fire training academy. All the bunkers are intact along with some other abandoned structures. It's a huge place and very interesting to check out, it was opened the public a few years ago. The rails were removed at some point but you can make out where they were.

There is some kind of a K9 training facility near the Mass Central...and there is an abandoned Raytheon lab somewhere there too.
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Re: Abandoned RR tracks in Sudbury (MA) State Forest

Postby backrds101 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:58 pm

I saw the part of this railway off of Rt 117 about a year ago. It is or was a nice set of undisturbed tracks. Is there any rail bikes around or small train wheels?
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Re: Abandoned RR tracks in Sudbury (MA) State Forest

Postby dbperry » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:03 pm

This area is now the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge.

About:
http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Assabet_River/about.html

Brochure with map and photo of old bunker:
http://www.fws.gov/uploadedFiles/Region ... ochure.pdf
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Re: Abandoned RR tracks in Sudbury (MA) State Forest

Postby MaineCoonCat » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:45 pm

Wow, I remember when there was still a (disused) grade crossing on Hudson Road in Sudbury back in the early '60's.
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Re: Abandoned RR tracks in Sudbury (MA) State Forest

Postby NashuaActon&Boston » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:44 am

There's an old steel caboose on the outskirts of the airfield that parallels the Assabet River Rail Trail in Stow. Anyone know the story here? Is this is a piece of rolling stock left stranded after the line was abandoned in 1943? It's easy to view from the entrance to the airfield. No need to go any closer - it's clearly private property.
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