CNZR - Armory Branch

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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby bwparker1 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:26 pm

There was a mention of double stacks in Hartford... Does anyone know for certain, because i have done very limited searching online and couldn't find any pictures, if CSX can run double stacks across the Hudson on the Alfred Smith bridge to points east of Selkirk?
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby csor2010 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:35 pm

CSX has full 20' 2" clearances for domestic doublestacks (2 domestic/high cube boxes) from Selkirk to Worcester. Up until about 3 years ago there had to be at least one international container (international boxes are shorter) in the stack, but the state of MA and CSX removed the clearance obstructions as part of the deal to move intermodal ops out of Beacon Park.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby whatelyrailfan » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:45 pm

csor2010 wrote:CSX has full 20' 2" clearances for domestic doublestacks (2 domestic/high cube boxes) from Selkirk to Worcester. Up until about 3 years ago there had to be at least one international container (international boxes are shorter) in the stack, but the state of MA and CSX removed the clearance obstructions as part of the deal to move intermodal ops out of Beacon Park.

May we please get this thread back on topic? I honestly just don't see what any of this has to do with the Armory Branch.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby RonM » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:17 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park - Thank-you. That's an eye opener. I was going by the thread title and not the "bigger picture".

However, I just can't see a train with 2 SD40-2s, 15-20 MRRX C&D cars and another 20-25 double stacks, plus propane cars, spine cars, and boxcars roaring through Longmeadow, Scitico, Melrose, Broad Brook, Scantic at what 20-35 mph? South Windsor - East Hartford, yes. I had thought Longmeadow/Springfield the ROW was totally gone in spots, but's it's been awhile. Going to take quite a bit to make that come together. I wonder what the time differences would be compared the Springfield-Hartford CT River Line? (with and without the backing move to W Springfield)

What I'd like to see is 2-3 RS-1s with some boxcars, concrete raw material covered hoppers, and a few heating oil tankcars. Maybe someday.


Thanks for the info.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby Jedijk88 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:51 pm

Hallmark in Enfield is closing it's doors soon. It would be nice to see the property reused and a new customer gained for the CNZR.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby csor2010 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:40 pm

whatelyrailfan wrote:
csor2010 wrote:CSX has full 20' 2" clearances for domestic doublestacks (2 domestic/high cube boxes) from Selkirk to Worcester. Up until about 3 years ago there had to be at least one international container (international boxes are shorter) in the stack, but the state of MA and CSX removed the clearance obstructions as part of the deal to move intermodal ops out of Beacon Park.

May we please get this thread back on topic? I honestly just don't see what any of this has to do with the Armory Branch.
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FWIW I was trying to answer the previous poster's question, as it was noted that the Armory Branch's status as a clearance route would provide an easy way to move intermodal traffic should the need arise. Granted, I'd be stunned to see stack trains cruising down the Springfield Line (or the Armory), but with PAR already having run spine cars to Plainville it doesn't seem entirely out of the question. But in general I agree, let's focus on the Armory Branch and keep the "intermodal to CT" talk in one of the numerous other threads where it's already being discussed.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby YamaOfParadise » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:32 am

While not the CNZR's Armory Branch, what is the actual ownership status of the Armory Branch in Massachusetts? The MA state rail map says PAR, but the map also dates back to before the formation of PAS (2008). I'm assuming the pipeline is done through a rental or lease agreement, and not outright ownership of the RoW. Additionally, the (godawfully designed) GIS parcel map Springfield has looks to be showing that the parcels where the RoW has since been built on are indeed owned by the people who built on them. Of course, the parcels that comprise derelict railroad right-of-ways are some of the most challenging cases when trying to determine ownership; and as with all GIS services, Springfield's only promises the information is "believed to be accurate" for liability reasons... so the actual legal ownership is still debatable, but I have no other reason to disbelieve it at face value.

If those parcels have actually changed hands, that's a pretty big blow for the Armory ever being a through route again. The only chance (I can see) at getting beyond the political and monetary barriers-of-entry for that would be if NS really were to become determined to try and get intermodal ops into Hartford.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:20 am

State-level property maps have a whole different patchwork of "believed to be accurate" ownership. Including Conrail still owning the northernmost tip. So yes...buy the team of civil servants who has to research those land deeds + easements a stiff drink and keep 'em coming. The data is spotty, rife with contradictions, full of plausible deniability, and a general nightmare to straighten out. What's confirmed beyond reasonable doubt is that structures cannot be built on the pipeline ROW , and anyone who did so is squatting and gets no indemnity if their stuff has to get ripped down to service the pipeline. That's different from paper ownership and falls under utility regulations. Which gives the state somewhat of an upper hand. A very, very messy upper hand.

Again...nobody said this was going to be easy. MassDOT did brain-fart and fail to landbank. CDOT did its homework and determined that while that's a complication, the utility easement gives Massachusetts the upper hand. The question is all about whether MassDOT cares enough to pursue this against a paperwork headwind and several Springfield blocks worth of peak-volume NIMBY's. So far, all signs point to them not caring nearly enough. And there's no starting point. But nothing's actually going to change with conditions on the ROW. Once the initial inquiry got the gas company tipped off that the encroachers were making their move, they started sending out C&D's to the encroachers. So the encroachment has pretty much been halted at the first property owners who made a break for it. I think everyone has been duly warned to not try that again because abutting conditions have been stet for several years now despite new construction density going up all around. So if MassDOT wants to throw more fully-throated effort behind it, the clock isn't ticking. I mean, it's going to become apparent to them in short order that the Springfield Line is gonna get pretty congested. NHHS, Amtrak Inlands, 286K freights sharply boosting the traffic and Norfolk Southern swallowing PAS boosting it a bit more, and MassDOT's own dreams of Knowledge Corridor commuter rail and possible NHHS run-thru schedules making them need to pay attention to CDOT's rail priorities instead of pooh-poohing them. Because those priorities become MassDOT's too.


They might be looking at it from a world of regret in not acting sooner by the time they get around to looking at it...but they will be looking at it. They won't have a choice not to with the traffic blitz that's going to be filling up those 2 mainline tracks next decade. It's a "told ya so" teachable moment for them, if nothing more.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Remove nesting quote from immediately preceding quote (indexing)
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby whatelyrailfan » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:55 am

whatelyrailfan wrote:Hello everyone! I recently had a great conversation with A.J. Himself, so here's a progress update:
The primary work site for about the next two weeks will be between State Route 140 and Kressyrig Road. This was also the site of the Melrose depot, which was located between the library (on MSN Live Search Maps, that's the larger of the two white buildings)and the tracks. At present A.J. & crew are digging up the old team track, which is to be replaced by a ballast loading ramp like the one at the end of the line in Griffins. This is apparently necessary for work to continue at Enfield Transit Mix, etc. Also, someone (State of Massachusetts?)has cleared the ROW from just north of the Mass. state line, to the old depot in East Longmeadow. Does ANYONE have information on this? ANY information on what the state of Massachusetts plans for this ROW are would be much appreciated!
Using Live Search (which is AT LEAST a year old, but still informative), I noted a few items:
ROW from the State Line to Sumner Avenue in Springfield appears to be mostly to entirely free from encroachment.
Sumner Avenue crossing appears to still be in place.
A short section of track is still in place where the Connecticut Central branched off from the B&A Main.
Much encroachment by abutters in Springfield, but the good news is, that the majority of it is either parking lots or somebody storing materials.
Except for one area, which is bordered by King Street (North), Alden Street (South), Logan Street (West), and Wilbraham Avenue (East). This appears to be an old factory complex which has been converted into condos. The ROW goes right through the middle of the factory complex.
Where the tracks used to cross Wilbraham Road there appears to be a crossbuck (Eastbound, on the right, just east of Colton Street)
Where the tracks crossed State Street, in the eastbound lanes there are still XXs painted on the pavement. (The line was abandonded in the early-mid 90s, which shows how often the City of Springfield repaves it's streets.)

This was the situation a few years ago, the only thing that's really changed is the construction of the bike path on the ROW in Mass. And apparently A.J. and crew have finished the ballast ramp north of State 140, so hopefully the crossing at Enfield Transit Mix will be done by next year at the latest.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby FLRailFan1 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:45 pm

RonM wrote:F-line to Dudley via Park - Thank-you. That's an eye opener. I was going by the thread title and not the "bigger picture".

However, I just can't see a train with 2 SD40-2s, 15-20 MRRX C&D cars and another 20-25 double stacks, plus propane cars, spine cars, and boxcars roaring through Longmeadow, Scitico, Melrose, Broad Brook, Scantic at what 20-35 mph? South Windsor - East Hartford, yes. I had thought Longmeadow/Springfield the ROW was totally gone in spots, but's it's been awhile. Going to take quite a bit to make that come together. I wonder what the time differences would be compared the Springfield-Hartford CT River Line? (with and without the backing move to W Springfield)

What I'd like to see is 2-3 RS-1s with some boxcars, concrete raw material covered hoppers, and a few heating oil tankcars. Maybe someday.


Thanks for the info.


It would be interesting to see CNZR pick up cars for Home Depot in West Springfield, down the Armory to East Windsor Hill, then trackage rights on CSOR to Hartford, then up to Home Depot.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby FLRailFan1 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:47 pm

Jedijk88 wrote:Hallmark in Enfield is closing it's doors soon. It would be nice to see the property reused and a new customer gained for the CNZR.

They are?? darn another business leaving...
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby FLRailFan1 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:52 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Again...nobody said this was going to be easy. MassDOT did brain-fart and fail to landbank.


F-line, Connecticut did their homework on railbanking...and landbanking...
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Sun Aug 09, 2015 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby YamaOfParadise » Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:40 pm

FLRailFan1 wrote:F-line, Connecticut did their homework on railbanking...and landbanking...


I'm pretty sure his post supported that assumption. But yeah, CTDoT probably has one of the best policies on doing that in the country; and they have basically since the PC era. Sad that MassDOT definitely doesn't have the same sensibilities.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby LReyomeXX » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:45 am

Sadly, reinstatement of this line is now really important since they just limited traffic on the main Amtrak line due to second track construction. Just about all Amtrak service between Springfield and New Haven is now by bus.
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Re: CNZR - Armory Branch

Postby bwparker1 » Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:35 pm

LReyomeXX wrote:Sadly, reinstatement of this line is now really important since they just limited traffic on the main Amtrak line due to second track construction. Just about all Amtrak service between Springfield and New Haven is now by bus.


This is temporary for the installation of a second track. When the second track is in service, there will be even less of a need for this bypass than there "might" be today. Just pie in the sky dreams... It will never happen, at least in the next 50 years...
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