Massachusetts Central Railroad (MCER) Discussion

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Massachusetts Central Railroad (MCER) Discussion

Postby whoyou » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:59 pm

Does anyone have any current information on the MCER? I looked through the forum and don't see anything recent, and their website hasn't been updated in years. Have they shrunk since the late 90's? They used to have their headquarters at the junction of Rt. 20 and Rt 181 in Palmer, but now that building is some sort of ATV store. Their intermodal facility used to be right behind that building. Is it still there? Do they still run to South Barre or Barre Plains? They also used to spot cars on the old Central Mass tracks from their junction with their main line all the way up to Bondsville, but the last time I drove by that area the tracks were empty and covered with tree limbs from the ice storm in December.
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby thebigham » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:00 pm

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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby atsf sp » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:48 pm

whoyou wrote:They used to have their headquarters at the junction of Rt. 20 and Rt 181 in Palmer, but now that building is some sort of ATV store. Their intermodal facility used to be right behind that building. Is it still there?

It is still there and their headquarters or operation center is in back. Pull into the ATV store's parking lot and you can view the area. Both times I have gone all their engines were just sitting there.
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby harleyfiremedic » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:52 pm

I have seen them a couple of times this month while in Palmer, MA. You can see the action at the Palmer Yard interchange with CSX/NECR along the old B&A.

Video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBzRmVtzg1k
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby frrc » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:06 am

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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby roberttosh » Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:56 pm

They have a C&D shipper on the line now and an American Rock Salt pile at Barre.
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby MCER401 » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:58 am

I'm looking to get out and video the run north from Palmer to the end of the line at Barre Plains. Does anyone have current on duty times, or even days/times they run north out of Palmer (or south out of Barre)????

I drove the line back in the summer and found the MCER 960 switching out the plastic transload site on the Ware/Palmer line. Then they ran north only as far as the Ware yard. Seems they have 2 transload sites in Ware and a couple of local customers. A scrap metal place near Gilbertville and it looked like the customer at Barre Plains was expanding.

Is it true they no longer handle intermodal? And they no longer have any customers between Palmer and the plastics transload on the Palmer/Ware line?
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby MCER401 » Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:48 pm

For anyone interested, I made several trips to the Mass Central over a few weeks time and was able to video the entire run from Palmer to South Barre over 2 different days. The third one is the best, starting with departing the mill at Barre MA and following southbound to Gilbertville MA.

http://sites.google.com/site/route2expr ... -palmer-ma

http://sites.google.com/site/route2expr ... northbound

http://sites.google.com/site/route2expr ... nd-freight
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby harleyfiremedic » Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:22 pm

Took some pictures of the Mass Central Today in Palmer. Came past the Station with about 10 or 15 cars to the CSX interchange and brought a single car back.

Passing by the signals
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4036/4293398171_2a7e8d7661_o.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4021/4294140172_16d2a35c3b_o.jpg

On its trip back it passed the SB Vermonter as it readied for the trip to Springfield
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4003/4294145646_d5f91b841f_o.jpg

Enjoy
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby consist » Sun Jan 24, 2010 9:37 pm

There is a most extraordinary customer setup just west of Ware yard that I first noticed this summer. A spur comes off of the line (less than 1/4 mile from the Ware yard), goes under a bridge, and right into a huge garage door enclosing an indoor siding. The factory-type building is Kazami or Kazuka or some Japanese name, I assume a buyout of the previous customer. The setup is strange because if you drive over the bridge all you see is the building right next to it. I didn't realize there was a spur there at first - I thought "What is underneath this bridge that ends in a factory?" I turned around for another look and was surprised to see tracks (semi-shiny with fairly recent use) approaching the bridge from the other direction. A side road going into a neighborhood crosses the spur, so I stopped on the crossing and looked down toward the bridge and there was that garage door looking back at me. Looked like the tracks entering a castle or fortress or something. I would have taken a picture but had no camera.
Anyone know anything about that customer? Product, rail use frequency?
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby NYCRS3 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 10:16 pm

What you saw in Ware was a modern company called Kanzaki Specialty Papers. This facility was once called Ludlow Papers. This company receives cars of paper rolls via the Mass Central for its converting operations. The rail line going into the building is the original Central Mass Branch of the B&M that ran between Boston and Northampton somewhat paralleling the Ware River Branch of the B&A between Barre and what became called Forest Lake Junction in the northern section of Palmer. The original mainline was washed out in several places during the 1938 flood to create FL Jct.. After the flood, the B&M received operating rights over the Ware River Branch of the Boston & Albany / NYC. Before this, the CM Branch shared the station and yard in Ware with many varying connections between both lines created over the years.
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby KEN PATRICK » Thu Mar 04, 2010 1:10 pm

A NOTICE OF EXEMPTION FD35356-0 FILED ON 2/23 REQUESTS COMMON CARRIER ROAD FREIGHT SERVICE, CLASS III SHORT LINE STATUS ON 773 FT OF TRACK OWNED BY THE O'RILEY FAMILY TRUST THAT CONNECTS TO MASS CENTRAL. THE PROPOSED OPERATOR IS ABC+D RECYCLING. THE FILING STATES THERE IS NO INTERCHANGE AGREEMENT . I SAW A PHOTO OF A HI-SIDED GON WITH A TARP MOVING TO PALMER. IS ABC&D RECYLCING CURRENTLY SHIPPING C&D BY MCER? IS THIS FILING SIMPLY A RESPONSE TO A RATE DISPUTE? KEN PATRICK
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby thebigham » Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:21 pm

Trains magazine has a short article about the Mass Central.
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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby bruceclouette » Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:10 am

Some years ago on the NERAIL photo archive someone had pictures of Mass Central intermodal equipment -- spine cars and Gunderson stack cars. Is this equipment still around?

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Re: Current Status of the Mass Central Railroad?

Postby MCER401 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:23 am

NYCRS3 wrote:What you saw in Ware was a modern company called Kanzaki Specialty Papers. This facility was once called Ludlow Papers. This company receives cars of paper rolls via the Mass Central for its converting operations. The rail line going into the building is the original Central Mass Branch of the B&M that ran between Boston and Northampton somewhat paralleling the Ware River Branch of the B&A between Barre and what became called Forest Lake Junction in the northern section of Palmer. The original mainline was washed out in several places during the 1938 flood to create FL Jct.. After the flood, the B&M received operating rights over the Ware River Branch of the Boston & Albany / NYC. Before this, the CM Branch shared the station and yard in Ware with many varying connections between both lines created over the years.



It's a very interesting operation. MCER uses their own rolling stock to serve this customer, a couple of old blue box cars. Here's a shot I took last year of the 960 pulling out some empties.

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... y=gsenecal
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