Lines that never should have been abandoned?

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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby b&m 1566 » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:22 pm

There is no more freight potential along the M&L. The B&M abandoned and sold it off starting in 1984 and just recently file and was approved for discontinuance for the remaining section in Lawrence.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby p42thedowneaster » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:32 am

Wasn't the M&L's future was written out of commuter rail discussions? I was always told the "long-term" plan was for passenger rail in the I-93 median. I assume that means Willmington/Ballardvale to Manchester? The M&L would cost millions and millions in crossing equipment.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby CVRA7 » Thu Nov 19, 2015 5:52 pm

Ex NYNH&H Canal Line - New Haven-Plainville.
North from New Haven this line would have made a good light rail route, serving the area parallelled by the traffic-choked CT Route 10 all the way. Much of it is now a trail but I believe there has been encroachment in New Haven and Hamden. Still an active rail line from the North end of Southington to Plainville.
Usually the State of CT has been good about preserving rights of way but they dropped the ball big time on this one.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:25 pm

CVRA7 wrote:Ex NYNH&H Canal Line - New Haven-Plainville.
North from New Haven this line would have made a good light rail route, serving the area parallelled by the traffic-choked CT Route 10 all the way. Much of it is now a trail but I believe there has been encroachment in New Haven and Hamden. Still an active rail line from the North end of Southington to Plainville.
Usually the State of CT has been good about preserving rights of way but they dropped the ball big time on this one.


Portion south of Hamden was abandoned during Penn Central because the tunnel by Yale was way too short to get all but the shortest power through. Way too early for state purchase or landbanking, so property lines got extinguished. CDOT's state rail map shows the break: http://www.ct.gov/dot/lib/dot/documents ... 5-2013.pdf. Everything inactive north of there to the diamond with CSX in Westfield is in safe public hands, though.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby CVRA7 » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:34 am

I remember that "tall" freight cars wouldn't fit through the Yale "tunnel" - but RS3 locomotives and passenger cars did as I rode an excursion up the line in 1964. Looking at the CDoT map I see the first CDoT purchases were in 1971 and I believe the line through New Haven and Hamden hadn't been encroached upon until later - but I don't have the land ownership records at that time. Too bad the CDEEP (think it was Dept of Forests and Parks or similar in '69) didn't purchase it for a trail route which would have kept the right of way intact - they started purchasing rights of way in 1969. I don't see any need for freight service down there and maybe that's why the state didn't act. But it would have made a dandy light-rail route!
On the Canal Line there are a couple of encroachments north of Plainville - the right of way, most of it on a fill, was totally obliterated between the north end of the airport and just north of US Route 6, but doesn't look to have buildings built upon it. Up in the Simsbury and Granby areas there are "detours" on the trail, probably due to political pressure from the adjacent landowners. I remember reading that the owner of a large nursery operation in Granby threatened to close and leave town if the trail was opened on the right of way that divided his operation. I believe he had to build the "detour" trail - which appears to be first-rate - around his property, that can be seen from the College Highway (CT10).
I use Bing Maps for research as they appear to be good enough to take their overhead photos when the leaves are off the trees. Most Google Map photos are taken during the foliage season (???), but they are more recent in many cases.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby ebtmikado » Sat Nov 21, 2015 1:03 pm

CVRA7 wrote:Ex NYNH&H Canal Line - New Haven-Plainville.
North from New Haven this line would have made a good light rail route, serving the area parallelled by the traffic-choked CT Route 10 all the way. Much of it is now a trail but I believe there has been encroachment in New Haven and Hamden. Still an active rail line from the North end of Southington to Plainville.
Usually the State of CT has been good about preserving rights of way but they dropped the ball big time on this one.


If I remember correctly, about 20 or 30 years ago, there was a proposal to put commuter rail/light rail on the Canal Line out of New Haven, and a similar thing out of Hartford.
Well, the residents of Newhallville complained that the speeding trains would kill their unruly children, so that idea died.
The Hartford proposal became the infamous busway.

Lee
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby CannaScrews » Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:45 am

ebtmikado wrote:
CVRA7 wrote:Ex NYNH&H Canal Line - New Haven-Plainville.
North from New Haven this line would have made a good light rail route, serving the area parallelled by the traffic-choked CT Route 10 all the way. Much of it is now a trail but I believe there has been encroachment in New Haven and Hamden. Still an active rail line from the North end of Southington to Plainville.
Usually the State of CT has been good about preserving rights of way but they dropped the ball big time on this one.


If I remember correctly, about 20 or 30 years ago, there was a proposal to put commuter rail/light rail on the Canal Line out of New Haven, and a similar thing out of Hartford.
Well, the residents of Newhallville complained that the speeding trains would kill their unruly children, so that idea died.
The Hartford proposal became the infamous busway.

Lee


Quite right Loxley!

The argument given for the New Haven/Hamden/Cheshire section for a light rail proposal was that the devilish dispicable denizens of New Haven would pay their fare in New Haven, ride up to Cheshire (pronounced "ses-ire" by the people that have been drinking the water in that locale for too long), break into an estate, steal the 36" CRT TV (no flat screens back then), carry it back on the LRV to New Haven where it will be pawned. Yes!

Now the line is a jogging/bike path going behind the big box stores in Hamden and actually quite popular in Cheshire with people parking on the cross streets to use the facility much to the consternation of the same NIMBY's.

Remember, that was during the O'Neill era where the head of state was being pushed to & fro by the politicians, CDOT became the Connecticut Department of Tar, the M-2s had their wheels falling off and the Mianus Bridge collapse was still in the minds of everyone.

New Britain busway??? It is now a major drug import/export route. People now don't have to go to downtown Hartford for their fix, just to the bus stop which is good. Less car traffic in downtown Hartford.
The ridership figures are being, um, well - let's say apples and oranges are being smashed together to make apple pie. Apple pie I said, and it's getting bigger and bigger. Nobody talks how the bus routes are being changed to use the busway, even though they don't need to.
The north end of the busway will have to be re-jiggered so the I-84 viaduct in Hartford can be demolished & a replacement built.
The good part is that the busway would make a fantastic sub-roadbed to relay rails back down, except that the grade crossings would have to be depressed by about 18" (or the cross streets raised) to clear rail height, tie height & 6"ballast.
If you can't dazzle them with brilliance -
Baffle 'em with bulls**t...
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby arthur d. » Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:56 pm

There should be an easier way across New Hampshire. Woodsville to Gorham comes to mind as a shorter route for the slurry train. I believe its also flatter than the Mountain division, with less trackage in need of restoration. If it every picks up again, they could even run the oil up there and avoid the congestion of eastern Mass.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby NHV 669 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 1:04 am

that's quite a bit of track to rebuild from scratch.....
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 7:20 pm

b&m 1566 wrote:There is no more freight potential along the M&L. The B&M abandoned and sold it off starting in 1984 and just recently file and was approved for discontinuance for the remaining section in Lawrence.


The "For now" are the magical words. Nothing there now, but it might (MIGHT) return at a later time

Also, http://www.trainweb.org/nhrra/minutes/meet-14p.htm

Go down to the M&L part. Does the guy talking about customers in Derry and Londonderry mean anything
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:06 pm

A 14-year-old meeting minutes from an unofficial advocacy group potential for a return. You keep saying this, but where are the potential customers? The M&L's demise wasn't simply a matter of a rail carrier's poor service getting live customers switching to trucks. The abutting industrial flat-out went away. Much of it isn't even zoned industrial anymore, and has flipped to commercial biz along the Route 28 strip of big box retail and infilled residential further upstream. Go on Google and scan up and down the line. Where are the customers? Names...addresses. You tell us where that potential is if you believe so strongly that there's freight revival potential tomorrow.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:32 pm

Eastern Packaging, Dodge grain, sulzer Mixpac USA, Cyr Lumber, Granite Industrial gases Inc., Kamko supply.

Some potential customers:
Wallboard supply, Derry feed and supply co.
Plus, a whole bunch of industry northeast of the airport.
Salem said it would zone rail-liking industrial along the corridor if rail returns.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:31 pm

Jackinbox1 wrote:Eastern Packaging,

Eastern Packaging was the last customer. They were getting carloads once a month...or less...before they gave up their rail service from too little volume. The final abandonment happened because Eastern couldn't make dollars and sense out of continuing.

Dodge grain,

Derry feed and supply co.

And how much feed moves by rail in this region? Those are both tiny businesses that don't move anywhere close to the volume to get regular carloads. Dodge Grain was an Agway when it last received rail service. Agway as a national chain does tend to use rail more often than other similar businesses despite the small size of their stores, but they're a national chain with the scale to pile up carloads aggregately. Local feed companies in New England are orders of magnitude too small to make it work for them.

sulzer Mixpac USA

Very small. They share a former coiled steel customer's building half-and-half with a Budget rental truck depot. Would they even be able to store 2 cars worth of goods onsite? Would they request cars more than once every 2 months?

Cyr Lumber

It was a Grossman's when it received rail service. Grossman's as national chain used to do quite a bit of carloads. Cyr didn't exist when the line was abandoned. If Cyr really wanted rail service that badly they'd be 6 miles east in Plaistow instead.

Granite Industrial gases Inc.

A two-bay warehouse with parking for less than a dozen trucks is going to clamor for rail service? How often...4 cars quarterly?

Kamko supply.

Wallboard supply.

Again with the small non-chain warehouses. Home Depot's distribution center gets drywall delivered on CSX centerbeams 3 times a week. This is another one of those zits on a map that can't physically take more than a couple carloads per month.

Plus, a whole bunch of industry northeast of the airport.

The next-to-last segment abandoned, because all that "whole bunch of industry" voluntarily stopped shipping by rail.

Salem said it would zone rail-liking industrial along the corridor if rail returns.

For what? More of the above...companies way too small to take more than 2-4 cars once every several weeks? That's what the M&L was in its final years...unreliable little blips that took a carload then went silent for months. Until they couldn't make the rates for that infrequent a service work for them and switched to truck. Those are exactly the businesses that should be going by truck, because if you can't muster a regular schedule of consistent carloads there's virtually zero cost advantage to shipping by rail. Their "rail" discount comes from transloading out of a yard, not door-to-door. There are nearby yards in Lawrence, Manchester, and Nashua in easy highway reach where the little blips on the map could make way better margins transloading out of rather than paying for their own sidings that may only get used a half-dozen times a year. The economics of rail are not switching back to the bygone days of mom-n'-pops taking 2 carloads of widget parts one week and sending out a carload of finished widgets the next week. Those shipping rates do not work for customers that small, much less those microscopic profit margins for profit-seeking railroads (yes, even the shortlines).


You haven't listed any realistic forward possibilities that fit 21st century freight rail economics and where they're trending...just a backwards-reflecting rehash of what killed the M&L in the first place. If there's freight on that line, it won't be because the little blips on the map sprouted sidings like it was 1965 all over again. Big customers...anchor customers...multi-day-per-week customers: where are those customers? And don't say north of the airport, because Manchester Yard is choked in weeds and rarely has more than a couple cars in it at a time. If there was demand up there, they'd be transloading today in the active yard...agitating for their own sidings after a dozen years of transloading in the yard.

Passenger service...OK, that's one thing. A deep-future thing. But you're kidding yourself if you think this line is going to be dotted end-to-end with thriving freight. It was dotted end-to-end. The dots went away or went with the more economical mode of shipping for modest scale. If the line gets reanimated for passenger and a freight customer happens to pop up...it's serendipitous. But most likely you'll get what's on the MBTA's Greenbush, Plymouth, and Newburyport Lines post-reanimation: no customers, and not even any freight carriers bidding for rights because there are no customers.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:34 pm

You know, I do respect what your saying, and that's for one reason only.

People will do anything to defend their opinion. You say freight wont return. I say it eventually will. NHRRA says it eventually will. The NH state rail plan of 2012 says it might (go to the sectiona about abandoned corridors- M&L is there, woth the words commuter and freight) I spoke with methuen rail trail a few weeeks back, and they said all the things they said was fact, despite a government document that completely denies the statements said by them. We all have opinions, and that's why humanity can never fully agree with one thing.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby NHV 669 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:59 pm

So the facts that were just provided, including an STB filing of abandonment I linked to, that hasn't even turned a year old, aren't enough to prove an already open-and-shut case? Why would you deny something that the railroad already proved to be true?

You might want to google "opinion", I don't think it means what you think it means.

Edit: This should be common sense for most adults, but the word potential doesn't hold any meaning until the object/action associated with it has already occurred or is currently taking place.
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