Lines that never should have been abandoned?

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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby CRail » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:15 pm

Much of the country's industry went overseas. Today's trend is to replace everything with luxury condos and retail. Those two things don't sustain an economy and the artificial deportation of industry to avoid various quality standards will have to eventually reverse. Industries will probably not return to the metropolises they built, but to less density areas like Derry. When this happens, the move to maintain these corridors and plan around their eventual return will prove quite valuable. There actually is quite a bit of industry still abutting that line. Albeit light industry, but even that's a different ballgame than a neighborhood of brandy new duplexes or McMansions.

Jackinbox's points demonstrate that I'm clearly not the only one who sees this.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:46 pm

CRail wrote:Much of the country's industry went overseas. Today's trend is to replace everything with luxury condos and retail. Those two things don't sustain an economy and the artificial deportation of industry to avoid various quality standards will have to eventually reverse. Industries will probably not return to the metropolises they built, but to less density areas like Derry. When this happens, the move to maintain these corridors and plan around their eventual return will prove quite valuable. There actually is quite a bit of industry still abutting that line. Albeit light industry, but even that's a different ballgame than a neighborhood of brandy new duplexes or McMansions.

Jackinbox's points demonstrate that I'm clearly not the only one who sees this.


So where's the empirical evidence? This discussion isn't going anywhere because it's degenerated into a contest of who has the greater intensity of belief. Real empirical evidence can't breach that wall, despite the fact that one person's intensity of belief isn't a predictor of return of freight traffic unless it's backed by evidence. There's a mountain of empirical evidence as to why freight dried up on the line over a 30-year span culminating in this very decade with zero customers, zero traffic, an executed abandonment filing, and the rails being ripped out. There's a mountain of empirical evidence about the favorable economics of yard transloading, where if the latent demand existed on this corridor we would start seeing some leading indicators in the form of new customers making pickups in the trio of nearest yards or rumors of customers agitating to Pan Am for a way in. There's none of that, nor any sign of embryonic movement towards that.

Somebody please cite some hard numbers about where it's likely to trend back to lots more on-line freight in that region, and where. Posit a counterargument rooted in testable theory. Even if it's a reach, that's a more tangible thing to debate than these "I believe" / "I see" blanket declarations that are tantamount to arguing religion.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 4:12 pm

CRail wrote:Much of the country's industry went overseas. Today's trend is to replace everything with luxury condos and retail. Those two things don't sustain an economy and the artificial deportation of industry to avoid various quality standards will have to eventually reverse. Industries will probably not return to the metropolises they built, but to less density areas like Derry. When this happens, the move to maintain these corridors and plan around their eventual return will prove quite valuable. There actually is quite a bit of industry still abutting that line. Albeit light industry, but even that's a different ballgame than a neighborhood of brandy new duplexes or McMansions.

Jackinbox's points demonstrate that I'm clearly not the only one who sees this.


I couldn't have said it better myself. I am glad i am not the only one who sees more potential in this line than commuter.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:40 pm

So where's the empirical evidence? This discussion isn't going anywhere because it's degenerated into a contest of who has the greater intensity of belief. Real empirical evidence can't breach that wall, despite the fact that one person's intensity of belief isn't a predictor of return of freight traffic unless it's backed by evidence. There's a mountain of empirical evidence as to why freight dried up on the line over a 30-year span culminating in this very decade with zero customers, zero traffic, an executed abandonment filing, and the rails being ripped out. There's a mountain of empirical evidence about the favorable economics of yard transloading, where if the latent demand existed on this corridor we would start seeing some leading indicators in the form of new customers making pickups in the trio of nearest yards or rumors of customers agitating to Pan Am for a way in. There's none of that, nor any sign of embryonic movement towards that.

Somebody please cite some hard numbers about where it's likely to trend back to lots more on-line freight in that region, and where. Posit a counterargument rooted in testable theory. Even if it's a reach, that's a more tangible thing to debate than these "I believe" / "I see" blanket declarations that are tantamount to arguing religion.[/quote]

Okay. Let's figure out something here. You don't believe freight will return, so you think our arguments don't make any sense. Okay. Im more annoyed by the fact that you related this to an argument about religion, because the opposing side doesn't make any sense to you. That's a baaaad thing to say. This is the twenty first century. People can and will get offended by anything, especially religion. The fact that you don't think freight doesn't mean anything about religion is off-topic, though, so let's get back to our debate. The line was abandoned because it wasn't maintained, because they didn't have enough industry, because they didn't have the line go all the way to Manchester. The nh state rail plan even states this. Less well maintained tracks, increased travel time. Increased travel time, more costly for the companies along the line. More expensive to pay for rail services, they go to trucking. It's a vicious circle. Also, this isn't the midwest. Railroading is different here. Transloading requires trucks and rail, which can still do a number on the environment (wouldnt want that happening in the leaf-peeper state), so it can be better to just have on-site loading and unloading. If a business wants to use rail, and a rail line is right at their front doorstep, they aren't going to drive a whppe bunch of miles to a transload site.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Red Wing » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:25 pm

Maybe there is a chance when gas rises to say $6.00 plus per a gallon. As of now there is still no way to get around the airport, there are park and rides along I-93 and there is no reason for another through route from Massachusetts to Manchester. Why don't we hold the horses until Manchester gets passenger service via the NH Mainline, then lets consider passenger service via the M&L.
For passenger service there is still an issue with single track of the Western Route and single track of the Wildcat along with congestion at North Station.

Unfortunatly the biggest limiting factor is Money. How does the State of New Hampshire pay for this and how does the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pay for there improvements?
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:52 pm

Jackinbox1 wrote:Okay. Let's figure out something here. You don't believe freight will return, so you think our arguments don't make any sense. Okay. Im more annoyed by the fact that you related this to an argument about religion, because the opposing side doesn't make any sense to you. That's a baaaad thing to say. This is the twenty first century. People can and will get offended by anything, especially religion. The fact that you don't think freight doesn't mean anything about religion is off-topic, though, so let's get back to our debate.

You are warping the comment completely out-of-context by reducing it to one trigger word in isolation, and omitting the operative word--"arguing"--to frame in a transparently invented context. Not cool, and not fooling anyone. I was saying (and you are doing absolutely nothing to dissuade that notion by digging in ever more abrasively) that this discussion has turned pointless and circular because cited facts are getting drowned out by intensity of personal belief repeated, repeated, and repeated doubled-down some more. As I said before, as if this were a contest in who believes harder. There is no longer a debate or discussion because you are refusing to engage facts with other facts.


The line was abandoned because it wasn't maintained, because they didn't have enough industry, because they didn't have the line go all the way to Manchester.

And how many people in this and the other thread have to cite fact after fact after fact setting the record straight on that before it sinks in?

The line was NOT abandoned because of maintenance. It was abandoned because every single customer had gone out of business or switched to cheaper trucking. Trucking being far cheaper than rail when a business is so small that they can only muster a couple carloads per month. Customers can't get ahead doing rail when the carloads are so sparse and sporadic that the annual surcharge for the railroad maintaining their mainline switch is enough to make trucks cheaper. The physical plant (which Guilford was not going to keep pouring money into for such increasingly sporadic moves) made no difference. The changing economics of freight is what did it, and there's a mountain of citations in this thread detailing how and why. But again...this discussion goes nowhere because you just double-down on your own personal opinion without engaging those facts.

You are correct that the industry left. What you have to explain, though, is how the industry is going to return. It's not "if you build it, they will come". A 14-year-old citation from an advocacy group staffed by railfans and one quote from a Salem pol not acquainted with the industry do not make it so. You need to cite evidence of where there's smoke, there's fire. OK...I described in detail about rail-to-truck transloads from a yard, and how that's becoming a very viable way for small customers to tap the cost savings of rail delivery. The railroad can string together enough carloads of mixed small customers to make a profit and give a good rate, and the customers can send their own trucks to do the last-mile pickups instead of relying on an outside trucking company. This is a genuine growth strategy. One that if a company takes enough advantage of such that their transloaded carloads start to swell bigtime...they will start to desire their own siding and/or think about relocating a couple miles to an active rail like like the NH Main, Western Route, or Hillsborough Branch. So it can also be a transitional strategy that leads to real door-to-door carloads further in the future. Now...if there was smoke indicating future fire on the I-93 corridor in NH, you would see more interest poking and prodding around transloading possibilities at any of 3 different Pan Am yards surrounding the corridor: Lawrence, Nashua, and Manchester. That is not happening. Manchester, the one closest to the M&L corridor, has never seen less activity than it is now. If you wanted to make an empirical counterargument that the freight potential is there, you'd be positing a theory about a pending spike in transload activity in NH as possible leading indicator of that potential. Go for it...there's a workable theory served up on silver platter, and all you need to do is make some predictions with cited facts. You're not doing that. This is instead more covering one's ears, shaking one's head, and doubling/tripling down on this "NUH UH! I believe it'll happen!" There's no discussion going on here.

The "line not going to Manchester" had jack squat to do with it. If you hadn't noticed, there's an airport runway that severed the ROW eons ago. Everything north AND south of the airport remained intact, serving exactly the same customers on exactly the same intervals via twin locals out of Lawrence and Manchester. Thru routing doesn't matter for anything except passenger service; MANY lines, even the intact ones, run their locals by proximity to nearest yard and not as run-thru. The Western Route in NH and ME is divided up between Lawrence-north and Rigby-Rockingham Jct. locals, because ranging close to a home base is cheaper than outlawing a crew far from point of origin. Lack of run-thru as cited reason for the line's failure is a red herring. Furthermore, the spur north of the airport survived in-service longer than anything in NH besides the couple miles from MA state line to Salem Depot. The line is still--to this day--intact from the switch in Manchester Yard to the first 1 mile south, grade crossings and crossing protection and all. Anyone who wanted to make a push for rail service on that spur has had 15+ years to state their case. They haven't. Nobody filed for adverse abandonment because Guilford was trying to terminate active customer contracts. There were no customers whatsoever with rail delivery contracts left to serve when the abandonment filings for each segment were filed. Other posters in the thread have provided you with the exact PDF's of those STB filings where it is stated for the legal record exactly how long it has been since there last was an active customer. Your personal intensity of belief does not make those legally-vetted statements null, void, or baseless.

The nh state rail plan even states this. Less well maintained tracks, increased travel time. Increased travel time, more costly for the companies along the line. More expensive to pay for rail services, they go to trucking. It's a vicious circle. Also, this isn't the midwest. Railroading is different here. Transloading requires trucks and rail, which can still do a number on the environment (wouldnt want that happening in the leaf-peeper state), so it can be better to just have on-site loading and unloading. If a business wants to use rail, and a rail line is right at their front doorstep, they aren't going to drive a whppe bunch of miles to a transload site.

The NH State Rail Plan states this? I assume you mean page 111, Section 5.1.1, "Freight Rail Issues", paragraphs 1-3. But you conveniently omit paragraph 4:
NH State Rail Plan wrote:It should be noted that due to the nature of freight railroad operations, decreased volume invariably leads to decreased service levels while increased volume provides the basis for increased service. In New Hampshire, freight rail volume relative to railroad mileage has declined in recent years and currently is extremely low, even for regional and short line operations. The commonly used “rule of thumb” for management of a rail line establishes approximately 100 rail car shipments per mile (SPM) per year as the minimum required to maintain a railroad, provide acceptable service and sustain profitability. The New Hampshire system as a whole yields about 140 SPM annually. However, much of the freight volume is concentrated on a few lines and therefore the volume on most branch lines is considerably less than what is needed for rail carriers to provide profitable and competitive service.

Do you have a counterpoint for that, or are we just going to pretend the powers-that-be who wrote that federally-mandated state rail plan...didn't actually provide the math that sets the bar for what a viable number and frequency of carloads are? Now where are those carloads going to come from on this corridor for freight on a cleanroom reboot of the M&L if the only businesses there are a much-dwindled collection of the same tiny blips that couldn't muster anywhere close to that rate of shipping before?

And finally, how are the economics of transloading sooooooo regionally different in New Hampshire compared to how they are in Massachusetts and Maine? Not the Midwest, but right down the street on the very same highway and on the very same freight carrier. Pan Am just signed on its second large truck transload center in Woburn, MA right off an I-93 exit...to go along with the very lucrative Tighe Warehouse transload it signed on off another I-93 exit in Winchester roughly 5 years ago. It's just beefed up its intermodal ramp in Auburn, ME right off an I-95 exit. Why is New Hampshire so different that the economics don't work when these things are sprouting like weeds across every one of their state lines and attracting exactly the kinds of customers who can't justify the cost of their own sidings (or outright relocation to a rail line) but want/need to tap the longer-distance savings of rail freight? Can you explain why p. 47 of the NH Rail Plan describes exactly those advantages of using trucks for last-mile from a transload? Why are you citing (red herring alert!) the environment when that does not play at all into a customer's cost decision on shipping mode, and the use of rail to get everywhere but the last 5 miles is a significantly greener activity than the other alternative: trucking out of Worcester or Albany...or Chicago.



I'm sorry. You do not get to pound fist on the table trying to impose your will on the discussion by refusing to engage reams of factual information provided to you, selectively cite document fragments where the carefully omitted next paragraph contradicts your own assertions, and throw out rhetorical distractions and baseless accusations at other posters to try to confuse the issues. If you want a reality-based discussion or debate...act the part and start using all this wall-to-wall evidence to construct a coherent argument or counterargument. It's a colossal waste of time to try to have a nuts-and-bolts discussion when there's nothing but "I believe harder than you!" being shouted back.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:07 pm

I am part of the argument, and my so put in my input. CRail agrees with my input. NHRRA agrees with my input. Most of my town, and other towns, agree with my input. I told my family member in NHDOT about this situation, and he and mostof the people he works with agrees with my input. If you dont, great! I don't care anymore.
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Re: And the nominees are . . .

Postby Jackinbox1 » Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:27 pm

I spoke with my friend about the situation. He gave me the whole rundown about how railroads need certain amount of freight carloads to make a profit and whatnot. He then said if you were to combine all the industry along the corridor, than that could make it very feasible to operate freight, but their certainly not going to resuscitate the line for solely freight service.
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby Trainman101 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:18 pm

I wish I had a job that allowed me enough free time to type long articulate responses, o well.

Has anyone mentioned the Stoughton to Taunton line?
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby newpylong » Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:57 am

At least the M&L is owned by the respective states.

How about the Billerica and Bedford/Lexington branches? There is no direct way to get to Boston from any of the towns from Lexington all the way out to Billerica. That line would be a goldmine if it was still in - with outbound commuters too. To me this is a horrific loss, but it is a nice bike trail, haha.

The Pittsfield and North Adams is another one that comes to mind. It would be tough to beat that for scenic service.

Another would be the Northern - it is too bad Boston freight traffic dried up to the point where it could be shifted over to the Conn River and this line let go.
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby YamaOfParadise » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:03 pm

Trainman101 wrote:Has anyone mentioned the Stoughton to Taunton line?


I would say this if most of the line weren't intact (as far as rail on the ground, albeit not maintained) and in MBTA ownership.The section of the line between Raynham and Taunton might qualify, since the Wittenton Branch was retained instead of that section; but in the same measure, that allows downtown service to Taunton. I'd put the Stoughton/Taunton line in a lesser portion of the list, considering that (paradoxically) the biggest obstacle to it being restored for passenger service is being part of the godawfully-managed South Coast Rail project... but all of this is a whole 'nother bag of worms we've also already discussed elsewhere. :wink:

I suppose a "duh" response would've been the Maybrook Line with the Poughkeepsie Bridge; the same reason why PC and CR didn't want it (redundant since they had the B&A) is why it would have been nice to still have another east-west freight route into New England that wasn't in their grasps. However, you'd have to change a lot of other things besides the bridge burning for it to be a "should never have been abandoned", particularly considering the Maybrook only gets you to Derby Jct.
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:27 pm

Problem is you have to separate out the modern abandonments during public ownership vs. the ones that went belly-up during the bankruptcy era when if the private RR's couldn't save them they were simply gone. In New England at least, the first major effort at a state-level intervention was State of VT buying up the Western Corridor in 1963 at the Rutland's demise. But it really didn't become commonplace until the Penn Central bankruptcy and associated asset dumps during the liquidation allowed the states to gobble up thousands of route miles and apply one-time "proto-landbanking" on all the OOS and abandoned track PC and other bankruptcies (like B&M circa 1970's) had to quickly mothball and dump. Stoughton started getting sliced up much too early for Massachusetts to have a mechanism to keep it in service; the MBTA was formed in part to provide that mechanism in the wake of the trauma of all Old Colony commuter rail suddenly being abandoned. When the T did its big asset grab of PC lines in 1973, it got Stoughton + Whittendon in the deal and was able to preempt extinguishing of the property lines with one-time-only preservation as a transportation corridor. This despite federal landbanking not going into effect until 13 years later in 1986.


So I don't think you can hold those 1950's through 1970's abandonments such as the Bedford & Billerica, Manchester-Willimantic, and others can be held against anyone. Much less the ones that didn't make it out of the Depression. There was nothing to stop the free-fall at the public level, those RR's don't exist anymore, and it was only the court cases where these fire sale agreements gave the states an opportunity at "proto-landbanking" where major assets were allowed to be saved in suspended animation pre-1986. The ones farted away largely have to be counted after that.


The painful losses of the public ownership era, in my opinion and in no particular order, are:
-- Pittsfield & North Adams (Guilford, 1992)
-- Falmouth Branch, Otis AFB to Falmouth Depot (MA State Legislature, 2008 abandonment, 1989 embargo; note that Falmouth-Woods Hole was a Penn Central abandonment trailed since the 1970's). Torpedoed by interference from a powerful legislator from the Cape, who booby-trapped a piece of legislation to stick MassDOT with the bill for tearing up the rails. Flagrant abuse of the landbanking statute.
-- Lexington Branch (MBTA, 1981 embargo, 1991 landbank). Tortured court case prevented CR restoration when the Red Line was truncated at Alewife. A long time ago, so hard to see how it could've played out much different...but a bummer.
-- Armory Branch in MA (and MA's failure to buy it after Guilford's abandonment). Needed as a freight bypass of Springfield Line going forward, easiest high-and-wide candidate into Hartford. Bad MassDOT brain fart.
-- Eastern Route, both sides of Newburyport Draw (gradual Guilford retreat north, MBTA landbank south in 1997). Newburyport NIMBY's prevented restoration to downtown, shouldn't have been left off the hook so easy. Nobody's fault north of the bridge; freight simply disappeared, NHDOT not ready for commuter rail.
-- Plymouth Line, Cordage Park to downtown Plymouth (MBTA, 1997). Another NIMBY freakout a la Newburyport that left this line particularly crippled. State folded way too easy.
-- Canal Line, Cheshire and Avon segments (Guilford, '92-94). Because they stranded so many active customers. Guilford "bad old days" at their worst.
-- Westover AFB Branch (Guilford, early-00's). Because there were interested customers, PVRR offered to operate it, and the NIMBY's raced to build one of the most dangerous-crossing trails in the whole state. "Bad old days" Guilford.
-- M&L south of Salem (MBTA/NHDOT, early-00's to 2015). If only because the '81 commuter service restart was thwarted and Methuen jumped the gun on a trail it's not ready for. It's not ready for a restart, but it should've been held embargoed a lot longer until Methuen got its act together.
-- Millis Line, Needham Jct. to Medfield Jct. (MBTA, 2012). Because the trail lobby and Town of Dover did not act in good faith, and now Needham has blown its money building a trail that can't cross the Dover town line because Dover double-crossed them and now opposes the trail. Exhibit A of abuse of the $1/99-year lease provision that MassDOT and the T have let themselves get taken by time and again. This should've been an embargo until the players proved themselves competent and above-board. Now Dept. of Conservation & Recreation is going to have to blow its own money mediating.


VT simply hasn't had any abandonments of note period save for LVRR (hardly a critical corridor) since it started so early on preservation. Neither has RI because of its tiny size; small industrial tracks + the Bristol Branch and Providence Tunnel are the only things they've had to landbank. CT's network has been stable for years and has reactivated dozens of miles of formerly embargoed track to healthy traffic levels. Any potential abandonments are of the Suffield Branch variety; negligible industrial tracks. Can't fault too much of NH's abandonments--including the Northern--because of the meager traffic levels and limited financing to backstop it. West leg of the Portsmouth Branch seems like it would've been a useful keep just as a cross-state link from the Cap Corridor to Western Route, but I honestly don't know very much about what traffic it was carrying near the end. There aren't a lot of other obvious examples that got farted away when they shouldn't have.

So this ends up a very Massachusetts-centric list, and common theme is MassDOT letting itself get run over by abusers of the landbanking statute with those $1/99-yr. trail leases. Other states don't leave themselves so vulnerable to this. Every landbanked line in CT automatically gets transferred to the state-level EPA to keep the towns hands-off, and all trails are managed as state parks with the state deciding which ones are worth an investment. NH holds all of its landbanks as "as-is" snowmobile trails to minimize its liability and keep the riff-raff to a minimum, and is parsimonious where it chooses to invest real money landscaping or paving. NH, despite having a very chewed-up active rail network, has also been very progressive about opening the coffers to buy up landbanks in public trust. There's very few outright abandonments on their state rail map (most of which had complications). MEDOT uses the power of embargo to good effect to keep its network intact rails-in-ground, and pushes rail-with-trailing and speeder use on unused track to justify keeping the hardware in the ground. RIDOT has used procedural moves to prevent abandonments of key corridors. For example, the missing Tiverton leg of the Newport Secondary isn't abandoned at all despite being lost since 1988 because they called in a favor from P&W to not abandon freight rights to Newport. It exists on P&W's system map to this day, so reactivation can sidestep all the NIMBY complaints and box in the limits of the pushback to upgrading the track to Class 3 vs. simply reanimating it in its previous Class 1 state.

Unfortunately there are no more likely abandonments in MA left to protect, since the network is now safe save for perpetually shaky (and very short, non-critical) lines like the Millis Industrial and Medford Branch. But they really, really need to centralize control at the state level because these local-level cripple fights with trail leases are still happening, and they incur collateral damage by driving up the state's maint costs. You've got 3 ex-CSX lines in MetroWest that still haven't been bought up by MassDOT where the towns of Framingham, Natick, Sudbury, and Holliston are being left to their own devices to negotiate with CSX. Other than Holliston, which got a rental agreement bloodlessly secured with CSX as interim measure for its trail while MassDOT drags its feet on ownership...the other towns have gotten very mouthy with CSX. And that's simply not a good idea when CSX is so big it has many, many means of retaliation. The inmates run the asylum here when it comes to system preservation.

And the worst is yet to come for MEDOT as the collapse of MEC traffic and too many poor funding decisions to rehab marginal branchlines with shaky traffic gives them an immediate future where they will have to rationalize hundreds of miles of landbanking in the next 10 years to eliminate too much redundancy for the traffic levels, rally around the traffic that can still grow with proper streamlining, and choose its passenger expansion wisely without routing inefficiencies they can ill afford to take on.
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby newpylong » Wed Dec 09, 2015 7:53 pm

Jeez how could I forget the Westover Industrial. They should have been jailed for pissing that one away. One of the highest density industrial areas in the Pioneer Valley and they drove everyone away.
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby Ridgefielder » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:24 pm

I'd imagine that if the Providence, Warren & Bristol were still around today there's be some interesting possibilities being discussed for East Bay commuter rail and MBTA service to Fall River via Providence rather than Myricks...
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Re: Lines that never should have been abandoned?

Postby YamaOfParadise » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:42 pm

Ridgefielder wrote:I'd imagine that if the Providence, Warren & Bristol were still around today there's be some interesting possibilities being discussed for East Bay commuter rail and MBTA service to Fall River via Providence rather than Myricks...


Definitely the former; the latter doesn't seem like it would be operationally efficient to get to Fall River (longer travel time, more time on NEC). And even if the Swansea/Fall River Branch was still around, the Slades Ferry Bridge is long since gone (late 1960's)... even if it wasn't, the rail portion of the bridge was abandoned in 1932 after a ship hit the movable span of the bridge, and when the highway dept. took over ownership, the replacement movable span was only for the road portion. A bridge of that length with a movable span just wouldn't be cheap.
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