Hillsboro Branch

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby gutboy » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:14 pm

Noticed what looked to be Hendrix-bound hoppers with no loco stranded next to Nashua airport today. There was a large mobile crane and lots of yellow trucks working. I know this area was ballasted heavily during the floods this spring, anyone know what the story is?
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby newpylong » Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:32 pm

Another one bites the dust perhaps?
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby gutboy » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:37 pm

Saw the big crane leaving tonight at around 1830. It was marked in PAR logo. MEC 373 was sitting on the siding, not sure what direction it was going. My question is (I am a newbie at this so be patient!), does this happen often? Also, having watched the rails dance as the trains pass, does the Hillsboro branch ever get checked by the FRA geometry car? Sure doesn't look like it!
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby gutboy » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:55 pm

373 still sitting on siding with hoppers blocking it in from Nashua. Never seen a loco sit out overnight on this line, never mind a week.
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby Tim Mullins » Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:42 pm

If it's 10 mph or under it maybe accepted track and I believe the FRA does not have to inspect it....Thats why Fink likes
10 mph, but the state has it's own inspector who should be checking it.
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby newpylong » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:44 am

There isn't much accepted track on the MEC/BM system. You can't run dangerous and revenue passenger runs over accepted track so there is incentive to at least keep it to Class I standards.
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby bunky » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:41 am

Hillsboro branch is 5 mph
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:41 pm

FYI - 342 or 345 (I can't remember) was sitting on the Hillsboro Branch as of 1430 this afternoon. It was parked along Canal St. in Nashua between BAE Systems and Margaritas. There were about one to two box cars and four to five covered hoppers. It looked like it’s headed for the Nashua yard, unless the crew is shoving the train up the branch.
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Re: Big crane on Hillsboro Branch

Postby cpf354 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:00 pm

That derailment reportedly took place on June 17. The train was on it's way to Wilton when it derailed.
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Hillsborough Branch - "chasing" trains

Postby Exiled Englishman » Thu May 12, 2011 10:31 am

Firstly some background. As my name suggests I am an Englishman exiled in the USA due to my wife's job. My main railway interest is industrial railways and by extension shortlines and preserved railways. We live in Nashua and can (just about) see the Hillsborough branch from our apartment. When I first saw the line (around Main St in Nashua) I thought it must be abandoned as I couldn't believe that trains could operate over it due to the condition of the track. About six months ago I hear the unmistakeable sound of a loco horn about 2 in the morning, I looked out the window and there was a train going up teh branch towards Milford. Since then I have seen a few more trains but always at night. Yesterday a train went up the branch at 1030 in the morning so I took myself over to Mlford to have a look (thanks to my visa I can't work).

I found the train swapping wagons at Hendrix Cable & Wire. I spoke to the driver and asked him when he was heading back to Nashua and he said about an hour. This gave me time to drive up to Greenfield to photograph the SW9, apparently ex B&M 1228, which is dumped? next to the depot there. Does anyone have idea who actually owns this loco and what its doing there? I drove back to Wilton and got there just as the train got there to run round. I took some photos of this and then went to the crossing over the 101a between Wilton and Milford to take some shots of it on the bridge over the Souhegan river.

I then drove to Granite State Concrete to look at the SW900 owned by the Milford-Bennington Railroad. That situation has been discussed at length on here, I will just add that it all seems madness but there you go. Incidentally does anyone know what the works number of the loco is as I don't seem to be able to find it anywhere. I then "chased" the train back to Nashua although I think it could hardly be described as a chase as I have never come across a train that moves so slowly (and I spent six months travelling by train in India). I can't believe that a train that takes four hours to travel 16 miles with a crew of three with just four wagons can be economical. However it does make for good photos so I shouldn't complain too much. One final oddity was that when the train got back to Nashua, the wagons were left just before the crossing at Temple St and not taken to the yard - why was that?

Hopefully, you will find a selection of photos here http://tinyurl.com/6lcrngt

Any comments are welcome.

Cheers

Simon Darvill

I
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Re: Hillsborough Branch - "chasing" trains

Postby artman » Thu May 12, 2011 1:55 pm

Simon - you deserve kudos for having the patience and fortitude to follow such a slow train. Maybe when Fink gets his way and institutes passenger service on that line, he can get it upgraded at the expense of someone else.

Your link will not work, as it seems to want sharing rights to view
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Re: Hillsborough Branch - "chasing" trains

Postby MEC407 » Thu May 12, 2011 6:55 pm

Nice photos!

The amazing slowness is not unique to the Hillsborough Branch, I'm afraid; Pan Am has a few other branches with 5 MPH speed limits. I suppose they figure that they're saving money on fuel because the locomotive never goes past Notch 1 on the throttle. :wink:
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Re: Hillsborough Branch - "chasing" trains

Postby newpylong » Thu May 12, 2011 7:56 pm

great pictures
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Re: Hillsborough Branch - "chasing" trains

Postby TPR37777 » Fri May 13, 2011 3:27 pm

Thank you for sharing those great photographs Mr. Darvill. I found your prose thoroughly amusing, I must say. You may feel exiled, but give it time and you may just grow to like this land of ours. As for the condition of the Hillsborough Branch, it was not too long ago that much of their mainline looked just like it, and portions of it still do today. Have you gotten a chance to visit any real railroads to the south, such as the CSX or Providence and Worcester (Pan Am employees relax, I am just teasing)? I have never been, but I have been advised repeatedly that Palmer, MA is a great destination. I have spent a fair amount of time at Readville, the MBTA station in the southwest section of Boston, and would highly recommend it during daylight hours.
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