Pan Am Worcester 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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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:18 am

CPF363 wrote:... It is puzzling as to why the the Worcester Route, Stony Brook and the Lowell Branch are in the conditions that they are in today with these being their mainlines and all...


My guess based on years of GRS/PAR watching is that no 3rd party is subsidizing the maintenance of these three lines. NS only subsidized PAS lines maintenance/upgrade - these three critical lines aren't part of PAS. And the three lines don't haul passengers so MBTA/NNEPRA won't pay for ownership/maintenance/upgrade. Not trying to defend PAR but the Stony Brook and Lowell Branch are in effect yard tracks as freights are often parked there awaiting recrews so if the track speeds were 25mph or higher it wouldn't make a whole of difference in terms of train velocity.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:45 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:
CPF363 wrote:... It is puzzling as to why the the Worcester Route, Stony Brook and the Lowell Branch are in the conditions that they are in today with these being their mainlines and all...


My guess based on years of GRS/PAR watching is that no 3rd party is subsidizing the maintenance of these three lines. NS only subsidized PAS lines maintenance/upgrade - these three critical lines aren't part of PAS. And the three lines don't haul passengers so MBTA/NNEPRA won't pay for ownership/maintenance/upgrade. Not trying to defend PAR but the Stony Brook and Lowell Branch are in effect yard tracks as freights are often parked there awaiting recrews so if the track speeds were 25mph or higher it wouldn't make a whole of difference in terms of train velocity.


Correct. NS only has rights as far out on the Stony Brook and Worcester as it takes to runaround a max-size intermodal or autorack train. The rest is PAR-owned exclusively. MBTA has very seldom-used rights to run with their own crews on the Worcester to shuttle north-south equipment moves in an emergency if the Grand Junction happens to be out of service. And they have 'unofficial' trackage rights on the Lowell and Stony Brook on case-by-case basis to shuttle equipment around; Stony Brook's been used several times during the ongoing weekend track work shutdowns on the inner Fitchburg Line to stock East Fitchburg layover with Monday morning trainsets, run the work train, and do a disaster preparedness drill at Fitchburg station over the summer that involved a rare-mileage passenger trip over the SB to bring in the train full of volunteers.

But none of it is publicly owned so state jurisdiction only covers the brief Fitchburg Line and Lowell Line overlap. And there's been no TIGER grant filings covering improvements on any of those 3 segments yet because of PAS double-stack upgrades hogging all the attention. So to-date there's been $0 in material support from the state. That won't change until PAS is DS-cleared, in which case Ayer to the NH border becomes the next top-priority target for DS clearances and there probably will be a spate of Stony Brook + Lowell fed grant filings coming in ~5 years. But only SB + Lowell because bringing the mainline to Portland from 17' to 20'6" clearance comes first. Worcester's pre-existing 19'6" autorack/mixed-DS clearances are a dead-last priority. There's negligible potential for any full-DS traffic out of Worcester until P&W increases its twin mains from 19'6" to 20'6", and very little direct CSX interchanging comes out of there vs. Rotterdam so the Worcester Main's 19'6" should be adequate for a long time.

MassDOT would probably be interested in buying them all from PAR to lock them under public trust, if PAR were in a mood to cash out some assets (say...in advance of a company sale). That's the only way you're going to get state-funded improvements of any kind until the Ayer-Portland double stack partners up PAR and MassDOT for clearance improves on the SB & Lowell. But even there it's going to be expected that PAR self-fund everything that doesn't include an outright bridge-raising (e.g. any track-undercutting), because MassDOT will have its hands full and lion's share of clearance funding tied up on the Western Route from Andover to state line.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby NHN503 » Sun Oct 25, 2015 7:51 pm

boatsmate wrote:... also another MOW piece of equipment has shown up on the siding on Shrewsbury st. I was unable to see what it was drove by to fast and caught it out of the corner of my eye...


It's a Kershaw brush cutter. Saw it shoved in there in front of the regulator last week.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Fri Oct 30, 2015 7:26 am

A ~0715/10-30-2015 drive over the Temple Street crossing showed that the area had been changed from a tree tunnel to a tree valley.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby b&m 1566 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:41 am

Ian MacMillan wrote:
boatsmate wrote:... also another MOW piece of equipment has shown up on the siding on Shrewsbury st. I was unable to see what it was drove by to fast and caught it out of the corner of my eye...


It's a Kershaw brush cutter. Saw it shoved in there in front of the regulator last week.


That regulator as been sitting there since February, but was moved further back so the brush cutter would fit. I'm assuming they used the regulator last winter to help clear the snow.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Tue Nov 10, 2015 10:11 am

A ~0930/11-10-2015 drive over the Prescott Street crossing showed some "experienced" rail to the southwest of the crossing. Mebbe there'll be a swap-out of some of the even more "experienced" rail on the curve just TT-east of the crossing, some of which looks like it's already made the swap from contact to non-contact surface.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby johnhenry » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:47 pm

This afternoon AY-4 was dropping stone along the Worcester track around (but not exclusively) Gates Rd in Sterling.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Fri Jan 15, 2016 4:41 pm

The brush cutter was back on the former Ziff Paper siding in West Boylston sometime before my 1600/01-15-2015 drive-by.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby newpylong » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:10 am

Is that off Shrewsbury street?
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Sat Jan 16, 2016 10:00 am

Right - the WB leading point switch just E of Shrewsbury Street and MP X6.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Sat Feb 06, 2016 11:12 am

As of 1050/02-06-2015, plow berms still undisturbed and rail-tops still snow-covered at Temple Street/Rte. 140/MP X7.8.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby johnhenry » Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:34 pm

FI-1 engine 344 was seen heading east thru West Boylston at 21:24 with a single (presumably empty) covered hopper (that had been seen at Saint Gobain for some time). FI-1 had arrived at Burncoat sometime before 16:00 (per radio messages). It may have had to wait for POSE to pass by before coming back east. Long trip and time for 1 car!
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby SpiderHill » Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:24 pm

johnhenry wrote:FI-1 engine 344 was seen heading east thru West Boylston at 21:24 with a single (presumably empty) covered hopper (that had been seen at Saint Gobain for some time). FI-1 had arrived at Burncoat sometime before 16:00 (per radio messages). It may have had to wait for POSE to pass by before coming back east. Long trip and time for 1 car!


I went by New Bond Street about 10pm. POSE was tied down with no crew around. I caught 344 and the one car in Lancaster at Mill St. At 10:23pm. POSE was short so 344 probably used the siding at New Bond to run around.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:14 am

Been a bit since I've been there and dunno what the motivation is, but at 1045/06-16-2016 just NE of the Burncoat Street crossing , there were 2 new signs -- stencil-sprayed --"Burncoat" and "Beginning Main Line".
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby Ironman » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:09 am

The sign used to be at "Shay", located just railroad east of New Bond St., which was retired a few years ago. It is yard limits between Barber and Burncoat, but east of Burncoat requires a Form D line 2 to operate. That is why they put those signs there.

Basically, CSX crews are no longer required to have a Form D to operate to Buncoat.
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