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 jaymac » Thu Jun 16, 2016 12:29 pm

Ironman-
Thanks -- figured there was a reason, and fewer Form Ds is as good a one as any.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby BostonUrbEx » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:44 pm

Ironman wrote:It is yard limits between Barber and Burncoat


2016 was rung in with a new timetable, and as such the elimination of these yard limits. Main track starts at Burncoat, period.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby newpylong » Wed Dec 14, 2016 2:47 pm

There will be new double iron going in in Worcester to allow for power swaps of sepo and pose. No more csx run through, the "new" pan am c40s will be used on these jobs too.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby CPF363 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:04 pm

newpylong wrote:There will be new double iron going in in Worcester to allow for power swaps of sepo and pose. No more csx run through, the "new" pan am c40s will be used on these jobs too.

Where is the new second track going to go? Barber and Burncoat on the B&M or on the P&W between Garden Street and Barber? Much double track exists on the latter.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby Z31SPL » Thu Dec 15, 2016 9:51 am

newpylong wrote:There will be new double iron going in in Worcester to allow for power swaps of sepo and pose. No more csx run through, the "new" pan am c40s will be used on these jobs too.


Very exciting :-D
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby johnpbarlow » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:36 am

Way back in 2010, P&W was planning to build a 2nd track between MP0 in Worcester (guessing this is near Worcester Union station) to MP2.9 (Barber's Crossing). Excerpt from the STB filing of July 20, 2010:

P&W is planning to build a second track (the "Second Track") on portions of the Gardner Branch right-of-way running from Worcester, Massachusetts (MP 0.0) to Barber's Crossing (MP 2.9) (the "Corridor"), in order to handle an anticipated increase in traffic along this Corridor. P&W expects an increase in freight movements along this Corridor partly as a result of the Board's March 10, 2009 approval of a joint venture between Pan Am Railways, Inc. ("Pan Am") and Norfolk Southern Railway Company ("Norfolk Southern"). Prior to the above-referenced joint venture, CSX interchanged with Pan Am at Rotterdam Junction and Springfield in addition to Barber's Crossing, but now interchanges only at Barber's Crossing. In 2010, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will acquire the Boston and Albany line from CSX in order to use it for passenger service, which may require additional (rerouted) freight traffic to travel over the Corridor. Additionally, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority ("MBTA") board has approved a deal that allows the state to purchase a section of railroad track to expand commuter rail service from Worcester to Boston through Ayer. P&W expects this additional traffic to travel over the Corridor as well. P&W believes that the increase in traffic on the Gardner Branch will require a second set of tracks over the Corridor


To do so required P&W and National Grid to negotiate removal of some power lines on the P&W RoW but apparently National Grid declined not to do so, hence this STB filing activity. But P&W withdrew its request for STB declaratory order a year later having worked out an agreement with National Grid.

But I wonder if this 2nd track was ever built (obviously CSX interchanges with both PAS at Rotterdam Jct and PAR at Worcester plus MaDOT seems to have made no progress on the Worcester-Ayer-Boston commuter service). Google Maps shows two active tracks running from WUS to a turnout between Garden St crossing and the Rte 70 overpass. North of that, near Millbrook St, "double track" reappears (near where B&M's Worcester yard used to be?) until around Greendale Mall but it's not clear that the 2nd track is active based on the encroaching brush. It appears to be only single track to the Gardner branch switch at Barber's Crossing.

FWIW, it's about 1.7 miles between Garden St and the Gardner branch switch and there are no grade crossings but it's not Pan Am or CSX owned track/RoW.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby Ironman » Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:43 am

johnpbarlow wrote:To do so required P&W and National Grid to negotiate removal of some power lines on the P&W RoW but apparently National Grid declined not to do so, hence this STB filing activity. But P&W withdrew its request for STB declaratory order a year later having worked out an agreement with National Grid.

But I wonder if this 2nd track was ever built (obviously CSX interchanges with both PAS at Rotterdam Jct and PAR at Worcester plus MaDOT seems to have made no progress on the Worcester-Ayer-Boston commuter service). Google Maps shows two active tracks running from WUS to a turnout between Garden St crossing and the Rte 70 overpass. North of that, near Millbrook St, "double track" reappears (near where B&M's Worcester yard used to be?) until around Greendale Mall but it's not clear that the 2nd track is active based on the encroaching brush. It appears to be only single track to the Gardner branch switch at Barber's Crossing.

FWIW, it's about 1.7 miles between Garden St and the Gardner branch switch and there are no grade crossings but it's not Pan Am or CSX owned track/RoW.


The 2nd track was never built, still single track from Garden St. to Barber. The over grown track you are talking about does start right around the old B&M yard, but it is severed on both ends. It's in really rough shape so it would take more than just putting in switches at the ends to get it running again.

Still, my guess would be that if a 2nd track was to be installed, it would be in this section, even though it's not owned by Pan Am as you said. A few reasons for this that I can see.

It's only about 7,000 ft. between New Bond St. and Burncoat St. If we have a train that exceeds that and Pan Am doesn't have a crew for a swap, we can't bring the train up there. That means tying the train down in Springfield or Palmer, then getting a new crew out when Pan Am can handle the train. We are running huge trains now so this happens a lot.

There is a bridge over a road just past New Bond that would have to be rebuilt for a second track also, and the cut at Burncoat would need lots of work.

I'm not sure which C40-8's Pan Am is getting, but the 7500 and 7600's don't have cab signals, so they can't lead on the B&A.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby boatsmate » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:06 pm

there is the turn out between (short siding) just behind Dunkin Donuts big enough for several engines. it is used now for cars from AY-? when the service St Gorbains or when AY cans down there. switch at both ends. so train could sit just north of Burncoat (like it did last night, engines could be removed from the train run down to the siding, put up and the CSX engines brought up to the train and Tied on and left there for CSX. going to PAN AM the train would have to stop short of the Gardner branch switch and do the same thing. the CSX could bring the train to New Bond st and tie it down.

Just my observations
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby KSmitty » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:19 pm

Wonder how long the power swap will last? Either the C40's will fall apart, the transit times will suffer because the power swap can be in a timely manner or they wind up power short and can keep the trains powered across the road. Seems they try this every-so-often and it never lasts...
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jwhite07 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:27 pm

so train could sit just north of Burncoat (like it did last night


Yeah, except when POSE did that last night the rear car of the train was off the Shrewsbury Street crossing by only about 20 feet and didn't clear the circuit, creating a nice traffic jam until people started to turn around and go the long way (like I did), or zigzag the gates like some others did. WBPD was just arriving as I was doing my u-ie. I didn't stick around to see if the police knew how to plug the gates.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby Ironman » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:15 pm

boatsmate wrote:there is the turn out between (short siding) just behind Dunkin Donuts big enough for several engines. it is used now for cars from AY-? when the service St Gorbains or when AY cans down there. switch at both ends. so train could sit just north of Burncoat (like it did last night, engines could be removed from the train run down to the siding, put up and the CSX engines brought up to the train and Tied on and left there for CSX. going to PAN AM the train would have to stop short of the Gardner branch switch and do the same thing. the CSX could bring the train to New Bond st and tie it down.

Just my observations


Pan Am bound trains(eastbounds) can't be tied down at New Bond because it's single track. I'm taking a guess of where a second track would be located.

Using Greendale siding the way you say works fine for a little local. It's been done in a pinch for road trains as well. It would never work as a SOP.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby CPF363 » Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:19 pm

KSmitty wrote:Wonder how long the power swap will last? Either the C40's will fall apart, the transit times will suffer because the power swap can be in a timely manner or they wind up power short and can keep the trains powered across the road. Seems they try this every-so-often and it never lasts...

Since 1990 when the Worcester interchange for the freight trains (not autos) began, Conrail or CSX has never implemented cutting off their power at the Barber interchange point. So if CSX decides to do this, this is going to be a first. The big problem is Worcester does not have a lot of room for sidings between Union Station and Barber. What would make the interchange better would be if the siding on the P&W between Garden Street and Barber is fixed up and a new siding is constructed between New Bond Street and Burncoat utilizing the Greendale siding. That will allow each railroad to have their own second track to run around on. It is true however, that transit times will suffer even more as all of these power swaps are going to take longer to do coupled with the 10MPH running from Burncoat to Harvard. What is ultimately going to be necessary is for ST to get the track fixed up to at least 25MPH to get over the road so that both networks do not have a lot of freight piled up on either side trying to get through the interchange along will building a decent track through the Hill Yard so that SEPO/POSE are not impacted by all of NS' container and auto trains in addition to all of the Ayer local freight moves.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby johnpbarlow » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:28 am

Given this Worcester locomotive exchange process will be similar to today's PAS-P&W interchanging at Gardner, will PAR/CSX be building an air plant near the locomotive change point in Worcester? As I understand things as a non-RRer, if a train is off air for more than 4 hours some form of time consuming brake test will be required? Or will there be a set of choreography rules for this interchange (eg, PAR power and crew must be present when SEPO arrives and vice versa when POSE arrives?)
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby newpylong » Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:48 am

A power swap insinuates locomotives are swapped, the train isn't left off air for long. No air plant.

I don't know where this double track will go but it's not Greendale siding.
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Re: Pan Am Worcester Branch

Postby jaymac » Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:03 pm

If the westerly private grade crossing at Worcester Country Club is taken OOS, that'll give a bit less than 1.5 miles between Burncoat and Shrewsbury Streets as a possibility. EB CSXT power could headpin, cross Shrewsbury, and then tuck in at the old Ziff siding if double track stops west of Shrewsbury. If double stops east of Shrewsbury, headpin, crossover to other track, easterly PAR power backs on, and -- after however long -- goes east.
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