The Stony Brook 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: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby newpylong » Mon Oct 15, 2018 8:09 am


No you are right, he is most definitely going more than 10, likely 14-16 mph when passing the camera. Pieces were raised to 25 after the rail job last year but with all of these restrictions most of it rides like 10, except for the area in this video. If they were on the 1 track they could have been going 25. Looks like they reduced a little late going into the 2 track and bogged down to even 5 mph before picking back up.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby Vakharn » Tue Oct 16, 2018 6:53 pm

They were slowing down because they tied down at Graniteville.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:40 am

Demonstrating that the Stony Brook is no longer the high throughput railroad that it became in the 1920's (double track CTC with controlled siding between Westford and Granite City), on Sunday 11/4/18 BFPO and EDPO conspired to tie up the line for 5-6 hours occupying both the main and siding at Westford. EDPO arrived Saturday afternoon with empty water containers and general freight while BFPO showed up Sunday at around 0830 with a lengthy train of calcium carbonate plus general freight acquired at E Deerfield. BFPO was departed with new crew at around 1400 Sunday. I'm not sure when EDPO departed although it was reported passing Wells, ME at around 0200 today.

Found this very interesting article on-line authored by H. Arnold Wilder in 1979 describing in detail the evolution of the Stony Brook RR. I was shocked to learn that in June 1946, the Stony Brook facilitated the daily passage of 8 passenger trains, 20 road freights, and 2 local freights.
PAR EDPO & BFPO crew change at CPF-307 Westford 110418 small.jpg
PAR EDPO & BFPO CPF-307 Westford 110418 2 small.jpg
Stony Brook Branch trains 1946.JPG
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby neman2 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:48 pm

Two observations, one old,one new.

The switch to the siding at the former Abbott Mill in Forge Village was removed in the summer of 2017 when the rail was changed out on the Brook. It had been used infrequently for work equipment storage over the years. As a point of interest the mill has been renovated into a nice looking apartment complex. The former Courier and predecessor Murray printing plant has been renovated into an indoor sports complex called "The Mill".

New ties have been stacked next to the crossing at Pleasant St. Westford (next to the stack of junk ties that have been sitting for more than 20 years). I do not know if they are for the crossing or for elsewhere.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby neman2 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:27 pm

Sunday 12/09 noon time observations -
POAY tied down at CPF 309.
BFPO tied down at CPF 307.
So the branch is blocked at this time.

Two Pan Am hi rail trucks on the tracks at School St. Chelmsford crossing doing some sort of work.

Also at School St. siding track a tamper, a ballast regulator, and another unknown piece of MOW equipment are parked .
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby neman2 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:46 pm

At about 16:35 hours on Saturday 1/12/19 I heard MOW person and D2 in communication which mentioned a "rail train between CPF-303 and CPF-309." Anyone know anything about this? Since the GRS sightings site has died down to about four people posting and I don't do Facebook my info consists of this site, my "drive-by visuals" and whatever I happen to catch on my limited scanner listening.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby neman2 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:25 pm

I made a pre-game drive by at Depot St. in Westford this morning and found a rail train parked on the siding. They are picking up the old rail that was replaced in 2017. There was a hy-rail truck from Keystone Rail Recovery driving along the ROW.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby SlotCanyoneer » Sat Jan 19, 2019 12:51 pm

Why do many people refer to this as the Stony Brook “Branch” when it’s actually the Freight main line and not a “branch” at all? Always wondered that.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby roberttosh » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:36 pm

That was the original name as it was a branch, no different than calling the line west of Ayer the Fitchburg or the line North of Lowell Jct the Western Route or for that matter, referring to the CSX Boston line as the B&A. It also narrows down what you're talking about, as it's a lot more informative to say there's a tie job going on on the Stony Brook vs saying there's a tie job going on on the freight main which could mean anywhere from Keag to Rott Jct.
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby neman2 » Sat Jan 19, 2019 4:45 pm

[quote="SlotCanyoneer"]Why do many people refer to this as the Stony Brook “Branch” when it’s actually the Freight main line and not a “branch” at all? Always wondered that.[/quote]

It started as the "Stony Brook Railroad" although it never owned any equipment it soon became leased to the Nashua and Lowell and then the Boston and Lowell thus I believe it was considered a "branch" to those railroads since it connected the Boston and Lowell RR,the Fitchburg RR and WN&P.

More info and very good history of the Stony can be found from the Chelmsford Historical Commision here- ... istory.pdf
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby jaymac » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:00 am

Mebbe TMI, but there's also a tendency to hang onto older designations. "Iron" and not "steel" for "track" might be one example. The new auto yard at the west end of the "Branch" is still frequently referred to as "San-Vel," the older designation of Lone Star, the concrete operation that experienced QA problems with Amtrak ties, went idle, and got eventually repurposed. Not much further west and by West Wye is the Camp track, a name that goes back to WW I and "Camp" Devens, the track's "Camp" designation being held onto during WW II and later after Devens had been upgraded to "Fort" status, retained after Devens was deactivated, and further reinforced by the recent track and signal work at Ayer resulting in CPF-Camp.
As newpylong posted some years ago, during the strike era, there were wholesale mileage-based changes in designations to make things less confusing for the "replacements," but "Wachusett" and "Westminster" -- even before the T Extension -- were used as much as "333" or "335," and a few hours of listening will show that Parkers, Wrights, Tyters, and the other pre-Guilford interlocking names are in general non-Form D and non-241 use.

(The above use of "replacements" is my attempt to remain "civil" to those who fed their families at the expense of others' families.)
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Re: The Stony Brook Branch

Postby NHV 669 » Sun Jan 20, 2019 1:07 pm

Is the camp track still being used for the water drops down there? Seems like minimal posting of activity/operations these days, even with the CSX shuffle, which may be a positive thing.

Stuck in the midddle of multiple abandonments.
Sometimes, you gotta drive for several hours in the middle of the night, to see the local railroad in action.
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