detour routes

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detour routes

Postby NRGeep » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:44 pm

What were the preferred detour routes if there was a derailment somewhere between Waltham and South Acton on the Fitchburg?
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Re: detour routes

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu Mar 08, 2018 6:12 pm

I don’t know for sure, but would guess New Hampshire Route to N. Chelmsford, then Stoney Brook to Ayer.
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Re: detour routes

Postby TomNelligan » Thu Mar 08, 2018 9:55 pm

I don't recall any serious derailments in that rather short stretch of the Fitchburg in the 1960s or 70s (although I could be forgetting one; there were plenty farther west during the B&M's bad track years of the late 60s), but as noted above the detour route would have been via Lowell. If you were thinking of the Central Mass, that had no practical western outlet after it was abandoned into Clinton, plus the track was in bad shape and could barely accommodate the daily local freight and Budd car trip, much less mainline freights
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Re: detour routes

Postby edbear » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:16 pm

There were a couple of bad derailments at the beginning of double track (eastbound) at South Acton. Detours went via the Stony Brook Branch and Lowell. One was in December 1970. It happened early in the morning and some Budds were trapped at South Acton. They were retrieved by a crew using the Ayer Budds and coming through a siding by the South Acton freight house, bringing them to Willows, then the whole outfit ran via Lowell to Boston. This was a very bad period. While clean-up work was going on at South Acton with 120-ton wrecker (Boston) and 250-ton wrecker (E. Dfld) working from both sides of the wreck, a freight piled up at Wachusett and some cars damaged a trackside industrial building. East-west main was thoroughly tied up. A second detour was set up Gardner-Barber-Ayer-Lowell and then either Boston or Rigby. Clean-up at South Acton was delayed as 250-ton wrecker and 200-ton (McVille) were sent to Wachusett. The Berlin job derailed at Bath, NH and that couldn't be cleared as all resources were at South Acton and Wachusett. Then Christmas came. All the clean-up crews got a few days off. When they returned to work, all three wrecks were cleaned up and the lines restored rather quickly. When I started with the B & M in 1968, Gardner-Barber was still served by WM-1/MW-2 but they had been discontinued by this time and the branch was virtually dormant. This was the only time I knew of any detours on this route.
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Re: detour routes

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:07 am

I remember a derailment south of Manchester way back. They used the M&L t o run trains
South complete with crossing tenders. Another time there was one south
Of Lowell so trains ran Lowell Branch over to the west age now gone, &
down the Western Route.
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Re: detour routes

Postby NRGeep » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:24 am

Thanks. Did B&M ever use the B&A for detours?
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Re: detour routes

Postby b&m 1566 » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:47 pm

The M&L might have been used as a detour when they had the derailment in Nashua in 1952? A passenger train rear ended a freight train or something like that.
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Re: detour routes

Postby newpylong » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:06 pm

NRGeep wrote:Thanks. Did B&M ever use the B&A for detours?


I do not know the answer to this question but I know that Conrail used the B&M before.
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Re: detour routes

Postby Rockingham Racer » Fri Mar 16, 2018 2:56 pm

b&m 1566 wrote:The M&L might have been used as a detour when they had the derailment in Nashua in 1952? A passenger train rear ended a freight train or something like that.


Sounds about right. I biked over to the M&L and hung around Cluffs Crossing Rd. in Salem.
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Re: detour routes

Postby e7401 » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:45 am

As far as the NYC detouring Fitchburg div. trains, it happen a few time, in the 60's, when there was a wreck east of E. Deerfield,
I saw a couple B&M jobs com through Wilbraham Ma {east of Springfield}. When the wreck in the Hoosac tunnel happen the trains came to Springfield then west over the NYC.
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Re: detour routes

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:13 pm

Didn’t some detours from the Hoosac wreck go via D&H to Rutland, then GMRC to Bellows Falls? I seem to remember seeing a picture of it in a book.
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Re: detour routes

Postby edbear » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:01 am

They did.
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Re: detour routes

Postby CRail » Wed May 02, 2018 12:04 am

newpylong wrote:I do not know the answer to this question but I know that Conrail used the B&M before.

That's basically what happens when the Grand Junction is out.
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Re: detour routes

Postby jbvb » Mon May 07, 2018 12:35 pm

I believe Somerville Jct - Lowell couldn't clear piggybacks until it was rebuilt so the MBTA could take the Freight Cutoff for the Red Line. I don't know where the tightest point was, maybe Billerica.
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