The Ayer "Ford" Yard

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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mdamico23
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The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by mdamico23 » Thu Aug 21, 2014 11:55 am

Hi Folks,

I observed something today which I hadn't seen in almost 5 years of commuting on the Fitchburg Line. There were several general freight cars (wood racks, and YKR and FBOX Boxcars) spotted in the "Ford" Yard which is adjacent to CPF-WL in Ayer, MA. The only time I've seen this yard used was for the storage of MBCR/Keolis MOW Equipment, and when the PAR OCS was stored there. There is also a derelict BM gon (BM 9092) parked in there full of junk tires. That gon has been there at least a year.

I had heard a while ago that CSX had a lease on the property and they were not allowing Pan Am Southern to use it- mainly due to the "Southern" part of PAS.. Anyhow, I am wondering if the lease is up and if Pan Am can now use the yard? It seems like it would be a good overflow point for the nearby Hill Yard and also the Auto Facility located across the tracks on Willows Road. Another thing I thought of was the perhaps the cars stored in there were the ones that were damaged in the Lancaster derailment a few weeks ago and they are now "out of the way" pending repairs?

-mike

newpylong
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by newpylong » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:30 pm

mdamico23 wrote:Hi Folks,

I observed something today which I hadn't seen in almost 5 years of commuting on the Fitchburg Line. There were several general freight cars (wood racks, and YKR and FBOX Boxcars) spotted in the "Ford" Yard which is adjacent to CPF-WL in Ayer, MA. The only time I've seen this yard used was for the storage of MBCR/Keolis MOW Equipment, and when the PAR OCS was stored there. There is also a derelict BM gon (BM 9092) parked in there full of junk tires. That gon has been there at least a year.

I had heard a while ago that CSX had a lease on the property and they were not allowing Pan Am Southern to use it- mainly due to the "Southern" part of PAS.. Anyhow, I am wondering if the lease is up and if Pan Am can now use the yard? It seems like it would be a good overflow point for the nearby Hill Yard and also the Auto Facility located across the tracks on Willows Road. Another thing I thought of was the perhaps the cars stored in there were the ones that were damaged in the Lancaster derailment a few weeks ago and they are now "out of the way" pending repairs?

-mike
The lease is until 2017 and their (lack of) willingness to give it up is because they want the racks to come from them, not NS.

Someone either worked a deal out with them to put non revenue cars in there temporarily or what they don't know won't hurt 'em.

strangelyamused
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by strangelyamused » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:15 pm

That's crazy. I second what newpylong said, the lease definitely isnt up yet. However, the idea about the lancaster derailment would definitely make sense, perhaps since it pose that derailed csx let it slide and allowed them to leave cars there? Deep down i want it to be "what they dont know wont hurtem" though. Haha

Also, id like to add that the B&M gonds that have been sitting there are actually due to be unloaded by some business nearby, or so i was told.

Edited by a Moderator (merged two posts into one).

KSmitty
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by KSmitty » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:45 pm

newpylong wrote:The lease is until 2017 and their (lack of) willingness to give it up is because they want the racks to come from them, not NS.

Someone either worked a deal out with them to put non revenue cars in there temporarily or what they don't know won't hurt 'em.
Overlooking the fact that the PAS facility is bigger and better positioned so switchers don't need to deal with the T all day, whats keeping them from running both yards one for PAS/NS and one for CSX?

jaymac
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by jaymac » Fri Aug 22, 2014 3:50 am

KSmitty » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:45 pm
Overlooking the fact that the PAS facility is bigger and better positioned so switchers don't need to deal with the T all day, whats keeping them from running both yards one for PAS/NS and one for CSX?
Just guessing, but since the new auto yard is for Ford products and since NS/PAS has the Ford contract and since CSX has the mighty East Brookfield & Spencer to serve its auto suppliers at a facility larger than the old auto yard and since anything between Harvard and the Willows is a choke-point, it's probably just easier for CSX to -- mixing mammalian metaphors -- play dog in the manger instead of soft kitty, sweet kitty.
"Watching trains is better than smoking meth."
--Source, location, and time undisclosed.

newpylong
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by newpylong » Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:10 am

Yep. They would have to use it for a manufacturer that as of yet is not served by another regional facility, and as Jay mentioned anything down on the B&A is easier.

I think a better use might be a reload center instead of MLs.

mdamico23
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by mdamico23 » Sat Aug 23, 2014 10:12 am

Well, I think I might have answered my question. On my outbound commute last night, MBTA/Keolis Train #417 went slowly through the CPF-WL interlocking and I was able to get a clear look at the cars in question. I "think" they are the cars that were involved in the Lancaster derailment. From the news reports a few weeks ago, there were several lumber centerbeams involved and there are several in the "Ford Yard." There was also a tank car of propane involved. Observation revealed a tank in the yard with a pretty good dent on the left side towards the upper part of the tank. There were at least 2 boxes in there- an FBOX and YKR, both high cubes. They did not seem damaged.

What is the procedure for getting these cars back on the road? Does Pan Am have to wait for insurance adjusters or can the car department release them after they are inspected, provided they are deemed roadworthy? The lumber racks were empty. Wonder if the propane tanker was also offloaded?

-mike

newpylong
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by newpylong » Sat Aug 23, 2014 7:29 pm

The car department usually fixes them and sends someone the bill. They pull the bad order tag off and they can be moved. This is outside of cars that are refused in interchange then things get murky and it becomes a pissing match sometimes.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:04 am

With only 3 years left on the CSX lease before they're free to use it for themselves, has there been any discussion about what they might want to use this yard for?

SpiderHill
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by SpiderHill » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:13 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:With only 3 years left on the CSX lease before they're free to use it for themselves, has there been any discussion about what they might want to use this yard for?
I would think it would depend on who owns it. Was it included as part of the PAS transaction or is it still a PAR asset?

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:50 pm

SpiderHill wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:With only 3 years left on the CSX lease before they're free to use it for themselves, has there been any discussion about what they might want to use this yard for?
I would think it would depend on who owns it. Was it included as part of the PAS transaction or is it still a PAR asset?
PAS territory extends past that yard to CPF-312, so it's theirs.

newpylong
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by newpylong » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:03 am

I think it's actually PAR. It's T territory and since both PAR and PAS have trackage rights there so you would need to do more digging to determine who would have rights to service the facility. Since no customers in MBTA territory were conveyed in the STB filing to PAS, that's how I come to that conclusion that it remains PAR.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:09 am

newpylong wrote:I think it's actually PAR. It's T territory and since both PAR and PAS have trackage rights there so you would need to do more digging to determine who would have rights to service the facility. Since no customers in MBTA territory were conveyed in the STB filing to PAS, that's how I come to that conclusion that it remains PAR.
Didn't Veryfine go to PAS? The STB filing gave PAS rights 3 miles past Willows into Littleton, and the previous incarnation of the system map had a stub's worth of PAS colors jutting just that far inbound down the Fitchburg Line--not the Stony Brook--where that 1 customer was the only purpose it could've possibly had.

Not that it really matters now that it's been a few years since VF has taken a car. But the 2008 filings were that precise down to the fine print on X+tenths mile past Willows and Y+tenths of a mile down the Worcester Main for backing in/out of the yard and Z+tenths of a mile into MBTA trackage rights. Though, curiously, they weren't at all specific about the yard properties themselves.

newpylong
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by newpylong » Mon Aug 25, 2014 12:02 pm

I missed that, and I think you're right. I checked with a manager at Keolis and also found the below in the original filing:
Finally, Applicants have included a notice of exemption in Springfield Terminal Railway Company-Trackage Rights Exemption-Pan Am Southern, LLC-Between CPF 312 Near Willows, MA, and Harvard Station, MA, STB Finance Docket No. 35141 (Sub-No. 3), for Springfield Terminal to acquire trackage rights over 6.4 miles of PAS track, to allow Springfield Terminal to continue to connect its remaining lines and to preserve connections to CSXT and Providence and Worcester Railroad Company (PW).

CPF363
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Re: The Ayer "Ford" Yard

Post by CPF363 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:48 pm

newpylong wrote:I missed that, and I think you're right. I checked with a manager at Keolis and also found the below in the original filing:
Finally, Applicants have included a notice of exemption in Springfield Terminal Railway Company-Trackage Rights Exemption-Pan Am Southern, LLC-Between CPF 312 Near Willows, MA, and Harvard Station, MA, STB Finance Docket No. 35141 (Sub-No. 3), for Springfield Terminal to acquire trackage rights over 6.4 miles of PAS track, to allow Springfield Terminal to continue to connect its remaining lines and to preserve connections to CSXT and Providence and Worcester Railroad Company (PW).
All consignees that are west of CPF-312 are PAS customers. CSXT has an interchange with PAS at Rotterdam Jct to serve those consignees. CSXT has an interchange with PAR at Barber Station in Worcester and PAR has overhead trackage rights on PAS between Harvard Station and CPF-312, however, no freight interchanged with CSXT at Barber station are able to serve PAS consignees unless said freight is sent through the Rotterdam Jct. interchange. PAS has an interchange with PAR at CPF-312.

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