• CSX Fitchburg Secondary Discussion

  • Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.
Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

Moderator: MBTA F40PH-2C 1050

  by ST377
 
The Fitchburg generates very good revenue for CSX with the trash customer in place, one reason they still have it. WinWaste really wants 5 day a week service, and there's another business up in Leominster that wants to be cut in. Right now they just can't set them set up. And yes, they consider the Clinton - Northboro portion to be in the worst shape. They're installing 8.5 miles of new rail.
  by F74265A
 
Thanks for the info. I hope they are able to eventually add that new Leominster customer after the track is on better condition
There used to be a ton of sidings up there
  by johnpbarlow
 
Not to beat a dead horse, but if CSX shifted M436/M437 to operate over the Worcester Main / Ag branch between Worcester & Framingham, I think the State and/or Framingham might have issues with a pair of often lengthy road freights slogging across the quagmire that already is Rte 9 each day (unless it was the dead of night) only 500 feet from a Framingham FD station.
  by jaymac
 
One other confounding variable is reestablishing a Fitchburg Secondary/Worcester Main connection at the Clinton grade separation, a connection that was originally established primarily for interchange when cars were 36+/- feet long.
The 136# rail would seem to address a number of issues, not the least of which is good corporate citizen points with ACE and MWRA/DEP for flood control and reservoir protection locations that the Fitchburg Sub crosses.
Excepting heat kinks, 136# is more likely to stay in gauge and alinement than lighter weights, even with aged-out ties, so that's another reason to invest up front.
Palestine will weigh heavily in RR boardrooms for a bit to come.

Edited from "stray" to "stay" with thanks to neman2 whose eyes and brain are sharper than mine.
"Straying" in gauge might be more the quality of a recent CSXT acquisition.
Last edited by jaymac on Thu Jul 13, 2023 7:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by neman2
 
Jaymac I think you have the real answer, this area is definitely in the watershed area of the Wachusett Reservoir. Also you may want to edit your post "stray" being the direct opposite of what you meant to type "stay" ?
  by F74265A
 
I think that’s assabet river watershed, not wachusett reservoir
But very much wetlands in places nonetheless
  by copcars
 
The connecting track at Clinton is still partially there and it is graded so you could have 3 tracks.If they connected Fitchburg and Worcester secondaries at Clinton you would not need to go to Framingham.426/427 could pickup and drop cars off on the siding at Clinton and the engine could be at Clinton 24 7.The train could go as far as Marlboro jct where safety clean tank cars are locatedThey would not need to go the 10 miles or so to Fram.there are also a couple of reservoirs on the line between Marlboro and Fram.Does anyone know the mileage between locations mentioned.
  by ST377
 
Also of note there is a Poland Springs facility adjacent to the Ag on Pennsylvania Ave in Framingham that has been trucking in tankers of water. We know PS has shown a high willingness to try rail. I believe the Leominster business is close to Willard St - they won an IRAP grant over a year ago. Plastic pellets, 2 out and 2 in once a week, so nothing crazy. I don't think we'll be seeing road freights on the Ag, and the thought of 426 and 427 dropping and lifting on what's going to become a fairly busy single track seems like a lot. If I were to spitball a reason to restore the connection, it would be to have one train out of Framingham take care of PS (if that happens), Safety, Ken's a NewCorr 5 days a week, running around in Clinton, while a second train out of Worcester handles the customers north of Clinton 5 days a week. Yes, I know that's likely a pipe dream given that Worcester is pretty much at capacity. Dealing with the grade from the Worcester Sub to the Ag seems daunting.
  by F74265A
 
At one time a ton of plastic pellets went to Leominster via Framingham
Interesting that a little of that traffic might return after being lost to more distant transload facilities and de industrialization
  by SpiderHill
 
ST377 wrote: Tue Jul 11, 2023 6:00 pm Rail train was at Bearfoot Rd in Northboro today. 136 pound rail had been dropped from Clinton through Berlin and into Northboro. The plan was to drop the rest (to about Ken's) today.
Rail was not dropped starting in Clinton. They started the drop between West St (Rt 62) and Linden St. heading towards Framingham. No rail to be seen from the 62 crossing all the way into Clinton. There is a CSX backhoe parked at the Jones Rd. crossing. Interestingly, they cut the asphalt and dug a trench on each side of the existing track (at these two crossing at least). The new rail was placed into these trenches and then back filled with ballast so cars can still drive over. They must be planning to rebuild the crossings. Unlike with the Worcester Main rebuild, they don't appear to be planning to build and install track panels.

Also worth mentioning, today's trip from Leominster was a solid set of C&D cars, 19 total today.
  by type 7 3704
 
Isn't the connection between the Agricultural Branch and the Worcester Main rather steep? That would be a serious impediment to running a big road train on it.
  by Knucklehead
 
copcars wrote: Thu Jul 13, 2023 8:39 am The connecting track at Clinton is still partially there and it is graded so you could have 3 tracks.If they connected Fitchburg and Worcester secondaries at Clinton you would not need to go to Framingham.426/427 could pickup and drop cars off on the siding at Clinton and the engine could be at Clinton 24 7.The train could go as far as Marlboro jct where safety clean tank cars are locatedThey would not need to go the 10 miles or so to Fram.there are also a couple of reservoirs on the line between Marlboro and Fram.Does anyone know the mileage between locations mentioned.
IIRC, it is 7 miles or so Marlborough Junction to North Framingham yard limits.

There is no run around at Marlborough Junction and all of the switches for SafetyKleen, Ken’s Foods, Mass Container, and Newcorr are facing point headed south.
  by neman2
 
type 7 3704 wrote: Fri Jul 14, 2023 8:13 am Isn't the connection between the Agricultural Branch and the Worcester Main rather steep? That would be a serious impediment to running a big road train on it.
Looking at Open Railway Maps which shows the old connection and doing some extremely rough calc's , it looks like it would be greater than a 1 1/2% grade which is not ideal.
  by F74265A
 
In addition to the grade, there’s a very , very sharp curve at the top of the hill and no room to make it less so
The more I think about it, I assess there is functionally zero chance of it happening but it is fun to speculate about it
  by ST377
 
Second loaded rail train made it's way to Leominster over the weekend. Power (6232N and 6233S) ran around this morning and came south to Northboro, where presumably it will start dropping.
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