newpylong wrote: ↑Wed Aug 10, 2022 8:23 am You hit the nail on the head on your last paragraph.Absolutely! I saw that taking place and have early pictures of the mixed traffic, locomotives, and rolling stock with long freights multiple times during the day which all came to an end rather suddenly.
However, things weren't bad off the bat at all under GTI. The B&M was just coming off the massive 4R mainline reconstruction project and had a 40 mph East to West Freight Main. Besides new paint and symbols, the combined MEC and B&M were fairly harmonious until the lease (and subsequent strikes) to the ST was initiated. The workers at the time were hopeful that the cash infusion and combined system would be able to compete with Conrail in the Northeast and return both railroads to the forefront. Guilford used the dwindling carloads of its staple industries at the time as an opportunity to implement those draconian labor practices. The end result was the bottom fell out never to return. If industry was leaving New England, Guilford gave them a kick in the ass to get them out the door.
GTI did a lot to lessen the customer load too by making it difficult for customers to receive freight on time. The strikes only hastened the customers leaving for which I don't blame them.
The one thing I remember was the poor quality of the ROW all over with branch lines being trimmed and cut using the excuse that the tracks are too poor to maintain, and there's no longer customers on the line. The M&L up to Salem, NH was one of them that stands out for me.
This was around the time that the crew in Lawrence told me to talk to the folks in Billerica, but I didn't.