• Housatonic Railroad Thread (Maybrook, Berkshire, Pittsfield)

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. XC, I'll accept that I was mistaken in the nature of Century Aggregate's traffic. I normally think of the raw materials needed for aggregate - cement and crushed stone - moving inward, and the ready to pour product moved outward over highways to building sites in vehicles agitating the product until poured.

But what do I know?
  by NaugyRR
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Mr. XC, I'll accept that I was mistaken in the nature of Century Aggregate's traffic. I normally think of the raw materials needed for aggregate - cement and crushed stone - moving inward, and the ready to pour product moved outward over highways to building sites in vehicles agitating the product until poured.

But what do I know?
That is what they do Gil, but their main plant in the area is in Canaan up the road from the State Police baracks. The Sand Road pit is just a satellite quarry. Most of their cement is run out of the Canaan plant, this is also where their mixers are maintained.

And to get this thread back on topic, my friend said he's working out of the Sand Road pit on Monday, and that he would grab me some pics of the equipment stored on their siding (which I'll share here). I'm surprised the crane and old side-rod centercab are even still there, they must be in rough shape.

Whatever happened to the bigger centercab they used to have back in the day?

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  by Jeff Smith
 
It’s good to hear that they have a shipper on the stretch between Canaan and New Milford.

While the stretch is in rough shape, can the HRRC afford to bring it into good repair? Remember, they are a short line with a fixed number of revenue streams. They’ve got to watch their bottom line just like any business. Are they perfect? Who is? I won’t list the shortcomings; we’ve already done that.

Better news: the “lower” Maybrook is getting a rehab (see upthread) so hopefully P&W returns to the line for their stone trains to/from Tilcon.
  by BandA
 
Isn't HRRC still embargoing the BSRM from running passenger excursions from Lenox? Why has this been allowed to continue without some sort of intervention?
  by Jeff Smith
 
That's a great question. Insofar as I know, HRRC runs no scheduled freight on Saturdays. With ownership of that portion of the line now in MA's hands, one might think that such could resume. But perhaps BSRM, even with its museum in Lenox, may be more focused on Adams at this time.

There is a BSRM thread: berkshire-scenic-railway-museum-bsrm-th ... 63-75.html
  by NaugyRR
 
My friend that works for Century didn't get a chance to snap photos of the storage track at the Sand Road pit yesterday, but did send me these photos he took during the Summer. As a side note, these photos were taken by a Century Aggregates employee on private property.
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My wife and I are going to visit his family in a couple weeks, and he's gonna show me around the pit there; I'll grab some more photos then and find out more about their interaction with the HRRC.
  by shadyjay
 
Jeff Smith wrote: Mon Jan 22, 2024 6:26 am That's a great question. Insofar as I know, HRRC runs no scheduled freight on Saturdays. With ownership of that portion of the line now in MA's hands, one might think that such could resume. But perhaps BSRM, even with its museum in Lenox, may be more focused on Adams at this time.
That's a good question. Given all the equipment they have at Lenox and the tourist draws in the area, you'd think they'd be chomping at the bit to get back to their home turf. Heck, I'd ride the Roger Williams on a trip out of Lenox any day. Perhaps they'd partner with Mass Bay RRE again and do another extended trip. I rode the last one from Lenox to Pittsfield then south to Great Barrington. Would love to get the rest of the mileage on the line down to Canaan.

Perhaps, though, its a volunteer issue that they can't staff both operations. I do hope that Lenox service returns at some point, if anything, to give the museum more exposure to the area (Lenox, Lee, etc) than some static displays at a restored station.
  by NaugyRR
 
My friend from Century had a chance this week to send me photos from their Sand Road siding. Looks like the only thing the siding is being used for at the moment is storage. The old center cab also has a newer QR-code sticker on it but I can't quite make out what it says.

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  by shepaug
 
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Those loco's look shiny and up to tune !! (from Remington Arms/Bridgeport?)

As to the Housatonic I smelled problems and the future ? All the line to the north Suburban Zoning ? where the biggest issue is 'how many dandelions are in your lawn ? Future traffic base ? With no real info I thought giving up on the line west was the end. I know not the future there but non-suburban zoning ? The last rail link out of Connecticut to the west. Smart. I am not sure of the New York and Atlantic but they are not totally dead as I saw some new federal funding for them. As to CSX I saw a 2024 informal map and although screwed up they seem to still think they serve NYC from that end.

For history ?? Sand Road. A quarry. Some years back I was by a quarry there and they were trying to sell their Quarry Railroad, hmmm oddball.... gauge ? I recall quarry cars and tracks from Sand Road area into a quarry. Same quarry ? (maybe still there..the tracks..)
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  by NaugyRR
 
We went to visit our family friends in Canaan yesterday, and he and I took a ride to the Sand Road quarry for a tour before the Game.

I didn't take any more photos of the siding, since his from the other day were excellent. I didn't see any kind of build plate or reporting marks on the center cab, but the sticker with the QR code I pointed out earlier is marked "Griffin Wheel, Columbus Ohio, 2022". The wheels on the poor thing have certainly not been replaced remotely near recently, the oil pan is missing from the engine on the north end, and the rails under it are almost completely sunk in the mud. Also of interest, that cart that we thought was a generator is actually a massive air compressor with a GM flat head engine within. There was a date stamp, '55 I think?

He also explained to me about their rail service. They are an originating shipper, but just barely. They only produce one or two carloads of material a month, nothing earth shattering (pun not intended), and have to bring all material from the pit across the street to the loading dock. Anecdotally he mentioned that they have to remember to check that the unloading doors on the cars are closed each time they load, after experiencing material being loaded then immediately dropped to the track below.

The way it was explained to me was that this pit is not a high production plant for Century; it was purchased from another owner to essentially hamper competition in the area. Still though, it's an impressive operation, despite the small size.

My friend also showed me a frog and a section of rail he dug up the other day while at work. He's holding up hope that he'll find a mine cart or other narrow gauge rail equipment as they dig and blast further. We saw the entrance to an abandoned mine, which he told me that older employees have reported there to be intact rail within.
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It was an interesting tour, despite finding a few ticks on my clothes LOL. And just another reminder, this was all on a private tour with a company employee. Do not trespass into the quarry or the loading area across the street, it is private property and extremely dangerous.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Uh, don't think that when I'm back on The Hillside come June (let's be honest; likely the final time I'll be there; this year is Centenary close and next Class reunion is '26) will I be asking Carol-Ann to record a consist of the HRR train she says always comes by (and as I recall she has said she gets held up on occasion at Bulls Bridge Rd) about when she is coming into work. :-D :-D
  by NHV 669
 
shepaug wrote: Mon Feb 12, 2024 12:56 am With no real info I thought giving up on the line west was the end. I know not the future there but non-suburban zoning ? The last rail link out of Connecticut to the west. Smart. I am not sure of the New York and Atlantic but they are not totally dead as I saw some new federal funding for them. As to CSX I saw a 2024 informal map and although screwed up they seem to still think they serve NYC from that end.
There's nothing west of Danbury, and their customer base is literally everywhere but that section. It may be the "last connection to the west out of CT", but it has no use, as there's nobody there to interchange with...

Not sure why NYAR is relevant to the discussion; they serve a very useful purpose, just got new power, and certainly aren't anywhere near "totally dead".

Uhh, CSXT does serve NYC that way, hence the map... it's literally the only way there.
  by NaugyRR
 
Old crane sitting on a flat car in the line up. My friend wasn't sure if belonged to the quarry or the railroad. My guess is the railroad.

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