• Lowell Line - Winchester, Woburn, Wilmington Spottings

  • 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 l008com
I feel like this thread could use an up to date recap of customers on the line.

1) A lot more freight passes down this line every night these days (compared to back in 2006 when I started this thread) but looks like most of it is going to Everett? Is there that much business in Everett these days?

2) Starting from the top, down - So someone mentioned in here a new cement company might be buying the Eames St cement plant? That will be cool for train watching, for that end of the Woburn Loop to be active again. Is this actually happening? Any details?

3) What ever happened to that New England Transrail Transloading Facility? It's been 15+ years, at this point I would assume its fully forgotten but who knows.

4) It appears they are currently, ACTIVELY starting the process of rebuilding the New Boston St bridge north of Anderson. They are preserving the siding there so service can be restored/expanded if anything ever comes of NET/That resin factory.

5) Wilmington Cold Storage seems to have either moved or closed down. The warehouse has been spruced up but looks completely bare inside. I think it's been at least 10 years since there's been evidence of activity on their spur/branch.

6) Also there was talk a while back that where that branch connects to the main line, that junkyard-looking recycling company was reactivating it's spur to restore service. I have not snooped around in person to verify this but looking at google satellite, it looks like this is not the case. It looked like they had a boxcar parked back there for decades, that is now gone. Maybe it was all about just getting that removed? On Apple Maps it actually looks like they paved/graveled over the branch itself so they'd have to clean all that up to restore service across Woburn St

7) I do still see boxcars at atlantic plywood once in a while.

8) Tighe/Rhostein in Woburn, it's hard to get a good view of anything going on there, but I haven't noticed anything, especially at rhostiens, in a while. Tighe is hard to see, but I haven't seen any parked freight trains under Olympia Ave in a while which is a bad omen.

9) Tighe in Winchester and the "Montvale Yard". This had always been very active since they reactivated it, up until very recently. But it looks like it hasn't seen a train in a little while. I'm usually only getting in that area at night so it's possible I just have bad train-luck but it does appear they may have suspended service?

10) So does this CSX purchase actually mean anything to my little neck of the woods? Obviously we're all railfans here so we'd like it to mean more trains and more customers switching back to rail service. And there are still plenty of physical warehouses that could have sidings reactivated fairly easily. But those buildings might be filled with companies that mine bitcoins these days, no boxcars necessary. Is it realistic to expect any local increases in service like that? Or are things more or less going to stay status quo around here for the foreseeable future?
  by bostontrainguy
You might enjoy this warehouse information from Pan Am:

http://www.panamrailways.com/transload- ... ouse-sites

I'd like to add whatever happened to the "RockGuy" who was going to get a new 40 car siding in Andover? I thought that project was a go. I think he may visit this site so maybe an update would be possible?
  by NHV 669
Grant funds were approved to help the siding/additional work. Have seen nothing since.
  by bostontrainguy
NHV 669 wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 12:59 pm Grant funds were approved to help the siding/additional work. Have seen nothing since.
Found the info. First listing Lynch Materials:

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) this week awarded six grants totaling $2.42 million from the Industrial Rail Access Program (IRAP) to enhance rail and freight access, economic opportunity and job growth.

The state-funded public-private partnership program provides financial assistance to applicants to invest in industry-based rail infrastructure access improvement projects. Applicants must match public funds with private funds, with private funds paying at least 40 percent of a project’s total cost, MassDOT officials said in the agency’s latest blog.

Several of this year’s awardees will match more than the required minimum, they said.

The 2020 recipients and their grant amounts include the following:
• Lynch Materials, $500,000, for the construction of a rail-car unloading facility to improve the sand and gravel supply chain to eastern Massachusetts.
• Old Boston Road Recycling and United Material Management, $500,000 each, for the installation of baling systems at municipal waste transfer facilities that will allow for waste to be baled into bags and loaded on rail cars for shipment out of state.
• City of Lawrence, $356,670, for the rehabilitation of the Lowell Hill Industrial Track, which runs from the rail yard in the city to the Lawrence Industrial Park.
• Leominster Packaging and Warehousing, $348,798, for the installation of a new siding track and equipment to unload plastic pellets.
• Broco Oil Inc., $218,738, for the addition of a new siding and rail-car mover to the company’s transload facility in Haverhill. The project is designed to increase the amount of bio-diesel fuel oil received and distributed by rail.

Applications for the grants were received from freight-rail supported businesses across Massachusetts. Projects were approved based on program requirements and the level of public benefits they offer, such as system preservation, mobility, economic development and safety.

“The IRAP program has been extremely valuable in supporting the needs of rail and freight while creating jobs and enhancing economic growth,” said Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Stephanie Pollack.
  by bostontrainguy
l008com wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 6:31 pm Hmm what are they doing to the lowell hill line? I hope they're not going to get rid of the street running!
I think it's already been done and they just rebuilt the tracks where they were.
  by l008com
This is mostly off topic but are there any regular times freight gets delivered along that line? I would LOVE to catch a train there and get it on video! That would be the crown jewel of my collection :D
  by bostontrainguy
l008com wrote: Sat Aug 13, 2022 7:13 pm This is mostly off topic but are there any regular times freight gets delivered along that line? I would LOVE to catch a train there and get it on video! That would be the crown jewel of my collection :D
There are videos on youtube for inspiration:
  by l008com
To all the engineers that see me taking videos of their trains on thursday nights on the lowell and haverhill lines, and sometimes other lines and other nights.....

I'm not being rude, but I can't wave because if I take one hand off my phone, the video gets all shakey! But feel free to beep when you see me :D I'm on a grey mountain bike.
  by bostontrainguy
Just wanted to add that all of the 2020 IRAP projects I listed above had to completed within two years. Maybe Lynch decided not to proceed with their siding project? I haven't seen anything else on the subject. If anyone has seen anything please let us know.

Note that Lynch had the highest amount of money that was to be "matched" at 79% or $1,880,952. The amount that the state contributes is maxed at $500,000. Total project was priced at $2,380,952.

More info here:

https://railsandports.com/2020/11/massd ... ii-grants/
  by l008com
Last night there appeared to be some kind of work truck on the tracks in wilmington right under the Route 38 brige. Anyone know what they were doing?
Trains were going by slow and beeping, which was cool. But there was no way to easily get a view of what was going on. It seemed pretty late at night for it to be normal maintenance.
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