• "Jewelry Exchange in Sudbury!"

  • 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
The ad for that place is permanently burned into my brain. This has nothing to do with them though, other than the fact they are coincidently a block away.

The real purpose of this post is that I am simply curious if the Sudbury diamond still exists? The one right off of Union Ave? I'm quite poor at remembering names of abandoned rail lines, but it's very close to Rt 20 ( Boston Post Road ). I drive down Route 20 once or twice a year, and if this thing still exists, I feel like I should go check it out before it gets torn up. I feel like diamonds abandoned in the woods are fairly rare. Then again around here, abandoned lines with tracks in place at all are themselves pretty rare.

I probably speak for most of us here when I said, I like rail-trails when they're put on lines that are truly never coming back, but it would be nice if they left MORE artifacts in place. Especially this diamond, they could box it in with landscape timbers like they did where the Minuteman bikeway crosses Mass Ave in Arlington.

Anyway, this diamond is guaranteed to appraise for at least double !!! :-D So if it's not too late, I should go take some pics!

Turns out, it's actually visible on google street view (though no telling how old the imagery is. Even though it says 2015, it could be much older).
https://goo.gl/maps/QGL3Estx22z" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That's such a cool scene, I love it when abandoned tracks pop out of a place where you'd least expect it.
  by Pat Fahey
Maybe this will answer your question.
The present owner, CSX Transportation, took over part of the Conrail system in 1999, including the only remaining active portion of the Framingham and Lowell Railroad which was the South Sudbury Industrial Track (South Sudbury to Framingham Center, a 4.8 mile segment of the Lowell Secondary between the Central Mass right of way in Sudbury and the active Fitchburg Secondary in Framingham. 1.4 miles of the South Sudbury Industrial Track is in the town of Sudbury and 3.4 miles are in the town of Framingham). Service on the line ended on April 13, 2000 when the last CSX train on the South Sudbury Industrial Track derailed off a West spur which led to a lumber yard in Sudbury, this spur is located immediately South of the junction with the East West Central Mass Rail Line right of way (the Boston & Maine Railroad abandoned the Central Mass Branch Rail Line in 1980). In June 2001, CSX applied to the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) for approval to abandon the line. In October 2001 the STB approved the abandonment, although the town of Sudbury filed a notice with the STB to request that abandonment is postponed in order to allow negotiations with CSX for an acquisition of the line as a rail trail. On August 2004, CSX had removed the rails and ties, leaving bridges in place in the event a path was built. By late 2005, all of the grade crossings had been removed by the Massachusetts Highway Department. Today, the line is in various stages of being converted into the Bruce Freeman Rail
  by parovoz
The diamond still exists (or at least it existed in 2014):
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
  by deathtopumpkins
Still existed a few months ago too. A friend and I explored the whole length of the Central Mass and that was one of our stops.
  by b&m 1566
I hope the leave the diamond in place when the trail is constructed through there.
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
The now 9-years-stalled sale negotiation with CSX over the S. Sudbury Industrial will prevent any trail head from touching the diamond, because CSX ownership still technically runs through it. Means the Mass Central trail will probably pop out on the industrial park driveway 400 ft. west of the diamond to avoid the property, then resume east of Union Ave. The Bruce Freeman trail head will have to dump out at Codjer Ln. about 1500 ft. north unless they can negotiate at a private driveway 500 ft. closer.

Not sure why MassDOT is leaving it up to the towns to save their pennies for this acquisition when it's such a hugely important statewide trail project, and they've been so aggressive about buying up all manner of other ROW's at the state level for preservation. The way town aid is getting slashed to the bone the last couple fiscal years Sudbury & Framingham are never going to amass enough money to make this purchase all by themselves. That's been the story of the first 9 years of this stalemate. We'll be looking at Years 10, 11, and 12 of STB negotiating extension filings because there'll always be something else more pressing they have to spend on rather than topping off the CSX penny jar. And every year Bruce Phase III doesn't get into design is another year further away from the major benefits they'd get from tapping and enhancing all the utilization expected on Phases I & II. The Bruce is one of the few rail trails out there that has economic bona fides tangible enough to count when it's finally complete from Framingham State U all the way to Downtown Lowell.
  by l008com
Confirmed. Diamond is still in place and visible right from the road. It's just RIGHT there. It's such a unique location. One of the few spots where you don't really feel like there are ROWs around. The tracks literally seem to come out of nowhere.

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... 226142.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... 626109.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo ... 825658.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by TomNelligan
For those who weren't around at the time, here's what the diamond area looked like when it was active back in 1971. You can just make out my 1962 Plymouth Valiant in the station parking lot. :-)

http://photos.nerail.org/s/?p=237641" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by Hux
Gotta love the internet. Two intrepid photographers posting pics of the same location, a half century apart, within hours of one another.
  by Backshophoss
Tom,When did the B&M quit the branch and the commuter service? The Track was already covered in weeds!
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Backshophoss wrote:Tom,When did the B&M quit the branch and the commuter service? The Track was already covered in weeds!
MBTA-subsidized B&M passenger service ended 11/26/1971, and the Central Mass side was de-signalized soon after. B&M freights ran to Hudson and Marlboro-via-Hudson until late-1980 when it was embargoed all points west of Waltham for track conditions. Not sure how many years it sat OOS before formal abandonment. Waltham freight lasted until '87.

Yeah, weed-trimming was not exactly in B&M's budget during the bankruptcy years. Some places on the mainlines didn't look too much better in that era, either.

I'd like to know when the last Conrail or CSX train crossed the diamond. Lumber yard siding was served until '00-01, but there had to be times while switching that customer where they were shoving cars a couple lengths over the diamond on their way in and out.
  by l008com
Here's a photo that's the same exact view as Tom's photo, taken in 2002. This is not by me, just one I found on NERAIL. Even that photo looks like a whole other world compared to the one I took yesterday. 15 years is a long time I guess:

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?20020 ... 517676.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by l008com
Also I've heard it mentioned a few times, including above in this thread I think, that there was a derailment in 00/01 and they just abandoned the line after that.

But while I was search for other people's pictures of the sudbury diamond, I found this ONE picture that claims to be from the derailment!!

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?20010 ... 218381.jpg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

That's a hell of a derailment! I was expecting a wheel off the rail, not upside down box cars! How is that even possible, one would assume the speed in that spot would have been something like 5mph or less. I spend an hour searching but could not find any reference to this accident anywhere. It happened just a couple of years too early to be enshrined on the internet. Does anyone know anything else about this accident? Exactly where and how it happened, and more pics would be cool too!
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
Well, yeah, when you do that at 5 MPH on a light move to 1 lumber customer it's embargo time for sure. That's a tilt that would make Housatonic proud. CSX repaired it just enough to make one last rescue move the following year for the remaining upright cars.

That wreck happened about 20 years give or take a few months after this B&M vs. Conrail doozy on the diamond, after the signals were removed:


And no, the sightlines weren't all that well manicured back in the day when both lines were fully signalized and running multiple daily trains past each other: http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?20170 ... NG=Sudbury" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
  by l008com
The green car in the picture I linked to isn't leaning, it's upside-down.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 8