Monday, November 22, 2010

Pan Am Business Train (OCS) at North Chelmsford MA 11/18/10

The Pan Am OCS was headed home when it had to let train NMSE head down the Stony Brook on its way to Worcester MA.  Here we see the train and its F units back off the North Chelmsford wye.  Lighting and location wasn't the best, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pan Am Business Train (OCS) at West Concord MA 11/17/10

Today Pan Am Railway's OCS (Office Car Special), or business train, made its way out of Boston along the old B&M Fitchburg line, past Gardner, and on to Mechanicville NY. Weather was hit or miss. One minute it was dark and wet, then suddenly the sun was out. If you watch my video clip, you will see just as the train gets half way to the camera, the clouds move away! I had a hard time deciding which side of the tracks to stay on, due to the sun and that fence between the rails. Since no one was around, I put one camera on a tripod, and myself across the tracks with my spare camera.  Below is the shot I got while the camera was recording...

© 2010 Jonelle DeFelice
Tomorrow the train is due to return east via the Fitchburg, then branch off at Willows up the Stony Brook line and on to Maine.  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vermont, Amtrak formally kick off high speed work - TRAINS Magazine

Vermont, Amtrak formally kick off high speed work - TRAINS Magazine

ST. ALBANS, Vt. — Vermont, New England Central, and Amtrak officials kicked off their $70 million project to boost track speeds on the route of the St. Albans-Washington, D.C., Vermonter within the Green Mountain State. The project won funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s high speed rail provision announced in January 2010.

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas touted the fact that the project will see more than 141 miles of new continuous welded rail installed, as well as roadbed upgrades, grade crossing replacements, bridge enhancements, and signal improvements. The work will enable Amtrak to increase its train speeds from the current 55 mph to 59 and 79 mph and will give host railroad New England Central the ability to handle carloadings of 286,000 pounds, the current national freight car standard weight limit.

Between St. Albans and White River Junction, train speeds will be held to 59 mph, owing to the lack of a signal system on the Roxbury Subdivision. From White River Junction south to Vernon, signal upgrades to the already installed centralized traffic control system will allow maximum speeds of 79 mph for passenger trains and up to 59 mph for freight.

L.B. Foster, the rail supply company that’s been hired to install the new rail, expects to have 28 miles of welded rail in place by Thanksgiving.

Karen Rae, the deputy federal railroad administration director, was on hand for the event. “That steel was made here in the United States,” she said, “and it’s long overdue that we focus on domestic jobs here in the United States and we intend to use the rail investment, both intercity and high speed rail, to bring domestic manufacturing jobs back to the United States.” She added, “The network we are continuing to build here is part of the overall Northeast network, that is part of the eight or nine states here that will give you the options of going to New York, Boston, or even Montreal, and this will also help freight rail.”

Vermont’s project is one of three different Recovery Act grants totaling $160 million that will improve the Vermonter’s route through New England. Connecticut will receive $40 million to add 10.5 miles of double track to Amtrak’s line between Springfield, Mass., and New Haven, Conn., a line segment shared with other Amtrak trains. Massachusetts was awarded $70 million to reroute the Vermonter onto Pan Am’s direct line between Springfield and East Northfield, Mass., a move that will shave 11 miles of the train’s route and eliminate a backup move.

Future projects will likely be geared toward the procurement of funds for the restoration of the Montreal service and for Vermont’s Western Corridor project. That corridor stretches from Burlington, Vt., to Albany, N.Y., via Rutland, Manchester, and Bennington, Vt. A $500,000 Recovery Act planning grant was received to study the first step in extending passenger service to Manchester and Bennington. That grant authorizes Vermont and New York to conduct a planning project to identify outcomes that address passenger rail service along the Western Corridor

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Freight train derails in Willimantic CT

Cars were carrying ethanol

Updated: Wednesday, 10 Nov 2010, 10:08 AM EST
Published : Tuesday, 09 Nov 2010, 10:01 AM EST
Willimantic, Conn. (WTNH) -
Several cars of a freight train carrying potentially dangerous cargo went off the tracks near Railroad St. and Main St. in Willimantic Tuesday morning.

The 80-car train was traveling southbound when the train derailed around 9am. DEP told News 8 that six cars carrying ethanol, a very flammable liquid, derailed. Luckily, no leaks were reported.

One of the cars that remained upright was moved to undamaged tracks early Tuesday evening.

The track is owned by Providence and Worcester Railroad Company . The company that was hauling the cars is New England Central Railroad. The cars are rented by various companies to transport their freight.
Recovery crews will offload 25-thousand gallons of ethanol from each of the two cars lying on their side at an intersecting switching yard.

As a precaution, no one was allowed within 500 feet of the derailment.

No one was injured. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Boston commuter coach mock-ups go on display

Boston commuter coach mock-ups go on display - TRAINS Magazine

Published: November 1, 2010

BOSTON — Commuter agency Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is displaying two mock-ups of its new bi-level commuter coaches on Track 1 at Boston’s North Station through Nov. 5. The mock-ups are replicas open at one end with reproduction gauges. MBTA ordered 75 of the customized coaches from Hyundai Rotem USA, a subsidiary of the Korean manufacturer, at a cost of $189.7 million. The cars will feature improved rest rooms, Wi-Fi, tables, and real-time LED message signs. Of the 75, 28 will be control cars with the other 47 having bathrooms in place of the control cab. They will be the first new coaches purchased by MBTA in seven years, and will replace the oldest cars in the agency’s fleet of 410 coaches. Following the design phase, four full-size coaches will be delivered in fall 2011. Delivery of the rest of the coaches will begin in summer 2012 and continue through winter 2013. The coaches will run on the Fitchburg, Haverhill, Lowell, and Rockport/Newburyport lines.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Edaville Railroad For Sale... Again...

Edaville Railroad For Sale

CARVER, Mass. (AP) — Edaville Railroad is up for sale and its owner said Thursday the popular southeastern Massachusetts tourist attraction would be forced to shut down if a buyer isn’t found in the next few months.

Jon Delli Priscoli, who owns the 230-acre site including the scenic railroad and theme park, said Edaville USA operators Brenda Johnson and Robert Julian have decided not to renew their lease.

Delli Priscoli is asking $10 million for the property, with the possibility of owner financing. He said his goal was to find a buyer who would keep it in business.

“Ideally, we’d like to have someone come in and buy the entire operation and keep Edaville running, and I can give that about three months to happen,” he said. “But if we can’t find a buyer, I’m going to have to sell the land parcels, the buildings and the equipment separately.”

The land is largely zoned for residential use and includes an approved 20-lot subdivision that could be utilized by a developer in the future. But the property also an entertainment district overlay that allows the park to continue operating.

Edaville opened in 1947 after Ellis D. Atwood built a 5 ½ mile rail bed around his cranberry plantation and started one of the world’s first tourist railroads.

It closed in 1992, but reopened in 1999 after Delli Priscoli and two partners leased the park from the Atwood family. Delli Priscoli later purchased the facility outright.

Edaville will hold what could be its last annual Festival of Lights, featuring more than 7 million Christmas lights, from Nov. 12 to Jan. 2.

A buyer could potentially expand the facility to include a water park, mini-golf course or other attractions, Delli Priscoli said.

“I think the historic nature of this park, and its current potential to grow into something even bigger makes it attractive to potential buyers,” Delli Priscoli said. “I really hope that is how this story ends.”