Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Quaboag Transfer Unit at Millers Falls MA - 7/20/11

Quaboag Transfer #1701 on the New England Central interchange track at Millers Falls MA. Anyone know where it is going?

© Jonelle DeFelice

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

TRAINS: New England Central Advances Fast-train Upgrades

(via newswire - by Kevin Burkholder)

ST. ALBANS, Vt. — New England Central has passed the halfway point in efforts to rehabilitate its main line with federal high speed rail funds. When the project is complete, it’ll be able to accommodate the Vermonter at 79 mph for most of the distance from East Northfield, Mass., to St. Albans, 191 miles.

Crews from Atlas Railroad Construction and RailWorks are hard at work. They’ve been averaging 2-3 miles of welded rail installation per day, somewhat better during windows when the Vermonter is shut down so as to expedite work. Amtrak suspensions will continue intermittently through Sept. 18 to help advance work.

Charles Hunter, RailAmerica’s director of state relations for its Eastern region, said the various contractors working on the line have a total of 150 people on-site.

New England Central expects to complete work on the line in mid-September. The improved track speeds will shave 30 minutes of travel time off the Vermonter’s route. Once work on that stretch is complete, Pan Am Southern will begin overhauling its line between East Northfield and the Connecticut border, further cutting transit times.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Help Choose the New MBTA Locomotive Paint Scheme!

The MBTA website has a survey running.  You, the public, can help decide the paint scheme for the new locomotives that are on order. Go to and take the survey!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PHOTO: Burned Amtrak Downeaster at Rigby Yard, ME

George Kenson, July 12, 2011
More of George's Photos:

Questions Remain on Why Truck in Downeaster Crash Didn’t Stop

Investigators turned their focus yesterday to why a truck hauling about 50,000 pounds of trash failed to stop in time to avoid a fatal crash with a northbound Amtrak Downeaster train on Monday in North Berwick, Maine.

The tractor-trailer driver was identified yesterday as Peter Barnum, 35, of Farmington, N.H., police said. Barnum was killed in the crash and six people were hurt, including four train passengers and two crew members.

Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said the investigation, witness accounts, and 200 feet of skid marks left on the Route 4 roadway show that Barnum tried to stop the truck before it crashed through an activated warning gate at the crossing................READ WHOLE ARTICLE: Questions remain on why truck in train crash didn’t stop - The Boston Globe

Questions remain on why truck in train crash didn’t stop - The Boston Globe

Questions remain on why truck in train crash didn’t stop - The Boston Globe

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

700 Passengers Evacuated Off MBTA Trains

BOSTON -- About 700 people had to be evacuated Tuesday from a disabled Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train on the Red Line in Cambridge.

The train broke down in a tunnel near the Porter Square Station, according to the MBTA. Passengers who were on two six-car trains were helped off the trains and walked through to the station...................... READ MORE & VIDEO: 700 Passengers Evacuated Off MBTA Trains - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

Monday, July 11, 2011

Amtrak Downeaster, tractor-trailer crash in North Berwick kills one

A good article that starts with the first news of the accident, then lists updated information at the top of the page...

One bit of news for railfans, news footage shows that the infamous "Cabbage car", or cab unit with baggage area, was in the rear of the train at the time of the accident, and appears unharmed.  One coach appears to have caught fire.  The power unit is toast...

The Amtrak Exhibit Train Schedule

The Amtrak Exhibit Train is touring the U.S. to celebrate Amtrak 40th Anniversary. Below is a list of upcoming stops:

  • New Haven, CT (Jul 16 - 17)

  • New London, CT (Jul 23 - 24)

  • Providence, RI (Jul 30 - 31)

  • Boston, MA (Aug 6 - 7)

  • Freeport, ME (Aug 13 - 14)

  • Burlington, VT (Aug 20 - 21)

  • Albany-Rensselaer, NY (Aug 27 - 28)

  • Scranton, PA (Sep 3 - 4)

  • St. Louis, MO (Sep 10 - 11)

  • Beech Grove, IN (Employee Only Display) (September 16)

  • Galesburg, IL (Sep 24 - 25)

  • Chicago, IL (Oct 1 - 2)

  • Jackson, MI (Oct 8 - 9)

  • Seattle, WA (Oct 22 - 23)

  • Portland, OR (Oct 29 - 30)
  • Amtrak Downeaster hits truck in N. Berwick; 1 dead

    NORTH BERWICK — An Amtrak Downeaster train with 109 passengers aboard slammed into a dump truck at 11:05 a.m. this morning, killing at least one person, according to an Amtrak spokesman.

    The driver of the dump truck died in the collision, said Cliff Cole, a spokesman based in Amtrak's New York office. None of the passengers or crew aboard Downeaster 681 were injured, Cole said, but eyewitnesses saw several passengers being treated for cuts and bruises.

    Justin Nelson, 24, of Los Angeles was traveling on the Downeaster with his wife as part of a cross-country rail tour when "we drove through what looked like a fireball."

    "We were just sitting there, running along, when all of the sudden, the train started violently shaking," Nelson said. "Then there was fire all around us. There was lots of screaming."

    The train came to a stop, and Nelson and the other passengers were escorted off the vehicle. The locomotive and at least one passenger car were still aflame at 12:10 p.m., according to eyewitnesses.

    According to the Amtrak spokesman, the train left Boston at 9:05 a.m. and headed northbound to Portland, before the fiery collision occurred at the Route 4 crossing in this rural York County town of 4,300 people. The crash set off a mad dash of multiple agencies, who raced to the scene to put out fires and assess the damage.

    Today's was the fourth train crash to occur in Maine this year, according to statistics from the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety. None of the other crashes had fatalities.

    Amtrak Downeaster Collides With Dump Truck - Berwick ME

    BOSTON -- An Amtrak Downeaster that left from Boston Monday morning collided with a tractor-trailer in Maine.

    The train collided with the truck at a railroad crossing at Route 4 in North Berwick at about 11 a.m. The truck and part of the train caught fire.

    The driver of the truck was killed and several passengers were injured, according to Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety.

    The train left Boston's North Station shortly after 9 a.m., according to Amtrak's schedule. Patricia Quinn from the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority said that train 681 was traveling northbound with 112 passengers on board.

    Witnesses said they heard a large explosion and ran the area to a "horrific sight."

    "I was at my desk, and I heard the train coming, and I heard a huge explosion and thought something hit my building," said Tom Gorski, a witness who works in the area. "I ran out there, and I saw skid marks from the dump truck that probably went about 300 yards, went right through the gates."

    The train continued for a half-mile before coming to a stop. The truck was carrying garbage, and debris could be seen littered along the tracks.

    SOURCE: Amtrak Train Collides With Dump Truck - Boston News Story - WCVB Boston

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority Wants to Terminate VRS Contract

    (Via the TRAINS.COM Newswire)

    OGDENSBURG, N.Y. – The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority wants to terminate its contract with the Vermont Rail System, operator of the New York & Ogdensburg Railroad Co. The authority issued a notice of termination last week, claiming it is in breach of contract regarding maintenance of an antiquated locomotive, Johnson Newspapers reported.

    David W. Wulfson, Vermont Rail System’s president, told the newspaper the notice surprised him. “We were shocked to get the letter. We absolutely didn’t expect it,” he said. “We feel the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is overreacting to a disagreement over the interpretation of a minor issue in the contract. We are hoping we can discuss this with them and come to an agreement.”

    Wulfson said the problem revolves around a defunct locomotive owned by the authority. The contract requires the railroad to maintain the equipment, but Wulfson said maintaining the locomotive is no longer cost-effective and the railroad recommends purchasing a newer one. A check of the company’s locomotive roster indicates that the oldest locomotive is an Electro-Motive SW9 switcher built in 1951.

    Wulfson said the locomotive has been out of operation for approximately two years and has been replaced by one owned by the Vermont Rail System at no cost to the authority

    Friday, July 1, 2011

    MBTA Worker Hit By Red Line Train

    BOSTON -- A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority employee is recovering Friday after being struck by a Red Line train.
    It happened as the train was crossing the Longfellow Bridge Thursday night, officials said.
    The employee was hit on the elbow and taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
    Train service was disrupted for a short time after the incident.