Sunday, December 27, 2015

Maine Central Coach #2001 Donated to Colebrookdale Railroad


BOYERTOWN, PA. The Titanic had been at the bottom of the sea just two years when the Colebrookdale Railroad’s newest addition was built. Constructed by the Pullman Company as a smoking coach for the Maine Central Railroad, car 2001 spent its life in the majestic White Mountains of New Hampshire.
“The car is a now- very rare example of a once ubiquitous design for the first generation of steel train cars, making its preservation a worthy goal and its value as restored immeasurable,” said Nathaniel Guest, executive director of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust
The car was donated to the Trust, , the non-profit restoring the Colebrookdale Railroad. It will be stabilized and stored as funds are raised for its restoration. “It needs work, but it’s remarkably complete for a 101-year-old,” said Guest. “I wish we had it in service right now, as we need the capacity, but good things take time—and this will be a very good thing when completed,”
The car travelled on a truck through New Hampshire and Vermont, then to Albany, Oneonta, and Binghamton, New York, crossing into Pennsylvania with a stop in Scranton.
Support the Trust by making a donation at

Mismatched equipment snags railroad project in Boyertown

NOTICE the incorrect truck is from MEC #949!

Third Street in Boyertown was closed for much of the day Friday between Chestnut and Pear Streets as crews from the Colebrookdale Railroad worked on a new antique rail car from the early 1900's.

Nathaniel Guest, executive director of the Colebrookdale Railroad Trust, said a tractor-trailer delivered the car from New Hampshire. The trucks, also known as the wheels, the rail car would ride on were shipped separately from Maine. The two were joined together for the first time Friday, but the rail car and the trucks did not match up as officials expected.

"The original trucks for the car were gone," Guest said. "We needed to find new ones, and obviously finding 101-year-old trucks to mount with a car (is difficult).

"They're close, but there's some work that's going to need to be done to join them together."
Guest said the work to make the rail car and the trucks compatible will take place over the coming weeks.In the interim, crews worked Friday to remove the car from the middle of Third Street so the street could be reopened and to move it into position for work to be done on it. The car was expected to be moved into the parking lot of the railroad and put up on cribbing so that work can be completed.
Guest added that another car will be arriving in a few weeks and both cars then will be craned back onto the railroad tracks.
He said the arrival of the car Friday was very exciting for the railroad."There's very few cars this vintage and not many at all in this kind of condition," Guest said. "This was a very common type of car back in 1914 - it was the first generation of steel cars. Before then, the cars were wooden."Most of them have been scrapped or severely modified, so we're very lucky to be able to save it."

CT Rail Fares to Rise in 2016

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)  Connecticut rail commuters will be paying a little more for their trip in 2016.

The Department of Transportation says train fares on the New Haven Line and Shore Line East will increase one percent on Jan. 1. Monthly tickets on sale for January will reflect the new fares.

The increase stems from legislation that required passengers to help contribute toward the cost of the new M-8 rail cars being put into active service.

Additional one percent increases across all rail fare types, including weekly and monthly combined bus/rail tickets, are scheduled to also take place on Jan. 1, 2017 and 2018 under the legislation.

The increase applies to all tickets for travel to and from Connecticut. New Haven Line tickets for travel within New York State will not be affected.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Maine Eastern Railroad will cease all operations on December 31, 2015

According to the Maine Eastern RR website: 

The Maine Eastern Railroad will cease all operations on December 31, 2015. The Central Maine & Quebec Railway will assume operations of the Rockland Branch on January 1, 2016.
The Maine Eastern Railroad (reporting mark MERR) is a short line freight railroad that operates in coastal Maine between Brunswick and Rockland on the state-owned Rockland Branch rail line. The Maine Eastern is a business name of the Morristown & Erie Railway of New Jersey, which acquired operating rights for the Rockland Branch in November of 2003.

The Maine Eastern provides year-round freight service, serving customers such as Dragon Cement and Bath Iron Works and interchanging with Pan Am Railways in Brunswick.

The Maine Eastern also offers seasonal excursion service, sharing a platform with the Amtrak Downeaster in Brunswick.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Investigation Into Tampering Underway After Red Line MBTA Train Departs Without Operator


Authorities are investigating whether someone tampered with safety equipment on a Red Line train in Massachusetts, causing the Boston-bound train to depart Thursday morning without an operator and with passengers on board.

Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press conference Thursday some of the train's safety controls appear to have been manipulated.

"It's pretty clear the main control that drives the train was tampered with," Baker said. "I think the big issue on this is whether it was a negligence issue or something else."

The MBTA released a statement saying the incident happened shortly after 6 a.m., when the train departed Braintree Station. The train made no stops and continued past North Quincy Station, when workers were able to cut power to the third rail, bringing the train to a stop.

Baker said in the press conference the third rail was cut off a couple minutes after the train left, but the momentum of the train caused it to coast through several stations before it ground to a halt.

The stations highlighted in yellow were affected during the Red Line incident Thursday morning.

Passengers were asked to get off the train, which was then taken out of service and examined. Massachusetts Department of Transportation officials said the train operator suffered non-life threatening injuries. It's unclear how the person was hurt, but Baker said the operator got out of the train to check on the signal.

"Passenger safety is the highest priority for the MBTA and this highly troubling incident is under investigation by Transit Police detectives," MBTA General Manager Frank DePaola said in a statement Thursday.

Meanwhile, FBI officials in Boston said they're aware of the incident and are letting MBTA Transit Police investigate "at this moment." Baker said MassDOT and public saftety officials are also investigating.

In a statement, Baker said he's "grateful no passengers were injured in this troubling incident and will be monitoring the investigation closely."
He said the incident appears to be isolated.

According to the MBTA, the Red Line accommodates more than 250,000 riders every day during the week.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

RI First Responders Train for Rail Derailments

(SOURCE: TurnTo10 -

Rhode Island emergency responders had a refresher on managing a train derailment Wednesday, but without heading to the scene.

They used a tabletop exercise to help them prepare for every possible contingency.
Two rail disasters this year were in their minds.

An Amtrak Northeast Regional train derailed in May, killing eight people and severely injuring 200 on board.

A freight train derailed and caught fire in Tennessee in July. It was carrying highly flammable and toxic gas. More than 5,000 residents were evacuated. Shelters were put in place. Officers were hospitalized for breathing in fumes.

"We always want to take the lessons learned from real world events as well as exercises and incorporate that into our planning," said Matt McCann of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ethanol and heating fuel oil is unloaded at the Port of Providence, and the Providence and Worcester Railroad runs through Rhode Island, transporting all types of hazardous materials.

The railroad line passes the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, where federal officials and emergency responders met Wednesday to make sure their plan works.

"On the rails across the country, we haul freight, we haul people, we haul hazardous materials, chemicals. So this scenario is a rail car that has a leak," said Peter Gaynor, director of the Rhode Island EMA.

"It requires collaboration from the whole community to respond and recover from these events," McCann said.

"These incidents have no boundaries. It may happen in Cumberland, but it's going to affect Central Falls, Pawtucket, maybe even into Massachusetts," Gaynor said.

Planners say it's not if but when something will happen, and emergency responders are making sure when they get that 911 call they are ready.

One of Norfolk Southern's New SD9043MACs Appears on Pan Am

NS ex-UP SD9043MAC #7317 on loaded Bow NH coal train, Westford MA (11/20/15)

Berkshire Scenic Railways Clears Key Hurdle, Christmas Rides Uncertain

(SOURCE: Berkshire Eagle - Adam Shanks)

NORTH ADAMS — A federal green light has raised hopes that the Berkshire Scenic Railway's Hoosac Valley Service could be up and running before Christmas. 

A decision issued by the Surface Transportation Board last week should allow the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to acquire the 4.6 miles of railroad between Adams and downtown North Adams from privately owned rail company PanAm Southern.

Scenic Railway operators and state and local officials are working feverishly to close the deal before the holidays, a prime time for theme rides that could attract customers.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, the Hoosac Valley Service stated that, despite the federal ruling, PanAm and MassDOT still must close on the sale.

"We remain hopeful this can be accomplished before the weekend of Dec. 19, but at this time we are not able to offer Christmas trains," the post stated. "If that should change, we will immediately announce a schedule."

The state is purchasing the stretch of railroad, which had exclusively been used for freight, to allow the Stockbridge-based Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum to run its Hoosac Valley Service scenic train rides between Adams and North Adams.

Unveiled in 2013, the Hoosac Valley Service is expected to draw thousands of train enthusiasts, tourists, and locals to take a slow ride between neighboring towns in the Berkshire Scenic Railway's restored rail cars.

The proposed agreement between PanAm and MassDOT provides the private company with an easement for continued use of the rails, and the planned weekend Scenic Railway rides would not conflict with ongoing freight transportation.

MassDOT first applied for approval of the transaction with PanAm on Aug. 14, according to the decision by the Surface Transportation Board, which oversees railroad sales in the United States. However, MassDOT later filed a motion to dismiss that application, claiming that the board's approval was not actually necessary because MassDOT "would acquire neither the right nor the ability to provide railroad common carrier service over the railroad assets, and it would be contractually precluded from interfering with [PanAm's] operations."

In its decision, the Surface Transportation Board agreed with MassDOT, stating that the transaction did not require its approval.

Initially, the train will operate between American Legion Drive in North Adams and Renfrew Street in Adams. The state also has plans to extend the rail further, less than one mile, from Renfrew Street to a newly constructed Adams Station on Hoosac Street in Adams.

The state-backed project got off to a well-received, but temporary, start over Columbus Day weekend thanks to a one-time agreement for use of the railway. Since then, the railway has been waiting for a permanent agreement to begin rides again.

Recent New England Model Railroad Announcements

Been a while, here's a little update for those who follow them! 




Monday, December 7, 2015

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington #9 Hits the Rails!

The following information and photo is from the WW&F Facebook page:

"Engine 9 runs around coach 3 at Alna Center. This is the first time the locomotive has pulled coach 3. This trip is a result of years of work. A steam test was done Friday and adjustments were made a good part of Saturday. #9 moved under her own steam power at 2:45 on Saturday afternoon and ran well so a short test train was run."

December 4, 2015