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G&U Track Expansion Bound for Milford

Upper left: looking west toward Hopedale St bridge and Hopedale Yard from church parking lot; Upper right: opposite direction toward the Green St grade crossing that is about a half mile away around the bend (track does not yet reach Green St). The "new" welded rail is comprised of 1950's era 115lb relay rail from Bethlehem Steel's Steelton and Lackawanna plants. I'm guessing it might have come from MBTA commuter rail lines. The ties being installed appear to be fair quality ties formerly used by MBTA transit lines. The ties had rail clip tie plates installed years ago (and rusted quite nicely) upon which G&U placed the CWR. Note that the ties are of uneven length and drill holes are visible where selected ties had mounts for 3rd rail as used in the Red, Orange, and Blue lines. Obviously this newly installed track has yet to have new stone dropped, regulated, and tamped. Lower left: stone and ties are being staged along the future RoW at Milford east of Vernon St that G&U will use to connect to the moribund CSX branch line at Depot St. Lower right: G&U must have recently acquired an 89 foot flat car (seen here at Hopedale) from the Ringling Bros estate (?) #84715 that was apparently built by Bethlehem Steel in 1964 as an open Tri-level autorack. RBBX acquired the car in 1996 and cut it down to a single level car to haul their equipment trailers. No idea what G&U will use this for - MoW equipment hauling?

Photographed by John Barlow, April 12, 2020.
Added to the photo archive by John Barlow, April 13, 2020.
Railroad: Grafton & Upton.

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Visitor Comments about this Photo:

I'm wondering what the point of making it to Milford is? They will have to cross Rte. 140, then connect to, as you say, the "moribund" CSX track there. Hopefully, they see business opportunities in Milford which is a growing area. I worked up there for awhile and could never understand why the MBTA didn't extend their service all the way to Milford. You don't do this much work and expense without a plan, right?

Posted by Henry Brown on 2020-04-13 13:22:42

Possibly there is an MBTA tie in, of some sort, beyond track materials.

Posted by Ken Patton on 2020-04-13 21:34:49

The track from Bellingham to Milford has recently been improved at the same time that the connection for the G&U was installed. I believe the idea is to be able to move freight as a shortcut via the G&U. At present trains move south from Framingham to Walpole. This will provide an easy way north. I believe the 89 foot flatcar may belong to the MBTA and is being used to move the rails from the red line.

Posted by Edward Freedman on 2020-04-14 09:57:32

I have been informed that only a short section of the line from Bellingham has been improved.

Posted by Edward Freedman on 2020-04-14 13:40:21

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