Photos above are from Hopedale. The ones below were
    taken Milford, between Vernon Street (entrance to
    Vernon Grove Cemetery) and South Cedar Street.


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    The three pictures below were taken
    in the Hopedale yard on June 20.

    The next group of pictures was taken in Milford in June 2020.
    The first few are from June 4, 5 and 6. Those beginning with
    the one showing a pile of old ties, were taken on June 20.
March 4, 2020
April 5, 2020
May 1, 2020
June 1, 2020

The next three pictures were taken in Milford on June 29.

    This picture was taken from Vernon Street, the street
    that goes into Vernon Grove Cemetery. It's looking
    toward Pinz and Tokyo - the restaurant, not the city.

    There's constant discussion of what's going on at the GU on different rail sites, including Railroad.com and
    Trainorders.com. Here are a few comments found on Trainorders.com

    Update of Grafton and Upton route expansion from Hopedale to Milford, MA for April 12, 2020:
    ;
    The welded rail being installed is comprised of 1950's era 115lb relay rail from Bethlehem Steel's Steelton and
    Lackawanna plants. I'm guessing rail might have come from MBTA commuter rail lines. What's also interesting is that
    the ties being installed by G&U 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
    corner: 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 corner: not relevant to the track expansion but 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 (in the days before the freight car
    tagging scourge). RBBX acquired the car in 1996 and cut it down to a single level car to haul their equipment trailers.
    Wonder what plans the G&U has for this car - I'm guessing MoW?

    Here’s roughly what the G&U customer set looks like:
    1. Good sized busy LPG transload at N Grafton
    2. Washington Mills abrasives (?) at N Grafton - a few cars per month
    3. Wood pellet transload at W Upton
    4. Transload of various hazardous and non-hazardous liquids at W Upton
    5. Sheetrock transload at Hopedale
    6. Fly ash transload at Hopedale
    7. Occasional handling of outbound dirty dirt containers at Hopedale.

    MEKoch Wrote:
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Was this former right-of-way, which was unused, but not abandoned?

    I do not believe it was officially abandoned but the tracks were removed years ago and the G&U was pretty much dead
    and barely survived.  This resurrection is pretty amazing especially in my former home state where NIMBYS fight
    anything especially when it's related to industry and railroads.  Check the timeline maps in Google Earth to see the
    remarkable rebirth.

    The most interesting major change will be a new SW wye at the east end to connect the G&U to the MBTA Franklin
    line which is now barely served by CSX.

    Unless you know something I don't, there isn't enough real estate there to build a southwest wye with an acceptable
    curve radius.

    [ Reply To This Message ] [ Quote ]
    Date: 04/13/20 23:57
    Re: G&U Route Expansion Update 4/12/20
    Author: pdt
    OK...questions....

    How many miles of track being brought back to life.?  

    Original owner of the track/ history of the line

    Reason this is being done?

    About 1.5 miles of abandoned G&U track are being re-laid between the rte 16 grade crossing at Hopedale to a
    connection with a CSX branch at Milford. This CSX branch runs about 7 miles SSE from Milford to Forge Park where
    the track becomes MBTA's busy Franklin commuter rail line (it's currently being double-tracked). The only 2 actively
    served customers on the CSX Milford branch that I know of are within a mile of the MBTA tracks at Forge Park: Blue
    Linx building supplies and Garelick Farms dairy supplier. There are no other active customers north of Forge Park on
    the branch, AFAIK. CSX serves these two customers via a combination of locals out of Framingham and Walpole MA.
    Perhaps it's G&U's intent to serve these two captive rail customers.

    However more intriguing speculation which I heard from a knowledgeable person is that once G&U connects to MBTA
    track at Forge Park, G&U wants to get to access rail shippers in SE Mass via MBTA or MassDOT owned track to
    Walpole, Mansfield, MIddleboro, the Cape, New Bedford, etc. presumably with CSX agreement assuming it wants to
    exit this branch line network.

    Note: that G&U is in heated discussion with Hopedale citizenry wrt to building a new 10 track transload yard just north
    of the current Draper property. G&U is trying to buy 135 acres of undeveloped land from an owner via eminent domain
    and the citizens of this bucolic community are anxious: https://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20190812/grafton-amp-
    upton-railroad-releases-additional-plans-for-proposed-land-take-in-hopedale

    Here's a link to an overview history of G&U as posted on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.
    org/wiki/Grafton_and_Upton_Railroad

    And here's a link to an excellent much more detailed, illustrated G&U history up to contemporary times:.hope1842.
    com/gumenu.html

    [ Reply To This Message ] [ Quote ]
    Date: 04/14/20 16:22
    Re: G&U Route Expansion Update 4/12/20
    Author: ST214

    Unless the attitude at CSX has changed since I moved in 2016 (I doubt it has), CSX wants to divest of anything east
    and south of Framingham. East is done, if the G&U connects to the rest of the CSX branches down that way via
    Milford, they can take over all of it. That was, and mostlikely still is, the plan at G&U.


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