Photos above are from Hopedale. The ones below were
taken Milford, between Vernon Street (entrance to
Vernon Grove Cemetery) and South Cedar Street.
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.
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.
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
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
[ Reply To This Message ] [ Quote ]
Date: 04/13/20 23:57
Re: G&U Route Expansion Update 4/12/20
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-
Here's a link to an overview history of G&U as posted on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.
And here's a link to an excellent much more detailed, illustrated G&U history up to contemporary times:.hope1842.
[ Reply To This Message ] [ Quote ]
Date: 04/14/20 16:22
Re: G&U Route Expansion Update 4/12/20
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.
MILFORD — As a train whistle blew and a locomotive pulled up to the Hopedale railyard while
snowflakes fell Monday afternoon, Jon Delli Priscoli's longtime objective of having his Grafton and
Upton Railroad trains run through Milford to Franklin was complete.
“This was a big dream of mine since I owned the railroad,” said Delli Priscoli, who has owned the
Railroad since 2008, moments before climbing aboard the train.
After a brief stop to pick up Delli Priscoli and railroad President Michael Milanoski, the train began its
journey through Milford to Franklin.
The railroad company took over the former CSX line through town on Monday, with trains expected
to move through a few times a week. Locomotives are currently carrying plastic pellets and lumber
for Garelick Farms’ ongoing expansion project in Franklin.
The railroad owner hopes the reactivation of the Milford rail lines will spur economic development in
the area. There are several vacant industrial properties along the route that Delli Priscoli said could
be revamped, in part, due to the reactivation of the rail lines.
"It’s new energy being pumped into the economy of Milford,” said Delli Priscoli. “… Our goal is to
provide service. There’s a lot of industrial companies that can benefit from rail. The railroad really
brings in this revitalization.”
Delli Priscoli said rail service is an efficient and cost-effective way to move goods and also reduces
the number of trucks on the road. He called rail the safest way to move commodities, and said he
hopes to transport goods to more industries in the future.
“Obviously, we’re going to look at everything,” he said. “…We know what companies need and we
The railroad has been open and working since the 1800s, but the last loads delivered to Milford
occurred a few years ago when the glass bottle plant on National Street was operational. That
building is now occupied by Amazon.
“Just because a railroad isn’t active doesn’t mean it’s abandoned,” said Delli Priscoli. “It just means it’
Trains will be traveling about 10 mph through town. Delli Priscoli said the trains could run faster, but
stressed it is safer to travel at slower speeds. Milanoski said the railroad's safety levels are
“There really is no incentive (to go fast) with a short amount of miles,” Delli Priscoli said of the
It takes two to three hours for the train to travel to Franklin and back.
Though the company is not restricted to any particular hours, trains will mostly run during the day.
There will be nine railroad crossings in Milford. Depot Street will have two — by Pinz bowling alley
and the Depot Street Tavern — as will Howard Street at Rte. 140 and Mellen Street. The rest are on
Rte. 140, South Main, Vernon, South Cedar and Mellen streets.
G&U train at Mellen Street crossing, February 5, 2021.