Conley Terminal Capital Projects

F-Line to Dudley

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Depends on how far the freight is going. If it's strictly regional then trucks are the best option. Putting all those containers on to trains and then shipping them out of the city only makes sense if they are going longer distances, like they do in Long Beach. I don't think Boston is a large enough port to handle that kind of long distance shipping.
Bingo. Drayage distance where freight rail starts slaying all other modes by a wide margin is about 250 miles, give or take. 250 miles is about the most you can cover in a one-way trucker shift and/or full big rig tank of diesel, so there's a big cost escalator at/past that distance on the trucking mode. Conley's an extremely small, specialized container port. Most of the stuff that is being routed there is for local distribution. PANYNJ, Halifax, Baltimore, Norfolk, and the inland ports of the St. Lawrence Seaway all take much bigger loads and run overwhelmingly by rail to reach this region. Their quantities of container loads also dwarf Boston's by a silly margin, such that the big ports can/do fill up intermodal trains 24/7 while Conley might--very optimistically--only be able to isolate one medium-low length daily train's worth of cubes that are heading anywhere >100 miles out of town.

To illustrate the logistical inefficiency of both the distances and quantities were you to attempt to transload ship-to-rail at Conley...all CSX loads in Eastern MA have to pit-stop at Framingham to be sorted and classified. The yards there are the only ones equipped with the quantity of tracks to break apart and recombine trains by order-of-delivery (i.e. Worcester and Westborough wouldn't be able to process their huge daily volumes if they had to waste space switching individual cars), and Framingham is the common diverging point to every destination in Eastern MA so they sort everything there (i.e. they don't piecemeal it having Readville sort some loads, Walpole/Braintree/Middleboro sort some others, and keep having to shuffle around yard-to-yard to account for all of some train's manifest for the day). We've already established that vast majority of loads at Conley are purely local: MA (much moreso east-of-Springfield), RI, Central/Eastern CT, NH...with an absolute limit of about Portland, Conn River Valley VT, and the Berkshires before other bigger ports (Halifax, PANYNJ, Montreal, Albany inland port) start overlapping in drayage distance even for the specialty loads. This is also why it's pointless to talk about double-stacking cubes at Conley; they have to be sorted anyway, and that's just making Framingham's job twice as difficult. The ports that do load up double-stack trains full of cubes are shipping a looooot of stacked cars a loooooong distance at a time before anyone has to care about un-stacking and sorting them for any last-mile customers.

Let's say that one of the trucking companies on Cypher St. has rail access (indeed the last active Track 61 customer was a truck shipper on the corner of Cypher & C with their spur tracks still buried in the gravel). To take a rail transload from Conley the CSX pickup would have to pass them in both directions, haul their load all the way to Framingham for classification because Conley's crane operators don't have the time or luxury of plopping that precise cube on the last car of the train in the precise order of the first customer to be served. Meaning their cube could be sitting anywhere from Car #1 to Car #99, and it's the Framingham switcher's job to yank it out, put it in the proper order, and send it back out 9 hours later as an inbound local. Quite useless and inefficient, and that pretty much goes for any customer inside I-495...not just the ones in literal spitting distance. Conley...and Southie Haul Road...are pretty squarely there to serve the inside-495 demand where the logistical efficiency is worlds better.


Now, if you had something outbound from Conley that was going out-state in any sort of sizeable quantities, then you've got an argument for a rail spur. Because then you wouldn't be talking 90% of the cubes needing to go to Framingham to bounce right back to Greater Boston. Those trains would leave unsorted, separated only by large blocks of cars to be scattered to other major regional nodes (Portland, New Haven, Albany, Montreal, whatever) before they end up being assigned to a local delivery. It's incredibly hard to see where that business is going to materialize, because there's physically no way to process the cube volumes of a Halifax or New York here and there's no gaping holes in the drayage distance between ports foretelling any radical changes in demand. Even the last time Conley had active rail access in the late-80's it wasn't used for that purpose, as the former E. 1st St. street-running tracks were just for spotting a couple boxcars in the days when Conley still had some remaining general-purpose/non-container business prior to Massport's streamlining its role.

BUT...you can only foretell out to the range where facts can let you make a prediction. For 50-year considerations, we have no idea what'll be needed. And that's why the Conley expansion provisions space for a running track that can be trestled across Reserve Channel next to the Summer St. Bridge. In all likelihood it will never ever be needed...not even as a "nice to have" because routing logistics like the ^^Framingham pitstop^^ make the Eastern MA shipping map operate a lot differently than "nearest as crow flies". Arguably it wastes more money than it saves until those rail-bound cubes have destinations a good 50 miles beyond Framingham. But they've got their butts covered on rail access allowances should things change, and there are definitely things that could change a lot once you get beyond 20-, 30-year ranges.
 

whighlander

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Well said F-Line!
You covered all the relevant bases and then some
To summarize --- Our local manufacturing just doesn't generate much that benefits from shipping long distance by rail or sea i.e. heavy or very bulky where cost of transport is important

Most of what is generated in some volume by our local industry can be best shipped by air -- high value in small packages [e.g. pharmaceuticals, medical devices, semiconductors]
The other stuff is typically high value and small or medium size but only generated in small volumes such as aircraft engines [GE Lynn], scientific instruments, some misc stuff for the military -- you just put it on the back of a truck dedicated to take it to the destination or else use a UPS/ Fedex carrier


From a website dedicated to such
Massachusetts is America’s eighteenth-biggest exporter by state behind front-runners including Texas, California, New York and Washington states. The value of Massachusetts’s exports equals 1.6% of United States’ overall exported products for 2018. Based on statistics from the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Massachusetts’s exported products represent 4.7% of the state’s total economic output or real Gross Domestic Product in 2018 ($575.6 billion in current dollars based on BEA statistics). .... its total $27.1 billion in 2018 exports
Massachusetts’s Top 10 Exports
The following export products represent the highest dollar value in Massachusetts global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Massachusetts.

Figures are shown at the more granular six-digit Harmonized Tariff System code level, for more precise product identification.
  1. Machinery for making semi-conductors: US$1.3 billion (4.8% of Massachusetts’ total exports)
  2. Medical/dental/veterinarian instruments: $1.2 billion (4.6%)
  3. Gold (unwrought): $1.2 billion (4.5%)
  4. Natural gas (liquid): $1 billion (3.8%)
  5. Integrated circuits (processors/controllers): $789 million (2.9%)
  6. Aircraft including engines, parts: $542 million (2%)
  7. Non-pharmaceutical composite diagnostic/lab reagents: $518 million (1.9%)
  8. Liquid filters, purification machines: $480 million (1.8%)
  9. Modems, similar reception/transmission devices: $472 million (1.7%)
  10. Radar apparatus: $444 million (1.6%)
Massachusetts’s top 10 exports accounted for 29.6% of the overall value of the state’s global shipments.
Note Gold and Natural Gas are also among the major imports -- it seems that a lot of those substances just seem to pass through MA with minimal processing

Below are Massachusetts’ top 10 import products highlighting the state’s highest spending on foreign-made goods in 2018.

  1. Miscellaneous medications: $1.2 billion (3.3% of Massachusetts’ total imports)
  2. Artificial joints, parts and accessories: $950 million (2.7%)
  3. Integrated circuits (excluding processors/controllers): $888 million (2.5%)
  4. Light petroleum oils: $871 million (2.5%)
  5. Medical, dental, veterinarian instruments: $814 million (2.3%)
  6. Gold (unwrought): $743 million (2.1%)
  7. Mid-sized automobiles (piston engine): $737 million (2.1%)
  8. Integrated circuits (amplifiers): $663 million (2%)
  9. Electro-diagnostic apparatus: $659 million (2%)
  10. Natural gas (liquid): $614 million (1.7%)
Most of the other imports are either consumed locally or end-up in the products which are exported [e.g. integrated circuits inside equipment such as:
  • Machinery for making semi-conductors
  • purification machines
  • Modems, similar reception/transmission devices
  • Radar apparatus
 

JumboBuc

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Announced today: USDOT has awarded a $20 MM BUILD grant for the $65.8 MM "Conley Terminal Container Storage and Freight Corridor" project.

Massport's July board presentation (PDF, slide 39) shows that this project scope includes:
1. Conley Terminal Container Storage
2. Cypher-E Freight Corridor
3. Terminal Technology
 

JumboBuc

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Could we generalize the name of this thread into something like "Conley Terminal Capital Projects" or "Conley Terminal Expansion and Improvements?"

The Freight Corridor is finished here but various other construction projects continue, with more scheduled to start.
 

stick n move

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Found a pretty cool article touching on everything from grade separating framingham and reusing the south yard, to then using rail out to conley and adding a haul road from readville to 95. Some good reading.
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/r...rail-crossing-separation-boston-metropolitan-

With the development going up by the cruise ship terminal it seems that the rail option is dead, but I really would have loved to see how far that could have gone. Imagine a massively expanded terminal with rail access. Boston being a bigger rail and shipping hub would have been great imo.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Very old document (sadly its author Frank DeMasi has long passed) that was referenced on a similar thread about a month or two ago. Some background:
  • Massport's Southie freight rail proposal is for Marine Terminal on a new spur off the Massport Running Track that goes up the Tide St. sidewalk median. It would primarily serve refrigerated loading at Marine T...i.e. vastly more of the same seafood warehouses currently flanking the west extreme of the property infilled onto the main acreage with a sizeable rail loading yard. The end goal is expanding Metro Boston's perishable food storage capacity for greater measure of wholesale food price controls across the region. Same itch that New York's much larger--and very busily rail-served--Hunts Point Market serves. This is the proposed relocation spot for the Widett Circle Food Market, upgrading its very half-cocked current layout with much more modern and densely-integrated digs.
Very long-term initiative. Progress infilling Marine T. has been glacial to say the least, as City-level institutions like the BDPA expend too much energy turf-warring with Massport over short-attention-span land uses and that accomplishes little (Massport is the boss, after all) in the end except leaving the parcels totally blank another year longer. But Massport is playing a much longer game than BDPA here, and as far as the rail spur is concerned that is NOT an "if you build it they will come" piece to up-front but rather a finishing touch after they've already got a few more substantial tenants signed on. So the Tide St. spur is a trailing, not leading initiative and thus has no firm timetable attached to it. As of now, there's no disruption in the long-range plan. It's just slow going because anything with multi-agency touches in this City is unfortunately very slow going by default. Since the Widett Food Market is up for sale right now regardless of the existential questions of what happens at the vacated Widett site, likelihood of a straight relocation to Marine T. can be considered 50% or more of the up-front impetus for that trailing investment in the rail spur. You just need another major consignee after that to more or less seal the deal, and CSX will happily start running the overnighter out of Readville to serve it.​
Since a lot of the current Food Market tenants are still unmodernized old-timers holding onto their 'birthright' from the original early-70's City eviction from Faneuil Hall, a lot of them don't want to expend the energy modernizing their warehousing ops. It's why the Food Market as currently constituted is a disappointingly inefficient operation...lots of legacy deadweight. Same folks who think Roger Berkowitz is some sort of scorn-worthy poseur for trying to reinvent the seafood warehouse and having the gall to succeed at it. Those are the hangers-on tenants who are pushing for the relocation out of Widett solely for the easy retirement check...because they're multiple generations removed from the evicted Faneuil vendors, have no stomach for trying to play amongst leaner/meaner competition, and feel entitled--because of that grievance they've been milking for 45 years over the eviction--to always waiting for their 'owed' City handout to prop them up. They'd rather take the buyout than rise to the challenge of having to be more business-efficient in new Massport digs that demand that level of competitive awakeness, and that in turn is the opening for a long overdue overchurn in the ranks to vendors who actually want to make a 21st century stand in the perishables supply chain. I mean, Marine T.'s already got that Legal's warehouse anchoring one corner of the property so that's the standard-setter. Update the Food Market's mission post-relocation and that critical-mass new signee that brings the rail spur will come.​


  • The current running track through the Black Falcon Terminal front parking row is kept out-of-service (actually rebuilt 11 years ago when the lot was repaved) not for that terminal's new uses for cruise ships and office space, but rather for service to Coastal Cement Corp. plant at the end of the pier. Coastal are still active CSX customers at other locations, but have been truck-only in the Seaport since the mid-90's. That plant isn't going anywhere with construction in the city being what it is, and it's at a killer location being able to price-compare barge vs. rail rates. While right now it's not enough potential carloads to bother with, once the Tide St. spur to Marine T. goes in and starts seeing nightly trains the rail rates drop to a level where Coastal can double-dip again. Remains to be seen whether the Tide St. spur construction simply relocates the current track off the inner parking row and out by the sidewalk, but the 1200 ft. past Tide to the plant is a permanent keep in Massport's mind because the plant will be sticking around long enough to be an on-again/off-again going concern in perpetuity. There's also rail interest, BTW, in the Lafarge cement plant on the Mystic Wharf Branch to Charlestown Autoport/Moran Terminal...so this isn't just limited to a one-off Southie coincidence, either. Lafarge would probably still be a rail customer to this day if they hadn't been scared straight off to barging-and-truck only by Pan Am's singularly horrible customer service.

  • Described earlier, but Conley Terminal does NOT have economically sustainable rail volumes because those aren't region-wide outbound loads. And everything would have to be sent out single-stack to Framingham anyway as the only place to sort loads coming off the boat, because Conley doesn't have within order-of-magnitude the sorting space of the container terminals @ PANYNJ, Halifax, or elsewhere up/down the East Coast. It's local trucking only. Anything else would be so microscopic in volume it wouldn't pay off the new spur crossing Reserve Channel. DeMasi wasn't reading the intermodal industry correctly there. If anything whatsoever changes with the industry dynamics in the next 50 years, the reservation space is there for a spur. It's properly future-proofed. But there's no there-there right now; it's a gigantic misread of what Conley's niche is to read otherwise into it.

  • The "P&W Gateway" was unfortunately another flight-of-fancy by Mr. DeMasi, albeit maybe not nearly so industry-contrary as the "Conley is a rail port" assumption. CSX is definitely not up for a competitive intrusion into Port of Boston, and there is no way they would ever ever ever invite such a thing when they control all southside lanes. They may dish off more southern territory off to MassCoastal now that MC's ownership situation is getting clearer with "friendly ally" Grafton & Upton being the leading bidder. But that would only entail the Attleboro-Middleboro-Braintree territory being sold off to MC. CSX will protect its flank on the Northeast Corridor to keep P&W bottled up at East Junction, Attleboro. And they'll retain the Braintree Yard interchange with Fore River (simply flipping it to a shortie overnight pickup out of Readville instead of a full local's overnight shift out of Walpole) because that's mucho lucrative, and block any intrustion to Port of Boston in the process. The big Beacon Park swaperoo commits them to the Framingham-Walpole-Readville backdoor for the long haul because that's where all the port access becomes easy money. P&W can probably wring more business out of Worcester simply on "rising tide lifts all boats" grounds from there being more oomph put into local freight by a trimmed-back CSX and its shortline partners MC + G&U...but they ain't bringing their own trains anywhere inside the MA 146 corridor as DeMasi proposed. That was unfortunately a bit of naive reach on his part re: the business priorities of Class I freight railroading.
RIDOT still has outstretched arm to MassDOT for a joint Boston-Woonsocket via Franklin CR study, which looks pretty nice on fundamentals with Woonsocket becoming a noteworthy hub terminal after implementation of RIDOT Intrastate CR. Long-term chances of that, now with RUR adding intriguing spin, are much better than now than they were when DeMasi first gave this presentation 11 years ago. You don't need to shoehorn an extreme-unlikely ^^freight biz arrangement^^ to give that one juice. P&W is going to be summarily booby-trapped by CSX from ever crossing north over the Grove St. grade crossing at the end of the Franklin Industrial Track, and G&U contractually booby-trapped from ever crossing south of it to meet up. That's just how ass-covering works with Class I's like CSX. But we thankfully don't have to rely on stuff like that to buoy Woonsocket CR hopes.​
  • CSX long ago named its price for selling off Framingham North Yard for redev. Pretty much everything there is still actionable today if the City ever wants to pay up. CSX would get a fat "Pimp My Yard" check to re-outfit CP (South) Yard, the derelict connector to the Framingham Secondary would re-open, there'd be time-of-day agreements hammered out for when yard swaps between Nevins (West) Yard and CP Yard would take place, and all Walpole-bound locals would depart straight from CP onto the Framingham Secondary to minimize use of the downtown grade crossings. You could possibly even get rid of the southwestern trio of MA 135/Clafin St./MA 126 crossings in lieu of the reactivated connector. CSX, as they always do, simply asks for top-dollar. And so far that's not something the City has seen fit to pay for North Yard. No matter...it's perpetually available.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Also...it's nice to dream, but far-fetched doesn't even begin to describe those Downtown Framingham crossing elimination schemes from the document. Toss the "boat section"...you can't trench any ROW's here with the acqueducts. And a Chinese-wall viaduct with a mandatory 4-way junction in the middle of it is waaaaaaay off the deep-end on all practical feasibility.

But the biggest limiter is simply City of Framingham itself, and their sheer dedication to "STOP PUNCHING YOURSELF!" in self-deadlock over even the most mind-numbingly simple improvements. Like security fencing between Concord and Bishop so track-cutting jaywalkers stop getting smooshed by trains ("You'll take my God-given shortcut from my F40-flattened hands, damn you!"). They're hopeless. But also...it's not a train traffic problem. Literally every train on every schedule freight or pax is braking into the last 8 MPH of a station or yard stop at Framingham. It's entirely a carpocalypse problem, a (sometimes) pedestrian problem, and a mostly STUPID drivers & peds problem. It's on the City to take first step. When they won't even agree amongst themselves on any practical street grid streamlining away from the crossings as first step to taking out the trash, it's a bit much to say the crossings themselves are a festering sore somebody has to gift-wrap for them. Besides, they already vomited all over that Romanesque viaduct in DeMasi's presentation, so it's not clear how much they even want nice things over the pure thrill of shouting "NO!" over each other at a community meeting. Even now wearing the big-boy CITY OF Framingham pants the local-yokels can't ever resist getting caught up in a good dead-ending circular argument with each other. It's always been their rep, unfortunately.
 

jlichyen

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Given the multiple junctions and yards in very close proximity, is there a possible grade crossing elimination scheme for Framingham that isn't a total cost blow-out? I'm sitting here picturing brick and stone viaducts like along Park ave in NYC, or similar embankments in cities abroad, but the sheer number of entanglements makes this case seem impossible - had the private railroad done it 100 years ago, it would've totally bankrupted the company, right?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Given the multiple junctions and yards in very close proximity, is there a possible grade crossing elimination scheme for Framingham that isn't a total cost blow-out? I'm sitting here picturing brick and stone viaducts like along Park ave in NYC, or similar embankments in cities abroad, but the sheer number of entanglements makes this case seem impossible - had the private railroad done it 100 years ago, it would've totally bankrupted the company, right?
You can also chalk it up to competitive entanglements. Framingham, until 1969, was a junction of competing RR's. The mainline + Nevins (West) Yard were originally Boston & Albany. The Framingham Secondary + Fitchburg Secondary with North Yard was the original cross-state Old Colony Lowell-New Bedford mainline. And the southwesterly crossings + CP Yard were original NYNH&H Milford Branch to Franklin. Framingham Jct. wasn't even a full junction until the 1970's...the Framingham Sec. used to cross the B&A on a diamond into North Yard until Penn Central finally united all of the ownership. The B&A spent shitloads of money to grade separate the mainline cross-state between the 1890's and 1910's, but to get enough cooperation from NYNH&H to separate their sides of the Framingham mash-up was nigh-impossible. The north-south lines that were all consolidated under the New Haven umbrella were perennially freight-heavy, passenger-light while the B&A was the 800 lb. all-traffic gorilla.

Similar but lesser situation with the 2 remaining close-proximity Ashland grade crossings at Main & Cherry Streets. The NYNH&H Hopkinton Branch out of Milford used to pull in a few feet west of Cherry St. (ROW still easily visible forking south, crossing Megnuko Rd., hugging the pond, and crossing the new Ashland CR Station access road at the right-field fence of the Walker Field baseball diamond). Then it ran on its own separate NYNH&H 3rd track on the B&A over the two crossings to old Ashland Union Station and the old adjacent freight house. Line lasted to the mid-50's for light freight, and was only a shortie passenger shuttle until that service ended during the Depression so the New Haven never gave a crap about splitting any costs on the Main/Cherry eliminations or raising its track approach to the mainline onto an embankment. Hence, the Ashland pair malinger to this day even though they're easy eliminations with near-unanimous local support (rail bridge over Main, half-and-half rise/dip @ Cherry on the downslope, built-up embankments on the straightaways). MassDOT will pretty much be out of excuses for waiting any longer if NNEIRI/East-West get enacted sending the surge of max-speed Amtrak traffic through here.


The only other public crossings remaining Worcester-Springfield are a trio in Wilbraham: dead-end street (possibly taken private?) for 4 residential houses, industrial driveway for woodchipping operation, and municipal driveway for town water treatment plant. And I'm guessing for the AMTK Inlands a couple hundred grand in state fun bux does a 3-to-1 consolidation connecting them all with a spanning road into 1 unified driveway with quad-gate crossing (since this is the Palmer-Springfield segment that has the above-and-beyond NNEIRI study option for pushing to 90 MPH). Beyond that it's just a couple limited-liability private crossings of zero concern: 1 residential driveway to a house in Palmer (old enough to be a grandfathering), 2 farm tractor crossings to active strawfields whose only access is across the ROW (reasonable accommodation).

West of SPG there's a couple not-nice ones in the West Springfield-Westfield stretch pinned in by the river that are notorious problem spots for idiot drivers trying to gun it around the gates to beat 100-car freight train slowing into the nearby yard. There's been a few close calls where cars have done the illegal gun-around expecting to have plenty of time to beat a slow freight, only to crap their pants when it's actually been the Lake Shore Ltd. traveling twice as fast and escaped by skin of teeth. Could use quadrant gates for East-West to further deter the dumbshits who'll never learn, but those crossings are purely Darwin Award Aspirant problems not train or car traffic problems and aren't in a speed zone (like the Wilbraham trio) meriting any consolidation efforts. Other than that to state line it's all tractor crossings and barely-paved rural roads--the outlieriest of outliers--with the 10+ miles bookending Greater Pittsfield 100% separated. B&A was remarkably thorough with the eliminations even out in the sticks. For some reason on the NY side of the state line the crossings start appearing in waves with annoying frequency as if no attempt was made at consolidation/elimination on that side. I'm guessing B&A tried to carry it through there too, but NY State's much stronger county gov't system NIMBY'd all those attempts 120 years ago.
 
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F-Line to Dudley

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Wow. RR history is nuts.
Yeah. And arguably the current traffic situation @ Framingham isn't as bad as it once was. For one, you had 28 scheduled daily freights to/from Beacon Park as late as 2008...and those things craaawwwwled over 126/Bishop at train lengths that kept gates down many times longer per movement than any passenger train today. That number has been exactly zero since last summer's final scheduled Allston/Everett freight. And until 1980 you had a daily round-trip 100-car Readville-Lowell interchange train tying up the 126, 135, AND Blandin Ave. crossings simultaneously for 10 minutes at a time twice each afternoon 6 days a week.

In addition to many more southbound locals because Conrail didn't start selling out territory to the shortlines until '82: Cohasset, Plymouth, Hanover via Braintree; Dennis, Downtown Falmouth, Hyannis via Middleboro; Newton, Newton-Needham industrial spur, West Roxbury/VFW Pkwy., and Millis via Medfield; Wattupa-Fall River via New Bedford; Newport; Dighton via Taunton. Plus all the additional traffic out of Framingham feeding now-abandoned territory: Wrentham-via-Walpole daily to a gravel quarry till '76; a thru Fitchburg interchange job with Guilford/PAR on the Fitchburg Secondary till '88; Lower Mills in Milton till '91; street-running on E. 1st St. in Southie till late-80's; Cypher St.-via-Track 61 customers till roughly '98-02; Brighton industrial trackage at present-day Boston Landing till '95 or so; the NECCO-Cambridgeport spur off the Grand Junction till early-90's; add'l northside service to Box District spur and pre-Greenway Eastie (the street-running track buried in the old Chelsea outbound station platform was the Conrail running track); Holliston via CP Yard till '99; South Sudbury via North Yard till '02; Natick Mall via Natick Center till '04. And then simply all the on-line biz that's vanished in the last 30 years: shitloads of on-NEC and on-Stoughton customers, including straight up into Hyde Park; enough Franklin-Milford customers that it used to be a daily instead of weekly; tons more Old Colony main (evidenced by the extant M'boro Line sidings that have gone vacant since commuter rail returned).

^^All^^ of that had to be fed either by locals or yard feeders over the Framingham crossings. Right now there's 2 scheduled Walpole/Readville feeders per day over the 126/135 crossings, and the overnighter to Braintree-via-Attleboro/Middleboro that departs rush hour returns before 5:00am...and that's it. Maybe a run-as-directed light move if they're playing catch-up after a Sunday off, but that's it. They're otherwise committed long-term to growing the lengths of those feeder trains with business increases, but never needing to add more slots. CP Yard has been mothballed since about 2006 when the auto yard moved to East Brookfield, and so the lead tracks across the other crossings are only used run-as-directed for stuffing and fetching overflow empties (sometimes you'll see a bunch of empty IM cube well cars from Worcester laying over for a weekend).

With future moves, the Middleboro-Braintree overnighter could get sold off to MassCoastal any year now once MC's ownership situation is settled and go away. Everything else will then re-fit itself into the other two Walpole/Readville extant feeder jobs by running longer. And if North Yard gets sold off with ops relocated to reanimated CP Yard you may not even see much of a re-increase in use because they'll just lump all their day's worth of incoming loads from Nevins (West) into one big crossing move, do the locals sorting at CP Yard, and then do their departures from CP (maybe the Northborough/Leominster daily gets blocked at Nevins by its lonesome so it doesn't have to re-cross). And as noted, if that CP-to-Framingham Secondary connector gets reanimated they may be able to whack the other crossings (135 west, Claflin, 126/Hollis, Waushakum) on the CP leads and consolidate in a 4-for-3 trade with reinstated Tripp St./Loring Dr./Irving St. crossings well further out from the downtown grid's traffic funnel on much lower-traffic side streets. The connector is non-abandoned, just 45 years out-of-service, and still has tracks buried in dirt and backlot gravel the whole distance.
 
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Tallguy

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Do anyone have a map of the CP Yard to Framingham Secondary Connector?
 

F-Line to Dudley

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Do anyone have a map of the CP Yard to Framingham Secondary Connector?
p.9 in the PDF in stick's post, labeled "former New Haven RR industrial spur".

Mostly follows the contours of the ex-autoport/current auto wholesaler lot and Beaverdam Brook off the ex-General Motors spur in the lower yard of CP. Then takes a sharp turn across Trip St. splitting buildings (see Street View in previous post). Dead-obvious follow on Google Satellite from there across Loring & Irving then hugging the northwest side of A1 Auto Parts to its junction with the Framingham Secondary. Though there was no southbound wye there in the old days, you can see it's dead-easy to lay one down on the southeast side of A1. That might've even been an explicit but never-excercised option the New Haven left behind. At least some of the ROW is state-owned as the Irving grade crossing is posted "No Trespassing State Property" in Street View.

I'm guessing a reconnect might try following James Halperin Dr. with connection to the upper yard instead of re-using the much longer lead along the brook to the lower yard, as it'll be much lower cost for the restoration portion inside of CSX property lines to cut straight 1000 ft. over to the old autorack-unloading berths rather than re-lay the extra half-mile of the old leads into the lower yard. Also makes it easier to ditch the existing 135/Claflin/126/Waukesham -crossing leads to plow linearly into the upper yard. The ex-autoport parking lot it would cross is being temp-used by an auto auctioneer run out of a tiny porta-trailer office; there's infinite unused space all around to relocate that CSX subletter so they can bisect that lot with new lead track.
 
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kmp1284

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With the development going up by the cruise ship terminal it seems that the rail option is dead, but I really would have loved to see how far that could have gone. Imagine a massively expanded terminal with rail access. Boston being a bigger rail and shipping hub would have been great imo.
There’s no need to expand Conley. I’m not sure what the current capacity is but based on the last numbers I had heard of 800,000 to a million TEU movements per year Conley’s only operating at 25% of capacity. This year is going to be much lower for obvious reasons and more recently, one of the three container alliances that was sending 10,000 teu ships to Boston on a weekly basis has terminated service and is instead contracting with a barge operator to have containers delivered to and boarded in NY.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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There’s no need to expand Conley. I’m not sure what the current capacity is but based on the last numbers I had heard of 800,000 to a million TEU movements per year Conley’s only operating at 25% of capacity. This year is going to be much lower for obvious reasons and more recently, one of the three container alliances that was sending 10,000 teu ships to Boston on a weekly basis has terminated service and is instead contracting with a barge operator to have containers delivered to and boarded in NY.
Conley's also expanded out all it can ever be expanded out via the most recent renovation. The pier closest to Summer St. on the new haul road is a separate Massport property. Right now it's a shitty little fishing boat yard on the east half, staging area for the contractors doing the Harbor dredging on the west half. I don't know what the redev proposals are for it, but it's wholly separate from Conley which is right now sitting at max possible developed acreage (5.2M sq. ft.).
 

JumboBuc

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There’s no need to expand Conley. I’m not sure what the current capacity is but based on the last numbers I had heard of 800,000 to a million TEU movements per year Conley’s only operating at 25% of capacity. This year is going to be much lower for obvious reasons and more recently, one of the three container alliances that was sending 10,000 teu ships to Boston on a weekly basis has terminated service and is instead contracting with a barge operator to have containers delivered to and boarded in NY.
Conley currently processes about 300k TEU per year, with 2019 marking an all-time record high. Current capacity is about 315k annual TEU, and already underway expansion projects will push that up to 350k. The projects funded in the federal grant Massport was awarded last year should increase that higher to around 450k TEU, but capacity will remain below half a million TEU per year for the foreseeable future.

So I don't know how you're getting your numbers that "800,000 to a million TEU" puts Conley at "25% of capacity." Volume and capacity at the terminal is nowhere near that.
Conley's also expanded out all it can ever be expanded out via the most recent renovation. The pier closest to Summer St. on the new haul road is a separate Massport property. Right now it's a shitty little fishing boat yard on the east half, staging area for the contractors doing the Harbor dredging on the west half. I don't know what the redev proposals are for it, but it's wholly separate from Conley which is right now sitting at max possible developed acreage (5.2M sq. ft.).
No, the former Coastal Oil property acquired to the west of Conley still isn't fully built out. It was partially built out in the last couple of years, but further construction remains. You can see this in timestamped Google Maps aerials. The full build out of that space will come with the federally-funded expansion that's in the works. Planned expansion isn't about taking over the fishing yard, it's about building out all the currently vacant property until you hit the fishing yard.
 
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stick n move

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So after the expansion from here

To here

Are they able to expand any further into that available land to the left or not? I keep seeing conflicting answers.

Theres a pretty good size chunk of land there if the notch were filled in it looks like theres just about enough room to add another expansion of equal size. Thats substantial. It would be nice to have it available for the future once the current expansion maxes out.
 
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whighlander

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So after the expansion from here

To here

Are they able to expand any further into that available land to the left or not? I keep seeing conflicting answers.

Theres a pretty good size chunk of land there if the notch were filled in it looks like theres just about enough room to add another expansion of equal size. Thats substantial. It would be nice to have it available for the future once the current expansion maxes out.
Sick -- its not really expansion -- more relocation and accommodation
To be in the business at all Boston needs to host bigger ships [there will be fewer] and they need bigger cranes -- the problem Logan arrival flight paths under certain wind conditions

So to accommodate essentially the same number of containers [well perhaps eventually a few more] the port needed to be deepened and the main berth needed to be moved away from Logan

There is no plan to go anywhere further except to expand storage for refrigerated stuff [think fish]
 

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