December 3, 2006 under bright sunshine, but cold temps, owners of numerous New England railroads met at the Headquarters of Cape Ann Transportation (CAT) in Beverly, MA where owner and President Larry Mosher unveiled his new mainline through the north shore of Cape Ann. After giving up on the Cape Ann Train Museum for lack of profit, (See previous story) Larry had decided to run coal trains over the CAT tracks to the new power plant in Salem, MA. He has also granted trackage rights to Suleski Transportation to allow us to run container service to the Port of Salem. (He made that very clear to the Boston Longshoremen's union.)
Crews from Suleski Transportation (ST) brought down a test train of double stacked containers to check clearances along the right-of-way.
We always use a container from a big rail line that won’t miss it if it gets wrecked. One where the owner has so much equipment and is so busy that he can't keep track of it all.
We keep the empty well car behind the double stacked containers in case we hit low clearance. Hopefully it will just push the container off the top into the empty car without too much damage.
The test train made the circuit of the main line without incident.
You may have noticed the electrified upper line with the Catenary. It's not an extension of the North East Corridor (NEC*), but a leftover of the Museum.
Here the CAT coal drag, heading toward the Salem Power plant, passes under the double bridge. While an ST mixed freight passes two ST engines traveling light above.
Here the ST mixed freight is coming down off the high line and waits at Gloucester Crossing to enter on to the main. It will be a while as the CAT coal drag lumbers through.
Here is an aerial view of Gloucester Crossing. The tower was installed after a few incidents earlier in the day.
The CAT coal train heads through the cut and under the high line into the yard. The only steep grade on the line is the climb to the high line.
Here the ST mixed freight is on the main and crossing the signature steel arch bridge of CAT.
The ST mixed freight heading back to Amesbury.
The setting sun glares off the cantenary and the trains.
Of course a day in New England with Suleski
Transportation wouldn’t be complete without a moose sighting.
It was a great day to be out on the right-of-way...
*The NEC is immediately identified by the use of overhead wires and high speed rolling stock. Mostly operated and owned by Amtrak, the NEC offers the only true high-speed rail service in the United States, Amtrak's Acela Express. Several commuter rail agencies provide local service along the Northeast Corridor, some electrified and some diesel-powered. These rail networks include MARC in Maryland and Washington DC, SEPTA in Pennsylania, NJ Transit in New Jersey, Metro-North in New York and Connecticut, Shore Line East in Connecticut, MBTA in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Freight Trains from CSX, Norfolk Southern, Conrail Shared Assets and Suleski Transportation also have trackage rights on the NEC.
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