News Flash! Massachusetts Central’s Recently Acquired GP38 makes First Revenue Run

 A Clear Autumn Day to Photograph a Shiny Blue Bird.

Today, Massachusetts Central assigned one of two recently acquired GP38s to its weekday Palmer-South Barre local freight. Although Mass-Central received the two locomotives earlier this year, it is my understanding that today’s train is the first regular revenue service run to use one.

Blue Bird
Mass-Central 1751 leads the northward freight at Forest Lake, north of Thorndike, Massachusetts on October 24, 2013. Canon 7D photo.

The train departed Palmer this morning with the GP38 leading Mass-Central’s 2100 and 960. The second two locomotives were left in Ware, while the freight continued up the Ware River Valley on the former Boston & Albany branch.

Both of the Massachusetts Central’s GP38s have been beautifully painted in a livery inspired by the classic Boston & Maine ‘Blue Bird’ scheme. Although most of Mass-Central’s current route uses former Boston & Albany tracks, the railroad began as a switching operation on vestiges of  Boston & Maine’s Central Massachusetts line around Ware.

Historically, the Central Massachusetts was a Boston & Maine route between Boston and Northampton, although it hasn’t served as a through route since the 1930s. Massachusetts Central still operates a few segments of old B&M trackage, notably in Ware.

Mass-Central.
Mass-Central 1751, 2100 and 960 lead the northward freight near Ware, Massachusetts on October 24, 2013.
Mass-Central arrives at Ware Yard on October 24, 2013. Canon 7D.
Mass-Central arrives at Ware Yard on October 24, 2013. Canon 7D.
Mass Central 1751 works toward South Barre, Massachusetts on October 24, 2013.
Mass Central 1751 works toward South Barre, Massachusetts on October 24, 2013.

 

 

 For today’s regularly scheduled post see: Hot Spot: Palmer, Massachusetts, October 17, 2013 

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