Providence & Worcester on the Boston, Barre & Gardner—February 11, 2016.

The old Boston, Barre & Gardner Railroad was a 19th century line that ran from Worcester, Massachusetts to Peterboro, New Hampshire.

Today, the bottom portion of the line serves Providence & Worcester’s through connection with Pan Am Railways at Gardner.

Last fall I explored this line between Holden and Gardner looking for locations.

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, Mike Gardner and I arrived at Gardner in time to find Pan Am’s ED-8 making a drop for the P&W. Earlier, another train, probably symbol 28N had dropped autoracks, so the yard was nearly full of cars.

Based on past experience, I quickly surmised that the P&W hadn’t arrived from Worcester yet. So after a quick lunch, we started working our way south against the train.

Looking toward Worcester at Old Colony Road in Princeton, Massachusetts. Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.
Looking toward Worcester at Old Colony Road in Princeton, Massachusetts. Exposed using my FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.

North of Princeton, Massachusetts there are several grade crossing with nicely curving track. The snow covered ground made for Christmas card scene.

Mike and I didn’t have to wait long before P&W’s symbol freight WOGR (Worcester to Gardner) came charging northward. We were impressed by the length of the train. One unit was at the head-end with a second locomotive at the back of the train.

P&W's northward WOGR blasts for the rural crossing. This was an impressive freight carrying mixed freight and auto racks for interchange with Pan Am.
P&W’s northward WOGR blasts for the rural crossing. This was an impressive freight carrying mixed freight and auto racks for interchange with Pan Am.

P&W_WOGR_w_4005_at_Old_Colony_Road_north_of_Princeton_MA_DSCF1182

Old Colony Road. FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.
Old Colony Road. FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.
FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.
Trailing view of the General Electric B39-8 at the back of the train. FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.
P&W works at Gardner to put together its southward freight. FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.
P&W works at Gardner to put together its southward freight. FujiFilm X-T1 with 18-135mm Fujinon lens.

Southbound the train was even more impressive, but it required about 3 hours of switching to put it all together.

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2 thoughts on “Providence & Worcester on the Boston, Barre & Gardner—February 11, 2016.”

  1. How many laps from Chicago to California did that loco make in it’s first life? Many. Who would have predicted that it now would be working for a shortline in New England? Odd. TSH

    1. That’s what I was thinking when it came around the bend. Back in 1991, JDS and I spent several days on the Needles District photographing the 500s working hot intermodal trains. We chased a Maersk Stack train with five of them. Really neat. When P&W received the ex-BNSF units back in 2010, they arrived into Palmer on an NECR ethanol extra. Bob Buck and I chased it over state-line hill in the driving rain. I have a photo of Bob giving the train the roll-by at Stafford Springs. One of the locomotives was still lettered for Santa Fe. Lots of history with those old beasts. Want to take a bet on how much longer they’ll be working for P&W?
      Brian S.

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