G&U/CSX: LEASES NEWLY RECONNECTED MILFORD SECONDARY

REFLECTING LEASE AGREEMENT WITH CSX, GRAFTON & UPTON FILES EXEMPTION TO OPERATE ALONG 8.4-MILE MILFORD SECONDARY, RECENTLY RECONNECTED TO G&U's HOPEDALE TRACK AFTER DECADES APART.

28.September, Grafton MA – The Milford Secondary begins at the Franklin Line in Franklin MA, running 8.35 miles through Bellingham and Hopedale, before terminating at Central St. in Milford. The connection to G&U is at MP 8.0. G&U now connects CSX’s two primary New England rail assets, the main line between Albany (Selkirk Yard) and Boston (Grand Junction), and the (MBTA-owned) Franklin Line. 

The 25-year agreement includes a ten-year term, and three five-year extension options. Financial terms have not been released.

Franklin – Milford MA

G&U CSX Milford Secondary map
The Milford Secondary line retains only two current customers, despite numerous opportunities. G&U specializes in bringing lapsed customers back to rail, and developing new customers. Most “rail-ready” are:
(#1) Franklin Agway and (#2) Franklin Paint Company, both former rail customers still in business, and with rail sidings but not currently rail served.
(#8) Northeast Energy, a 387-mw gas-fired peaking power plant, and (#17) Milford Power, another 210-mw gas-fired peaking power plant rely on gas pipelines more frequently unable to meet area demand These plants are able to burn oil or LNG delivered to Northeast’s existing 34-car siding; Milford Power does not have a siding.
Two food service distribution warehouses are adjacent to the tracks (without sidings): (#5) Panera Bread’s dough facility, and (#14) National DCP, a food service warehouse that serves Dunkin Doughnuts and Hood dairy. (#13) Best Buy warehouse is also alongside the track.
Two major cement plants located wide of the tracks, along with the town DPW, and two workshop clusters (finished stone products and metal fabrication shops) might be able to support a local transload. {Openrailway Maps, annotated by ANRP}

Currently, CSX serves two customers on the line, the Garelick Farms packaging facility, which receives plastic pellets for bottle production, and the Blue Lynx building supplies southern New England distribution facility. In 2016, the Clark-Cutler-McDermott non-woven fabric manufacturer declared bankruptcy, though it may reopen to produce gowns and other Personal Protective Equipment in demand to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, the large former Saint Gobain (earlier Foster Forbes) glass container factory closed. The facility is now owned by New Mill Capital which told the Milford planning board it will become a distribution center rather than a factory. A February article said they do not yet have a tenant {Milford Daily News, Feb 7, 2020}.

In addition to the two existing customers, and the two potential returning customers, there exist more than a dozen prospective customers, including energy generation plants, food distribution and production plants, concrete plants, a big-box retail warehouse, and clusters of stone and metal fabrication shops. G&U excels at acquiring customers by investing in their transportation and storage needs.

Currently, CSX serves two customers on the line, the Garelick Farms packaging facility, which receives plastic pellets for bottle production, and the Blue Lynx building supplies southern New England distribution facility. In 2016, the Clark-Cutler-McDermott non-woven fabric manufacturer declared bankruptcy, though it may reopen to produce gowns and other Personal Protective Equipment in demand to fight the Coronavirus pandemic. In 2018, the large former Saint Gobain (earlier Foster Forbes) glass container factory closed. The facility is now owned by New Mill Capital which told the Milford planning board it will become a distribution center rather than a factory. A February article said they do not yet have a tenant {Milford Daily News, Feb 7, 2020}.