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 Post subject: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:58 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Center Conway, NH
The Chester Massachusettes engine facility comprises a six stall roundhouse and concrete coal tower. The location is in Berkshire County on the east side of B&As well known Washington Hill. This is where the 2-8-4 wheel arrangement got its name, and the locomotives that were stationed here, mostly 2-8-2's, helped trains up over the summit of the steep grade.
The property was sold to a local abrasives manufacturer and the roundhouse was used for storage of the raw materials.
Time has not been kind to the facility, and the entire site appears to be abandoned by the current owner Treibacher Abrasives. The roundhouse roof has collapsed along with a portion of the south wall. Vandalism has taken its toll.
I visited in September 2012 and took the photos below.
Interestingly, the turntable from Chester survives as a bridge spanning Washington Cut at the summit of Washington Hill. Recently there's news that the town of Washington wants to replace the old turntable bridge, which may make it available for preservation.

Brian Hebert

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 Post subject: Re: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
Excellent post, Brian! I've known of this location for years but have never attempted to
see it up close. Thanks for the great pictures and info! The roundhouse looks to be in tough shape, is it easily accessible? Where did you find the info on the turntable/bridge??

Stephen

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 Post subject: Re: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:33 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3724
Location: Maine
Nice find, Brian! There's another turn table bridge out near Eastport, Maine, on the abandoned Maine Central's Calais Branch.

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 Post subject: Re: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:58 pm
Posts: 121
Location: Center Conway, NH
Stephen, the site is private property, however it has been completely abandoned. it can be seen by simply parking your car across the tracks (CSX) from the Chester depot. Then walking beside the siding tracks on the access road which dead ends just before the roundhouse.
I've known about the turntable being used as a bridge for a long time. An uncle of mine worked for the town of Washington on their highway dept. and told me about the towns plans. Thats how I know they want it replaced.
While your in Chester, check out the Chester Foundation at the restored Boston and Albany depot. They are a good bunch over there. You'll find a few pieces of rolling stock and a lot of nice displays inside. They also hold a railroad celebration each year called Chester on Track.
So far, the Chester Foundation is sympathetic towards the engine facilities plight, but has not tried to aquire or stabalize the structures that I know of.

Brian


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 Post subject: Re: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 6:57 pm
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The Chester Foundation has always wanted to save the roundhouse and it was in fact offered to us free about 10 years ago by the Hamilton plant. Trouble is, we know from experience with the Keystone Arch Trail that CSX will not give us permission to bring equipment along the tracks. The mill was not going to let us use the bridge on their property either, so any construction and subsequent visiting would be impossible. It would amount to putting the facility on our insurance policy and being unable to keep the kids out of there.

It is not now completely abandoned. A new owner has bought the plant and the roundhouse went with it. He would like to tear it down, but is not likely to get permission to use the right of way either. He may not be friendly to trespassers either, not sure how much he is around.

Turntable was moved from there by the B&A bridge gang to it's present location in Washington, MA at some time during the Korean War.


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 Post subject: Re: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:38 pm 

Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 8:35 pm
Posts: 199
Brian:
What on earth is that B&W photo of below your name ?!!!! It looks like a steam locomotive monster eating a locomotive crane !

Kevin K.


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 Post subject: Re: Boston and Albany Chester Mass engine facility
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:15 am
Posts: 459
kevin kohls wrote:
Brian:
What on earth is that B&W photo of below your name ?!!!! It looks like a steam locomotive monster eating a locomotive crane !

Kevin K.


Kevin,
If I don't miss my guess it is an in action representation of the following: (combining Steam-Punk with Star Wars) http://laughingsquid.com/steampunk-at-a ... -universe/
Rich C.


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