Freight Railroads

Railroads in the Pioneer Valley

(click on the image to access the interactive version of this map)


CSX Transportation

“CSX Local at Palmer” By Thomas J. Nanos | February 7, 2012
Source: Flickr /

CSX Transportation (CSX) [system map] — based in Jacksonville, Florida — operates a freight railroad system that connects to every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports.

CSX owns and operates the major east-west rail corridor that runs through downtown Springfield.

In the Pioneer Valley, CSX interchanges freight traffic with the New England Central Railroad in Palmer, Pan Am Southern in Springfield, and the Pioneer Valley Railroad in Westfield. CSX provides freight rail service to a number of customers in and around Springfield.

CSX also operates a large railroad classification yard in West Springfield.


Pan Am Southern

“EDPL” By Justin Winiarz | February 9, 2016
Source: Flickr /

Pan Am Southern LLC — a company jointly owned by Norfolk Southern Railway and Pan Am Railways — is a freight common carrier that possesses rights to operate approximately 437 miles of track in New England.

Pan Am Southern owns the Patriot Corridor, a major east-west rail line that passes through Greenfield, and it has an exclusive freight common carrier easement over the MassDOT-owned Connecticut River Main Line.

Norfolk Southern Railway [system map] is a Class I freight railroad based in Norfolk, Virginia. The company operates approximately 20,000 route miles of track in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Pan Am Railways [system map] is a Class II freight railroad based in North Billerica, Massachusetts. The company operates over 2,000 miles of track and connects with four Class I carriers and 20 shortline railroads.

In the Pioneer Valley, Pan Am Railways provides freight rail service on Connecticut River Main Line between Springfield and the Vermont border, and on the Patriot Corridor which extends from Mechanicville, New York to Ayer, Massachusetts via Greenfield.

In the Pioneer Valley, Pan Am Railways interchanges rail traffic with CSXT in Springfield, New England Central Railroad in Miller Falls, and the Pioneer Valley Railroad in Holyoke.

Pan Am operates a large railroad classification yard in East Deerfield.

On the Connecticut River Main Line Pan Am currently operates one through freight in each direction, between East Deerfield and Plainville, Connecticut on a Sunday through Friday schedule.

Pan Am operates a local freight out of East Deerfield that services its customers on the Connecticut River Main Line. This freight currently operates on a Monday through Friday schedule.


Pioneer Valley Railroad

“I Wanna Take my Train Down the Oldtown Road” By Henry Elchlok | May 3, 2019
Source: Flickr /

The Pioneer Valley Railroad [system map (PDF)] is a shortline railroad based in Westfield. It serves industries, warehouse operations and transload facilities in the cities of Holyoke and Westfield.

The Pioneer Valley Railroad interchanges freight rail traffic with CSX in Westfield, where its main classification yard is located, and with Pan Am Railways in Holyoke.

Customers of the Pioneer Valley Railroad include propane suppliers, lumber yards, waste haulers and paper mills, as examples.

Pioneer Valley Railroad operates a sister company in Westfield called Railroad Distribution Services which owns and manages a number of logistics facilities with rail access.


New England Central Railroad

“NECR 611 at Leverett” By Thomas Coulombe | February 6, 2019
Source: Flickr /

New England Central Railroad (NECR) [system map (PDF)], a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. operates a 394-mile freight railroad between the the Vermont/Quebec border, and tidewater at the port facility in New London, Connecticut.

In the Pioneer Valley, NECR interchanges freight rail traffic with Pan Am Railways in Millers Falls, CSX in Palmer, and with the Massachusetts Central Railroad, also in Palmer.

Major commodities on the NECR include lumber, panels & plywood, poles, newsprint, printing paper, compressed gas, chemicals, fuel oils, road salt, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, fabricated metals, resins, trailers/containers on flatcars, finished vehicles, feed mill ingredients, machinery and equipment, recyclables, ash, construction debris, foodstuffs and non-metallic minerals.

Further reading

Industrial Development on the New England Central Railroad (PDF)
By Ryan Fischer | Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services | October 2014


See also

Freight Rail Customers in the Pioneer Valley


Railroad Jobs in the Valley


Further reading

Massachusetts Railroad Association

2011 Logistics Conference Presentations | Rail (archived)
Economic Development Council of Western Mass
Chad Grinnell, Account Manager | Norfolk Southern Corp (PDF)
Patricia Byrne, Regional Development | CSX Transportation (PDF)
Mike Rennicke, General Manager | Pioneer Valley Railroad (PDF)



Page last updated: November 11, 2020
Page last reviewed: November 10, 2020