Railroads in the Pioneer Valley
CSX Transportation (CSXT) [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.
CSXT owns and operates the major east west rail corridor that runs through downtown Springfield. In the Pioneer Valley CSXT interchanges freight traffic with the New England Central Railroad in Palmer, Pan Am Southern in Springfield, and the Pioneer Valley Railroad in Westfield. CSXT provides freight rail service to a number of customers in and around Springfield.
CSXT operates a large rail classification yard in the city of West Springfield.
Pan Am Southern
Pan Am Southern LLC (PAS) — a company jointly owned by Norfolk South Railway and Pan Am Railways — is a freight common carrier that possesses rights to operate approximately 437 miles of track in New England. PAS owns the Patriot Corridor, a major east west rail line that passes through Greenfield, and it has exclusive freight common carrier easement over the MassDOT-owned Connecticut River Line.
Pan Am Railways [system map] — a regional Class II freight railroad system based in North Billerica, Massachusetts — operates over 2,000 miles of track and connects with four Class I carriers and 20 short line railroads.
Norfolk South Railway [system map] — a Class I freight railroad system based in Norfolk, Virginia — operates approximately 20,000 route miles of track in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
In the Pioneer Valley, Pan Am provides freight rail service on Connecticut River Line between Springfield and the Vermont border, and on the Patriot Corridor line which extends from Mechanicville, New York to Ayer, Massachusetts via Greenfield.
In the Pioneer Valley PAS interchanges freight traffic with CSXT in Springfield and the Pioneer Valley Railroad in Holyoke.
Pan Am also operates a large rail classification yard in East Deerfield.
On the Connecticut River 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 Line. This freight currently operates on a Monday through Friday schedule.
Pioneer Valley Railroad
The Pioneer Valley Railroad (PVRR) [system map] is a short line railroad based in Westfield, Massachusetts. It serves industries, warehouse operations and transload facilities in the cities of Holyoke and Westfield. It interchanges rail traffic with the CSX railroad in Westfield, where its main yard is located, and with Pan Am Southern in Holyoke.
Customers of the Pioneer Valley Railroad include Yankee Candle which receives shipments of wax in Holyoke that are then shipped by truck to Deerfield. The railroad also provides service to paper mills in Holyoke which receive wood pulp by rail.
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
New England Central Railroad (NECR) [system map] — based in St. Albans, Vermont — operates a 394 mile freight railroad between the the Vermont/Quebec border, and tidewater at the Port of New London, Connecticut. The railroad interchanges traffic with nine other railroads in the region.
Major commodities featured for movement 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, TOFC/COFC, finished vehicles, feed mill ingredients, machinery and equipment, recyclables, ash, construction debris, foodstuffs and non-metallic minerals.
Official Massachusetts State Rail Map (MassDOT, 2012)
Highlights freight and passenger rail ownership and operation.
Short Line Railroads: Saving an Endangered Species of Freight Transport
By National Association of Development Organizations
Economic Development Council of Western Mass
2011 Logistics Conference Presentions | Rail —
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: January 13, 2017
Page last reviewed: June 30, 2016