Above: Photo Credit: Amanda Davis

Hoosac Tunnel and Deerfield Day Trip
MPRR Club Trip Archive

Hoosac Tunnel and Deerfield Day Trip Photo Gallery

Above: The Bow Coal Train enters Deerfield Yard. Photo Credit: Amanda Davis

Below: A stack train stopped out in the fall colors of Massachusetts. Photo Credit: Amanda Davis

Above: NECR and Connecticut Southern units idle at the West Springfield yard. Photo Credit: Amanda Davis

Below: The group of MPRR adventurers exploring Massachusetts. Photo Credit: Amanda Davis

Article By: Amanda Davis

On October 15, a lovely if slightly cool fall day, MPRR Club railfans took a trip in the Club President's luxury minivan to Hoosac Tunnel and then to the rail yard in Deerfield, MA.  We started off merrily headed towards...the West Portal (where my phone wanted to go)...instead of the East Portal (where we wanted to go). But we found our way eventually. Nearing the destination we saw two trains, one parked across the river and one glimpsed briefly through the trees as it paralleled our road, headed eastbound after already passing through the tunnel. A Norfolk Southern and a Canadian National locomotive were pulling this train.

At the tunnel itself however, the signals remained dark, and we came up empty handed. So after exploring the area around this historic engineering feat, we headed back towards Deerfield. To make up for not seeing any trains through the tunnel, we took a brief detour to take some photos of the stopped train, headed by some Norfolk Southern locomotives.

In Deerfield, it was a long wait for a train...this is not Fostoria...however, this gave us a chance to explore the area, including progress on the renovation of the grain elevator next to the yard, and watch some work being done in the yard. There is always a variety of locomotives and rolling stock here.  We did see one train come through, which some other railfans told us was the coal train bound for the large power plant in Bow, NH. The latest information on the internet is this plant will be shut down soon, so the famous Bow Coal Train will likely be a thing of the past in the next few months.

Headed home, we noticed the construction on I-91 north of Springfield had turned the highway to a long string of red on our phone traffic maps. Fortunately for us, the best way around took us right by the CSX yard in West Springfield. While I've never seen any train action the few times I've been by there, there are always some unique cars stored there, such as the safety training cars. This time there were also some damaged tank cars, possibly from the derailment this past winter?  We stopped on a side road running along the yard for some additional photos.

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