CSX's last freight train in the city of Boston says goodbye for what may be the last time. The predecessors of the Boston and Albany began serving their namesake city in 1839. The B&A came into inexistence in 1870 and the New York Central took control in 1900. The NYC passed to Penn Central, Conrail, and ultimately CSXT. This light loco is the last direct link in that lineage.
After CSXT pulled out of Beacon Park yard and moved their main Massachusetts freight yard out to Worcester in 2013 this one little local freight still made its way into the city from Framingham, 23 miles to the west. Only a handful of customers remained, the most important being the produce mart over in Chelsea. This was accessed by trackage rights over the MBTA (inherited from the B&M) that date back to the 1950s when the B&A rationalized some of its own trackage over to East Boston. But, on Saturday May 5th the Grand Junction branch connector from the B&A to the old B&M was taken out of service for a period that could last up to 8 weeks. In the interim, CSX's customers are to be serviced by Pan Am's last Boston based local (BO-1). It is suspected that once the Grand Junction reopens that CSXT will just continue to pay Pan Am to provide these switches. If that comes to pass, then this view is the last time a CSXT freight will run east through Cambridge.
In this view the Framingham based local is trundling slowly east through the heart of Cambridge about to pass under MIT's McGovern Brain Research Institute. And off to the right, the Ray and Maria Stata Center clearly shows of it's striking Frank Gehry design. Shortly it will reach Somerville, pass by Boston Engine Terminal and thread its way through FX interlocking and on to the MBTA Eastern Route mainline to cross the Mystic River to retrieve some empty reefers and scrap gons before returning west for good.