Ayer's Place as a New England Freight Rail Hub
“A BUSY PLACE - The “Great Junction” at Groton, is one of the greatest places in this great country. We doubt if there is a place any where, where so many railroad trains meet simultaneously. Here the Worcester and Nashua, the Stoney Brook, and the Townsend railroads connext with the Fitchburg, and three times a day trains meet there from Boston, Lowell, Worcester, Fitchburg, Nashua and Townsend, their six locomotives puffing and blowing and roaring like the Bulls of Bashan. A man can start from there for any where.” (Nashua Telegraph – May 26, 1849)
Home of the Ayer Intermodal Facility: The Ayer Intermodal Facility is located in Ayer, Massachusetts, approximately 35 miles northwest of Boston, on property which was part of Fort Devens, a U.S. Army base decommissioned in 1996. The facility is bound by Barnum Road to the east and south, Saratoga Boulevard and Devens Industrial Park to the west, and West Main Street to north. Principal transportation access to the Ayer Intermodal Facility is via State Route 2, the old Mohawk Trail, which runs across Nashoba Valley and northern Massachusetts. I-495, Boston's outer suburban beltway is 5 miles east on MA-110. State Route 140 and Interstate 190 connect the region to Worcester. The Springfield Terminal Rail Line (the former Boston and Maine Railroad) parallels Route 2 and provides access to the network of intermodal facilities serving central and eastern Massachusetts. The closest major airport is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, about 27 miles north on MA-11. Logan International Airport in Boston is 33 miles to the east...In 1993, the Army began leasing property for the Ayer Intermodal Facility to Guilford Transportation (predecessor to Pan Am Railways), initiating an investment of over $3 million ($2008) in private capital. The lease between the Army and the railroad was the first to be signed between the Army and a private company for the operation of a facility on an active military installation. The Intermodal Facility was funded solely with private railroad funds.
The Ayer Intermodal facility encompasses approximately 52-acres of land. It was built to handle a capacity of 75,000 truckload equivalent units (TEUs) annually, and has the potential to expand to 175,000 TEUs of capacity. The facility provides connects to Pan Am's 2,000 mile network of rail routes in Maine, New Hampshire Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York and Atlantic Canada, and provides interchanges with 15 railroads throughout its network.
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