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Eastern Railroad Discussion > Welcome to Prince Spaghettiville BNSF


Date: 02/06/10 18:52
Welcome to Prince Spaghettiville BNSF
Author: TheOssman

For the greater part of the 20th century, Lowell, MA was home to the Prince pasta plant, one of the largest pasta plants in the country. Prince, before its current status as just a brand, was started in Boston's North End. It quickly outgrew these quarters and moved from the North End to Lowell. Its large pasta plant was one of the largest employers in the area, with as many as 400 on the workforce. It is likely most famous for proclaiming Wednesdays as "Prince Spaghetti Day" and its TV ad campaign (Anthony!). It was also a Boston & Maine, and later Guilford, customer, with a very short section of its spur using street running down the center of (of course) Prince Ave. After the Borden Food Corporation purchased Prince in 1987, things unfortunately went downhill. Borden closed the plant within a decade, on July 11th, 1997. It has been 12 1/2 years since it closed, and the plant is now owned by a yarn company (non-rail of course, yarn doesn't quite need whole boxcars for transport). However, two signs of the area's former existence as Prince Spaghettiville may be found along the two main roads leading to the area, Lawrence St. and Gorham St. When each of these passes under the current Pan Am Railways main, "Welcome to Prince Spaghettiville" signs still exist on one side of each bridge. The bridges are most notorious for being truck catchers at 12'5" and 12'0", respectively. Getting around them requires a 2-3 mile out of the way trip, or a tight, winding journey to the grade crossing at Meadowcroft St. and thin streets not designed for tractor-trailer traffic. Today the area received rare visitors in a pair of BNSF engines, grabbed off a loaded coal train to take some general freight west.

1) BNSF 5705 and BNSF 8920 head light across the Concord River in Lowell, MA. They will roll alongside their train (out of view to the right) to setup their FRED/marker, then come back and back on. This is almost as far northeast as these units will ever see without going into Canada, and unless they've made a trip to Boston on CSX, as far east in the US as they will ever get!

2) The marker is set onto the rear of the train, and the light power heads back west, heading for the interlocking at CPF-BY Meadowcroft St. to crossover and pick up their train.

3) The power rolls by the first part of its train. I am standing on a pedestrian-only temporary bridge, as a former wooden deck bridge behind me has been taken down and is being replaced. I've zoomed to a 300mm equivalent to get through the chain link fence surrounding the walkway for shots 2 and 3.








Date: 02/06/10 18:56
Re: Welcome to Prince Spaghettiville BNSF
Author: TheOssman

4) The 8920 and 5705 have backed onto their train now, and 5705 poses with the Welcome to Prince Spaghettiville sign over Lawrence St. Spaghettiville, just like in the sign, is gone now, one of many changes to happen to the city of Lowell, MA over its nearly two centuries of existence.

Thank you for looking, hope you enjoyed this look into my little corner of the world!




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