CSX Transportation, the nation’s largest eastern railroad, has recognized the Grafton and Upton Railroad as one of its fastest growing short line rail partners in the nation for 2012, during which the G and U increased its freight volume handled by 193 percent.
“This shows that the investment in infrastructure and jobs I’ve been making over the last five years is living up to the potential I saw when I purchased the railroad,” said G and U owner and CEO Jon Delli Priscoli. “I thank CSX for recognizing my efforts to revive this historic railroad and make it an economic development engine for the Blackstone Valley.”
CSX officials gave the Short Line Marketing Award to Delli Priscoli at the national carrier’s 23rd Annual Short Line Workshop recently held near their corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, FL.
“When I visited the G and U five years ago, the railroad operated only in Grafton and had two customers,” said Tony Giobbie, CSX’s Short Line Development Manager, Northeast Region. “So this isn’t a fluke, it has been a gradual expansion that’s been underway for years.”
Giobbe noted that the G and U increased freight volume by 137 percent in 2011.
After purchasing the railroad, Delli Priscoli invested millions of private dollars into rehabilitating the tracks along the 16-mile right of way. He also developed two transloading yards, one in West Upton, the other in Hopedale. At those sites bulk goods, everything from building materials to wood-stove pellets to food grade and industrial liquids, are transferred from freight cars to trucks, which carry the goods to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.
Right now, CSX drops off freight cars bound for G and U customers at the G&U yard on Westboro Road in North Grafton. Currently, the G and U is working on the final phase of restoring the railroad, rehabilitating tracks between Hopedale and the line’s end in Milford, where the railroad also connects to a CSX right of way.