Winchester Unable to Prevent Freight Train Stops

Freight trains will be making stops at Tighe Trucking at 45 Holton Street.

in Winchester to make deliveries at Tighe Trucking.

Last week, Winchester residents showed up at the Board of Selectmen meeting to try and prevent the trains from stopping near their homes.

But according to Acting Town Manager, Mary Ellen Lannon, the town has no authority to prevent the trains from stopping at the Holton Street business.

“Based upon the documentation available, it was determined that Mr. Tighe was within his rights as a property owner to request the improvements be done to have freight deliveries to the industrial location on Holton Street,” Lannon said.

According to Winchester resident Susan Busher, a railroad switch has been established by the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBCR) at Cross Street at the request of Tighe Trucking, Inc. She said that a railroad siding will be installed that will bring freight trains off the commuter rail for the delivery to the back side of Tighe Trucking at 45 Holton Street.

“This isn’t going away,” said Winchester resident Lorraine Malloy. “They don’t consider the residents in what they do.”

According to Lannon, the town was unable to find a reason to prevent the trains from making stops.

  • The building office said that the building is still conforming to a light industrial zone.
  • The Conservation Commission stated the spur lied outside the flood plain.
  • The Engineering office is trying to set up a meeting with the MBTA.

Busher said that if freight trains are allowed access in Winchester they would be making deliveries between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., as to not impact the commuter rail schedule. She also said that the trains would create a lot of unnecessary noise in the area.

“We’re trying to make sure the town takes action,” Busher said.

Lannon told the residents that they could file a noise ordinance with the Board of Health for the noise that may be generated from the beeping and other noise the trucks could make. But an ordinance can’t be filed until the trains and trucks begin stopping in the area, so the town can measure the amount of noise the machinery is making.

“This isn’t going away,” Malloy said. “We’re not going to allow neighborhoods to be taken over by commercial destruction anymore. Time is of the essence.”

Lannon said besides the noise issue, the town does not appear to have any legal authority in the matter. However, she did say that she will try and set up a meeting between the parties.

BAV December 22, 2011 at 07:13 PM
Residents have a right not to be disturbed by train or truck deliveries in the middle of the night. Find a way to make it work with day time deliveries, and there is no issue.
James Alanson Kirk December 22, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Bav, I believe that there is a considerable amount of hyperbole and conjecture in the statements made by the women in these articles. The noise of a locomotive uncoupling a string of cars is not as bad as it's made out to be. And the reason for the railroad serving the line at night, as the article states, is because the MBTA, a government agency won't allow Pam Am access to the tracks during the daytime due to conflicts with commuter trains. At best, we're probably taking about a couple of deliveries a week, with each delivery taking under twenty minutes. No where is it stated that trucks will be operating at all hours of the night, though it could be true; currently that is speculation. However, if they wanted to have truck deliveries at night, by law I don't believe anything could be done to stop them. They are in an industrial zone. What seems out of place is the homes on Baldwin St. and Williams Circle. This is an example of poor zoning regulation. Lastly, I hesitate to ad, but will due to it's relevance to the issue; a google search shows that both women quoted in the article are real estate agents in the area, and that neither live in the immediate area of the warehouse. Their motivation may be nothing more than protecting their competing interests, which in business is understandable. I do however feel that this should have been mentioned by the reporter in the story.
James Alanson Kirk December 22, 2011 at 08:22 PM
In fact Ms. Malloy represents a property for sale at 3 Holton St. around the corner from the facility, listed at 629,000. The reporter should have mentioned her business in the article in the interest of fairness to all involved.
Sierra Tango March 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
"Residents have a right not to be disturbed by train or truck deliveries in the middle of the night." If you buy a house next to an active railroad, you have no such right. You should expect noise 24/7, and be thankful if the noise happens to occur less often than that.
BAV March 07, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Sierra - Suppose you make a point. However, if you buy a house right next to an active road, you should expect noise 24/7 and be thankful that noise happens to occur less often than that too!


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