Railroads & Locomotives Railroad Profiles Short Lines Pioneer Valley Railroad Company profile

Pioneer Valley Railroad Company profile

By Lucas Iverson | January 27, 2023

Pioneer Valley Railroad Company is a short line railroad operating in western Massachusetts.

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Pinsly Railroad Company logoPioneer Valley Railroad Company summary

The Pioneer Valley Railroad Company (PVRR) is a short line railroad that operates in western Massachusetts. It’s owned by the Pinsly Railroad Company, a family-owned holding firm that was established in 1938. About 16 miles of standard-gauge track connects industries, warehouses and transload facilities between Westfield and Holyoke.

History

Before being established by Pinsly Railroad Corp., the Pioneer Valley Railroad Company was once the 24-mile New Haven branch line of the former Conrail. Since being purchased by Pinsly in 1982, the railroad acquired former Boston & Maine Railroad industrial tracks into Holyoke. Sections of the original line were also dropped over the years, yet the Pioneer Valley Railroad continues to remain a busy railroad.

Operations

The Pioneer Valley Railroad serves 17 online customers. Most of this is possible with the railroad’s partnership with Railroad Distribution Service (RDS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinsly Railroad Co. RDS owns two facilities, both located less than two miles north of one another. “RDS1” is used primarily for storage of drywall materials and rolled metals, with outdoor transloading that handles granite and various lumber products. “RDS2” stores customer’s paper, plaster, fertilizer, scrap cardboard, metal coils, lumber, and decorative stone.

Since 2008, the railroad has partnered with both Yankee Candle and Superior Carriers trucking company to serve as the local distribution point at Holyoke’s transloading facility for inbound liquid wax from the Gulf Coast. The Pioneer Valley’s Southampton Branch north of Westfield serves Lowe’s regional distribution center and DCP Midstream liquid propane facility.

Diesel locomotives on the Pioneer Valley Railroad come from Pinsly’s own roster pool of first-generation units of General Motors. The most unique being the EMD CF7s, rebuilt F units from the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The units are painted in the corporate scheme of red and yellow, a practice dating back to the early 1950s.

Rail traffic on the PVRR interchanges with CSX Transportation in Westfield and Holyoke.

Read more about the Pioneer Valley Railroad Company in Trains’ June 2017 issue.

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