Located midway on CSX's main east-west line between Worcester and Springfield, Massachusetts, Palmer is a great place to hang out and watch trains. Passenger trains do not stop in Palmer, but the northbound and southbound Vermonters pause to be handswitched to and from the New England Central and there is considerable freight action. The old Palmer station houses a regionally acclaimed railroad-themed restaurant and a small museum, and the surrounding grounds feature an old engine and other equipment. Stop by on a weekend and you'll meet lots of railfans.
We begin with photos taken in January 2005. Click on each to enlarge.
The top row features the old station, the westbound Boston section of the Lake Shore Limited and a CSX freight , the second the northbound Vermonter headed for Amherst, Massachusetts, Brattleboro, Vermont, and points north. Note the train being handswitched.
The next pictures are from a visit in May, 2005. The first three photos show the southbound Vermonter, the last two in the top row the westbound Lake Shore. Other photos are of the museum, a Central of New England freight and equipment on the site.
I returned in July, 2013, on a beautiful weekend day to got the Vermonter coming from Amherst and a later train going up to the university town. The timekeeping wasn't brilliant, but lunch in the Steaming Tender was splendid and a bit of a run in with the local gendarmes added some spice (some confusion about whether some of us photographing the train were on CSX property or not...took a few days to sort that one out). But all ended well. Palmer is still a great place to watch trains....though the Vermonter may soon be departing to its Connecticut River route through Greenfield and Northhampton.