Seaview Transportation Company

The Seaview Transportation Company, also known as the Seaview Railroad, is a terminal railroad in North Kingstown, Rhode Island that serves the port of Davisville and surrounding industries. The railroad began operations in 1978 on trackage that formerly served Quonset Point Air National Guard Station.[1][2]

Seaview Transportation Company
Seaview Transportation Logo.png
Davisville Road Quonset.jpg
Seaview Transportation Company tracks in North Kingston, RI.
Overview
HeadquartersDavisville, Rhode Island
Reporting markSVTX
LocaleNorth Kingstown, Rhode Island
Dates of operation1978–
Technical
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Track length14 miles (23 km)
Other
Websitehttp://trainsri.com/seaview-railroad/

Seaview is a sister company to the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad, a heritage railroad in Rhode Island.

HistoryEdit

FormationEdit

The location where the railroad operates today was formerly a United States military installation, known as Naval Air Station Quonset Point. An extensive military railroad with 45 miles (72 km) of track served the facility, run by the United States Navy.[3] The base was significantly downsized in 1974, leaving only Quonset Point Air National Guard Station on the site. With the departure of the navy, the Seaview Transportation Company was formed between 1978 and 1979 to continue rail service for civilian customers in the area.

Early years (1978 to 1990)Edit

In the company's first year, it had just two customers and handled 400 carloads.[3]

Expansion and growth (1990 to 2000)Edit

In the late 1990s, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation provided funding and support for Seaview's infrastructure, helping the company rebuild tracks and expand operations. As a result of RIDOT's support, the railroad greatly increased service.[4]

Into the 21st century (2000 to present)Edit

The railroad imported 41,797 automobiles by rail in 2011.[5]

In 2012, Eric Moffett purchased Seaview from its previous owner.[4] Moffett prioritized expanding the railroad's services and rebuilding disused trackage. In the early 2010s, the state of Rhode Island invested $5.5 million to repair all of Seaview's 14 miles (23 km) of track.[6] By 2015, Seaview was handling over 6,800 cars per year, an increase from 5,000 in 2012.[3] In 2017, the railroad surpassed 7,000 carloads, triple the number it was carrying in the early 1990s.[4]

Citing a need for more storage capacity for railcars, Seaview began constructing a new railyard in October 2021. Mill Creek Yard, which included two new tracks for railcar storage, was projected to be complete in summer 2022.[7]

OperationsEdit

Freight serviceEdit

 
A retired Seaview Railroad boxcar at the Providence and Worcester Railfan Club Museum in Webster, Massachusetts, seen in July 2021. The boxcar bears P&W reporting marks.

Seaview serves a number of customers within the Quonset Business Park, which was established in the area formerly occupied by the Naval Air Station. The railroad's two biggest customers are automobile importer North American Distribution and Toray Plastics. Other customers include companies in the lumber, food, steel products, and granite industries.[1] As of 2016, Seaview had a total of nine customers.[3]

The railroad is connected to the Northeast Corridor, where it interchanges freight with Providence and Worcester Railroad.[3]

Seaview's headquarters and offices are located in North Kingston's Davisville neighborhood. The company's locomotives are based here as well.[8]

The railroad typically operates five days a week, as needed by the industries it serves.[1][3]

Passenger serviceEdit

While primarily a freight railroad, Seaview first started offering limited passenger service in 2016, bringing passengers between Providence and T. F. Green Airport stations and the Quonset Air Show, an annual event held at the Quonset Point ANG Station. This service, named "Trains to Planes," continued in 2017, when it transported a total of 4,200 passengers to and from the air show.[4] The company has expressed interest in partnering with Rhode Island Fast Ferry to transport passengers to the ferry terminal in Quonset on special occasions and weekends.[3]

Work with MBTAEdit

Seaview Railroad provides repair services and equipment storage for the MBTA. Seaview's owner Eric Moffett told a local newspaper in 2016, “If we’re able to help support the MBTA, we maybe, in the future, help increase service in the Northeast corridor.”[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Seaview Railroad". Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad Company. Archived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  2. ^ "RAIL". Quonset Business Park. Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Bessette, James (July 1, 2016). "All aboard! Seaview Transportation Company rides the rails to success". South County Independent. Archived from the original on February 17, 2022. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d "Seaview Railroad: An integral part of Quonset's success - by Steven King". New England Real Estate Journal. Archived from the original on September 3, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "Rail News - Rhode Island port elevates standing among North American auto importers, Gov. Chafee says. For Railroad Career Professionals". Progressive Railroading. March 12, 2012. Archived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  6. ^ Rappleye, Bill (December 19, 2017). "Quonset railroad sets transport record". WJAR. Archived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.
  7. ^ Seymour, Bill (October 14, 2021). "Groundbreaking hints at future of rail in South County". The Independent. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  8. ^ Curley, Bob (February 14, 2019). "The Secret Life of Quonset". Rhode Island Monthly. p. 7. Archived from the original on September 2, 2021. Retrieved September 2, 2021.