Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter Rail

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Pete
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Pete »

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Oh...that grifter again.
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:And the dude is a scammer
I'm late to this conversation, but I'm interested in knowing what's behind these two comments other than the proposal's perceived plausibility or what this enterprise's address is. The comments are personally directed and I'm curious what you know that the rest of us don't. You can only make so many statements like this without explaining.

The EGE
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by The EGE »

Just the facts: He's proposing a passenger operation on a line that hasn't been profitable for passenger operation since the 1930s (it was down to one daily trip by 1937). Profitable intercity demand is handled just fine by buses on 146 except during rush hours, and rush hour demand is commuter focused and not intercity.

No evidence that he has any railroad experience (the firm is literally one guy with a PO box). No evidence that Amtrak has any interest in letting them onto the corridor, or that the MBTA would share platforms, or that the Worcester Redevelopment Authority will let them use Union Station. No mention of the millions he'll need to add an interlocking to even get to the platforms at Providence. No explanation of how he plans to achieve substantially lower trip times than were ever achieved on the line. No mention of the cost of substantial track and crossing upgrades to make the line suitable for passenger service.

But the state of RI has public plans to add Woonsocket-Providence commuter rail service. It's a solid plan, actually. Commuter based, substantial infrastructure work included (the state gets along quite well with Amtrak, MBTA, and P&W), and with subsidized fares as a public service not for profit. But if this guy has established even hilariously useless passenger service on the line, the state will have to buy him out, and it won't be cheap for them.

So he might be out to scam private investors by claiming he can pull an All Aboard Florida on a much less viable corridor. Or he's out to get bought out by the state. Or he's so hopelessly unaware of how railroads work that he actually thinks he can make a profit. Either way, he's at best deluded and at worst an outright con artist, and there's no reason we should be taking him seriously.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

Pete wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Oh...that grifter again.
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:And the dude is a scammer
I'm late to this conversation, but I'm interested in knowing what's behind these two comments other than the proposal's perceived plausibility or what this enterprise's address is. The comments are personally directed and I'm curious what you know that the rest of us don't. You can only make so many statements like this without explaining.
What EGE said. There's 2 threads on this proposal, so you may not be aware of the other somewhat longer one in the P&W subforum: viewtopic.php?f=179&t=158145" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;. That may help fill in missing detail, since we haven't had a thread-merge yet to clean the discussion up all neat-and-tidy.


But...even in this thread there are many, many enumerated reasons why this proposal and the outfit proposing it are suspect and has improbable paths to gaining permission to run. Plucking two partial quotes out-of-context and claiming "TL;DR...late to the party" isn't much of an excuse.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Rockingham Racer »

Take a look at the discussion forum on their website [www.bsrc.com]. I clicked on 4 or 5 posts, and not one of them had anything to do with this company or its proposal. Something about "erectile dysfunction" was there, though. So, what's going on?

Pete
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Pete »

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:But...even in this thread there are many, many enumerated reasons why this proposal and the outfit proposing it are suspect and has improbable paths to gaining permission to run. Plucking two partial quotes out-of-context and claiming "TL;DR...late to the party" isn't much of an excuse.
Didn't make an excuse, just apologizing for jumping in only after the discussion has died down. Read all the posts in this thread before posting (and quite a few articles elsewhere). So there's no explicit or implicit "tl;dr" here.

However, what I'm reading equates to people calling this a bad investment, lack of information, doubt in the organization, etc.—all reasonable assessments from our pointbof view.

It was the "scammer" and "grifter" comments that state outright that there is malice involved. That is a significant step from the other comments and I think if there's more behind this than the "I don't like the look of this one bit" sentiment that is prevailing, we would all benefit from knowing why that line has been crossed.

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

Upselling...repeatedly...in public statements that you can start a wholly private commuter rail service within 18 months for a total of $3M capital with no government money when the itemized capital estimate of repairing just the grade crossing surfaces on this line well enough to operate at passenger speeds is $10M isn't a little shady? Mr. Bono's statements contradicts P&W's own legal counsel's statements in the linked newspaper articles about the readiness of the line.

Upselling...repeatedly...in public statements a route that 1) requires permission from Amtrak to physically enter the Providence station they own and dispatch, 2) requires permission from the Worcester Redevelopment Authority (a half- state-level agency) to physically enter the Worcester Union Station that they own, 3) requires FRA permission to incorporate self as an operating railroad, 4) requires FRA-inspected compliance for Positive Train Control to enter PTC (pre-existing since 2001)-controlled Providence station...can be up-and-running within 18 months without saying how one would acquire any of that permission, isn't a little shady? Mr. Bono contradicts his own statements on timetable in the linked newspaper articles by admitting that he hasn't talked to the feds yet.

Upselling...repeatedly...in public statements that the this can stay within $3M and turn profit when the known-known insurance rates for Amtrak co-mingling, and the comparable insurance rates for liability on the MBTA trackage rights into the P&W yard...well exceed $3M by their lonesome...isn't a little shady?

Upselling...repeatedly...in public statements that the company have a private trainset collection that they are putting together for a service to be up and running within 18 months while there is zero evidence that one exists and admitting that they have only ridden P&W's business train/excursion fleet...isn't a little shady?


Finally, this may not be shady unto itself, but it is curiously-timed:

-- The company is incorporated out of thin air within 4 months of RIDOT filing its federally-mandated 2014 State Rail Plan with the FRA, itemizing a full state-level study of Worcester-Providence commuter rail within the 8-year term covered by the rail plan.

-- The company magically appears out of nowhere in the press with his 2-year/$3M plan the same week Woonsocket passes zoning reform on the 3 potential station sitings for the RIDOT Providence-Woonsocket commuter rail project.

-- The company magically appears out of nowhere in the press the same month this outfit, incorporated at a residential P.O. Box with offer of pay-by-mail "membership packages" that offer no proof-of-membership, shows up in New Hampshire with the same sales pitch on Conway Branch ski trains. And also in Maine and NH on the ex-MEC Mountain Division long-haul service. Precisely when the states in question are preparing RFP's to be issued within 6 months time (they're out now) on freight operator candidates in that territory, and while sale negotiations (since completed) are underway for private purchase of Conway Scenic RR--the incumbent passenger carrier on the NH portion of the Mountain and the northern tip of the Conway--by the owner of Grafton & Upton RR and Edaville. An outfit with nearly the exact same sales pitch, similar unexplained cost gap, similar unexplained whereabouts of their train collection (although this guy claimed to actually have the trains, except the photo evidence provided was a Photoshop of another RR's), and similar unexplained plan for overcoming the paper barriers associated with using someone else's stations and territory. This 2 years after the same outfit made a similar sales pitch on the St. Lawrence & Atlantic mainline that SLR denied having any knowledge of or conversations for...then disappeared before resurfacing this year. The same month; the same media blitz.

^^These events happening in such close proximity to each other with companies incorporated so quickly sans assets are one hell of a coincidence. Maybe not a coordinated coincidence, but an opportunistic one.



If you are going to fling an accusation of malice here, please provide your own pile of evidence that it is malicious and defamatory. Malicious intent is not something RR.net takes lightly in the forum rules. There is a specific post on the site announcements subforum warning against slander, and the risks it poses to the site owners. I provided my evidence that something smells very off about the truthiness gap in the public statements, the numbers, the permissions from public authorities and lack of explicit confirmation therein, the operations plan, and the timing. So have other people in these threads. You provide yours that this is crossing the line into slander, because that's a very serious charge.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Rockingham Racer »

Where is the equipment coming from? There's nothing stated about that so far--AFAICT.

Pete
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Pete »

Oh boy. Look, there's not a version of "scammer" or "grifter" that doesn't imply malice on the part of the person being described. Those are very specific, loaded words. That is why I am asking. If it doesn't smell right to you, fine, but you used language that necessarily implies wrongdoing.

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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Jeff Smith »

Let's move on, shall we?
Next stop, Willoughby
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

Rockingham Racer wrote:Where is the equipment coming from? There's nothing stated about that so far--AFAICT.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic ... vC6cyB_jlk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

From TRAINS Magazine. . .
Vincent Bono, CEO of the Boston Surface Railroad, says it will take $3 to $5 million to get the project off the ground. Much of that money will go toward building a new passing siding and a new passenger platform in Worcester. Bono says the new operation will rely on refurbished equipment, including three used locomotives and 12 former Amtrak passenger cars.
Former Amtrak? How "former" are we talking here? There's so little ex- Heritage coach refuse still in operating condition, and it's so widely-scattered around museums and scenic carriers, that it's vanishingly unlikely 12 HEP-equipped cars can even be cobbled together by Q2 2017. Much less 12 that will pass current FRA regs.


I would bet $3M in Monopoly money that they're referring to the CDOT Constitution Liners, the ex- SPV-2000 DMU's that were gutted and quickie-retrofitted into Shore Line East coaches after multiple ownership changes that did include some time with Amtrak. There are exactly 12 in CDOT ownership stuffed in various crevices of New Haven Yard. Rumor posted earlier in the thread that they were looking at buying 3 of the 6 FL9 locos also stored in New Haven, though that was never substantiated. That would point to the Constitution Liners being the coaches referenced in the quote.

All 12 coaches are totally inoperable, stripped for parts, and requiring major rebuild. And they won't pass current FRA regs without a structural retrofit. See here and here. So...Q2 '17 for start of service, eh?


I guess we could ask the Metro North staffers well-represented on the forums if they know if New Haven so much as received a phone call, let alone offer, for those hunks of junk. The FL9's in particular are of perpetual high-interest to railfans, so any rumor half-baked or greater about those almost always creates a stir and re-ignites some old thread.

lakest101
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by lakest101 »

Checked their website - http://www.bsrc.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; seems to work for me - didn't see anything involving erections. ;-)

Also looks like everyone is getting a pass on PTC:

http://wshu.org/post/us-senate-passes-b ... l-deadline" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

not sure if both houses passed it or its still in committee though.

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Rockingham Racer
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by Rockingham Racer »

Well, here's a copy of one of the posts on the forum tab:
Samual


Will I have to work on Saturdays? home coumadin level tester The Hawks have been one the league’s surprise contenders through the first half of the season but they continue to chase the team that has been lapping most of the league.
Don't see what this has to do with anything! :P

lakest101
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by lakest101 »

HA! Wow! I see it now. Looks like spam! I was just reading their FAQ and stuff.

F-line to Dudley via Park
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by F-line to Dudley via Park »

Rockingham Racer wrote:Well, here's a copy of one of the posts on the forum tab:
Samual


Will I have to work on Saturdays? home coumadin level tester The Hawks have been one the league’s surprise contenders through the first half of the season but they continue to chase the team that has been lapping most of the league.
Don't see what this has to do with anything! :P
It means hope. :wink:

leviramsey
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Re: Boston Surface Railroad: Worcester-Providence Commuter R

Post by leviramsey »

lakest101 wrote: Also looks like everyone is getting a pass on PTC:

http://wshu.org/post/us-senate-passes-b ... l-deadline" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
As I understand it, the PTC mandate isn't what we're talking about here: the likelihood of Amtrak letting BSRC access the platforms at Providence station without PTC (ACSES) is, at most, vanishingly small.

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