"Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

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MEC407
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by MEC407 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 3:46 pm

The latest issue of the Clipper is online: http://www.panamrailways.com/xpress/2011q3.pdf
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by jr145 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:30 pm

Holy hell they posted a picture of Mellon.

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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by MEC407 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 4:49 pm

Wow. I hadn't even noticed that. But you're right... there he is.

Wow.
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by KSmitty » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:01 pm

Mellon standing next to Magic Johnson, you sure he's actually from Connecticut?

Honestly, quite an interesting newsletter. I found the articles on 77 and the AMTK train, Perma-Treat and Mechancville of most interest.

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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by jr145 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 6:17 pm

I've never been out to perma treat. Its interesting to read about where the black balsa wood comes from.

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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by gokeefe » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:20 pm

Plain and simple the message I got from the newsletter was: "the company is firing on all cylinders."

Pretty much every single major asset they have is being leveraged as fast as possible in order to increase income, capital or both.

As I've mentioned elsewhere I think the reuse of the B&M and MEC heritage schemes is a deliberate strategic decision on their part to increase value of the associated B&M and MEC intellectual property.

I'm assuming they can collect licensing fees on any model trains with B&M or MEC colors. Another reason to keep those images alive. I wouldn't be in the least bit surprised if there was some kind of thinking inside the company that sees the heritage scheme painting as being paid back for through increased licensing royalties from modeling and decal companies.
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by KSmitty » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:40 pm

I was impressed, they said they sandblasted the 77, nice change from the spree of bluedips where you can see the "G" and "Guilford Rail System" lettering when its in the sun :)

Though, I agree 100% with you GOkeefe, the whole newsletter seems to point to progress. Granted thats the point of any company newsletter, but this issue seemed full of articles that actually point to real progress, Mechanicville, Perma-Treat growing business, an expected auto section of AYMO by next year, even brands being successful and Northpoint getting a second chance, all point to a company starting to run full out.

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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by gokeefe » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:53 pm

I too noticed the "full treatment" as described in the article of the repaint for ST 77. Somewhat unusual for them.

In my opinion the special attention paid to getting the paint job done right appears to further point towards some kind of "image" emphasis by the company on the two brands (B&M & MEC).
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by jaymac » Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:13 am

The folks in Norfolk must be a bit happier: PAS got actual space and more than just a wink and a nod.
Making publicly nice with the other "allies" is definitely much better -- even if late -- than never. A little puzzling was the reference to "train dispatchers" and not TOMs, unless there's been progress on the organization front that hasn't been otherwise generally publicized. The OOS-English-teacher part of me couldn't help but notice the recurring theme of "legacy," whether it was a discussion of legacy bandwidths or the legacies of implied goodwill in legacy color schemes and the legacy of the magic of Magic.
Undercutting a bit the necessary and on-point discussion of safety, there did seem to be two noncompliant visuals: the photo of the CP Main taken by a company official apparently within the gauge and the closing and admittedly in-studio publicity shot showing the model's right arm through the luggage loop while on the shift and then presumably to the wheel.
Despite that, the outfit does seem to be putting in a good-faith effort.
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by gokeefe » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:24 pm

jaymac wrote:The OOS-English-teacher part of me couldn't help but notice the recurring theme of "legacy," whether it was a discussion of legacy bandwidths or the legacies of implied goodwill in legacy color schemes and the legacy of the magic of Magic.
I think that's a very interesting point.

Perhaps their outlook on the past few decades is that the company was effectively "frozen in time", i.e. previous leadership delayed, or put off major decision making regarding assets for the simple sake of consistent and clean cash flow. In a way they're sort of "resetting". The legacy paint jobs "turn back the clock" as it were while the asset work (Perma Treat, North Point, Pan Am Brands) shows they're "picking up" where US Filter and Boston & Maine Corporation left off.

Seriously, given everything that's happening now it could just as well be 1983.

Another perspective on Perma Treat operational changes, my take on this is they are getting ready for a very very big push into tie replacement. Ramping up your tie production and disposal facility is in my opinion a strong sign of preparations for major overhaul on your track structures. Note also the fact that they're making sure they can lower their overall cost for tie production by having bulk delivery of creosote (another sign of imminent mass production) and they also hired someone with local experience and knowledge of Connecticut forestry, meaning they're trying to position themselves to buy large quantities of high quality portions of the timber harvest. I was particularly intrigued by the fact that they seemed to be interested in the oak timber crop in Connecticut. To my knowledge PAR has always used softwood ties, but that was only an impression not anything based on knowledge. Oak of course makes great railroad ties that can take a serious beating (or so I understand).
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by MEC407 » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:37 pm

Without a doubt, this is one of the most interesting, fascinating, and exciting times in the history of the company. I heartily applaud the positive changes they've made.

They still have a long way to go before anyone can declare them a completely changed company. (Some things they're doing right now are very much in the old Guilford style.)
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by gokeefe » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:25 pm

Also of note:

This issue appears to be the first time that the company is acknowledging a "change of direction":

From the Fortifying the Lines of Communication (newsletter page 15), italics added:
In closing, while the Carrier has always conducted periodic safety sessions in the Mechanical and Engineering Departments, having the President, Executive Vice President, and various other senior level management officials from the railroad available to sit down with employees on a quarterly basis to discuss these all important matters has been a positive experience for everyone involved. This unique platform allows participants in the meetings unprecedented access to senior level officers and also speaks to the new, dynamic direction in which these particular executives are leading the Pan Am Railways team.

Contributed by:
Anthony Lomanto, Vice President, Human Resources
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by gokeefe » Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:58 pm

The article on North Point in Cambridge mentions the following:
Today, through the efforts of the railroad, there are 329 condominium units located in two exceptional buildings that are bordered by a rolling park and water feature where neighbors go for their morning runs and to walk their dogs.
The only images I had previously associated with North Point were two very ugly looking office buildings.

I looked the condominiums up and sure enough they look more or less exactly as described. See for yourself at North Point Condominiums.
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by gokeefe » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:12 am

Here's the current project website:

North Point Project Website

Here's the website for HYM Investments:

HYM Investments

You can click on the "Projects" link to get to their North Point page.

The Boston Globe ran an article on the project relaunch on October 6, 2011.
Work stalled in 2007 because of a bitter lawsuit between its former owners. The logjam finally broke last year, when Johnson’s company, Canyon/Johnson Urban Funds, acquired the property in a partnership with O’Brien’s firm, HYM Investment Group of Boston, and Atlas Capital Group of New York. ... Under a new agreement with the state, construction and relocation of the new, $70 million Lechmere Station will be funded through the extension project. The developers and Pan Am Systems Inc., an equity partner that previously operated the rail yard, agreed to give the state land, railroad right-of-ways in other parts of Massachusetts, and $12 million in exchange for public funding of the station. The Green Line extension is under design but still awaiting federal funding commitments.
It is not at all clear to me how much control Pan Am maintains over this venture.
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Re: "Pan Am Clipper" Newsletter

Post by markhb » Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:26 am

I guess it was left up to Magic himself to note that he's standing up for a project that's only 2 Green Line stops from the site of the old Boston Garden.

So, this issue has: a photo of the Chairman (apparently we now know that NBA Hall of Famers will draw his presence), a positive mention of TrainRiders/NorthEast, and a photo of Anna Trebunskaya from Dancing With the Stars (which is apropos of nothing but my appreciation of her talents ;-) ).
"...And then I thought, every time some company creates a more powerful locomotive does Superman become more powerful as well or is he stuck at 1938 locomotive power levels?" - A friend of mine elsewhere
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