• Bay Coast Railway?

  • Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Discussion pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Moderator: therock

  by riffian
That car is an absolute gem. Happy to see its found a good home.
  by riffian
This month's Railpace magazine is reporting that the last piece of Bay Coast equipment, GP-15 no. 400, has been moved off-line by Buckingham Branch and replaced with one of their own units. The 400 was the long time (10 plus years anyway) regular Little Creek engine. It has been taken to Metro Industries in St Louis for overhaul and repainting. Unit was originally Frisco 115, later BN 1390, then BN 1490, then Leasing Partners (LLPX) finally to BCR as 400. The report further states that the unit will be painted cascade green. Not sure what the significance of that color might be nor do I know what BB paints their other units. Still several active customers on the Little Creek side requiring a five day a week crew, at least during Bay Coast days.
  by RailVet
There's more here:

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/20 ... cade-green" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Minnesota short line revives Burlington Northern's Cascade green
By Steve Glischinski | January 29, 2019

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Burlington Northern’s Cascade green paint scheme was consigned to history with BN’s merger with Santa Fe in 1995, but the colors are making a comeback on Minnesota short line Northern Lines Railway. Two GP15-1s are being overhauled for service on the railroad and painted in a version of BN’s Cascade green colors. Northern Lines was formed in 2005 by Anacostia Rail Holdings Company to operate about 25 miles of mainly ex-Great Northern trackage in the St. Cloud area.

The railroad has relied on GP7 and GP9 rebuilds since start up, but that is about to change. Former Chicago & North Western GP15-1 No. 4413, now NLR No. 422, has been repainted in Cascade green by Mid-America Car in Kansas City, Mo., but has not yet been accepted by the railroad. No. 400, ex-St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) No. 115, is being overhauled at Metro East Industries in East St. Louis and will join No. 422 in Cascade green when completed. This will be the second time the unit will wear BN green. After BN merged Frisco into its system in 1980, the unit was repainted Cascade green and renumbered BN 1390. It became BNSF No. 1490, then was sold to Locomotive Leasing Partners (LLPX). It worked for several years at the Bay Coast Railroad as its number 400.

Northern Lines Railway President Justin Chalich said, “We needed newer, more reliable locomotives. The two GP15s will replace older locomotives, No. 400 and No. 1411. Both have worked hard since they were built in 1952 and 1950, respectively. Northern Lines Railway operates over former Great Northern trackage. We wanted to recognize that heritage by retaining Burlington Northern’s Cascade Green color scheme, he said.

The Cascade green scheme was developed in the 1960s by the New York industrial design firm of Lippincott & Margulies. It was meant to represent the forest country of the Northwest that would be served by the new Burlington Northern, as well as the timber industry, one of the railroad’s major customers. The first unit to wear green was Chicago, Burlington & Quincy GP40 No. 629 in August 1968, painted in an experimental scheme with a wide white stripe along the body and narrow V-stripes on the nose. In the final version of the scheme, the white flanking strip was eliminated (except on passenger units with the stripe narrowed) while four 45-degree white stripes replaced the V-stripes on the nose. Repainting of BN’s diesel fleet began after the merger in March 1970 and was completed in September 1977.

NLR’s primary commodities are aggregates, building products, chemicals, coal, food products, lumber, manufactured goods, paper, scrap, steel and stone. In 2012, Archer Daniels Midland constructed a shuttle loading grain elevator on NLR’s Cold Spring/Rockville line between Waite Park and Rockville, Minn.
  by riffian
Well that explains it (in a most detailed fashion).
  by RailVet
https://www.rtands.com/freight/soon-to- ... s-program/

Soon-to-be abandoned track in Va. might be turned over to rails-to-trails program

The railroad company that owns a line around the eastern shore of Virginia is petitioning to abandon the route. The move has officials wondering what they want to do with the land.

Canonie Atlantic Company currently operates the 49.1-mile stretch of track that includes a car float operation from Cape Charles to Norfolk, Va. Cassatt Management LLC, representing Canonie, plans to file a petition to walk away from the line. The 40-ft-wide stretch runs parallel to Route 13 in most places. Canonie has been leasing the track to Bay Coast Railroad, which has not operated on it since April 30, 2018.

Cassatt will file an environmental and historic report on or after July 15. In the meantime officials are trying to figure out the next steps once the land officially becomes vacant. The Canonie Atlantic board wants to partner and place the line in the rails-to-trails program.

Donald Hart Jr., who chairs both the Accomack-Northampton Transportation Commission and the Canonie Atlantic board, wants to try to keep working segments of the rail active, but says the move will require a lot of maintenance. “We can’t afford to keep maintaining something that is not being used,” he said.

Canonie believes the land is perfect for the rails-to-trails program because the right-of-way is flat and relatively straight.

Bill Wilson, Railway Track & Structures, July 2, 2019
  by riffian
This month's (July) Railfan magazine has a photo of Bay Coast 400 in its sharp new garb. Page 24.
  by RailVet
The latest on the BCR's fate:

https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/ ... 996944001/

Railroad on Virginia's Eastern Shore: next steps include sale of yard

Railroad operators on Virginia's Eastern Shore are moving forward with plans for a much different future after filing a petition with the federal government to abandon 49 miles of tracks.

Canonie Atlantic, the company that owns the Bay Coast Railroad, is advertising for a general manager and is putting up for sale the 40-acre rail yard property in Cape Charles, among other actions.

The duties of general manager since January 2018 have been carried out largely by board of directors vice-chairman Spencer Murray and Janice Williams, a Northampton County employee, according to Murray.

Murray's term on the railroad board and as a Northampton County supervisor ends in December.

The position will pay $50,000 to $60,000 a year.

Additionally, the board of directors at its August meeting authorized Murray to explore listing the rail yard for sale with a commercial broker, after negotiations with the town of Cape Charles to purchase or control the property broke down.

The Canonie board is recommending the town make zoning changes to enhance the property's value for development, according to Murray, who said the property's assessed value is $4 million.

In other action, lights and gates at railroad crossings have been disabled, "so there will be no additional delays from gates coming down or that kind of thing" on the unused tracks, Murray said.

Extend rail service to Parksley?

The Canonie board also heard a request from a Parksley businessman to extend rail service from Hallwood south to Parksley — a distance of around seven miles — in order to accommodate around 250 cars per year of grain.

Richard Lewis of Associated Grain, Inc. asked the railroad operators to consider extending service from Hallwood to Parksley, saying the company could guarantee 750 cars over a three-year period.

Canonie Atlantic has a 20-year lease with Delmarva Central Railroad for nearly 15 miles of track from Pocomoke City to Hallwood.

It also has a 20-year lease with the Buckingham Branch Railroad for the railroad's holdings across the Chesapeake Bay in Little Creek.
Both railroads are investing in the track and are seeking new customers, according to Murray.

Still, a Delmarva Central Railroad official said it would be "cost-prohibitive" to fulfill Lewis' request, which would necessitate upgrading nearly 7 miles of track.

It would cost around $3.4 million to bring the track between Hallwood and Parksley to standard, in order to allow trains to travel at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour, according to Cliff Grunstra, chief marketing officer for Carload Express and Delmarva Central Railroad.

The company already is spending more than $4.5 million to upgrade around 15 miles of tracks from Pocomoke to Hallwood, Gunstra said.
An alternative would be to expand operations in Hallwood to accommodate Associated Grains, Grunstra said.

"We would love to work with him to set up a trans-load in Hallwood," he said, adding, "We own and control property there in Hallwood, which is currently unused ... There's some opportunity there to develop that into a productive facility."

Associated Grain under the scenario would truck grain from Parksley to Hallwood, where it would be transferred to railroad cars.

"I think that makes the most economic sense," Gunstra said.

Still, Lewis in is not giving up on the idea of extending rail service to Parksley.

He said trucking grain to Hallwood and transferring it to rail cars there "would not be economically feasible" nor as environmentally friendly for the company.

He thinks the $3.4 million figure Gunstra gave to upgrade the tracks could be high.

Lewis' company since has hired a certified track analyst from Pennsylvania, who will spend two days walking the track in order to produce a report on its condition — and an estimate of the cost to bring it up to standard.

Lewis will present the report to the Canonie board, he said.

"Associated Grain ... for many years loaded many rail cars with grain going to different parts of the East Coast," Lewis said, adding, "I'm going to fight the good fight here."

Gunstra said installing upgrades in Hallwood to accommodate the business could take as little as under six months.

"We have most of the things you need for a trans-load — we've got the track, we've got the property, so it would really just be putting up a fence or putting in some lighting, getting the conveyor, shoring up the track to make sure it's in nice condition — really, that's all you need. It's not very complicated," Gunstra said.

"We are interested in developing business down there. That's why we are here — we want to grow the carload traffic on the Delmarva Peninsula overall — and we just have to make sure that we are doing it in a fiscally responsible manner, so we don't overextend ourselves and get ourselves in a position where we can't provide that service to everybody else," Gunstra said.

"If it's economically viable for us to extend the line further ... we would have loved to do that," he said, adding that the rail line, unfortunately, "had fallen into such a horrible state of repair ... It's a sad thing, but it's the reality we are facing now."

Canonie on July 15 filed a petition with the Surface Transportation Board to abandon just over 49 miles of the railroad, from Hallwood to Cape Charles, while it also explores the possibility of partnering with some as yet undetermined entity to transition the railroad line to a Rails to Trails program, in which it ultimately would become a multi-use trail.

The company likely will hear by around Nov. 1 about approval to abandon the tracks, Murray said.

The Canonie Atlantic board voted in May to pursue abandonment of the 49-mile stretch "as the first legal step toward 'rail-banking,'" Murray said then.

Repurposing the rail line as a trail would allow preservation of existing easements, including for broadband, and potential ones, such as for a sewer line and a natural gas line, according to Murray.

"The easements have economic value — and we recognize that," he said in July, adding that Canonie is continuing to work with the Virginia Department of Rails and Public Transportation, the Virginia Tourism Commission, the USDA and the U.S. Department of Transportation "in exploring any efforts to partner with a rails-to-trails partner." Carol Vaughn, Salisbury Daily Times, August. 22, 2019
  by RailVet
Here's an interesting news item. A new company has taken over the old Bayshore Concrete plant in Cape Charles. It was the closure of the old plant that pushed the BCR over the edge, leading to the end of rail operations within a few months last year.

Unfortunately there's no mention of using the now-dormant railroad, and it would take a lot of car shipments to justify reopening the approximately 50 miles of dead track.

https://www.easternshorepost.com/2019/0 ... -concrete/

New Business in Cape Charles is Concrete
August 31, 2019
By Stefanie Jackson

Bayshore Concrete in Cape Charles is officially back in business with a new name and a new owner.

Coastal Precast Systems, of Chesapeake, Va., is setting up shop at the former Bayshore plant under the direction of owner Paul Ogorchock. With the help of two business partners, he recently purchased the bulk of the Bayshore property for more than $11 million, not including equipment costs and other expenses.

The initial stages of the concrete plant’s re-opening will mean 50 to 100 new jobs in Northampton County, and recruiting efforts are already underway, Ogorchock said.

The company is looking to fill a variety of positions including laborers, operators, mechanics, technicians, and journeymen.

Dan McGhee is the new manager of the Cape Charles concrete plant, which is Coastal Precast Systems’ third location.

The plant, which has been abandoned for about a year and a half, is currently undergoing repairs and upgrades that are expected to be completed by November.

Ogorchock already has projects lined up for the plant, including the pre-casting of about 1,000 concrete beams and 500 concrete deck planks that will be shipped to Connecticut for construction of a federal government building.

He brings decades of experience to the table. He started working with concrete at age 16 and has been in the precast concrete business for 25 years.

Coastal Precast Systems is a “longstanding” business dating back to 1946, Ogorchock said.

He has no intent to make a “quick deal” and be gone, he added.

“We’re here to stay.”

And this:

http://www.capecharlesmirror.com/news/c ... ent-172397

Coastal Precast Systems takes over Bayshore Concrete Plant
September 1, 2019 by Wayne Creed

Coastal Precast Systems, of Chesapeake, Va., will be operating the old Bayshore plant. The main concrete plant is located on a 35-acre site on the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Virginia.

The Bayshore plant was purchased for close to $11 million. Much of the equipment was sold off at auction; Coastal will be supplying their own.

Upgrades and repairs to the plant are ongoing and should be completed by mid-fall.

Some precast work is already on the books, including concrete beams and deck plants. Coastal looking to hire right now.

General laborers, large equipment operators, mechanics, and technicians are needed.

For more information, call (757) 545-5215 or email [email protected].

Apply online at http://www.cpsprecast.com/careers/
  by Teutobergerwald
Interesting. Maybe when it begins operating, the need for rail service will become evident.
  by RailVet
I'm sure the new concrete company owners were well aware of the railway situation when they purchased the property for $11 million and planned to spend more to replace older equipment that had been auctioned off. One doesn't commit that kind of money and then decide rail service would be desirable. It would appear the new company is planning to do without it.

You can download the 110-page abandonment filing here:

https://www.stb.gov/filings/all.nsf/ba7 ... enDocument

In browsing through it you'll find that, when the railroad was still operating, its losses continued to grow, even when the previous concrete company was still shipping (although the number of cars was not great).

I would like to see the line get a new lease on life and for the new company to ship heavily by rail, enough to justify reactivating the line, but unfortunately I suspect the new owners have already planned to live without rail and the railroad won't be coming back as anything more than a bike trail. Having been run into the ground with little or no maintenance, bringing the line back up to snuff would cost many millions that I don't think anyone wishes to spend on it now. The Delmarva Central Railroad is planning to spend over $4.5 million to upgrade just the 15 miles of track from Pocomoke to Hallwood. If that's an indication of the health of the rest of the line, the cost to restore it to good operating condition would be massive indeed. How many years and how many cars would need to be hauled before this cost (among many others involved in railroad operations) could be paid off?
  by riffian
The rule of thumb for successful short line operation is 100 cars per mile of trackage per year. If my math is correct, that's 5,000 cars for the 50 miles. In it's best year Bay Coast never came close to that for the entire 90 mile railroad. Looks like an uphill climb to return service to Cape Charles.
  by RichM
With all due respect, I think there's some geographic confusion here. The concrete plant appears to be in Chesapeake, not on the Eastern Shore.

Or am I the one confused?
  by Sir Ray
No RichM, I thought that too at first, but reread this line in the article: "Coastal Precast Systems, of Chesapeake, Va., will be operating the old Bayshore plant. The main concrete plant (e.g. Coastal's current plant) is located on a 35-acre site on the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake, Virginia". That indicates Coastal will have two plants now, it's current one on the West side of the Bay (which looks like it was never rail served - barge served perhaps) and the old Bayshore one on the East side of the Bay.

Hmm, looks like a number of the commenters from railroad.net got to that article's comment section as well...
  by RichM
Thank you Sir Ray!