• 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 CPSK
I'm mapping rr lines in the Del-Mar-Va area. Google Earth image of 2013 shows that the BCR yard at Cape Charles still has some activity. But looking at a more recent (2014) street-view map from the Old Cape Charles rd overpass, the yard looks abandoned. Farther up the line, it looks like BCR is still in operation though. Can anyone tell me how far south the line is still active?


  by BAR
I am also curious about how much activity there is on the line. I passed through Cape Charles on Sunday, July 24 and there were about twenty covered hopper cars deep in the yard. There were also five covered hoppers in Nassawadox that day. My daughter drove up the Eastern Shore yesterday (7/30) and she called to tell me there were now nine covered hoppers on the Nassawadox siding. She also saw a train on Saturday (7/29) with a locomotive lettered for the Eastern Shore Railroad and two covered hoppers. If someone could provide an update on what active customers are located on the line it would be greatly appreciated.
  by CPSK
Did some additional Google Street View on Bayshore ave. There's a cement plant there - Bayshore Concrete - near the east end of the yard. Several covered hoppers there. Perhaps they still get deliveries by rail?
  by riffian
Figures for the last available month (June 2016) show that Bay Coast handled a total of 352 carloads, but only 15 loads were from the Eastern Shore. KMX Chemical - 3 inbound cars; Coastline Chemical - 4 inbound cars; Bayshore Concrete - 4 inbound cars; and Pep Up Gas - 4 inbound cars. The other 337 cars were handled on the Little Creek side where there are several good sized customers. Accomack County Transportation Commission website has monthly figures, broken down by consignees.
  by BAR
Thanks for the heads up on the Accomack County website. I will check car volume there in the future.

Williamsburg, VA
  by riffian
Are the two derelict units still at Cape Charles?
  by riffian
The November Accomack transportation minutes report that Bay Coast lost their largest customer, DCP, on the Little Creek side. DCP stored loaded Butane tanks and was far and away the largest customer on the railroad. The Cape Charles side continues to struggle along, although inbound loaded LPG cars usually give the railroad a boost at this time of year.
  by riffian
Bad news for sure, but hopefully not fatal. Bayshore Concrete is an on-again, off-again customer, who a few years ago pledged a commitment to Bay Coast to increase carloadings after a total of only 8 cars the previous year. Most of the large concrete members fabricated there went out by truck and barge, or a combination thereof. Outbound loads did con
  by riffian
consist of nuclear casks, which were the most valuable, by carloading, traffic Bay Shore enjoyed. The problem will be that there is no remaining traffic on the south end of the railroad. Pep-up Gas, north of Exmore (30 miles north of Cape Charles) is the southern most business on the railroad. unfortunately this ( and Sharp Energy) is a very seasonal inbound shipper, with almost all traffic occurring December through March. The southern most year round customer is Helena Chemical (inbound liquid fertilizer) in Tasley, but only a had full of cars per year. 13 cars last year.

So for the 67 mile railroad, almost all the traffic is to Coastline Chemical and KMX Chemical, both in New Church, VA, only 7 miles south of Pocomoke. The rest of the traffic is concentrated north of Tasley, 30 miles from Pocomoke. Although a public entity and immune from normal market forces, Bay Shore traffic is dangerously thin.
  by RailVet
This evening I looked at the Wikipedia page for the Bay Coast Railroad and found this entry made only hours ago:

As of May 18 2018 Bay Coast Railroad hauled their last train before shutting down.

I checked local newspapers online but haven't seen anything further yet.

The BCR lost its biggest shipper by far, DCP Midstream, in the fall of 2017 and then was hit with more bad news when Bayshore Concrete announced it was putting its plant up for sale.

Can anyone confirm that the BCR has truly shut down?
  by RailVet
From Railpace's Hot News:

http://www.railpace.com/hotnews/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

BAY COAST RAILROAD IN DELMARVA SHUTS DOWN: Reports are that the Bay Coast Railroad, the operation between Pocomoke City, Md. and Cape Charles, Va. and from Little Creek to Norfolk, Va., filed Thursday with the Surface Transportation Board to cease operation on its trackage. The car float operation across the Chesapeake Bay has not operated in some time (several years). The Delmarva Central Railroad has formally filed with the STB at least temporarily operate the upper 15 miles of the Bay Coast RR, and it is being reported that the Buckingham Branch Railroad will operate the Little Creek-Norfolk operations, at least temporarily. (Alexander D. Mitchell IV - posted 5/18)
  by RailVet
And now this from Trains News Wire:

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

Delmarva Central assumes operations on a portion of the Bay Coast Railroad
By R G Edmonson | May 23, 2018

CAPE CHARLES, Va. — The Delmarva Central Railroad has notified the Surface Transportation Board that it intends to assume operations on 15 miles of rail line formerly operated by the Bay Coast Railroad. The change will happen before May 29.

Bay Coast has operated the southernmost 70 miles of the former Pennsylvania Railroad line through the Delmarva Peninsula since 2006. Delmarva Central leased the line north of Pocomoke City, Md., from Norfolk Southern in November 2016.

John Heffner, a Washington-based transportation attorney, says that Colonie-Atlantic Co., the rail line's owner, had reached an agreement with Delmarva Central to operate the rail line between Pocomoke City and Hallwood, Va. There are no customers south of Hallwood. At one time Bay Coast ran a rail barge between Cape Charles and Little Creek, Va., but operations ceased around 2012.

Bay Coast also has customers in the Norfolk–Virginia Beach, Va., area. Heffner said that Colonie-Atlantic is negotiating with Norfolk Southern to continue service there.

The railroad is owned by the Accomack-Northampton County Transportation District, a branch of the counties' governments. It administered the line through wholly owned Colonie-Atlantic.

Colonie-Atlantic operated the line as the Eastern Shore Railroad, then in 2006 leased it to Cassatt Management, doing business as the Bay Coast Railroad. Heffner says Cassatt Management's owner expressed a desire to leave the business, which brought about the change in rail service.

According to the transportation district's records, Bay Coast does most of its business on the Norfolk side of Chesapeake Bay. In March, the railroad moved a total of 102 carloads, 73 in Norfolk and 29 on the peninsula. In February, the totals were 133 carloads, divided between 86 in Norfolk and 47 on the peninsula.