• CSX Acquisition of Pan Am Railways

  • 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.
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.

Moderator: MEC407

  by ElectricTraction
 
RandallW wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 10:14 amAn easy, inexpensive, and documented attack (intentional or not) against railroads is simply to jam radio signals and the source of jamming can be difficult to track down (especially if intermittent and not constantly being surveilled against).
Isn't there a procedure that allows a train crew to use their phone to call the DS if the radio fails? I know PED use is normally not allowed while operating.
  by neman2
 
I have heard dispatchers tell crews " if you fail to get me on the radio that is considered an emergency, you can then use a cell phone to contact me." I believe the procedure is to stop the train, walk away from the tracks, and then you can use your phone, but some one else may know better and may vary by RR.
  by pnolette
 
Those are for the new radio system.CSX has been installing them about 10 to 20 miles apart on the main and branch lines.Ones that I have seen so far are in Auburn,Gray,Portland,Ocean park,Kennebunk,North Berwick,Newmarket.Many more out there seen by others.
  by jamoldover
 
So are they going to be changing the radio frequencies that are used?
  by pnolette
 
That I don't know.
  by CPF66
 
I think they are still using the same frequencies, I think at least one of the DTMF towers is in use since I have heard trains "dialing up" while I have been out west of Rigby.
I know they have been installing them over the last year, but I don't think many have been brought online. Of note, I found it funny that they unloaded one in Norridgewock last summer, but it was eventually picked up and hauled off. Which mind you the tracks have been gone there for two years, it must have been a case of they dropped one everywhere they saw an existing one on the map.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Over at the CPKC Saint John Intermodal topic, Mr. Kuband (who surely has participated somewhere here at this "epic") notes that the Maine Central has clearance issues which have kept Chessie from making Intermodal (and other multi-level equipment) rates from and to Saint John, NB.

Might anyone here know the nature and scope of these clearance issues and how they might be (or are being) addressed?

Having two competitive roads making rates (yes, the CN is also at Saint John, but their route is indeed circuitous) only enhances the attractiveness of a port to the maritime companies - and the one day of transit time from Saint John over other East Coast US ports makes it even more attractive for the high value intermodal traffic.
  by CPF66
 
It appears CSX has some sort of clearance project in the works for Maine. I know it was mentioned a while ago somewhere in this forum, but it was mentioned that they had plead poverty and the state and feds were going to shell out some welfare so they could get the main line cleared for stacks. Although I can't seem to find any updates if the grant was approved or not in the DOT's workplan.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Jun 26, 2024 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by mrj1981
 
If the main item in CSX's mind, when it comes to the clearances, is getting intermodal traffic from St John, then I would think that they'd have to give the state of Maine some sort of inducement to provide funding - ie, operating an intermodal terminal at Waterville or Portland. Otherwise, what incentive would Maine have to support run-through traffic that might create a handful of jobs at most?

Which is to say: If the state of Maine does give CSX some money for the clearance work, then I would expect that to come with a promise to operate an intermodal facility somewhere in the state for at least a number of years. Which would be no bad thing, in my book!
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
mrj1981 wrote: Wed Jun 26, 2024 8:24 am If the state of Maine does give CSX some money for the clearance work, then I would expect that to come with a promise to operate an intermodal facility somewhere in the state for at least a number of years. Which would be no bad thing, in my book!
Mr. MRJ, this looks like a "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" situation. Would the State have to fund such a facility hoping for an "if you build it, they will come" moment, or could they get iron clad commitments from Jeff, Wally World, and other players to locate in the proximity AND use rail transportation?

But insofar as getting more maritime operators to call at Saint John, what do they care if Maine bankrolls an intermodal facility within the State?
  by RandallW
 
If I recall correctly, Virginia sponsored some improvements on NS in I-81 corridor to reduce truck traffic through the state as that avoids (or delays) the need to expand a highway. No jobs gained in Virginia, but significant cost savings to the state. I don't know how much traffic is trucked from Saint John on I-95, but if Maine (or even Mass) wants to reduce growth on that, or remove Worcester - Saint John traffic from roads, they could pay for some of the capitol costs related to removing that truck traffic.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Off topic, but a relevant aside.

Earlier this month, I drove the 81 from 15 @ Harrisburg to the 84 @Scranton.

It was an experience.

With the steep grades, the 18 wheelers cannot hold to posted highway speed ascending, but on the other side; 55; "uh, thanks for telling me how many nickels I have in my pocket". :-D

But to close more relevant; yes, the 95 more or less parallels the MEC through Southern Maine (don't know what highway parallels the CP-M) but there is still a piece of the Province of NB to go through on two lanes. As Chessie continues to pour her Fancy Feast into the MEC, where it appears she wants to attain FRA Class 3 (40mph) and the clearance matters reported here are addressed, she will have a competitive road to handle high value maritime traffic from Saint John.

And finally, Chessie says "thank you, taxpayers for fixing up my road as far East as Brunswick so you can have your passenger trains".
  by bostontrainguy
 
I have always read that Maine has a problem attracting truckers because of the remoteness and lack of backhaul. I would think there is an argument to be made that offering efficient double-stack service to Portland and Waterville would greatly improve Maine businesses' market reach and potential for growth. Maine officials may see the light.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. Trainguy, you do have a point insofar as a publicly funded intermodal facility located in South Central Maine goes. Build it and Jeff, Wally World, and Pro Logis, will come - and so will loadings double stacked move on the MEC.

But will that help Chessie with her presumed desire to get her share of the high value traffic that Saint John hopes to attract? There is no question that double stack is the industry "standard" and like any other Class I, she handles such most anywhere over her system. But what if the clearance issue noted here at the topic, is not readily addressed? To transload from Single to Double stacks, say, @Rigby. will simply cut into the operational efficiency, which would have me, for one, laughing as when I've been overseas and observed their twenty car single stacked trains move about.
  by fromway
 
The biggest obstacle to the whole SJ issue is one that has not been mentioned alot on this thread. The biggest problem is Vanceboro. Getting enough Customs personnel continues to be an issue. NBSR has been held up many times by not getting to the border on time.
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