• CSX to acquire 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

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  by pnolette
 
I'm somewhat surprised that CSX will be keeping PAR at 25mph in non passenger territory. I thought 40 at least to Waterville for TOFC.
  by F74265A
 
I see nothing in the application suggesting any near term push to increase traffic or add intermodal to Maine in any big way if at all. No new trains, similar tonnage, modest track speeds. This is starting to look to me like a long term play and less like a short term game changer. Maybe the primary purpose is merely to preserve the existing Maine traffic for the B&A and to try to grab a share of the low hanging Irving traffic heading to points south
  by shepaug
 
Does anybody know a place to get that STB filing that does not have all kinds of things blacked out including maps ?

For the sake of personal history...(map collections, etc.)
  by shepaug
 
This CSX buyout seems interesting if the end result is not more abandonment's, etc.

PanAm. Look at a rail map before they took over.

Besides rail cars falling off the tracks between Hartford-Waterbury off and on I see the same thing is happening in New Hampshire on what is left there.

Off Topic or wrong message place but Connecticut interest...The Housatonic Railroad....New York section now going to be a bike trail ? Newtown east also ?

ONLY rail talk you hear about is PASSENGER. hunghhhh what is rail freight ? I-95 towards New York City total grid lock with trucks. (I live here..SW Connecticut....if things go back to pre-epidermic literally every week day you can't drive I-95 as it is a parking lot) Even New York City is grid lock as there is no Hudson crossing. Future bet is I-84 corridor Waterbury-Hartford will be just like I-95 grid lock.

If it's not PASSENGER....hmmmm what is rail freight ???

Original rail banking was for the return of trains.

I guess I am venting. The politicians if you mention FREIGHT they will have a brain freeze trying to figure out what your talking about.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
F74265A wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:38 am I read the application as saying that the only class 3 track on the system (outside of passenger areas) will be the segment by the reservoir. All other mainline track will be 25mph class 2.
Could have figured; all Chessie wants with the entire PAR System is to preserve her traffic presently handled over the B&A.

By that same reasoning, since Topper has less "skin in the game" with his already "rinky dink; next cave in soon a comin' " PAS, if both roads did not envision any expansion of rail service in Maine, no wonder Topper was first to "bolt for the paddock". He also reasoned that he'd have to dump some oats into making PAS FRA Class 3 if he had a hope of handling additional traffic to inland destinations he serves. Otherwise, it would still leave or arrive on the B&A with Chessie taking it most anywhere he goes (Kansas City major exception).

Well I guess visions of an FRA Class 3 Maine Central handling high value auto and container traffic from Portland, Searsport, and Saint John were just that. Chessie just wants to keep what she got and if the line got into the hands of somebody else (Canadian, NS, Short Line), she would lose the traffic. Furthermore, safe assumption is the publicly funded Class 4 track over which passenger trains now operate could impose, if not already in place, restrictions on both the volume and the velocity at which traffic is handled.

Sweet dreams while we had it.

Finally, regarding Mr. Shepaug's immediate, yes to the pols, passenger trains are what it's all about. That "cargo", lest we forget, is votes.
Last edited by Gilbert B Norman on Mon May 03, 2021 9:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Is this the only time a railroad seeking a merger is not talking about how they are going to improve freight service for their customers and the region but instead is saying we want the railroad but we aren't going to improve anything for anyone. So give us the railroad but don't expect anything good to come out of it.

It just seems so weird. Are they smart enough to know that the powerful NIMBYS in New England would start screaming about all of the dangerous new freight trains barreling through their towns at 40 mph?
  by newpylong
 
It is posturing and nothing but. They, and Pan Am, both want this deal done and they want it done now. Of course CSX is not going to spend upteen million dollars just to run the existing hundred cars a day to/from Maine. You'd be nuts to think that was the case. You also would be nuts to think jobs are not going to be effected in the long term. However, to appear as though competitive will be preserved, but minimal changes other than that, that is the picture being painted for Day 1.
Last edited by newpylong on Mon May 03, 2021 10:30 am, edited 2 times in total.
  by newpylong
 
shepaug wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 10:08 pm Does anybody know a place to get that STB filing that does not have all kinds of things blacked out including maps ?

For the sake of personal history...(map collections, etc.)
If you mean the non-redacted version, it's not available. It's redacted for a reason.
  by roberttosh
 
Intermodal and Auto to St J was never in their plans. I suspect they will be 40 MPH Waterville West and 25 MPH Waterville East. With 286K, 25 MPH track to Keag, CSX will have no problem converting Irving business to their route.
  by MaineCentral252
 
That traffic wasn't even a thought when the merger was first in planning. The existing traffic is low-hanging fruit, but that's it. It's not enough to drive serious improvements beyond what is literally needed to keep the cars on the rails. It will come in time. SJ looks promising, on top of growing lumber traffic and pulling trucks off of I95 anywhere possible. It shouldn't be an issue for any operation with it's head screwed on straight, as east of Rigby (or the whole thing, let's be honest) doesn't have much of any traffic left to lose.
Last edited by MEC407 on Mon May 03, 2021 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by pnolette
 
Surprised they would not want to do IM out of Waterville.You can do a few more trips to the mills from Waterville than Wocester,especially with the driver shortage.
  by MEC407
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:29 am Is this the only time a railroad seeking a merger is not talking about how they are going to improve freight service for their customers and the region but instead is saying we want the railroad but we aren't going to improve anything for anyone. So give us the railroad but don't expect anything good to come out of it.
That's not what CSX has said at all. In fact, they've said the opposite of that, both in the official STB filings and in their statements to the media.
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bostontrainguy wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:29 amIt just seems so weird.
It would be weird if that's what happened, but that's not what happened.
bostontrainguy wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 7:29 amAre they smart enough to know that the powerful NIMBYS in New England would start screaming about all of the dangerous new freight trains barreling through their towns at 40 mph?
The NIMBYest parts of Maine already have 40 MPH freight trains running through their towns, and it's been that way for the past 20 years. It hasn't been a problem. The only thing they've complained about were train horns, and that issue went away because all of them were willing to pay for crossing improvements that allowed quiet zones to be established. Additionally, most people who live near railroads prefer faster trains because that means less time stuck at railroad crossings waiting for slow trains to pass.
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  by Shortline614
 
This merger is quite bizarre when you sit down and think about it. There is no big strategic benefit, no big source of traffic. All this merger does is solidify existing PAR-CSX traffic flows. CSX was also the last name on the list of potential suitors for Pan Am. (I remember reading in one forum "Pan Am will attract everyone whose name isn't CSX.) It's quite different from something like CP-CMQ, where the intermodal and auto traffic to Saint John was a clear, immediate, benefit. This is certainly a long-term play by CSX for truck-to-rail conversions and improved service for shippers who already use a PAR-CSX routing.

I also think people are underestimating the significance of the improvements CSX is planning to make. Replacing Pan Am's accident locomotive fleet makes the cost of operating trains a lot less than it was before. Installing PTC along from the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border to Brunswick, Maine would not only result in a safer railroad but open up capacity for longer trains and expanded Downeaster service. Upgrading branch line trackage from Class I (10 mph) to Class II (25 mph) may not seem like a big improvement to us, but it would result in significantly reduced travel times over those lines. (CSX listed these improvements in the recent filing, and there is a Trains Newswire Article by Bill Stephens about it.) https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews ... d-service/

As for Intermodal to Waterville, I think it would be tacked onto preexisting trains. I would expect CSX to get settled into their new lines before they announce a service like that.
  by MEC407
 
Shortline614 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 11:39 am I also think people are underestimating the significance of the improvements CSX is planning to make.
. . .
Upgrading branch line trackage from Class I (10 mph) to Class II (25 mph) may not seem like a big improvement to us, but it would result in significantly reduced travel times over those lines.
Agreed. Here's an example: It's 72 miles from Royal Junction to Waterville Yard. In the not so distant past, it has taken Pan Am trains seven hours to traverse those 72 miles. If CSX brings that stretch of track up to a solid and consistent 25 MPH, the transit time drops to three hours. That's a huge difference and allows for much more efficient utilization of crews and motive power.

Pan Am has tried to do this several times in the past, with great fanfare, at various locations all over the system, but they've never been able to maintain it for more than a year before it gets so lousy with speed restrictions that it becomes de facto 10 MPH track. I'm no expert on CSXT but I don't get the impression that they operate that way.

If you bring it up to 40 MPH, that reduces the transit time from three hours to two hours, but it costs a helluva lot more money than upgrading from 10 to 25. So I can understand why they'd want to shoot for a solid and consistent 25 first, improve the reliability and velocity of the existing traffic, and then maybe look at another upgrade at some point in the future if traffic warrants it — or wait and let the state pay for it as part of a passenger rail upgrade (which, let's be honest, will probably happen within the next 10 years). Doing it right now, on their own dime, just wouldn't make much sense.
  by J.D. Lang
 
I've always thought that CSX's number 1 reason for going after Pan Am was to protect the current traffic to the B&A and not let SLR/CN or CP get it and divert all of that traffic through Canada. They also see growth potential by running a more reliable and efficient RR and lowering the OR. Getting the non passenger track up to a reliable class II and having enough crews so there are no more dead trains on sidings all over the system will do wonders on train velocity and reliability. Getting more and keeping Irving's wood products will help. Maybe when things settle down within 5 years intermodal from Waterville can be expanded.

That's why there are so many letters of support from Maine shippers to the STB. The only thing that puzzles me is there hasn't been any public support from the state of Maine where as some other states have submitted support letters to the STB. You would think that Maine would see the benefits to its economy from a robust rail network.
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