• 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 taracer
 
roberttosh wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 1:23 pm Again, if Conrail was able to accommodate 12 or more additional long, slow moving freight trains and 2 pairs of inland route Amtrak trains over a single track railroad, then how many passenger trains will need to be added before they run out of capacity on what will likely be a fully double tracked line between Worcester and Springfield? Pre-PSR wasn't the double track Chicago line handling 8-10 Amtrak trains and 50+ freights per day?
Long and heavy is debatable. A "big" train back then may be around 7000 tons. We are double that now, regular 180 car 15,000 ton 10,000 feet plus mixed freight trains. Q020, the main van train, gets to 14500 feet. Q022 is much smaller but that's because its in a long pool from Dewit and they won't make it if it was bigger.

I know I've been around since shortly after CSX took over Conrail, and while it is true that there were more trains, alot of them were also short and fast van trains. Or second sections of other trains. These trains could make track speed over the single track sections, so hold time was minimal. There was also a robust crew base so they could quickly recrew any train that outlawed. I can assure you none of these points are the case today. The east end B&A crew base was decimated after the closure of Beacon Park. Selkirk based crew were heavily cut as well.

They would have to roll PSR back to be able to run the way they did 15-20 years ago. Do you really think they are going to do that?
  by roberttosh
 
The biggest, heaviest trains are mostly West of Springfield, 424/425 and the IM trains with Springfield pick ups, drop offs. Regardless of the train size, there were 30+ trains operating on a single track railroad back in the 90's. That same stretch of track now sees 12 trains per day. I cannot understand how with the addition of a second main track, which significantly increases capacity, would not allow them to run 25-30 trains per day in the future. In addition, how does the double track Chicago line handle 40-50 trains per day?
  by QB 52.32
 
90-110 mph MAS would also present an issue with freight and passenger infrastructure separation requirements vs. the 1990's base case.
  by newpylong
 
QB 52.32 wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:10 am And, speaking of that...right, even though you've recently pushed the rumor that CSX wants the Hoosac cleared simply for detours which makes very little sense. And, you're someone who has already mistaken CSX's strategic re-structuring of their New England franchise as a "retreat" from the Boston market. Time will tell.
"Push" likely was not the right term. But it makes sense if someone else is paying for it. Pan Am has proved that time and time again. Nowhere did I state that CSX wants to bankroll it. NS doesn't even want to bankroll it. It will come down to state and federal funding (with a minimal match by the owners) or it simply won't be done. CSXT, along with NS, as the new owners of PAS, will jointly budget the capital expenses of that railroad. They are going to try to get the money where possible to get it done so that a cleared detour route exists. However, I am not sure how far they are going to get in the near term as CSXT is most certainly are looking to exit the partnership as soon as the ink dries. There is strong information that a handshake deal already exists.

Not sure if you're mistaken me for someone else regarding a retreat from the Boston market, I don't recall commenting on that recently. I actually remember strongly trying to squash ridiculous rumors over the years of CSXT wanting to ditch the B&A entirely. I do think they absolutely wanted nothing to do with Boston "proper" traffic prior to this possible sale and moved to a more 495 centric model like a lot of shippers. That much was evident by ditching Beacon and letting Pan Am get their metro traffic.

I don't sit here and think things up to hear myself. Unless I state it as a rumor, or my opinion, the information I share is not "gospel", but it is from the horses mouth. When I tell you what CSXT plans to do, that is what they are telling their Northeast Service Region senior operations managers what they intend to do. When I tell you what Pan Am intends to do, connect the dots.
  by taracer
 
roberttosh wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 3:08 pm The biggest, heaviest trains are mostly West of Springfield, 424/425 and the IM trains with Springfield pick ups, drop offs. Regardless of the train size, there were 30+ trains operating on a single track railroad back in the 90's. That same stretch of track now sees 12 trains per day. I cannot understand how with the addition of a second main track, which significantly increases capacity, would not allow them to run 25-30 trains per day in the future. In addition, how does the double track Chicago line handle 40-50 trains per day?
No, Q426 and Q436 are just as big as Q424. The grades are the limiting factor. It's easy to run 30+ trains when at least half of them are short and fast.

I'm not saying it can't be done today, I'm saying that current operating practices under PSR can't do it. They can not run 30 trains a day. You are suggesting the go back to the old ways which I can assure you will not happen.
  by taracer
 
As an example, they used to run a small auto rack train that was dedicated to Ford. Usually about 15 to 20 racks of just Fords. It went up from Worcester to Ayer until that closed and then to Framingham to the CP yard. That was a small, light train that could easily do track speed the whole way, but that is one of the trains that counted towards your "30+ trains a day" count.

Today, under PSR, that traffic would be tacked on to a freight train, which would add length that as explained the do not have, and switching moves by the road crew that takes time. So then the road crew outlaws, but there are no crews on the east end to dogcatch. Now your single track from CP45 to CP79 due to the auto site in East Brookfield.

The point is what they used to do means nothing today. Yes the should run more trains right now, but PSR doesn't allow it.
  by GP40MC1118
 
It's actually not single track from CP45 to CP79. There was a new interlocking installed at CP60 (Spencer) that helps get around the East Brookfield issue. But point taken, the fact that mainline is being used for car storage/train makeup is daunting.
  by F74265A
 
Count me as stunned if state or federal gov ponies up huge $ to DS hoosac to create a detour route that has never existed. My opinion is that if this deal goes forward with NS trackage rights on the B&A for DS traffic that the tunnel is highly unlikely to be enlarged
  by taracer
 
GP40MC1118 wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 5:32 pm It's actually not single track from CP45 to CP79. There was a new interlocking installed at CP60 (Spencer) that helps get around the East Brookfield issue. But point taken, the fact that mainline is being used for car storage/train makeup is daunting.
Yea I know . It's single track when you have to park a train at CP57, which happens all the time, and was what I was talking about. You are single track to CP79 if there is a train parked at CP57.
  by taracer
 
F74265A wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 6:07 pm Count me as stunned if state or federal gov ponies up huge $ to DS hoosac to create a detour route that has never existed. My opinion is that if this deal goes forward with NS trackage rights on the B&A for DS traffic that the tunnel is highly unlikely to be enlarged
This B&M detour is not going to happen. The B&A had a washout on the east side of the mountain on both tracks last week, and you didn't even know about it. That's how fast they can fix things when there's no tunnel involved.

Add in no easy way to get to Selkirk via the B&M and its a non issue, not going to happen.
  by taracer
 
Expanding on my example train from the 30+ trains back when and why it cant easily be done in 2021, they used to be able to clear trains up on the Post Road, a huge thing for bring trains out of Selkirk.

CSX dispatchers used to control that track. They would regularly send you east out of Selkirk and then tell you to shove back in the clear on the Post Road at CP187. That way they wouldn't have to hold a westbound at CP176. You can't do that now because you would have to deal with Amtrak and have to have all their bulletins.

I'll stop again because I can see people aren't really understanding what I'm trying to say. The key thing for me is that sure they used to run "30+ trains a day" 30 years ago. It was less then that 20 years ago, but things have changed so much that that today there is no way that can happen now.

They'd have to undo everything they've been doing for at least the past 10 years.
  by roberttosh
 
Nobody is suggesting that they can run all those extra passenger trains on the existing line - you seem to be ignoring the fact that in the scenario being discussed there would be a second main track built between Worcester and Springfield, which adds a lot of both capacity and flexibility. Please explain to me how the double track Chicago line, post PSR, can still easily handle 45-50 trains per day, including multiple high speed Amtrak trains, yet a double track B&A won't be able to handle 30?
  by F74265A
 
Water level route Chicago line is flat and straight. Is the topography of Worcester to spfld similar? It is not mountains like west of spfld but I don’t think it is near as flat and straight as, say, Syracuse to Buffalo. Full double tracking would have to help a lot but I’m not sure you could easily replicate water level route traffic patterns on the B&A with monster psr trains. West of spfld, even double track would not, I think, fully cure multiple, huge trains crawling over the grades
  by roberttosh
 
West of Springfield isn't really part of this discussion as I'm assuming Springfield is as far west as the passenger trains will go. The ruling grade East of Springfield is obviously Charlton Hill at @ 1% and while I don't have specifics, I'm thinking that the water-level route in places between Albany and Utica isn't exactly flat either. Also, am not suggesting that a double tracked B&A would have the same capacity as the WLR, but I certainly think it's reasonable to assume that if the WLR can handle 45-50 a day, the B&A could easily handle 30. The B&A may not be the same high-speed railroad that the WLR is, but it's far from chopped liver.
  by roberttosh
 
taracer wrote: Sat Jul 24, 2021 4:22 pm No, Q426 and Q436 are just as big as Q424. The grades are the limiting factor. It's easy to run 30+ trains when at least half of them are short and fast.
I don't think that 436 is regularly near the size of 424/425.
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