• 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 johnpbarlow
 
I wonder if this STB action is somehow related to its approval of the Pan Am acquisition? It seems extreme to me for the STB to single out CSX and bad mouth it in public with hearsay. Maybe Amtrak is leveraging the STB to get the upper hand over CSX?
https://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/article ... ut-csx?amp
  by Safetee
 
the stb keeps track of carrier service issues on a regular basis. that's part of their job.

on the other hand, it shouldn't be a huge surprise to find out that two mile long trains don't necessarily add up to better service. The sole purpose of the Harrison methodology aka PSR is to provide better profits. and csx is all about profits.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Is there historic precedent for the STB to take the initiative to publicly single out one RR re: quality of service issues with such a vague condemnation? Is CSX measurably different in how it treats its shippers in this era than the other class 1 RRs? I don't see the STB actively biting any other class 1 RR's leg. If the STB has accumulated so many shipper complaints against a particular RR, why not work cooperatively and a bit less slanderlessly to address and resolve the specific issues?

I wonder if this is STB blowback from the CSX reaction a couple of years to the STB's decision re: the sale of the Montreal Secondary to CN where the STB stipulated that future interchange agreements could not be precluded (ie, with FGLK) at Syracuse) in the name of encouraging competition and CSX replied we're not agreeing to that condition so no sale? And then there's Amtrak's assertions at the STB re: how uncooperative CSX (and NS) are in enabling Gulf Coast passenger rail.

Ironically, if advertising that CSX has complaints from its shippers is the STB's way of making the CSX acquisition of Pan Am less likely, the STB is threatening the potential for improved competitive rail service in New England. Over the decades, Guilford / Pan Am has historically under invested in its operation and has delivered unreliable service to its shippers. The CSX acquisition with G&W involvement in PAS operations appears to be the only way to improve what rail service remains and as far as I know all affected shippers approve of the transaction.
  by MEC407
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:09 am ...why not work cooperatively and a bit less slanderlessly to address and resolve the specific issues?
It's not slander if it's true.
  by QB 52.32
 
Looks more grounded in politics than truth when the public charge is non-specific, made in contrast to flimsy public praise to a head-to-head competitor, and singles out one carrier for issues and results occurring broadly across our supply chains.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:09 am Is there historic precedent for the STB to take the initiative to publicly single out one RR re: quality of service issues with such a vague condemnation? Is CSX measurably different in how it treats its shippers in this era than the other class 1 RRs? I don't see the STB actively biting any other class 1 RR's leg. If the STB has accumulated so many shipper complaints against a particular RR, why not work cooperatively and with a bit less slander to address and resolve the specific issues?
Mr. Barlow, I think industry wide the "Disciples of Saint Elwood" are starting to take a second look at his teachings. A 150 car, 7500 ft "one a day" is not going to suffice in this day of supply shortages and wailing kiddies who found a "rain check" in the stocking.

Back to the instant, if Chessie "sold her pitch" to economic development interests in Northern New England, particularly Maine, then she had best deliver - and "kitty kitty", that means Class 3 track on the MEC. I really don't think she wishes to be looking at being the catalyst of an industry-wide "rereg" initiative.
  by MEC407
 
Something that works to Chessie's advantage is the fact that Maine has had p!ss-poor service by the current owner/operator for the past 40 years. The bar has been set very low. Chessie could significantly lower her own standards and still be seen by Maine shippers and Maine politicians as a huge improvement over what they're accustomed to. For example, if she brings the MEC up to Class 2 from Mattawamkeag to Waterville and keeps it that way for more than a year or two and doesn't dump any cars on the ground, that would be seen as a significant and unprecedented improvement to central Maine freight rail service.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Mr. MEC, it is my duty to respect that "you're on the ground out there" and I'm not, but do you hold that Chessie can develop new high value traffic (talking maritime here) from Saint John and Searsport with only a Class 2 road? I avoid mention of Portland as, thank you NNEPRA, there's Class 4 at present.

I don't mean to belittle the road and the steam engine from which you've adopted your handle, but what have they got at present? From the discussion here, it appears to be garbage, bottled water, and forest products. If any spills on the Class 1 track, so what. Just sweep it up.

You can't say same with Bennies and VW's.
  by MEC407
 
I think Chessie will get it up to Class 2 as an interim measure, and then she will take a cat nap and wait for the State of Maine to spend $100 million to rebuild the MEC to Class 4 from Bangor to Portland. Then she'll have solid Class 4 from Bangor to points south/west and won't have to spend any of her own kibbles on it. The remaining Class 2 stretch from Mattawamkeag to Bangor is short enough that it won't hinder her transit times in a meaningful way. With good locomotives and no speed restrictions, she would be able to make Mattawamkeag to Bangor in 2 1/2 hours on Class 2 track. (Currently Pan Am takes 6-7 hours to cover that stretch.)
  by newpylong
 
They have said they only intend to get the MEC up to Class 2 in the immediate future. Keep in mind, when a Class I maintains to an FRA class, it remains that way with any speed restrictions only remaining for hours or days typically. Their restrictions are so minimal they use speed boards, not 6 pages of printed out paper.

Reliable ie daily service even on Class 2 track will be competitive. That is not enough mileage where 40 vs 25 MPH is going to change the landscape significantly.
  by CPF363
 
MEC407 wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 7:35 am Something that works to Chessie's advantage is the fact that Maine has had p!ss-poor service by the current owner/operator for the past 40 years.
This is essentially why there is so much widespread support from shippers for the Pan Am-CSX combination. Another investor would receive the same support.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
MEC407 wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:05 am I think Chessie will get it up to Class 2 as an interim measure, and then she will take a cat nap and wait for the State of Maine to spend $100 million to rebuild the MEC to Class 4 from Bangor to Portland. Then she'll have solid Class 4 from Bangor to points south/west and won't have to spend any of her own kibbles on it. The remaining Class 2 stretch from Mattawamkeag to Bangor is short enough that it won't hinder her transit times in a meaningful way. With good locomotives and no speed restrictions, she would be able to make Mattawamkeag to Bangor in 2 1/2 hours on Class 2 track. (Currently Pan Am takes 6-7 hours to cover that stretch.)
First, Mr. MEC first I believe your entire posting relates to my following thoughts. I respect that you aggressively police excessive quoting at your Forum; I did same when I wore the "Tin Star" over at the Amtrak.

https://apnews.com/article/ma-state-wir ... 831e4989fc

OKAY; so Chessie wants to place her bets that some agency (NNEPRA I would presume so as to get the Commonwealth to chip in) wants to start Boston-Bangor passenger service, which means FRA Class 4 as Amtrak will generally not operate over anything less. I get it.

I'm sure any existing shipper will be singing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" when Timmy packs up to drop his loot into the Trump '24 campaign, and out of which he hopes to get an Ambassadorship of the "Court of St. James varietal".

But what about new shippers with high value traffic? such as Jeff or Wally World distribution centers served by rail, containers, VW's, and Bennies coming from the Ports of Saint John and Searsport? Will they ship over Class 2?

Has the enquiring mind sufficiently made his point?
  by newpylong
 
As stated, the answer is likely yes.

Assuming from Keag to Royal Junction is mostly 40 MPH (a lot of it can, but some can't due to curves, etc) so let's assume 5.5 hours transit time. Bump that down to 25 MPH that's 7.5 hours. They may not run UPSZ but many other high value commodities won't notice the difference. A Volkswagen certainly isn't going to. It's still one crew from Keag to Rigby, not 2 or 3 like now so that is a vast improvement.
  by roberttosh
 
As others have stated, the difference between 25 MPH and 40 MPH track over a relatively short stretch of railroad is not going to make any difference whatsoever in terms of CSX's ability to go after new traffic. No matter how many bells and whistles CP and CN throw at their respective Maritime routes, CSX will always have the straightest, not to mention single line, shot into the Northeast and down the East Coast and that is what is going to drive the traffic. Getting 286K track is going to help as well.
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