• Intermodal to Maine

  • 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 roberttosh
 
Isn't there only 2 EB intermodals arriving Worcester, not 3?
  by johnpbarlow
 
You are likely right that there are only 2 eb IMs that terminate at Worcester: Q020 and Q022. The attached image captured from the ShipCSX corporate web site says a "Q018" symbol delivers Monterrey containers to Worcester. I can find no internet listing of a currently used Q018 symbol. And I just noticed that Q018's Worcester availability time of 1600 is identical to that of Q020. So maybe Monterreys arrive on Q020 and there's a typo in the CSX web site?

So my previous post should likely state that 7 IM blocks arrive Worcester on 2 different trains with 4 blocks on Q020 and 4 blocks on Q022.
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  by Eli17zn6
 
For Westbounds
Q017 goes straight to Chicago, IL
Q019 goes to Selkirk where it consist get added onto Q003
Q115 goes to Syracuse but it drop mixed freight traffic at Selkirk, NY.
  by CN9634
 
Q018 had been hitting W Springfield MA if it still runs (appears it does?). That’s treated basically as a satellite IMDL facility to Worcester, which again solves part of the capacity/expansion issue.

Springfield was setup to take advantage of the I91 corridor and can strike a lot of DCs in Connecticut (think Amazon in Windsor for example), as well as some freight into Vermont. It keeps you on the right side of the Hudson too although some traffic into CT routes via Kearny.
  by QB 52.32
 
Springfield and Worcester are located for proximity to key past and present premium service customer sorting facilities given the importance of this intermodal submarket. In turn, one might expect any strategic change with CSX's New England intermodal service would likely continue to be influenced by or meeting any evolving need within the premium service market, as well as strategic re-location pressure on the Worcester intermodal facility for increased passenger rail and transit-oriented development, and, the headhaul "dog" south of Maine to the backhaul "tail" in Maine within New England's freight flow dynamic. Of course, with something like CSX's pursuit of PAR/50% of PAS, political quid pro quos could also come into play though with shorter-term life cycle possible.
  by roberttosh
 
I think CSX would really draw a line in the sand if pressured to pack up and move their Worcester IM ops. Where would they go? You can't be anywhere between Springfield and Worcester due to said commuter expansion. You can't be East of Worcester due to existing MBTA traffic. I don't see them trying to replace Worcester with something up on PAR, nor is there the available space. If you recall, Worcester was built in exchange for CSX getting out of Boston, so can't imagine them being forced to do it all over again.
  by newpylong
 
It's not going anywhere.
  by QB 52.32
 
Strategic pressure for re-developing the Worcester intermodal facility was very likely recognized even when the deal was cut to locate the facility in E. Worcester. Additionally, there's changes occurring in the market driving the premium intermodal submarket which could add another strategic element to the facility's longevity. So, I doubt it's unexpected or would be viewed as forced, per se, without options over CSX's (and the folks who did the most recent deal) planning horizon. By way of illustration, there were strategic plans enacted for replacement of Beacon Park's replacement long before Beacon Park even closed. It's a long game, it's the nature of the beast, at this point only time will tell.
  by johnpbarlow
 
At the risk of beating a dead horse but with implications for domestic and international TOFC/COFC originating in Maine, the CSX intermodal schedule website, ShipCSX (URL below), indicates there are 2 daily westbound intermodal trains on the B&A: one that is domestic COFC/TOFC only to Chicago/UP and one that hauls international COFC originating at Stackbridge headed for Port of New Jersey and domestic COFC/TOFC originating at W Springfield for Chicago, E St Louis, and UP destinations.

Departing from Worcester/Stackbridge, there are 2 scheduled daily IM trains:
- From Worcester IM pad for domestic COFC/TOFC only (1 train/day):
Saturday/Sunday: Q017 to Chicago and UP points (works at W Springfield & Syracuse)
Monday-Friday: Q019 to Selkirk (works W Springfield) - connects to Q003 for Chicago and UP points
- From Stackbridge (P&W) for international COFC to Elizabeth NJ Marine Terminal only (1 train/day): Q115 to Syracuse (works W Springfield & Selkirk). Note that Q115 operates daily carrying carload traffic for Selkirk but may not have any COFC.

Departing from W Springfield, there are the same 2 scheduled daily IM trains, Q017/Q019 and Q115, but with a few differences wrt Q115: at W Springfield, Q115 picks up domestic IM for E St Louis via Q007 connection at Syracuse, domestic IM for NW Ohio via Q161, and UMAX for City of Industry CA (UP) via Q161/Q191 to Chicago.

Net: from a domestic COFC service lane perspective, CSX (from Worcester/Maine dray) and NS/PAS ( from Ayer/Maine dray) offer the same westbound frequency of 1 daily train to Chicago only. But The Q017 and Q019/Q003 domestic only COFC/TOFC trains feature 2 day cutoff to available transit time between W Springfield/Worcester and Chicago while the NS/PAS 23K domestic COFC train currently advertises 3 day cutoff to available transit time between Ayer and Chicago, enabling CSX to pursue time sensitive TOFC traffic. But with a re-routing over CSX between Voorheesville and Ayer, several hours should be able to be trimmed off that schedule I would think, perhaps enabling to compete for more time sensitive traffic. On the other hand, eastbound from Chicago, CSX offers 2 daily domestic COFC/TOFC trains to Worcester while NS/PAS operates only a single COFC train to Ayer.

Also note that if CSX does not change its domestic IM service lanes from Worcester/W Springfield, the only destinations for Maine originating COFC/TOFC would be Chicago and E St Louis on CSX and various points on the UP IM network.

https://next.shipcsx.com/#/plan/schedules/intermodal
Last edited by johnpbarlow on Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by roberttosh
 
That's hard to believe that there's only one WB per day serving the Worcester Domestic ramp.
  by CN9634
 
You can check the PAR/CSX filing it gives you both RR current operating plans. The CSX operating plan from Boychuk shows Q017, Q019, Q020, Q022 as 2 pairs of Intermodals out of Worcester and one side WB Q115
  by johnpbarlow
 
After reviewing the CSX intermodal train ops details in Mr Boychuk's exhibit 13 in the amended filing and actually watching CSX activity at Palmer and Chester live cams, I do agree that there are 2 westbound domestic COFC/TOFC trains departing from Worcester.

Observations from the Palmer and Chester live cams last night:

At 2345, Q115 passed Palmer with ~ 1,900 ft of carload freight followed by 40 wells of double stacked international cube containers. At 0258, Q115 slogged upgrade past the Chester cam with 40 additional wells of domestic stacks acquired at W Springfield cut in ahead of the original 40 international container wells.

At 0130, Q017 passed Palmer with ~1,700 ft of domestic COFC/TOFC, DPU, and ~1,900 ft of domestic COFC/TOFC. At Chester, it was apparent that Q017 had added about 10,000 ft of domestic COFC/TOFC (including FedEx trailers) at W Springfield on its marker.

At 0612, Q019 passed Palmer with 45 wells (~3,000 ft) of COFC/TOFC. Q019 passed Chester with 2 UPS trailers, 3 FedEx trailers, and a double stacked Schneider on top of a UPS container added to the drawbar at W Springfield.

Note when I say "wells" I'm also including spine car platforms which hold either a trailer or single stacked container.

Lastly I don't understand why the currently posted ShipCSX intermodal schedules don't indicate that both Q017 to Chicago and Q019 to Selkirk/Chicago are available daily at either Worcester or W Springfield when they clearly are.

Interesting B&A train frequency summary from exhibit 13
The Berkshire Subdivision of the Selkirk – Boston Corridor runs between Selkirk, NY and Ludlow, MA, east of Springfield, MA, a total distance of approximately 99.7 miles. There are approximately 11.4 trains a day on this subdivision (five intermodal, four merchandise, and two automotive). Seven trains originate/terminate at Worcester, MA, two trains originate/terminate at East Brookfield, MA, and two trains originate/terminate at West Springfield, MA. The trains have an average length of 6,974 feet, with 6,610 average tons, and 32.5 MPH average velocity.

The Boston Subdivision of the Selkirk – Boston Corridor runs between Ludlow, MA and Worcester, MA, a total distance of approximately 47.1 miles. There are approximately 7.5 trains a day on this subdivision (five intermodal and 2.5 merchandise), all of which originate/terminate at Worcester, MA. The trains have an average length of 5,352 feet, with 5,316 average tons; and 26.7 MPH average velocity.
Looks like adding amply powered NS 22K/23K trackage rights trains of < 9,000 feet to the daily mix should be no big deal.

Thanks for all the commentary...
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Last edited by johnpbarlow on Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by newpylong
 
I think the observations show that IM traffic is healthy at both Worcester and the ancillary facility in W. Springfield.
  by QB 52.32
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Wed Aug 04, 2021 8:13 am Lastly I don't understand why the currently posted ShipCSX intermodal schedules don't indicate that both Q017 to Chicago and Q019 to Selkirk/Chicago are available daily at either Worcester or W Springfield when they clearly are.
ShipCSX intermodal schedules are for general consumption targeted to the general freight market (and its general needs) and do not reflect the full range of services that also include those targeted specifically to other submarkets, like premium service, for example.
  by CN9634
 
I’ve been seeing CSX and UMAX boxes daily in Maine between Portland and Augusta, as well as the usual SNI and Hunt boxes. Occasionally catch an XPO as well, but notably again the CSX/UMAX boxes have been more recently strong. I saw an LL Bean tractor behind a UMAX recently as well presumably ferrying from their drop yard in Bath at the former BNAS tot he DC in Freeport.
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