• Morristown Lumber spur - got clariffication from them!

  • Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.
Discussion about the M&E, RVRR and SIRR lines of New Jersey, and also the Maine Eastern operation in Maine. Official web site can be found here: www.merail.com.

Moderators: GOLDEN-ARM, mikec, cjl330

  by carajul
 
Called Morristown Lumber today. Asked them about their rail spur. I assumed they'd think I was nuts but they were actually quite nice to me. They told me that the M&E jacked rates thru the roof on inbound shipments. So... they get their lumber by rail BUT it only goes as far A'town yard. Then, it's trucked in the rest of the way to NJ.

Isn't that seem how it's going these days with RRs? They have rates so rediculously high that trucks crush them, and the RRs don't even care. Like they just want to ship to Big City A - Big City B and that's it. Screw small branchline customers.

They keep the rail spur connected to the M&E in case rail rates go down (some day).
  by blockline4180
 
carajul wrote:Called Morristown Lumber today. Asked them about their rail spur. I assumed they'd think I was nuts but they were actually quite nice to me. They told me that the M&E jacked rates thru the roof on inbound shipments. So... they get their lumber by rail BUT it only goes as far A'town yard. Then, it's trucked in the rest of the way to NJ.

Isn't that seem how it's going these days with RRs? They have rates so rediculously high that trucks crush them, and the RRs don't even care. Like they just want to ship to Big City A - Big City B and that's it. Screw small branchline customers.

They keep the rail spur connected to the M&E in case rail rates go down (some day).

Yeah, that is very unfortunate... However, I don't know why the rates had to be raised...Could be a number of issues... Perhaps that is the same reason why Toys R US on the High Bridge Branch doesn't use M&E service anymore... I'm thinking this kind of rationale will make it very hard for them to drum up customers on the Chester Branch when the time comes!
  by ns3010
 
I believe the reason that Toys 'R' Us doesn't ship by rail anymore has something to do with clearances. I'd assume that they would want to use some kind of high cube boxcar.

On the Chester Branch, they already have Holland online and Kuiken that should start up soon enough. Are there any other potential shippers, aside from County Concrete, that could come online?
  by RS115
 
Given that I haven't seen a car in Morristown lumber since I was a child (I'm 50 now) I wonder if the information on rates is current. Given that the M&E regularly gets lumber for yards along the High Bridge line, I have a hard time believing there's a huge price disparity for bringing it to Morristown. Unless something's changed I think the M&E's fee for any car on Morristown line is a flat fee they stopped doing interline splits years ago (but could have gone back I suppose).
  by carajul
 
That's what the head honcho at Morristown Lumber told me. Rates were too high so the inbound rail stops at A'town yard where it is transloaded to truck and trucked into NJ the rest of the way. It's not like Morrisotwn Lumber is as big as an 84 Lumber or Home Depot. They'd probably only get 1 car/month if that and the M&E would get a few hundred bucks.

Same thing the cement mills along the old LNE told me. NS wanted $18/ton and the trucks wanted $7/ton plus the RR customer service was terrible. That's why the 50+ cars parked out on yards at each cement mill are now 5 cars on a single track.
  by carajul
 
I was doing some M&E exploring and poking around Morristown Lumber spur. An employee or owner saw me snooping around and came out. We started to chat. He said that they keep the spur in place in case they want to ship again by rail. But they haven't used the spur since the early 1990s. The reasons were that 1) shipment was too expensive so they get rail shipments from the Pacific Northwest via rail but it goes to Allentown Yard and is then transloaded to a truck who makes the trek into NJ and 2) Inventory control. A railcar holds a ton of lumber and being a small operation the lumber would sit for a long time and get rotten. So they transload to truck a smaller amount.

He also told me they would get at most a whopping two carsloads a year. I don't see how M&E would make any money with that anyway.

So even if a spur is not used the customer may still get rail service, but apparantly nowadays transloading to bulk distribution centers and having trucks to the local deliveries is what's going on.