• Naugatuck Intermodal Yard - Pan Am Southern PAS / Poland Spring

  • 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 guilfordrailfan
 
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
MEC407 wrote:Agreed. That said, upgrading from 25 to 40 makes a huge difference, cutting travel time almost in half — assuming, of course, that it's maintained and doesn't drop back to 25 within a year or two of being rehabbed.
Taming the slop-ops is almost a bigger challenge for this outfit than whacking the speedos. It's been described here by multiple ex-employees how they could be making tolerably functional time getting across the MEC or B&M within a crew shift even at timetable 10 MPH if they would only get out of the damn yard on-time and not end up in a staring contest between crew and dispatch on who's waiting for whom to forget what. Speedos whittle the HoS margins down too small for a carrier of their size, but wretched coordination is the primary source of canning hell across the system keeping them consistently afoul of HoS crew limits. With equipment maint standards also playing a significant role. Both the speedos and the slop-ops used to be better, and unfortunately closing the gap on slop-ops and canning hell hasn't seen as many recent strides made as the raw radar readings so the essential problem facing PAR has not changed much. Timetable 25 on the Back Road is still going to be hard to meet consistently enough to run high-volume IM service if Billerica's attitude towards making schedule is still: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

Hasn't it been said that the biggest immediate improvement to PAS in an NS-takes-over scenario is not the armada of track gangs being dispatched from out-of-region to tie-replace the whole corridor up to TT 40...but rather the pinkslips that'll be handed out across D3 to wholesale-replace everyone who's been part of the problem with imports (and re-hires) who'll conform to NS-quality ops standards? And isn't this what value any new buyers would be seeing in the system when they size up D2: how much more valuable and high-leverage are a POSE/SEPO, its post-partition NS equivalents, and deeper Class I relationship considerations therein if Worcester-Portland (and beyond to Waterville) were simply run like on-time was a core company value? I don't know if or how Billerica has it in them to reform these deep-seeded attitudes so thoroughly as needed here, because so much of what we analyze on this forum seems to point to an inevitable conclusion that it can't/won't be Billerica doing the 180 on ops reform...it will/has to be somebody else because these attitudes are far too ingrained in the way Mellon conducts business for himself.
F-line, you hit the proverbial "Guilford / Pan Am" nail on the head!
  by Jeff Smith
 
Question: After it gets to Naugatuck, then what? 600 trucks out onto Route 8/I84/I95? Granted, that's still a lot of truck MILES off highways, but why not interchange with P&W or CSX closer in to the city? I'm not going to mention the Housy word LOL (TOO LATE!), but it would make for an interesting night train down the Danbury branch, avoiding WALK Bridge and lots of MNRR miles. Or use another, closer inland route (P&W down to New Haven).
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Gotta deal with the NIMBY's first. It's still a little too early to be talking about this thing as a locked-n'-loaded reality.


The other variable to consider: any new transload spot in CT is, on the merits, sloppy seconds to the most ideally located spot for such activity: Cedar Hill Yard. The long arm of Conrail paper barriers and CSX indifference has kept anyone from being able to do anything with that site, because up until now CSX has valued competitive protectionism there more than it's valued their piddling revenues from CH or any deal-making to cash out of there (with loosened, but not necessarily abolished paper barriers).

Well, that was before the bull in a China shop Hunter Harrison came on the scene and opened his mouth for the whole world to hear about how CSX no longer gives two craps about protectionism and is now looking to sell! sell! sell! all non-strategic territory. Harrison may be gone, and his successors may have already about-faced on the Howard St. Tunnel project in Baltimore...but his handpicked executives are probably still sympatico with most of his big claims. And certainly if they're going to shed territory without throwing caution to the wind about protectionism, Cedar Hill ranks near the top of the list on properties to move first. They've never used it beyond the bare minimum, so it's less valuable to them than any of the other rumored spin-offs like the Montreal Sub. which has indeed gotten targeted investment in the post-Conrail era. But both G&W and PAS would pay good money to have their rights loosened up there, so selling CH (along with dumping the New Haven Line to state line or New Rochelle on P&W) would unquestionably make them more money than holding onto it. The only variable is how much value do they place on protectionism. Apparently near-zero nowadays. You could've made an argument even pre-EHH that selling to G&W and loosening their barriers while keeping NS's access bottled up airtight would've been a very prudent transaction for them to make. But if it's still EHH's edict governing from the grave, maybe it's anything goes now? Up to and including PAS getting an implant @ CH for a major transloading operation.

2018 is going to see some first action on CSX territorial dispersals because inertia-of-motion has been lurching that way; the reigning executives may be a little less willy-nilly about recklessly dumping baby with bathwater, but they're still going to proceed with some very big outsource transactions this year. And there's no reason dollars-and-sense why Connecticut wouldn't still be near the top of that list of properties to move, especially if there are multiple big-pocketed bidders likely in-play with strategic interest in a Cedar Hill presence. So you never know...PAS could be charging ahead with Naugatuck now, but also working the phones with G&W about Cedar Hill to see if the two can mutually carve it up and get CSX to bite on a joint offer. And if they succeed...well, Naugatuck doesn't need to happen anymore and they don't need to sweat out the NIMBY's or the approvals because they'll have their golden parcel and a Plate F/Class 6 route straight to it.


Doesn't mean the above scenario is likely to happen, but this is a dynamic and potentially fast-changing environment. Nobody thought this Naugatuck site would be a thing until a month ago when it very suddenly became a potentially very big thing. And CSX lurks with its potential game-changing big-thing property and the stated willingness to offer it up with the unthinkable: loosened or abolished paper barriers. We could see some wild mood swings this year as plans dramatically get dashed, come on the table, come off the table, come on the table all over again, and so on. Very volatile environment...though probably volatile in a GOOD way for the insurgent carriers sniffing around for new opportunities in this neck of the woods.
Last edited by MEC407 on Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by DogBert
 
Jeff Smith wrote:Question: After it gets to Naugatuck, then what? 600 trucks out onto Route 8/I84/I95? Granted, that's still a lot of truck MILES off highways, but why not interchange with P&W or CSX closer in to the city? I'm not going to mention the Housy word LOL (TOO LATE!), but it would make for an interesting night train down the Danbury branch, avoiding WALK Bridge and lots of MNRR miles. Or use another, closer inland route (P&W down to New Haven).
Real Estate? Coke just lost a big warehouse in NYC b/c they didn't own the land and apparently Home Depot is willing to pay more for a teardown/new store. Apparently they'll be trucking goods in from elsewhere (not that they took RR cars to begin with). Industrial property in NYC is in scarce supply these days.
  by Jeff Smith
 
There's got to be some publicly owned land, brownfields, something, closer in. Especially around Oak Point and that area. Hell, even Bridgeport is closer...
  by gokeefe
 
That might be true ....

However, remember this is a "Juice Train" redux. I would imagine the logistics director at PS wants a single carrier. Naugatuck is as close as Pan Am can get them.
  by Jeff Smith
 
That makes sense, George. Maybe G&W can buy Pan Am then! Along with the Housy.... :P
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Oh, I am certain G&W will put in a bid for PAR when the Districts 1 & 2 are partitioned from PAS and put up for sale by Billerica. They would probably be required to sell off NECR as an anti-competitive condition of the sale agreement because they'd have too many duplicate Canadian lanes in a contiguous system of P&W, PAR, SLR, NECR. And NECR would be a bigger-leverage trade-in than SLR to satisfy those anti-competitive concerns. But it would take G&W no time at all to dish off the Central VT to a different shortline holding company who'd be willing to horse-trade them something useful in another region; that's the overwhelming advantage the G&W borg has in having assets to play in every corner of the U.S. and Canada. So expect them to barge right in as one of the leading bidders when Tim Mellon is ready to collect his golden parachute. Won't be able to estimate their odds of winning until the time comes and other bidders are known/suspected, so that isn't worth wasting time speculating on today. But G&W won't so much as flinch at muscling right in on the serious bidding when the time comes. That's a contiguous Bronx to Montreal (via Worcester, Ayer, Portland, and Sherbrooke) corridor with 4 Class I interchanges you'd be looking at under unified ownership. Hell yes Darien HQ is going to covet that, not want anyone else sticking themselves in as middleman without a fair fight, and not lose any sleep whatsoever over the relatively minor anticompetitive dispersals required to make it happen.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by DogBert
 
Jeff Smith wrote:There's got to be some publicly owned land, brownfields, something, closer in. Especially around Oak Point and that area. Hell, even Bridgeport is closer...
Unfortunately not. Oak point is hemmed in now, Harlem river all seems to be spoken for. The one lot left in Queens went to Fed Ex who will not be using rail. There was just news last week that the governor wants to boot the only remaining container terminal in Brooklyn out of Red Hook and relocate it somewhere in Sunset Park (where it would actually have rail access, but goes against the mayors plans for that area of course). The only big new terminal built as of late is way out in Brookhaven, serving LI.

None of this of course will help traffic anywhere in a 50 mile radius of NYC. Every year we lose warehouses here, and every year we've got more trucks. On the plus side, maybe we'll see more terminals like this one pop up nearby.
  by Jeff Smith
 
F-Line, any chance that of those contiguous systems gets merged into P&W? I know there's a paper history of the ConRail sale which may prevent it, but with CSX as you've mentioned not seeming to be as occupied with that anymore, there could be a chance.

Which makes me wonder if we're about to see the birth in the next few years of a new Class I (via P&W). Most of G&W's lines are Class III, of course.
  by rr503
 
DogBert wrote:
Jeff Smith wrote:There's got to be some publicly owned land, brownfields, something, closer in. Especially around Oak Point and that area. Hell, even Bridgeport is closer...
Unfortunately not. Oak point is hemmed in now, Harlem river all seems to be spoken for. The one lot left in Queens went to Fed Ex who will not be using rail. There was just news last week that the governor wants to boot the only remaining container terminal in Brooklyn out of Red Hook and relocate it somewhere in Sunset Park (where it would actually have rail access, but goes against the mayors plans for that area of course). The only big new terminal built as of late is way out in Brookhaven, serving LI.

None of this of course will help traffic anywhere in a 50 mile radius of NYC. Every year we lose warehouses here, and every year we've got more trucks. On the plus side, maybe we'll see more terminals like this one pop up nearby.
What is the old IM pad being used for these days? WM overflow? I know NYSEDC issued a RFEI regarding development there, but I haven't heard anything since. Seems like all it would take is some good marketing and a little TLC to make the HR terminal a usable property for companies like PS.

Very O/T, but when you say the one left in Queens, is that the old Phelps Dodge site? Or is it Norampac? Or neither?
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
BandA wrote:Would CSX sell CH rights to PAR, knowing that NS might buy PAS/PAR?
CSX is far more likely to sell Cedar Hill to G&W because that would allow them to dish off running the New Haven Line locals to P&W and save more costs in shedding those very few local customers in the process. The million-dollar question is whether selling CH ends up loosening the paper barriers that keep PAS's current access there extremely limited in scope. Harrison didn't care about protectionism, but his successors might be a little more careful about that than he was. It would certainly be prudent on their part if shedding the asset to steer it to the Class II/Class III owner of P&W + CSOR and keep the paper-pushing from allowing PAS, which is going to be wholly-owned by a competing Class I in due time, have unlimited access there. Even if PAS's access gets somewhat loosened as a necessity of dumping the property to the other lines, absolute unlimited PAS access could instantaneously turn into an unforced error on CSX's part. They're much in a much safer spot if the two G&W roads are the ones who have their usage restrictions loosened or abolished outright.
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