• Pan Am in 2014

  • 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

  by rdeastcl
Its not only rail and ties that need to be replaced on the Madison branch, its also the entire rail bed. Thats where all the money would need to go into and I dont think a "good faith" project is worth the 15+ mil it would take to rehab the entire thing.

EDIT..that 15 mil is an extremly generous estimate, it could be 2-3 times more when all said and done.
  by Engineer Spike
newpylong, what was your point? You know little about me. I grew up in New England, and my grandfather's company was a Guilford customer. I saw the strike, equipment and track deterioration first hand. I just wonder what prompted the changes. Why would they turn 180 degrees after 30+ years?

I'd love to see CP go back to the culture under Rob Ritchie, but again, what's your point. Do you think my few CPR shares made much difference, as compared to Ackman's, toward the election of EHH? EHH says give me 100%, and you will make a good wage. He'll get rid of shirkers fast. Just do your job.

I don't see where you think I don't get it, nor how my own job enters the topic. Sorry to offend you if Big Dave and TM are your buddies. I don't know why you are so offended by my opinion. I was half kidding anyway.

Why did they change after 30+ years again?
  by KSmitty
Engineer Spike wrote:Why did they change after 30+ years again?
All the other BS aside, they changed after 30 years because their management changed. "Big Dave" left, replaced by the younger Mr. Fink.
As I understand, the 2 Fink's are products of different era's. Sr. being a product of the decades of railroad decay, stepping over dollars to save dimes is a self preservation style of management. Agreeably its short sighted and hardly effective, but its a good way impart your desires for maximum profits with least risk taking. Despite obvious shortcoming this is hardly a rarely used management method, and is quite common in telecom companies today, as well as other companies that face Wall Street demands for maximum profits.

Jr. is, on the other hand, a product of the railroad renaissance of the post-Staggers world. The renaissance rebuilt the belief that infrastructure improvement and regular maintenance bred good service which in turn brought more business. Thats why you see self investment in plant, as well as the seeking of others to invest. Current management realizes that doing more than bare minimum to keep things running will bring additional carloads, and additional revenues.

Regardless of "Big Dave's" status as a part (minority) owner, the younger is running the show and calls the shots.
  by mulfreak
I would like to think that personalities don't get involed here. I don't know the management at Pam-Am. I don't know how to run a railroad,"99% of the people on this forum don't either." I would also like to think that anyone working for the Pan-Am railroad would not be stupid enough to use this forum to discredit current members of their management. In defence of engineer Spike. Py when was the last time you actually train spotted? You have questioned my observations on speed of trains thru Wigginville. I look out my window and have a panorama of everything that passes by here. I work behind the Lowell Depot ditto. I use a system of train speed measurment that I developed back in high school for a physics class. MPS stands for Muls per Section. The time it took for a B&M boxcar to pass between two different points of track. Gets a bit complicated from there,as you needed a stop watch and calculus but it worked. As for the Lowell yard that is going to sold thru some program; nothing Nada. Now I will go out on a limb. I predict that Pam-Am will bring on more good jobs with good wages this year. Mostly thru track maintaince.
  by Engineer Spike
I'm sorry that my half joking comment got everyone so wound up. It hurts to see what the B&M and MEC were, as opposed to what they became under Guilford. The main lines were in solid shape. Both had fairly new power, and many new boxcars to haul paper. The deindustrialization of New England would have meant cuts, no matter who was running the system. They took the cuts way too far. Hopefully the system hasn't sunken to a level where the reforms are now impossible, due to the vast sums now required to put things back into reasonable shape.

I studies logistics in college, and my family was in the trucking business. I am still in the transportation field. This has given me a unique perspective of how a transportation company runs. Most industries want to limit their inventories, and use just in time transportation deliveries. When that customer's goods have to travel for hundreds of miles at 10mph, this system does not work. How many extra crews does this involve? When will the car be delivered? It is therefor no wonder that the company is eating itself from the inside out.

CPF363 mentioned good will towards customers. Any company needs to make its product attractive, in order to attract customers. Would you keep going to a store which had no product on the shelves? How about products, but ones no one would buy except if in a pinch? A business can over invest, but needs to know what the customer needs, and how to provide it. I will agree that there are some deals which are not profitable. Business would increase significantly if the services were more than what is absolutely needed, as no alternative exists.

My apologies for turning this into a circus. I hope that the new administration can succeed in the transformation. I want to see the prestige of the B&M and MEC restored. Look at P&W. They seem to keep their plant and equipment maintained. Their marketing dept. seems really aggressive too. Pan Am has some advantages over P&W, which could definitely help, if used correctly.

For the record, I have no affiliation with Pan Am. One poster eluded to whom I work for. I have no complaints against my employer.
  by mulfreak
Spike I had no problem with your posts. Nor the discussion either. Everyone is intilted to their 2 cents as my dad would have said. The post became lively exchange of ideas and speculation on the the future of the railroad. I would encourage poeple to tell like they see it here. There is no wrong or right. What I did not like was someone whom I won't name here imply that you did not know what you were talking about. In fact I'm not sure what they meant so whoo cares. The stuff about being careful with what you say. We all know that. Feel free to check out the Lowell activity post I have anytime.
  by Mikejf
And there is no way to say for certain that that person knows what he's talking about. There is a lot of hear say and speculation that some post as fact. The only fact is by the end of the year we will know what happened this year.
  by Engineer Spike
Look up Atlantic Northeast Rails and Ports. This is a shipping and logistics enewsletter. They had an article about the fact that some Maine paper mills have problems with PA due to unreliable transit times, and just-in-time manufacturing and shipping. I must note that PA is suing the newsletter for libel. I wrote my post before I found that site.

I'm not afraid to post my 2¢. I try to post thought provoking posts. This one started as a joke, based on the past track record. Another poster tried to drag my employer into it. My company has nothing to do with the topic, and I don't know why I struck such a nerve with that guy. That is why I felt obligated to set the record straight.

I really want to see things progress. I have many friends who work for PA in both labor and management. This transformation will be just like what Alan Dustin pulled off after the handiwork of Pat McGinnis and successors.
  by newpylong
"This guy" worked for Pan Am, knows past management, and knows current management. I know what they were, I know what they are, and I know what they are trying to be. It is difficult to wipe away 30 years of mismanagement and toilet spiral, but they are making an effort. There are countless examples of these efforts for anyone's reading on this forum. That said, old habits die hard and there is always room for improvement. If you read all of my entries here you see I can be harsh towards them when it's due.

Spike, I mentioned your current employer because your post came off as someone who has a bone to pick but is not witness to recent changes. If I read what you wrote in 2009, I probably would have backed it up with plenty of my own "niceties" that would have solidified your points, but it is not 2009. You mentioned ANR&P and a potentially libelous article regarding Pan Am, yet you failed to mention that same publication ran an article describing cautiously optimistic Mills in Maine that were happy about greatly improved service. The lawsuit is collecting dust at this point.

Mulfreak, I question what you see because it is not correct. The only trains going 35 MPH through Lowell are the MBCR. On the freight main, 10 mph from NC to BY both tracks, 25 on the 1 BY to 297, 10 passing 297, 10 296-295, 25 295-LJ. Describing trains going over maximum authorized speed is a good way to get someone in trouble.
  by KSmitty
Engineer Spike wrote:I'm sorry that my half joking comment got everyone so wound up...My apologies for turning this into a circus.
Its hard to read sarcasm or a joking manner. If this were a normal discussion in a room with living breathing people things like that are more obvious. A simple "/sarcasm" at the end of a post meant to be joking/sarcastic/etc. makes the point you were less than serious in the points and helps calm the ruffled feathers.
  by B&M 1227
since dave sr was ousted, there has been a favorable turn in management. junior has been stepping into the public relations limelight more and more, and seems intent on working out the railroads faults. when the general manager is the son of a model train shop owner, he probably has a little more on the brain that running the rail infrastructure into the ground for a quick buck.

if you take a look at the west end, there are many bridges receiving pretty major work, with signal crews bumbling around throwing up new lights between the tunnel and the hudson. they've also been banging away at the 10s. i'm sure when the conn river work clears up there'll be a push to bring the freight main back up to par(hah), but until then available crews and equipment are few and far between.
  by Mikejf
you and bcmdr are the two of the most credible guys on here. I don't believe it was you anyone was talking about. I know I wasn't.
  by JayBee
newpylong wrote:
Engineer Spike wrote:Just because Big Dave's name isn't on the letterhead anymore doesn't mean that he doesn't have a finger in the pie. Isn't he a minority owner? Why did ol' Timmy go along with Big Dave's bs for all these years? This is why I question the new and improved Guilford (excuse me, Pan Am). Has T.M. seen the light? Do you think the ghost of Christmases past, present, and future came to him, and convinced him to get serious about railroading?
Two comments spoken like someone who knows nothing or no one east of Mechanicville. I hear Harrison is a dream to work for these days.
EHH may not be a dream to work for, but things are getting done. Sections of CTC are being installed between Moose Jaw, SK and Glenwood, MN. Currently the line is all Dark TWC, will be all CTC in 5 years. The St. Paul Belt Line is being rebuilt and upgraded to act as a bypass around BNSF congestion. New GP20C-ECO locomotives are being bought to replace 50+ year old GP7/9 locomotives, etc.
  by mulfreak
Well I'm glad to see we are all on the same page here. On Pam-Am's side anyway. Py you write well and thoughfully. Your warning about giving to much information in a timely fashion,concerning Pam-Am operations that could be used against any employees is well taken. I hope not just by me. Good point. I do think about these things. Especially against an engineer in this case. I'm not out there with a radar gun. Muls per Section is the guage I use for train speed;not Miles per Hour. Yes one can convert the two,with the equation and I've been thinking of this. However I don't even remember it. I was 1973.
  by oat324
I want to see a 40 to 50 mph mainline from Waterville, ME to Mechanicville, NY.