• PAR Locomotive Fleet - General Discussion

  • 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 KSmitty
 
Engineer Spike wrote:Now many 20 year old 60 series and -8 units are being retired. If Jr. is trying to get his house in order, this might be the way to go. Sure they will have to train staff on the computer diagnostics. The game changer might be costs savings. 3 of the for mentioned units can do the work of 4 SD40s. This means less units, and less fuel. If they had a few, they could run through to CSX, just like the old DE SD40s did with Conrail. This could keep the power balance from getting in arrears, or needing to pay cash, as 2 SD40s on CSX are just a drop in. the bucket.
I was actually thinking SD60's would be the next logical step for Pan Am. For the reasons you mention, you get a 3:4 unit reduction, they are starting to come up for sale (CITX has 21 xSOO units that Altoona is working through at least the paint booth, maybe doing an overhaul as well? after sitting for a year+ might mean good price...), more fuel efficient. I understand the desire they have to be all 645, but the 645 has some limitations, in both power and efficiency.
  by gokeefe
 
KSmitty wrote:
Engineer Spike wrote:Now many 20 year old 60 series and -8 units are being retired. If Jr. is trying to get his house in order, this might be the way to go. Sure they will have to train staff on the computer diagnostics. The game changer might be costs savings. 3 of the for mentioned units can do the work of 4 SD40s. This means less units, and less fuel. If they had a few, they could run through to CSX, just like the old DE SD40s did with Conrail. This could keep the power balance from getting in arrears, or needing to pay cash, as 2 SD40s on CSX are just a drop in. the bucket.
I was actually thinking SD60's would be the next logical step for Pan Am. For the reasons you mention, you get a 3:4 unit reduction, they are starting to come up for sale (CITX has 21 xSOO units that Altoona is working through at least the paint booth, maybe doing an overhaul as well? after sitting for a year+ might mean good price...), more fuel efficient. I understand the desire they have to be all 645, but the 645 has some limitations, in both power and efficiency.
Regardless of what path they take they need to do something about the power shortage. More leased units might be the answer but they won't be cheap like they used to be. PAR really seems to be in a battle right now for more business, improved physical plant and more efficient operations. I get the sense they're struggling but perhaps that's only because its winter time and they can't really do trackwork at this time of year.
  by newpylong
 
They've been very close to buying a batch of SD60s a few times but always go for the 40s, or worse. I think it would make sense to get some larger units. Two of them on EDRJ/RJED EDMO/MOED EDPO/POED would go a long way to solving the shortage.
  by KSmitty
 
newpylong wrote:They've been very close to buying a batch of SD60s a few times but always go for the 40s, or worse. I think it would make sense to get some larger units. Two of them on EDRJ/RJED EDMO/MOED EDPO/POED would go a long way to solving the shortage.
Didn't realize they'd actually considered them.

A block of 20 of them sure would go a long way. Pretty much power all the road trains on D2/D3, open up the 600's road locals and local service out west and road service in D1. Then they could move more 300's east and onto the branches.

They really don't seem to be all that far from not running a power shortage, with 18 leased SD's and 6 GP's. 20 SD60's could easily replace the whole fleet of leased power.

As an aside, since the Helm 70xx-80xx's are still here, I assume the lease agreement was renewed?
  by MEC407
 
KSmitty wrote: As an aside, since the Helm 70xx-80xx's are still here, I assume the lease agreement was renewed?
That's my assumption as well.

(For those of you who weren't aware: PAR had the option to renew the lease for another year, or to purchase the units at fair market value at the end of the first year. It's been over a year now, and the units are still running around in HLCX marks/numbers, so I assume that means the lease was renewed.)
  by F-line to Dudley via Park
 
Is NS applying any pressure to them to get their house in order on fleet availability? They've cracked the whip before to keep 'em honest with mainline upkeep. Unless PAR is doing some artful gerrymandering with the 'quality' of its assignments on PAS vs. the rest of the system I can't imagine the Ponies are going to bite their tongue much longer at the underpowered, under-available state of their partner's fleet.
  by gokeefe
 
I continue to ponder just exactly how close the economics are for a factory new power purchase for PAR. I would imagine one new unit could shutdown three or even four (due to improved reliability) of the older units.
  by CN9634
 
newpylong wrote:They've been very close to buying a batch of SD60s a few times but always go for the 40s, or worse. I think it would make sense to get some larger units. Two of them on EDRJ/RJED EDMO/MOED EDPO/POED would go a long way to solving the shortage.
I heard that once... but it would seem the SD60 market shrank rather fast because of CN gobbling up most of the ones available and CP keeping theirs.
  by KSmitty
 
CN9634 wrote:
newpylong wrote:They've been very close to buying a batch of SD60s a few times but always go for the 40s, or worse. I think it would make sense to get some larger units. Two of them on EDRJ/RJED EDMO/MOED EDPO/POED would go a long way to solving the shortage.
I heard that once... but it would seem the SD60 market shrank rather fast because of CN gobbling up most of the ones available and CP keeping theirs.
CITX has an ideally sized block of 21 xSOO's that have been idle a year or more. Just going through the NS shops now. Wether they've found work or not I don't know, but judging by the fancy new CIT paint they haven't been sold. Of course who knows if CIT is selling, actively or otherwise. They are all 1987 Nov built units, some of them worked for INRD for a while. Others have spent time on BNSF, and I suspect without knowing, that given BNSF's power shortage they may be heading that way. Might be for sale this summer as winter woes soften.
  by guilfordrailfan
 
KSmitty wrote:
CN9634 wrote:
newpylong wrote:They've been very close to buying a batch of SD60s a few times but always go for the 40s, or worse. I think it would make sense to get some larger units. Two of them on EDRJ/RJED EDMO/MOED EDPO/POED would go a long way to solving the shortage.
I heard that once... but it would seem the SD60 market shrank rather fast because of CN gobbling up most of the ones available and CP keeping theirs.
CITX has an ideally sized block of 21 xSOO's that have been idle a year or more. Just going through the NS shops now. Wether they've found work or not I don't know, but judging by the fancy new CIT paint they haven't been sold. Of course who knows if CIT is selling, actively or otherwise. They are all 1987 Nov built units, some of them worked for INRD for a while. Others have spent time on BNSF, and I suspect without knowing, that given BNSF's power shortage they may be heading that way. Might be for sale this summer as winter woes soften.
With new customers coming on line, increases in traffic, and barely having enough power for the trains they have now, it seems to me that something's going to have to give sooner rather than later. Does anyone know if they're shopping for power? It will be interesting to see how the MMA/CM&Q situation plays out and whether that has any impact on PAR's need for additional power.
  by MEC407
 
I don't know what the going rate is for an SD60 right now, but Dash 8-40Cs have been selling for under $100K in recent times, which puts their price on par with what much older SD40-2s have been selling for.

I continue to believe that PAR would benefit from abandoning their outdated "one locomotive for all types of service" mentality. It may have been economical at one time, but it's not economical anymore. They've taken baby steps to get past that mentality by once again adding six-axle locomotives to the roster (I applaud them for that, having advocated for it for several years), but the average age of the fleet is getting older rather than younger, and that's starting to catch up with them.
  by KSmitty
 
MEC407 wrote:I continue to believe that PAR would benefit from abandoning their outdated "one locomotive for all types of service" mentality. It may have been economical at one time, but it's not economical anymore. They've taken baby steps to get past that mentality by once again adding six-axle locomotives to the roster (I applaud them for that, having advocated for it for several years), but the average age of the fleet is getting older rather than younger, and that's starting to catch up with them.
Fleet age is a growing problem going forward. Though reliability is an issue I don't think its the reason to go newer. It could be fixed with a capitol rebuild program, like the 2 or 3 that have made the Clipper over the last 5 years but result in a handful of units done before cessation, except carried over the whole fleet. The 40 series package has so many advantages. While largely gone from mainline railroading, all major roads still roster the SD40/-2/-3 in sizeable numbers NS is even buying them on the used market and they are still the first option for any leasing company. Parts are plentiful. The GP/SD40 line has a long future ahead. Pan Am is nicely positioned in that many of its 40's (all the 300's, and some of the 600's) can be overhauled, rebuilt and upgraded without having to worry about current EPA regulations, at least as I understand the tier system. They can strip them all down to the frame and rebuild, and have a like new unit for thousands, rather than millions.

I think the argument for updating and reducing fleet age shows in other ways besides reliability, namely efficiency and power.
Either a C40 or SD60 is going to replace SD40's at a 3:4. An average road train can have 1 fewer unit and get over the road.
They are more efficient, built on the post 70's energy crisis platform, rather than the 60's muscle platform, a they put out more power and drink less...
It will happen, its only a matter of time and cash for something newer to show up and rule the roost on the road.
  by Engineer Spike
 
Other regional companies have been buying brand new power, so this is no stretch. MRL, IAIS, Alaska, and FEC.
  by CPF363
 
How many derelict GP40s are there in Waterville? They may have to look at making an investment into getting these operational once again if there are no four axle engines on the market or they are priced too high.
  by KSmitty
 
CPF363 wrote:How many derelict GP40s are there in Waterville? They may have to look at making an investment into getting these operational once again if there are no four axle engines on the market or they are priced too high.
Maybe 10 or 12. Some of them like 342 look to be generally okay, but have been robbed of many parts inside. Others like 320 look quite bad, missing huge chunks of hood and everything underneath. I don't have mechanical/inside information but based on the fact that they are GP40's they should be rebuildable if they want. But some will need all new mechanicals, block, main generator, etc... You can tell that just from Stephen Mayottes aerial shots.

Even then, its very possible that the investment to rebuild would be less than purchasing more, as a bluecarded GP40 can fetch 250-300k. They could also, if desperate for 4 axle power, buy SD40-2's and transplant the guts into dead GP40's.
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