newpylong wrote:Kevin and BigLou, I am glad you saw my comments as being what they were and not a questioning of anyone's opinion : )
its so nice to have a rational discussion from time to time isn't it! some people especially one line are so touchy when you disagree, not that I am disagreeing with what you say. A very good friend of mine works for PAR and he not so positive, but really wants to keep his job.
You both make very good points in my opinion. I definitely think there has been a sort of "awakening" of a sort, if you want to call it that. I think the cash infusion from the NS was the start. They are seeing that you need to spend a little to make some. It helps to have track that moves freight.
While I won't disagree that the NS deal helped I don't think it was the start they were hiring more people before that. I think we are seeing the end of an era (fink Sr) and the start of a new mentality that involves being a railroad and not a real estate company. I expanded on this some in my previous post. My personal feeling is there was little to be gained until recently by spending money on upgrades and maintenance. just look at the situation in the 1980's-1990's Mills closing, shippers dropping like flies the interstate system had finally come out of its infancy and the full force of truck competition was being felt in the 1980's . There was a reason the MEC/B&m/D&H were for sale and it's not because their current owners were raking in the dough. Other railroads were staying alive with unit train traffic, who in NE besides a few coal plants were getting unit trains ?
There are a lot of big projects on the horizon. Ethanol to Revere is a done deal, regardless of what you hear. They were ready to go this fall when the Contractor had the line cleared - but there was hang ups in the permitting (no surprise). I am hearing spring time the contractor will be back in there again. The operating plan at this point is an 80 car train, 3 big NS units up front, and a pusher on the ass end being tied on around Ayer. This will help them get up over the flyover and once they clear the East Boston branch switch, the pusher will pull the train in. There is a layover facility planned of some sort for the power. Again, ANY of this could change, but as of the fall, this was the plan.
All good news and proof that PAR is interested in being a railroad once again, they have gone from trying to deny people service to actively looking for new customers. I am sure NS has a hand in it as well, but its amazing that PAR is not playing the obstructionist roll like they did originally with the Down Easter or when the B&M ( was it big G?) lost the northern section of the CT river line.
There are talks of a dedicated autorack train in the near future. There are talks of a unit grain train coming from CSXT to Rotterdam junction in the near future (NEMCO in Ayer is expanding their facilities in anticipation of getting FULL unit trains). etc.
Again an uptick in traffic which equals a chance to make money. I don't think we can attribute all of this to NS having a magic wand, how much of this traffic was available 20 years ago ??. Do the need a dedicated auto rack because AYMO/MOAY is to big? or will there be an increase in autoracks or piggy backs making it to big?
Mechanicville is going to be huge I think... In my honest opinion - NS is seeing what type of long term traffic they can drum up out of New England. If things turn out right, I believe they are going to gobble up from Boston west.
You really think that will happen ? think the ICC would allow it ? does anybody think PAR will walk away from a profitable enterprise with out asking for an unreasonable sum of money? I am not trying to troll those are honest questions. What exactly will Mechanicville be a classification yard? I really don't know much about it.
I probably am the most positive thinker in the world when it comes to this railroad because I grew up by it and am passionate about seeing it succeed. At the same time, I know how they work, so I am careful not to drink the "kool aid" and believe everything I hear when it comes to what they want to do. I think the safest way to deal with PAR is to think positively, but believe it when you see it.
Well said and for the first time in a long time there is something to see. Where did you grow up BTW ? The B&M (actually Big G but it was still called the B&M by everybody I knew) was the only railroad I knew existed until I was 15 or so