• Pittsfield/Springfield/Boston East-West Passenger Rail

  • Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.
Discussion relating to commuter rail, light rail, and subway operations of the MBTA.

Moderators: sery2831, CRail

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  by Rockingham Racer
 
CSX is not getting that portion of the former B&M. That's a joint venture between Pan Am and Norfolk Southern. Conjecture elsewhere is that NS might buy outright the line between Ayer and Mechanicville.
  by Arborwayfan
 
Oh, OK. That makes sense, but I guess it was not of interest to Maine Public Radio because it wasn't in Maine.
  by J.D. Lang
 
With CSX buying PanAm they will get the 50% of PAS therefore PAS will now be NS/CSX. What happens next is a matter of conjecture. Extensive discussion's and speculation about all of this is taking place on the PanAm forum.
  by BandA
 
Time for MassDOT to weigh in on what mitigation/concessions they need for passenger service or freight competition. And possibly buy some lines...
  by lordsigma12345
 
J.D. Lang wrote: Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:36 pm With CSX buying PanAm they will get the 50% of PAS therefore PAS will now be NS/CSX. What happens next is a matter of conjecture. Extensive discussion's and speculation about all of this is taking place on the PanAm forum.
Also by buying Pan Am they are acquiring the operating side of it and all the workforce that operates it as the PAS entity contracts the operations of PAS to Pan Am (specifically their Springfield Terminal subsidiary which is the operating railroad of all Pan Am’s properties) Unless the STB forces a change (or CSX and NS can’t come to some sort of agreement that makes NS comfortable) if nothing changes and the arrangement remains in its current form you could have CSX employed crews operating the NS trains over the territory.

Lots of conjecture and unknowns right now. If NS were to buy it outright not only is it buying out Pan Am’s 50% ownership it’s also having to take over operations (or paying someone else to operate it.) Right now they have contributed capital and some work crews at times but they haven’t had to deal with the day to day running of it and whether they would want that is a question mark given this is a region where they have limited business.

While NS obviously cares about its big trains that run to East Deerfield and Ayer, PAS also includes all the local and regional Pan Am operations over the main line as well as the Connecticut river down to Connecticut and up into Vermont. NS may not have much interest in any of that which may mean they try to come to some sort of arrangement with CSX or try to force CSX to sell off their portion to another regional railroad that could also operate the territory (Like GW maybe.) GW does own the territory up into Vermont where PAS has trackage rights as well as owns some of the customer base and also has operations down in Connecticut too. If CSX is forced to sell GW seems a natural successor to Pan Am if they had an interest and NS wouldn’t have to put any more skin in the game then they currently have.
  by Backshophoss
 
Figure on a split sale PAS to NS,PAR east of Ayer to CSX,CSX(B&A) Springfield to Worcester sold to MassDOT/MBTA/Amtrak
STB happy at that point
  by BandA
 
In a regulator-supervised sale, will CSX retain exclusive freight rights to their former territory, or will MassDOT control the freight rights (or issue trackage rights to anybody that wants them)?

If MassDOT owns the track from Springfield east, CSX would still control past their yard(s)? in West Springfield. Presumably MassDOT or their vendor would handle dispatch and MOW east of Springfield...
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Backshophoss wrote: Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:22 am Figure on a split sale PAS to NS,PAR east of Ayer to CSX,CSX(B&A) Springfield to Worcester sold to MassDOT/MBTA/Amtrak
STB happy at that point
If it shakes out that way, MassDOT could finally institute more frequent passenger train service, and Amtrak could re-institute service via the Inland Route.
  by Trinnau
 
I sincerely doubt you'll see CSX give up Springfield to Worcester. STB won't force it. NS owning to Ayer is equal to CSX owning to Worcester.
  by Pensyfan19
 
newpylong wrote:Agreed, it's not going to happen.
We'll see about that.

https://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2 ... il-project
The three final alternatives for the proposed East-West rail project connecting Boston and Pittsfield, Mass., would cost between $2.4 billion and $4.6 billion, but will face hurdles in qualifying for federal funding, according to a report released Monday by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The three alternatives vary in the amount of new or upgraded trackage involved, and therefore in travel time; travel time, in turn, effects the projected ridership.
More from the official site.
  by Trinnau
 
Our comment was in relation to the fact that somehow this Pan Am purchase means CSX sells to MassDOT as dictated by the STB.

In regards to the report, from page 99:
Next Steps and Recommendations wrote:Therefore, MassDOT will:
• Continue discussions with CSX to ascertain the basis for their
policies and requirements related to shared operations with
passenger service and whether their support for an East-West
passenger service is possible and, if not, what other options exist;
• Ask CSX to cooperate in additional analysis such as rail capacity
modeling and right-of-way condition;
• Seek to conduct a life-cycle cost analysis, if possible, to determine
the full spectrum of costs associated with greater control over the
right-of-way; and
• As commenters such as the Metropolitan Area Planning Council
(MAPC) and the Sierra Club have suggested, a phased approach
may be worth considering and discussing with CSX. Phasing has
proved useful with other projects in Massachusetts -- most recently
the South Coast Rail project. A phased approach could focus on
specific improvements that offer benefits such as safety and
increased reliability or could address infrastructure in a particular
segment. Whether a pilot service would be worthwhile is uncertain
given the current operational impediments, but it may be explored
as part of a phased approach and could also include working with
Amtrak on any plans for service to Albany.
Bullet 3 is a very long way of saying trying to figure out how to buy the line. The short answer is CSX has to be willing to sell it. STB won't force CSX to sell to MassDOT.
  by BandA
 
MassDOT needs CSX to agree to allow commuter passenger trains, reinstallation of additional platform(s) at Worcester, and appropriate layover facilities if they reinstall the double track to Springfield, and ideally gain control of dispatching. If CSX agrees, MassDOT should support their purchase of PAR, if not they should oppose the purchase of PAR as anti-competitive. So they need some sort of agreement or memorandum of understanding right about now. There also needs to be a review of any "paper barriers" that have been thrown up over the years by CSX or PAR. Good time to iron out any remaining out-of-service lines (are there any?) or rail-trails. In exchange for good behavior CSX should get the access road issue to their W. Springfield yard resolved as well as the ethanol train issue.
  by Rockingham Racer
 
Unless I missed it, the new and proposed transportation bill that's on Gov. Baker's desk has no mention of passenger train service specifically to Pittsfield. South Coast rail, yes, but not Pittsfield to Boston. There IS, however, mention of Pittsfield to New York City.

[url]file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/H4002.pdf[/url]
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