• Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

  • 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 Cosakita18
 
Portland Press Herald running an article today about growth at the IMT:

https://www.pressherald.com/2021/11/13/ ... year-ever/
Interesting highlights:
  • The IMT is on track to handle ~36,700 TEU in 2021, a 23% increase over previous years. The rate of growth has surpassed Eimskip's projections.
  • Eimskip intends to replace all vessels on the Green Line service with 1,000+ TEU ships "as soon as possible"
  • Dockside congestion is projected to become a concern as container volumes rise, and reactivating the intermodal pad for rail service is a priority for increasing throughput
  • Cold storage facility is intended to break ground this fall (although I have yet to see any activity on site)
  by bostontrainguy
 
So the volume has increase by 23% but the intermodal pad has to be "reactivated"? So does that mean the stuff has all been moving out by truck?
Last edited by MEC407 on Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by Cosakita18
 
As of now, everything is moving by truck. Yard 8 hasn't seen any activity in about 2 years (which was just PS transloading. not ship-to-rail)

The majority of Eimskip's US customers are in the northeast, and anything needing to go further inland by rail is unloaded in Halifax for CN.
  by markhb
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Sat Nov 13, 2021 11:16 am So the volume has increase by 23% but the intermodal pad has to be "reactivated"? So does that mean the stuff has all been moving out by truck?
The precise quote from the article:
A rail connection to the container yard, part of a multiyear investment program at the terminal, would offer another way to keep cargo moving once the yard becomes congested, he added.
The article itself links to a story from 2014 that basically describes the way the port has already been built out (minus the second track at the IM pad), so I'm not sure if they're talking about reactivating the current setup or actually extending one or both lines under the bridge to the dock area. I would think that, even if the rail line went to the dock, the inbound containers would still need some sort of Customs processing so there would be some inevitable delay after arrival before sending them on their way, in which case the few hundred feet of drayage within the complex wouldn't be a huge barrier. But, I could very well be mistaken.

Incidentally, the PPH story talks about one of the key exports being "wooden medical instruments". That got some comments on the paper's website, but I don't have a commenting account there so I'll just say: tongue depressors and cotton swabs; the small wood turnings that were one a HUGE part of Maine's forest products economy.
  by CN9634
 
I'm sure once CSX comes to town they'll move boxes over them to the Midwest. That traffic via Halifax is going to start getting premium... MSC just added a new service, CMA is bringing in the big boys and so is ONE. I'm sure they're already seeing their rates via CN go up.

The bit with the rail 'activation' is really building a service not the track itself. Pan Am hasn't come through on that.
  by CPF66
 
markhb wrote:Incidentally, the PPH story talks about one of the key exports being "wooden medical instruments". That got some comments on the paper's website, but I don't have a commenting account there so I'll just say: tongue depressors and cotton swabs; the small wood turnings that were one a HUGE part of Maine's forest products economy.
I imagine those are likely products made by Puritan which include covid test kits. Interestingly enough, Puritan used to load potato reefers full of tongue depressors, and other similar products. The cars would end up on the west coast, where they would be unloaded, and then used in pool service during the off seasons.
  by Cosakita18
 
Eimskip seems on track to break 50,000 TEU in Portland within the next few years. I know that the Maine Port Authority has high hopes of luring additional scheduled liner or refer services to the IMT. but landside space is extremely limited..so utilizing Yard 8 as much as possible seems like the best way to increase throughput. Not surprising Eimskip threw their support behind the CSX merger (even if it was jus a generic template letter)

Even with direct access to CSX, I don't know how much the IMT can grow given the limitations of the facility itself. It can only accommodate feeder-sized vessels up to about 2,000 TEU, and has landside storage space for ~1,500 TEU. With efficient operations, the IMT could theoretically handle ~70,000 TEU annually at most. Accommodating any growth beyond that would require some creative solutions
  by CN9634
 
The conversation is already happening, so it'll be a great addition to that port. Remember, there is a difference between through-put and to-put.... if they want to create some gateways they'll need to work on terminal efficiency and getting boxes through. I saw a master plan several years ago, they want more surface equipment such as straddle carriers and bigger stackers to get things more fluid. If memory serves there is more expansion room out by the 'intermodal' pad as well.

I'd be really nervous about anything over 1500 TEU. The 1000-1250 range would do Eimskip well anyhow and thats a pretty good percentage increase in capacity. They'll have to stick with geared ships too if they are looking for the same service routing as some of these 'rural' ports they hit on the way over rely on that to unload the ship quickly. 50K TEU is impressive for Portland, ME and with a single call. The big thing is expansion of partners with Eimskip via Halifax, ala CMA-CGM. There were two other steamship lines looking to get in on that same arrangement, so let's see if that unfolds.

Last comment I'll make... lets see what this week brings for CN... 600 employees walking off the job this week due to the mandate. Halifax is going to become a mess in very short order....
  by Cosakita18
 
Straddle cranes would be a good way to make the most of that strangely shaped intermodal ramp. Each track is long enough for a cut of 15 well cars, so they could load up to 30 cars at a time without much switching. The runaround track is also long enough for a 30-car cut.

The stated length of the berth at the IMT is 735 ft, and the two new Liebherr cranes can work ships with up to a 120 ft beam, but the EFFECTIVE length of the berth is about 600 feet, upgrades would be needed to the western end of the berth closer to the Casco Bay Bridge to fully accommodate ships up to 730 feet. As an aside, the largest ship to ever call at the IMT (to my knowledge) was the Atlantic Impala which is 580 feet long and 1,600 TEU.

I've been seeing quite a few Maersk containers at the IMT lately, so it seems that they might now have similar feeder arrangement from Halifax as CMA. I've also, I've repeatedly heard over the past 2 years that CMA-CGM had expressed interest in adding a call in Portland on the CAGEMA Main Liner service, but it seems like that has fallen through. Maybe on-site cold storage and access to CSX will be enough to lure another service in.
  by Cosakita18
 
I noticed a substantial amount of work going on at Yard 6 (the Sprague terminal) today with lots of MoW equipment and tree clearing going on. It looked like the yard lead track had been totally ripped up. Anyone know what's going on? I know that yard lead was in very rough shape. Is it overdue track work or something more?
  by Cowford
 
Cosakita18 wrote: Sun Nov 14, 2021 2:28 pm Each track is long enough for a cut of 15 well cars, so they could load up to 30 cars at a time without much switching. The runaround track is also long enough for a 30-car cut.
With respect, that's a big overstatement. There is no more than 2 x 750-ft of working track. That's about 2.75 x 5-unit 40' well cars or 2.5 x 5-unit 53' spine cars per track. It's hard to spot 1/2 or 3/4 of a rail car; I guess the designers didn't know that. The siding would is similarly afflicted.

BTW, the preliminary designs of the proposed adjacent frozen food warehouse had rail doors spaced on 50' centers. Brilliant.
  by CN9634
 
Yeah whoever designed that 'intermodal yard' should never ne allowed to take on a transportation project ever again. At least the carving in the granite enclosure looks neat... said...no one....
  by Cosakita18
 
The IMT had two Eimskip calls this week. I believe this may be the first time the IMT has had two calls in a week

Lagarfoss Departed Portland Thursday afternoon on the normal Green line circuit, and then EF Ava Arrived Friday morning, sailing directly from Reykjavik to Portland and is now returning directly to Reykjavik.

This seems to be a one-off extra sailing. I can't see any added Green Line sailings for the next two months, but it's still a good sign that there is strong and growing demand for Eimskip's transatlantic product.
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