• Single track Chicago Line?

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by BR&P
Drive away enough business and that's all you'll need. EHH reportedly said CSX will not invest in new locos for coal, because "Coal is dead". Meantime NS is reporting major gains in coal movement.

"Harrison told analysts on Wednesday that CSX, one of the country’s largest transporters of coal, won’t buy any new locomotives to haul the fuel. “Coal is not a long-term issue,” he said. “Fossil fuels are dead. That’s a long-term view. It’s not going to happen overnight. It’s not going to be in two or three years. But it’s going away, in my view.” The company currently hauls some 800,000 carloads of coal a year. "
  by amtrakhogger
The Chicago lIne was Conrail's conveyor belt diamond. Double track CTC (261) 70mph for intermodal, and now what, a 40 mph single track parking lot? Go figure. Please sell it to NS before you do that.
  by ccutler
Another way to 'invest' in your railroad knowledge is to "short" the stock. So mostly if the stock goes down, you make money. You will need a "margin account" at your brokerage firm, if you have one. Since many people have 401k mutual funds, social security, or pension plans, they have been divorced from direct engagement with owning stock. I personally have been divorced from owning stock by an expensive ex-wife :( . But that's how it's done. Be careful not to do it too much though. Institutional investors can be naive, and drive the stock even higher.
  by tree68
We can only hope that EHH quits before he completely ruins CSX.

From my usual seat in Utica, there is enough traffic on the Chicago Line to warrant double track.

One wonders about a business plan that pushes customers away...
  by BR&P
Let's hope EHH does not come on this forum and read the April Fools Day thread about removing the main in favor of the West Shore through Rochester. It might give him ideas!!
  by Noel Weaver
The State of New York is interested in expanding and speeding up the passenger service to Buffalo, this might be their golden opportunity if the leadership has brains enough to pursue it. I hope this never happens, the line needs the two tracks for freight no matter what and no matter what EHH says or does.
Noel Weaver
  by ccutler
Either that or the Southern Tier needs to be double tracked😁
  by JoeS
ccutler wrote:Either that or the Southern Tier needs to be double tracked😁
Geez, I hope the new Letchworth bridge is built for double track. Otherwise they'll have to keep the current bridge for one of the main tracks. :-D :wink:
  by johnpbarlow
Now that Hunter-driven train consolidation is underway, how many unit, intermodal, auto, and manifest trains operate on the Chicago line? The volume of oil/coal/ethanol trains that run this route must be significantly reduced versus a few years ago. When I look at the CSX train symbol list below, I'm amazed at the # of abolished/consolidated trains throughout the system (eg, there appear to be only 6 daily pairs of manifest freights and three pairs of auto trains running west of Selkirk). A single tracked CTC route should be able to accommodate 30 daily freights but the performance of Amtrak's four upstate NY trains could be impacted. So maybe the rumored single track plan will say get NY state/Amtrak to subsidize the maintenance of the 2nd track between Hoffmans and Depew.

Last edited by johnpbarlow on Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by ccutler
What is the traffic level upstate NY on the water level route? There is also heavy intermodal traffic running up the West Shore from NJ. I've got to think there's more than 30 trains per day, but if CSX wants to consolidate trains together in 500-unit sets, maybe they can cut it back to 10? :(
  by RMB357
The problems with transferring traffic from the Chicago line to the Pittsburgh / Baltimore route involve Infrastructure issues and use of helper operations. He wants to cease all helper operations which is insane. Between Myersdale and Hyndman you need helpers, if they flood the line with more traffic it will need double track between New Castle and Braddock. The bridge over the Monongahela River is single track and then you got major clearance issues in Baltimore. Good luck single tracking the Chicago line when winter comes and the switch heaters can't keep up with the lake storms, when crossovers become useless. And how many millions have been spent putting in new signals across the state? CSX also spent 250 million to put the double track back in across Ohio and Indiana. Typical thinking for someone sitting in Jacksonville that has no clue what is going on in reality in the field. This guy is out of control.
  by dick welles
This looks great for the southern tier line,WNY&P and the NYS&W.
  by J.D. Lang
Why doesn't he just rip up both tracks and turn it into a rail trail. Think of all of the overhead costs that he could save. That would help the cost ratio but I think that there would be a somewhat negative on the revenue side. :( Root for the southern tier and sell your CSX stock now before the freefall.

End of sarcasm.

  by Leo_Ames
Single track instead of double track has been part of the standard Hunter Harrison game plan since his Illinois Central days.

All the usual things are starting to happen. Eliminate infrastructure such as single tracking busy mainlines, eliminate helper districts regardless if they're making you money, kill off hump yards and up your dwell time in yards, make your employees buy all their own safety equipment, etc. At this point the man is so predictable, one wonders why they have to pay his salary just to implement his policies.

Some of the next things you'll see are shop closures and the elimination of locomotive rebuilding programs. If they're not gone yet, I wouldn't expect to see the Dash 3 program survive nor expect to see the C44-8W rebuild program that was being tested on the eve of his takeover be taken up past the initial prototypes that were delivered a few months back.

And while CSX has a motive power surplus and a lot of fat to trim as a result of new purchases far outstripping retirements in recent years while traffic has declined, I predict he'll take locomotive retirements too far. The company will soon be holding trains for lack or power or paying for expensive short-term leasors while modern SD70's sit idle, rusting away.
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