• Intermodal to Saint John

  • Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPR.CA.
Discussion relating to the past and present operations of CPR. Official web site can be found here: CPR.CA.

Moderators: Komachi, Ken V

  by F74265A
 
I saw that info too in the earnings call transcript. How they fit an operation of that size onto the footprint at Saint John I don’t know but would love to see the plans.
Unfortunately I don’t live in New England anymore and can’t see the track work to prepare for this first hand. Has anyone seen how the track upgrades and restored siding work is progressing in Maine as winter approaches?
CP also recently announced the repurchase of the Detroit Windsor tunnel. They are in growth mode
  by CN9634
 
Port throughput depends on a number of factors. How many boxes go to the local market vs moving out via rail to distant markets. Take Prince Rupert for example— they moved 1 million TEUs on an 83 acre two berth terminal. That’s tiny geography compared to most of these metro ports, the difference is dock dwell, those boxes are thrown right on a train and moved out. So a higher throughput when you have less local truck gate traffic and you keep things flowing. SJ with CP will be a similar operation— build the trains quickly and keep boxes moving.
  by Cosakita18
 
Is there a rough estimate of what percentage of Saint John's volume will be moving by rail vs by truck to local markets? I would imagine the large majority of it (80% or more) will be moving by rail.
  by F74265A
 
The dock dwell point helps me understand the program here. I couldn’t figure out where they would stack all those boxes near the dock. Sounds like all they really need on the railroad side then is improved on dock trackage, rebuilt yards near the dock, and a fluid and fast mainline across NB and ME
  by CN9634
 
There are certain stack heights and terminal operational efficiencies you have to consider depending on the port size, you'll notice a lot of the stacks don't exceed 4 high in a port only with reach stackers (there have been some aerial views posted recently that are wonderful).

Also with weather and conditions taking a toll in terms of how high you can stack empty boxes and such on your yard (here in the US the Coast Guard will arrive and ask you to rework your yard if they don't like what they see before a storm). They'll need to improve the on dock equipment to get a higher reach with other cranes and straddle carriers if they intend to go much higher than that, so right now its just surface equipment in addition to the existing port upgrades underway.

Again-- the model is Rupert, take a look and do some homework if you have some time its very interesting for nerds such as myself.
  by F74265A
 
Yes, I’ve looked at the dpw facility at prince Rupert in the past and again after reading your post. It appears well designed with numerous tracks parallel to the dock. I even see a spill over box storage site down past the coal export operation. The Rupert loading tracks look longer than what SJ can accommodate unless the slips are filled in. Will be sj watching carefully as I spend a ton of time studying railroad and shipping infrastructure purely out of personal interest.

Read this week that Halifax has booted local boxes out of the port and all boxes for local delivery go by cn to a new ramp facility in Moncton in order to reduce port congestion. Local boxes for export are also to be dropped off at the Moncton facility to be taken by train to one of the Halifax docks
  by cbc6403
 
"Read this week that Halifax has booted local boxes out of the port and all boxes for local delivery go by cn to a new ramp facility in Moncton in order to reduce port congestion."

I'm curious where you read this. It would make sense to speed up railcar un/loading, but I drove past PSA today, and there were at least a dozen trucks with containers lined up to get in. same story at Ceres in the north end of Halifax. That may be less business than usual (who knows what "usual" is, these days?), but it's certainly more than zero.

There are a lot of empty boxes stacked up in "non secure" areas of the Port to make more room behind the fences for the loaded ones.

My reading from seeing things as an outsider in Halifax, is that CN dropped the ball on this opportunity. They had a lot of crews on layoff due to COVID, and calling them back took time. I also suspect there there was pressure not to call them back until the next quarte started in order to make the bottom line look better. Eliminating the permanent Yard Master positions in Halifax ("we can run that out of Moncton") also didn't help the fluidity of the operations. During this time they also moved all the RTCs to Edmonton from Montreal. Many decided not to move, so the RTCs running things didn't have the depth of experience older employees would have.

GTD
  by F74265A
 
I read it in a trucking industry publication whose name I don’t recall that I found online while researching the capabilities of the port of Halifax. I tried to find that specific article today but no luck. There are a bunch of articles in trucking and transportation newsletters easily available on google from the may:June 2020 timeframe reporting on cn’s shorthaul intermodal service between Moncton and Halifax that claim the service has had an impact on truck traffic at Halifax. That is of course far less than moving all local truck traffic out of Halifax like I believe I read before posting originally
  by cbc6403
 
This article appeared in the local paper today (it's behind a paywall, but you may be able to see the first few lines and the photo). It states that some traffic has moved to rail from trucks, and also mentions the plan to re-lay the second track in the cut. That looks like it won't happen until 2024-25.

https://www.thechronicleherald.ca/busin ... te-513612/

GTD
  by F74265A
 
The portion of the article I could see was informative. Not clear to me why government would wait so long on funding simple task of reinstalling a few miles of 2d track if they are really so concerned about trucks
  by CN9634
 
There is a new schedule effective Monday Nov 2nd (been posted on social media so its out there now) daisy chaining CP 142-250-NBSR908 and reserve 907-251-143 to create the 24 hours to Montreal, 48 hours to Toronto and 72 hours to Chicago service as advertised.

Also anticipated more domestic intermodal and autos coming, as well as a new Brownville Jct to Saratoga Springs block swap to expedite service from Central Maine to Albany area and connections to NS/CSX (hmmm that sounds like a way around New England's Railroad)
  by NHV 669
 
I saw mention Friday of an early afternoon 907 through Danforth in early afternoon, with 251 supposedly coming on at 1400. Weren't these nighttime swaps before? I'm not terribly familiar with their general running windows across certain parts of the former CMQ system.
  by johnpbarlow
 
CP's 142 and 143 IM trains run with domestic and international cube double stacked containers via CSX between Buffalo and Chicago. (As an aside, now that CP will own 100% of the Detroit River tunnel, I wonder if some sort of clearance project is contemplated to accommodate double stacked domestic containers?)
  by F74265A
 
CN9634 wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 5:25 pm Also anticipated more domestic intermodal and autos coming, as well as a new Brownville Jct to Saratoga Springs block swap to expedite service from Central Maine to Albany area and connections to NS/CSX (hmmm that sounds like a way around New England's Railroad)
New owners of the pan am system will have to compete with cp’s Brownsville-Albany service for New Brunswick traffic based on price alone unless they upgrade service and speed big time