F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:This thread has gotten very unpleasant.
Is it possible to make a counterargument without attacking the poster? Please.
I don't even know what to say in response to CN9634's most recent post.
I suggested that an unhappy railroad customer is worth listening to instead of slamming with statements like "Do you know anything about running a railroad? Your posts don't seem to contribute anything more than an opinion and one that is incorrect based off some preliminary observations"
. I'd like to think that isn't how most shippers talk to customers...
I shared some Giles quotes from a Press Herald article directly related to the discussion. I pointed out that CMQ's Vermont operations have thus far been the direct opposite of what he said they would be like in the article. I was criticized for sharing the perspective from just "one customer," being told "There are many more out there." In response, I am going to share some brief fair use quotations from Chop Hardenberg's Atlantic Northeast Rails & Ports (which I believe CN9634 has been an active contributor for in the past?) so that more customer voices are heard. This is from December. (please subscribe for full article, I normally wouldn't quote so much from a subscription only newsletter, but I am in this instance because the content is essential if we're going to attempt to continue this discussion, plus it's months old now and likely going up on the back issues section of the site soon).
"THREE CMQ VERMONT CUSTOMERS GRADED SERVICE AND RATES POOR. Reportedly, WACR has switched customers Poulin Grain and Columbia Forest Products on CMQ in Newport as a favor to all parties." - Hardenberg
Jim Torrey of Newport's Feed Commodities International
-- on the quality of CMQ's service: “Service? It's all relative, but it's not as good as it used to be."
-- on the quality of VTR's service: "Why can’t the others do as well?...That said, MMA used to be pretty good.”
-- rate changes under CMQ increased $10-15/ton "forcing me to use more truck”
-- demurrage raised from $45 to $65 daily: “I don't like to pay it, I don't like to incur it.”
-- lack of CMQ consistency: “If cars are late, to keep pipeline going, I order more [by truck], then they stack up, instead of one arriving then three or four... at the same time, and I pay demurrage.”
Stella Paquette of Blue Seal Feeds
-- when asked if CMQ's service is awful, replied “You got that right.”
-- on CMQ not performing minor switching moves at the mill "You would think as the train goes through that it could spot cars for us."
Francis Campbell of Poulin Grain
-- looking back at MMA: "When MMA was running well, we did 150 to 200 cars a year."
-- on having to significantly increase use trucks to make up for lack of rail car loads: [Poulin Grain is receiving] “ten to twelve trucks a day, on average. We're open around the clock.”
Excerpts from Giles responding to those criticisms: "We invested real money into that route and it's going to be a big deal . . . Apologies to any receivers who may have been disadvantaged here in the short term. Better reliability is near . . . this is a marathon not a sprint." Props to him for commenting and apologies.
Anyway, moving on from that. As I said in my last post, I know Giles is dumbing himself down for the average newspaper reading with no railroad background. But it still seems pretty strange to make indisputably false statements on fairly inconsequential topics that no one with any basic railroad knowledge would possibly take seriously.
CN9634 wrote: You are disgusted that he scraps out derelict and defunct lines that probably won't see a whole lot more action but will help get a new railroad off the ground? Sorry, railfans fantasies probably weren't taken into consideration when making this decision. The only scrapping issues I had were parts of 'Nocket yard and sidings on the Moosehead. Even then, there isn't any use for those right now and without collecting the $$ to scrap those sections it is entirely possible we wouldn't have any kind of railroad. Please start a crowdfund to save the dormant sidings if you take that much offense from it.
Ok, your paragraph above is really insulting and completely misses the point I was making. I'm not concerned by Giles enthusiasm for scrapping whatever he can because of my supposed railfan fantasies about long out of service sidings and spurs not being ripped up and instead left for nature to take over. (My railfan fantasies are of Giles scrapping the GP20Ds... jk). In all seriousness, you should know me better than that, considering the sort of stuff I post on here. Look, if they want to rip up the Millinocket yard, I'm not going to stop them. I grew up in Brunswick where there used to be a sixteen + track Maine Central yard, but nothing more than a siding by the time I was roaming the streets. That's life. Railroads have been ripping up unneeded track for scrap value for centuries. Giles represents the first CEO to laugh while bragging about doing it in a newspaper article where he talks about his fancy new faster engines replacing the slower ones, though. The obsessive scrapping mindset concerns me because should 2016 come and go without crude oil business returning to the Moosehead Sub, that the potential scrap value of the former CP rails across Western Maine could function as an acceptable windfall alternative to oil trains. I do not know how serious that possibility is, but that is a scenario railroaders and friends knowledgeable in business economics have described as a potential move on Fortress's end countless times by now.
I know you're pumped up about working in the transportation industry, and excited to share what you pick up for the job, but the way you're doing it is unnecessarily combative, self-righteous, and quite frankly a real drag to have to read. You've got a lot to offer here, and I've sorry if I've upset you in the past, but let's just take a chill pill and all get along.