• Pan Am Railways For Sale?

  • 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

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  by gokeefe
 
Given the 50% (and potentially 100%) ownership of PAS I don't see how NS is the logical choice in this instance. The problem from the Surf Board as best I can tell is that they want the carrier serving Northern New England to have access to multiple Class I connections. That can't happen if NS or CSX get Pan Am. Thus neither of them compute as possible suitors. I concur that G&W is likewise less than ideal due to their extensive short line and regional railroad holdings.

Although I agree that CP could end up with an extraordinary level of influence in Maine this is in many ways no different than the existing situation. It seems very unlikely that CP would be able to justify routing traffic for the mid-West or the mid-Atlantics north through Canada and avoiding interchange with CSX and/or NS in New York or Massachusetts.

If true this means CP (or CN) would continue to operate as the neutral originating carrier that the STB seeks.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by Ryanontherails
 
So just to clear this up for me, I take it that there is a 0% chance that none of the states will own any of Pan Am's tracks once the dust clears from the sale (with the buyer retaining trackage rights)?
  by johnpbarlow
 
Not sure I understand the question but Mellon's sale of Pan Am should not impact MassDOT and MBTA ownership of lines currently in use by Pan Am Southern (ie, the Conn River line in Massachusetts) and PAS/PAR in MBTA operating territory from Fitchburg east (excluding the Stony Brook and Lowell branches and other freight only lines in the Boston area that are PAR owned).
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by Cosakita18
 
S1f3432 wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:19 pm The Port of Boston has been mentioned a number of times. Aside from fuel going to and from bulk
terminals, how much cargo is shipped into or out of the Port of Boston these days? I have been under
the impression such traffic has been negligible for years.
Slight growth over the past few years but nothing noteworthy. Conley terminal gets 2 weekly services, transatlantic service from MSC and East Asia/ Caribbean service from Evergreen, plus a weekly barge feeder to New York.

I would say that the port of Boston is very limited in growth prospects not only due to lack of rail access but also because of chronic traffic congestion on the surface streets and highways leading to the facility, and close proximity to the dense Telegraph Hill neighborhood as well as public parks. There's not a lot of room to expand.

Boston is a fairly niche port serving mostly New England traffic. I would again argue that Portland, despite it's size, is in a better position to capture ship-to-rail traffic bound for Canadian markets and become a smaller but more logistically significant port facility compared to Boston. Future enhancements at the IMT will allow for vessels up to about 2,500 TEU (which Eimskip plans to use on their North America within the next few years) plus on-site cold storage
  by Ryanontherails
 
johnpbarlow wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:10 am
Ryanontherails wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:18 pm So just to clear this up for me, I take it that there is a 0% chance that none of the states will own any of Pan Am's tracks once the dust clears from the sale (with the buyer retaining trackage rights)?
Not sure I understand the question but Mellon's sale of Pan Am should not impact MassDOT and MBTA ownership of lines currently in use by Pan Am Southern (ie, the Conn River line in Massachusetts) and PAS/PAR in MBTA operating territory from Fitchburg east (excluding the Stony Brook and Lowell branches and other freight only lines in the Boston area that are PAR owned).
Sorry, let me rephrase that. So right now Pan Am owns the tracks the Downeaster uses in Maine. What I was asking was whether there was any possibility that MaineDOT would end up owning those tracks as a result of this sale, and similarly every other state (NH, MA, and NY) owning the tracks Pan Am currently owns in their state as a result of this sale.
  by newpylong
 
Highly unlikely that the freight main goes to any state(s). It is the core of the system.

However, I could see the Northern Main and Hillsborough branches going to NH at some point. I could see the Worcester Main going to MassDOT in exchange for something, as long as rights to CSXT are retained.

Similarly possibly the Brunswick Branch to MaineDOT, as long as rights to the Rockland Branch are retained.
  by newpylong
 
S1f3432 wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:19 pm The Port of Boston has been mentioned a number of times. Aside from fuel going to and from bulk
terminals, how much cargo is shipped into or out of the Port of Boston these days? I have been under
the impression such traffic has been negligible for years.


I would think whoever is the buyer would look long and hard at the Auto Port/Mystic Wharf?
  by Cosakita18
 
I don't think autoracks can get anywhere near the Boston Autoport. Not only is there no direct rail connection but all lines in every direction have either 16' or 17' clearances. Autoracks need 20'5"

Davisville is by far the best facility in New England for auto import / export.
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:44 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Cosakita18 wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 5:20 am
S1f3432 wrote: Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:19 pm The Port of Boston has been mentioned a number of times. Aside from fuel going to and from bulk
terminals, how much cargo is shipped into or out of the Port of Boston these days? I have been under
the impression such traffic has been negligible for years.
Slight growth over the past few years but nothing noteworthy. Conley terminal gets 2 weekly services, transatlantic service from MSC and East Asia/ Caribbean service from Evergreen, plus a weekly barge feeder to New York.
Interesting discussion indeed.

So, apparently, access to the Port of Boston is not the prize. Looking at the Port's site and that there are only two ocean sailings per week means that rail is not in the equation.

Given that there is presently competitive E-W service X-ing Mass for inbound containers to Wally World and "smile", as well as autos, then it would seem the competitive balance is for the "Products of Forsets" shippers in Maine.

I am compelled to respect Mr. Cosakita's thoughts regarding that NS would not provide the competitive balance those shippers need if they wish to have their products competitive in marketplaces away from New England. But then "enquiring mind" wonders what rail combinations would provide such as well as where would FRA Class 3 (40mph to be something competitive with highway transport) track come from?
  by bsweep
 
I am really starting to come around to thinking JD Irving would be hard pressed not to have a serious look at purchasing the lines north of Ayer. The benefits would be many and likely the STB would not have any serious beef regarding access to multiple carriers - in fact it would improve. With Irving's CN connection to the north and CP at Brownville and NS and CSX plus SLR they could provide service from any mill to any road. They also would have a market for Irving forest products (think chip movements) from the North to Rumford and Jay (moves that currently are done largely by truck as the multiple line complications currently are often insurmountable). Irving would also increase competition to Saint John by cutting out the Pan Am share in traffic moving to NS and CSX.

CP may also play ball with Irving (remember Pan Am's attempt in the CMQ/CP deal) to allow Irving to move traffic over the Brownville to Bangor line as opposed to Keag, eliminating the need for the most expensive rebuild on the property. NBSR could serve the new Pleasant River facility in Howland and any future Lincoln needs from the north. CP needs Irving far more than Pan Am did. CP will need Irving to move traffic faster than the 25 mph limit currently on NBSR trains (due to their chip cars). Think some sort of PAS-like joint venture between Brownville Jct. and Saint John in exchange for the aforementioned rights.
  by Cosakita18
 
This all makes too much sense to happen :P I think 'keag-NMJ would be viable in this scenario. Particularly if there are active customers (Pleasant River, Old Town Mill) Having the 'Keag line could shave a few hours of transit time from SJ to Ayer, which is significant when trying to develop intermodal from Saint John.

Irving has also been eyeing the potential for woodchip exports to Europe to meet growing biofuel demand there. They may want some more tidewater besides Saint John.
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by newpylong
 
Cosakita18 wrote: Tue Jul 07, 2020 6:46 am I don't think autoracks can get anywhere near the Boston Autoport. Not only is there no direct rail connection but all lines in every direction have either 16' or 17' clearances. Autoracks need 20'5"

Davisville is by far the best facility in New England for auto import / export.
The height issue can be resolved if they want it that bad, but I agree, may be a lost cause with other nearby options.

Why not direct connection, the track is still there, has the switch been removed?
  by Cosakita18
 
Resolving height restrictions would be a massive undertaking and definitely not worth the investment. Boston Autoport really just serves as distribution for the Boston and northern New England area. Everything moving further inland by rail goes through Davisville.

A big chunk of the RoW for the spur has been severed and paved over at both ends. The bigger issue is that there's not a lot of space for any kind of autorack loading. The whole thing is a non-starter.
Last edited by MEC407 on Tue Jul 07, 2020 11:26 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: unnecessary quoting
  by newpylong
 
Especially considering it hasn't even been mentioned in any MassDOT state rail plans. Too bad, I remember a stillborn intermodal service CP and Guilford ran into there in the early 90s.
  by johnpbarlow
 
I've read that Pan Am enjoys no charge use of the MBTA-owned track on which their road freights and locals operate, apparently as part of the original agreement by which acquired the lines from Guilford. Assuming that's true, I wonder if this free use condition is transferable to whoever buys the Pan Am entity?
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