• 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 CN9634
 
The only issue with Boston Conley is that it lacks a direct on-dock rail connection. Saying that Portland has more potential than Conley is absurd-- the biggest ship you can berth at Portland is a 1250 TEU ship, whereas Boston can take multiple 8000TEUs ships... Conley moved more than 300,000 TEUs last year... Portland is closing in on 30K moved the past 12 months. If there was a compelling enough case and the right partner, they would try to hobble together some kind of rail link there.

Saint John is hovering around the 100K TEUs mark but with this new business I suspect that'll double if this business holds. In all likelihood it will become what Boston should have been and AIM will get booted with that area reclaimed for containers. AIM already has pushed the limits with their operation and the 'controversial' operations that it sounds like they are already on the outs with the city.

More chips will fall in the coming years, I suspect CP will try to reclaim entire ownership of the line all the way to SJ. One wonders how that will work with CN, if they can exchange rights to the container port in exchange for the potash port, or if CN would abandon it all together since they have HalTerm and the new Laurentia terminal . That would be a dagger to Montreal if both the big RRs left....wait this is the Pan Am forums right? Woops went on a tangent...

As for a Pan Am suitor, hopefully they can make good with the Saint John connection. There is still viability for a feeder service from Ayer to SJ I suspect more so now if steamship lines start showing up there, and as long as its an Irving property with the open door policy, might as well take advantage? Conley services the Far East trades pretty handily but has a blind spot in the Transatlantic trade. I believe that was what the Halifax clipper did back in the day, feed TransAtlantic volumes into the Boston market in competition with NYC.
  by bostontrainguy
 
CN9634 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:45 pm The only issue with Boston Conley is that it lacks a direct on-dock rail connection.
Used to albeit street running which was most interesting to see. There actually is existing rail-on-dock at the end of track 61 which would have been an interesting option for Eimskip since no cranes would be erected.

Also there was the plan to bring rail to the Marine Terminal but that unfortunately fell through. There is a large deep water dock there which held an aircraft carrier during some of the Tall Ships celebrations. The big problem is that the closeness of Logan International Airport prohibits tall container cranes due to FAA rules. So no cranes can be put there or at the Conley east end dock which is used mostly for chassis storage now.

Interestingly Massport is extending the main dock westward at Conley which moves things further away from Logan and will allow larger ships and taller cranes. Massport did consider moving even further westward to allow even larger ships and cranes but the cost of dredging and the necessary eviction of the lobstermen collaborative made them scale back the expansion. But there is the possibility to do it sometime in the future if they need it. Any new bridges in the area have been constructed high enough to allow double stack service if the time ever does come.
Last edited by bostontrainguy on Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by Cosakita18
 
CN9634 wrote: Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:45 pm the biggest ship you can berth at Portland is a 1250 TEU ship
A minor correction, CN, Portland can handle ships up to about 2,100 TEU. Eimskip's new class of ship (Dettifoss, Bruarfoss and Tukuma Arctica) were designed to fit at the IMT, and with some minor modifications to the pier, the IMT could accommodate ships up to 200 meters in length (although it would be a pretty tight fit)

The only way that Portland's IMT has more potential than Conley is because of that direct rail connection, which Conley will never have. That makes it much more relevant to this discussion, however I don't think Portland is ever going to be more than a niche port with one or two weekly services, and I don't think I could ever see it handling more than 90-100K TEU per year... But it can still play its role as a piece of a larger puzzle. Being the only US port with direct connections to the Arctic and soon to be one of a few ports with on-site cold storage makes the IMT punch above its weight as an asset.
  by bsweep
 
bostontrainguy wrote:Also there was the plan to bring rail to the Marine Terminal but that unfortunately fell through. There is a large deep water dock there which held an aircraft carrier during some of the Tall Ships celebrations. The big problem is that the closeness of Logan International Airport prohibits tall container cranes due to FAA rules. So no cranes can be put there or at the Conley east end dock which is used mostly for chassis storage now.
Perhaps slightly off topic - but as an airline pilot I will tell you that our performance data (runway takeoff limit weights) for 22R/22L at KBOS all depend on whether or not there is a ship in the harbor.
  by jaymac
 
To be even more OT, look at the Massport website to view its priorities -- things with wings. Listed on the banner and next to last is the Flynn Cruise Terminal, and then last is Conley. The tracks out of Conley had gotten to Toonerville "level" because of all the tidal infiltration subsidences, and community/developer resistance to any reestablishment of service will make sure there are only discussions for the next decades.
  by BostonUrbEx
 
What I don't understand is the Moran Terminal has draft clearances comparable to Conley Terminal, no FAA restrictions on gantry cranes, plus a more viable rail connection to potentially two (CSX and PAR) carriers instead of just one. Why is MassPort doubling down on Conley?
  by MEC407
 
newpylong wrote: Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:38 pm I wish we could do a poll on this forum for sale price.
Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 11.20.47.png
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  by gokeefe
 
"The hive has spoken" ...

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk

  by gokeefe
 

CN9634 wrote:The only issue with Boston Conley is that it lacks a direct on-dock rail connection. Saying that Portland has more potential than Conley is absurd-- the biggest ship you can berth at Portland is a 1250 TEU ship, whereas Boston can take multiple 8000TEUs ships... Conley moved more than 300,000 TEUs last year... Portland is closing in on 30K moved the past 12 months. If there was a compelling enough case and the right partner, they would try to hobble together some kind of rail link there.
Clarification greatly appreciated. I was under the impression that Boston's volumes were closer to zero than anything else. Nice to see they still have some meaningful volume.



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  by BandA
 
Boston as a port was headed for irrelevance in the 1970s-80s-1990 as not cost-competive. At some point automation & containers, and maybe other factors at other ports?? led to a revival at Conley.

Massport has a large budget hole due to the Covid-19 effects on the airport, mostly, yet they have not furloughed anybody. Will they take out their troubles on the port?
  by codasd
 
Mr. Norman’s origin/destination revenue remined me of my days doing divisions. Roads west of the Mississippi received 67+% of the revenue and roads east of the same received 32+%.
Back to topic, I believe a Class I railroad could make a go of it east of Old Town/Bangor. NS/CP/CN have enough stored serviceable road power to replace all the PAR junk/skeletons. How many trains get canned because of poor power or unplanned meets and run up crew costs. A Class I would have better management controls for power, crews and MoW. A slow improvement to Class 3 track would allow for better use of resources. Any improvement in run times and scheduling may get hesitant customers to dip a toe back into to rail service.
When I worked for UPS back in the 90’s, they wanted to use Guilford IM in Ayer. They preferred Ayer over Conrail’s Worcester ramp. UPS wanted to send all Watertown and Chelmsford trailers to Ayer. However, Guilford would not change the departure time by 30 minutes to satisfy UPS requirements.
Last edited by codasd on Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by newpylong
 
You essentially hit the nail on the end. They are one of, if not the only railroad of that size that considers 10 MPH "good enough" and admits that they like "being a 25 mph railroad". (Both quotes from Fink Jr.

For all of the reasons you mentioned plus many more is why the second most priced statistic behind Operating Ratio tends to be velocity (and dwell time). The amount of money that they waste on cabs, extra crews, inefficient use of canned power, cars not moving, etc could easily be made up by becoming a more efficient railroad.

But, the only way to fix Penn Central thinking is to get rid of Billerica entirely.
  by bostontrainguy
 
I initially thought that the Billerica property was going to be a big problem in the sale since it was a Superfund site. I have been in the Pan Am offices and the other shop buildings. The majority of the buildings are in pretty rough shape and the surrounding areas dirty and cluttered. However after reading this report I guess all is hunky dory.

Too bad a similar approach is not being done for New England Transrail in Wilmington. (Interestingly after reading some recent reports on NET, one of the "interested parties" is listed as CSX and not Pan Am which seems a bit odd).

An excerpt from the report:

Pan Am Railways is a successor to the original site operator, Boston and Maine, which Pan Am purchased when it went bankrupt in 1983. This freight rail operation provides services throughout the Northeast. With three subsidiaries that operate on site – Maine Central Railroad Company, Boston and Maine Corporation and Springfield Terminal Railway Company – the firm employs over 300 people, contributes $16.5 million in estimated annual employment income and generates $37.5 million in estimated annual sales.

Here is the full article for anyone interested:

https://mail.yahoo.com/d/folders/1/mess ... llscreen=1
  by newpylong
 
Billerica is not even owned by Pan Am so it does not matter. They're also in the process of building a joint dispatching center with the MBTA in Iron Horse. One would imagine if a Class I or someone like GWI buys them Billerica will go away for operations (except for Keolis.)
  by BandA
 
Billerica is owned by the T right? Is that because Guilford didn't want the environmental liability?
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