• 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 backroadrails
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Those in Saint John will feel "shut out", as their access to the USA will remain at the mercy of some "rinky dink short line" whose owners have it simply to move timber @ 25mph to their mills located there.
As others have pointed out, Irving isn't even close to being a "rink dink short line". While it is true Irving purchased the trackage to haul their own product, they have added a plethora of customers to their system (look at MNR post MMA). While Irving does use it to haul their own product, they are also focused on bringing in more customers and traffic.
  by newpylong
 
Yea, as others have said, Irving is certainly no rinky dink shortline. Their mainline is in better shape than most of Pan Am's, and they do move at Class 3 in Canada and with CP's help it will also be that way in Maine soon.
  by gokeefe
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote:Volks, as some here have suggested, the source of this CRSA proposal is questionable, and further, industry newssources as well as general circulation financial media has yet to give the story any "ink", should not we simply let it lay and await further developments?
Let's assume they correctly identified the parties aboard the OCS. Is there any conceivable reason why Conrail executives would be aboard other than for the concept as reported? Hard to imagine there would be any reason for what is in essence a terminal operator.

I think this report is also worth discussing because there is a veneer of plausibility to this approach. In particular it makes sense on multiple levels and answers a lot of the interchange issues we have been discussing.

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Last edited by gokeefe on Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
bostontrainguy wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 12:56 pm Yes and that means both CSX and NS get access to Ayer via the PAS. That's good news. Now does NS get access to the B&A too? Trains can then go either way on either line through Massachusetts. That changes the face of railroading in Massachusetts. Might just kill the Hoosac expansion but certainly offers some flexibility in routing.
CN9634 wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:04 pm Im fairly certain NS did some bean counting and feasibility analysis of the tunnel clearance 'project' and came to the realization of "F that".
If we consider the thoughts both Messrs. Trainguy and CN9634 have immediately set forth, a CRSA plan would enable both Chessie and Topper to use either E-W line through Mass. This could include coordinating movements so that traffic moves in an essentially single direction over each road. Both Chessie and Topper could have access to Worcester and Ayer on the East and same on the West with Mechanicville and Selkirk.

Possibly such an arrangement resulting in efficiencies for both roads would obviate the cost effectiveness concern noted by both gentlemen of improving Hoosac so it could handle double stacks and tri-levels.
  by gokeefe
 
I'm curious how this arrangement would avoid anti-trust concerns. The Conrail arrangement seems to imply CSX and NS with perhaps CN operating Ayer east. On the other hand perhaps a more radical solution would be CN and NS having Conrail running all of Pan Am as a "shared asset" with CSX onboard merely as an interchange partner. In this case CN is being "invited into the club" if you will of the Conrail family.

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  by roberttosh
 
In this scenario where the 2 main lines are shared how does NS get from the D&H to the B&A? In other words, where do the NS Ayer intermodal trains go from one line to the other? Unless it’s done at Buffalo I can’t think of anywhere else East of there where there would be a progressive straight on move without going way out of the way.
  by gokeefe
 
I think it's fair to assume there might be some new switches or track configurations made at interchanges. Not sure if that helps.

Regardless I am with Mr. Norman on the Conrail possibility, if true, "WOW" indeed. Good luck to the house figuring out "which tickets paid" in this scenario.

It is also notable that ANR&P made a claim that NS had already "vetoed" on potential suitor. CN seems like the obvious choice for that decision in which case my proposal for a new member of Conrail (at least for this theoretical new region) would be "out".

On the other hand it could just as easily have been CSX. I can't imagine NS accepting the idea of CSX cutting off their New England business at Ayer without any potential for feeder traffic.

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  by newpylong
 
NS has everything to lose and CSXT everything to gain in such a PAS > CSAO scenario.

I think we'll have to see where the chips fall. Frankly I think the notion is ridiculous, but I'll stop beating a dead horse.
  by Trinnau
 
roberttosh wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:24 pm In this scenario where the 2 main lines are shared how does NS get from the D&H to the B&A? In other words, where do the NS Ayer intermodal trains go from one line to the other? Unless it’s done at Buffalo I can’t think of anywhere else East of there where there would be a progressive straight on move without going way out of the way.
You'd have to restore the old connection at Voorheesville where the diamond used to be, probably the best bet for a through move. Delanson-Voorheesville-Selkirk-B&A. Not sure if CP sold off that old line though, the other side of Voorheesville is a trail now.
  by johnpbarlow
 
I believe at least the RoW for the connection between the ex-CP Voorheesville Running Track (now NS owned but operated by SMS Rail Services) and CSX Selkirk Branch is not formally abandoned. The line is in active use between Delanson (connection to the NS' ex-D&H main line) and Voorheesville Jct where the spur to the Northeast Industrial Park at Guilderland is. The Google Earth aerial photo of Voorheesville showing the RoW to the switch between CSX Selkirk branch and the NS (mp10.9) indicates the switch was still in place as of June 2018 (if not in use) but may have been removed by now. The attached Street View imagery from September 2019 shows the track is still visible if not usable at Voorheesville. So significant track & signalling work would need to be done to make this an ever day usable connection for a daily pair of mile long intermodals (assuming the Voorheesville running track accommodates double stack clearances). If this routing for 22K/23K between Binghamton and Worcester (or Ayer) were ever to be used, the trains' current Mechanicville block would need to be forwarded separately, perhaps via an extension of the 205/206 IM trains east of Buffalo (as formerly done a few years ago).

Here's a description of the Voorheesville Running Track from CP's NEUS Employee Timetable of July 1, 2005:
8.5 Voorheesville Running Track
Extending northward a distance of 15.4 miles
between CPF 499 and MP 10.9 at Voorheesville.
• Requires authority from CP North Dispatcher
• Rule 97 in effect
• Radio Point to Train Tower Code is 725, *61#
• Restricted Speed not exceeding 10 MPH
Except:
o MP 10.9 CSXT Connector 5 MPH
• All crossings require On-Ground Warning
• School House Road: Northward trains routing to
the CSXT Connector in excess of 2500 feet
must not foul School House road crossing,
MP 11.50, until permission to proceed is
obtained from the CSXT dispatcher.
• Due to restricted clearances employees are
prohibited from riding the side of equipment at
the following locations in the Northeast Industrial
Park:
Locations
Ave A and 1st St
Ave A and 6th St
Ave B and 1st St
Ave C and 6th St
• Stations
Voorheesville ............................................ 10.90
Voorheesville Junction.............................. 12.10
Altamont.................................................... 17.20
CPF 499.................................................... 26.30
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by johnpbarlow on Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by newpylong
 
That is the easiest move that would require no changing ends. They wouldn't need to signalize the runner for a pair of trains a day. Upgrading from a Running Track to TWC Class 2 would be sufficient. That's how it was when the Albany Main was a through route.

There are several other routings that may be viable but would involve a reverse move or running on the Post Road (or both). Not sure on clearances there or the Albany Secondary.

But it all goes back to if NS would want to pay haulage. I don't see it.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
roberttosh wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:24 pm In this scenario where the 2 main lines are shared how does NS get from the D&H to the B&A? In other words, where do the NS Ayer intermodal trains go from one line to the other? Unless it’s done at Buffalo I can’t think of anywhere else East of there where there would be a progressive straight on move without going way out of the way.
Mr. Tosh, even if definitely "rinky dink", the photos and the "clip" from an ETT Mr. Barlow submitted establish there is an active line. All NS need do is lay a new roadbed complete with 140# rail, and they can run anything out there safely.

Well, at least until the NIMBYS start rucking at Municipal Hall - as they did in my neck of the woods when GT (CN) acquired the EJ&E and started to use it for fast and frequent trains running around Chicago congestion.

To have both Chessie and Topper run East/West to/from Buffalo on their own rails to the B&A/PAS "joint trackage" at the "Hudson River Gateway" would obviate handling traffic to the Southeast. NS presently has their "refuse" moved through Bing, HBG, and Hagerstown to N&W rails, and surely would like to have greater value traffic on that same route. Through Buffalo on the NYC or D&H/ERIE is fine for East-West traffic (lest we forget, NS took a few oats out of Topper's bin to rebuild that bridge on the ERIE over the Genesee River), but that's not the only traffic in the "mix" for the two roads.

Again, it's great to have our "spec/fun" around here, but can't we have recognized railroad and/or financial media give this "CRSA story" some credibility? For if there is any foundation to it, it certainly is newsworthy.
  by bostontrainguy
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Fri Oct 16, 2020 6:06 pm Possibly such an arrangement resulting in efficiencies for both roads would obviate the cost effectiveness concern noted by both gentlemen of improving Hoosac so it could handle double stacks and tri-levels.
Just a quick FYI. PAS runs first generation double stacks and autoracks through Hoosac now. Also I think most would agree that the PAS is actually the better route through Massachusetts with less curvature and lower grades.
  by F74265A
 
Worcester route mainline is listed as cleared only to 19’ 6”. More work may be required to allow full international double stacks from Worcester to Ayer. For example, the bridge in Clinton under the csx Fitchburg secondary could be an issue. I recall that the csx bridge was raised and the Guilford roadbed was undercut to accommodate auto racks in the early 1990s
  by BandA
 
I have zero inside info, but I am skeptical of the rosy cooperation scenario. It would be very interesting were it to happen. , Instead of customers avoiding PAR they would be "lining up" for online locations where they could get service from two different railroads. But the world isn't about cooperation, it's about getting as much monopoly power, as much exclusivity as you can get past the STB.

Assuming PAR/PAS is profitable. Assume NS doesn't want to make big investment, and that at the price Mellon wants it would be less profitable than their existing lines. But assume NS wants to retain control or increase their presence, yet doesn't want to dilute their earnings. So bring in a financial partner. NS would contribute their half of PAS, partner kicks in the sale price and capital to make the repairs. This keeps PAR/PAS "unconsolidated" as an investment

They turn around and lease "non-core" track to a short line and sell some track to state governments if they want it.
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