newpylong wrote:Any GRS and Conrail deal is irrelevant to this conversation.
In the mid 2000s we had not one but THREE trains between Deerfield and Rigby. I think anyone can do the math that not all of that traffic was CP/NS. If you can't, take it from someone who dealt with the train consists on a daily basis. Also, until PAS was formed we used to send a lot of loaded paper out District 4 (at the time) via Rotterdam to CSXT. When you got on a westbound full of CSX's somewhere in the Lowell area - you never knew if you were going straight in Ayer or going down the Worcester Main. There was little differentiation between either interchange.
When PAS was formed, it changed overnight. PAS was another carrier, was way-billed as such, and there were switching fees associated in Deerfield. All loads out of Maine to CSXT quickly moved over to Barbers overnight. Yes, the 50% part of PAS shot itself in the foot, but it's focus was on PAS not being a bridge.
The GRS/CR deal is relevant because, to your point and the point of this discussion about PAR overhead traffic, it formed the overwhelming rule of the relationship between ST and CR/CSXT when it comes to RIgby/North-hubbed traffic for close to 30 years, as opposed to the Rotterdam Jct. exception you've pointed out here and at various times during the past 10 years. Barbers Station has been by far the preferred junction for shippers and in the relationship between CSX and GRS/PAR. Even so, CSX has an important relationship with PAS for non-intermodal/auto traffic, including with some overhead traffic to ST, no? So, in that vein it was quite possible to simply cut PAS into the routing without a net increase of divisions via Rotterdam Jct. if that's what CSX wanted. Even during those exceptions you've noted, as I recall you also noted the large portion of traffic that was moving to Mohawk as opposed to Rotterdam Jct., shipper-driven routing, and operational reasons driving at least some of this.
When it comes to possibly permanently shifting PAR/MNR & NBSR interchange to CMQ haulage via NMJ, given the risks and benefits, seems to be a reasonable option especially in light of the fact that Maine is one of the states with the lowest amount of traffic per rail mile, if not the lowest. While that position is somewhat offset by an originating-carload-based rail industry, consolidating traffic largely driven by overhead movements off ~45 miles of deficient railroad seems reasonable, if not prudent.