• Pan Am Railways & Heritage (tourist/scenic) Operations...?

  • 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

  by b&m 1566
 
Almost everyone knows that Pan Am management has a distaste for the Milford & Bennington Railroad and its owner. Just last week the STB made a ruling in favor of the M&B, to keeping its current operations on Pan Am's owned tracks between Milford, NH and Wilton, NH denying Pan Am's attempt to take over the operations that would have required interchanges to take place in Wilton, NH. I just recently learned that in Pan Am's continued effort to be a constant thorn in the side of M&B, has Pan Am wanting to venture into scenic railroad business. Some may not be aware but M&B and the towns of Wilton, NH and Greenfield, NH are serious about bring back the Wilton Scenic Railroad. It has raised enough issue that the NH attorney general is currently reviewing the potential bidding process for passenger operations on the state-owned portion of the Hillsboro Branch. Although I do agree that putting the operation out to bid is the right thing to do, I never thought I would see "Pan Am Railways and Heritage Operations" in the same sentence but here it is. So, my question is: What if Pan Am wins the bid? Then what? I'm not aware of an open bid currently but when the state puts it out there, the process is swift and quick, they could in theory have the winning bid in time for startup next summer.
  by Dick H
 
One word will likely sink any tourist railroad on the Wilton Line.
That word is liability. PAR essentially has a no fault liability to
have the Downeaster running on their tracks. The state of NH
is unlikely to fund any liability policy. I expect the Hobo and
the Conway Scenic have to fund their own liability insurance
policies. These are well established, long running enterprises.
A start up operation with no track record won't cut the mustard.
The owner of the Wilton Scenic was a prominent business person
and was likely able to get reasonable liability coverage.

It should be noted that PAR/GRS has never run any Mass Bay RRE
special excursions for decades. CSX reportedly wanted a $200'
million coverage. Even a one day policy for that amount is out
of the question.
  by Backshophoss
 
Might be a method to hamstring M&B's operations,as in demanding track and time to run a "Caboose hop" as a "Tourist Train" at a time that
disrupts M&B.
  by b&m 1566
 
Let's not forget the passenger special Pan Am ran with the "Sister's" back in April of 2013. Did they run that train without liability? I do believe this is purely a stranglehold on the M&B but if they end up winning the bid, what next?
  by Dick H
 
The PAR move of the AAPRCO train was a one shot move. Private Rail Car owners, by definition,
have big bucks and could well afford the liability coverage set by PAR.
  by Sprinter611
 
Pan Am ran the High Iron Travel excursion back in 2013, the AAPRCO Pine Tree Limited in 2014, and the Amtrak Autumn Express in 2015. So I would say it's very much possible that Pan Am could go for it.
  by Mikejf
 
If they win the bid, then they have to follow the guidlines set in the bid package. The State would have the final say.
  by MEC407
 
That sounds about right. That's what they did with the Downeaster and with MBTA Commuter Rail. And let's not forget the time that Mr. Fink Sr. proposed to buy the Northeast Corridor from Amtrak.

We Know How to Run a Railroad . . .

. . . Into the Ground.
  by BandA
 
Does the M&B's operating rights include passenger service? Would a winning bidder have to pay the M&B or the state of NH for trackage rights? (i.e. who pays for maintenance of the line?)

M&B is fairly small - they need some insurance to cover minimum liability + value of their assets? And since they don't own the tracks that's not an asset.
  by b&m 1566
 
I'm almost certain freight and passenger are separate contracts. The state might have a clause in the contract that grants them the occasional passenger operation like they do with New England Southern.