• Pan Am Southern / Patriot Corridor Discussion

  • 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 johnpbarlow
 
Here's what NS/PAS intermodal competitor is doing at Worcester (per Worcester Telegram article of 8/18/18):
http://www.telegram.com/news/20180818/t ... eavy-lifts

Highlights:

- Three trains arrive at the terminal each day
- "We ship to 13 different destinations from here,” Ms. Oppedisano said, adding, “We go as far south as Winter Haven, Florida, as far west as Louisville, Cincinnati and the Ohio River Valley, and as far north as the New York and New Jersey ports
- The terminal averages 3,300 lifts a week.
- UPS is one of the terminal’s biggest customers, Ms. Oppedisano said. “We service the three major UPS facilities in this area: Worcester, Shrewsbury and the Chelmsford yard.”
- UPS freight doubles from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day, she said, the industry’s peak season. During those months, the yard is open 24/7.

And the ultimate competitive issue for NS/PAS:
The Worcester terminal in 2013 opened a double-stack route on the CSX rail line that runs over the New York state line. The company had to increase vertical clearances at more than 30 locations between Worcester and New York. “Before that, every double-stacked train that was headed for the New England market had to stop in Syracuse, and you had to take one container off each rail car,” said Maurice O’Connell, CSX’s vice president for government affairs. “That added probably 18 hours onto the total commute, and ultimately made us less competitive with trucking.”
I think PAS double stack filleting process at Mechanicville is closer to 6 hours?
Last edited by johnpbarlow on Sun Aug 19, 2018 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by bostontrainguy
 
johnpbarlow wrote:I don't know the exact date Google Maps posted this aerial photo (I'm guessing April or so of 2018 given how little tree foliage there is), but whatever the owner/operator of the new warehouse is, it's the big white building in the middle of this capture adjacent to the A Duie Pyle warehouse that has two tracks entering it at the southeast corner, correct? And it's the building marked Tighe and Norfolk Southern on the east side of the yard that is to be demolished to make way for more container storage, no?

Looks like there are a number of blue Eimskip containers parked at the old warehouse perhaps empties waiting to return to Poland Springs?

Operational question: when 22K triples its consist into Hill Yard, will the cut of containers that isn't adjacent to the unload/load pad need to be re-positioned or can the Piggypackers reach over an empty well car to access the 3rd cut? I'm guessing the Piggypackers can't reach that far and the 3rd cut needs to be swapped with one of the other two cuts by a yard local, correct?

Looks like there is room to add a few unloading tracks in the middle of the yard, no?
  by newpylong
 
Yes but no more room for chassis parking thats why they're getting rid of the old GMX Tighe building.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Q: to what degree does the Eimskip container business take capacity away from 22K/23K at Hill Yard? The Poland Springs water business uses Hill Yard Thursday through Sunday or Monday? I'm just wondering if the Eimskip container business were handled at the old Ford auto unload pad (once all the recalled VWs are gone), would that be of significant help to handling more 22K/23K containers per day? Or alternatively perhaps the old Ford yard should become an annex for the Sanvel autorack unload business?

IM and rack trains are routinely running nose to tail on NS, it seems. This morning, one 28N departed Binghamton just as another 28N arrived. And the 22K that departed Binghamton this morning had dwelled 24 hours there while a 2nd 22K was tied down around Waverly because there was no space at Binghamton. Perhaps the Pownal siding that NS/Pan Am proposed building 10 years ago when PAS partnership was announced would help off-load the back-up of these trains coming from NS...
  by QB 52.32
 
CN9634 wrote:As for NS, yes they'll pick up volumes in the Northeast (the Mechanicville and Taylor ramp locations are superior to CSX offerings at Syracuse) but first they have to expand Ayer (over capacity, the PS water volumes are filling over into the GMX lot now) and open up the tunnel.
If there really is diversion potential for NS in the Northeast I don't see it coming from a service advantage. Elimination of steelwheel Chicago interchange to crosstown for those low/no volume CSX-UP UMAX lanes doesn't give NS an advantage and service out of Syracuse over Chicago is the same as NS out of Mechanicville and Taylor, but one day faster where it counts coming east, Additionally, Syracuse serves multiple origins and destinations while Taylor and Mechanicville only one.
  by newpylong
 
johnpbarlow wrote:Q: to what degree does the Eimskip container business take capacity away from 22K/23K at Hill Yard? The Poland Springs water business uses Hill Yard Thursday through Sunday or Monday? I'm just wondering if the Eimskip container business were handled at the old Ford auto unload pad (once all the recalled VWs are gone), would that be of significant help to handling more 22K/23K containers per day? Or alternatively perhaps the old Ford yard should become an annex for the Sanvel autorack unload business?

IM and rack trains are routinely running nose to tail on NS, it seems. This morning, one 28N departed Binghamton just as another 28N arrived. And the 22K that departed Binghamton this morning had dwelled 24 hours there while a 2nd 22K was tied down around Waverly because there was no space at Binghamton. Perhaps the Pownal siding that NS/Pan Am proposed building 10 years ago when PAS partnership was announced would help off-load the back-up of these trains coming from NS...
I think the key for alleviating the congestion both on PAS and ultimately NS is becoming more efficient at the hear of the problem - Ayer. They need to be able to take, unload, store, load and depart much faster than they do now. Not sure if pulling in the west wye and setting over from the south end of the yard would help much.

I do not believe adding another spot on the main to stash a train would ultimately make much of a difference. They are not accepting the trains from NS until they can handle them all the way to Ayer. The one that might make a difference for NS at least is extending the westbound track back up to Snyders from Ferry Street with universal crossovers at Ferry Street. That would allow NS to haul in two east bounds with their own crews and park them back to back.
  by jaymac
 
Ayer is the physical heart of the problem, and solutions seem relatively straightforward. When 22K hauls east of AY to shove back East Wye to the yard, the FML is turned into a single- track main for the duration of the shove and cut and second shove. Depending on commuter windows, this can have a delaying affect on planning for all Ayer freight traffic. Hauling in on West Wye as far east as necessary to make the cut and then shoving west for the remainder can be done. The supposed complicating factor is that X25 is the end of the Worcester Main Line, and hauling in east of MP X25 would require additional Form Ds. Nearly 2-1/2 years ago, the easterly end of the Worcester Main was moved the approximately 1.7 miles from New Bond to Burncoat to save Form Ds for EBs, so the precedent exists for a similar change to cut the Worcester Main back to Still River, adding another approximately 1.7 miles of Form D-free headroom for WB moves in the yard. To be pie-in-the-sky about it, re-extending a second track west to Still River and adding a crossover set to the east would increase fluidity even more.
Ayer is also the fiscal heart of the problem. Who would pay for improvements that would benefit PAR, PAS, and the MBTA? By playing on inconvenience to others, PAR gets to press for what it can. If the MBTA is paying for a tie-job on the Worcester Main, maybe the T can be pressed for money to ease the Ayer logjam. If NS is getting heat from its shippers about slow deliveries, maybe it can be pressed for money to ease the Ayer logjam.
I could go on, but that would complicate the existence of the mods.
  by CN9634
 
QB 52.32 wrote:
CN9634 wrote:As for NS, yes they'll pick up volumes in the Northeast (the Mechanicville and Taylor ramp locations are superior to CSX offerings at Syracuse) but first they have to expand Ayer (over capacity, the PS water volumes are filling over into the GMX lot now) and open up the tunnel.
If there really is diversion potential for NS in the Northeast I don't see it coming from a service advantage. Elimination of steelwheel Chicago interchange to crosstown for those low/no volume CSX-UP UMAX lanes doesn't give NS an advantage and service out of Syracuse over Chicago is the same as NS out of Mechanicville and Taylor, but one day faster where it counts coming east, Additionally, Syracuse serves multiple origins and destinations while Taylor and Mechanicville only one.
Taylor has already hugely cut into the CSX business with no good ramp location to service... drays come out of Kearny to reach Scranton via CSX and it's an ugly reach. Already the P&G and Walmart traffic has been largely sniped away by Hunt/Hub out of Tunk & Tannersville over CSX allied incumbents. Syracuse is one of the worst ramps, ask any driver, guess what you get to sit in the truckline while they switch the yard... thats why you don't put a mainline grade crossing in the middle of your terminal (back in the day though all the IM terminals were built dirt cheap by repurposing existing facilities and this is no exception).

Refocusing of the CSX intermodal strategy is needed no doubt (Valleyfield made no sense) but the strategy to not inform western partners and announce suddenly that almost 200 OD pairs no longer exist is really no doing themselves any favors. NS sees the reward of buying out the D&H South Lines was to institutionalize their satellite facilities (eg Taylor & Micky) into their own control and the only weakness left in the Northeast is Ayer, as Mechanicville was purpose built. Pulling up a few tracks, laying down a tarmac and hoping you have space to cycle through your customer's equipment efficiently doesn't work in the modern era of intermodal unless you can plan for growth and improvements.

CSX's only advantage at the moment is it's a giant circle, so you can run either way on the roundabout and get there with decent time. The NS 'X' gives them leverage moving from opposing tip to tip, and unless something drastic happens it'll likely always be this way. Not rocket science on that, but the recent changes will push the advantage to NS for sure in future development. So once again... we need a new Ayer and a higher tunnel.
  by QB 52.32
 
It's important not to underplay network characteristics, the differing financial contributions of traffic sub-markets, and overall strategy in an assessment of NS vs. CSX intermodal. For example, I doubt that Taylor, given its business and strategic role, or the switching that blocks its gate entrance, have ever been much of a concern to CSX. Certainly not moving forward. And, to my earlier point, eliminating UP/CSX Chicago steelwheel interchange for low/no volume lanes does not change this or improve its service. Using PAS as another example to my overall point, who actually will have the advantage once you clear the tunnel and expand terminal capacity but still can only handle the slowest, lowest-rated traffic that requires proportionately higher resources?
  by newpylong
 
Who is to say that once the tunnel is raised, Ayer expanded, the pony doesn't increase it's investment to get the B&M back up to 40 MPH like it was in 2009? With reduced transit times, the "network advantage" of CSX is eroded. All of a sudden NS becomes more competitive from the West and South. They can begin to egress traffic from the North in a more expedited fashion if PAR cooperates, etc. Instead of just sucking basement traffic they can go after middle tier traffic.

There is no question CSX has the better lanes here in the Northeast, but their hedge fund-led Draconian railroading methods of the recent past is causing much concern among shippers.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Couple of varied comments:
1.) On Friday morning 8/17/18, I witnessed 287 depart Sanvel at Willow Rd Ayer. In addition to the normal string of empty racks, it had 7 loaded racks that 28N should have dropped at Gardner (I'm guessing the petite Gardner yard was clogged - I have heard from local fans that the G&W version of P&W doesn't come the Gardner as regularly as it used to but who knows). But the more provocative event that occurred with this edition of 287 was it had to pick up a modest string of EMP containers (ie, not Eimskip containers) off the west end of the Camp track at Ayer to take west. Perhaps these containers went to Mechanicville to be toupeed onto and outbound 23K? I've read on the Pan Am Railfans Facebook page that some non-Eimskip containers have have been eyeballed going from Ayer to Mattawamkeag and presumably onto Saint John. Is it possible that NS/PAS is testing the Saint John/Maritimes to/from the midwest market?
2.) WRT to Taylor intermodals, the service is not as fast as it might be from Chicago as 22K typically arrives Binghamton around sunrise, give or take several hours and drops 30 +/- double-stacked containers for Taylor that don't arrive Scranton until sometime around midnight on the H97 turn. But NS does so reliably 6 days a week generally.
  by doublestack
 
johnpbarlow wrote:Couple of varied comments:
I've read on the Pan Am Railfans Facebook page that some non-Eimskip containers have have been eyeballed going from Ayer to Mattawamkeag and presumably onto Saint John. Is it possible that NS/PAS is testing the Saint John/Maritimes to/from the midwest market?
The odd-ball, non-Eimskip containers running WA/AY on the water train are most likely lease pool units for the busy summer season. Note the normal 15 can loads is now 30 if not more at times. Eimskip can't handle the volume of traffic with just they're own containers.
  by PBMcGinnis
 
johnpbarlow wrote:
Couple of varied comments:
I've read on the Pan Am Railfans Facebook page that some non-Eimskip containers have have been eyeballed going from Ayer to Mattawamkeag and presumably onto Saint John. Is it possible that NS/PAS is testing the Saint John/Maritimes to/from the midwest market?

It is indeed true, about 20 tan/yellow 40' containers from MSC Lines went to Saint John via The Keag last weekend.
  by 690
 
CAI and former Yang Ming containers are the ones supplementing the Eimskips, the MSC Line containers are something else.
  by jaymac
 
Re: Pioneer Valley Railroad
New postby newpylong » Thu Aug 23, 2018 1:29 pm
Dunno if the bridge has been repaired yet, doubtful if interchange has not re-established: https://www.progressiverailroading.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ... cts--52989
The answer -- as usual -- comes from newpylong, in this case his link above that -- among others -- shows MassDOT funding for improving Ayer yard and answers my concerns about funding same in my 0841/08-21-2018 post.
I gotta start doing short-term memory exercises.
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