• Pan Am Railways (PAR) Maintenance of Way (MoW) Activity

  • 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 mec 381
 
moth wrote:I know that just east of Mallard Lane in Oakland http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source= ... 1&t=h&z=19 there is a signal with a sign that reads: "Start Signal Territory". It is approach lit I believe. Whenever a train is in the "block" west of Oakland yard moving west there is a signal. Whenever an Eastbound train is approaching it is also lit and will go dark about when the train crosses the signal. I have also seen it lit when the crew is making up a train for the Madison branch and pulls past the yard for a run around - boy does that get my boys upset - hearing the horns and seeing the signal and then not getting to see a train after waiting a while.
Thanks I didn't know that signal was even there, but it would make sense if there was a signal system in from Waterville to Oakland.
  by newpylong
 
There are sections of the MEC north of Portland (or maybe Waterville, I never went up there) that are "Dark Territory" but include ABS protection as you have indicated. The ST calls these and the sections of the main and branches without ABS protection as "DCS territory (Form D Control System)". So there is true dark DCS territory and DCS w/ABS, and also full CTC, or Centralized Traffic Control. Quite the mix.
  by consist
 
Well it looks like there's enough interest to start a 'signal territory' thread. But back to the topic: I know the default attitude for most on here is super-cynical. But it strikes me that if we were talking about any other railroad, the maintenance would make sense: fix the very worst sections, defer on everything else. Sounds like Winthrop's number finally came up.
  by gokeefe
 
So now that the ARRA '09 stimulus grants have been announced by the Federal Railroad Administration I thought it might be nice to make a note of the fact that in New England a very large share of the money that is being awarded to actual rail construction, the "Corridor Development Program", went to PAR.

http://www.fra.dot.gov/downloads/Resear ... region.pdf

[quote=""Vermonter rail line gets $70 million stimulus funds, including adding station service in Holyoke, Northampton, Greenfield" by Michael McAuliffe, The Republican, Springfield, MA"]
The administration announced Wednesday that $70 million will be allocated to the realignment of the Amtrak Vermonter line in the region, a project that will include opening station service in Holyoke, Northampton and Greenfield. Another $40 million is designated for a new segment of second track for the Springfield-New Haven, Conn., line.

In addition, $50 million will fund improvements to Vermonter service in Vermont
http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/ ... 70_mi.html[/quote]

$35 million - Portland, ME - Brunswick, ME
$70 million - Springfield, MA- Northfield, MA
PAR Grand Total: $105 million
Everyone else: $90.5 million: Amtrak ($40 million) and New England Central R.R. ($50.5 million)

Letting someone else pay for your capital upgrades: PRICELESS! :P . With all due credit to PAR obviously they're committing to maintaining a substantial amount of track to Class IV standards, which is impressive for them. Furthermore they do deserve credit for pursuing a sucessful survival strategy in the lean years. Hopefully this will bode well for the Nothern New England economy and the railroad for many years to come.

BTW the total capital infusion to PARs lines over the last 10 years from passenger projects and the Pan Am Southern partnership is now approaching a quarter of a Billion dollars. ($250,000,000)

If that is not called a windfall I don't know what else is. :-D
  by KSmitty
 
Thats a lot of money!

Got to hand it to PAR management, thats all money that they themselves have not had to produce. Thats quite the accomplishment.
  by gokeefe
 
On further reflection I wonder if Pan Am Southern was at some point considering a rehabilitation of the Conn River Line of their own. We've only been through the first construction season in which NS was funding improvements to PAS. It's possible that the FRA process may have in fact preempted private funds. Regardless now it's going to get done even faster and probably to a higher class (IV) than had been originally contemplated (III).

I would further submit that this project is probably the most ambitious undertaking of all the conventional rail projects out there and in some regards may even surpass some of the HSR grants that are seeking to upgrade existing ROWs. Consider this point, it is a known fact that most if not all of the PAS Conn River Line is in FRA EXCEPTED status. Although the RoW itself is well engineered the track is one small step above junk status. It is barely passable for freight and prohibited for passenger operations. This line is going to go from the absolute bottom of the barrel allowable operating condition to Class III or Class IV. That is absolutely amazing when you think of the amount of work that will have to be done. You're literally talking about a 'ground-up' rebuild given that in many places there is little or no ballast, jointed rail that is warped beyond belief and ties that have turned into splinters.

Maybe PAR really will need NS money in conjunction with the ARRA FRA grant funding in order to achieve this objective. It will be interesting to see how this project progresses. Unless anyone else is aware of projects elsewhere on EXCEPTED lines I'm willing to say that the Conn River Line at this point is the big winner for this round of funding. No other line will benefit more.
  by gprimr1
 
I've always hoped PAS would rehab the CT River line, and attract new businesses and jobs to the Pioneer Valley. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the online buildings have been converted to artists studios, but I think that there is def a possibility they could attract new businesses.

I drove along District 4 today and I was amazed to see the new clean looking ballast and miles of old rail laying on the side of the ROW.
  by gokeefe
 
At some point you would think this level of investment would put the railroad in a position where they could leverage the good state of repair of their physical plant and go out and get new business. Obviously to be fair their traffic levels are also a function of the state of the national economy but good customer service and proactive marketing rarely hurts any operation.

I'm certainly under the impression that there was a time some while back where they avoided additional branchline business specifically because it might increase their already onerous labor costs. Perhaps now these challenges won't seem so daunting as they will be able to reliably move trains at speed along their main lines.
  by gprimr1
 
I would imagine this spring. They could possibly start dropping ballast now if the railbed is ok.
  by gokeefe
 
gprimr1 wrote:I would imagine this spring. They could possibly start dropping ballast now if the railbed is ok.
Is that really feasible given that they probably need to remove almost all ties and rail, and potentially regrade the RoW in puddled areas? I'm assuming you're referring to dropping ballast directly onto the track structure as opposed to some kind of stockpile or side-dump operation.
  by Cadet57
 
gokeefe wrote:
gprimr1 wrote:I would imagine this spring. They could possibly start dropping ballast now if the railbed is ok.
Is that really feasible given that they probably need to remove almost all ties and rail, and potentially regrade the RoW in puddled areas? I'm assuming you're referring to dropping ballast directly onto the track structure as opposed to some kind of stockpile or side-dump operation.
I thought he meant stockpile it for the spring. The tracks in holyoke are REALLY bad. The grade crossing before the bridge into Chicopee will have to be redone. I would not be surprised if its a total tear down all the way to new roadbed.
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