I hope you're right. Given everything their milage has been through with previous owners, it's about time a company makes things sustainably work for the longterm future.
That is the plan and key word... sustainable
dnelson wrote:I would like to know what some of these innovations you claim CMQ has up their sleeve are, though. From my perspective, you sound biased in favor of the railroad based on stuff that may or may not happen in the future, while csx2039 is reporting first hand on current service from CMQ being unprecedentedly inadequate, biased or not. Your point about there being "many employees at CMQ who come from MMA and even CDAC days" is worth noting. Clearly the decline in customer service isn't the result of tons of new employees replacing the experienced MMA guys.
Lot of MMA guys left before the oil boom (No pun intended...) and the outfit almost sold out to Giles in 2010. Funny thing about customers is that they are always right from their perspective... they have a single need to get product. Now take that one angry customer and multiply it by 60 spread across 500 miles. How about you try to manage that? This may be one of the unfortunate bad cases but other than problems in Vermont I have not heard of any significant issues. Once again, who turns over carloads and is one of the biggest customers on the RR? Probably Tafisa doesn't have many issues or GAC.
dnelson wrote:From my perspective, the statement from customers claiming they were receiving better service from MMA is alarming. It suggests that CMQ is doing the opposite of what CEO Giles claimed early in the railroad's existence. That the railroad would provide "a new corporate culture that focuses on serving the needs of the railroad’s industrial customers." http://www.pressherald.com/2014/09/10/o ... rail-line/
One perspective from one customer. There are many more out there. Also, rome wasn't built in a day.. consider the operational challenges between the US and Canadian operations. Probably hard to do so if you don't know a lot of the underlying issues behind the scenes. They are being worked on... be patient
dnelson wrote:Giles even went as far as specifying CMQ would improve things in Vermont, claiming: "faster service for customers and lower labor costs per trip. A trip from Farnham, Quebec, to northern Vermont, which typically takes two days with the slower locomotives, soon will be made in one." - wait, he said faster service for customers?
You are getting this from a newspaper article... consider the audience is those who aren't adept on things railroad I'm sure Giles watered it down. Did you read his bio? The one where he started out as an engineer on the B&O and worked his way up? I'm sure he knows a lot more about trains and railroading than you or I.
dnelson wrote:"Giles also is increasing the size of the sales and marketing staff" - How important is this to customers compared to having their freight moved with relative efficiency and consistency?
Extremely important. Marketing and sales people often serve as the personal go to for the customer and having more of them helps work through issues. If you don't think they are aware of the issues in Vermont and working to do something about it then you are mistaken. Also don't act like it isn't a two way street because it is. I have customers who are on a daily basis ignoring messages and creating their own issues that I need to deal with... and yes, I'm always wrong because I'm the carrier. This may not be the case here but don't take everything as you hear it.
dnelson wrote:One final quote from the article: "[Giles] pointed to the discarded metal hidden in the weeds along the tracks.
The rusted pieces of rail and old train parts look like trash, but Giles says the iron is worth money as scrap. In fact, he said, there’s valuable junk strewn all along the railroad’s tracks.
'There’s $3 million just lying around,' he said with a laugh." -- That laugh concerns me. The glee this man publicly displays when talking about scrapping railroad infrastructure doesn't sit well with me, especially since that's one thing in the article that we know the railroad legitimately has been doing.
The guy is here to make a dinosaur dance. You are disgusted that he scraps out derelict and defunct lines that probably won't see a whole lot more action but will help get a new railroad off the ground? Sorry, railfans fantasies probably weren't taken into consideration when making this decision. The only scrapping issues I had were parts of 'Nocket yard and sidings on the Moosehead. Even then, there isn't any use for those right now and without collecting the $$ to scrap those sections it is entirely possible we wouldn't have any kind of railroad. Please start a crowdfund to save the dormant sidings if you take that much offense from it.
I'm glad you asked and I can outline quite a few innovations! First let's look at the MMA
Profitable 3 out of 12 years
Only Innovation was 1-man crews and some minor tech stuff
Had some decent growth early on and good ideas, but eventually a lot of the veterans migrated to other places (SLR, PAR come to mind)
PAR-NBSR traffic sharing
Increase speeds for greater crew utilization
GP20D locos (which haven't been as great as they'd hoped this winter)
More office staffing
Not using Derby and contracting out fueling/heavy repair
Remember they are now back to two man crews as well which the MMA was largely abolishing. And I know you are going to take issue with the GP20Ds and the shutdown of Derby.... but get over it. This RR is doing things differently and you can't deny that. Yes, they are facing some challenges but give it at least two years before you say whether it is sink or swim time. Also keep in mind there are a lot of changes internally that you don't and won't see. I can give you another alternative situation here... no railroad. So you pick one