• Saratoga & North Creek (S&NC) Discussion

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

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  by Adirondacker
 
ccutler wrote:Actually, those subsidies for rail lines actually save money, versus' Tony's snowmobiling plans. How could that be the case? Because Tony never factors in the medical costs of his snowmobiling plans. Every time a drunken or reckless snowmobiler crashes with a spinal injury --not uncommon-- that accident causes many milllions of dollars over the victim's lifetime. Tony never articulated any plan to reduce or police snowmobiler reckless driving. Check out the Christopher Reeves Foundation for costs for these injuries.

Net-net: subsidizing Adirondack Scenic and Saratoga & North Creek is cheaper than paying the societal cost of all those reckless snowmobilers crashing out in the wilderness. There is a serious downside to advocating reckless sports at high velocities, far out in the wilderness. I am really surprised that point is not part of the discussion.
Nah they'll just use the other snowmobile trails authorized and unauthorized, that are all over and crash into things there. And the medical bills are just as high when they crash into things in the middle of town. The trails eventually lead to town because the machines need gas sooner or later and the operators get hungry.
  by sd80mac
 
maybe we should borrow the idea from Norway... Snowmobiles are forbidden in that country, with 2 exceptions... work commute that have no road access or snowmobile is only way to go into remote/isolated area. Even the farmers cant have their on their farmland...
  by CP4743
 
Regarding the S&NC interchange situation, I do not believe anybody can say what the STB will do. But S&NC has a good case for SB traffic. If S&NC were to route a car SB after the NS deal is closed, I assume the routing would be CP from Saratoga to CPF-485 and then NS. That is a short distance for CP to run to get a rate share and not practical. And since NS has rights to Saratoga for the 930-931 trains, a good case exists for NS to interchange with S&NC at Saratoga. I have yet to see it mentioned how CP will handle their 252-253 trains after the sale. My guess is that while the paper interchange for this traffic will be CPF-485, the actual interchange point will be Saratoga or Mohawk. I have yet to understand why CP is keeping Mohawk yard as it is not on the route of the oil and ethanol trains.

CSX got rights to Saratoga for the sole purpose of handing off Montreal traffic to CP. This arrangement was identical to the current NS deal on trains 930-931. However, CSX decided to keep their Montreal traffic on the St Lawrence Sub and has never utilized their Saratoga rights. I think it is a real stretch to think CSX will be able to interchange with S&NC.

The most interesting and hopeful case would be if NS got the right to interchange with S&NC at Saratoga and they were granted the CP rights East of the Hudson to NYC as some groups have requested.

John
  by newpylong
 
CP4743 wrote:Regarding the S&NC interchange situation, I do not believe anybody can say what the STB will do. But S&NC has a good case for SB traffic. If S&NC were to route a car SB after the NS deal is closed, I assume the routing would be CP from Saratoga to CPF-485 and then NS. That is a short distance for CP to run to get a rate share and not practical. And since NS has rights to Saratoga for the 930-931 trains, a good case exists for NS to interchange with S&NC at Saratoga. I have yet to see it mentioned how CP will handle their 252-253 trains after the sale. My guess is that while the paper interchange for this traffic will be CPF-485, the actual interchange point will be Saratoga or Mohawk. I have yet to understand why CP is keeping Mohawk yard as it is not on the route of the oil and ethanol trains.

CSX got rights to Saratoga for the sole purpose of handing off Montreal traffic to CP. This arrangement was identical to the current NS deal on trains 930-931. However, CSX decided to keep their Montreal traffic on the St Lawrence Sub and has never utilized their Saratoga rights. I think it is a real stretch to think CSX will be able to interchange with S&NC.

The most interesting and hopeful case would be if NS got the right to interchange with S&NC at Saratoga and they were granted the CP rights East of the Hudson to NYC as some groups have requested.

John
CP is keeping Mohawk for all Sara to BM traffic, some CP to NS, and some local traffic. Remember they are keeping trackage rights down to GE.
  by johnpbarlow
 
CP4743 wrote:...

The most interesting and hopeful case would be if NS got the right to interchange with S&NC at Saratoga and they were granted the CP rights East of the Hudson to NYC as some groups have requested.

John
The logistics of future NS - S&NC interchange at Saratoga for D&H South traffic to/from the nearest classification NS yard at Binghamton seems pretty straightforward. But I wonder how NS would handle NS/D&H South carload traffic headed to/from NYC east of Hudson (assuming NS wants to pursue such traffic which, given they would have no yard in NYC, would have to be all NY&A traffic) as well as S&NC traffic to/from NYC given NS doesn't control any yard north of CPF-485? Unless S&NC and NS interchange unit trains of tailings, CP would need to allow NS to do a small amount of classifying at Saratoga/Mohawk. Plus, I assume NS East of Hudson traffic would get on/off Amtrak at Schenectady?
  by CP4743
 
Yes, the East of Hudson rights would have to enter Amtrak at CPF-485. This is the route CP used even when the train originated in Albany. The CP train made a big loop before crossing the Hudson at LAB in Albany. This was due to the condition/logistics of the Bull Run connection in Albany.

John
  by johnpbarlow
 
I'm guessing the following language extracted from NS' STB filing 34209 to retain trackage rights between CPF-485 Schenectady and CPF-467 Mechanicville (page 3 of exhibit 2) would need amending to facilitate NS access to East of Hudson trackage rights:
SECTION 3. RESTRICTIONS ON USE
(a) The Subject Trackage Rights are granted for the sole purpose of Norfolk Southern
using the Subject Trackage to operate its trains in overhead movements. NSR trains may enter
and exit the Subject Trackage only at Milepost 484.85 ± of D&H's Freight Main Line in
Schenectady, and Milepost CPF 467 ± in Mechanicville. The points of ingress and egress
designated in this Section 3(a) are referred to herein as the "End Points." NSR shall not have the
right to enter or leave the Subject Trackage except at the End Points for the purpose of
interchange with D&H at Mohawk Yard.
(b) NSR shall not perform any local freight service whatsoever at any point located
on Subject Trackage.
(c) NSR shall not interchange any traffic with any other carrier, except with D&H at
Mohawk Yard, at any point on or along, or at the End Points of, the Subject Trackage. NSR
shall not have the right to serve existing or future shippers at facilities located on or along, or at
the End Points of, the Subject Trackage.
(d) NSR shall not use any part of the Subject Trackage for the purpose of switching,
storage or servicing cars or equipment, or the making or breaking up of trains, except as
necessary for the handling of locomotives, cars or cabooses bad ordered en route~ provided, that
NSR may use such auxiliary Subject Trackage as may be designated by D&H for such purposes.
Similarly, language in Exhibit 2 of filing 34562 excerpted below re: retention of trackage rights between CPF-485 and MP 37.10 Saratoga would need to change to facilitate S&NC interchange:
NSR may use the Subject Trackage solely for the purpose of the overhead
movement between the End Points (as defined in Section 3(a) of this Agreement) of trains
consisting entirely of cars in the revenue waybill account of NSR or for delivering or picking up
D&H Haulage Cars (as that term is defined in the Direct Short Line Access Agreement between
NSR and D&H of even date herewith), provided that such trains have either (i) a prior or
subsequent movement on D&H' s Canadian Main Line between Saratoga Yard and the point of
connection between the lines of D&H and Canadian National Railway Company ("CN") at
Rouses Point, NY, pursuant to that certain Rouses Point- Saratoga Haulage Agreement between
NSR and D&H dated September 30, 2004 (such trains being referred to hereinafter as "NS-CN
Interline Trains") or (ii) are to be interchanged with D&H at Saratoga Yard ("D&H Interchange
Traffic").
....subject to usage restrictions:
NSR shall not use any part of the Subject Trackage for the purpose of switching,
storage or servicing cars or equipment, or the making or breaking up of trains, except as
necessary for the handling of locomotives, cars or cabooses bad ordered en route; provided, that
NSR shall use such auxiliary Subject Trackage as may be designated by D&H for such purposes.
  by DogBert
 
I'll be surprised if NS doesn't get east of hudson access, even if they never use it or don't think they want it. P&W does well with stone trains into NYC, and D&H/CP had some of that market. Maybe those tailings at the mine would be a source for the market here.

Lack of a yard in NYC wouldn't matter. CP, P&W & CSX have all interchanged at the only available yard (fremont/fresh pond). NY&A would have to take it to local customers anyway.
  by Tony Goodwin
 
It's not a rumor that the Saratoga and North Creek wants to sell the line from North Creek to Tahawus. This has been reliably reported by the Glens Falls Post-Star from a presentation to the Warren County Legislature by an official from Iowa Pacific Holdings. Their request is that the county buy the line for $1.5 million and then seek government grants to invest $5 million to rehab the track so that SNCRR can continue tailings shipments. This request was accompanied by a statement from Iowa Pacific that they had lost $1 million each year on the operation of the line.

So far, Warren County has said that they are not interested in buying the line to Tahawus. I also wonder about the rosy statements from the local manager that the SNCRR had had a great fall season with some sold out trains and that the Polar Express had strong advance bookings. The Iowa Pacific representative said that passenger volume needed to "double" to be profitable, but how do you "double" a sold out train. Did the local manager either: a) not know of the railroad's actual financial situation, or b) was just being told by Iowa Pacific to keep up an optimistic front.

I have been criticized in earlier posts for my skepticism on the viability of the SNCRR's operations. Seems as though my skepticism has now been justified. Let the flaming criticism begin!
  by Aji-tater
 
Tony Goodwin wrote: The Iowa Pacific representative said that passenger volume needed to "double" to be profitable, but how do you "double" a sold out train.
A little common sense would show at least 2 ways to do it - either add more cars to each train, or sell out a larger percentage of the trains as they now exist. Perhaps that's easier said than done, but it's not rocket science how it "could" be done.
  by johnpbarlow
 
Interesting content in CP's STB reply filing of 3/31/15 to S&NC/NYDOT request to have CP grant interchange with future fellow Saratoga trackage rights user NS (assuming STB approval of NS acquisition of D&H South lines):

http://www.stb.dot.gov/filings/all.nsf/ ... 238100.pdf

Excerpts:

From pg 9:
"...SNCR is wrong when it claims that the requested condition would "not adversely affect"
D&H's operations... Saratoga Springs Yard currently operates at between
70-80% capacity.... The yard currently handles daily four Amtrak trains,
three local switch jobs, and four road trains. It is used to stage crude oil and ethanol trains and to
store rail cars, ballast cars and maintenance-of-way equipment. Allowing third parties to access
and operate within the yard would undoubtedly adversely impact D&H operations by consuming
capacity needed to operate efficiently, and by reducing D&H's ability to plan and manage
operations and volumes...That impact would be particularly severe if SNCR estimates that it
would interchange approximately 62 cars a day with NSR turn out to be correct...
Verified Statement of Justin Gonyo .... SNCR's traffic would
consume the approximate 60-car daily operating capacity for the West Yard7 where SNCR
claims the interchange could be accommodated, and would consume a third of the Saratoga
Springs Yard's total 180-car daily operating capacity.
Additionally, the proposed interchange activity likely would require that NSR block
D&H's mainline while it sets out empty cars and lifts loaded cars for SNCR...
Once the train is built, NSR would continue to block the mainline pending completion of
federally mandated airbrake testing. Such testing can take an hour or more to perform in cold
weather. This blockage would cause significant disruption to both D&H's yard and mainline
operations.... "

Footnote 6 says:
"SNCR estimates that it will interchange "five days per week 52 weeks per year ... about
31 cars in each direction." SNCR Comments, Gonyo V.S. at 3 (emphasis added). Based on
SNCR's estimate, the total number of cars that would be interchanged annually totals
approximately 16,000 (5 days/week = 260 days/year x 62 cars = 16,120)..."

Seems like a huge amount of forecasted tailings business. I wonder how realistic the forecast is?
  by SEPTAR2Newark
 
I guess this would be the right thread, I'll have the opportunity to be in Saratoga Springs later this year and I was wondering if I could get some info on their operations and roster. Thanks.
  by pacman
 
In April and May they are running a single round trip on Saturdays and Sundays. It departs Saratoga Springs at 10AM. It departs North Creek at 345PM. This from their web site.

I believe that they are currently using the BL-2 #52 since I have not seen that locomotive in North Creek in the evenings when I have been up there. I am not sure which other locomotive they are using on the train. They usually have one locomotive on each end of the train although I have seen them run with a single locomotive occasionally.

Their current roster is:

B39-8E #8524 - In North Creek as of April 18
BL2 #52 - In service
BL2 #56 - Not sure of location, it is on property somewhere and last I knew they were expecting to use it this season.
S2 #821 - In North Creek on turntable as of April 18?
S1 #5 - In North Creek on turntable as of April 18

There is also the D&H RS36 #5019 on the property in North Creek. It is not owned by Saratoga & North Creek and is out of service.

Paul
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