• Wacky idea: Abandon CSX main through Rochester?

  • 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

  • 105 posts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7
  by BR&P
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:
Great point! Conrail was cutting routes as late as 1996, when it sold off branchlines to the Falls Road and the R&N. If 2 routes weren't needed through Monroe County, Conrail would have sold or lifted the West Shore before the split in 1999. traffic hasn't dropped off much since then.
Matt, 1996 was over 20 years ago! A whole lot has changed since then, notably much less Rochester traffic and coal is gone, or almost so. It ain't coming back, no matter who is in the White House and who is in Albany. The "bottleneck" of trains working at Rochester is no longer the factor it used to be.

Someone mentioned the colleges. Put the station on the south side of the Shore, east of East River Road, run a road north from Jefferson, and you could practically walk to RIT. That would possibly boost ridership to Rochester. And as someone noted to me off-forum, would you want to leave your car at the current station for a few days when you went away for a weekend?

sd80mac has a good point about the newer bridges on the Shore being single track. I suspect the ROW is wide enough a parallel bridge could be constructed without too much hassle.

And one other point about costs - CSX would have MORE than enough rail from removing ONE of the main line tracks to re-lay the whole length of the West Shore. So unless they decide to install all new rail while they are at it, that part of the material costs are essentially free with only labor involved.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
sd80mac wrote:They dropped 20-30 trains a day between Frontier and Selkirk. A lot of coals and coke are gone. manifest trains had gone up after day one but I think that they cut them down right now. CSX have less TV and ML than CR.
As stated previously, CSX currently averages about 50 trains per day through Rochester, excluding Amtrak. Conrail was not running 80 trains per day on the Chicago Line during the '90s... not even close! A few coal trains have ended, but that's about it.
  by BR&P
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:As stated previously, CSX currently averages about 50 trains per day through Rochester, excluding Amtrak. Conrail was not running 80 trains per day on the Chicago Line during the '90s... not even close! A few coal trains have ended, but that's about it.
The factor is not the sheer number of trains - if that was the case they would need the West Shore all the way from Selkirk to Buffalo. They do quite well now, one behind another. The problem comes when one of them has to stop to make a setoff or pickup.

The fact is that far fewer trains work at Rochester than in years past. Analyze your "scheduled railroad" and send the one or ones that will work Rochester to arrive in windows where Amtrak would not be a factor (unless it is running late, which almost never happens :wink: ).
  by Noel Weaver
 
Even 20 years ago when I was still working coal was not a big factor in the operation here. I don't think we averaged more than maybe one EB coal a day. I am not sure exactly what runs today but I suspect there are still a few WB IM trains in mid morning which can conflict with 63, same thing EB with 64 and in both cases the xontrolled sidings and especially the West Shore are quite useful. I doubt very much if any track will come up along the mainline across New York State. EHH has a railroad background and for that reason especially I am quite optimistic for the future of this very important route.
Noel Weaver
  by BR&P
 
Well, it certainly is a nice historic route. It's just that railroad management is seldom content to let things be. Each new generation has to tweak, adjust, cut or modify. At some point the idea of paying taxes on 30 less miles of right-of-way might seem appealing, who knows.
  by C2629
 
Matt, you say "CSX currently runs about 50 a day excluding Amtrak", what do you base that number on ? A few years ago that number might have been true but it seems high for today.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
C2629 wrote:Matt, you say "CSX currently runs about 50 a day excluding Amtrak", what do you base that number on ? A few years ago that number might have been true but it seems high for today.
The number was confirmed by a CSX employee last year.
  by Matt Langworthy
 
Noel Weaver wrote:Even 20 years ago when I was still working coal was not a big factor in the operation here. I don't think we averaged more than maybe one EB coal a day. I am not sure exactly what runs today but I suspect there are still a few WB IM trains in mid morning which can conflict with 63, same thing EB with 64 and in both cases the xontrolled sidings and especially the West Shore are quite useful. I doubt very much if any track will come up along the mainline across New York State. EHH has a railroad background and for that reason especially I am quite optimistic for the future of this very important route.
Noel Weaver
BR&P wrote:The factor is not the sheer number of trains - if that was the case they would need the West Shore all the way from Selkirk to Buffalo. They do quite well now, one behind another. The problem comes when one of them has to stop to make a setoff or pickup.
As Noel notes, there are controlled sidings on the former NYC main from Selkirk to at least Erie. (There are probably more west of there, but I rarely go that far when staking pictures.) The mainline is also triple tracked for a considerable distance west of Seneca Yard. The West Shore is essentially a very long controlled siding these days. It's an easy way for CSX to get a trains off the main for a short time. Compromise performs a similar role in Buffalo.

I am heeding what Noel has to say, as far as track is concerned. He worked on the Water Level Route under 3 different owners, and thus has experience with operations on the line. ;)
  by sd80mac
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:
sd80mac wrote:They dropped 20-30 trains a day between Frontier and Selkirk. A lot of coals and coke are gone. manifest trains had gone up after day one but I think that they cut them down right now. CSX have less TV and ML than CR.
As stated previously, CSX currently averages about 50 trains per day through Rochester, excluding Amtrak. Conrail was not running 80 trains per day on the Chicago Line during the '90s... not even close! A few coal trains have ended, but that's about it.
I never said 80. low 70 is normally for Tues, Wed, and Thrs 80 is rarely but once a while, if there's plenty of extra in one day, especially in xmas rush and grain rush in fall. Fri and sat, we see low to high 60's. Sunday and Monday which are the lowest - high 40's. 46, or 47 scheduled trains. (I want to say 49, but I cant remember exact right now)

I was out there often on Thrs, sometimes on Tues, and have all scheduled trains, excluding coals, coke/ore, extra, and others.

I have kept the tracking the trains and had memorized each train symbols. I recognized the trains without calling in 800 nbr to see what train they were (if you remember that conrail had 800 nbr for customers to call in and dial in car's reporting marks).
  by sd80mac
 
BR&P wrote:
Matt Langworthy wrote:As stated previously, CSX currently averages about 50 trains per day through Rochester, excluding Amtrak. Conrail was not running 80 trains per day on the Chicago Line during the '90s... not even close! A few coal trains have ended, but that's about it.
The factor is not the sheer number of trains - if that was the case they would need the West Shore all the way from Selkirk to Buffalo. They do quite well now, one behind another. The problem comes when one of them has to stop to make a setoff or pickup.

The fact is that far fewer trains work at Rochester than in years past. Analyze your "scheduled railroad" and send the one or ones that will work Rochester to arrive in windows where Amtrak would not be a factor (unless it is running late, which almost never happens :wink: ).
I had seen CR having trains hot on other's train's heels in 4,5,6 in a row.. They ran them so well. Until you have 1-2 manifest trains that needed to work at Rochester while one was currently doing drop/pick up blocks. That's when they start to back up at CP 359 when they send couple EB's on shore. And after that, these backed up trains at CP 359 would start to head out to west on shore. Throw 2 Amtraks (Eb and WB) in the mess. Good old days.

Yeah they used to have 5-6 manifest out of 8-10 that stop at Rochester in 95's and it's down to ?? 2? (I am no longer following who's stopping at Rochester) Conrail ran most of manifest trains through Rochester at dark hours. CSX did it differently - they ran more manifest trains than CR did, especially during the daytime but since then I think CSX had reduced # of manifest trains anyway.

Today, the traffic should be not any issue, except for track work. I remembered that the traffic at Syracuse were headaches. I did saw couple of trains trying to get through Dewitt. That's not the case anymore now unless I was in Syracuse at wrong time when they ran them through at ease.
  by sd80mac
 
Noel Weaver wrote:Even 20 years ago when I was still working coal was not a big factor in the operation here. I don't think we averaged more than maybe one EB coal a day. I am not sure exactly what runs today but I suspect there are still a few WB IM trains in mid morning which can conflict with 63, same thing EB with 64 and in both cases the xontrolled sidings and especially the West Shore are quite useful. I doubt very much if any track will come up along the mainline across New York State. EHH has a railroad background and for that reason especially I am quite optimistic for the future of this very important route.
Noel Weaver
Yeah one coal a day or less during CR days. once a while I would see 2 coal trains. Once or twice I had seen 3 coals. But right now, I cant EVEN remember when was the LAST time I saw coal train... other than sitting loaded coal train in siding west of Rochester for Kodak.
  by sd80mac
 
C2629 wrote:Matt, you say "CSX currently runs about 50 a day excluding Amtrak", what do you base that number on ? A few years ago that number might have been true but it seems high for today.

It's still about the same as today... But they are constantly changing the scheduling.
  by sd80mac
 
Matt Langworthy wrote: The mainline is also triple tracked for a considerable distance west of Seneca Yard. The West Shore is essentially a very long controlled siding these days. It's an easy way for CSX to get a trains off the main for a short time. Compromise performs a similar role in Buffalo.
Triple track were useful for Conrail. They always had back-up of trains trying to get into Seneca yard or held up to wait for Frontier yard to get in. During CR days, they had about 10 more trains, plus more extra, than east of buffalo. On top of that, about 20 NS.

Nowaday, its NOWHERE near that numbers. even NS had dropped to 10-12 a day and most of them ran through night.

I have NOT seen a backed up train on that triple track lines since day one. EHH may have portion of that triple track remove.. who knows...
  by Matt Langworthy
 
sd80mac wrote:
Matt Langworthy wrote: The mainline is also triple tracked for a considerable distance west of Seneca Yard. The West Shore is essentially a very long controlled siding these days. It's an easy way for CSX to get a trains off the main for a short time. Compromise performs a similar role in Buffalo.
Triple track were useful for Conrail. They always had back-up of trains trying to get into Seneca yard or held up to wait for Frontier yard to get in. During CR days, they had about 10 more trains, plus more extra, than east of buffalo. On top of that, about 20 NS.

Nowaday, its NOWHERE near that numbers. even NS had dropped to 10-12 a day and most of them ran through night.

I have NOT seen a backed up train on that triple track lines since day one. EHH may have portion of that triple track remove.. who knows...
I have seen backed up trains on the triple track at Bayview Road. Since you are my FB friend, I invite you to take a look at the photos I shot at Bayview last October, because there was a back-up! If you dig back further, you'll see other back-ups at the same location. :wink:

NS's traffic level has been discussed and beaten to death in other threads, so I won't reopen that can of worms.
  by BR&P
 
Matt Langworthy wrote:I am heeding what Noel has to say, as far as track is concerned. He worked on the Water Level Route under 3 different owners, and thus has experience with operations on the line. ;)
Well, I used to know a little about operations on the line, too. Image

Matt, you fail to recognize the concept behind this whole hypothetical thread - the railroad has CHANGED. Saying they need to keep Goodman Street Yard because 10 years ago FGLK's Lyons traffic was handled there has no bearing on today's reality. Saying Noel has the answer because he worked there before retirement does not take into consideration the changes in the years since he left.

My guess is that with or without Harrison, in 5 years or less CSX will abandon the Charlotte Branch. Once Kodak is fully converted to gas and coal is all gone, there's no reason to keep it. Kodak traffic will be given to R&S for delivery. One less reason to keep Goodman Street. Taxes, liability, you know the list.

That in itself does not magically make my concept viable but it adds to its possibilities.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 7