Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby Dick H » Fri Aug 18, 2017 6:46 am

I cannot find the article at the moment. but I recall that it was mentioned
that Mr. Blittersdorf's solar manufacturer AllEarth Renewables bought the
Bombardier plant.

It may have been in one of the two articles referenced in this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=137&t=160261&start=60
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VRS and Lamoille Valley

Postby Allouette » Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:29 am

Vermont Rail System (Vermont Railway, Green Mountain, Clarendon & Pittsford, Washington County) maintains its own fleet of passenger equipment at the GMRC Walpole shop.

Vermont is a very strange place when it comes to political support for seemingly impossible projects. VTRANS is also about as good as it gets at squeezing each nickel to the max. All of the trackage in play except for the 35 or so miles from Montpelier Jct. to Burlington are state-owned already, and the state has a fairly good working relationship with G&W-owned New England Central.

Today's Vermonter was a mad scramble set up after Congress cut Amtrak funding in 1995. I never would have believed we would see the Ethan Allen, the rebuilding of the NECR main or even a test train to Montreal in 1995.
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Re: VT Burlington - Montpelier - St. Albans Commuter Rail

Postby Dick H » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:49 pm

I believe the only non-state owned trackage operated by the VRS is from Whitehall to Rutland,
which they bought from the D&H under the CLP banner.

The Montpelier Jct to Essex Jct and the branch to Burlington are part of the New England
Central, now owned by the G&W.
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Re: VT Burlington - Montpelier - St. Albans Commuter Rail

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:17 am

VT owns so much of its rail network because it acted early; they were the very first state to invest in self-ownership of its rail network. They bought the Rutland's property straight out of bankruptcy, so have owned the Western Corridor, Green Mountain, and Bennington Branch for 54 years now. They bought Lamoille Valley in '73 when the St. Johnsbury & Lamoille County went splat. They then snapped up the Montpelier Branch in 1980 when the Montpelier & Barre RR fell, the Wells River-north half of the Upper Conn River in '96 when CP got out, and the Wells River-south half of the Upper Conn River in '99 when Guilford got out. They even made an attempt to tag-team with VRS for the in-state portions of the Newport sub when MMA was being auctioned, but the bankruptcy court order that the whole MMA system's assets had to be sold intact to one bidder kept that from happening.

Buy low, buy low, buy low...notice a pattern? The only reason the state doesn't own portions of the NECR corridor is because the Amtrak eminent domain case against Guilford conferred ownership of Northfield-WRJ to the Central VT by federal action without VTrans having a way in. Otherwise they probably would've acted there too. CN's sales of the Central VT to RailTex and Grand Trunk to SLR's previous owners, and D&H's sale of CLP to VRS (done a year before Guilford bought D&H) were all done as conventional for-profit sell-high opportunities by Class I/II's to big holding companies, and not bankruptcy or suspension-of-service rescues like the others VTrans acted on. Plus, the Amtrak trackage rights on both of those private corridors gives VTrans a conduit for direct-funding improvements anyway, so they don't have the same motivation for self-owning those pricier lines.


Next opportunity for a buy-low is the inactive Mountain Div. from St. Johnsbury to Gilman, as Twin State/Lamoille Valley's trackage rights agreement with Pan Am expires 12/31/2018 unless representatives from LV's deceased owner's estate step forward to formally exercise a 10-year option. If that legally murky lease situation vanishes at long last, the state and PAR have expressed mutual interest in transacting now that it can finally be done drama-free. PAR wants it off the books so it doesn't have to deal with any more riff-raff way up there, and VTrans has a self-interest in controlling.
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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby Dick H » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:19 pm

I do not have the firm dates, but the B&R line from Rutland to North Bennington
will be out of service for two weeks for a major bridge repair in Arlington. Three
cranes are already on site. VRS/PAR interchange will be moved to Bellows Falls
for the duration of the project.
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Re: VT Burlington - Montpelier - St. Albans Commuter Rail

Postby BandA » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:06 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Next opportunity for a buy-low is the inactive Mountain Div. from St. Johnsbury to Gilman, as Twin State/Lamoille Valley's trackage rights agreement with Pan Am expires 12/31/2018 unless representatives from LV's deceased owner's estate step forward to formally exercise a 10-year option. If that legally murky lease situation vanishes at long last, the state and PAR have expressed mutual interest in transacting now that it can finally be done drama-free. PAR wants it off the books so it doesn't have to deal with any more riff-raff way up there, and VTrans has a self-interest in controlling.
PAR will presumably want paper barriers to prevent competitors from gaining control of the Mountain Division for bridge traffic.
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Re: VT Burlington - Montpelier - St. Albans Commuter Rail

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:37 am

BandA wrote:
F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Next opportunity for a buy-low is the inactive Mountain Div. from St. Johnsbury to Gilman, as Twin State/Lamoille Valley's trackage rights agreement with Pan Am expires 12/31/2018 unless representatives from LV's deceased owner's estate step forward to formally exercise a 10-year option. If that legally murky lease situation vanishes at long last, the state and PAR have expressed mutual interest in transacting now that it can finally be done drama-free. PAR wants it off the books so it doesn't have to deal with any more riff-raff way up there, and VTrans has a self-interest in controlling.
PAR will presumably want paper barriers to prevent competitors from gaining control of the Mountain Division for bridge traffic.


They own Mountain Jct. in Portland to the SAPPI spur in Westbrook, so the Mountain is already paper-barriered by them no matter what scammers like Golden Eagle try to say about it. They have no risk on the St. Johnsbury end. Lamoille Valley used to roam across the PAR/NHDOT division post when one of LV's old reporting marks ran what's now NHCR territory, so if NHCR or VRS gained access to those rights to link St. Johnsbury with SLR interchange it would be the same zero-concern scenario as when LV was running all that territory in Guilford's wake.

The only reason PAR hasn't sold it to the state is because of the pre-2011 disputes with LV over pulling up the track, and the post-2011 uncertainty about who represents LV following their owner's death. If 12/31/2018 comes and goes quietly they'll dump it on VTrans within months just to scrape it off the books and be done with it. PAR doesn't want more lease shannanigans up there complicating their lives or complicating future sale valuations for the company if they can avoid it. It's not a spite hold like their weird Hillsborough Branch spat with Milford & Bennington's trackage rights; the only reason they still hold StJ-Gilman was to keep LV's mischief quarantined until their trackage rights expired.
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Re: VT Burlington - Montpelier - St. Albans Commuter Rail

Postby Dick H » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:24 pm

Would PAR have any concern that there could be a freight routing VRS (WACR), and NHCR
from St. Johnsbury to Groveton and then to Danville Jct. via the SLR? That would bypass
PAR Districts #3 and #2 for traffic to Maine.
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Re: VT Burlington - Montpelier - St. Albans Commuter Rail

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:04 pm

Dick H wrote:Would PAR have any concern that there could be a freight routing VRS (WACR), and NHCR
from St. Johnsbury to Groveton and then to Danville Jct. via the SLR? That would bypass
PAR Districts #3 and #2 for traffic to Maine.


No...because as mentioned, Lamoille Valley had this same exact bypass when Guilford first dumped all that territory on them and their alphabet-soup of VT vs. NH reporting marks. It just didn't last long because LV started withering away almost immediately. If NHCR got access to VRS or VRS got access to SLR, they'd have exactly what LV did. Only fast-forward 20 years of freight-economy decline in that region, so the stakes are so much smaller. WACR and NHCR only make it work for them by being much more frugal and better-run than LV was, so they have actually been able to reliably squeeze blood from stone up there while their predecessors couldn't. There's still far less total business upside now than when Guilford pulled out, so there's no rational reason why they would care any more today than they did before..."new-and-improved" management or not.

It's actually the irrationality of LV's behavior trying to sell the rail hardware for scrap, and need for controlling the riff-raff that still has them owning that remote property today. Billericadome doesn't actually want it, but it had $0 in intrinsic value as long as the LV estate still has trackage rights on it and potential to awaken and cause more trouble. The price actually goes up to considerably more than $0 if 12/31/2018 comes and goes without LV re-upping, because then Billerica can deal rational actor-to-rational actor with VTrans instead of having to hold a cast of scammers at arm's length for their own self-protection.
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Re: VRS and Lamoille Valley

Postby mtuandrew » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:50 pm

Moderator's Note: split from the VT commuter rail topic and locked until we find a better home for these posts.
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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby newpylong » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:54 am

There is no bridge traffic potential of this line - there is nothing left up there and the track is deplorable. PAR wants it off the books, no paper barriers.

VRS going from ST J to Gilman only expands their interchange potential, especially if any substantial traffic comes of it. it's a win win.
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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby Dick H » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:39 pm

Are there any highway salt distribution facilities in New Hampshire that get
salt by rail or does all the salt originate from the pier in Portsmouth? The
VRS services several salt distributers in VT. Maybe such a facility could be
located at Hazens or elsewhere between St.J. and Groveton.
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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:05 pm

newpylong wrote:There is no bridge traffic potential of this line - there is nothing left up there and the track is deplorable. PAR wants it off the books, no paper barriers.

VRS going from ST J to Gilman only expands their interchange potential, especially if any substantial traffic comes of it. it's a win win.


And the main upside of that interchange potential may be with CMQR @ Newport, not SLR @ Groveton. Minimally operable Class 1 track to Gilman and Hazens and something/anything to sustain a job might be all WACR needs to keep a well-tended fire lit under CMQR's butt to put some oomph into better service at Newport interchange. Anything they get by bidding their way east, interchanging with SLR, and/or swallowing NHCR into the VRS family just ends up gravy padded onto their margins from the Upper Conn River if that's what ends up compelling them to be consistently well-fed from CMQR. The players in question--WACR and NHCR--have a proven track record at squeezing the tiniest net-positive drops of blood from stone in this freight-dead corner of New England where their fallen predecessors all couldn't. It wouldn't take much to make the operating margins worth either/both their while, and the reverberations from a better-motivated CMQR pad these marks' bottom lines in ways greater than the sums of additional running stick potentially up for grabs between StJ and Whitefield.
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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby thebigham » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:48 pm

Dick H wrote:Are there any highway salt distribution facilities in New Hampshire that get
salt by rail or does all the salt originate from the pier in Portsmouth? The
VRS services several salt distributers in VT. Maybe such a facility could be
located at Hazens or elsewhere between St.J. and Groveton.


Claremont in NH gets salt by rail via the old C&C which is now owned by the NEC.
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Re: Vermont Rail System (VTR, GMRC, WACR, CLP, NYOG)

Postby Cosmo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:08 pm

thebigham wrote:
Claremont in NH gets salt by rail via the old C&C which is now owned by the NEC.


... which is owned by G&W.
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