BASF Chemical plant to close??

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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby carajul » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:42 pm

It's really a shame. Another industry gone and another rail line that will soon be gone. There seems to be two customers east of BASF getting cars on live maps. Interesting tidbit... just after Main St in Mansfield there is a spur connected to the main and there are 3 red cabooses parked on it.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby ccutler » Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:50 pm

There is "option value" in the line, specifically the possibility that NJT may someday want to extend passenger service further down the line. NS wouldn't get much money for that if they ripped up the line.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby pdtrains » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:15 am

Ok all you people with too much imagination.

1. Unless they changed it in the 1980's rehab, there is 15' 4" low wire on the M&E around the Newark draw, so no good for a lot of
freight cars these days. Even the SD-45's were restricted.

2. How are you going to get from Croxton to the M&E (Morris and Essex) these days. Is there any connection between the lower end of croxton and the marion interchange line to the meadows...and then you'll go thru the MMC, and saw back on to the M&E???? Or are you thinking of running to HX, change ends, then down to west end and around the wye, if it is still there. That ain't gonna happen. Or maybe you're dreaming that NS will rebuild DB and arlington draws, and rehab the lower greenwood lake. (What some of you all the lower Boonton, although it isn't the Boonton at all.)

3. Have you ever sat around on a freight, waiting for a clearance on a line owned by a commuter agency. I don;t think NS wants to run any more traffic on NJT than they have to.

4. Most of H65's work is certainly at BASF. The also have all the cars for H02, and switch a plastic pellets place near stewartsville.
If BASF closes, I'd expect some restructuring of the crews, but I don't see anything to be gained by abandoning the 15 or so miles of track from Allentown to Washington, NJ. Maybe they'll have H65 run up to Lake Jct and back....
Maybe they'll give all the NJT on line freight traffic to the Morristown and Erie????

5. Lots of ties and new ballast on the washington line. Still 10 mph due to poor condition of rail, and insufficient curvature elevation.

6. There are still quite a few locals working out of Allentown, so hump or no, they aren't going to tear the yard out,or close the crew base.

7. Last time I was at BASF in Aug, it was still a pretty busy place. 7 tracks (IIRC) and about 40+ tank cars on hand. I have a friend who worked at a chemical plant that is being shut down, because the chemicals they are making became too nasty for the population that grew up around the plant. They said they were going to shut down the plant 2 years ago, and it still isn't shut down.

We;ll see what happens, but I'doubt the washington line will be abandoned.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby blockline4180 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:17 am

Okay Pdtrains!! Thanks for putting my mind at ease!!! Perhaps in the future NS can restructure the low Bridge in P'burg, which has for years been a detriment, by preventing high cubed box cars from passing through!
Bottom line, there are many height restrictions along this route, including the WASS!
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby pdtrains » Fri Sep 30, 2011 11:06 am

Oh, your welcome.
When was the last high/wide move, anyway? Was it before the Montclair connection? If so, it probably went
via the old greenwood lake/boonton route. No longer possible. I'd say that H/W's are embargoed if they don't
fit under the bridge in Pburg at this time. They could lower the tracks in pburg, if they really want to. It's been done before
at other places.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby SecaucusJunction » Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:55 pm

I believe that if NS thought it could save them any money, they'd wait for the NJT passenger traffic for as long as they needed. I'm not 100% familiar with everything on the east end of the line, but if BASF closes, it would probably not be profitable to keep up the secondary for a few customers, so NS might look for other options.
I think it may be possible that NJ Transit might not be the perfect, infallible organization that most people assume it is.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby bk77 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:59 pm

pdtrains wrote:When was the last high/wide move, anyway? Was it before the Montclair connection? If so, it probably went
via the old greenwood lake/boonton route. No longer possible. I'd say that H/W's are embargoed if they don't
fit under the bridge in Pburg at this time. They could lower the tracks in pburg, if they really want to. It's been done before
at other places.


The "HO-2" list reported back in February of this year that a high & wide was unloaded at the old Lipton siding and trucked the rest of the way to PSE&G in either Roseland or Whippany. Don't know where the Lipton siding is but I assume its somewhere on the WASS...
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby blockline4180 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:43 pm

bk77 wrote:
pdtrains wrote:When was the last high/wide move, anyway? Was it before the Montclair connection? If so, it probably went
via the old greenwood lake/boonton route. No longer possible. I'd say that H/W's are embargoed if they don't
fit under the bridge in Pburg at this time. They could lower the tracks in pburg, if they really want to. It's been done before
at other places.


The "HO-2" list reported back in February of this year that a high & wide was unloaded at the old Lipton siding and trucked the rest of the way to PSE&G in either Roseland or Whippany. Don't know where the Lipton siding is but I assume its somewhere on the WASS...


No, I believe the Lipton siding is somewhere long the Lehigh Line =, perhaps along the Central Running track??

At any rate, the High & Wide was probably railed to this Lipton siding because they couldn't get onto the WASS due to the low Clearance from that bridge in Phillipsburg we spoke of.... Btw, what are the clearance restrictions east of Denville compared to that Main Street Bridge in P'burg???
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby NYS&W142Fan » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:11 pm

The Lipton Siding is off the Lehigh line, near River Road and the Flemington-Whitehouse Rd.
As to the height restriction in P'burg, I have heard for sometime now that NS wants/wanted to move the switch for the Wass further East, either near or just past the Black Bridge on Main Street. That way they would not be responsible for the concrete one they go through now and eliminate the height issue.
At one time M&M's in Hackettstown was looking into using some high reefers to ship candy. They could not come up the Wass, but were able to come in from the Dover side. It added a couple of days to the shipping time and some additional costs and was therefore dropped.
As for the BASF Plant closing, I would chalk that up to the Business environment we have in this Country. I agree that we need to make sure that we are safe and take measures for not polluting, but we tend to go overboard and create a unfriendly environment that makes it much easier to go elsewhere rather than upgrade existing sites.
As for the Wass, I think it will be around for some time. If not for NYK and Nova or exchange with the M&E, but also for NJT. If/when service to P'burg happens, then NJT will have a way to move equipment from the High Bridge line to the Hackettstown line or visa verse with out having to go East to more congested trackage.
Also at one time it was proposed to have Freight come down the refurbished Cutoff and down the Wass to Allentown. So who knows what will happen.

Only time will tell.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby pdtrains » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:54 pm

SecaucusJunction wrote:I believe that if NS thought it could save them any money, they'd wait for the NJT passenger traffic for as long as they needed. I'm not 100% familiar with everything on the east end of the line, but if BASF closes, it would probably not be profitable to keep up the secondary for a few customers, so NS might look for other options.


OK, let me educate you on the eastern end of the EL. There used to be 2 ways to get freight from Croxton to Dover....
1. the Greenwood lake/boonton line. This was severed with advent of the montclair connection,
2. Back out of croxton to HX, and then via the high line, bergen jct and the WE wye and up the M&E. The High line was obliterated with construction of the Secaucus jct. line.

So how else are you going to get cars to the Morristown and erie (customers on the Chester Br, the high bridge line, the dover and rockaway, and the orig Morristown and erie) , the Totowa spur, industries on the boonton, M&E and gladstone lines, as well as at least 3 customers between Hackettestown and stewartsville (not including BASF)

I don;t mind reasonable, insightful comments, but here, IMO, you have no idea what you are talking about...not that THAT ever stopped someone on any of these websites.

I wouldn't be surprised if the NS sells the washington line to the Morristown and Erie,and hands over all the NJT freight biz from the "Lackawanna side"

So who would take over the freight on the NJT "erie side" Susquehanna? (I'm starting a rumor here)
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby pdtrains » Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:59 pm

NYS&W142Fan wrote:The Lipton Siding is off the Lehigh line, near River Road and the Flemington-Whitehouse Rd.
As to the height restriction in P'burg, I have heard for sometime now that NS wants/wanted to move the switch for the Wass further East, either near or just past the Black Bridge on Main Street. That way they would not be responsible for the concrete one they go through now and eliminate the height issue.
At one time M&M's in Hackettstown was looking into using some high reefers to ship candy. They could not come up the Wass, but were able to come in from the Dover side. It added a couple of days to the shipping time and some additional costs and was therefore dropped.
As for the BASF Plant closing, I would chalk that up to the Business environment we have in this Country. I agree that we need to make sure that we are safe and take measures for not polluting, but we tend to go overboard and create a unfriendly environment that makes it much easier to go elsewhere rather than upgrade existing sites.
As for the Wass, I think it will be around for some time. If not for NYK and Nova or exchange with the M&E, but also for NJT. If/when service to P'burg happens, then NJT will have a way to move equipment from the High Bridge line to the Hackettstown line or visa verse with out having to go East to more congested trackage.
Also at one time it was proposed to have Freight come down the refurbished Cutoff and down the Wass to Allentown. So who knows what will happen.

Only time will tell.


Well said. Common sense and reasonableness is gone in this country.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby blockline4180 » Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:54 am

NYS&W142Fan wrote:At one time M&M's in Hackettstown was looking into using some high reefers to ship candy. They could not come up the Wass, but were able to come in from the Dover side. It added a couple of days to the shipping time and some additional costs and was therefore dropped.

Only time will tell.


Interesting, I didn't realize about the M&M plant wanting to use high reefers... The only thing I heard was that Toys on the High Bridge Branch(M&E served) wanted to us the High cubed cars and they couldn't fit either... So now that is two customers that couldn't receive due to the height restrictions.

Let's Hope NS does go ahead with moving the interlocking to avoid the bridge..
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby Sirsonic » Sat Oct 01, 2011 6:40 pm

pdtrains - Its still possible to back out of Croxton at HX and from there head east on the Bergen County to Laurel. Once there, simply continue east on the Main Line to West End, around the wye, and west on the Morristown Line to your destination of choice. NS currently uses this routing to access customers on the Harrison Industrial in Harrison. Also, I cant be certain how things were in the EL days, but by the time I got there, if you went down the High Line at Bergen Jct that would just take you back to the east end of Croxton.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby bk77 » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:51 pm

Sirsonic wrote:pdtrains - Its still possible to back out of Croxton at HX and from there head east on the Bergen County to Laurel. Once there, simply continue east on the Main Line to West End, around the wye, and west on the Morristown Line to your destination of choice. NS currently uses this routing to access customers on the Harrison Industrial in Harrison. Also, I cant be certain how things were in the EL days, but by the time I got there, if you went down the High Line at Bergen Jct that would just take you back to the east end of Croxton.


This is correct, I occasionally see NS go past the MMC on the M&E with a hand full of tank cars going to and from Harrison (usually at night). However, as already stated, you have clearance issues on NJT West of Harrison. A Morristown and Erie employee had once told me that they were limited on the size of cars they could interchange with CSX at Center St. Knowing NJT, I'm sure they have very little/no interest in adjusting these clearance issues to bring more freight over their railroad.
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Re: BASF Chemical plant to close??

Postby blockline4180 » Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:05 pm

bk77 wrote:
Sirsonic wrote:pdtrains - Its still possible to back out of Croxton at HX and from there head east on the Bergen County to Laurel. Once there, simply continue east on the Main Line to West End, around the wye, and west on the Morristown Line to your destination of choice. NS currently uses this routing to access customers on the Harrison Industrial in Harrison. Also, I cant be certain how things were in the EL days, but by the time I got there, if you went down the High Line at Bergen Jct that would just take you back to the east end of Croxton.


This is correct, I occasionally see NS go past the MMC on the M&E with a hand full of tank cars going to and from Harrison (usually at night). However, as already stated, you have clearance issues on NJT West of Harrison. A Morristown and Erie employee had once told me that they were limited on the size of cars they could interchange with CSX at Center St. Knowing NJT, I'm sure they have very little/no interest in adjusting these clearance issues to bring more freight over their railroad.


Right, but aside from covered hoppers and tank cars I don't really think M&E handles anything else that would cause a problem through Roseville.
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