Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby rr503 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:16 pm

I don't think I know enough to say who's right here, but convention says that someone presenting an argument/hypothesis/fact must provide evidence for it. The onus of action lies on the author and not the reader to validate.

Imagine if a scientist said "Puppies cause cancer. I'm right, but I'm not gonna show you my research because you all should take the time to do it yourself if you care/want to participate in discussions with me."

Look, what you say sounds plausible, let's just see these stats, OK?
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby oibu » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:09 am

I would agree. But we've about hashed things to death here, and Matt says he left, so I don't think any evidence to begin to build a case for the repeated unsupported claims to the effect that "NS moves as much or more now as anybody, ever, in the last 50 years", is coming. Every claim he's made has been refuted by facts and/or supporting evidence (car counts/train counts/changes in car capacities/traffic patterns/funding sources/tax agreements/track conditions/etc.), but he still says it is so. So I guess it "must be", and all the data and evidence and specific citations are secondary to speculative opinion, and even though fewer cars go by every day there are "actually more" and we just can't all see them. I'm fine with rational discussion, but I'm not going to endlessly provide further presentations of evidence over and over just because somebody says they disagree every time, but yet then never provides stats or evidence to support their rebuttal beyond a generalized unsupported statement or some stat that is at best dubious evidence that things -might not- be -negative- and tries to claim that it is somehow a strong supporting argument that something is "very positive".

I'd love to see evidence to support that too, but it's not out there even if someone could/would provide it.

I think let's just move along, this has gone well beyond the point of any reasonable discussion or debate and isn't productive, interesting, or educational for anyone I don't think.

Hopefully a new bridge or inland port or Panamax or something will come along someday, for now that seems to be about all we can hope for.

If anyone actually is interested, here is one snippet I did quickly find about the CNYK tax deal. It doesn't give much detail, but it should at least put to rest the " since I don't know about it, and anything I don't know about doesn't exist, the tax deal isn't real" claims. :wink:

http://www.sc-democrat.com/archives/200 ... /22/rr.htm
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby SecaucusJunction » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:19 pm

The CNYK lease of the railroad was dependent on the tax breaks. The lease says that the CNYK could void the deal if the tax breaks weren't given.
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: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby CPF363 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:38 am

With all of the discussion regarding the Southern Tier Line, most especially east of Binghamton, the best thing that could have happened for this line is if CP was able to acquire the entire Southern Tier Buffalo to New Jersey line as a condition of the Conrail split. CP could have also asked for the former Michigan Central line between Detroit and Chicago to include the Porter Branch also. They could have used their ownership of the D&H and political influence to put pressure on the STB to bring it into fruition. Why they did not do that is anyone's guess. All of that would have orientated the D&H from being a north-south line to being more aligned with CP network to the west. But that all did not happen and if it did, CP could have moved much of the the long haul New York traffic away from American ports on the west coast and shifted it to Vancouver, something that U.S. roads did not want to see. NS and CSX broke up Conrail and the Southern Tier to the east was the odd man out.
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby Jimleighty » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:53 am

I have heard from a very reliable source that NS has no immediate plans to start using the eastern Southern Tier. Even though the Portage Bridge replacement project is complete and heavier freight cars are able to use the line, the traffic will continue to use the Sunbury Line instead of the Eastern portion of the Tier. This was a big disappointment to me as I was looking forward to possible traffic increases after the bridge completion. I was told that NS will be leaving this option open and it indeed may use the line in the future, but no immediate schedule changes are planned.

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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby SecaucusJunction » Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:43 pm

This is surprising?
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: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby SALSDP35 » Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:15 am

While I clearly understand people's disappointment, and agree that NS had made projects of bigger things for all of the Southern Tier Line, things could be and almost were, worse.

In early 1996, Conrail came to my office and stated in no uncertain terms that it was their plan to close the line to the extent that was possible. They showed a plan to serve the remaining local business by running trains down from Lyons on the Corning Secondary. They stated that the line only had three industries from Erwin to Buffalo and the plan was for that line to go. They were trying to figure our how to deal with CP and the NYS&W. Both where being shown options to use the ex NYC - CP west of Albany and the NYS&W west of Syracuse. At that time, the only Conrail trains on the line were the BUBI/BIBU (Buffalo Binghamton) and an up and back turn train out of Croxton (or Suffern) that gave every other day service east of Binghamton. It was the change in ownership to NS and CSX in 1997 that saw the return of BUOI/OIBU and a pair of stack trains. People tend to forget that the last year of an "independent Conrail" was 1996 and things on the Tier were ugly.

After the NS take over of the line, the projected stack trains failed to materialize because of the fact that CSX was far more aggressive regarding the international shipping container business. As NS plainly stated, "We are not going to undercut, already cut rates". NS was in the position to be more selective due to the better franchise that they got out of the Conrail split. While CSX had domination in New England and excellent access to the NYC market, NS had equal access to New York and picked up a much better network to the south/west. Today in the United States, the eastern "Distribution Corridor" stretches from Hagerstown, MD to Allentown, PA - roughly along I81/78. NS found themselves smack dab in the middle of this and the IM terminals that they maintain reflect this. Bethlehem, Morrisville, two in Harrisburg and Greencastle. NS found that they can be selective in the New York markets and achieve better yield than CSX because they (CSX) have no large market outside of NYC other than Boston.

Further complicating matters is that intermodal traffic has not grown to the degree that was expected. Since 2008, intermodal growth has not continued on the same trajectory that it was on in the 1990's and early 2000's. This has changed in the last year. Still, the best hope for intermodal growth on the line would be a new terminal in the Maybrook/Campbell Hall/Middletown area to take advantage of the mini distribution area that is growing around Stewart Airport and giving them access to southern New England.

This is not what fans of the ex Erie want to see or hear but it is good business on the part of NS. Intermodal business on the line west of Binghamton is getting stronger and the I2K/I3K extra's have been regular even after the first of the year. By placing the Tier from Binghamton to Suffern in an arms length transaction (two really - the lease(s) to CNY and Metro North), the line 1. continuous in service and does not deteriorate as it would if it was closed or rail banked and 2. can be "retrieved" if and when it is needed in the future. While this status is not ideal, if it were a redundant line under CSX or still the distant third in a three way race that it was under Conrail, it would be gone.
Last edited by SALSDP35 on Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby SecaucusJunction » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:46 pm

Land Bridge traffic has dissipated over the past decade or so with more ships using the Panama Canal. Most water shipments to the port of NY/NJ are for customers in the immediate area, which is not good economics for the railroads in NJ. Now with the canal expansion and Bayonne Bridge completion, there could be a lot more lifts for the railroads out of NJ in the medium term. Port of NJ is supposed to be completing a new ship to rail facility this year capable of 400,000 additional annual lifts. This could be quite a bit of extra traffic out of NJ but, again, CSX (even with precision scheduled railroading happening), has stated they are very interested in this additional traffic. Go figure.
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: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby SALSDP35 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:39 am

In addition to the Panama Canal factor, all water service via the Suez is more attractive as the container business shifts to ports further south and west in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, etc.

When the majority of the traffic was ex Japan or Korea, MLB made a much greater difference in transit times.
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Re: Southern Tier - East of Binghamton

Postby SecaucusJunction » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:46 pm

Yes I've always thought the volume through East Coast Ports (especially PANYNJ) is going increase exponentially over the next few years. The stars seem to be aligning for it to happen. The question is how interested in the business are the railroads.
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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