NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

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NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby pumpers » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:09 pm

It is all over the internet today, as rumored for a long time, NS is buying the CP-D&H line from Sunbury PA (on the Susquehanna River) to Scranton (ex PRR), from Scranton up to Binghamton (ex DLW mainline), and from Binghamton to Schenectady NY and nearby Mechanicville NY (ex D&H). It will give NS a direct shot to New England from the southern Tier line in NY and from Enola.

My question is, it could be that the Delaware Lackawanna interchange with NS is moved from Slateford, PA to Taylor Yard in the Scranton area (roughly the 2 different ends of the DL). If that happens, given that the electric plant in Portland PA has either shut down or stopped burning coal, is there any reason for NS not to abandon tracks north of Martins Creek, and give up on the Bangor/Portland/Slateford line? Is there any other traffic past Martins Creek?
JS
EDIT: Correction, NS is buying only as far north/east as Schenectady - the will still use trackage rights on D&H to get to Mechanicville from there.
Last edited by pumpers on Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby SemperFidelis » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:41 pm

I don't know about the rest of the line south of Portland, but there is a plastics company near the power plant that receives cars now and again. How many, I do not know. It would probably need to be quite a lot to justify the expense of the line.

Who knows? Maybe DL will be offered the southern end of the line, though what they would to with it is beyond me. I doubt they'd need to maintain two active NS interchanges unless certain traffic patterns play out in a manner that justifies such. I know the frac sand that is presently coming from the midwest is handled in Portland. Would it be more economically viable to haul it into Scranton by way of Binghamton? With weight restrictions on the Portageville Bridge being a significant factor, I would doubt it.

I'll ask my local train crew tomorrow to see if they have an opinion.

EDIT- Though perhaps not a scholarly method, google maps satellite view shows only 1 business between the plastic company in Portland and the City of Bangor with a siding intact and connected. It looks to be set up to recieve hoppers or tanks judging by the equipment near the tracks but whether they are an active customer or not I have no idea. It's off of Johnsonville Road.

EDIT 2- The company is Growmark, a fertilizer wholesaler. Perhaps they recieve chemicals or bagged material. Either way, not a heck of a lot of traffic north of Martins Creek.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby pumpers » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:12 am

thx. Where does DL transload the frac sand? JS
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby SemperFidelis » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:28 am

Up at the end of the line in Carbondale. There's a yard there owned and operated by the Linde Corporation off of Enterprise Drive. The DL stages large cuts of the hoppers along the second track near Nay Aug Park.

There might be a second transload next to the county recycling facility, but I haven't checked on the progress of that project, which was spearheaded by Northeast Logistics.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby pumpers » Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:54 am

Minor detail - for NS to interchange with DL at Scranton (Taylor Yd), they wouldn't have to go via Binghamton. They could go Enola to Sunbury on the Buffalo line and then Sunbury-Scranton on the D&H line they are getting . They already runs some trains on that route going all the way to Mechanicville (near Albany) using trackage rights, but I don't know if they stop at Taylor - that might just be D&H that can do that now.
Also, that's about the same distance (roughly 145 miles) as Enola-Slateford via Reading/Allentown/Bethlehem/Bangor/Portland, which I guess is how things come in now.
And a Scranton interchange would be a shorter haul for the DL to Carbondale, avoiding pulling the sand loads over the Poconos to boot.
For the history buffs like me, that would be an ALMOST all historical D&H routing from Buttonwood yard west of Wilkes Barre to Carbondale, except for a detour via a short stretch of DLW near Scranton for a few miles to get to/from Taylor yard as an interchange point (and a very short stretch of the CNJ at Minooka to hop across the river from the D&H to the DLW, if you want to be a stickler. )
JS
Last edited by pumpers on Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby SemperFidelis » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:01 am

Oh yeah, I forgot about the Enola routing. Duly noted.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby blockline4180 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 4:34 pm

The only thing that would probably save the former DL&W segment from Martins Creek to Portland would be if the state came in and bought it and used it as a passenger tourist line or something.... I don't know if the town of Bangor is railroad friendly, but that could bring in some tourism for the town and surrounding area if feasible.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby SemperFidelis » Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:09 am

A thought just came to me:

With the railroad in pretty decent shape, would it not benefit NS to keep the line in place as an alternate routing in case something were to shut down the line up the Susquehanna? The railroad is in decent shape and can probably be kept up to snuff with minimal maintenance for a few years.

I doubt it would ever be used as a bypass, but if they can keep it in place for little money I don't see the benefit of abandonment. Then again, i'm not a bean counter. Maybe the line is more valuable to NS as scrap.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby pumpers » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:37 pm

I think you are on the right track, so to speak. For example, NS could lease it to DL, with condition that the DL maintain it to some standard, with rights to use it The DL is elibigible for state grants etc (to keep and improve service to industry, etc), so they NS gets its track maintained courtesy of the state of PA. It is exactly what they did with the Erie main from Binghamton to Port Jervis, which NS owns but doesn't use , so they leased out it to CNYK with conditions to maintain it. (NYSW, which is related to CNYK, runs on it). JS
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby CNJ Fan 4evr » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:33 am

I believe there is a plastics plant that gets pellet hoppers near Portland. I know there was a LP tank car customer at one time near Bangor. I don't know if that is still there.I would sure hate to see the old DL&W going dormant again. It was great seeing trains on the line, especially ALCOs!!!!
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby rwk » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:54 pm

How about if NS sells the line north of Phillipsburg to Black River, then the #142 can run up to Belvidere, NJ or Portland! Why does NS need to hold on to that line anyway? Is there still coal business for the power plants? Isn't there two power plants up that way? I asked the Bel-Del crew a few years ago at the train why they can't run north of Phillipsburg and he said because they can't run on NS due to liability reasons. But now NS is running steam excursions for the public again in partnership with groups, so why couldn't NS let #142 run north once in a while?
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby pdtrains » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:31 am

rwk wrote:How about if NS sells the line north of Phillipsburg to Black River, then the #142 can run up to Belvidere, NJ or Portland! Why does NS need to hold on to that line anyway? Is there still coal business for the power plants? Isn't there two power plants up that way? I asked the Bel-Del crew a few years ago at the train why they can't run north of Phillipsburg and he said because they can't run on NS due to liability reasons. But now NS is running steam excursions for the public again in partnership with groups, so why couldn't NS let #142 run north once in a while?


Um, ur forgetting the Agway plant at Martins Creek on the remnant of the LNE south of MC. its huge. Doubt NS will want to give that up. And even if they did, what wud happen...NS brings cars to pburg yard, and then Bel-Del takes cars from there the 5 miles to Agway?
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby JPG76 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:01 am

I happened to ride past the power plant at the end of the old main line yesterday. NS was working on tie replacement.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby pumpers » Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:11 pm

pdtrains wrote:Um, ur forgetting the Agway plant at Martins Creek on the remnant of the LNE south of MC. its huge. Doubt NS will want to give that up. And even if they did, what wud happen...NS brings cars to pburg yard, and then Bel-Del takes cars from there the 5 miles to Agway?

Yes you are right, it is a big business, hard to imagine NS letting that one go. But they did give up those big industrial parks west of Hazelton recently to RBMN. That was also a lot of traffic and the only reason I can think of is that they just want to haul big trains from yard to yard and make their $$ there, and RBMN can do the local switching much cheaper than they can, providing cheaper total overall rail service cost to the customer, to compete against truck. (That is admittedly just a guess on my part.) In any case, I was happy to see an old cement plant site come back to life.. JS
PS. It is Conagra in Martins Creek, a big flour milling outfit, not Agway.
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Re: NS taking over part of D&H, fate of Bangor & Slateford??

Postby CNJ Fan 4evr » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:22 pm

Has anybody heard anything more about this? What is D-L's position on it ?
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