Oil Trains

Discussion of present-day CM&Q operations, as well as discussion of predecessors Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) and Bangor & Aroostook Railroad (BAR).

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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby bobw59 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:54 pm

There are currently no oil loading facilities at Duluth, MN. They handle ore, coal and grain.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby bobw59 » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:00 am

How is the oil that would have moved over the MMA being handled? There must be at least two trains of it that were scheduled to move last week. This must have been rerouted. Is that MMA's responsibility to arrange a detour, at least in the short term? Also there must have been an empty train that has returned using an alternate route. Another question is MMA's other business. Is the general freight moving by an alternate routing yet? I know a detour over PAR and SLA had been discussed on this thread last week as a possibility.
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Re: Oil Trains on MMA

Postby charlie6017 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:33 pm

Having read through the comments and information of the MM&A train wreck and it's operations, I take
it that the engineer (Harding, in the case of the wrecked train) operates the train from the RCO. Is that
correct? If that is indeed the case, then why not have it at the head of the train instead of behind the the
first locomotive?

If this has been asked elsewhere within this forum, I apologize.......I normally do not frequent this forum since
I live no where in the area of the MM&A's operating territory.

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Re: Oil Trains on MMA

Postby emdpower75 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:40 pm

Even though set up for remote control operations, this particular train was being handled the "old fashioned" way. Engineer in lead locomotive operating the controls.
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Re: Oil Trains on MMA

Postby mwhite » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:39 am

Remote Control Operations are used only when switching not for running.
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Re: Oil train disaster in Lac-Mégantic, Québec 07-06-2013

Postby Ridgefielder » Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:17 am

joshg1 wrote:How will Irving get Bakken oil if not by rail? Well obviously by sea, and not via Albany. Load tankers at Duluth and sail down the Seaway- it's not just for ore and imports. Oil is what I call dumb freight- bring it in with no great hurry and store until you need it. Refineries (no, not all), power stations, quarries, cement. Trains, even slow trains, are faster and more direct, but water borne freight is so cheap I can't believe more Bakken crude doesn't move this way.

Are there crude pipelines east of Montreal?

Not sure how many Seawaymax tankers there are out there right now. Remember, a lot of the lake fleet is captive b/c the ships can't fit through the locks on the Welland Canal.

If you want an "all the way by water" route it makes more sense to barge down the Missouri/Mississippi to New Orleans and transload to a coastwise tanker. I know, from conversations with a gentleman I know who is part owner of a barge line, that some Southeastern refineries are being supplied in just this fashion.
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Re: Oil Trains on MMA

Postby mbhoward » Fri Jul 19, 2013 5:32 pm

I don't know if this is the correct thread for this post so feel free to delete or repost. From the Economist

But the repercussions of the explosion extend well beyond the ravaged town. Questions have been raised about safety standards set by the Canadian government and the American company that owns the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway. More broadly there are questions about the wisdom of moving oil by rail, which has seen a stratospheric increase in the past four years as new production comes on stream often far from existing pipelines.


http://www.economist.com/blogs/americasview/2013/07/canada-s-train-explosion
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby MEC407 » Thu May 22, 2014 12:45 pm

Editorial in The Portland Press Herald:

The Portland Press Herald wrote:The 2013 tragedy in Quebec has raised significant issues that should be resolved before the railroad creates a timetable for reviving the oil transport link.

Last Friday, when Giles announced plans to restart oil shipments through Lac-Megantic, he was quick to add that he intends to carry out safety measures. Namely, $10 million in repairs to sections of the track so that train speeds can be safely increased to 25 mph.

That’s a step in the right direction. But the CEO didn’t address the contradiction between his company’s plans and calls in Lac-Megantic for the tracks to be rerouted so they don’t pass through the center of town – a project that could cost anywhere from $50 million to $80 million.

Lac-Megantic’s mayor has raised another valid concern: whether railway operators have enough insurance to cover the costs of future disasters. The now-bankrupt company involved in the Quebec derailment had only $25 million in insurance; the price tag for the cleanup of last summer’s tragedy is expected to reach $200 million.


Read the rest of the editorial at: http://www.pressherald.com/opinion/Our_ ... ebec_.html
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby railfanner01 » Thu May 22, 2014 3:34 pm

I am not familiar with Canadian law, but is there precedent that a town can dictate what is and is not hauled through it? Im pretty sure the railroad can haul oil if they want to haul oil.
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri May 23, 2014 9:10 am

I trust all concerned have noted the Bangor Daily News piece linked here by Mr. Maine Central is Opinion - and not any kind of news reporting.

It would appear from the discussion here and at the related topics that CMQ intends to operate their road as would a Class I; there will be two man crews; and no more Eddie Burkhardt 'tying up under the shade tree to grab a few winks' (or if I may say, Mr. Patrick's 'run 'em till they drop' defiance of HOS). Crews will be relieved at designated points and the trains will keep moving.

All told, if that Op-Ed ran in an Eastern Quebec paper, I would not be surprised; but since the CMQ represents jobs in the Bangor area, as well as in Maine on-line industries, I'm surprised Bangor's paper has taken such a position.
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby KEN PATRICK » Fri May 23, 2014 10:24 am

finally. it appears the railroad folk are thinking clearly. keep the trains moving. why? unlike some posts herein. cash flow. each car has a market value of $74k. i guess the mma division is $8k. no one will move bakken crude to irving by rail. think of the cash tied up in a 20 day barge move versus a 2 day rail move. i believe pas has awakened to this great opportunity also. and what of the 'trans-canada pipeline? i suspect it is a chimera. no way it can be financed against smooth rail operations.

as for hos. my position is that hos rules in current railroad operations reflect old thinking. as with everything in our technical world, hos should be re-structured to reflect equipment and operations improvements. the 125 mile metric is no longer in play but the thinking remains. all class i's are running at 29 mph system fluidity. its time for all parties to throw aside arcane thinking and establish a thoughtful hos-bonus program. legislate what is necessary to break the stranglehold. ken patrick
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby KEN PATRICK » Fri May 23, 2014 10:27 am

correction . i meant 'no one will move bakken by barge.. my old eyes... ken patrick
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby QB 52.32 » Sat May 24, 2014 11:32 am

KEN PATRICK wrote:finally. it appears the railroad folk are thinking clearly. keep the trains moving. why? unlike some posts herein. cash flow. each car has a market value of $74k. i guess the mma division is $8k. no one will move bakken crude to irving by rail. think of the cash tied up in a 20 day barge move versus a 2 day rail move. i believe pas has awakened to this great opportunity also. and what of the 'trans-canada pipeline? i suspect it is a chimera. no way it can be financed against smooth rail operations.

as for hos. my position is that hos rules in current railroad operations reflect old thinking. as with everything in our technical world, hos should be re-structured to reflect equipment and operations improvements. the 125 mile metric is no longer in play but the thinking remains. all class i's are running at 29 mph system fluidity. its time for all parties to throw aside arcane thinking and establish a thoughtful hos-bonus program. legislate what is necessary to break the stranglehold. ken patrick


KEN, here and elsewhere you continue to look at things with one eye closed. Sure, speeding up the system has benefits as you state, but, with two eyes open you see the costs, too, and gain the clear vision of the economics of the situation. Railroad managers have the experience and understanding of the business to make the calls you see. As far as your assertions concerning HOS, they are pure bunk.
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby KEN PATRICK » Tue May 27, 2014 10:19 am

can anyone truly believe this tragedy was not the result of hos? contrast the facts against the ephemeral 'fatigue factor'. please, how trying is it to drive a train? certainly not physical like a truck. mental? staring at track and responding to a few signals? i'm thinking that the 125 mile deal reflected some physical conditions absent in today's climate-controlled and computer-assisted decision -making control environment. face it. railroad hos rules are union-supported arcainiana. i remain perplexed about railroad management's non-legislative action to modify hos. certainly it's time for some corrective actions. i would love to sell a plan to both employees and management. low-hanging fruit for both parties. ken patrick
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Re: Oil Trains

Postby KSmitty » Tue May 27, 2014 2:19 pm

KEN PATRICK wrote:can anyone truly believe this tragedy was not the result of hos? contrast the facts against the ephemeral 'fatigue factor'. please, how trying is it to drive a train? certainly not physical like a truck. mental? staring at track and responding to a few signals? i'm thinking that the 125 mile deal reflected some physical conditions absent in today's climate-controlled and computer-assisted decision -making control environment. face it. railroad hos rules are union-supported arcainiana. i remain perplexed about railroad management's non-legislative action to modify hos. certainly it's time for some corrective actions. i would love to sell a plan to both employees and management. low-hanging fruit for both parties. ken patrick

Ken, how tiring is it sitting in front of a computer screen all day? I don't know about you, but if I do anything for 12 hours I get tired of it. Sitting watching TV for 12 hours gets tiring. I don't even sleep for 12 hours a day.

Preface this with the statement that I do not now, nor ever have worked for the railroad, much like you Ken. But the fact is, and you can tell this just from looking at a railroader just off shift, working for the railroad is tiring, dirty, physical work. The type of work you end an 8 hour shift exhausted from. There is nothing easy about it. Switch stands that pull hard. Up and down ladders and steps all day. When on the ground, keeping alert to all your surroundings. In the cab there is paperwork for the conductor, and a whole list of things for the engineer to watch for. Someone on the tracks, the idiot that runs the gates ahead of the train. That tree that fell over in the thunderstorm the night before. A whole host of potential threats that have to considered. Never mind the routine of just getting a train over the road. You really need to appreciate what these people do. Its seriously hard work.

So come off the hours of service issue, its getting stale for all of us. If you have really and truly feel the law is wrong, right your representative and lobby to have it changed. But leave it off this board, no one here wants to see it because it is wrong as a 3 dollar bill.
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