Alcoa shutting down Massena

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Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby jtunnel » Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:40 am

Doesn't look good for the Alcoa smelter in Massena.

http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news ... s-20151103

Not good for the CSX K534/K535 unit train from Baltimore to Massena
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby mmi16 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:40 pm

Senior management failure.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Lincoln78 » Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:00 pm

More than just Alcoa management....

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles ... ustry.html

I believe either our current or previous president should be blamed, depending on your political views.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby ccutler » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:38 am

It'll last about two years. Then they will reopen.

Biggest cost in aluminum production: electricity. The Chinese are pushing hard to reduce their worst-in-the-world air quality problem, so if producers are losing money on subsidized electricity, they will mothball their plants.

A bigger problem is places like Saudi Arabia and Iceland with very cheap electricity, boosting production, alongside weak demand [at least from China].
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Lincoln78 » Sun Nov 08, 2015 7:18 pm

TMI on the topic from http://www.aluminum.org/industries/production/recycling .

"Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. Aluminum is one of the only materials in the consumer disposal stream that more than pays for the cost of its own collection." We may not need to make too much new aluminum.

Scrap aluminum retails for around $1/lb; scappers pay about 20-30 cents/lb.

Contrast that with scrap steel at about 4 cents/lb. I guess that is why there are large piles of spikes/plates left after rails is replaced. You would think that the railroads don't have an economical means to transport their scrap metal.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Bigt » Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:16 pm

The most important thing in this story is the fact that the potline is only being idled, and
not permanently closed. Of course, it's future is yet to be seen. All will depend on the global
aluminum market, and, the resulting pricing. You can thank the global economy for a lot of this.

This will of course end the movement of bauxite (alumina ore) to Massena via one of the "K" trains.
Also, no more cars of carbon black, or, coal tar pitch (both used in the making of carbon anodes used
in the pots). There will be other rail traffic in / out of the plant via the Massena Terminal Railroad, but,
would assume that it too will be negatively affected. How this will affect CSX crews, I don't know.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Bigt » Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:31 pm

Local scuttlebutt has upwards of four or five local CSX train service employees will
be laid-off because of this action at ALCOA. Nothing said yet about crews at Massena
Terminal Railroad.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Noel Weaver » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:21 pm

Bigt wrote:Local scuttlebutt has upwards of four or five local CSX train service employees will
be laid-off because of this action at ALCOA. Nothing said yet about crews at Massena
Terminal Railroad.

's r
Rumors, Rumors, Rumors, actually the bottom trainpersons or conductors will be affected and that could include any terminal in this particular seniority district. In Conrail days that included any territory east of Buffalo on the former New York Central and New Haven as well as portions of the Lehigh Valley, Erie Lackawanna and others in this area, in other words a lot of territory. Mind you the youngest in seniority so it could filter down to somebody far away. If the people affected in Massena are willing to relocate then they will still have a job. Relocation is part of the game on the railroad especially at the bottom of the ladder or in small terminals. Those who are willing to go where there is work will come out just fine and if you are on the railroad and not willing to relocate then you might not have a future on any of the major freight railroads especially with the expanded seniority districts of today's railroading. I know, I have been there and done that and never ever lost a day's work.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Bigt » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:15 am

You are correct Noel. But, you know how it is in a small community when pretty much
the whole economic base has been pulled out from under you. Rumors fly is right!
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Noel Weaver » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:01 am

Bigt wrote:You are correct Noel. But, you know how it is in a small community when pretty much
the whole economic base has been pulled out from under you. Rumors fly is right!

Yes I know. Unfortunately for the workers at Alcoa it will take a huge toll on the work force far worse than on CSX. I remember a lot of the brothers on the NHRR fretted about the job cuts that took place in 1969 after Penn Central took over but most of them had to happen and the vast majority of the people still had jobs, good jobs at that. At least for me I came out OK because I was willing to go where the work was. I never had to put in for any guarantees either.
Penn Central wasn't all "peaches and cream" but at least I earned a good living.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby RussNelson » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:10 pm

I was just there this morning, pulling out our water sensor on the Racquette. I saw two crossings upgraded with new ties, another crossing for a defunct road pulled, and the switch leading to the four-track yard close to the main. Why would they upgrade crossings if it looks like the spur is dead? Maybe anticipating lots of traffic for the dismantling?
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby mmi16 » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:32 pm

RussNelson wrote:I was just there this morning, pulling out our water sensor on the Racquette. I saw two crossings upgraded with new ties, another crossing for a defunct road pulled, and the switch leading to the four-track yard close to the main. Why would they upgrade crossings if it looks like the spur is dead? Maybe anticipating lots of traffic for the dismantling?

Plans for such renewals are made a year or more in advance of execution. Once something is on the plan, it gets done, no matter what other external happenings occur.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Bigt » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:49 am

Russ,
Are you talking about crossing on CSX, or, the Massena Terminal?
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby RussNelson » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:47 pm

Bigt wrote:Russ,
Are you talking about crossing on CSX, or, the Massena Terminal?

Massena Terminal goes to Alcoa West, CSX to Alcoa East.
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Re: Alcoa shutting down Massena

Postby Bigt » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:17 am

Then I am assuming you mean crossing work on the Massena Terminal? As I recall,
they only had one "public" street crossing (outside the plant), which was located on what
we used to call Whitzel Boulevard. That is the ALCOA maintained roadway that runs from
CR42 at the main plant entrance, up to the parking lot at the number 5 gate, then, down
to connect with the Pontoon Bridge Road. This road always shows on maps as "unnamed road".
Old plant employees from years ago named it after Raymond T. Whitzel, one of the early
Works Managers (1920's) at Massena Operations.
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