CSX Activity in New England

Discussion of the operations of CSX Transportation, from 1980 to the present. Official site can be found here: CSXT.COM.

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Re: CSX Activity in New England

Postby bostontrainguy » Mon May 08, 2017 7:01 pm

Ryanontherails wrote:
Tracer wrote:I kindly disagree with a "win-win" if the line is abandoned. What "abandoned" Washington street tunnel are you talking about?

If you go on Bing Maps, pull up the bird's eye (not aerial) view of the intersection of Washington and Chestnut, and orient it so that the clock tower and Chestnut Street go towards the top of your screen (so looking east), the tunnel can be seen quite clearly.

Just curious, why don't you feel like that would be a win-win (not that my scenario would ever happen)?

I have confirmed that CertainTeed is indeed scheduled for three times a week, although sometimes they are only served twice a week. So that one's probably not going anywhere anytime soon, as much as I'd like to see a rail trail!

On Google Earth it looks like a bike path already goes through that tunnel?
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Re: CSX Activity in New England

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Tue May 09, 2017 7:05 pm

CertainTeed was only looking wobbly a few years ago when they had a protracted labor dispute at the plant that threw the rail delivery schedule into highly intermittent chaos while the plant was operating at crippled capacity. Once that got resolved they snapped right back to a steady multi-day schedule and moved back into the "safe" column where they've stayed ever since.

I think we overestimate how vulnerable the E. Walpole Ind. actually is because:

[1] ...perception was colored by that very high-profile labor dispute, but hasn't been re-colored by several years of "business as usual" because biz-as-usual doesn't make the papers.

[2] ...perception was colored by the labor dispute combined with the decline in New England heavy industry, making it seem like CertainTeed had one foot out the door because so many other similar plants have closed throughout New England over the last 25 years. When in fact there's been no indications that corporate is thinking about downsizing at all from Norwood.

[3] ...RR.net's most-regular spotter of this branch disappeared a couple years ago. We got lots of spotter reports back in the day, and updates on the inactivity during the labor dispute when CSX was completely on run-as-directed and sometimes wouldn't show up for a couple weeks. That person hasn't been around to report on the years of multi-day biz as usual since.

Obviously any one-customer spur is inherently vulnerable because its existence is only upheld by one single customer, and stuff can happen to single customers. So it would be nice if they could pick up something new at the old Hollingsworth & Vose siding. Or even just the occasional couple loads of stone at Lorusso for variety's sake. But no spur that's getting 3 locals per week all for one customer could ever be considered on death's door in the absence of any rumors about that customer's imminent demise. People have been doing backflips on the PAR Forum about Rousselot Gelatin expanding to 3 days a week on the South Peabody Branch, securing that track's longer-term future after previous--and perennially downsizing--owners Eastman Kodak made that look like a dead spur walking. CertainTeed does the same amount of biz...only as a steady incumbent instead of a surprise bounce-back. CSX makes a decent profit off them, it's a short trip on a grade-separated spur that doesn't take nearly enough wear and tear to need more than a few pennies of annual maintenance, and it's right on the part of their shrunken Eastern MA system that's still a mission-critical hold as last access point to Boston-proper and the ports. It's a shootin' free throws payday to keep serving CertainTeed...so as long as CertainTeed produces the carloads they'll keep on serving the branch no matter what Hunter Harrison does to transform Jacksonville's corporate makeup.
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Re: CSX Activity in New England

Postby Ryanontherails » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:10 pm

Crazy day in Foxborough today!

I saw the train coming up the tracks around lunchtime. It stopped for over an hour at the I-95 bridge. Just before 2pm it made its way north with four locomotives and dozens of cars. Apparently it was too big a load for the locomotives as its wheels kept spinning and that sparked a fire near Cocasset Street (or so I was told). After an hour or so two locomotives came up from Mansfield and pushed it north. It was blocking the Elm Street intersection the whole time!

I don't know if anyone else has more info, but it was interesting!
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