PAR Locomotive Fleet - General Discussion

Guilford Rail System changed its name to Pan Am Railways in 2006. Discussion relating to the current operations of the Boston & Maine, the Maine Central, and the Springfield Terminal railroads (as well as the Delaware & Hudson while it was under Guilford control until 1988). Official site can be found here: PANAMRAILWAYS.COM.

Moderator: MEC407

PAR Locomotive Fleet - General Discussion

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:02 pm

Moderator Note — 03-05-2014:

I resurrected this thread as a place to have a general/broad discussion about the state of the locomotive fleet, PAR's motive power strategies, power shortages, utilization of other railroads' locomotives, etc.

We do have specific threads for specific classes of locomotives, the most popular of which I've linked here for reference:

PAR SD40-2s (MEC 600 Series) (this includes HLCX and NS SD40-2s on lease to Pan Am)

PAR GP40-2Ws (MEC 500 Series)

GATX (GMTX) Locomotives on lease to PAR

Current occupants of the Waterville dead line

Pan Am Repaint Discussion

Pan Am's Heritage Locomotives

Business Train Discussion (ST 100, 101 & 102; PAR 1 & 2)

Pan Am Locomotive Horns

Defunct/historic/off-roster classes of locomotives:

GP35s (ST 200-216)

GP38 #252

Status of the GP7s and GP9s (ST 10-77)

SD26 and SD39 status

GE U18Bs (MEC 400-409)



If you can't find your answer in those threads, or if you have a more general question/comment regarding PAR locomotives, please post it here. :)

-MEC407, Moderator


- - -

Subject to the discretion of the moderator I'm going to post the following here:

PROJECTION:

1. Summary: Pan Am Railways (PAR) will purchase new-from-factory engines for exclusive use on oil train service within 12 months of the completion of track rehabilitation projects between Waterville, ME and Mattawamkeag, ME.

2. Reasoning: a. Using current power will be significantly less efficient, potentially problematic due to a high operating rate (both speed and horsepower), and will lead to power shortages elsewhere on the system due to the large number of units required to operate the oil trains. b. Using run through "foreign" power will become significantly more expensive and logistically challenging as speeds and train size increase between Waterville, ME and Mattawamkeag, ME. c. The savings available by using new, modern and highly efficient engines and eliminating the necessity for using other railroads engines or PARs current fleet of older engines will justify the costs associated with new engines.

3. Historical Note: This would mark the first time in its history that PAR will purchase and the first time since 1971 that new-from-factory power has been purchased for operation on the Maine Central.

4. Discussion: While the above seems unlikely I am posting this hypothesis in the interest of generating discussion of its likelihood. I would like to know more about why either using older, current power for PAR or using run through foreign power makes more sense than new-from-factory engines with their higher fuel efficiency and, in theory, lower cost of use relative to run-through power.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
Reason: added a comment regarding the purpose of this thread; added links to existing threads
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby newpylong » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:16 pm

Aint gonna happen.
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby gokeefe » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:46 pm

newpylong wrote:Aint gonna happen.


That is my guess as well. But why? Because new units are too expensive compared to leased power or because using foreign power really isn't that expensive?

I would think older power is so inefficient that new units would work better and cheaper. I would also think that the other railroads do not let their power run through cheaply. So either older power really isn't that much more expensive or newer power is so expensive that it eliminates all advantages of improved fuel efficiency (which to me seems odd, but unfortunately not surprising) or the railroads don't charge much to let their power "run-through" which also seems surprising.

I guess what I'm really asking about are the economics of a) using older power, b) buying new power and c) using run through power. I can sort of understand why a) works. I have yet to hear an explanation as to why b) doesn't and why c) does. Perhaps "new" power purchases are only economically when buying huge numbers of units? Perhaps numbers like 20 or more...?
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby 690 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:18 am

gokeefe wrote:Subject to the discretion of the moderator I'm going to post the following here:

PROJECTION:

1. Summary: Pan Am Railways (PAR) will purchase new-from-factory engines for exclusive use on oil train service within 12 months of the completion of track rehabilitation projects between Waterville, ME and Mattawamkeag, ME.


I doubt this, as PAR hasn't shown an inclination towards purchasing brand new power before, and even now, they haven't even really leased any power to speak of (those six GP-40's were before the Oil Trains iirc).

2. Reasoning: a. Using current power will be significantly less efficient, potentially problematic due to a high operating rate (both speed and horsepower), and will lead to power shortages elsewhere on the system due to the large number of units required to operate the oil trains. b. Using run through "foreign" power will become significantly more expensive and logistically challenging as speeds and train size increase between Waterville, ME and Mattawamkeag, ME. c. The savings available by using new, modern and highly efficient engines and eliminating the necessity for using other railroads engines or PARs current fleet of older engines will justify the costs associated with new engines.


if train speeds increased, then the foreign power would spend less time on PAR rails, meaning less overall cost for PAR. Not to mention if they fix up the rails east of Waterville, then the run-through power can go all the way to Saint John, which in turn frees up more power, as PAR won't have to scrounge up a bunch of GP40's to haul two separate trains to Keag. Additionally, it doesn't seem to concern Pan Am about costs of running BNSF power across their system, otherwise they most likely would've stopped after the first couple trains.

3. Historical Note: This would mark the first time in its history that PAR will purchase and the first time since 1971 that new-from-factory power has been purchased for operation on the Maine Central.


Just a small nitpick - but the correct year would be 1975 (or '76, I don't recall of the top of my head), when the MEC purchased their U18's. But yes, it would be the first time PAR has ever purchased brand-new power.

4. Discussion: While the above seems unlikely I am posting this hypothesis in the interest of generating discussion of its likelihood. I would like to know more about why either using older, current power for PAR or using run through foreign power makes more sense than new-from-factory engines with their higher fuel efficiency and, in theory, lower cost of use relative to run-through power.


A huge factor would be the up-front cost - with new engines running at a price of at least 2.5 million dollars, that's a huge investment for PAR to make - especially considering many more used engines can purchased for about the same price. Additionally, let's not forget that PAR is rather reluctant to spend money on things like engines, especially brand-new ones.

gokeefe wrote:
newpylong wrote:Aint gonna happen.


That is my guess as well. But why? Because new units are too expensive compared to leased power or because using foreign power really isn't that expensive?

I would think older power is so inefficient that new units would work better and cheaper. I would also think that the other railroads do not let their power run through cheaply. So either older power really isn't that much more expensive or newer power is so expensive that it eliminates all advantages of improved fuel efficiency (which to me seems odd, but unfortunately not surprising) or the railroads don't charge much to let their power "run-through" which also seems surprising.


While new engines certainly have improved economics, again, compared to the price of buying new engines, having run through engines is significantly cheaper. And unless PAR ends up dumping a couple brand new ES44C4's in a ditch somewhere, it'll probably remain that way.
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby Narrowgauger » Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:08 am

gokeefe wrote:Subject to the discretion of the moderator I'm going to post the following here:

PROJECTION:

1. Summary: Pan Am Railways (PAR) will purchase new-from-factory engines for exclusive use on oil train service within 12 months of the completion of track rehabilitation projects between Waterville, ME and Mattawamkeag, ME.

2. Reasoning: a. Using current power will be significantly less efficient, potentially problematic due to a high operating rate (both speed and horsepower), and will lead to power shortages elsewhere on the system due to the large number of units required to operate the oil trains. b. Using run through "foreign" power will become significantly more expensive and logistically challenging as speeds and train size increase between Waterville, ME and Mattawamkeag, ME. c. The savings available by using new, modern and highly efficient engines and eliminating the necessity for using other railroads engines or PARs current fleet of older engines will justify the costs associated with new engines.

3. Historical Note: This would mark the first time in its history that PAR will purchase and the first time since 1971 that new-from-factory power has been purchased for operation on the Maine Central.

4. Discussion: While the above seems unlikely I am posting this hypothesis in the interest of generating discussion of its likelihood. I would like to know more about why either using older, current power for PAR or using run through foreign power makes more sense than new-from-factory engines with their higher fuel efficiency and, in theory, lower cost of use relative to run-through power.



1971? What was purchased in 1971? The U18b were delivered in 5/6 or 1975...38s in 1965/67.....??
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:01 am

Narrowgauger wrote:1971? What was purchased in 1971? The U18b were delivered in 5/6 or 1975...38s in 1965/67.....??


Sorry I was under the impression that's when the GP38s came in. My fault on that one as I based the date on the earliest available photos of a single unit. I did try to search for a date but wasn't able to find one all that quickly. Thank you for the clarification.
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby gokeefe » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:30 am

The following was sent to me for publication if I so chose:

I have to disagree. Pan Am is perfectly happy use runthrough power. The CSX units on POSE/SEPO are used to Rigby, and in return CSX gets a couple of PAR units pretty much permanently with different units rotating off system, but always 2 or so offline.

Following this math, for the loss of two 40 series locomotives PAR adds 2-3 CSX units (ES44's seem to be most common lately.) For the cost of, basically 6K horses, they get a minimum of 8800 horses. Its a good deal, and has so far proven to be sustainable. Newer, reliable, stronger power...

2 other things to remember, if oil power runs RJ-Keag and continues to SJ, PAR would only owe HPH for the time its on their railroad. NBSR would owe HPH on it while its on their railroad. That would actually reduce the HPH owed as most oil power sits in Waterville for a couple days.


Thank you very much for the replies and information via PM. This all makes a lot more sense now.
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby KSmitty » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:10 pm

Just a quick rundown to remember that foreign power isn't used at a cash rate, but at a Horse Power Hour (HPH) rate.
A Pan Am unit, (excluding the GP9's) is an EMD 16-645 powered 40 series locomotive. Those rate 3000horses.
The average foreign unit is, lets just say a D944CW (they show up a lot on oil and rate the same as most newer GE Evolution series locomotives). These rate 4400horses.

A HPH is the amount of horses per hour of use (where use is total time on the railroad, regardless if the locomotive is running notch 8 or parked shut down.) The average CSX unit comes onto the system, runs on SEPO to Rigby and then runs to Barbers on POSE. Lets just say thats a 3 day process. For every CSX unit on SEPO/POSE Pan Am owes CSX 316,800HPH.
The math to get that is simple 3 days * 24 hours/day=72hours.
72hours * 4400hp=316800HPH.

To pay CSX back, Pan Am sends a couple units offline, paying CSX 72000HPH per unit per day. So figure CSX has 1 PAR GP40 while PAR has a CSX ES44AC over a 3 day CSX power rotation. Pan Am owes CSX 316800HPH but pays CSX just 216000HPH. Remember CSX usually has 2 Pan Am units, MEC 614 and another presently offline. But PAR might have 6 or 8 units, depending on SEPO's size and oil moves.
So in that same 3 day span, Pan Am racks up 1900800HPH owed to CSX while paying 432000HPH. Why CSX lets this lopsided power exchange continue, I don't know. I'm sure theres reasoning behind it...

Also remember that when oil comes on the property theres a lengthy HPH process to it. As far as BNSF is concerned, its their power, and they loan it to CSX to move the oil, and until its returned its CSX's responsibility. That means that while 3 BNSF units sit at Waterville, CSX is paying BNSF for them. But then Pan Am receives the train, PAR treats the units as CSX units, and will pay CSX HPH for the use of the engines, even though they are BNSF units. If you can follow that, and oil power runs through to Saint John in the future, NBSR would owe Pan Am HPH for use of BNSF power which PAR owes CSX HPH for, which CSX owes BNSF HPH for. Confused yet?
You generally can't owe HPH to railroads you do not directly interchange with. When "Road A" receives "foreign" power from "Road B" they treat all power as if it belongs to "Road B" regardless if its "Road B" or "Road C" or "Road D's" power.
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby CN9634 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:43 pm

Oil train power is at a $$ rate, there is no HPH involved it comes right off the top (As BNSF pays PAR and CSX to move the loads).

NS works differently because of PAS. Only HPH move is SEPO/POSE
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby KSmitty » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:24 pm

CN9634 wrote:Oil train power is at a $$ rate, there is no HPH involved it comes right off the top (As BNSF pays PAR and CSX to move the loads).

Thanks Much for the info! I didn't realize this, does this apply to all unit moves (coal and grain)?
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Re: Leased GP40s coming to PAR

Postby MEC407 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:50 pm

KSmitty wrote:Thanks Much for the info! I didn't realize this, does this apply to all unit moves (coal and grain)?


I, too, would be interested in knowing if that's the case.
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Re: New locomotives - projection/speculation/discussion

Postby CN9634 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:07 pm

PAR is paying NS back for HPH using cash. Essentially it is a paper deal, where PAR is leasing two NS SD40-2s and has been for quite some time. Of course these two units never leave NS property and are just used business as usual by NS. Like I said, on paper they are leased to PAR and by NS using them, they repay HPH. Off the top of my head, I know one of the units is number 3348.
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Re: New locomotives - projection/speculation/discussion

Postby MEC407 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:23 pm

Interesting arrangement. Thanks for the info!
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Re: PAR Locomotive Fleet - General Discussion

Postby MEC407 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:22 am

Moderator Note — 03-05-2014:

I resurrected this thread as a place to have a general/broad discussion about the state of the locomotive fleet, PAR's motive power strategies, power shortages, utilization of other railroads' locomotives, etc.

We do have specific threads for specific classes of locomotives, the most popular of which I've linked here for reference:

PAR SD40-2s (MEC 600 Series) (this includes HLCX and NS SD40-2s on lease to Pan Am)

PAR GP40-2Ws (MEC 500 Series)

GATX (GMTX) Locomotives on lease to PAR

Current occupants of the Waterville dead line

Pan Am Repaint Discussion

Pan Am's Heritage Locomotives

Business Train Discussion (ST 100, 101 & 102; PAR 1 & 2)

Pan Am Locomotive Horns

Defunct/historic/off-roster classes of locomotives:

GP35s (ST 200-216)

GP38 #252

Status of the GP7s and GP9s (ST 10-77)

SD26 and SD39 status

GE U18Bs (MEC 400-409)


If you can't find your answer in those threads, or if you have a more general question/comment regarding PAR locomotives, please post it here. :)

-MEC407, Moderator
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Pan Am Railways — Boston & Maine/Maine Central — Delaware & Hudson
Central Maine & Quebec/Montreal, Maine & Atlantic/Bangor & Aroostook
Providence & Worcester — New England — GE Locomotives
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Re: PAR Locomotive Fleet - General Discussion

Postby Engineer Spike » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:09 pm

The whole EMD 645 platform is well proven. Parts are available. Look how they bought all the GP40s from Conrail. Some just directly became parts units. No need to send for parts. Just pick through the dead line.

Now many 20 year old 60 series and -8 units are being retired. If Jr. is trying to get his house in order, this might be the way to go. Sure they will have to train staff on the computer diagnostics. The game changer might be costs savings. 3 of the for mentioned units can do the work of 4 SD40s. This means less units, and less fuel. If they had a few, they could run through to CSX, just like the old DE SD40s did with Conrail. This could keep the power balance from getting in arrears, or needing to pay cash, as 2 SD40s on CSX are just a drop in. the bucket.

A few ES44AC or SD70ace units would be good too. I know this is stretching it, but a lease might be worthwhile. 2 could do what 4 SD40s can. Fuel would be much less. At the end, just turn them in on new ones.

I agree that faster track speeds would help. The foreign units would go home faster. The crew utilization would improve too. Right now most railroads are trying to get every ounce out of each employee. The benefits are expensive.
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