Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

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.

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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby MEC407 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:41 am

From Mainebiz:

Mainebiz wrote:The Rumford Water District hosted a public meeting last week spelling out details of a proposed 15-year agreement with Poland Spring Water Co. for up to 150 million gallons per year.
. . .
Rumford is one of three sites identified by Stamford, Conn.-based Nestle Waters this spring as being under consideration for a $50 million to $60 million Poland Spring bottling plant. Other sites being evaluated are the Penobscot County town of Lincoln and the greater Fryeburg area in western Maine.

Earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News reported that Lincoln's bid to host the Poland Spring bottling plant could hinge on whether the region's freight train service can improve its track speeds on the Lincoln-to-Waterville track line owned by Pan-Am Railways.


Read the rest of the article at: http://www.mainebiz.biz/article/2017071 ... /170719949
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby BM6569 » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:47 am

If they want direct rail service, would Lincoln be the best fit. No active tracks in Fryeburg and I'm not sure there is any space trackside or close enough to them, to build a plant in Rumford.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby NRGeep » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:20 am

gokeefe wrote:
MEC407 wrote:
newpylong wrote:They have lost business because the transit times are pathetic and they can't can't fix the track to improve them because they've lost so much business.
. . .
Nothing will change until Billerica and all senior management in it is gone.


That's it in a nutshell.

They did this to themselves, end of story.


Without knowing the company financials I think it's impossible to make these judgements. For example ... How much of the net profits are distributed annually to the (private) shareholders? ... We don't know ... If we did I think we would have an answer. But we don't and at that point it really comes down to whether or not the owner(s) want to reinvest profits or not.

A lot of the other Maine railroads are owned by companies with deep pockets that have a different strategic mindset. At it's core I think Pan Am is seen as an income producing asset for the ownership. That being the case I think it's much harder for senior management to get authorization for investment in physical plant that "may" result in savings or improvements etc.


T Mellon has very deep pockets, but is he not willing to fork over necessary $$$ for proper upkeep of PAR?
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby jaymac » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:14 am

NRGeep » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:20 am
...T Mellon has very deep pockets, but is he not willing to fork over necessary $$$ for proper upkeep of PAR?


Having even somewhat deep pockets does not always indicate a predisposition to reach into them. The nearly 3-year-old post below and replies offer insights.

12 posts • Page 1 of 1
Timothy Mellon settles lawsuit
Postby Jack Powell » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:43 pm
From today's issue of The Day (New London, CT):
http://www.theday.com/article/20140723/ ... /NWSlatest
Very odd. Apparently Mr. Mellon was driving his own backhoe from his Lyme, CT estate to Rhode Island for repairs in 2009, hit a guy on a motorcycle in Plainfield, and has now settled the resulting lawsuit for $1.3 million. "Do it yourself" to save money, I guess. Having always hired out backhoe work whenever I've needed it, I'll obviously never become rich myself.
Just think how much he might have saved over the years if he had operated his own locomotives....
"A white SUV with a roof antenna just might not be a company van."
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby gokeefe » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:56 pm

BM6569 wrote:No active tracks in Fryeburg


For now ...

Also, the proposed site in Fryeburg is trackside.

This is about as serious as anyone has ever been about using the Mountain Division since it was taken out of service.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby gokeefe » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:00 pm

NRGeep wrote:T Mellon has very deep pockets, but is he not willing to fork over necessary $$$ for proper upkeep of PAR?


There's no way of knowing for sure. Keep in mind that wealth on paper isn't the same thing as cash dividends. "Proper upkeep" is in the eye of the beholder. And in that case the only eyes that matter are those of the controlling shareholder.

I would note that the recent power acquisitions are definitely a positive sign (among many others) that management is indeed quite competent.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby newpylong » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:07 am

Re: the Mountain Division, you're nuts. Pipe dream, Poland spring or no Poland spring.

Re: the power acquisition, it is a very smart move, but by no means a measure of competence. There are how many functioning locomotives left on the roster? How many of those do not have serious repetitive issues? It comes down to the question being, can they afford to not make a purchase? The answer is no. A freshman economics student would come to the same conclusion.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby MEC407 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:23 am

Billerica has entered a new era of competence in recent years, and I hope that can continue.


How competent is it to discipline employees for committing the sin of being injured by something that wasn't the employee's fault, and to end up paying big damages to the employee that almost certainly cost far more than it would've cost to do a simple task that would've prevented the employee from being injured in the first place?

We've heard reports in the very recent past that they were pumping old lube oil from a dead loco into an active loco because they couldn't or wouldn't buy fresh lube oil. That's eerily similar to the extreme penny-pinching that got MMA into deadly trouble. What next? Will PAR follow MMA's lead and start using Bondo to repair cylinder heads?

This all smells like classic Penn Central to me, and even though he isn't running day-to-day ops anymore, it sounds like his style is still very much at play in many areas of the company.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby newpylong » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:58 am

To be fair to railroad management - they simply aren't getting the capital help from the owner(s) that could potentially lead to serious service improvements and hence revenue growth over time. I know for a fact that PAR is hurting financially, while PAS is doing "okay." The railroad simply does not have the money to do large capital projects on their own (due to no help from the top), and are being forced to basically make all capital expenditures from operating revenue.

The obvious question is - why is an owner who is already so wealthy keeping something that contributes very little to their bottom line, especially if they are not willing to run it like a real railroad? There are scores of similar size operations throughout the country that are run smoother, have a better physical plant, and are financially viable. They saw their bread and butter traffic of the past 100 years drying up ahead of the implosion and were able to adapt and grow new traffic. In my opinion Mellon needs to open his checkbook or sell, for the good of transportation in New England. You are never, ever, ever going to attract serious carloads with a 10 or even 25 with some 10 MPH mainline. Sucking someone's money to fix it and then letting it go bad again doesn't count.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby MEC407 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:24 am

But then we see them doing things like buying and fully restoring a dome car for the business train — how many barrels of lube oil could they have bought with that money? How many piles of rotten ties could they have moved and properly disposed of (and how many lawsuits could they have prevented) with that money? How many tree limbs could they have cut back (and how many lawsuits could they have prevented) with that money? — and God knows what else they do that we don't see or don't hear about. I think there's more to it than management being starved of funds by the owners, although your point is well taken.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby Dick H » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:48 pm

Other posters would know more on this, than myself. I do not think Mr. Mellon
actually rides the OCS on many of it's trips.

Off-topic, but K. Burkholder posted elsewhere that the excursion fleet of the
P&W will be painted in G&W colors. With G&W owning three New England
railroads, the three cars currently in full P&W paint, including the observation
car might just see some OCS action on the G&W lines in the future.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby Mikejf » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:22 am

PUC to consider Poland Spring’s request to tap Lincoln mill well
The Lincoln Water District says the well that once supplied the now-defunct Lincoln Paper & Tissue mill has 'substantial' unused capacity.Poland Spring hopes to pump as much as 172 million gallons of water a year from a public water district well that once served a now-closed paper mill.

Several small communities had hoped to be in the running to host the company’s planned $50 million bottling plant proposed for western Maine, but one of the nation’s largest bottled water brands, a subsidiary of Nestle Waters, also sees an opportunity with the Lincoln Water District following the closure of the Lincoln Paper & Tissue mill.




http://www.pressherald.com/2017/07/31/regulators-to-consider-poland-spring-plan-to-use-lincoln-water-district-well/
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby gokeefe » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:19 pm

They just keep moving right along ... It's interesting to see Poland Spring making so many different moves all at once.
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby woodeen » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:58 am

Taking advantage of a changing economy. Where I live in Oregon the aluminum plants are mostly shut down. Many were built to take advantage of the cheap electricity from the Columbia River dams. Now Google has moved in and built data centers that utilize a lot of that cheap electricity. Sounds like PS is doing something similar with these old mills and the now unused water. At least you can ship water by rail!
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Re: Portland Waterfront Rail Ops (Yard 8, Intermodal, etc)

Postby gokeefe » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:09 am

The best part of this entire story is the reuse of existing infrastructure and the consequent benefit to the existing settlements. These projects are hitting hardest in parts of Maine where the need is greatest.
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