PAS Intermodal Prospects

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

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:39 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:
BostonUrbEx wrote:
CN9634 wrote:NS has no need for a terminal in CT or Deerfield. They already have Ayer, Mechanicville and Croxton/E-Rail. CSX uses Syracuse, Springfield, Worcester and Kearny/The Bergens (Not sure if anything is coming in Albany).


If they're competing one-on-one -- or if NS just flat out wants to serve the I-91 corridor -- I would think a terminal at East Deerfield would be necessary. The only issue I see is where to fit it. Looking over E Deerfield in Google Maps, it doesn't look like Rigby. It looks like a larger percentage of tracks are in-service, whereas Rigby might be able to "shift" the yard by putting tracks back in service and putting IM on the eastern flank. Or if they made a Gerry Ave crossing for the mainline, they could put a 3000' pad in the vacant west yard.

But, anyway, I digress. Point is, East Deerfield doesn't look so simple, but I imagine NS needs a piece of the I-91 pie.


Slice-o-pie is more like it, since the IM yard distribution isn't a straight-up match between the two carriers. It doesn't have to be equipped on the scale of Mickeyville or Ayer, but CSX is expanding/modernizing at West Springfield so a new market entrant's got to keep their flanks covered. ED's crowded, but modern and peak-efficiency it is not. It does little to no trucking because it's got an under-height bridge of its own blocking big rig access to US 5 from River Rd. Which in turn has given PAR zero motivation to improve that potholed one-lane driveway of theirs with rickety, narrow bridge over tracks and dirt-road access into the yard. MassDOT's got a real proposal for fixing CSX's under-height bridge blocker keeping them from direct state highway access. Fixing the roadway dimensions under this single-track guy way out in the woods is a far cheaper proposition than solving this six-track sucker over a busy city thoroughfare, and would open up options that ED has never had before.

Nothing grand...but a little modernization for efficiency's sake; better land usage on the north/mill end and where the junk piles are strewn around the perimeter; gee-whiz 21st century innovations like a real paved asphalt two-lane driveway; and ability to get a full-height trailer in and out of there goes a long way. NS has a vested interest in tightening the bolts up there to get the yard as efficient as it can be for the role it serves. The slack that's left to tighten there probably carves out all the above-and-beyond ceiling they'd need to cover future needs. Such as judiciously protecting their flank on I-91.


My point is, you can easily cover the market with Mechanicville and Ayer. If you want to penetrate more, expand Ayer or go east. I also know from experience that the volume through Springfield is moderate to low, but they also cover different service lanes.
CN9634
 
Posts: 2207
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby newpylong » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:55 am

I also don't see the necessity for establishing an I-91 terminal with Mechanicville and Ayer in draying distance.

There is no room at Deerfield except for the southwest side of the yard where the old B&M Regional office used to be. There were still tracks in there a little while ago, at one time in the 80s there was a transload facility. It would also avoid McClellan Farm road. Though, there isn't really room for much hard top once you put a track or two in.

A long time there was talks of rebuilding Deerfield out in Montague. That might make more sense for a new yard problem is you can't get there from here, be tough to get on and off 91.
newpylong
 
Posts: 3944
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NH

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby pnolette » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:31 am

I'd like to see IM out of Maine on PAR using Waterville or Portland.Get some of that I-95 truck traffic off the road..
Peter B&MMEC
pnolette
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Sat Mar 13, 2004 3:33 pm
Location: Maine

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby jaymac » Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:13 pm

newpylong » Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:55 am
I also don't see the necessity for establishing an I-91 terminal with Mechanicville and Ayer in draying distance.

A long time there was talks of rebuilding Deerfield out in Montague. That might make more sense for a new yard problem is you can't get there from here, be tough to get on and off 91.

The late, unlamented Patrick B. McGinnis pushed a joint B&M-CV classification yard at Montague in the mid-to-late '50s.
The late, unlamented Patrick B. McGinnis pushed me into the life-long affliction of distrusting the pronouncements of people in power.
To expand a bit on newpylong's first sentence, Mechanicville and Ayer are adequate for the foreseeable future, Mechanicville for points west of the Tunnel and Ayer for points east of the Tunnel, and for much the same reason as the Tunnel exists -- Hoosac Mountain. New York State's southern tier got pretty much the short end of the stick in transportation, industry, and infrastructure because it was less expensive and more rewarding to invest and build in the northern tier. The reverse holds for the Commonwealth because of the aforementioned mountain and its range. There have been piecemeal improvements to Rte. 2 east of Greenfield -- Hey, MassDOT, a half dozen more climbing lanes on each side would help! -- but the mountain isn't going away, and Hairpin Turn is pretty much as wide as it's going to get without a tremendous amount of money and anger.
pnolette » Wed Jan 13, 2016 10:31 am
I'd like to see IM out of Maine on PAR using Waterville or Portland.Get some of that I-95 truck traffic off the road..

To go all Beach Boys, wouldn't it be nice. Until Maine politics gets a bit more under control and until PAR decides what it wants its legacy to be in the Great Pony v. Kitty Cat Proxy War, it would be nice, especially as Maine continues to transition away from carload orientation.
"A white SUV with a roof antenna just might not be a company van."
jaymac
 
Posts: 3428
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:08 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby leviramsey » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:47 pm

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:It puts NS in good competitive position with ED being on I-91. Regardless of what you think of the Class 1s' one-on-one chances, the chess moves ED vs. West Springfield and Ayer vs. Worcester are eminently predictable once PAS has the car capacity to tap.


ED isn't exactly on 91 (it would be on the original alignment, which would cross the Deerfield River right next to the CT River Line's high bridge, and using the New Haven line's ROW through Deerfield). There's a low bridge under the tracks to the CT River Line which prevents most truck access to the yard without going down River Rd (which has a lot of showplace riverfront houses owned by UMass/etc. professors), and past that low bridge, you're either talking about going through a fairly congested Greenfield to I-91 or down US-5 several miles to South Deerfield (including going by the Yankee Candle flagship store and traffic light cluster, as well as Deerfield Academy (the NIMBY clout of which might be exceeded only by Greenwich, CT; I had some interesting discussions with a prominent alum and trustee by the name of David Koch when I worked as a hotel night auditor in Greenfield)). I don't think ED can compete with an improved-road-clearance West Springfield without the state building a road from I-91 to US-5 between Deerfield Academy and River Rd. The route would be farm fields (and if you're aiming for a connection that just crosses US-5, you're looking at three bridges over the Deerfield River and an even-easier-to-take municipal golf course). The connector would also improve access to Turners Falls and Montague, especially if the c. 1940 Montague City Rd. bridge is replaced.
leviramsey
 
Posts: 325
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:12 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby Lincoln78 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 9:37 am

PAS/PAR may find an opportunity in CT. PAR’s new ability to go from East Deerfield to the Hartford area in two hours vs the previous five-six is beneficial. In the northeast it is not so much distance as driving time and companies could probably get two runs per shift from drivers of the dropoff was in central CT vs the current locations. CT is a net importer and the distribution centers are all over. East side of the state is very convenient to Worcester via I-395.

The center of gravity of CT is the southwest shoreline which as noted is a short (and painful) drive from north Jersey. A secondary center of gravity that is within PAR territory is the I-84 corridor from Hartford to Waterbury, which would benefit from losing some truck traffic including that originating from CSX intermodal in/to Worcester and West Springfield. IMO this could open an opportunity for something in the New Britain/Plainville area. New Haven and Waterbury are a more convenient drive from that area than NJ although it is probably a day more on the rails.

One interfering reality is that somebody will need to lay out some funding. Maybe another study? Not sure what it costs to build an intermodal facility and to shift trucking patterns. Not sure how hard CT is pushing for intermodal to the two CSX sites or if we even know how much of the CSX intermodal is coming to CT.

Not sure if the CT river bridge weight limit would impact this project (thanks F-Line for a 2014 post noting that it is not 286k). Hartford I-84 viaduct upgrade will impact road traffic to this area, but it also crosses the rail line so there could be freight interference.

Not sure if CSOR could make something from handoffs from CSX/PAS-PAR. Hartford yard is convenient to interstates but is also subject to Hartford’s traffic.
/Another future intermodal site could be the ruins of Dunkin Donuts stadium in North Hartford. Very convenient to the rail yard.
Lincoln78
 
Posts: 216
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 7:46 am

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 11:29 am

NS covers New England via Albany, NY, Ayer, MA, and Croxton, NJ (E-Rail I think is container traffic?), not need for another terminal there when they can expand. Besides, NS intermodal is on the fast decline right now.... CSX completed expansions in the area too and is doing better than NS in the intermodal arena (who would have thought 10 years ago?)
CN9634
 
Posts: 2207
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby johnpbarlow » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:28 pm

CN9634 wrote:NS covers New England via Albany, NY, Ayer, MA, and Croxton, NJ (E-Rail I think is container traffic?), not need for another terminal there when they can expand. Besides, NS intermodal is on the fast decline right now.... CSX completed expansions in the area too and is doing better than NS in the intermodal arena (who would have thought 10 years ago?)


The 23K largely single stack trains I see departing Ayer and hear passing through Binghamton on the radio are still typically greater than a mile in length so it's not obvious to me that this particular lane's traffic is declining. Can't speak to lengths of 205/206 which AFAIK are still running out of and into Mechanicville. Per NS' Q4'15 quarterly report, if you exclude Triple Crown which was downsized/restructured by NS, intermodal units system wide (895,200 units) were down 1% while revenues were down 7% ($517M) v. Q4'14. For the corresponding time frame, CSX intermodal volumes were up 4% (729,000 units) but intermodal revenues were down 4% ($446M). Much of the revenue reduction for both RRs was due to reductions in fuel surcharges.

Net: from a Q415 units and revenue perspective it doesn't look like NS intermodal business is in "fast decline" but I may be missing something.
johnpbarlow
 
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby newpylong » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:51 pm

CN9634 wrote:NS covers New England via Albany, NY, Ayer, MA, and Croxton, NJ (E-Rail I think is container traffic?), not need for another terminal there when they can expand. Besides, NS intermodal is on the fast decline right now.... CSX completed expansions in the area too and is doing better than NS in the intermodal arena (who would have thought 10 years ago?)


Not arguing one way or the other but Mechanicville has no room, Ayer minimal room.

I don't see the data showing intermodal on a whole on NS is on a fast decline, especially in New England. CSXT and Conrail before has always had a better route into NE and anyone else including the B&M was small beans. However, the NS intermodal trail grew from 1 GTI loco and a 5 pack in 2000 to 5,000 feet on the even of Pan Am Southern and now regularly 9,000 feet with NS power. This is in addition to the auto rack trains which did not exist 5 years ago. I don't see NS ever growing their traffic to the levels of the B&A as long as A) they do not own the route and B) the D&H is their only route into New England but they seem to be holding their own for what they are willing to invest at this point up here.
newpylong
 
Posts: 3944
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NH

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:54 pm

http://www.joc.com/rail-intermodal/clas ... 60127.html

I think Ayer expansion is the next phase. No reason in putting in a stop in Deerfield when you are so close to Albany. Also, a south train to ATL.
CN9634
 
Posts: 2207
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:29 am

23K departed Binghamton this morning with almost 8,000 ft of single stacks out of Ayer while 28N with 81 racks followed 22K out of Binghamton shortly thereafter.
johnpbarlow
 
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 4:03 pm

johnpbarlow wrote:23K departed Binghamton this morning with almost 8,000 ft of single stacks out of Ayer while 28N with 81 racks followed 22K out of Binghamton shortly thereafter.


Are they running seperate trains to/From Mechanicville or is the 8K feet of singles aggregate of Ayer and Albany? If so, that pale in comparison to CSX running multiple doublestacks out of Worcester/Springfield.

Same question for the autos, is it all Ayer traffic or combined Ayer, P&W, Mechanicville?

Remember, JB Hunt works both CSX and NS now, make sure to count the white boxes moving over CSX. Here is a recent video and I count 16 Hunt boxes on just this train https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fRLZQbUm7Q
CN9634
 
Posts: 2207
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby johnpbarlow » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:14 pm

Train pair 22K/23K are Ayer - Chicago single stack trains that do not work Mechanicville (22K does drop a block of Taylor-bound double stacks at Binghamton). 205/206 are Chicago-Buffalo-Mechanicville double stack trains (205 picks up the wb double stacks from Taylor at Binghamton. I believe all 4 of these trains run daily.

28N delivers auto racks to Mechanicville, Gardner (for Davisville RI), and Ayer. And 287 picks up empties on its way west from these locations.

While I think it is the case that NS intermodal and auto traffic to Mechanicville and New England is quite a bit less than CSX, I think the NS trains generally have been and continue to be large (certainly longer than NS manifest traffic to New England).
johnpbarlow
 
Posts: 1663
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2004 12:50 pm

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby newpylong » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:51 pm

CN9634 wrote:
johnpbarlow wrote:23K departed Binghamton this morning with almost 8,000 ft of single stacks out of Ayer while 28N with 81 racks followed 22K out of Binghamton shortly thereafter.


Are they running seperate trains to/From Mechanicville or is the 8K feet of singles aggregate of Ayer and Albany? If so, that pale in comparison to CSX running multiple doublestacks out of Worcester/Springfield.

Same question for the autos, is it all Ayer traffic or combined Ayer, P&W, Mechanicville?

Remember, JB Hunt works both CSX and NS now, make sure to count the white boxes moving over CSX. Here is a recent video and I count 16 Hunt boxes on just this train https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fRLZQbUm7Q


All those double stacks and pigs have been going east on the B&A since before you were born. No one is saying NS has anything but a small fraction of intermodal traffic destined to/from New England. What I have seen is good evidence that they came in with nothing (which they did) 16 years ago and through organic growth (I love that buzzword) and taking a bit from CSXT they have grown their business substantially. When I started on the RR in the early 2000s we would go light out of Ayer every Sunday night account no traffic. CSX came up from Worcester with their own rack train every day for the Ford yard. Things have come a long way especially with the grinch in the middle.
newpylong
 
Posts: 3944
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: NH

Re: PAS Intermodal Prospects

Postby CN9634 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:12 pm

newpylong wrote:
CN9634 wrote:
johnpbarlow wrote:23K departed Binghamton this morning with almost 8,000 ft of single stacks out of Ayer while 28N with 81 racks followed 22K out of Binghamton shortly thereafter.


Are they running seperate trains to/From Mechanicville or is the 8K feet of singles aggregate of Ayer and Albany? If so, that pale in comparison to CSX running multiple doublestacks out of Worcester/Springfield.

Same question for the autos, is it all Ayer traffic or combined Ayer, P&W, Mechanicville?

Remember, JB Hunt works both CSX and NS now, make sure to count the white boxes moving over CSX. Here is a recent video and I count 16 Hunt boxes on just this train https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fRLZQbUm7Q


All those double stacks and pigs have been going east on the B&A since before you were born. No one is saying NS has anything but a small fraction of intermodal traffic destined to/from New England. What I have seen is good evidence that they came in with nothing (which they did) 16 years ago and through organic growth (I love that buzzword) and taking a bit from CSXT they have grown their business substantially. When I started on the RR in the early 2000s we would go light out of Ayer every Sunday night account no traffic. CSX came up from Worcester with their own rack train every day for the Ford yard. Things have come a long way especially with the grinch in the middle.


That is something I never disputed... and I certainly agree, we've come a long way and we are lucky to have dedicated trains. But also, traffic is on the decline and the primary contributor of intermodal to the NS network has decided to hedge their fortunate off both roads. Doublestack domestic (two hi-cubes essentially) is new to New England on one road, still a dream on another (we know there is study money out there but little more). So as it related to PAS intermodal prospects, I think none in CT, more in Ayer, and hopefully increased speeds/clearances as well as a train to Atlanta via the Crescent Corridor.
CN9634
 
Posts: 2207
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2004 5:50 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Pan Am Railways (formerly Guilford Rail System)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests